Home Christian News Leaders of Color Respond to Guidepost Sex Abuse Report

Leaders of Color Respond to Guidepost Sex Abuse Report

At least 2,100 Southern Baptist churches are majority Asian, including various languages and national origins, according to data in the 2020 Annual Church Profile.

James Kang is executive director of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America, a group of about 800 churches.

“We do not have an official response to the report yet,” Kang said of the council. “As Christians, we are expected to live with a high moral standard. I am deeply saddened and disturbed that these things have taken place in our churches. In the midst of painful and dark news, I also see a hope in our denomination.

“We have finally made a decision to let the world know about our wrongdoings and failures. We are repenting and making changes to prevent this type of behaviors in our churches anymore.”

Kang expressed hope that Southern Baptist congregations of all ethnicities will pray for survivors, families of survivors, pastors and church leaders, and “will try to keep the church holy and prevent any immoral behaviors.

“Our council stands against sexual abuse of any kind,” said Kang, who serves fulltime as the council’s executive director. “We are planning to make policies and procedures for our churches to follow in preventing this type of behaviors in our churches.”

Amos Lee, a retired minister, is executive director of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the U.S. and Canada, which includes about 250 congregations in the U.S.

“We did not issue a statement,” he said of the fellowship, “but personally, I am saddened by the revelation, but it affirmed the biblical view that we all have feet of clay. However, that does not absolve us of our Christian duty to do the right thing for the victims of abuse.”

He encouraged Southern Baptists to humble themselves, confess any sins, seek forgiveness and “do whatever it takes to right the wrongs.” He encouraged churches to enact policies to prevent abuse, to fully vet ministerial applicants and volunteers, to discipline offenders and to support law enforcement in handling criminal cases.

Dan Santiago is executive director of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America, a fellowship of about 200 churches.

Santiago, speaking personally, said the Guidepost report is good information to be disseminated among Southern Baptists, but should not have been released to the general public.

“It is important that a report on what is going on in a particular SBC agency related to sexual abuse be released to its constituents, not to the public in general. What happened in the office of the SBC Executive Committee should be released to SBC churches to make sure that they have addressed the problem against the offender and helped the offended party recover and [be] assisted in any way they can,” Santiago told Baptist Press. “If the problem becomes a legal issue, let the information run its course during the proceeding and until it’s done.”