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

Women Accuse Evangelical Pastor Of Abuse Years After Being Told To Keep Silent

Nov 11, 2019

By Carol Kuruvilla

Seventeen years ago, two teenagers approached a Southern Baptist church in Indiana with allegations that their youth pastor had used his position of authority to sexually abuse them.

Megan Frey and Jo Anna Hendrickson claim that back then, the church’s leader tried to sweep the reports under the rug. The 18-year-olds were allegedly blamed for getting “duped,” their families were pressured to keep quiet, and the accused pastor, Wes Feltner, went on to establish a solid career in ministry.

Over the past few days, fearing that yet another Southern Baptist church is refusing to heed their warnings about the pastor, the women have started speaking up again.

But this time, they’re bringing with them the strength of the #ChurchToo movement, which seeks to raise awareness about abuse in Christian communities. And they are hoping that by going public, they’ll help create change in the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination.

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