Wednesday, September 07, 2011

John Langworthy Arrested



John Langworthy was arrested Wednesday, September 7th.


Newspaper articles:

Clarion Ledger >> Former Clinton music minister faces sex crime charges in 2 cities

Clarion Ledger >> Ex-minister facing sex charge

Associated Baptist Press >> Former music minister charged with sex crimes

Clarion Ledger >> Ex-minister faces Oct. 5 trial on sex counts

**NEW** Clarion Ledger >> Church should be a safe place for kids


Television:

WAPT-TV >> Former Clinton Minister Faces Sex Crime Charges

WJTV-TV >> Former Minister Arrested For Sex Crimes




WJTV-TV >> Ex-Minister's Arrest Sparks Reaction




WLBT-TV >> Former music minister faces 8 sex-related charges



FOX 40 >> UPDATE: John Langworthy Arrested

FOX 40 >> What's Next for John Langworthy

FOX 40 >> John Langworthy Arrest

WAPT-TV >> Former Minister Facing Sex Charges

WLBT-TV >> Clinton teacher out on bond for alleged sex crimes


Blogosphere:

Stop Baptist Predators >> Mississippi rep seeks secrecy for church

Stop Baptist Predators >> Admitted minister-molester: "I was not asked to resign"



Previous articles:

Wolves in the Music Ministry

Wolves in the Music Ministry - Part 2

Church Leaders Lawyer Up In Sex Crime Investigation

94 comments:

Former PBC Youth said...

When is someone going to hold Prestonwood's leadership accountable for not reporting the known allegations against John to the police? (I realize the charges for which he was arrested today happened prior to his time at Prestonwood.)

M'ssippi Girl said...

To the young men who came forward....

I want to applaud you for your courage for coming forward! You have my deepest admiration for this step you have taken. I can only imagine the relief you must feel that your perpetrator has been arrested and that justice will surely be realized for the crimes against you. I'm sure you'll find that an overwhelmingly majority of people will support you in the coming weeks and months. I pray that God gives peace and strength as you deal with the prosecution of JL.

just wonderin' said...

Any chance the bond money came from the offering plate at MHBC?

WhatEver said...

To "Just Wondering" - that's really tacky to imply the church would put up his bond. I go there and you can bet we did not bond him out. If an individual does, it's their business & their decision, but the church did NOT. So get over it.

SSmom said...

My concerns are the numbers of young men that have kept these acts inside for so many years. I pray for them to have the faith & trust in the system to come forward. I applaud those that have come forward & pray for them to have peace one day.

For John, I pray for him & his family. I pray for his daughters & for them to be able to move forward from all the publicity and have the opportunity to live a somewhat normal life. It's not their fault their dad made the choices he's made in his life. I pray they get the guidance and counseling they need to be at peace.

It's a sad situation, victory for justice, but sad in so many ways.

just wonderin' said...

"WhatEver", how can you be sure the bond hasn't been posted by the elders or pastors at MHBC? Just because members drop some cash into the offering plate doesn't mean they control where it goes...or know the 'whole' truth about where it goes. Would be interesting to see who's funding his release, that's all.

Anonymous said...

#1-cut the Clinton Schools and Morrison Heights some slack. Why would they immediately believe an accusation of this type when JL had such a distinguished career? I think the school and the church acted in a reasonable and deliberate manner.

#2-i think the wheels of justice will turn in this case. but please have mercy on jl's family--they had NO part of this and his children had NO KNOWLEDGE of this whole thing. his kids are also innocent victims.

JM said...

Where do you start to keep this from happening? It is NOT (only) punishing the perpetrator AFTER the behavior has occurred.

Men (and women) with this type of perversion did NOT choose it, instead they were not able to defeat it. Don't get me wrong, they are 100% responsible for their behavior and should be held accountable.

But, for most, something happened during their sexual development that created/reinforced/contributed to their sick attraction towards underage boys and girls. If we can intervene at this point, where it happened, when it first started...then we might have a chance to change or stop it from becoming harmful behavior.

In today's youth groups are tomorrows molesters.

I know that sounds harsh but it is a reality. These individuals just do not drop out of thin air.

Currently, there is no safe environment or place for someone to go IF they are having these thoughts or attractions. (If you know of a place, please tell me.)

Lastly, how do I know all of this? Because it happened to me. I dealt with it alone and unfortunately not in an effective way. I ended up hurting others and eventually pled guilty to a crime for which I served time.

I am not an evil person yet I did an evil thing. Fortunately, I had a strong family and friends and have since gotten help and a support structure that ensures my behavior will not be repeated.

I understand if you have no sympathy for me or Mr. Langworthy. But, do you have any for the 14 or 15 year old young person who is currently realizing that they are attracted to children but have no idea what to do?

Praying God's grace and mercy for all (which does not excuse or condone harmful behavior)

Curious said...

What's the deal with Langworthy. I'm being serious and asking for information, not to take the opportunity to slam him personally. Why does he look like a totally different man from even a year ago?

He has gained over a hundred pounds, his hair is turning out or white, and he looks as if he has aged 15 years from even a television interview he gave less than two years ago.

I know the truth sets people free, but it looks like to me that the truth is putting Langworthy in bondage.

I am beginning to believe that the number of children molested could be in the hundreds, and that the inner demons that have been stuffed, coiffed, and beautified are now unleashed in the light of day and the stench, ugliness, and deformity of character is being seen.

Without being cruel to those who worked with him and lived with him, I would like to know HOW NOBODY COULD SEE CHARACTER FLAWS IN THIS MAN, since they are now bubbling up in a very vivid and visual manner?

Curious

Christa Brown said...

There is nothing "tacky" about the fact that Just Wonderin' questioned whether or not the bond money could have come from offering plate dollars. To the contrary, people who put money in church offering plates should consider themselves as having a moral obligation to monitor/question how that money gets used. (Same for those who are in churches that give offering plate dollars to the SBC through the Cooperative Program -- we've sure seen some dreadfully irresponsible uses of THOSE dollars, haven't we? See Mary Kinney Branson's documented book, Spending God's Money.) Besides, it took me all of about 1 minute to pull up this example of another Southern Baptist church in which it was publicly reported that the senior pastor's wife had posted the bond money for an arrested minister-molester. (Embedded news links are in the postings)
"Deplorable"

"More of What's Deplorable in Georgia"

So there is certainly reason to question, and you can be sure that, most of the time, this sort of info doesn't make the news . . . or even the church newsletter.

As for myself, I've got the same question as "Former PBC Youth": "When is someone going to hold Prestonwood's leadership accountable?" Sadly, based on all that we've seen so far in Baptistland, I think the answer is likely "Never." Southern Baptist leadership has shown over and over again that those who keep quiet about clergy sex abuse will NOT be held accountable. And so long as there is no system of accountability for the pastors and churches that cover up clergy sex abuse, Baptists will continue to send the implicit message that, in Baptistland, clergy sex abuse cover-ups are no big deal. It's a message that both the perpetrators of abuse and the survivors of abuse hear loud and clear.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Without being cruel to those who worked with him and lived with him, I would like to know HOW NOBODY COULD SEE CHARACTER FLAWS IN THIS MAN, since they are now bubbling up in a very vivid and visual manner?

I think some people did. From what I'm hearing there are people in Clinton who wondered about his character for a long time. They had no proof and no known victims, but his behavior definitely raised a few eyebrows.

In several articles about the choir he referred to them as "family, inside and outside the classroom." Considering what has now come to light, this all takes on a somewhat creepy aspect.

I am beginning to believe that the number of children molested could be in the hundreds, and that the inner demons that have been stuffed, coiffed, and beautified are now unleashed in the light of day and the stench, ugliness, and deformity of character is being seen.

Makes one wonder if there wasn't some "incest" in the "family." I think one would have to be very naive to think there have been no victims since JL returned to MS.

New BBC Open Forum said...

And for those asking questions, here are some things to ask of those who were closely associated with JL. Did he surround himself with male students who were like "pets" or favorites? (Rumor is he did.) Did he hang out with students after school hours? Ask if there were ever sleepovers where just JL and students would be present. One of the Dallas victims described just such a scenario.

Were there ever "family sleepovers"? "Family outings"? "Small family gatherings"? "Family secrets"? Sure, he was their choir director and would naturally be around them on trips and after school practices, but you need to find out if it went beyond that. No teacher in his right mind would ever put himself in what could appear to be an inappropriate position, especially not in this day and age when people are more aware (and litigious).

I'm probably going to catch flak for this, but I don't care anymore. I'm going to just go ahead and say what I know other people are thinking. Did you watch and listen to the "confession" video? I mean, did you really listen to it? Listen to his voice. My very first impression with the first sentence out of his mouth was he's got "the gay voice." It's that thing you can't really describe, but you know it when you hear it. It's not a southern thing. Not all gay men talk that way, but generally if a man does talk that way he is.

JL fits the profile of so many closeted gay and/or pedophile Baptist men I've been acquainted with over the years and many more I know about. (Certainly only a small percentage of gays are pedophiles, and not all pedophiles are gay, so the two do not necessarily go hand in hand.) They are generally charming, nice-looking, clean-cut, charismatic men who have wives ("beards") and children and are so so spiritual. Few people see the other side of them. They maintain entirely separate lives. They intentionally, and to an extent naturally because they are so charismatic, surround themselves with hundreds of admiring supporters who love them and will support them no matter what. It's only a few unfortunate victims who see the other side.

We're following one in Texas now. I look at photos of JL and think, that'll be ____ in 15 years. I guarantee you that when this one is caught and prosecuted (he's already been caught but no victim or victim's parent has pressed charges), people are not going to believe it. But people in churches where he served have known for years and did nothing, just like Prestonwood did nothing. They have been blinded by his charisma.

Also listen to JL's words. He parsed a lot of words. People think he said things he didn't really say. Such as that he'd asked his victims for forgiveness. My sources who have spoken with his victims say that he has not contacted those victims. But that's really not what he said, is it? He said he's asked forgiveness from "those involved." That could mean nothing more than his wife and daughters. Or Belser and Burchfield (who were complicit in hiding JL's past by not reporting him to the police and informing the congregation and parents) once they found out.

Keep digging. I think we've just seen the tip of the iceberg here.

I would encourage any victim, whether of JL or any other perpetrator, no matter how long ago, to contact the police, not the church or school. Go straight to the police.

New BBC Open Forum said...

When is someone going to hold Prestonwood's leadership accountable for not reporting the known allegations against John to the police?

What about the Clinton school district? They reportedly knew of the allegations longer than MHBC but have pretty much flown under the radar since this story broke.

And where are those "close" accountability partners JL spoke of. If his own pastor didn't know, who did? I haven't heard of one person admitting they knew and were working to help keep him accountable.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Curious,

Stress eating?

M'ssippiGirl said...

I am one of those people who has known JL since he came to MHBC. I do remember thinking he was somewhat "feminine" acting for a man when I first met him, but I have met a handful of straight men who behave feminine, and by all outward accounts are living the lives of heterosexual family men. So, do we suspect every man who enjoys working with young people, or those men who have a somewhat more "feminine" demeanor than most men?

I also can say I was never someone who wholeheartedly embraced JL on a personal level. I outwardly "liked" him because others did and my children loved him. If you spoke out about your less that glowing opinion of someone whom others loved so dearly in the Clinton Community or at MHBC, you might raise some eyebrows and get talked about.

I guess I was actually guilty of not listening to an "inner voice" that said all was not right, and distance myself and my children from this man. Usually, I have a pretty good sense of who someone is upon meeting them. Often I can't tell you why, or what it is, but there is this nagging in me that all is not well. Being a young mother myself, those skills were not quite as honed as they are now, and I lacked the self-confidence to speak up. Still, I have beat myself up in the past weeks, that I did not pick up on something more concrete that would have prompted me to say something, so that I could have at least protected the children I taught in Sunday School and Choir at MHBC, as well as my own children.

I can understand the young men not wanting to come forward -- sexual abuse is something that is so embarrassing to admit, especially for a young male. It's not something any I'm sure any man at any age wants to talk about, especially publicly.

My young adult children are really struggling to understand how this man they loved could have hidden such a hideous secret for so long. They are sad for his family, and for their memories of fun times at church that are now shadowed in doubt -- doubt that anyone who cares for them might not actually be who they appear to be.

I pray there are no more victims, but it's hard to believe JL abruptly stopped his devious behavior in 1989 after almost 10 years of practicing. From what I've read from numerous sources, that's very unlikely. That thought alone, makes me sick.

I pray for his children -- they didn't deserve this. I pray for the rest of John's family -- that they can find the strength to deal with the stress they will be enduring over the coming months. Yes, I pray for John -- that he can do the "right thing" accepting the punishment of this world for his past actions. I especially pray for his victims -- that they finally find peace for the unspeakable crimes that have been committed to them.

David said...

Miss girl: Please don’t beat yourself up. There is no way you could have fully known JL. John only allowed people to know what he wanted them to know about him, nothing more. His is very skilled in his crime; that is why we are seeing multiple victims that even some of us didn’t know about.

Christa once again right on; it is such a crime in Southern Baptist Convention, state Baptist associations, local Baptist associations and finally the autonomous local Baptist churches don’t do more. They will gladly point to their LifeWay Resource Center/Stores as an action point in protecting children. Sounds so much like the Catholic Church with the so-called Bishops’ Dallas 2002 policy. Sure they created a policy yet in practice they never follow it when a pedophile priest is uncovered. It is the same thing in the Southern Baptist churches. There is a lot of talk on protecting our children yet no action. But you let a local church allow gays as a member or have a woman as a pastor and see how quickly that autonomous thing is tossed aside. Don’t our children deserve protection? Start the database!

Well someday there is going to be a District Attorney with the moxey to prosecute those leaders when they stall, hinder, refuse to cooperate with an investigation of a pedophile minister. Unfortunately it may take another child being harmed before that happens but it will happen. What then will the membership say? I will tell you what I will say; “it is about time.”

I have discussed this with the owner of this blog numerous times: Ladies don’t be afraid to go with your instinct. Trust me you all are more right than wrong. God has blessed women with this gift. Don’t be afraid to use it. Men don’t get upset, it is the truth.

I am not sure how all of this will come out. I have said before I doubt there will be a conviction. I have already seen some that want to holler “innocent until proved guilty”. You forget he has already confessed and when he confessed his innocence went away. Just like the innocence of at least 5 young children he abused so many years ago. Can any of you really imagine what their lives have been like? The horror and nightmare their lives became because of the CRIMES JL committed on them. And please don’t give me that argument all sin being equal. This is not just a sin, it is a damn horrible crime inflicted by a very sick, evil person on the most innocent of children, and do you think you can understand that? That is the JL they know; the real JL you never met.

David Brown

New BBC Open Forum said...

Associated Baptist Press >> Former music minister charged with sex crimes

professional said...

John Langworthy is arrested...more victims than anyone in the Mississippi area thought, I am sure.

Prestonwood makes a statement, which is NOT truth. They make it sound as though one victim made a slight claim and they "took care of it quickly and swiftly". This is NOT TRUE and needs to be addressed. There were MORE THAN ONE VICTIM at Prestonwood, and it was not handled quickly and swiftly. Sure, they moved him along to have access to other children (mainly in Mississippi) but they did not handle it correctly in Dallas. They had a LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY to report this. They did not. Still working on this.

John looks horrible because when darkeness comes to light and you have to face it...you will be stressed. Someone stated there is freedom in the truth...so why does he look so bad. The freedom is for the victims!

I would not be surprised if something happened to John Langworthy in his past that has led to his deviancy but I would not be surprised if nothing happened to him either. With sexual offenders, there are so many avenues that deviancy can take hold, that it is hard to pinpoint one thing.

That is not justifying his behaviors. He made choices. Those choices ended up with victims, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

In one of the TV interviews, the Hinds County District Attorney was asked about a statute of limitations since the crimes were committed so long ago. He responded something like "I'm sure it will be brought up and we'll have to address it."

Is there a possibility that a statute of limitations applies to JL's crimes in MS? I thought I read that in MS, sexual crimes against children had no statute of limitations for prosecution. Have I misunderstood?

Also, for what reasons would there not be a conviction? There is the testimony of the young men, who were children at the time, and then his own admission that there were sexual indiscretions with "young males". What else is needed to convict someone of child molestation? Does there have to be physical evidence? other witnesses?

Any legal-eagle people reading that can comment?

Marie said...

I wanted to comment on the statements that have been made about all sin being "equal". I've been thinking a lot about that over the last few days. I think that as far as where you spend eternity, all sin is equal. Any one sin separates you from God, and that sin, no matter how small it may seem, must be covered by the blood of Jesus in order for fellowship with God to be restored. It doesn't matter if the sin is a "little white lie" or murdering someone; it will send you to hell without the blood of Jesus.

That being said, when it comes to earthly consequences, sin is NOT all equal. When you look at the Old Testament law, there are varying consequences according to sin depending on the severity of the crime. Interestingly, Exodus 21 talks about what happens if men fight and cause an unborn baby to be harmed. It says "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life". Pretty severe consequences for harming a child. When you look at Jesus' words about children, He says that if we lead them into sin, it would be better to be drowned in the sea. Scripture also speaks numerous times about the value of children. This leads me to believe that harming a child would likely carry a heavier consequence than stealing a candy bar.

So while I understand what people are saying when they say all sin is equal, you have to keep that in the context of God's holiness and eternity. But earthly consequences vary according to the severity, especially in legal areas. What JL did is a CRIME, and that crime carries a heavier earthly consequence than breaking the speed limit. God will forgive JL if he truly repents (it doesn't sound like, from what he has said, that he is truly repentant, because that involves owning up to what you've done and not trying to sugarcoat it). Jesus' blood is sufficient to cover that sin and allow him to be in heaven someday. That does NOT, though, relieve him of the legal, earthly consequences for what he's done.

I am praying for MHBC and JL's family. I know from experience how difficult this all is for them. My heart goes out to them!

David said...

Marie your words are so tender but so right on. You have no idea how many you have helped with your posts of wisdom. May God bless you my sister.

As for my comments about doubting there would be a conviction, I say that from years of experience as an advocate. It was so courageous for those 5 men to come forward and speak to the police and district attorney but is something else to sit in a witness box and have some high-profile criminal defense attorney tear in to you. I have seen those tactics time and time again. For various reasons victims do not want to endure that kind of torture. Who would blame them? My heart goes out to these brave men. They are genuine heroes.

Let me say this now, these brave men are speaking out not for revenge but for closure. They want to be sure JL does not harm another child like he did them. It certainly is not for money as some defenders of JL have suggested. The statute of limitations for civil actions may have long passed. I do expect at the minimum that JL will be listed on a sex offender registry and have to serve some probation time having to see a professional counselor that deals with pedophiles. That certainly would be fair and just. That way a pedophile cannot just move from one place to another place freely.

There certainly is no joy for anyone in light of the latest set of events. There is only sadness.

Yes much prayer is needed for all.

David Brown

Thy Peace said...

Stop Baptist Predators [Christa Brown] > Mississippi rep seeks secrecy for church

Millstone said...

To anyone ever harmed by John Langworthy or any other predator:

Never give up hope of seeing justice done for victims and their families. Your voice matters. Don't leave it up to someone else. You ARE someone else.

Former Kanakuk Kamps Counselor Sentenced:

A former camp counselor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing several children received two life sentences plus 30 years in prison on Wednesday.

Peter D. Newman, who worked at Kanakuk Kamps near Branson, was given the sentence by Circuit Judge Mark Orr in Taney County after testimony from a pair of psychologists, a Kanakuk staff member, a friend of Newman's, two of his brothers and Newman himself.

Victims and their families did not testify at the hearing. They had submitted written statements to Orr at an earlier time.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Captioned August 7th Video

New BBC Open Forum said...

WAPT-TV >> Former Minister Facing Sex Charges Expected In Court (sometime today)

Marie said...

David, thank you for the words of encouragement. We are coming up on the one year anniversary of the day I found out what my minister husband was doing to our daughter. I am still working on forgiving him, which seems to be a daily, two steps forward one step back process. My biggest prayer has been that my kids be okay and that God somehow use our experience to help others, whether it's through blog comments or face-to-face contact. It means a lot to hear that my comments are helping!

I do hope you're wrong about the lack of a conviction, for the sake of those men who have come forward and for the sakes of any children who might have future contact with JL. Our legal system, though, holds up such a stringent standard that he may just escape punishment. To me, if he were truly repentant, he'd confess and "man up" and accept the consequences, but I don't see that happening. Just the way he called it "sexual indiscretions"...come on, call it what it is: ABUSE. If he were truly repentant, he'd just outright say, "I abused these boys, and I'm sorry and will accept whatever consequences the court deems appropriate." I guess I held out a small hope that my husband would do that, but he didn't.

I wanted to comment on Curious' post about JL's appearance. I believe sin takes a real toll on you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I had a friend whose husband left her to shack up with another woman. He abandoned her and their four kids. I had met him before, and then I saw him about a year later when he stopped in to see her at work to sign some papers. He looked like he'd aged 20 years! I really think that living in a sinful lifestyle really takes a physical toll. JL probably fooled himself for a long time into thinking that his past wouldn't catch up with him. Then, when it did, it took a physical toll on him. I know my husband's "mugshot" looks nothing like the man I married (keep in mind, too, mugshots are hardly flattering!). I think when sin is eating away at you, it begins to show in your physical appearance, too.

MSLA said...

As a former longtime Clinton resident, MHBC member, and Clinton High School student I have been following this blog and this story closely. I, like many others, have known John for years and was in his choirs and went on trips led by him and his wife. I never personally saw any reason to suspect this crime of John, but even as a young child was aware that "Mr. L" strongly played favorites and I was put off by what seemed to be underneath the cheerful, energetic personality. I am so heartbroken for his victims and am truly disappointed in the handling of this by MHBC leadership and CPS, espcially Dr. Burchfield who I truly liked and admired. After seeing how long John has hid these things, how he resigned without explanation, how he put himself in a position to have unrestricted access to literally thousands of children over the last 20 years, and how, when finally painted into a corner, he gave a carefully worded speech to his church which did not contain the whole truth, I am convinced that John is not truly, fully repentant for the awful things he has done- only sorry that after all this time he's been caught.

To New BBC forum, Amy Smith, David Brown, and Christa Brown- thank you for everything you did to help this story come to light and hopefully get justice for John's victims. I cannot imagine how discouraging your jobs must be at times- just reading the ignorant comments either trying to put blame on you or demanding an "opology" (as one eloquent anonmyous poster did) is upsetting to me. I have been horrified by the statements I have heard made by friends of my family, people I love, make in defense of John, including that he shouldn't really be prosecuted because it happened "such a long time ago". This is naive on my part I guess. I just wanted to let you all know I appreciate what you do, and that I am now praying for each one of you.

(And like previous posters, I'm also extremely curious where the hundreds of thousands of dollars of bond money came from. I'm almost afraid to find out the answer.)

Marie said...

MSLA, I agree with you wholeheartedly, and I'm so sorry for what you, your church, and your community are going through. I guess, like you, I have a hard time understanding how people can "justify" this behavior just because it happened so long ago. The emotional/psychological scars the victims carry are still very present, no matter how long ago it happened. I know it's hard for others, too, because this is someone you loved and trusted, and this is a betrayal of trust to everyone who cared about him. And I agree with you, too, about his carefully worded speech. As I said in my previous post, calling it "indiscretions" just doesn't cut it.

As to the bond money, using church funds for that would be a serious slap in the face to the victims. I wouldn't think they could spend that kind of money without church approval, though. I know our church, you can't spend more than $250 before taking it to the finance committee (you know us Baptists, committees for everything!). Keep in mind, though, they probably only had to come up with 10% of that. In my husband's case, his bond was $100,000; his father had to pay 10% of that in cash; the rest was a property bond (he put up his house). So you may only be looking at $20,000 if there was some other property he could put up. Still a lot of money, though...

Amy said...

To MSLA:
Thank you. Thank you for your encouraging words and prayers. God bless you.

It takes great courage for a victim to step forward. When a predator name is made public it helps to protect children and warn parents. Also, it helps others who have been hurt to find the
courage to step forward, contact law enforcement and begin to heal. Predators need secrecy to hurt children. When a survivor steps forward, no matter how long ago or how recent the abuse occurred, a very strong message is sent to any child being abused that it is okay to tell. It's very difficult for victims to speak up, but that's what it takes to expose predators, protect kids and prevent crimes.

A landmark Oprah Show event that's never been done before. Two hundred men courageously stand together to reveal they were all molested.

Amy Smith
Houston SNAP

New BBC Open Forum said...

So you may only be looking at $20,000 if there was some other property he could put up.

Total bond for both jurisdictions (Clinton and Jackson) was $700,000, so someone had to pony up $70,000.

New BBC Open Forum said...

JL didn't show up for his initially scheduled court appearance this morning.

WAPT-TV >> Former Minister Facing Sex Charges (updated)

TTU said...

To all the professionals offering advice, words of encouragement & for giving the victims the courage to come forward, thank you.

To the victims, I'm sorry - I'm sorry for your pain, I'm sorry for your memories that will never go away, and I'm sorry justice has taken over 20 years.

To the family of John, sisters, brother in laws, extended family & especially your two beaufiful daughters: I'm so sorry for the pain. I'm sorry your dad, your brother, your husband, your uncle, etc has allowed his choices & decisions to forever change, impact, and cause pain upon you.

To John: Words escape me. I've known you for 30 years, I was at MC with you, I saw you around campus, I sat and talked with you time and time again through out the years. I entrusted my children to you, I allowed my children to be around you, in your choirs, at many events at school & church. I know if you had done any of this to my son, I don't know what I would do - I know I would be angry, hurt, disgusted, disappointed & I would seek justice for however long it would take.

Yes, I'm a Christian, I go to MH and I know all about what the Bible says about sin, forgiveness, love, honor, etc. But I also believe an adult harming a child, it's a higher degree - it's a child for God's sake. A child doesn't have the thought process or feel they have the right or even know what that means to say No - especially to an adult they've trusted, loved, honored & admired.

Reading these posts, comments, accusations - I don't believe MH paid John's bond. We have new, expensive buildings, a lot of over head, we don't have that kind of money to throw around. And even if we did, there is NO way an Elder, or anyone would approve it. The church may not be very verbal about the situation with John and making rash & impulsive statements and comments, but I can tell you - they aren't promoting nor agreeing with his choices he's made in his life. John was told he had to make a statement & "come clean" to the church, they gave him the option of doing voluntarily. He was also dealing with the illness of his mother and eventually her death.

I see John now and trust me, he's not the man he was even 6 months ago. The stress, the inner struggles have aged him. It's sad, it's sad he's had these demons inside of him for so many years, and even in releasing the truth and admitting his sins, he's still at war within himself.

For the school district: I think you should be held in a higher degree of at fault, you knew long before the church did but yet you didn't pursue it, investigate it - you covered it up. I hope you let this be a wake up call to any future situations which I wish to God would never happen again.

To Prestwood - the beginning of the guilt - it is on you. Wow - you fired him and "dealt with it" and let him go to another church to do it all over again. Gee, thanks - I'm sure the parents of the victims and the victims would like to thank you personally.

Well - I guess I've blown off enough steam for the moment. We all have a lot to accept, try to understand and yes, move on - not to forget but to hopefully learn to be more aware, be more than we were before.

Thanks again for this blog site. When I first heard about it - I thought it was a witch hunt. Now I see, you were just trying to get us all to realize & understand, we had a wolf in our midst, we thought it was just another sheep.

Former PBC Youth said...

To TTU...

I am so sorry for the pain your church family is experiencing. I can relate - we felt the same at Prestonwood in 1989.

I am the LAST person to defend Prestonwood's lack of action...I desperately want to see them held accountable for not reporting the allegations against John to the police. BUT. We do need to keep in mind that the multiple, awful abuses for which he was arrested this week happened in Mississippi BEFORE he came to Prestonwood.

David said...

To those that have offered words of encouragement thank you. Even to those that disagree with us thank you also. I hope by now some of our comments have come to make you understand why we spoke out in the first place.

For those that still have questions about survivors and why we take so long to respond let me please ask you to do something. Amy posted the link to the Oprah show where 200 male sexual abuse victims made up the audience. I was one of those 200 men. On the way to the studio that morning they asked us to fill out answer some questions about ourselves. If you open the link Amy posted you find a further link lower down on that page. It is entitled: Sexual Abuse Poll Results. Most of the men in attendance were NOT abuse by a clergy member, many by friends or relatives. Maybe this will give you a better understand of what is like to be a victim and how we feel about our abuser. Some of our responses will stun and shock you. I will tell you my answers to two of the questions. They asked if any of ever thought about suicide and they asked us how many attempted it. My answer to both of those questions was yes!

Oh by the way the show was actually taped on October 19th last year. Some of us were flown in earlier on the 18th to be taped for various segments. When we got there we were told that Oprah felt there was too much to tell and she wanted to do 2 shows. Thus we got to the studio around 4:45 am on the 19th. It was an extremely emotional show(s). We laughed when we got to our seats and saw all the Kleenex boxes under the chairs. When the taping was over our boxes were empty. If you watch the second segment you will see my ugly mug over the left shoulder of Dr. Fradkin as he is standing up responding to Oprah. Our anniversary of that taping is coming up, please be in prayer for us. Several of those men are having some very serious problems now.

This is a horrible crime to wrap your head around but to ignore it is leave your loved ones at risk. I can only imagine the shock so many felt when they have finally realized that JL worked his lies on the best of his friends. As I said earlier this week the only ones that truly know JL are the ones he sexually abused.

David Brown

Marie said...

@New BBC--I didn't realize it was up to $700,000...wow. He must be facing a pretty lengthy list of charges. I guess we can hope that with more charges that at least SOME of them will stick.

@TTU--I, too, am so sorry for what your church and community and JL's family are going there. I've been in his wife's shoes (only my husband was abusing our daughter), and it absolutely devastates your family. I know how much our church's heart ached for us and how betrayed so many of them felt. I would encourage you to find others within your church that are struggling, too, and start a support group. You'll have to be cautious that it doesn't disintegrate into gossip, but if you keep the focus on how you all are feeling and processing all of this, it could be helpful to you all. Forgiveness is very hard for something like this. I've discovered in the past year that it's very much a daily process that I have to keep surrendering to the Lord. Some days, I think I take back my forgiveness. Some might say I haven't truly forgiven in that case; so be it--they aren't inside my mind and heart. There is no timetable for forgiveness; each person has to do it at their own pace and with total dependency on Christ. I learned early on not to try to do it on my own! I am praying for your church as you all work through what's happened. Your church CAN survive this, but it will be a hard road. My heart goes out to you!

New BBC Open Forum said...

WLBT-TV >> Clinton teacher out on bond for alleged sex crimes

Anonymous said...

Any statistics re: predators and suicide once they are exposed? I would not be surprised if that's how this ends.

Anonymous said...

It appears that John was a college student in Miss. when these sexual activities occurred between 1980-1984. It also appears that John was in his early to mid-20's when he served at Prestonwood while attending the seminary. John and Kathy were married in 1988 and returned to Miss. in 1989 after being dismissed at Prestonwood. John would have been 27 at that time. Since no other victims have come forward since 1989, perhaps John, with the help of Kathy,his parents and other family members and more importantly God's grace and forgiveness,made a decision that he accepted the responsibility of being a husband and father and changed his life forever.

Midge said...

Possible trial date

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110910/NEWS/109100339/Ex-minister-faces-Oct-5-trial-on-sex-counts?odyssey=tab|mostpopular|text|FRONTPAGE

New BBC Open Forum said...

Clarion Ledger >> Ex-minister faces Oct. 5 trial on sex counts

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anyone know who the two judges who recused themselves are? I wonder if they know JL or are members of MHBC. If so, they did the right thing by recusing themselves.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Never mind. I forgot about this.

Anonymous said...

Habeeb attends an Orthodox church in Madison; can't find anything on Nixon's affiliation.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 12:08 a.m.,

The only example I can think of is Matthew Jarrell.

We heard the same concern before the Paul Williams thing came out. How we had to tiptoe around this because poor Paul might be suicidal. In reality, Paul was on paid vacation, happily Christmas shopping, glad-handing the locals around Somerville, and telling people all was well.

As selfish as his past actions have been, suicide would be the ultimate selfish act. How could anyone do that to their family? I think the only way JL will commit suicide is if he eats himself to death which it appears he's been trying to do the past couple of months. I would not have recognized the man being led away in handcuffs this week as the same man depicted on MHBC's website.

Midge said...

To anon @12:08 a.m. re:suicide-- I've wondered the same thing. I wonder about his mental state, and if there are more victims....What would he do? I hope someone is keeping a close eye on him.

To anon @11:25- I've also wondered the same thing- if maybe after getting married, moving back, and getting involved at MHBC, did he have a change of heart? I believe in the power of Jesus' blood and I know it can change people, so maybe he rededicated himself to Christ and gave it all up to God, and I pray- I really pray- that there are no more victims. If more victims come forward, especially from his time at MHBC, I'm going to have a really hard time dealing with that. I literally grew up at MHBC (many years ago), and JL was a mentor and a father figure to me...I honestly believe he helped shape my faith and I don't think I would have the faith I have today without him in my life. I can truly say I saw Christ in him growing up- I don't know how you can fake that. I am praying for him and his family, and the victims, daily. I am trying to figure out how to balance all these mixed emotions- the shock and sadness, the pain for JL and his family, even more so the pain for the victims, and still yet, the love and fond memories of JL that are all trying to occupy the same space in my heart. This is an intensely personal situation to me- I can't seem to let it go. Though I have been away from Clinton and MHBC for years, I feel tied to this in such a strong way that I can't quite describe it.

To New BBC Open Forum- One of the judges that removed himself was Steven Nixon. He went to MHBC growing up and was in the youth group and choir there.

Millstone said...

To Anonymous at 11:25 who said...
"...perhaps John, with the help of Kathy,his parents and other family members and more importantly God's grace and forgiveness,made a decision that he accepted the responsibility of being a husband and father and changed his life forever."

If he had truly decided to change his life, he would have turned himself into the police in Dallas in the summer of 1989 after he was fired from Prestonwood to report every crime he committed against each child and named them so that their parents could be contacted and help given every
one of these kids. He would have accepted legal accountability for these crimes which would have included never again being allowed to work in or be in any position with kids. He did the exact opposite. He placed himself around kids every day with literally hundreds, if not by now, thousands of kids. That is why the concern is so high that there are more victims. Just because none have come forward yet since 1989 does not mean that they do not exist. It is dangerously naive to think otherwise. And the elephant in the room of your comment is that even if he had "changed his life forever" does not exempt him from facing the criminal justice system of our nation for the crimes he committed against innocent children whose lives he changed forever with his purposeful, sick, evil, deviant
actions.

Marie said...

Some of you asked about statistics on suicide among accused sex offenders. My husband, upon finding out his trial date was set, hung himself in his parents' basement (he was out on bond and living with them). I would not be surprised if some resort to that. And to the person who said it is another selfish act...you are absolutely right. My husband's father (who is 80) found his son's body. I can't imagine the pain he experienced (he also believes his son was innocent, making it worse). He also robbed us of any closure a trial may have brought.

FullCourt said...

JL fits the profile of so many closeted gay and/or pedophile Baptist men I've been acquainted with over the years and many more I know about.

I know what you mean. In the SBC I grew up in, the minister of music was arrested for molesting boys at a juvenile detention center he was supposedly "ministering" at. But at age 16, the first time the guy flounced across the pulpit, I KNEW he was gay. I did not understand how a man that feminine could possibly past muster with that whole congregation. Except for me, but who listens to 16 year old girls?

Also, our male pianist was obviously homosexual. (Obvious to me anyway.) He was also the choir teacher at my highschool. I understand that he later came out of the closet and left his wife and two daughters.

professional said...

To those asking about John's change of heart since 1989.....I have worked with offenders in different capacities for almost 20 years now. I have seen some come to Christ. Every single one of those who came to Christ removed themselves from any temptations of being around children. They had accountability with those in the church. They were honest about their behaviors. I have not seen this in the last year with John, much less the last 22 years. The only reason he even came forward was because the victims began to speak out.

No one can state what John's relationship is with Christ other than John and Jesus. I have no doubt that he had the ability to show a side that led a lot of people to Christ. There are a lot of people lost in sin and deviancy that still have the ability to speak the words. The people that John helped could have actually been helped. The reason they were helped, though, was not because of John, but because of Jesus. Jesus can use whomever He wants to bring people to Christ.

I do not see any behaviors, though, that show that he was removing himself in any way of being a risk to children..and I have yet to see anything showing me that he has changed any behaviors since 1989. We can all speculate, but John is the only one who can tell us the truth. Unfortunately, we will probably never hear any of that from him at this point.

I am just praying that if he SHOULD have any victims since 1989, that they have the courage, now, to come forward and begin to heal. They are now safe. Something they would not have felt for a very very long time.

New BBC Open Forum said...

From Stop Baptist Predators

Mississippi rep seeks secrecy for church

Admitted minister-molester: "I was not asked to resign"

Marie said...

I have to agree with Millstone and Professional. If John Langworthy was truly repentant, he would have confessed his crimes so that the victims could receive help. Even in AA, part of an alcoholic's recovery is making amends with the people you've hurt. JL has not done that; in face, he continues to minimize his crimes by calling them "sexual indiscretions with younger males". If he was truly repentant, he'd call it what it is: sexual abuse of children. My husband did the same thing. He called me and left a message in which he said he didn't "penetrate", as if that made it somehow better or less horrible. He then proceeded to lie to his parents about the circumstances of his confession. When he took his own life, he didn't even bother to leave a note clearing his daughter's name, so now his parents believe she is a liar and will have nothing to do with me or the kids. We were not even able to attend his funeral because of the way they feel about us. If he had been truly repentant, he would have admitted what he'd done and accepted the consequences instead of trying to backpedal and cover his own backside. It will be interesting to see how JL pleads. That will say a LOT about whether he is repentant or not. If he is truly saved, the Holy Spirit will be hounding him to make things right. Only God truly knows if JL is saved or not, but his actions speak volumes.

just wonderin' said...

Please understand that being gay does not equal pedophilia - and pedophilia does not equal homosexuality. They are TWO SEPARATE things! Perhaps JL had repressed his feelings of homosexuality and took that out on innocent children - who knows? - but being a pedophile does NOT automatically mean a person is gay, just as being gay does NOT make a person a pedophile!

New BBC Open Forum said...

JW,

You're right. Something I said three days ago bears repeating.

My very first impression with the first sentence out of his mouth was he's got "the gay voice." It's that thing you can't really describe, but you know it when you hear it. It's not a southern thing. Not all gay men talk that way, but generally if a man does talk that way he is.

JL fits the profile of so many closeted gay and/or pedophile Baptist men I've been acquainted with over the years and many more I know about. (Certainly only a small percentage of gays are pedophiles, and not all pedophiles are gay, so the two do not necessarily go hand in hand.) They are generally charming, nice-looking, clean-cut, charismatic men who have wives ("beards") and children and are so so spiritual. Few people see the other side of them. They maintain entirely separate lives. They intentionally, and to an extent naturally because they are so charismatic, surround themselves with hundreds of admiring supporters who love them and will support them no matter what. It's only a few unfortunate victims who see the other side.


I should have clarified I was referring to pedophiles in that last sentence.

A couple of people have since mentioned effeminate behavior. That's not what I'm talking about with the "gay voice" thing. I've seen plenty of very masculine gay men, but some still have the "gay voice." It's not necessarily related to behavior or looks. It's almost like a code. You can't really describe it but you know it when you hear it. It's not, however, always related to what society defines as masculine or feminine behavior. See David Bromstad, for example. Very masculine-looking guy (I chalk up his clothing style more to his artistic side than gayness), but he's openly gay and has the characteristic voice inflections even though the pitch of his voice is fairly deep. Google "gay lisp" for more information.

truthseeker said...

To all of the readers of this blog, I would suggest that you go to the Exodus International.org website and read about this ministry. Most all of this ministry's leaders and seminar speakers have a past similar to John's. Almost all are now married and serving in churches and conducting seminars, including youth seminars,across the country and internationally. I think when you read the bios of the leaders of this organization, you will agree that God can effectively use them in spite of their past. That's why it is entirely possible that in 1989, God changed John's life just like He changed the lives of the Exodus International's leaders and seminar speakers. Isn't this what we all pray for when we asked God to change something in our lives. Don't we believe in the power of prayer?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Yes, and most of us believe in the rule of law, too.

Marie said...

truthseeker, I understand what you are saying, and I think Exodus International's ministry is an important and vital one. However, what JL did is not just homosexuality between consenting adults (which, while sinful, is not a CRIME). What he did is abuse children who were not old enough to consent. The difference is that his actions were criminal. I don't dispute that God can still use JL in the future, but only if he comes completely clean and accepts the consequences of his actions. I do not believe that, in his case, simple repenting is enough. His repentance is going to need to include giving justice and closure to his victims. Is it possible that he hasn't victimized anyone in the years since he left Texas? Yes. Does that relieve him of the consequences of the abuse he's already committed? NO. If he wants to prove to people that he's changed and repented, then I think he needs to make amends with his victims by standing up, perhaps in court, and admitting what he's done and asking for their forgiveness. And that means admitting that it was ABUSE, not "sexual indiscretions". He can then throw himself on the mercy of the court and accept whatever consequences the court deems appropriate. That will go a long way to helping people believe that he is truly repentant. It's hard to swallow the line that he has repented while he is still sugarcoating his actions by using tame language like "indiscretions".

Marie said...

One other comment, truth seeker. I did what you asked and read the bios of the leaders and speakers from Exodus International. There is a HUGE difference between these people and JL: The Exodus people have not committed a CRIME against children. Yes, they struggled with homosexuality, which is definitely a sin according to God's Word. I have great admiration for what they have overcome. And I agree that JL could be used by God to that degree someday; however, any work he does should be with ADULTS, not children or youth. I would have a real problem with Exodus if they had confessed pedophiles leading youth seminars, no matter how great the work they are doing. Pedophilia can, in very rare circumstances, be overcome; however, the first step in that would be JL admitting that's what he is. He hasn't done that, so it's hard to picture him overcoming anything.

You also asked if we believe in the power of prayer...I most certainly do! It's the only thing that has sustained me in the last year as I dealt with the aftermath of my husband's abuse of our daughter! But I also believe that God gives us free will, and no matter how much we pray for JL, he has to CHOOSE to want to change before God will intervene. He has to face up to his own sin and be willing to hand it over to the Lord and let Him change his heart.

truthseeker said...

Yes, we all believe in the rule of law but that does not mean that God cannot change someone's life. John was no more than a teenager or early 20's himself in 1980-1984 when the alleged Mississippi incidents occurred. The three Prestonwood incidents all involved teenage boys 16 and older when John was in his mid-20's before he got married. No children involved. Was John wrong in having same sex feelings? Absolutely. We all have done or said things earlier in our lives that we later regret. But for many of you to categorize John as a hard and fast criminal whose life God cannot change at 27 years of age, maybe you need to think about your own faith or lack thereof. I choose to believe that God did change John's life 22 years ago. As I requested in my original posting above, I again encourage all of you to go to the Exodus International website and read the individual bios of it's leaders, regional directors and the "Love Won Out" speakers. Many of these are very compelling and are proof that God can change an individual's life, just as I believe He did Johns. I'm sorry, but there is no compelling evidence that John is devious child, sexual predator that should be hung from the rafters as many of you seem to desire. As I said, he made certain decisions in his teenage and early 20's years that are troubling. However, I would suspect that many of the Exodus International leaders and speakers made some of these same decisions but are now being used by God in a most effective way. Rule of law? yes. Questioning God's power to change someone's life. NO!

truthseeker said...

Marie, You do not know that none of the Exodus International leaders and speakers did not commit a crime against children. You were not there in their teenage years when these sexual attractions first developed. Many of these leaders could have been involved as teenagers with legally under aged children and it never would have become public knowledge.This is the problem with a lot of the comments on this site, you do not know the facts. You choose to make them up, fabricate them or assume they don't exist. With all of the recent publicity about John, his past life is open for all the world to see. It would be interesting if the entire past sexual life of all of the Exodus International leaders and speakers were open for all of the world to see. From reading their bios, I would think many are similar to John's.

New BBC Open Forum said...

And how would you know what ages the underage victims in Texas were? Whether they were 6 or 16, JL was an adult, and 16-year-olds are, by law, jail bait... aka children.

I'm too flabbergasted at your glaring stupidity to even address your suppositions about the MS victims.

truthseeker said...

BBC, I know for a FACT that the Prestonwood youth were 16 and over, not 6 as you stated. There were NO children involved. You need to know the facts before you make erroneous statements as you did above. Quit making stuff up!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Is there something wrong with your reading comprehension? I said, and I'll repeat, whether they were 6 or 16, JL was an adult, and 16-year-olds are, by law, jail bait... aka children. I didn't say they were 6. Take your own advice and quit making stuff up!

By the way, you sound like someone awfully close to the Texas situation and JL. Were you one of the men who covered for JL when he left Prestonwood?

Road Noise said...

Truthseeker, here is some truth.
1. Under every state law it is illegal for adults to have sexual contact with minors. In Texas, "Minor" is defined as anyone 16 or younger. "Adult" is anyone 17 and older. If you knew that JL had sexual contact with a 16 year old while he was in his twenties, then you must agree that he committed a crime under Texas law. And you believe in the rule of law.
2. No one involved in bringing this to light is concerned about JL's sexual orientation. Aside from a handful of recent blog posts, this has always been about a person who committed several crimes, but was never prosecuted. The activities of JL would be equally criminal if his victims were female.
3. The website you mention focuses on homosexuals who, through their faith, become heterosexuals. If these people, when they were adults, had sexual contact with minors, they would also be guilty of a crime.
4. God can change lives. You are correct in this statement. His love for us is nothing short of miraculous. I hope and pray that John was changed all those years ago. And if God did change John's heart, it would not exempt him from being charged for his criminal behavior. God can use men and women in prison. I'm sure you can find a website that refers to prison ministry.
5. You are also correct that we have all done things that we regret. Making mistakes, committing sins - these are part of our imperfect nature. But only a small percentage of Americans can be accused of committing felonies. No one involved here is bringing up John's "moral failings". It is the crimes he committed that law enforcement is presently concerned with.

truthseeker said...

BBC, No there is nothing wrong with my reading comprehension. When you made the statement that it made no difference if the age was 6 or 16, I think the age does make a difference. I do know from credible sources that the ages of the youth at Prestonwood was 16 and over. My problem was that your reference to age 6 implies to the readers of this website that John was a child molester at Prestonwood of children that could have been 6 years old. That is not factual so there is no reason for you to project that on this website. Jail bait or not, there is a big difference between the age of 6 and 16 as it relates
to public perception.

BBC, since you have strong Christian beliefs as I do, I would appreciate it if you would answer the following question. Do you believe that God could have changed John's life at the age of 27 as he did with so many of the leaders at the Exodus International ministry?

truthseeker said...

Roadnoise,

Like it or not, it has been stated on this and other websites that 22 years ago the parents of the teenager did not want to press criminal charges for any involvement that their son had with John. It appears that you do not want to accept this fact. It is difficult to understand that 22 years later, many of you are questioning this decision by these parents. No one is in a position to pass judgment on these parents, then or 22 years later. It is easy to second guess at this late date the parent's decision not to press charges,
but the decision was theirs and theirs alone. All of you who are parents should desire for any decision made by you as a parent to be honored should you ever be faced with a similar decision.

Anonymous said...

Truthseeker-

" Do you believe that God could have changed John's life at the age of 27 as he did with so many of the leaders at the Exodus International ministry?"

You continue to ask this question. I believe God can change people. We have all sinned and fall short. My question for you is even if God changed JL at the age of 27, do you believe he deserves to receive his due punishment by law for the crimes he confessed to? OR If he has changed, do you believe he therefore no longer deserves to pay for what he has done? My next question for you involves the following scenario. Suppose JL truly was changed at the adult age of 27, why would he choose to go from PBC and soon start working with children and youth...the very age that he hurt?

New BBC Open Forum said...

I would appreciate it if you would answer the following question. Do you believe that God could have changed John's life at the age of 27 as he did with so many of the leaders at the Exodus International ministry?

Yes, I do. However, I do not believe that negates the consequences of his actions. Would you argue that a serial murderer whose life was changed by God at the age of 27 shouldn't be held accountable if his crimes aren't uncovered for 22 years? Here is a good example of someone whose life was, by all accounts, changed by God. Yet she had to pay the consequences for her crime.

You know good and well "whether 6 or 16" means in the eyes of the law. You can perceive the differences however you choose, but 16 is still jail bait. A 16-year-old cannot legally consent. (I'd keep that in mind if a 16-year-old ever caught my eye in that way. Know what I mean?)

What about the much younger children JL victimized in MS? I started to say "allegedly victimized," but since he's publicly admitted it we can forego the assumption of innocence at this point. Is your only excuse for them that JL was still in college? Seriously? A college student isn't old enough to know molesting a child is morally wrong? Not to mention illegal?

Okay, I answered your question. Now would you please answer mine? Are you one of the men who helped cover for JL after he left Prestonwood? Because I have a sneaking suspicion you are. You're performing outrageous mental gymnastics, comparing consenting homosexual adults (sin) to pedophiles (crime), defending the indefensible which makes no sense unless you have a stake in this thing, too. You do realize harrassment of sexual assault victims and/or their parents isn't positively perceived by the public either, don't you?

Oh, I have one other question if you don't mind. Is the correct term "Katyan" or "Katyite"? I've always wondered about that.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Like it or not, it has been stated on this and other websites that 22 years ago the parents of the teenager did not want to press criminal charges for any involvement that their son had with John. It appears that you do not want to accept this fact.

It's been stated that parents of underage victims were not aware of the abuse until after your buddy John was whisked out of the state and that at least one of the victim's parents were threatened and harrassed by men who, for whatever reason(s), did not want John Langworthy to be held accountable for his crimes 22 years ago. It appears you are ignoring this fact, but then you already know that, don't you? Give it up, dude. If you're who I think you are, you were there.

Marie said...

"Marie, You do not know that none of the Exodus International leaders and speakers did not commit a crime against children. You were not there in their teenage years when these sexual attractions first developed. Many of these leaders could have been involved as teenagers with legally under aged children and it never would have become public knowledge."

Do you not see the fallacy in this argument? If any of the Exodus leaders DID commit a crime against children, why are they putting themselves in the position to work with youth?! And frankly, if they did abuse a child, where is the confession and repentance? To me, part of the repentance should involve making things right with their victims by confessing and accepting consequences. It disturbs me that you are taking this so lightly. My daughter was a victim of my minister husband's abuse. His abuse has impacted my whole family and turned our lives upside down. When people try to minimize that, it disturbs me greatly. I am not saying God couldn't have changed JL's heart back in 1989. But my concern is twofold: if he was truly changed, why would he put himself in a position working with youth again? That's like a recovering alcoholic taking a job as a bartender! Also, I'm still very bothered by JL's use of the term "sexual indiscretions". By law, it doesn't matter if the other person was 6 or 16; it's still ILLEGAL. You say they were over 16; how do you know this? The victims have not been named, so the only way you could know is if you were there.

If Exodus International leaders have a past committing crimes against children, I have a problem with them working with youth. Working with adults with the same problems, trying to help them, etc., is fine. But working with youth who can't consent...wow. How can you not see how wrong that is?

Anonymous said...

You know what is really funny is that all of you are wanting so much to prove your opinions and statements are right and really it DOESN'T even matter one bit about who is wrong and who is right ... child molestation is wrong and there are laws....so stop arguing just state what you believe and move on .....you people kill me. Just saying...save your rage and energy for things that you can change.....Smile and have a great day!!

Former PBC Youth said...

The good news: JL has been arrested for the "indiscretions" that occurred in MS prior to his coming to Prestonwood and the court system will (hopefully) make JL pay the earthly price for the crimes to which he has already admitted.

The bad news: ignorance still abounds in America! Does truthseeker not see the difference between an admitted pedophile (sixteen is still considered a minor child in every state in this union) and a "reformed" homosexual?

While I believe it's highly unlikely, I do believe it's possible that John turned his life around after he left Prestonwood - I absolutely believe God can change a person's heart. And I will believe in John's transformation ONLY if he pleads guilty to these MS crimes. Wouldn't a truly repentant person save his family the pain of a trial?

The issues while JL was at Prestonwood shaped my youth and his arrest for the MS crimes has brought a degree of closure. Sadly, the Prestonwood victims may never see justice in Texas due to the statute of limitations in place at the time of the incidents. I find it twistedly hysterical that bloggers like truthseeker even attempt to take the focus off of the crimes and the victims. How do you defend the behavior of someone who already admitted what he did?

professional said...

@ Truthseeker,
There is no doubt that John could have changed his life at the age of 27, which I am assuming is the age he left Prestonwood and his life turned miraculously around. My question is this....where is any indication that he did? I understand that you are basing your information and standing firm that he completely changed because no victims have come forward and because John told you himself that he has changed. What I see is a man who left Prestonwood and immediately placed himself in every known position that he could to be in contact with children. Why do you think he did that?

In regards to the Exodus ministry. I have personally worked with many people in the Exodus ministry. I have actually met one of the founders of the Exodus ministry. I can ASSURE you that they do NOT condone anyone having sexual contact with a minor (Under the age of 17) and they absolutely believe in the punishment of any offender who would have harmed a minor. It is not the same thing as what John has done. You are continuing to harp on this issue. Why? Does it make you feel better? Does it try to justify some behavior that you think is okay? Having sexual contact with a 16 year old is NOT okay, anytime, anywhere. Plain and simple. I worked with hundreds of homosexual men and over hundreds of pedophiles. They are NOT the same. I think that instead of pushing this website, you need to begin to do your own research on pedophilia. I am not sure you even are confident in what this is. Or maybe you just don't care. I am interested to know why you continue to say that no children were involved. At what age do you personally think a child can give consent? It sounds like you believe 12 and older is okay. That brings up a whole new issue, doesn't it?

As far as his victims. His victims prior to Prestonwood were young. We all know this. Your statements about his victims at Prestonwood have a few flaws in them:

A) They were under the age of 17. I know this for a fact, as do the victims and ALL involved at Prestonwood, maybe including you?? EVERY single one of his victims were under the age of 16 when they were victimized. Just because it did not come out for two years later, does not mean that these victims were "of age", which you have stuck in your mind. They were all ILLEGAL! Every single one of them! AND...none of them were consenting. NONE OF THEM!

B) Even if Prestonwood did not report for reasons of "parents did not want to report it".....which is also not true.....Prestonwood still had a LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT. THEY DO NOT HAVE FREEDOM TO PICK AND CHOOSE WHICH OFFENDERS THEY CAN REPORT AND WHICH ONES THEY CANNOT. PRESTONWOOD IS NOT THE LAW!

professional said...

continued at Truthseeker

C)Third, how do you know that he did not have any victims under the age of 16 at Prestonwood? Because they were not found out? Who did the investigating to find the victims? Did they speak with every parent at Prestonwood to find out if their child had been a victim. We all know they did not. And because they did not make it public, because they did not report John for his VICTIMS that he had at Prestonwood,law enforcement could not investigate and parents did not have a choice to ask their children. We will never know for a FACT that he did not have younger child victims at Prestonwood. Please explain to me how you know that he did not.

D) and lastly, it is interesting that you are naming 3 victims from Prestonwood. How do you know this? Prestonwood is publicly only stating that there was one victim. It has been stated that there are more victims, and I know that there were more because I have spoken with them, but how do you have a number of victims? Is this a guess or do you have more information?

You sound as someone who had a close personal connection with John, and maybe you still do. I am very sad for you if you have allowed some manipulation on John's part to cloud the truth right now. It has happened to a lot of people. I hope that you will be able to work through that.

I also would LOVE it if you were right. I would LOVE IT if John has no other victims. Why? Because that means that NO MORE CHILDREN have been hurt. That is really the issue here isn't it? The Children? The victims? John is dealing with consequences of behaviors that he has readily admitted to (it sounds like he is admitting to it better than you are), and he has to deal with those consequences. If we are going to bring up biblical references, we can reference David, the Israelites, etc.....God allows healing and change...but He also allows, and even demands, consequences for behaviors. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of a behavior. However you are justifying the behavior...there are still consequences. God does not allow us to remain in sin. He will reveal it in time...even 22 YEARS....even if some think it is a witch hunt....even if some don't agree...

It seems, as I am reading these posts, that you continue to ignore everyone's question about John being held accountable for his crimes in Mississippi. Why won't you answer that question? Do you believe that the 22 year old buffer is what makes these crimes okay? I would love to see your answer to these questions. You seem to have a one track mind here with the Exodus International and refuse to answer any of the relevant questions that people have. I say relevant, because Exodus International is not relevant..it is a deflection of the truth.

Marie said...

Professional, your insights into the events unfolding in this situation are so solid and made stronger by your experience. Thank you for your well-thought out comments!

On another note, I finally had time to watch some of the news story videos. The one about the reactions sparked by JL's arrest is truly sad. The woman in it, Katrina Marler, is so sadly deceived. She mentions that we've all made "mistakes"--more minimizing language, instead of calling it what it is...a CRIME. She also says the victims should have spoken out long ago. People just don't get how difficult it is for a child to speak out about abuse. It sounds like this woman thinks JL should not receive any penalty for what he's done. She is in some serious denial...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous <5,I agree that JL committed crimes against children while in college. At least those are the allegations if I am not mistaken nothing has gone to trial yet. I understand the investigation of this case and the reporting of this case because obviously it is a story, however I do have a problem with WAPT jackson being in the parking lot at MHBC wednesday night following JL's arrest. They were stopping parents with children trying to ask questions about JL. I think this was completly out of line and just plain tacky. My friends with young children have been trying to shield their kids from this story as much as possible but the media as usual dont care about the kids (but wait isnt this all about the kids) Yeah right!

Not accusing, just observations said...

For truthseeker and the suggestion that JL changed his life 20-odd years ago: I am a former youth at MHBC and was one of the "favorites" mentioned above. While I never saw anything illegal, I can assure you of a few things: (1) I, along with several others, heavily suspected that JL was gay; (2) our youth group included double-digit closeted gay males, and most of those were "favorites"; (3) JL would call us "favorites" at home just "to talk" and he prompted if not insisted that we say "I love you" to him as "Christian brothers"; (4) he did spend time with us, sometimes as a group and sometimes as individuals, outside of church and outside his official capacity; (5) he did like to hug for slightly extended periods, and, although I always shied away, others did not; (6) on camps, he liked us "guys" to sleep on the floor all around him; (7) once, on a choir trip, my roommate (another favorite, and as it turns out, a closeted homosexual) made a gay advance toward me. I declined, left the room, and asked John to move me to a new room in the morning. He did, but my "favorite" status steadily and rapidly declined. I left the church and have not returned except for an occasional service when visiting my mom. Again, I did not see a single shred of direct evidence of any illegality. Every single item above could have been completely coincidental and read out of context by my increasingly suspicious demeanor toward JL. Those looking through rose-colored glasses saw these things as genuine care and Christian love from a dedicated servant of God and educator of youth. But, if you asked me then or now if it might be possible or even likely that he was inappropriately crossing lines with others, Magic 8 Ball says "all signs point to yes.".

i ought to know said...

If I remember correctly, the final straw in Texas was right after JL got back from a children's choir trip that his wife was part of. JL went along as a "chaperone". Within a week of returning from that trip, he and Kathy packed it up and headed back to MS. Can't convince me that there's not a connection there - and I don't know an elementary student that's 16 years old, truthseeker! Something people have failed to mention, or perhaps never paid much attention to is that JL frequently chaperoned and "helped out" with the children's ministry as well as the youth ministry BECAUSE OF HIS OWN WIFE'S INVOLVEMENT. Perfect cover to locate younger, and more coercible victims! There are many, many more victims out there - waaaay younger than age 16 when the crimes against them occured - just wait and see.

Marie said...

Anonymous 11:05, I'm so sorry to hear that the media was hounding people after church. I know they are doing their jobs and trying to report the story, but a little sensitivity, especially to kids, would be very much in order. They also need to understand that the church is hurting right now and dealing with the aftermath of some awful things. I pray they will back off. The church might want to consider sending them a letter asking them to refrain from coming onto church property and questioning people; I don't know the law in your area, but perhaps a threat of trespassing charges? I know as a parent, I'd be furious if the media was trying to question my kids in the parking lot. When my husband was arrested, thankfully our local paper did not attempt to contact me, though they did contact our pastor.

Not accusing, I'm so sorry that you were subjected to the treatment you were. No youth or children should be favorites, and I hope that JL's behavior doesn't turn you off to church completely, though I certainly would understand if it did. You observed some things that, yes, were possibly coincidental; but in light of the charges, that kind of behavior does seem suspicious. Have you shared this information with police? I don't know if it's relevant, but you can share it with them and let them decide if it's relevant to their investigation or even usable in court. But they need every shred of evidence they can get to be able to fully investigate. Just because JL confessed does not mean his lawyers won't try to get the confession tossed out (not sure on what grounds since the confession occurred in church, uncoerced, but you know lawyers!).

New BBC Open Forum said...

Not accusing, just observations,

What you wrote sounds eerily similar to other accounts we've heard from people in Clinton who know JL. Please, if you haven't already, would you consider reporting your observations to Josh Frazier, the Clinton police detective investigating this case?

The number is 601-924-5252.

This goes for anyone with any knowledge, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. If you were a victim of John Langworthy or know someone who was, even if you don't have "proof" per se, please call! Let the police determine if the information is credible or useful.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Here are contact numbers for anyone from Prestonwood or the Dallas area:

This is a great list of victim's services information.

Dallas Police non-emergency number:

214-744-4444

Child exploitation unit:

214-671-4211

Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

214-818-2600

DCAC victim assistant coordinator:

214-818-2613

Please, if you were a victim or know someone who was, contact these agencies. DCAC will act as the go-between if you do not want to contact the police directly. Don't worry about any statute of limitations. What may seem to be an insignificant detail may be the missing puzzle piece the investigators need. Go to them and tell them what you know and let them determine if it's important.

Anonymous said...

Definition of INDISCRETION:
1: lack of discretion : IMPRUDENCE
2 a: something (as an act or remark) marked by lack of discretion
b: an act at variance with the accepted morality of a society

Definition of SEXUAL ASSAULT:
: illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant in a position of TRUST or authority

A world of difference, isn't it?

If JL was going to "apologize", was "very broken", "really sorry", asking "forgiveness", shouldn't he at least have been truthful in his words?

He got caught, that's what he's sorry about. If he had truly asked for forgiveness as he said, he would have brought this mess to light years ago. Apologies and
"I'm sorries" are owed to all the innocent children he's violated, frightened, hurt, scarred for life and disillusioned. How could any of them ever trust an authority figure again...most of all a "religious" leader.

Thanks to people like Amy, David, Christa, NASS and many others, these PERVERTS are being pursued down every rat hole they run into.

Our God forgives when true repentence is present, but a man who still lies and whitewashes his SIN and PERVERSION...not "indiscretion", not "impropriety",not "situation", not "mistake" (all his words) when he's been caught, is not showing a repentent spirit.

Wake up, sheep of MHBC...you have had a wolf in the midst of your lambs and it's time to take the rose colored glasses off and be sure your children have not been harmed by this perverted abuser.

A while in a nice Mississippi prison with some of their "finest" might show this whining coward that indiscretion is not the meaning of what he did to those innocent boys. SIN has consequences...it's time he faced his.

As for all those surrounding him who knew of his past and still allowed him to be within a mile of children, shame on you!

SSmom said...

Maybe more investigation needs to be done in the person that hired John at MH. Word is, this person knew of John's past, but due to a bond of friendship, he chose to forgive & not reveal what happened to John at Prestwood.

So - call up Hal and ask him for the truth. He chose not to share it with any other staff.

New BBC Open Forum said...

SSmom,

I've been wondering about that since I stumbled upon this over a month ago.

He [Hal Kitchings] holds a bachelor's degree from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He served as senior pastor of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi, and youth and activities director at Daniel Memorial Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi.

1. Mississippi College
2. Morrison Heights Baptist Church
3. Daniel Memorial Baptist Church

Who else do we know of who had ties to those three organizations?

You see, we who have been in Memphis over 4 years know who Hal Kitchings is. He was pastor of Germantown Baptist from late 2007 until the summer of 2009 at which time he abruptly resigned with little explanation. He's preached at Bellevue.

Hal's first Sunday here (11-11-07) Steve Gaines had everyone in the congregation stand and extend their arms in the direction of Germantown. If you were in the congregation and facing the pulpit, this required you turn about 135 degrees to your right, so everyone was almost facing backwards. SG prayed for GBC and their new pastor (by name), his wife, his two children, and that GBC will know peace, etc. (I don't think GBC has known "peace" in a long time. Seems they're always in an uproar over something which is a shame.)

After he had everyone in the congregation physically turn in the direction of GBC and prayed for Hal and GBC again, he joked about it. He pointed to his right and said, "Now, if he's that way, we know God will get it there anyway. Heh heh heh. We've never done that before, okay? But that's a heat-seeking missle!" Then he made some corny comment about the "Visitors Central" area being in the line of fire and getting blessed, too. "All right? Heh heh." He reminds me of Benny Hinn striking out at people and those in the peripheral line of fire fall out, too. I'm just waiting for the day he tries something like this. But I digress.

Here are a couple of videos of Hal:

1

2

And a must-hear-to-believe audio:

Audio

There were rumors in 2009 he was given office space at Bellevue, that Bellevue was going to hire him, perhaps in conjunction with their new Arlington "campus," that he was accepting a job as a college professor somewhere and was going to commute while his daughter finished high school here. I don't know where he is today. As far as I know he was never hired by Bellevue.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Hal Kitchings is currently serving as interim pastor of First Baptist Olive Branch. (Olive Branch is a MS suburb of Memphis.)

He formed a non-profit called "Hal Kitchings Ministries." Not sure what the purpose of that is other than a lot of preachers seem to be doing that these days, likely for tax purposes. He's preached at several churches in TN and MS in the past couple of years.

Remember the rumors two years ago about Hal Kitchings joining BBC and all the denials about it? Apparently it was true. See pages 8 and 13. Obviously the list on page 8 is out of date as several of those men had left BBC before then, but HK had to be added to that list as he was still at GBC until the summer of 2009.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Note to the anonymous female 5:25 p.m. commenter whose comment was not published:

You need to contact the Clinton police about this situation. The number is 601-924-5252. Detective Josh Frazier is working on the JL case and would be a good point of contact for this matter, too.

a mom said...

To everyone who is reading this...I am a member of MHBC, I have known JL for approximately 20 years. This whole thing makes me ill, not because I am taking up for John, but for the children. They are innocent. I can even imagine as a parent of a son, what I would do if I found out he touched my son.(trust me it would not be good)Please to any victims, come forward. coming forward makes you a survivor and hero. To have that kind of courage. God is quick to forgive, but there are consequences to sin and now John has to pay those. the majority of people at MHBC are not sticking there heads in the sand, we simply are disgusted and do not want to belabor the topic. I pray the victims find peace, to the one who commented on the choir trips, please do not let that turn you from church. It seems that only the horrible is remembered not all the good that a church does. MHBC has done alot of good, maybe Satan is trying to take away from that. Thank you to those who are praying for our church, and please continue. We all need prayer.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Clarion Ledger >> Church should be a safe place for kids

Millstone said...

Excellent comment posted on the most recent Clarion Ledger story linked above by New BBC:

Background checks are a good start, but if a predator's previous church (as in the case of John Langworthy) is determined not to reveal abuse that happened on their watch and contact police, then a background check will turn up nothing. John Langworthy had no criminal record. The system is only as good as its weakest link, in the JL case Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas and now, we're learning, maybe one or more churches in Jackson before then. We know officials at Prestonwood knew about JL and said nothing, allowing him to move to Clinton. We know the Clinton school district and leaders at Morrison Heights Baptist knew for several months and did nothing until this thing went public. If JL were repentant and had changed his life, he would have not put himself back into an environment where he worked with children. That's like a recovering alcoholic taking a job as a bartender. You remove yourself from temptation. You also take responsibility for your actions. It will be interesting to see how Langworthy pleads in court next month. Southern Baptists are one of the few large denominations that have refused to implement any type of database of admitted, credibly accused, or convicted sex offenders. They hide behind the veil of "each church is autonomous." And sexual predators know this and take full advantage of it. Thankfully the internet is making it a little more difficult to hide in plain sight today, but all these invasive background checks mean nothing unless people are willing to talk. Only a very small percentage of sexual molesters and pedophiles have criminal records, but people see things. They know things. And until people are willing to pull their heads out of the sand and risk offending someone by calling the police when they have a strong suspicion of or knowledge about something wrong, these monsters will continue to prey on the innocent.

Amy said...

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Day care center worker 'surrounded himself with kids'

Excerpt:
That ended in July when police filed the first sexual assault charges against Byars, 26, of the North Side, who until then had no criminal record. After waiving four more cases to court last week, he sits in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting trial on 70 charges accusing him of molesting 12 boys, ages 7 to 16.

"I can't even imagine that we found them all," Campbell said. "I'm sure there are children who said nothing happened."

...

The charges leave parents who trusted him and others with whom he worked wondering how he might have abused so many children, over so long a period, without arousing suspicion.

"On a personal level, my greatest struggle through this is I really felt like I missed it and I was so frustrated with how I could've missed it," said David Morgan, senior pastor at Hillside Christian Community in Robinson, where Byars helped supervise youth activities in 2010.

"If everything that's alleged is true, it's inconceivable that I could've been so blind," Morgan said.

...

Child sex abuse cases vary, but the person experts consider a "true pedophile" often begins preying on children when he or she hits puberty, and won't stop until caught.

"This is a lifelong issue. It's nothing they can turn off," said Tony Gaskew, director of the criminal justice program and coordinator of criminal forensic studies at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford. "It's the sexual fantasy directed at children that begins at some point to be acted out."

...

Byars passed the background checks the church conducts for volunteers, and he supervised youth activities such as floor hockey with other adults.

"I sat in on half a dozen of those Saturday night things just to see what was going on, and I never saw a thing -- an inappropriate look, touch, gesture -- nothing," Morgan said.

...

"Most of the parents -- they thought he was just the greatest," she said

...

"It's very easy for children to believe there's something wrong with them that's causing this to happen and they're afraid of telling people ... because they're afraid they're somehow at fault for it," Houser said. "Anytime you have something internalized like that, it can eat you alive."

"They need help processing that this really wasn't their fault and learning how to manage all the different ways this can manifest in their lives," Houser said.

Based on his history, Campbell said Byars may have encountered "hundreds" of children.

"That first child (who made an allegation), I see him as the hero," said Campbell, who called this the biggest child-victim case she's had in her six years with the sex assault squad. "He saved a lot of kids."

As this story recounts, it is very difficult for parents to deal with the betrayal of someone they trusted with their kids, someone who was so nice. For that reason, it is also very difficult for parents to know how to properly have a conversation to question their kids to determine the truth if abuse has taken place by such a trusted individual. As New BBC posted on the home page of the blog, there are well-equipped Child Advocacy Centers across the country to aid parents in speaking with kids who may have been abused. Often, victims may be very reluctant, still scared even to tell their parents when asked if anything inappropriate has happened to them, even when asked by their parents.

Trained counselors and professionals are available for free to meet with any child and their parents who may have been harmed:

Children's Advocacy Centers of Mississippi
601-940-6183

Amy said...

National Children's Alliance

RAINN: Rape Abuse & Incest National Network

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and other clergy

There are many resources for survivors to reach out for help. You are not alone. You are not to blame. You have done nothing wrong. Please, if you or someone you know has been abused, contact the police or a child advocacy center, even if you are now an adult survivor and it has been many, many years. Child advocacy centers can assist you as a liaison in contacting law enforcement. While reaching out for help through means of communication, such as this blog, is a big step, it is crucial that a report of the abuse be made to law enforcement to protect kids and prevent crimes.

Amy Smith
Houston SNAP
spacecitysnap@gmail.com

Not accusing, just observations... said...

I noticed in reading back that several people have encouraged me not to let the "odd" things that happened to me as a youth at MHBC keep me away from church.

Just thought that I would provide an update-- although on hiatus for quite some time from all churches, I found a church home over four years ago that I love and of which I am a member. My wife and children also attend, but it is not Southern Baptist. We visited many, many churches in the Jackson area before finding the right one-- we may have visited 40 churches over a year-long search.

For what it's worth, my children participate in activities at our church and, as parents, we all take turns teaching the extended session classes for the little kids. Interestingly enough, every parent is required to sign contracts explaining unacceptable forms of contact with our church's children. Never is one individual adult, whether parent, staff, teacher, volunteer, etc., allowed to be alone with one or more child(ren) or youth. Doesn't matter if it's on a choir trip or down the hall in a Sunday School room. We also sign committing that we'll report any discovery of any adult who has been alone with any child or group of children (unless they are his or her own) if we see it. We also have paid (professional and licensed) child care providers who oversee activities in each room in which anyone is volunteering. Backgrounds checks are used for these ladies, as well as staffers and ministers. The outside doors to our nursery and children's areas are also manned by professional security guards when children are present. Although this is not why we chose our church, I wish all churches had this level of vigilance. It might like overkill when I write it down, but tell that to JL's victims.

Marie said...

Not accusing, I'm so glad your family is involved in a church. Honestly, as long as they are preaching salvation through Jesus Christ alone, it doesn't matter what kind of church it is. If you and your family are being fed spiritually and have good fellowship, that's what church is supposed to be about. And while your church's procedures for working with children might seem awfully stringent, you are right...every church should exercise such caution. It's sad that we have to do that, but that is unfortunately the world we live in. And, as you said, I'm sure JL's victims wish their churches had exercised that level of care and caution! My hat goes off to the leadership of your church for going to such great lengths to protect the most precious of treasures!

Amy Smith said...

Children's Advocacy Center in Jackson serving Hinds County 601-969-7111

New BBC Open Forum said...

New post is up. Please go here to comment.