Southern Baptist leader bemoans abuse crisis, vows action

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) — The president of the Southern Baptist Convention has apologized for the abuse crisis besetting his church and outlined an array of steps to address it.

The impassioned speech came from J.D. Greear as he shared the stage with abuse survivors near the close of the Southern Baptists’ national meeting Wednesday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Said Greear: “We are broken-hearted and angry.”

He said the church must improve in areas including accountability, screening of potential pastors and training of staff.

Some activists and abuse survivors remain skeptical of the denomination’s commitment to a tough anti-abuse approach. They are urging swifter action to create a database listing credibly accused abusers that could be shared among the SBC’s 47,000 member churches.

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