Southern Baptist Convention Leaders Say They Will Fully Cooperate With Justice Dept. Investigation

Newly elected SBC President Bart Barber speaks during a press conference at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Photo by Justin L. Stewart/Religion News Service

NASHVILLE (BP) – The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee has been informed that the United States Department of Justice has initiated an investigation into the SBC that will include “multiple SBC entities,” according to an Aug. 12 statement from all SBC entity leaders and SBC President Bart Barber.

“Individually and collectively, each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation,” the statement said.

The announcement comes two months after messengers to the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim passed a resolution On Lament and Repentance for Sexual Abuse. Southern Baptists also voted overwhelmingly to adopt a report that approved recommendations toward addressing and preventing sexual abuse in the Convention.

The SBC spent nearly $2 million on an independent investigation conducted by Guidepost Solutions, which submitted its report in May. Send Relief, the compassion ministry of the SBC, has committed $4 million for the implementation of messenger-approved actions and to support survivors of sexual abuse.

Requests for comment from Guidepost Solutions and the DOJ were not returned by the time of publication. This story will be updated to include information as it becomes available.

In the statement, SBC leaders say they will comply with the DOJ’s request.

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Source: Baptist Press