Stone quickly posted a statement responding to the incident. He did not address the accusation that he had told Williams she was “doing harm” to the SBC, but said that every person “present in this crowded area including my wife and several other pastors and their wives…corroborated that it was a polite conversation. At no time was I unkind. I cannot speak to what happened after I left that area. But any other characterization of my conversation is false.”
Other survivors and advocates, however, see Stone’s statement as being full of evasive language, and some perceived tension in photos of the interchange.
Williams also reported accounts of pastors slandering her for her advocacy. Regarding her exchange with Stone, she tweeted:
A lot of people are contacting me right now. I will repeat the last words I said to Mike, God loves you, I love you and I forgive you.
The same God who fights for me, Mike, is the same God who loves you & is ready to walk w/ you down the road of repentance.
He loves you,Mike.
— Hannah-Kate (say it TOGETHER) (@freedomsbride) June 15, 2021