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A Southern Baptist pastor in Fresno, Calif., was arrested Monday on felony charges of child molestation. John Earl (“Jeb”) Bonine, 43, pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church, remained in jail Thursday, where he is held on $500,000 bond. He is charged with two counts of continual sex abuse of a child, two counts of sexual […] Read More

The Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday previewed new fault lines developing between factions for exclusivity and accommodation in America’s largest Protestant religious body. Tuesday night messengers in San Antonio, Texas, debated whether to allow trustee boards to adjudicate doctrines left unsettled by the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message. “If the Baptist Faith & Message is […] Read More

A support group for victims of clergy-sex abuse welcomed a motion expected at this week’s Southern Baptist Convention to study the feasibility of developing a database listing Southern Baptist ministers who have been credibly accused of, confessed to or been convicted of sexual abuse or harassment. Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, […] Read More

A father of two sons sexually abused by a youth minister at a Southern Baptist church in the 1990s encouraged Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page in an April e-mail to take a leadership position in combating sexual abuse by clergy. The man, who asked not to be identified–saying it might have a negative impact […] Read More

A Southern Baptist Convention official told a Tennessee TV station a relatively low number of documented cases of sexual abuse by clergy shows the way Baptists deal with the problem is working. Will Hall, vice president for news services of the SBC Executive Committee, told Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN-Channel 2 that an advocacy group claiming […] Read More

Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page suggested an activist group pressing the denomination to confront the problem of sexual abuse by clergy may have a hidden agenda of setting up the nation’s largest Protestant body for lawsuits. “We believe that Jesus clearly loved children, and we must protect them,” Page, pastor of First Baptist Church […] Read More

Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said critics of the convention’s policy on sexual abuse by clergy are not really advocating on behalf of children but rather are opportunists motivated by personal gain. Page’s comments in a point of view article in this week’s Florida Baptist Witness. The column is mostly only slightly edited from […] Read More

Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said in an interview aired Friday on network television the nation’s largest Protestant organization is looking into creating a national registry of clergy sex offenders. Page and other SBC leaders have so far resisted requests by an advocacy group, which five years ago pressured the Roman Catholic Church to […] Read More

A story about a six-month investigation by ABC News on preacher predators in Protestant churches–including the Southern Baptist Convention–aired Friday on “20/20.” While not interviewed on camera, spoke off camera numerous times with the segment’s producer. has carried dozens of stories and columns since last September about efforts by the Survivors Network of […] Read More

A bi-vocational Southern Baptist pastor charged last week with molesting an 11-year-old girl in Alabama died Tuesday in an apparent suicide. Authorities in Gainesville, Ga., meanwhile, said they had arrested a former youth minister at a Southern Baptist church on charges of molesting two boys in their teens, one during a church function inside the […] Read More