Protesters gather outside Southern Baptist Convention

Updated: Jun. 11, 2019 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - People outside the BJCC Tuesday were protesting sexual abuse at the hands of clergymen.

They want to see three things happen: a database created listing all clergymen who have abused others, more respect towards women in the church, and mandatory training for pastors teaching them how to better identify when abuse is happening.

There were several speakers at the rally, many of them sex abuse survivors. I spoke with Carolyn Deevers who was married to a pastor for several years who she says sexually abused her. She says she found out later there was much more.

“He had groomed and molested a child in another state but he was run out of town. These are the kinds of things that we would like to see go into a database. The fact that I had paperwork with the different medications he was taking for severe psychiatric disorders, letters from churches that had fired him stating why he had been fired," says Deevers.

The Southern Baptist Convention approved a recommendation this week to amend their constitution to specify sexual abuse and racism as grounds for declaring a church “not in friendly cooperation”, or disfellowshipping them. However, these churches can seek reconsideration by the Credentials Committee if the church says they have addressed the matter that led to its removal.

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