Haven't posted anything for quite some time. We received a call during the first part of April, 2011 from my wife's brother. He was watching an ABC 20/20 program on sex scandals within Independent Fundamental Baptist churches. My wife was a long time member of Marquette Manor Baptist Church in Downers Grove, Illinois. There, on national TV, were people they knew from Marquette Manor who were abusing others sexually.
Chuck Phelps, a fair-haired lad from BJU, a Bob Jones University Board Member, a Board member of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International, (FBFI) and a well-connected, all around fundamentalist big wig, was featured also. Allegedly, while Phelps was pastoring Trinity Baptist in Concord, NH, a church member had raped a 15 (now he says 16) year-old member and she became pregnant. Phelps allegedly forced the alleged victim, Tina Anderson, to apologize to the congregation for immorality and being pregnant. See comment from Chuckles below for more details.
Reportedly, the alleged rapist, Ernest Willis, a church member and successful businessman, was directed to apologize to the congregation for being "unfaithful" to his wife. Tina also recounted another molestation at Trinity Baptist involving a registered sex offender. Members instructed Tina to forgive the fellow and not report the alleged crime.
Phelps and/or the mother sent the girl to Tri-City Baptist in Colorado to have the baby. This effectively shut down any criminal investigation of the alleged rapes. Matt Olson, another fair-haired fundamentalist who is now the president of Northland International University, a Baptist Bible school, was the pastor at that church. Olson allegedly forced the girl to write a letter of apology to the alleged rapist's wife.
I am reminded of my time at Northside Baptist with Rev. John Stevens, board member emeritus of the FBFI. there were molestations, rapes, and adulteries galore there in the 1990's. And, the good Rev. Stevens was helping himself and his staff to free stuff like scholarships, credit cards, perks. The Bob Jones crowd didn't raise an eyebrow. And, David Gibbs, Jr. and the Christian Legal Association came to defend Stevens.
It will be interesting to see how the fundamentalists deal with these scandals. I hope they do a better job of dealing with these things than the Catholics have done but the smart money is betting that they will close ranks and protect their own. (I edited this post May 10, 2011 to correct some information. Mark)