Late last week, Johnny Hunt, former Senior Vice President of Evangelism and Leadership at the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) North American Mission Board (NAMB), addressed First Baptist Woodstock Church (FBW) regarding the Guidepost Solutions report, which alleged he sexually abused a pastor’s wife in 2010.
Hunt pastored FBW for over 30 years before handing over lead pastoring duties to Jeremy Morton in 2018. In a video message posted online on Friday (May 27), Hunt thanked FBW for their support, saying, “I’ve heard from so many of you in recent days. I want to thank you for your reaching out with all your messages—literally all kinds of messages—to be honest, what we need most just now are prayers. So, thank you for praying for us.”
The SBC’s former president told FBW that those prayers have been a “lifeline that have touched us really deeply.”
“I know you need to know more and I want you to know more, so I feel like I owe you more,” Hunt said. “So I’ve carefully and thoughtfully written you a letter. Please read every word and listen carefully as it’s read to you. It will give you more of the facts and hopefully show you my heart. I love each of you. I humbly ask for your forgiveness, and I hope to see many of you, really, very soon.”
In a message that has been viewed over 23,000 times on Facebook, Hunt included images of a letter in which he explained his shock at the SBC’s sexual abuse task force report, which was released Sunday, May 22, and named him a sexual abuser.
Johnny Hunt Statement
Hunt’s new statement came five days after he tweeted a denial of Guidepost Solutions’ characterization of him.
“To put it bluntly,” Hunt’s statement said. “I vigorously deny the circumstances and characterizations set forth in the Guidepost report. I have never abused anybody.”
In his second statement since the release of the report, Hunt told FBW that both he and they, “in different ways, were shocked by the contents of that report.”
“Twelve years ago, right after my service as SBC president, and in the aftermath of my battle with cancer, I entered into a season of deep despair and probably clinical depression. I remember Janet asking me then how I felt and I said to her, ‘I feel like something inside of me has died,’” Hunt wrote.
“It was during that summer that I allowed myself to get too close to a compromising situation with a woman who was not my wife,” Hunt continued. “It happened when she invited me into her vacation condo for a conversation. Against my better judgment—I chose to go.”