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Former SBC President Johnny Hunt Cleared To Return to Ministry Despite Sexual Abuse Allegation

“To put it bluntly, I vigorously deny the circumstances and characterizations set forth in the Guidepost report,” Hunt said. “I have never abused anybody. Southern Baptists navigating this challenging season must remember: ‘It is the truth that will set us free.’”

Hunt Asks FBCW for Forgiveness, Admits Improper Encounter

Five days later, Hunt posted a video message addressing the congregation at FBCW, where he had been serving as pastor emeritus. During his message, he read a “carefully and thoughtfully written letter,” asking for the congregation’s forgiveness for having allowed himself to “get too close to a compromising situation with a woman who was not my wife.”

“It happened when she invited me into her vacation condo for a conversation. Against my better judgment—I chose to go,” Hunt said, calling the encounter “brief, but improper,” and claiming that he “fled the situation” after experiencing an overwhelming sense of conviction.

“I thank God we did not go further than we did, but that is also no excuse for my grievous sin,” Hunt said. “I will regret that day for the rest of my life and I take responsibility for the situation because I chose to enter her condo…It was an awful sin, but it was a consensual encounter.”

Hunt denied that his actions constituted abuse or assault, adding that he “almost immediately” engaged in a process wherein he took responsibility.

RELATED: FBC Woodstock Restates Support To Fight Sexual Abuse, Addresses Johnny Hunt’s Inclusion in Guidepost Report

Hunt said that he previously denied the veracity of Guidepost’s report because it inaccurately detailed the encounter as abuse.

“I have never abused anybody,” Hunt reiterated. “With God as my witness, while the situation described in the Guidepost report is based in reality, the allegation made in the report is false.”

Explaining why he kept the encounter a secret for 12 years, Hunt said “that sin is foremost against God (Ps. 51:4).” He also maintained “that confession should be as broad as the offense.” Therefore, he believed he had already fulfilled everything the Bible required of him.

A week later, FBCW announced they had suspended Hunt’s role as pastor emeritus.

Pastors Clear Hunt for Ministry

The four pastors, three of whom shepherd SBC affiliated churches, shared that they advised Hunt to partake in a season of “transparency, reflection and restoration” away from FBCW, so as to have “the space and the privacy they uniquely needed during this season.” They described the process as similar to what Hunt used throughout the years to help restore over 400 men to ministry.

“It has been to us a sacred duty and a serious one. But I want to be very clear today. Pastor Johnny has been accountable to us and has chosen to remain accountable to us going forward,” Kyle said, sharing that he has personally talked to Hunt at least once a day since the allegations were revealed.