Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber Names Members of Sexual Abuse Task Force

NASHVILLE (BP) – Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber has announced the members and leaders of those making up the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF).

Messengers to the annual meeting in Anaheim tasked Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, with the responsibility as part of the approved recommendations from the Sexual Abuse Task Force, chaired by North Carolina pastor Bruce Frank. The recommendations were the result of a yearlong study and investigation by Guidepost Solutions into the SBC Executive Committee.

“The purpose of this task force is to assist the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention in our efforts to shut the doors of our churches to those who would act as sexual predators and to wrap our arms around survivors and those who love them,” Barber said.

In addition to the formation of the ARITF, the recommendations included the establishment of a “Ministry Check” website. The ARITF will oversee and report back to the Convention on the feasibility, effectiveness and costs of the website, which will be established and maintained by an independent contractor chosen by the task force.

Marshall Blalock, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., will serve as ARITF chair and Mike Keahbone, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla., will be vice chair. Others making up the task force are:

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Source: Baptist Press