By Baptist Message staff
ANAHEIM, Calif. (LBM) – Southern Baptist Convention messengers, during a June 14 report on the Sexual Abuse Task Force, approved the creation of an Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force and a “ministry check” website.
The Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force will be authorized to operate for one year, but the time could be extended by messengers at each subsequent SBC Annual Meeting. The task force will work with entity heads to recommend how to pay for reforms and report about their work to messengers at the SBC Annual Meeting.
According to a June 8 article from Baptist Press, Send Relief will provide $3 million to fund the proposed recommendations for sexual abuse reform, and an additional $1 million to establish a survivor care fund to provide trauma care for survivors and trauma training for pastors. Send Relief is a joint compassion ministry of the North American Mission Board and International Mission Board.
The task force, in coordination with the Executive Committee, will create a “ministry check” website that will maintain a record of pastors, denominational workers, ministry employees and volunteers who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and who have been or are associated with a cooperating Southern Baptist church or entity. This website will be maintained through an independent company selected by the Credentials Committee in consultation with the task force.
“It is a start,” SATA Chair Bruce Franks said in a news conference after the June 14 vote. “We are very grateful for the process that even started last year when messengers demanded it be looked into and the process began, even going back a little further, go back several years when people began to say this has to take place.”