Former Seminary Prof. Named in Guidepost Report Refiles Lawsuit Against SBC

In late 2022, former Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor David Sills filed suit against the SBC and 11 other high-profile personalities, including current SBC President Bart Barber, former president Ed Litton, Albert Mohler, Jennifer Lyell (the woman who accused him of sexual abuse) and others. Sills requested a trial by jury, claiming that he’d been repeatedly and unfairly maligned for years, and sought monetary damages and compensation for destroying his reputation by his denomination.

Several years ago, Lyell, then a Vice-President at Lifeway Christian Resources, admitted to being involved in a sexual relationship with David Sills for over a decade. She claimed that it resulted from him ‘grooming’ her while enrolled in a missions class at the seminary in 2004 when she was 26 years old, ending 12 years later when she was 38 and having long moved on. She says that he “sexually acted” against her but never provided details or offered what the grooming looked like throughout their relationship, particularly when they were away for months. Once their affair was revealed, however, it resulted in his swift termination and public disgrace.

A year later, she would seemingly walk back any suggestion that she was guilty of any sin for the relationship, explaining in an update that just because she was ‘compliant,’ it did not mean their relationship was ‘consensual.’ As her understanding of her role in the whole affair continued to evolve, she also appeared to dispel the notion that there was any sin on her part for which she ought to apologize, supposing that she was and remains a complete, guiltless victim in every sense of the word, sharing the same culpability of a 4-year-old being, molested by her step-father.

Everyone agreed with her. The SBC Committee ultimately defended her victimhood. The Sexual Abuse Task Force dedicated approximately 35 of its 288 pages to Lyell’s story and the circumstances surrounding it, repeatedly castigating Sills not as an “alleged abuser” but a definite, for sure, unequivocal “abuser” while framing the 12 years together as one long incident of “nonconsensual sexual abuse” between adults.

The SBC Executive Committee, in a rare move, also issued a personal apology to Lyell for failing to “adequately listen, protect and care” for her after she came forward with allegations of sexual abuse by her professor, as well as acknowledged the “unintentional harm” they caused her by not correctly reporting her case and framing what happened to her in a blameworthy and distressing manner, resulting in a confidential monetary settlement to Lyell of $1,500,000. 

However.

Earlier this week, Sills refiled the lawsuit against the same personalities and entities, this time in Tennessee, alleging conspiracy, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He’s also suing Guidepost Solutions, which named him as a sexual predator in a report given to the SBC that is now being distanced from by SBC lawyers.

While Sills has admitted to having an inappropriate and sexual relationship with Lyell, he has denied abusing, grooming, or forcing himself upon her in any way. He claims that their encounters were completely consensual and did not include intercourse (she, too, has admitted the latter) and intends to make many Southern Baptists pay for any suggestion to the contrary.


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3 thoughts on “Former Seminary Prof. Named in Guidepost Report Refiles Lawsuit Against SBC

  1. He’s admittedly got a case, and will probably get his 1.5 million also.

    3,000,000 of the Lord’s money handed to two adulterers who should’ve never received anything except a pink slip, and never heard anything except “your fired”

  2. Great.

    Leave the SBC or be a party to a endless stream of lawsuits …

    Seems like an easy choice

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