Southern Baptists plan to hire Guidepost Solutions to run abuser tracking database

by | Feb 21, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — For years, Southern Baptist leaders told members of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination that setting up a database to track abusive pastors was impossible.Now that impossible task is one step closer to being a reality.
Charleston pastor Marshall Blalock, chair of a Southern Baptist task force charged with implementing abuse reforms, announced Monday (Feb. 20) that the task force had recommended hiring Guidepost Solutions, an international consulting firm, to set up the database. The Southern Baptist Convention’s credentials committee, which works in partnership with the task force, concurred with the recommendation.
The announcement was made during a regular meeting of the SBC’s Nashville-based Executive Committee. Once a contract with Guidepost is finalized, the president of the Executive Committee will be tasked with signing it.
Known as the Ministry Check website, the database will include the names of pastors, denominational workers, ministry employees and volunteers who have been credibly accused of abuse.
According to the task force, being credibly accused means those who confessed, those who have been convicted of abuse or those who have had a civil judgment against them for abuse. It would also include those who have been investigated by a “qualified, independent, third-party investigative firm.”
Blalock said the committee looked at 18 different firms before choosing Guidepost, which previously worked on a major abuse investigation for the SBC. The report from that investigation led the SBC’s 2022 annua …

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