Southwestern Seminary releases list of 14 individuals connected to sexual abuse allegations

Staff
| Jun 1, 2022

Editor’s note: After this story was published on June 1, the seminary was contacted by Christa Brown with information that Tommy Gilmore is on the SBC Executive Committee list of alleged sexual abusers and that he was a Southwestern Seminary student who graduated with a Master of Religious Education. His name did not appear in the seminary’s search because records from that period of time are not digitally searchable. After confirming this information from archives, the seminary’s list has been updated to include Gilmore. We regret the omission. The list has been added to the story and the number of individuals has been updated in the first paragraph and the headline. Individuals with additional information are invited to contact the seminary at PresOffice@swbts.edu. June 2, 2022

The chairman of the Board of Trustees and president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary jointly published today an open letter to the seminary community that includes a list of 14 individuals who were previously students and/or staff of the institution and who appear on a larger list of persons arrested or credibly charged with sexual abuse or sexual assault maintained by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, which was previously unknown until its release last week following an independent investigation.

All the individuals on the list released today were students and/or employees before 2018.

“Immediately after” the SBC Executive Committee list with more than 700 names was released, seminary leadership reviewed the information to “determine whether there were individuals on the list who have any current or past relationship with the institution,” wrote Board Chair Danny Roberts and President Adam W. Greenway in the open letter, which has been emailed to all members of the seminary community and posted on the seminary’s website. 

“No current students or employees appear on the list,” they noted.

“The reason Southwestern Seminary leadership felt it was important to provide this information to our institutional community is because we want to make sure you have the resources available to report any incident of sexual abuse or sexual assault,” said Roberts and Greenway.

Roberts and Greenway also provided contact information for confidential reporting of sexual abuse allegations, the Fort Worth Police Department, and Dean of Women Terri Stovall, adding, “we would strongly encourage you to report any incident of sexual abuse or assault to the appropriate authorities.”

“We want to assure you that we are committed to doing everything within our power to ensure the safety of all members, past and present, of the Southwestern Seminary community,” they said. 

In anticipation of the Sexual Abuse Task Force report and recommendations to be presented during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Anaheim, California, June 14-15, Roberts and Greenway said, “We stand ready to receive whatever recommendations messengers approve and will immediately work to do whatever is necessary to strengthen protections for our students, faculty, staff, and families.”

Roberts and Greenway concluded the open letter, “We would ask that you join us in praying for those who are survivors of sexual abuse as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and grace.”

The open letter is available here.

Name  State  Year Reported 
Mark Aderholt  TX, SC, and AR  2018 
Andrew Argent  TX  2003 
Brian Burchfield  OK  2016 
Paul Eugene Cunningham  NM and TX  2016 
Joshua Earls  TX  2013 
Chad Foster  TX  2011 
Tommy Gilmore TX, GA, and FL 2006 Abuse 68-69
Dan William Haby Jr.  TX  2016 
Michael Lee Jones  TX  1998 
Joshua Luke McDonald  TX  2014 
John O. McKay Jr.  TX  2006 
Joshua Neal Ponder  TX  2008 
Matthew Christopher Porter  FL and TX  2008 and 2011 
Erbey Valdez   2019