Sex Abuse

Christa Brown Writes an Open Letter to Tommy Gilmore, the SBC Pastor Who Sexually Abused Her

“I thought that, if only Baptists understood the extent of the problem, they would surely choose to implement clergy accountability systems similar to those that exist in other major faith groups. I was wrong.” Christa Brown


Have you learnt who Christa Brown is? If not, you need to. She has been the shining mild behind Stop Baptist Predators for years. She was blogging whereas I was merrily skipping along in the evangelical world, not realizing the extent of sexual abuse in my tribe.

Though the website is not including stories, it’s being maintained so researchers can discover the wealth of data contained therein. This was the first blog I visited to get an image of the ongoing abuse in the SBC. She posted the information release of the predator in my former church who was arrested and convicted.

Christa endured critical pushback for her web site. She didn’t have a network of likeminded writers when she began blogging Additionally, since that time, many people have turn out to be conscious of the abuse drawback due to #metoo #churchtoo #sbctoo. So there’s more broad help for those exposing abuse. She powered on with little help and a variety of downright abuse.

Next week, Christa goes to be honored for her pioneering work by these attending the *For Such a Time is This Rally* outdoors of the SBC conference. It is quite becoming that the SBC refused to permit this rally inside their hallowed halls. It is the similar response that Christa acquired when she started writing. *Not allowed.*

The following is her story of abuse. I’m deeply grateful for her dedication regardless of the trauma she endured. She is a hero.

I would like to problem those of you who attend any of the churches talked about in this story to strategy your church management and give them a replica of Christa’s story. I plan to e-mail copies of it to the talked about churches, difficult them to attain out to Christa.

Also, does anyone know the required ethics of licensed realtors? I’m fascinated by checking into this. Are you able to think about this guy is promoting real estate?

Lastly, how many of you already know about the secret Baptist file of recognized predators? I didn’t. Click on on the link in the story.


Open letter to Tommy Gilmore, the Southern Baptist pastor who sexually abused me as a child:

Have you ever ever felt any regret for what you probably did to me? That’s the question I all the time marvel about.

It’s been on my thoughts so much these days because I’ll be speaking on June 11 at the For Such a Time as This Rally outdoors the SBC’s annual assembly in Birmingham, urging that the denomination institute higher safeguards towards predatory pastors like you. The horror of what I experienced from your abuse and from the keep-it-quiet cover-up responses of church and denominational leaders finally launched an extended period of advocacy efforts on my part, because no baby ought to ever expertise the horror of what you probably did to me, and no adult should ever have to go through such a nightmare to attempt to expose a child-molesting minister.

Probably the most troublesome a part of this type of advocacy work is that it typically resurrects horrific reminiscences. I did an interview with a reporter just the other day and, when she asked if I might speak a bit of about what happened to me as a kid, my mind was instantly a jumble of disjointed flashbacks, and there it was once more, that urge to vomit and run.

I keep in mind how, in the starting, once I balked at what you needed, you stated you’d pray for me, in order that I might come to accept that this was God’s will for my life. To this present day, when somebody says they’ll pray for me, it feels in my physique more like a menace than a consolation.

I keep in mind how you drove me out on that lengthy dark street close to the Addison airport – to do what you needed and what you insisted God needed.

I keep in mind the way you advised me that God had referred to as me to be your “helpmeet” in your holy work for God’s kingdom.

I keep in mind how you quoted the Bible, instructing me to “lean not unto thine own understanding.” You stated it was a sin for me to even attempt to understand and that I was supposed to simply trust.

I keep in mind the time you informed me it was your 30thbirthday and also you have been feeling previous and needed “special help” to feel better. Now I know that you simply didn’t even inform the fact about one thing so simple as your age. It was only one extra ruse to get what you needed.

Was there ever something you stated that was true and real? Or was each bit of it just a few religiously-fueled set-up of a con-job for sexually abusing me?

I keep in mind how, each time once you have been finished with me, you’d all the time say “God loves you, Christa.” I can nonetheless hear your voice. Have you learnt how a lot I hate these words – “God loves you”? I can’t even hear about God’s love with out wanting to vomit and run.

I used to be a woman who would have completed anything for God.

I keep in mind the way you shoved a beer in my palms there in the previous parsonage on Dixiana Road and laughed at my reluctance about consuming alcohol. “Brother Hayden preaches against it,” I protested. However you stated it was simply another a type of guidelines for “lesser believers” and that it didn’t apply to us.

I keep in mind the way you insisted I take a shower at that parsonage, yelled at me to not get my hair moist, and once I began to get out, demanded that I clean myself higher “down there.”

I keep in mind how, after I flat-out broke down in the future at a piano lesson in the church sanctuary and advised music minister Jim Moore about the abuse, he instructed me to by no means converse of it once more. Years later, I used to be shocked to study that, even before I broke down, he had truly discovered about the abuse from you. He stated you had advised him that you simply have been afraid a congregant had seen you in “a compromising position” with me. But, Moore did nothing and your abuse of me escalated.

By the approach, simply as you faced virtually no actual consequences, Moore too by no means faced any consequences for his position in the cover-up. Even years later, when the church discovered about it, the church still stored him as music minister and, after his retirement, it even honored him for his work with youth choirs by establishing the “Jim Moore Concert Series.” In fact, I used to be a member of considered one of his youth choirs when he was overlaying up in your abuse. But I digress….

I keep in mind how you dragged me into your office and made me apologize to your wife, Sue. As if I have been the one to blame. So, as a 16 year-old-girl, I blubbered and begged for Sue’s forgiveness. She provided a stony “I’ll pray for you.” (There they are once more – those words that now make my abdomen clench.)

I keep in mind the way you made me kneel in your office for what seemed like ceaselessly when you stood over me endlessly praying that God would forged Satan from me. I used to be terrified. I actually believed that I had harbored Satan, like you stated, and I didn’t understand how I had ever let Devil in.

I keep in mind numerous the rest as properly – too much. They’re reminiscences that to this present day I can hardly convey myself to converse of. I’ve had numerous trauma therapy – at my very own expense in fact. No help from you.

You destroyed so much of the woman that I used to be. I’ll all the time marvel what my life may need been if I hadn’t encountered you.

Are you even aware of how damaging you have been? You ripped my entire world asunder and also you sullied my very soul.

You twisted religion itself into a weapon towards me. You weaponized Bible verses, God, and all the things I held holy. And for what? On your own sick and felony wishes.

If I might turn back time, I might run from you just as quick as I might run from somebody welding a knife or a gun. However again then, how was I to know that the religion I held in my very own heart could possibly be perverted into such a strong weapon towards me?

You need to have faced jail time, but you didn’t. Thanks to the incontrovertible fact that music minister Jim Moore and senior pastor Glenn Hayden stored things quiet and didn’t report you to the police, you have been by no means criminally prosecuted. I figure the deacons knew about it too, eh? I keep in mind how confused I felt when Bill, a boy I had recognized since I was 9 years previous, all of a sudden informed me that his dad wouldn’t let him experience bikes with me anymore because he was afraid I could be a “bad influence.” His dad was a deacon.

I keep in mind how, after months of abusing me, you moved on to a much bigger church, First Baptist of Tyler, Texas. I assume that, regardless of what you probably did, FBC-Farmers Department should have given you a very good reference. However I’m curious – how did you rationalize that you simply have been “above reproach” and still qualified to be a pastor?

I keep in mind how the church threw you a going-away reception with an enormous pot-luck supper and the way Brother Hayden praised you from the pulpit as an excellent man of God. What was I to assume? You have been a person of God and I used to be a woman who incomprehensibly had harbored Devil. It was all so terrifying.

It took me many years to put together the pieces of trauma and perceive the horror of what you and the church put me by way of. And then, in fact, I encountered the trauma of so many others in Baptist life who tried to silence me yet again. Did you know that the church threatened to sue me once I first began talking about all this? That was like a preemptive nuclear strike in my head, and it almost did me in.

But finally I rallied, and with monumental re-traumatizing effort and ache, I gathered the proof of what you probably did. I obtained a sworn affidavit from Jim Moore, and with sweat of blood, I finally prodded the church to sign an apology letter acknowledging your “very serious sexual abuse” of me and to send it by certified mail to all the churches the place you had labored.

Did it make any difference? I don’t actually know.

The Orlando Sentinel wrote that, once they began asking questions at considered one of your prior Florida church buildings, you resigned. However lately I observed that, on your LinkedIn profile, you listed working as a “minister of preschool education, consultant” in “Southern Baptist churches” for a interval that lasted four extra years after that Orlando Sentinelarticle and after FBC-Farmers Branch sent out these certified letters and afterthe Baptist Common Conference of Texas stated that it had entered your identify in its file of “known offenders.” That was pretty distressing for me to see. And I’ve questioned whether permitting you to work as a “consultant” was just one other means for churches to help “hide” you by holding you off church employees registries. In any occasion, not only did your ministerial profession proceed for many years after FBC-Farmers Department knew about your abuse of me, but apparently it nonetheless continued even after I exposed you. Nobody in SBC life gave a hoot.

For years, you labored as a youngsters’s minister at First Baptist of Atlanta, the church of former SBC president Charles Stanley. Did you tell the church about what you had completed to me as a church woman in Farmers Branch? I’m betting you didn’t. However in any case I’ve seen, I might additionally consider that the church knew and just didn’t care.

Numerous media retailers have written about your abuse of me, including the Austin American-Statesman, Ethics Day by day, and the Christian Science Monitor. I additionally wrote a guide about it. However regardless of my greatest efforts, there was never any vital reporting about it in Atlanta where you spent a lot of your career. That’s too dangerous as a result of I feel congregants who had youngsters underneath your ministerial care ought to know the fact about you.

What number of different victims did you’ve gotten? A lady once wrote me an nameless blog remark saying she had experienced something comparable with you, and based mostly on the time frame, I figured it had in all probability happened if you have been in Atlanta. She stated you had apologized. However she additionally stated that she too didn’t assume you have to be allowed to be a minister.

And what about Kaye Maher? All that sexual harassment stuff once you have been at FBC-Oviedo in Florida? Did you ever apologize to her? Or was all of that simply good-old-boys enjoyable for you?

I typically marvel how I might feel in the event you have been to apologize to me. Honestly, I can’t even imagine it. I’ve lived with the calculated brutishness of what you did for a very very long time.

I’ve observed that, in your actual estate enterprise, you commerce in your “45 years in the Ministry”as though that renders you trustworthy, and also you declare to have “retired” from ministry. So I assume you don’t inform individuals that you simply truly had to resign from a church when questions have been raised about your sexual abuse of a church child.

I’ve additionally observed that you simply named First Baptist Church of Orlando as a “church partner”in your actual property enterprise. It definitely appears as if you acquired an incredible deal more help from Southern Baptists than I ever did.

And I almost gagged once I noticed your said want that, due to you, “every client will have a deeper understanding of God’s love.” Suffice it to say that I definitely did not achieve a “deeper understanding of God’s love” from my interactions with you. To the opposite, I can hardly even bear to hear those words. For me, your model of “God’s love” was evil incarnate.

And so I’m nonetheless questioning … do you ever feel a shred of remorse? Are you even able to regret?

How would you are feeling if somebody did to one in every of your grand-kids what you did to me? Does that thought ever cross your mind?

Nonetheless making an attempt to perceive,

Christa Brown

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