The Bible loves a good redemption story, but forgiveness only goes so far. These religious leaders who fell from grace shocked the world when their crimes and scandals became public. But none of that excuses the hypocrisy of religious "authorities" preaching one standard for their flock and then flaunting those rules in their private lives.
Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez's voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders. She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.
Tom Gjelten. People pray during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix in First came a report in two Texas newspapers that hundreds of Southern Baptist preachers and church workers over the past 20 years have been credibly accused of child sex abuse.
Haggard made national headlines in November when male prostitute and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard, who had advocated against the legalization of same-sex marriage, had paid him for sex for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine. After initially denying the allegations, Haggard claimed to have purchased methamphetamine and thrown it away without using it. Haggard resigned his post at New Life Church and his other leadership roles shortly after the allegations became public.
Randall is a gregarious man with an earnest, unsophisticated preaching style. He has never fully conquered his Rs, but the speech impediment has endeared him to friends, colleagues, golfers on the PGA Senior Tour, where he served for several years as chaplain, and megachurch congregations nationwide. To these audiences and others he has told versions of the same story about himself: He grew up as a thief on the inner-city streets of Detroit and was shepherded to Christ by a college basketball coach.
CNN Sinceabout Southern Baptist leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, according to a sweeping investigation by two Texas newspapers. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.
On February 10,the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News published an investigative report into widespread sexual abuse within member churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. The report found sinceroughly clergy, lay leaders and volunteers had faced allegations of sexual misconduct, leaving behind over victims. Allegations of sexual misconduct are not a new development within the Southern Baptist Convention.
How many second chances does a scandal-plagued church need before members finally admit the leaders will never get it right? Willow Creek Community Church has had more than a year to get itself on the right track, but it refuses to come to terms with all of its problems. In March ofwe learned that Bill Hybelsthe founding pastor of the prominent evangelical church outside of Chicago, had overstepped his boundaries with multiple women.