"Seattle--Chinese Southern Baptist Cross" by Joe Mabel / CC BY-SA 3.0

Abused by missionaries

Jun 3, 2019

By Lise Olsen and Sarah Smith

George Thomas Wade Jr. had been spreading the gospel as a missionary on African training farms and in bush villages for six years when his Southern Baptist supervisors learned a horrifying secret: The supposedly devout man of God was molesting his own daughter.

A supervisor met once privately with the girl, who was attending boarding school in Johannesburg, and later consulted leaders based 7,500 miles away at the Richmond, Va., headquarters of what’s now called the International Mission Board. Wade promised to stop, the supervisor said. His daughter said she was told to forgive Wade and was sworn to secrecy.

No one told Wade’s wife, also a missionary, what he had done, court records show.

His daughter was never again asked about the abuse, which continued, even after she attempted suicide at 15.

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