For the past two years, the Georgia Baptist Convention has employed MinistrySafe out of Fort Worth, Texas, to provide training for our church leaders regarding sexual abuse. It is vital that our church leaders understand the prevalence and the present danger of sexual abuse particularly as it relates to our children and our students. One need go no further than some of the latest news on television, to print stories of information about abuse, to information from someone you know, to realize that sexual abuse is everywhere, and our churches must wake up to this reality and be prepared to screen carefully those who are in direct relationship to our children and youth, or be prepared for managing the crisis when it happens, including costly legal battles.
If you ever thought a criminal background check was enough, you need to attend this summit to learn what is really involved in protecting your children and youth from the blight of sexual abuse.
MinistrySafe has been a great blessing to Georgia Baptists as they have been with us now on numerous occasions to provide training. MinistrySafe is the creation of Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris. Both are attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas. They are no strangers to Southern Baptists having worked closely with LifeWay and with several state conventions. Gregory is a recognized expert in legal standards of care related to child sexual abuse, providing crisis response to ministries and churches nationwide. He has litigated sexual abuse cases across the United States. He has provided valuable counsel to ministry and secular consulting clients, including the United States Olympic Committee, Awana International, Nazarene Global Ministries, Bob Jones University, Methodist Conferences and various Baptist state conventions and associations. He is the co-founder of MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems. He has been a guest lecturer at Texas Wesleyan School of Law, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dallas Theological Seminary.
Kimberlee Norris is a sexual abuse trial attorney. She represents victims of abuse, serving as a consulting and testifying expert in abuse cases, and providing crisis management and allegation response counsel to ministries of all sizes. Kimberlee is an acknowledged authority in screening practices for child-serving organizations. She provides live and online instruction for churches, schools, camps and non-profits. Recently, Kimberlee was at the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center to provide training in the screening process. Many crises can be avoided if you know how to properly screen your workers.
Georgia Baptists’ response to MinistrySafe training has been so overwhelming that we have decided to provide for a national training event to be held at First Baptist Atlanta, October 22 of this year. Gregory Love and Kimberlee Norris will be with us for “Sexual Abuse Summit 2015” along with Matt Anthony and David Middlebrook, who are founding shareholders of Anthony & Middlebrook, a nationally recognized boutique law firm in Dallas, Texas, focused on the representation of churches and nonprofits. They are leading practitioners in religious nonprofit organization law. Their clients include high-profile charitable and religious organizations.
If you ever thought a criminal background check was enough, you need to attend this summit to learn what is really involved in protecting your children and youth from the blight of sexual abuse. If you ever thought you can manage a sexual abuse crisis quietly within the confines of your inner church structure, you need this conference to be prepared for meeting your legal responsibilities when you have an event. If you ever thought that sexual abuse laws do not have impact on churches, you need this summit to learn about your legal requirements and responsibilities.
People will be attending from across the United States, but you have the privilege of attending right here. Your convention is paying most of the cost. Your cost for the conference is $15. I encourage you to go online to register at http://www.sexualabusesummit.com. When you go to the site you will be able to read all about the conference as well as register. Do not miss this conference. It is very important for the protection of your children and youth, as well as the entire ministry of your church.