May 25, 2022
Dear Ebenezer Family,
Many of you are aware from the news agencies about a document that was released last Sunday regarding sexual abuse within our Southern Baptist Convention. It was a painful document to read. Because of the high visibility of some of those whose names are included in the report, I felt it prudent, as do our Deacons, to share the matter with you.
Last year, during the SBC annual convention, in the midst of many allegations of sexual misconduct, the registered messengers voted to have an outside, third-party agency to investigate the handlings of accusations against ministers and leaders of our convention and bring a report to this year’s convention.
After months of work by the Sexual Abuse Task Force and Guidepost Solutions, they released a 288-page report this past Sunday that will be presented to the SBC next month.
Regrettably, this report names some Georgia Baptist ministers as involved or complicit in the tragedies detailed in the investigation. The Christian Index website has an article covering all the specifics which can be read HERE.
I am deeply saddened by the content of the report, deeply disappointed in many of our leaders, and deeply burdened for the victims of these abuses. As Christ followers, we are called on to resist evil, protect those who are hurt, call out sinfulness, demand confession and repentance, and restore people as God’s Word requires.
It is my prayer that the messengers to the SBC next month will put in place measures to protect the innocent, demand accountable reporting, thoroughly investigate all allegations, and respond accordingly toward the perpetrators. I want to call us to prayer for our convention and for all our local churches as we deal with the embarrassing backlash from this report. Please know that your church takes very seriously the conduct of her ministers and leaders, and we continue to put in place safeguards for all who come to Ebenezer.
Dr. Fred Lodge