Johnny Hunt, who pastored First Baptist Church Woodstock (FBCW) for over 30 years and served as Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president from 2008 to 2010, recently resigned as Senior Vice President of Evangelism and Leadership at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) after a Guidepost Solutions report revealed he allegedly sexually assaulted another pastor’s wife in 2010.
Nevertheless, seven months later, Hunt has been cleared by a team of pastors as fit to return to ministry.
That pastoral restoration team includes Steven Kyle (Hiland Park Baptist Church in Panama City, Florida), Mark Hoover (NewSpring Church in Wichita, Kansas), Benny Tate (Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia), and Mike Whitson (First Baptist Church in Indian Trail, North Carolina).
In a video released during Thanksgiving week, the team of four said that they believe Hunt’s “greatest days of ministry” are ahead of him.
Sexual Abuse Allegation Against Johnny Hunt
The Guidepost Solutions report (pg. 149) detailed allegations that Hunt, shortly following his tenure as SBC president, groomed and sexually assaulted the wife of a fellow SBC pastor who looked up to Hunt and whom Hunt had been mentoring.
The woman accused Hunt of pulling down her shorts to “stare at her bare backside.” She claimed that Hunt made sexual remarks toward her and shared that he had fantasies about her. The pastor’s wife further alleged that after she pulled her shorts back up, Hunt “pinned her to the couch and got on top of her and pulled up her shirt,” proceeding to sexually assault her with his hands and mouth.
After stopping for a moment, saying that he did not want to ruin his ministry, Hunt allegedly proceeded to sexually assault her again, groping and violently kissing her. The survivor said that she didn’t reciprocate, kept her eyes open, and remained very stiff in the hopes he would stop. She said the pastor finally relented and left her room.
Hunt Denied Allegations
When Guidepost Solutions interviewed Hunt, he denied that he had ever had any physical contact with the woman. Nevertheless, Guidepost investigators reported that the survivor’s testimony was credible, adding that Hunt’s denial was not.
After the report was released, Hunt released a statement “vigorously” denying the sexual assault allegations.