Pastor Rodney Brown of Trinity Baptist Church in Ashburn released a statement this afternoon to The Christian Index regarding the dismissal of a lay leader who admitted to several years ago committing sexual abuse against minors.
The entire statement is as follows:
From the desk of Pastor Rodney Brown, Trinity Baptist Church Ashburn, GA:
I am pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Ashburn, Georgia. Recently I have come to realize that I failed my duty as pastor in not taking action against an individual who had been accused of child abuse in the past at another church. This was because of my long‑standing friendship with the accused.
Other victims have now come forward naming this person and he has admitted to assaulting several young people many years ago. I now realize that what I first thought was an isolated incident was much more. I should have understood that earlier and not doing so was a great mistake on my part. I cannot apologize enough for my actions.
Although there has never been any known abuse at Trinity, the person accused has been terminated from the staff at Trinity. He was also asked to immediately resign his church membership, which he did. He has been directed not to return to Trinity.
I have injured the victims of the accused by my actions, especially Mr. David P, who brought this to my attention. I have spent much time before God repenting for my actions. I now ask David P and the other victims for forgiveness for my acting so irresponsibly.
I also must ask Southern Baptist Convention President Dr. J.D. Greear and the SBC in general, along with the Georgia Baptist Convention, to forgive my actions. I have acted irresponsibly toward them in the past few weeks and I truly express my deep sorrow for that. I pray we can heal and become stronger in the protection of our children.
My greatest failure during this time has been to the God I serve who gave His Son for me. This situation has greatly changed my thinking as pastor. I realize that friendship can never override the duties God has given me to protect those we serve in His name. My prayer is for God’s mercy and healing for the victims of these terrible acts and for any churches affected.