In an ongoing effort to find out who is responsible for leaking a highly personal story detailing her abuse, Jennifer Buck reached out directly to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Bart Barber requesting an in-person meeting to discuss events that happened earlier this spring.
Jennifer, who is the wife of outspoken SBC pastor Tom Buck (First Baptist Church in Lindale, TX), had detailed in writing her personal story about early, difficult years in her marriage. The writing also included information about sexual abuse she says she experienced during childhood. Jennifer ultimately decided to keep the writing private, but alleges it was leaked anonymously in retaliation after Tom Buck confronted leadership at another SBC church regarding a confirmed sex abuser who was on staff.
Tom and Jennifer have openly spoken about their difficulties early in marriage. The Bucks have previously stated that their marriage problems culminated one afternoon when Jennifer playfully placed a cold can of Coca-Cola on the back of her husband’s neck. Tom reacted in anger by grabbing her hand and slapping her on her wrist.
Stunned by the exchange, they say they both realized Tom’s actions had reached a level of abuse their marriage had never experienced. The situation scared Jennifer and Tom as well, prompting him to seek immediate help.
Through biblical individual and marriage counseling, Tom said he repented of his anger issues and was mentored into becoming a man of God in his marriage, a man who desired to put his wife above himself. Jennifer says she first doubted such a thing would ever happen, but now, years later, sees “in our suffering, God taught us and equipped us for the family and ministry he had prepared for us.”
Giving all credit to God, the Bucks are celebrating 35 years of marriage this year.
In 2018, Jennifer and Tom say they decided to share her story with Rachael Denhollander. Denhollander is an attorney, former advisor for the SBC’s Sexual Abuse Task Force (SATF), current attorney for the SBC’s Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF), former gymnast, and sexual abuse survivor.