You can’t make up a story like this — Confederate monuments, child molestation, cover-ups, political correctness run amok, and the president of the nation’s largest protestant denomination.
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Steve Gaines, has issued an unexpected statement on Confederate monuments – a statement that could set a troubling new precedent across the entire country.
Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., appears to have bowed to political correctness earlier this month, along with a number of other SBC pastors, and signed a letter requesting the city of Memphis remove statues of both Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest from public park property in Memphis, the Baptist Press reported.
Gaines, appearing to side with groups like Black Lives Matter and antifa on this issue, undoubtedly shocked many Southern Baptists who traditionally vote conservative, vocally oppose revisionist history and reject political correctness.
While removing the Forrest statue might make some sense due to Gaines’ open racism (a racism he also later repented of), removal of the Davis statue can be little more than caving to liberal political correctness and the likes of BLM and antifa.
Gaines is no stranger to controversy, and that controversy is what makes his supposed “stand” particularly alarming.
Earlier in his career, Gaines nearly lost his pulpit after it was discovered that he had covered-up child molestation by one of his senior pastors, a man who abused his own son for over a year, Ethics Daily reported.
Shockingly, after learning about the molestation, Gaines did the unthinkable and left the minister in place, only admitting the cover-up six months later when church members began to learn the truth. Had word not gotten out, no one knows how long Gaines would have concealed the sick situation — a situation unbeknownst to former Bellevue pastor and three time SBC president, the late Adrian Rogers.
This, however, is where the story takes an even more bizarre turn. Under Gaines, the minister who molested his own son oversaw part of the children’s ministry and was assigned to “counsel potential nursery workers who answered affirmatively to a question about whether they had experienced abuse in their own backgrounds,” according to Baptist News Global.
That’s right. Gaines knowingly allowed a child molester to stalk the halls of his own church and actually “counsel” men and women who had been abused as children.
That absolutely sickening fact brings us full circle. It appears that racial political correctness and positive optics — like preaching against Confederate statues — come before the safety of children on Gaines’ watch.
When the president of the most conservative, major denomination in America, cares more about dead Confederates than living children, something has gone horribly wrong.
Remarkably, this entire episode was preceded by stunning accusations from staff and church members that Gaines demanded his paychecks early, accused at least one church member of being demon-possessed, and jumped a gated-neighborhood’s fence to confront a church leader asking too many questions. Gaines also appointed a new minister to deal with the fallout of these allegations — a minister who was actually recorded saying, “I don’t care what state law says.”
In the end, maybe Gaines is actually being more consistent than we’re giving him credit for. After all, he treats Confederate statues and child-molesters the same way — he tries to cover them up.
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Josh Manning is site director for ConservativeTribune.com and holds a masters in public policy from Harvard University. He was a member of Gaines’ church when the molestation cover-up was discovered. He now attends a non-denominational church.
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