MEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Tennessee Baptist Convention is offering best practices to its churches when it comes to sexual abuse response and prevention.
A year ago at the convention, delegates approved a recommendation to create a task force to study policies related to sexual abuse prevention.
After multiple allegations of sexual abuse for years, Tuesday the Baptist Convention offered recommendations on how to keep youth safe.
First – the “two adult rule,” meaning leaders never leave a minor alone with one adult or a husband and wife.
Second, people be members of a church for at least six months before working with minors.
Next – potential volunteers and staff should have references, questions asked of previous churches and a criminal background check
Last, it’s recommended churches use a communications policy including parental approval of any electronic communication between volunteers or staff with minors.
This year’s gathering, called the “Summit” is taking place at Bellevue Baptist Church with attendees from over 400 churches.
According to the Commercial Appeal, in 2006 as assistant pastor at Bellevue Baptist confessed to sexually abusing a minor, his son, in 1990 for 12-18 months.
Its current Pastor Steve Gaines failed to immediately fire an offender, reports the Houston Chronicle.
The summit at Bellevue ends Wednesday.
If you or someone you know is facing abuse – call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
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