Update: After over 240 comments in this thread, discussion will be continued here.
Two posts back the comment stream began to veer off topic and onto a much more serious subject than the original post. It began with this comment:
I have been trying now for about 9 months to warn about a predator pedophile music minister. This man was my youth music minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas in the mid 80s. He became a close family friend, even living with my family for a while. I was on the church staff as a youth intern as a college student in 1989 when this minister was fired abruptly due to credible accusations of sexual abuse by several boys in the church. He was confronted by church staff, including the head pastor at the time, who is still the head pastor today, Dr. Jack Graham. This offender admitted to the abuse. The church did not report his crimes to the police, which was mandated by law starting in 1971, just fired him and told him to leave. Church members were not informed.
He packed up that week and moved back to his home state of MS where he is on staff now as music minister of all ages at a church in Clinton, outside of Jackson, Morrison Heights Baptist Church. He also teaches choir at the local public high school. I have spoken with the school superintendent, head pastor, as well as local law enforcement. Both the school and church have confronted this man, and he admits to the abuse that occurred in Dallas, as well as to abusing a boy in MS that he babysat prior to his job in Dallas.
I know that local law enforcement is very concerned and has advised that this minister be fired, yet he remains on staff. The MS pastor and elders told me that they are concerned with protecting this minister’s reputation, as “everyone in the [town] knows [him.] and that “he has the largest church youth choir in the state.” I have even been contacted by this man’s attorney who is a church elder and has heard accounts of the abuse from victims and admission by his client. This attorney is also a MS state rep. The attorney asked if I would speak with him to “discuss a resolution.” I said no. The MS pastor has told me that they “feel my pain.” I expressed to them that I am not a victim, but I am doing this as a victims’ advocate to protect children.
I have also contacted Prestonwood Baptist to plead that they do the right thing and report these crimes against children that occurred on their watch. Silence has been the response. Recently Christa Brown who founded Stop Baptist Predators posted my story on her blog.
1:13 PM, May 27, 2011
I've reposted the subsequent comments in this thread, and the discussion can continue here.