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Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

Hi there! I'm Kimberly Yow, a passionate journalist with a deep love for alternative rock. Combining my two passions, I've found my dream job. Join me on this exciting journey as I explore the world of journalism and rock music.

Southern Baptists Pledged to Launch an Online Database of Abusers. It’s Still Empty.

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Lack of funding and liability concerns have stalled abuse reform efforts.

A volunteer Southern Baptist task force charged with implementing abuse reforms in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination will end its work next week without a single name published on a database of abusers.

The task force’s report marks the second time a proposed database for abusive pastors has been derailed by denominational apathy, legal worries, and a desire to protect donations to the Southern Baptist Convention’s mission programs.

Leaders of the SBC’s Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF) say a lack of funding, concerns about insurance, and other unnamed difficulties hindered the group’s work.

“The process has been more difficult than we could have imagined,” the task force said in a report published Tuesday. “And in truth, we made less progress than we desired due to the myriad obstacles and challenges we encountered in the course of our work.”

To date, no names appear on the Ministry Check website designed to track abusive pastors, despite a mandate from Southern Baptists to create the database. The committee has also found no permanent home or funding for abuse reforms, meaning that two of the task force’s chief tasks remain unfinished.

Because of liability concerns about the database, the task force set up a separate nonprofit to oversee the Ministry Check website. That new nonprofit, known as the Abuse Response Committee (ARC), has been unable to publish any names because of objections raised by SBC leaders.

“At present, ARC has secured multiple affordable insurance bids and successfully completed the vetting and legal review of nearly 100 names for inclusion on Ministry Check at our own expense with additional names to be vetted pending …

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