June 7, 2020
A new database of Baptist sex abusers is now online.
Baptistaccountability.org is based on sexual abuse survivor advocate Christa Brown’s stopbaptistpredators.org, which she managed from 2006 to 2012, and the Houston Chronicle’s “Abuse of Faith” series and database, an exposé published in 2019. The database is managed by Megan and Dominique Benninger, who brought to light their former pastor’s record as a convicted child molester after the leadership of their Pennsylvania church failed to disclose it.
Third party databases only highlight the need for a sanctioned SBC database, Brown said. Most cases of sexual abuse are never criminally prosecuted, meaning many predators are simply able to “church-hop” with no accountability.
Brown calls for the SBC to work with an independent review organization who can document cases of abuse by clergy and others involved with church work and to create a review panel to advise churches and support victims.
Rejections of such a project by many SBC leaders have usually been based on appeals to the polity of the denomination — each church is fully autonomous and is under no obligation to participate in such a database.