Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee Declares Guidepost Report ‘Hearsay and Irrelevant’
The SBC Executive Committee spent more than six million dollars on the services of Guidepost Solutions and the Sexual Abuse Task Force before cutting ties with the LGBTQ-affirming organization in April 2023.
The primary driver of ongoing efforts to create a convention-wide sex abuse registry and bureaucracy is the Guidepost Solutions report. One year ago, Protestia reported numerous issues with the report, including incomplete research, numerous redacted records, and the inclusion of abuses in non-SBC churches in the tally of abuse, resulting in a barrage of criticism from folks who have not yet learned to believe us, as we always are vindicated in the end.
In many ways, the report mirrored reports done by the left-leaning Houston Chronicle. To create urgency within the Convention to implement Sex Abuse Task Force (SATF) recommendations, Executive Committee members supported the report’s release, despite the fact that it was poorly written.
The Executive Committee’s chickens have now come home to roost.
In lawsuits against the SBC and SBC Executive Committee, plaintiffs have cited the Guidepost Solutions Report as evidence of systemic sex abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention. In the current civil trial of Gareld Duane Rollins Jr. versus various SBC entities and SBC leaders, Rollins entered the Guidepost Solutions report as evidence to the court.
In a motion by the defense, lawyers for the SBC Executive Committee asked the court to strike the Guidepost Solutions Report from the record, citing that the report (which the Executive Committee commissioned themselves to chronicle sex abuse) is “hearsay and irrelevant.”
By waiving the attorney-client privilege of the executive committee in 2021, and spending millions of dollars to write a report that mischaracterized the issue of sexual abuse as systemic, the SBC Executive Committee has effectively sentenced the SBC to years of litigation and millions of dollars in sex abuse civil lawsuit judgments and settlements from both alleged victims of sex abuse and alleged abusers who claim that the Guidepost Solutions report falsely implicated them.
Previously, autonomous SBC congregations and Baptist organizations shouldered their own criminal and civil liability. The recent actions of the Executive Committee have effectively placed the civil liability for every single SBC-affiliated church and convention entity upon the back of the entire Convention by way of Cooperative Program giving. The Executive Committee has demonstrated that it has the inability to exercise basic biblical discernment, evidenced by the confusing of a consensual 12-year-long affair with sex abuse and paying the woman involved a $1.5 million settlement.
It remains to be seen whether the judge in the Gareld Rollins Jr. case will allow the Guidepost Solutions report to be admitted as evidence. Yet the report will almost certainly be used in upcoming lawsuits against the SBC by those accused in the report, including forthcoming Johnny Hunt and David Sills defamation trials.