ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP) – As final preparations are underway for the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting, the Great Commission Council has issued a statement thanking the Sexual Abuse Task Force for their work during the past year and calling Southern Baptists to act on the recommendations when they gather June 14-15.
“What the Task Force proposes is an approach aiming to prevent sexual abuse, to provide better care for victims, and to respect historic Baptist polity. Now is the time for robust and definitive action,” the statement says.
The Great Commission Council consists of SBC entity presidents and the Woman’s Missionary Union executive director.
The council also recognized survivors of sexual abuse who provided assistance to investigators.
“We also express profound appreciation to survivors of sexual abuse who have engaged with the Task Force and helped craft these recommendations,” they wrote.
The full text of the statement follows:
As members of the Great Commission Council, we thank the Sexual Abuse Task Force for their tireless work as represented in their recommendations to the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention. We are especially grateful for the intensive effort of the Task Force over the past few days as they finalized their updated recommendations.
Southern Baptists have raised serious concerns, and the Task Force has responded with a responsible proposal that deserves the prayerful consideration of the messengers in Anaheim. What the Task Force proposes is an approach aiming to prevent sexual abuse, to provide better care for victims, and to respect historic Baptist polity. Now is the time for robust and definitive action.
We thank the present Task Force for their tireless work on these difficult issues. We also express profound appreciation to survivors of sexual abuse who have engaged with the Task Force and helped craft these recommendations.
We pray for God’s wisdom, grace, and direction as we humbly move forward together in obedience to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
Paul Chitwood, chairman of the Great Commission Council and president of the International Mission Board
Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jamie Dew, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Hance Dilbeck, president of GuideStone Financial Resources
Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board
Adam Greenway, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
Brent Leatherwood, acting president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Ben Mandrell, president of LifeWay Christian Resources
Sandy Wisdom Martin, executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union
Willie McLaurin, interim president/CEO of the SBC Executive Committee
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary