Child Abuse in the Baptist Church

by Dawn
(Michigan, USA)

Baptist church as I see it. Backwards and broken! 
My story is one that goes back many many years. My parents had me start attending a baptist church that would forever change my life, how I view Christianity and most of all, church as a whole. I was exposed to things that no child should ever be exposed to. What makes it even worse, our Pastor knew a man was molesting children, and hid it from everyone, having him bounce from state to state to avoid him getting into any trouble for what he was and probably still is, doing.

From the time I started that church at the age of 9, I was introduced to Porn, alcohol, Pot, sex and the list goes on. I remember sitting in service listening to the message, and right after church, the daughter of the notorious child molester, who I eventually became very good friends with, asked me If I wanted to go and get porn after church. After you are exposed to that type of behavior for so many years, you start to begin thinking it is normal behavior. Now let me explain the situation as a whole.

After I started this church I was molested time after time by different men in the church. After becoming friends with one of the molesters daughters, she re-assured me that she was going to protect me and let me move in with her when I was 18 years old. Before that time she went off and got married to a man in another state, came back and my parents let her and her husband move in with us. Within that time her husband sexually molested me, and when I told her about it, she really acted like it was no big deal, the same way she reacted when I told her that her father had molested me. I later found out her lack of concern was because she was in fact also molested and raped by her father for years. I just didn't understand why I kept associating myself with people that were no good for me at all, but then realized, this is all I know.

She soon divorced her husband and I ended up moving in with her. Within a few weeks her and I were caught up in a weird sexual relationship. This was very confusing to me because I was already confused about my sexuality, and when that happened, my confusion flew into full gear.

During the next few years her brother and Uncle both molested me and that is when I finally thought ok, this is not right because I do not feel good at all. I feel sick whenever I go to church and I don't understand why this kind of behavior is acceptable.

I left the church, but carried a weight on my shoulder that was unbearable and still haunts me to this day. So as far as the church, I do not believe in organized religion at all. I heard sermon after sermon about how it is wrong to be gay, yet the church members were engaging in same sex actions behind closed doors. I heard sermon after sermon about how wrong it is to drink, yet on Sunday afternoons when I would go to the pastors house between services to hang out with his daughter I would see him crack open a beer. I have also witnessed him watching porn between services. Everything seems so backwards, broken and contorted to me. The church preaches one thing, but does the complete opposite behind closed doors, and it has been that way for years.

So my question is this, What truly is Christianity?? Do people go to church to serve God or to actually serve man? Why are there so many child molesters allowed in the church to serve and their actions are completely disregarded? Why is it ok for them to preach and scream quotes from the bible, but yet ignore the other verses in the bible if it isn't convenient for them? Why do you see so many protestors screaming about gay individuals, who aren't hurting anyone, yet you never hear them on the street corners preaching about how wrong it is to molest and hurt a child?

All these questions haunt me, and will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life. The church is ruined and they misrepresent Christ and what he stands for in a way that is just completely ludicrous. They preach one thing and do the opposite. They use their beliefs and power as an excuse to take advantage of innocent children. It goes on and on and I can't take it anymore. I can't stand to sit around and see one more child get hurt because they hide behind church walls, pretend to be holy and think they are untouchable. They don't fear God at all!! They fear man. If they feared God, then they would think Twice before hurting and scarring for life, one of his precious children. I think the church is nothing but a money making machine and a Devilish playground for men and women who prey on innocent little children. When will society wake up and realize this behavior is unacceptable? When will the church come to terms with who they really are, and stop pretending to be who they are not? It sickens me, it's very sad and I think religion is used as a way to control individuals. If it were used as a different tool, then Christ would definitely be represented in the true way he needs to be. Not as a hater, bias, follower, abuser, basher, judgmental, manipulator, intimidator, deceiver, and the list goes on.

There is so much more to my story, but I could only get out a certain amount at a time. It really depresses me to talk about it and I can't mention how many times I don't even want to get out of the bed in the morning just thinking about what the church has done to me. I worry about children now and future, that will endure the same type of pain I did as a child, and even still into my adulthood. It's never ending and it's scary, but what's even more scary is that all this evil starts behind walls that are supposed to be holy, God fearing and incorrigible. What is wrong with this picture, what is wrong with the church? My final answer is this, The church and society as I see it, Broken and backwards.

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: I welcome you to follow me on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I hope to hear from you there!

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Comments for Child Abuse in the Baptist Church

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Dec 24, 2009
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I don't disagree. Your position is why I walked away from religion a very long time ago. And now we know that churches are and have been safe havens for child molesters. Thank you for sharing your poignant story and your thoughts with my visitors and me. I wish you all the best along your road toward healing and recovery, Dawn.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Dec 24, 2009
Abuse in the church
by: Scott Canada

Hi Dawn.
What happened to you is more than awful. I have to admit though that when I began reading, I found myself stereotyping. I was expecting you to write of physical abuse. I hear so much about church and spanking/corporal punishment being promoted by the leaders of such organizations. I have even read how they teach by example to their followers the "proper" way to punish your child etc..all very sickening! I was surprised and shocked to read that what happened to you was sexual abuse.
I cant help thinking that perhaps what you experienced was that of a cult. Growing up here in Canada I knew of and actually witnessed "church going folks" being very strict with there children. I think they were the worst. Just my opinion. I also knew of lots of non-church going parents that were that way with their children as well.
I hope I didnt change the subject too much its just that I comment when something bothers me so. Its no surprise to anyone here that knows me that I would be commenting on corporal punishment as I usually expressed my opinion on that matter.
I think some abusers use the opportunity to take a child's cloths off to spank as a way of getting closer to sexual abusing that child. All under the guise of spanking. It could be in the home, church or in my case school. Clearly you were abused and should report those who abused you. Good luck, be well, and god speed.

Dec 25, 2009
I'll never know, why a church has child molesters ?
by: maurice

I am still a member of the Church because I believe in A GOD of Love. I believe the message of the Scripture's rather than the small percent of messengers of it who are paodeophille's child molesters abusers. Only two so called church men out of a possible 16 who were in the school I attended as a child abused the boys. I am certain the good one's knew that these two spanked our bare bottoms at all ages while we went through school. one in particular would find simple reason to undress us and wallop us. one used to bath us on Saturday nights until we got to our teens. Touching us etc. The Church's are human institutions. The sooner they acknowledge then it might give their members a greater understanding of the hiddenness that went on behind the closed dooors. I know many a Chritian Father and Mothers who were acknowledged members of their church but went home and thrashed the bottoms of their children in the name of discipline and sadly sexually abused them too and still were in church next Sunday. I do not condone any church person who used his/her position to abuse. I live with the Why? did they do it and still preached the word of God from Altars. A tree does not grow from the top down. Families grow together from the roots and the birthed up. What happened to you was totally wrong. you must tell, name and shame them so that they will not abuse again. Hi Live well, laugh alot, Love much beginning with your wonderful and beautiful self This Christams and all through 2010. Hug love into you in front of the Mirror. era go, bare is beautiful and you are beautiful. Always believe in yourself

Dec 26, 2009
by: BMW Princess

I think some churches have child molesters because the pervs say they're sorry and ask for forgiveness. Those slick sociopaths act like they're sorry. A tennet of the Christan faith is giving people a second chance.

Dec 26, 2009
No accountability for Baptist clergy
by: Christa Brown

Baptist churches present the perfect paradise for predators. Baptist leaders refuse to even attempt to implement effective systems of accoutability for their clergy, and the porous congregationalist structure allows predators to church-hop with ease. The bodies of Baptist clergy abuse survivors pile up in the ditches, but at all levels of Baptist leadership, men simply turn a blind-eye and walk by. It's harrowing and horrific.

Dawn: Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope you will continue on your road to healing. Keep on keeping on. You are far from alone; many others walk similar paths.

Jul 07, 2011
Unfair and Irrational
by: Anonymous

I will not prattle on about how perfect the Baptist Church is because, like all Churches it isn't. If you expect Christians to be perfect, you will be let down. I do belong to a Baptist Church and I don't know of anyone in the Church who has molested children. I do, however, know of children who have been molested by family members outside of the Church. But the Church can't be blamed for that. Saying that all Baptist Churches are corrupt and evil is an irrational and unfair accusation much like saying all people who practice Islam are terrorists. I am truly sorry about what happened to you, however instead of blaming Baptists it would be a much better use of your energy blaming those who inflicted the damage or allowed them to.

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