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Convicted Sex Offender in Southern Baptist Pulpit

Pam Spaulding: The Southern Baptists have been accused of ignoring the sex predator pastor problem in its ranks.
 
 
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This post, written by Pam Spaulding, originally appeared on Pandagon

The Southern Baptists have been accused of ignoring the sex predator pastor problem in its ranks; the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has urged, in writing to as that the group to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse.

I can see why it's needed when you have an incident like this, where a church was warned about a convicted predator by another pastor, yet still put him in the pulpit.

A southwest suburban Southern Baptist congregation allowed a convicted child sex offender to preach for the last few years -- despite his past, and a warning from his previous church that he might still be dangerous, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

In 1996, Jeff Hannah was sentenced to nine years in prison for having sexual relations with four underage girls -- ages 15 to 17 -- while a married youth minister at Crossroads Church in Libertyville.

..."In our church, we believe in forgiveness," said Del Kirkpatrick, one of the deacons who hired Hannah.

In talking to the Sun-Times last week, Hannah, 42, was unapologetic about his crimes, saying his first marriage had been troubled and he'd had "urges."

...The Rev. Steve Farish, pastor of Crossroads Church, which has relocated to Grayslake, said he considered Hannah so dangerous that he warned the Romeoville church and a regional Southern Baptist official.

"We thought he could still potentially be a danger to women and children," Farish said. "He was never repentant and never told the truth." Randie Bruno, the prosecutor in Hannah's case said, "He has the charisma to fool everybody."

Pam Spaulding blogs at Pam's House Blend .

 
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