State conventions take historic actions regarding sexual abuse

As many Southern Baptist state conventions celebrated regathering for the first time in two years this fall, more than a dozen took unprecedented actions toward ensuring their conventions are effectively handling sexual abuse allegations.

State conventions around the country passed motions to form internal groups or task forces to look at policies and procedures regarding sexual abuses. These steps follow a historic vote at the 2021 SBC annual meeting in Nashville that asked newly elected SBC President Ed Litton to appoint a task force to oversee a third-party investigation into how the SBC Executive Committee handled sexual abuse allegations from 2000 to 2021.

In addition to South Carolina Baptists, among those forming task forces, special committees or similar teams were Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Messengers to South Carolina’s annual meeting passed a motion authorizing its president to appoint members to a task force to provide recommendations regarding sexual abuse reporting and prevention. The task force will bring recommendations to the SCBC’s Executive Board and the 2022 annual meeting.

Messengers to the annual meetings for Missouri and Mississippi Baptists voted against forming task forces.