01 About

  • Overview
  • About the Author
  • Website Table of Contents
  • Comment Policy

*       *       *       *       *

Overview

This research/resource website focuses on multiple alleged failures by leaders of Prestonwood Baptist Church (PBC) of Plano, Texas, related to the discovery in 1989 of child sexual abuse perpetrated by staff member John Langworthy, and later lack of forthrightness in responding to questions about it and resolving any outstanding issues with victims and their families. This includes such specific allegations/contentions as:

  • The leader(s) who found out about John Langworthy’s sexual molestation of minors did not comply with Texas state law on mandatory reporting by clergy members of known/suspected abuse within 48 hours of discovery. Thus, they failed to protect children elsewhere from being victimized, as Mr. Langworthy moved to Mississippi where he worked as a youth music minister and a high school choir director.
  • Church leaders did not inform victims’ parents of the abuse, but instead, interviewed the victims and – in at least one case – allegedly arranged a counseling appointment for the victim themselves, without the parents’ knowledge or consent.
  • Church leaders did not inform their own congregation about Mr. Langworthy, which would have opened the way for any additional reports of victimization and subsequent pastoral care for victims and their families.

As one of the largest “flagship churches” in the Southern Baptist Convention, how the influential Prestonwood Baptist Church responds could have constructive influence on the entire convention. It is our hope that Prestonwood Baptist Church leaders will:

  1. Answer questions that have lingered for nearly 25 years.
  2. Take appropriate responsibility for past actions and inactions.
  3. Commit to transparency about sexual abuse issues in the future.

To that end, this website captures as much resource data as possible, so people who need to form opinions on PBC and appropriate clergy responses to sexual abuse can research this situation as a case study. It includes posts and pages that document, analyze,  interpret, and comment on relevant events and related issues. It may also publicize them in the #PBCSilentNoMore awareness campaign.

We have made efforts to be as accurate as possible in presenting the materials here, and to note when we have provided specific pieces of analysis and/or opinion. If you find corrections or omissions, please let us know. Thank you!

NOTES: Preference is given to “primary sources” and they were used wherever possible for developing the historical frameworks here. The recollections of these individuals come from their first-hand experiencing, witnessing, or participating in events related to this situation – sexual victimization by now-convicted sexual predator John Langworthy, alleged harmful actions and omissions of leadership at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas, and/or alleged harmful actions and omissions of leadership at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Mississippi. However, since the abuse victims and their parents themselves mostly remain anonymous, their quotes or reports about them by victims’ advocates and other secondary agents may be the only sources currently available for some details.

The bias here is on the side of survivors of sexual abuse, their families, and their relational support systems. Knowledgeable parties from that perspective were invited to review the materials on this site for overall accuracy and to detect anything major that is missing. We also will make every effort to correct inaccuracies or omissions that any readers alert us to. (Please use the comment form on pages or posts to let us know how we can improve the factual accuracy of this site.) Beyond that, the analysis, interpretation, and commentary here is that of the site administrators/moderators. The initial content work on the site was done by “brad/futuristguy.”

*       *       *       *       *

About the Author

Brad Sargent – known online for his comments as “brad/futuristguy” – is trained in linguistics, learning styles, and strategic foresight (studies of the future). As a strategist and team member for church planting and social enterprise start-ups, he is highly aware of issues of culture and contextualization, and other sources of cross-cultural conflict and control. As a spiritual abuse survivor, he has become highly aware of indicators of “malignant ministers” and “toxic organizations.”

Brad has a background in journalism and research writing, and uses those skills in producing practical resources on recovery issues in personal discipleship and on systems issues for making churches safe places for ministry. He has been blogging since 2003, and since 2007 at futuristguy, where he has focused much of his research and development work on missional ministry and issues in spiritual abuse. Early in 2013, he produced the BGBC Defamation Lawsuit Archive, detailing a case where a pastor and church sued five former members for posting allegedly defamatory comments online. The suit was for $500,000 and Beaverton Grace Bible Church lost when the judge accepted an anti-SLAPP motion by the defendants and dismissed the plaintiff’s case as unsubstantiated. He was also the main writer for the Grenier Defamation Lawsuit Archive, dealing with a lawsuit filed by Calvary Chapel Visalia (CCV) pastor Bob Grenier against his own stepson and a former CCV member.

*       *       *       *       *

Website Table of Contents

01 About [Link 01]

  • Overview
  • About the Author
  • Website Table of Contents
  • Comment Policy

02 Executive Summary [Link 02]

  • Overview
  • Main Allegations and Issues Surrounding Prestonwood Baptist Church
  • Main Systemic Issues ~ No Predator Registry in the Southern Baptist Convention

03 Key People and Organizations [Link 03]

  • Key Advocates and Social Media Links
  • Key Advocacy Websites
  • Main People, Churches, and Agencies Involved

04 Timelines [Link 04]

  • Introduction
  • Condensed History: Key Dates and Essential Documentation from the Actions to Convictions of John Langworthy
  • Significant Documents
  • Expanded History

05 Allegations, Analysis, and Systesm Solutions [Link 05]

  • Introduction
  • Key Allegations and Issues Surrounding Prestonwood Baptist Church ~ Plano, TX
  • Key Allegations and Issues Surrounding Morrison Heights Baptist Church ~ Clinton, MS
  • Key Systems Issues on Sexual Abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and Beyond

06 Reader’s Guide and Bibliography [Link 06]

  • OVERVIEW
  • READER’S GUIDE ~ FOUR KEY ARTICLES
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY
  • 2011 ~ News Reports and Analysis Articles
  • 2012 ~ News Reports and Analysis Articles
  • 2013 ~ News Reports and Analysis Articles
  • Systemic Issues ~ Analysis and Commentary, Especially on Southern Baptist Convention Churches

07 Texas and Mississippi Clergy “Mandatory Reporting” Statutes [Link 07]

  • What’s at Stake?
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
  • Texas Family Code – Section 261.101
  • “The Attorney as Mandatory Reporter” ~ Texas Bar Journal, March 2005
  • Mississippi Code Ann. § 43-21-353(1)

08 A Letter to Victims of John Langworthy [Link 08]

  • A Personal Note from Amy Smith
  • Contact Information to Report John Langworthy

09 Resources for Church/Ministry Leaders [Link 09]

  • LEGAL ~ How do we find our state’s laws on clergy mandatory reporting of abuse?
  • PASTORAL ~ What are compassionate and constructive responses to sexual abuse victims and their loved ones?
  • PASTORAL ~ What are wise and redemptive ways to work with repentant sex offenders?
  • ORGANIZATIONAL ~ How do we create, evaluate, and sustain a discipleship space that is safe?
  • CULTURAL ~ How do we shift our systems emphasis from immediate intervention to long-term prevention?
  • DENOMINATIONAL ~ What can our ministry network do to commit to better responses on child abuse issues?
  • EDUCATIONAL ~ Where can we get congregational training resources?

10 #PBCSilentNoMore Campaign Media FAQs [Link 10]

11 Campaign Press Releases [Link 11]

12 Was Your Comment Deleted or Tweet Blocked? [Link 12]

  • How to Record Your Deleted/Stuck Comment
  • How to Record Your Twitter Account Being Blocked
  • Thank You!

13 Screenshots of Removed Comments [Link 13]

*       *       *       *       *

Comment Policy

We understand that the issues involved here are contentious, and people are passionate about them. However, this website is not a place to engage in character attacks on any of the parties involved. Commenters who cross the line may be warned, barred, and/or their comments deleted at the discretion of site administrators/moderators.

*       *       *       *       *