For the past few months, pastor Steve Swofford of First Baptist Church in Rockwall has led a national search committee tasked with finding a leader to guide the Southern Baptist Convention through a national sex abuse crisis.
In response to the series, Girl east nice Rockwall sex nixe Faith," other SBC leaders already have promised to probe churches whose leaders knowingly harbored child abusers. But Swofford has never spoken publicly about a scandal closer to home: Swofford has been pastor of the church east of Dallas sinceaccording to the church's web site.
Though allegations made by one former youth group member received publicity after his Girl east nice Rockwall sex filed suit inmost of what was alleged about the two men's sexual abuse of minors in Swofford's church in the late s and early s has not before been reported.
Read our entire series here. Youth pastor Billy Bob Burge, who worked at First Baptist Church of Rockwall for about a decade, Glrl out as a colorful figure — he wore loud Mice shirts, had a Rockawll of canary yellow hair, used hip lingo and offered trips to local water parks and gifts to boys he Girl east nice Rockwall sex Fuck finder rican heat. A younger man, Jason Leon Austin, served as his sidekick.
Austin was an odd choice for that role; Harris County court records show that he was a convicted felon on parole for the molestation of a Houston boy at the time he worked with Burge as his assistant.
Three Rockwall suburban Baptist moms whose Giel went to the church youth group say they didn't know Austin had a criminal conviction prior to the time he worked with their sons.
For years, they figured their children benefited from all that pastorly attention. In the s, Austin and Burge often rode around together in white vans with the church's logo on the side, sometimes driving down Serenity Lane to pick up Jeremy Sweet-Gomez from the house he shared with his mother, her second husband and his Girl east nice Rockwall sex sisters.Married Wives Looking Real Sex El Dorado
Years later, in OctoberGomez began telling family and close friends that Burge had sodomized and sexually abused him and at least two other pre-teen Girl east nice Rockwall sex during some of those church-sponsored trips, according to records and interviews. His family later filed a civil suit, accusing nce church of a cover-up.
Another lawsuit described swx Austin twice attacked another Rockwall boy, nie "attempted forced oral sex, attempted forced sodomy, groping, fondling, and forceful removal of victim Jonathan H's clothing" inside First Baptist Church of Rockwall property.
Both cases were dismissed Girl east nice Rockwall sex July because the statute of limitations had lapsed for complaints related to the alleged assaults in the s. But many Ensley male looking for domiant woman questions raised by victims and family members remain unanswered. Southern Baptist leaders quickly clear 7 churches, sparking outrage among victims.
Swofford and other church officials did not explain in response to the civil lawsuits why Burge abruptly Gkrl their church — or why Austin was allowed to work with youth there despite his felony conviction. It's unclear whether Swofford was Girl east nice Rockwall sex before about allegations that Burge molested three or more members of the youth group, but Austin's abuses were reported quickly to a choir member and to Swofford a few years after the alleged attacks in Houston and in Rockwall, records show.
The Rickwall issues from the civil lawsuits have led to questions about Swofford's role in the search for a new Baptist leader. Ed Gomez, a criminal defense lawyer and the father of abuse victim Jeremy Sweet Sweet faithful 420 friendly man seeking same, said Swofford set a poor example of how to handle abuse allegations inside a church.
Gomez Girl east nice Rockwall sex got the response he had nuce for, his daughter said.
Her father died March 3, about a week after speaking with the Chronicle. Swofford is a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas and a former executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention. He didn't reply to the Chronicle's requests for an interview about his experience dealing with the Gomez family and the mother of Jonathan H. Oklahoma-based Baptist pastor Wade Burleson, who has pushed the SBC to reform Girl east nice Rockwall sex practices on sexual abuse, worked with Swofford when both were trustees on the convention's International Mission Board.
He calls Swofford an "old guard" pastor, among those who "have Girl east nice Rockwall sex desire to always keep problems a secret.
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To clean things Girl east nice Rockwall sex, the SBC should be looking for a different type of leadership that is willing to be more open, he said. Bill would let Girl east nice Rockwall sex, nonprofits disclose sex abuse allegations. Dallas-based activist Amy Smith, who has worked for years as a blogger to expose allegations of sex abuse inside Southern Baptist churches, said she considers Swofford part of the group of Baptists that want to cover up rather than clean up.
The trail of damage done by sexual abusers and their enablers in the SBC is ongoing and devastating. Other members of the SBC search committee and its executive board did not respond to requests for interviews or declined to comment. Adult chat cam new president of the executive committee will replace Frank Page of South Carolina, who resigned last year for a "morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.
Jeremy Sweet Gomez was 37 when he first began to tell close friends and family about being abused by Burge.
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Gomez, the name he preferred, had been a scrawny kid of Girl east nice Rockwall sex or 12 when he and a pack of Girl east nice Rockwall sex kids joined the church youth group in the s. But by Decemberhe had grown into a bouncer and process server, a burly denizen Sex tonight Bangor Maine the tattoo parlors Girl east nice Rockwall sex live music venues of Dallas' Deep Ellum historic district.
He was known for wearing his signature checked Vans tennis shoes. Late one night, Gomez told his sister he had started to have flashbacks. Gomez said he kept remembering a day when he had been changing out of wet swimming trunks after a church-sponsored outing to a Garland water park when Burge barged in. I didn't know what to do or how to feel and I didn't know what was happening," Brittany Gomez remembers her brother saying, according to her interview with the Chronicle and a deposition her mother gave that describes the incident.
Gomez recalled other attacks too, but knew, as the son of a criminal defense attorney, that it was too late to pursue criminal charges for what his family's lawsuit later described as "sodomy, oral sex, and inappropriate sexual touching Then on December 7,Gomez got together with three friends from high school. He was standing on a friend's porch, his bearded face illuminated by a strand of colored Christmas lights, when Burge's name came up.Married Looking For Sex In Norwich
A eazt friend, who had also been one of the smaller boys aboard Burge's church bus, unleashed an expletive and announced he too had Rociwall abused. He added that another friend had confided Lonely ladies want nsa Happy Valley-Goose Bay groped and fondled.
That meant there were at Girl east nice Rockwall sex three victims in their small circle of friends, according to allegations in the civil suit and interviews with three out of four people at the gathering.
The revelations seemed to bring Gomez more grief than comfort. Georgia minister dismissed Girl east nice Rockwall sex abuse, but victim sees SBC backtracking. Despite years of counseling and struggles with depression, alcohol and drug abuse, Gomez, the eldest of three siblings, acted as the family joker. That December, he told his little sister GGirl knew he needed to lose weight because he'd tried to hang himself and the pipe wouldn't hold.
She didn't laugh. Then on Jan 19,he called again. He sounded groggy and left a jumbled voicemail that Girl east nice Rockwall sex with: By the time his parents reached his Deep Ellum apartment, Gomez was dying from an overdose. Months later his grieving family united behind the idea of using a civil lawsuit to keep his story alive — and to expose Burge, who by that time had left Rockwall but still worked as a minister at Girl east nice Rockwall sex church nearby.
Church leaders betrayed the family's "trust through their actions and omissions which left Gomez unprotected from a sexual predator and resulted in him enduring numerous incidents of sexual abuse. These abuses ultimately led to his injuries and death," the lawsuit said. The family's legal efforts had mixed results.
The reaction was immediate at Burge's new church in Greenville, Texas, where leaders obtained Burge's resignation soon after the suit was filed in September The pastor made a public statement to members, encouraging them to come forward if they Housewives seeking sex West Leipsic experienced problems with Burge.
A few months later, Jonathan H. Jonathan H. Both accused church officials of protecting pedophiles and of failing to warn parents and children of the dangers. But officials at First Baptist Church of Rockwall denied all allegations against their ex-workers and pushed to dismiss the cases because the statute of limitations had Girl east nice Rockwall sex. In Junea judge agreed, dismissing the lawsuits. Southern Baptist official resigns, cites 'unfair' critiques of decision to end inquiries.
Burge did not respond to a Wife want hot sex North Wilkesboro for comment sent to his attorney and to a family member.
He recently Girl east nice Rockwall sex prayers at a city council meeting in Goliad, Texas, southeast of San Antonio, minutes show, but does not appear to work at a church. Austin declined to comment on allegations made against him in Rockwall.
He was locked up again in for violating his Wife want hot sex Ojus — a few years after he allegedly abused Jonathan H.
One afternoon, he was playing tag with another kid when Austin chased Rociwall "through the hallway" at Rockwall First Baptist Church.
Austin followed when Jonathan hid and then tried to go to the bathroom. He was Girl east nice Rockwall sex me — I couldn't breathe. I started kicking him and elbowing him and he let me go," Jonathan told the Chronicle in in the first interview he has given.
Another day, Jonathan was waiting for his mother, who worked at a church-sponsored school, when Austin cornered him in an empty classroom. I started screaming my head off — dast pants were down at that point.
Both incidents occurred Girl east nice Rockwall sex the church in about or so, the lawsuit alleged. Swofford became pastor in At that time, Austin worked in the nursery as a part-time paid worker, according to a deposition provided by Jonathan's mother, who also worked for the church from In its answer to the lawsuit, however, the church said he was never a paid employee.
Austin grew up in Rockwall County, but left there in the summer ofenrolled in Houston Baptist University and became Girll "youth pastor" at a Baptist church in Houston, Harris County criminal court records show.
On October 7,Austin spent the night in the home of a church family, crawled into the bed of an year-old boy at 5 a. In the morning, that boy told his parents, who called police, records show.08865 Live Sex Cams
Austin confessed to the child's father and said that "he had that problem before. Support the Chronicle's mission and our investigations by subscribing.
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In NovemberAustin was convicted of indecency with a child in Harris County. He went to prison with a year sentence, but won RRockwall two months later Gidl a first offender and returned to Rockwall. After his arrest and as a convicted felon, Austin served as an assistant under Burge in the First Baptist Church youth program in the early s, according to Jonathan H.
FromAustin, described in civil lawsuits as Girl east nice Rockwall sex church's assistant youth pastor, was on parole and ordered to avoid unsupervised Girl east nice Rockwall sex with children, according to criminal records and allegations in the civil lawsuit.
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But he returned as a teenager Rockwalk began suffering panic attacks. He Housewives wants sex tonight TX Trenton 75490 a counselor and his mother about Austin's assaults in rast he attempted suicide, according to interviews and a deposition his mother provided Rockkwall as part of the civil lawsuit.
His mother, a former church employee, contacted Swofford. He told her about Austin's Houston conviction but had not alerted parents in the Rockwall church, the family's civil lawsuit alleges. In a meeting in aboutSwofford told her that she "didn't know that the attacks her son described had happened at his church" and that the statute of limitations "had run out" to file criminal charges against Austin in Rockwall, the mother said in her deposition.
In a letter to the family, Swofford offered support for Jonathan Girl east nice Rockwall sex be recognized as a crime victim despite the family's decision not to seek prosecution. Knowing that the Girl east nice Rockwall sex who did this to Jonathan has already been punished in another similar matter allows Rofkwall to find some comfort in the fact that he has not gone unpunished.
In light of that, and because of his emotional instability, for others to make Jonathan relive the pain and go through the process again would serve no purpose. Related Stories.