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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.

All Churches Should Require Background Checks

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As a former police officer and PCA elder, I believe this basic step can protect congregations from predators.

For years, Jimmy G was seen as great guy and a leading member at his local community church—he was the go-to volunteer for all the ministries others avoided. On most Sunday mornings, you would see him serving alongside his wife in children’s ministry. But then something happened. Jimmy was suddenly arrested for multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault—some of them involving a minor. “Surely, Jimmy was framed,” thought everyone who knew him.

But then reports started showing up in local newspapers. This was not the first time Jimmy had been charged with such crimes. This had happened in another state years before, and his mode of operation was the same. It didn’t take long for new visitors to stop coming to this church—and as reports kept appearing on the front pages of local newspapers, even the faithful started peeling away from the congregation. The church’s reputation will take decades to recover in that close-knit small town.

I wish this account was fictional, but it isn’t. These events took place at a church in a neighboring community when I was a police officer. And although I’ve changed his name, the facts of his case, which I was privy to, are as stated. Sadly, this situation is repeated far too often in Christian churches today. During my time in law enforcement, I learned all too well how people with predatory proclivities can camouflage their activities behind church walls. And now, as the executive director of a large PCA church, I am personally aware of pastors’ immense responsibility to protect their flocks from harm.

Our churches are supposed to be sanctuaries of grace and peace, but the last few years have witnessed …

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