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

Hunt Responds

Sitting with his wife, Janet, Hunt thanked the spiritual care team, saying, “You’ve challenged us and you’ve led us to be better and really in a stronger place. And so I also want to thank you for your willingness to continue to provide accountability for us, and we welcome it will remain as open as any book possibly to your council.”

“In my ministry, I sought to make Woodstock a refuge for many pastors who have made terrible mistakes, who have sinned, or pastors who have burnout or faced other of life’s challenges,” Hunt said. “In my own moment of public shame and failure, you’ve been a refuge for me and for my family. You’ve modeled a shepherd’s care.”

RELATED: ‘I Want To Serve God Well’—SBC President Bart Barber Discusses Politics, Sexual Abuse, Christian Nationalism With Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes

“There’s many things I would have done differently,” Hunt said, adding that he knows he can’t change the past. “If I could believe me, I would, but I can only learn from it and move into the future, better for it, thanks to the hope of the gospel.”

The experience has changed Hunt’s prayer life, he shared, saying, “In a world we’re living in now, it’s more important than ever that all of us ask God afresh and anew to guard our hearts.”

“In the remaining years of ministry, I’m praying that the lessons God has taught me through all this. He’ll use for his glory in the lives of others, particularly as I continue to be committed to mentor and encourage pastors, and to preach God’s word every opportunity that he gives me,” Hunt said. “Now as a family, and because of your ministry to us, we can be confident again, of this very thing, that He who began a good work in us. We’re carrying it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Hunt now attends Hiland Baptist, which is pastored by Kyle and is part the SBC and The Florida Baptist Convention. According to RNS, FBCW has had no involvement in Hunt’s restoration process. Jeremy Morton, FBCW’s current lead pastor, told an SBC Executive Committee member that “First Baptist wants to be focused on making disciples around the world. We want one name to be associated with our church, and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Hunt is scheduled to preach at the Great Commission Weekend in February 2023, which will be hosted by the SBC-affiliated Fellowship Church in Immokalee, Florida. The speaker lineup also includes former SBC Executive Committee president Ronnie Floyd, David Allen, Jerry Vines, Marvin Jones, and Conservative Baptist Network steering councilmen Mark Ballard, Stoney Benfield, Scott Colter, Mike Stone, and Timothy Pigg.

Update: Timothy Pigg released a statement on the evening of November 30 sharing that “in a stroke of naivete, I did not in wisdom allow enough time to pass before inviting Dr. Johnny Hunt. Therefore, in light of this oversight of wisdom, I have asked Dr. Johnny Hunt to step aside from being with us at our 2023 Great Commission Weekend.”