Saturday, February 11, 2012

Are you Kidding me?

Will there be a solution?

Is there a way to stop this craziness?

Does any of this make sense to anyone?

How do we protect our children? Is it possible?

These are questions that run through my mind and I pray about as the news continues to pour out.
I am silent (in response to reporters, to posted comments) because there is not one thing that I could say that would change any of this. I pray for wisdom, pray for solutions, and I hope.

I spoke with another woman today that was abused as a child, by someone she was supposed to be able to fully trust. A person that she should have been safe with. It has altered her life forever. She has trust issues, she will never be able to forget the memories, she will always know that something awful happened to her and that it will never, ever be erased from her memory. She is succesful, respected, to all appearances you'd never suspect. But there is a part of her that is awakened continually with thoughts of her abuser - the nightmare that is always just under the surface.

And yet...and I take a huge, deep sigh, here....and yet. We have a convicted, confessed, and known child/woman abuser. A man that used his position for 3 decades to manipulate his way into positions of trust and to ultimately become sexually perverse with girls and women. Not only did he seduce some, but let's not forget that he took (by rape) from those that said no. He twisted young girls into thinking he was the "only one" that could really love them, sending text messages, "counseling" with them behind closed doors, calling at odd young, innocent, naive, young teen girls. And he forever has altered the course of their lives...please do not underestimate the damage that has been done to hundreds (over 3 decades)...

...Now, these last few weeks, his latest church is sending a message to them that they should now look up to him and allow him an open door to lead them in a position of spiritual authority? To Pastor a church locally. Fresh out of prison.

As if that is not insulting enough, they remove the children because they are a violation of his probation, as he is not allowed to be around them. But, for goodness sake, let's not remove HIM, let's not tell him that it is not appropriate...let's remove the temptation from the abuser and make the poetential victims feel pushed aside, separated.

Are you kidding me? Have we all gone mad?

What parent would even want to be in this position or would go to a church that this is a requirement? Do the children matter to you? Do the children, teens even matter to you? What message are you sending them? Whom are you asking them to look up to? Why would you even want a spiritual leader that is unable to EVER be around your children. No children's musicals, no children's programs, no teen ministries, no Sunday school for them, no nursery programs...However, they tell us the children's activities "are all being held off site" but, they have a nice playground...I can just imagine explaining this to my children.

I am quite sure that Darrell is laughing at night. After all, he told several Southern Baptist leaders that he was "untouchable" after having being confronted about his crimes years ago. He thinks this is all a game. I was told by two leaders (separate occasions) that Darrell looked them right in the eye and mocked God. He told one, with a sneer and a smile, "You can't touch me". And to another, he said "I don't care if Gabriel the archangel came down from Heaven and said that I can't preach..."

See, you are all underestimating who you are dealing with.

Forgiveness - that's what you stand behind. Well, I forgive the terrorists of 9/11. But I wouldn't ask them to pilot an aircraft and map out a destination to my hometown....I forgive the man that sexually abused a friend of mine, but I would never ask him to babysit any of my children, or stay in my home. I would never ask him to work in my church nursery. I forgive someone who takes from me - recently some items were stolen from my storage unit, but I wouldn't ask them to please come again.

MY CHILDREN AND YOUR CHILDREN are far too precious to take chances with!

We have to stand up and say NO to predators in the church, in our schools, coaching our children, selling ice cream from trucks in our neighborhoods, canvassing our playgrounds, working in our youth programs...why is that so controversial within the church?

It's an abomination for a teacher to take advantage of a child in school. Remember Mary Kay Letourneau -we call her sick, make a Lifetime movie special about her. Shake our heads.

But a predator Pastor, a predator Priest, Predator youth worker...within the church? We "must forgive" and my favorite quote so far "Well, look at Paul...God used Paul, he was a terrible sinner..."

Darrell can do many things with his life...but he is not allowed, BY LAW, to be in a position of authority over children. Teaching, preaching, counseling, selling ice cream, coaching little league, NOTHING! There are no "special rules" for a preacher. No need to petition the courts for a special ruling. Read Article here.

It makes me wonder how much worse is it going to get in our society. Before you know it, we will have a "National Predator Day" parade and I guess we are just supposed to be on board. I guess, since Darrell is an "exceptional expository speaker", he will be at the head of the parade.

I do not hate Darrell - I do not lose sleep over him, nor does it run my life - BUT, I'm also not able to stomach the mockery that is being made over crimes to children. We let these predators out too soon, we have no proof of any rehabilitation, we are told to be unbiased and that they have rights too...well go to America's Most Wanted and see how many children are missing. Most met up with a child predator, and most will never be seen again. If you were to catch one of these predators in the act, would you ask them to come to your church and preach next Sunday?

Darrell Gilyard talks a good game - he preaches amazing sermons of words and uses Holy scriptures - these are your arguments as to why he should preach - that it would be a waste to lose these talents. There are a whole line up of victims behind every one of his sermons...if you are able to overlook this, then you might as well go back in time to the awful times in our history in which religious profiling cost hundreds of thousands their lives. Think about your reasoning - "but he's a great preacher of the Word", "lives are changed".
These horrible times in history things were seen by "religious" people as part of their cause and stood behind their religious reasoning and thought that God overlooked their crimes because they thought they were chosen people. And they were wrong, VERY wrong!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Should Former Jacksonville Pastor Convicted of Sex Crimes Return to Christian Service?

Today's Florida Times Union Article by reporter Jeff Brumley
Read Here:

A note from my heart:
Many of you believe me to be a hate filled, angry, vindictive woman because this blog exists. If you knew me personally, you would not think this way.

And it doesn't matter what your opinion of me is, this is not about me.
It's not about forgiveness.

I forgave Darrell L. Gilyard one night back in 1991, in a moment of prayer and realization that hating him would never be helpful for me. That I needed to forgive in order to be set free. I didn't want to give him power over my life - I wanted to seek victory through the knowledge that the one who granted me life, could someday use the pain and circumstance I was in to bring good. It developed my charachter and made me a very strong person, grounded in faith. I have never lost sight of the love of the Father. I began to see man as just that, no matter their position, just a human trying to reach Godliness. I didn't hold people on pedestals. For that I am grateful, it saved me a lot of heartache.

I have never done this with an ounce of hatred or even really anger, though you may not believe it. Truthfully, I become angered sometimes by the covering up of sin by people, than the sickness of the man producing the sin. Because that really just gives him more power and allows him to be blinded to the effects of his actions.

If the opportunity arose, I would greet Darrell on the street, I would not be angry. I would not be fake. I do not hate.

Many, many people have let me down in life - it just is the natural course of life. If I allowed them power over me, I would be bitter and angry. But that would serve me no purpose in overcoming. It is not who I am. It is not God's plan for my life.
I got a precious gift for Christmas - a sign with one of my favorite sayings -

"Life isn't about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

Apostle Paul taught us that we can have joy in the midst of suffering.

This blog is only a source.
People who choose to read it, do. Those that hate it, shouldn't fuel their hate by reading it.
I do not post here often as it is simply a source of information. I did not comment for the news article because I saw no point and felt it only fueled more hate. My position is not about me. It is not for attention or to see my name. In fact, having my name attached is in some ways damaging to me. If I was anonymous, people would call me a coward. I am not ashamed. This happened. I have forgiven. God has a plan. He doesn't need me for the plan.

My only hope and prayer is for knowledge, for knowledge produces wisdom and wisdom produces understanding.

Someday, if Darrell continues a path into ministry - or any other field - and somewhere a person gets a little uneasy feeling...just happens to google his name...they will be warned. What is done with that knowledge is up to them. It is up to you.

If I had known of his past in 1990 - which there was a vast knowledge of indiscretions covered up - then I would have been armed, I would have had wisdom and understanding that he was not a safe person. He could have chosen to take the same knowledge of his weaknesses and not placed himself in positions with girls and women as a mentor. He chose not to - I didn't have the ability to make such a choice to protect myself. Neither did these victims. In fact, their parents, like mine, were totally unaware.

Someday - one person, one girl, maybe many, will be protected - simply by this knowledge.

***Darrell, whatever you choose to do, no one can stop you. Whether in the light or in the dark. If you have allowed God to reach those places in you that are broken, those places that have wanted to have power over others to make you feel strong. The need to take from people. If you have allowed healing - true healing. It will show in your choices and how you live out the rest of your life. There is no doubt that God can use you, your story, your crimes for good. That is never a question in my mind. But what God can do is not to be confused with what He desires to do - and you have free will to edit His plan. What man plans is not always in alignment with what God plans. I forgave you years ago, I do not stand in judgement of you and you have no power over me. I have no desire to be consumed with you or thoughts of you - as you once told me in your perversion of scripture - but, I will pray that God keeps you from being able to violate one other female soul in your time on earth. I pray that every possible opportunity is available for the girls/women in your future path to not be confused by your charms and your misuse of their trust. The purpose of this blog is for knowledge, to lessen your power. Not to intentionally harm you.
If you have overcome this and are healed, I pray blessings over you and give God all the glory for your healing and it will be known as you move forward in life. And God alone would be glorified! It's not about you anymore Darrell.***

You see, we as believers have become a mockery to the world. We have confused forgiveness and blindness. You who are followers and supporters of Darrell, God bless you for your unfailing love. He needs people to be supportive, to be prayer warriors, to love him, to council him, to mentor him. Just use wisdom in this devotion. Your council should reflect that of the Father which is wisdom - there should be time and a level of trust established. Time for restoration, time for accountability, for healing. Not a rocket ride back into power...but it is your choice obviously, so if you all choose that this is the path....

There are girls and women out there that have not healed from his crimes - one reason is that he has never shown them remorse or repentance. There are children born out of this pain. There are lasting ripples in the lives that will not stop with one girl, it will be passed into her relationships with men, in marriage, with her children...with her family. Pain and scars of betrayal and loss of trust...even a desire to detest all things spiritual. Pain that you can never understand. Some are stronger than others, some heal and others just can't seem to get past it.

Darrell, if you ever decide you want to apologize to these women, girls and children - to start the chain of healing - let me know. I will post it on the blog. Surely you could humble yourself to that, if your heart is repentant. To tell them that your weaknesses had nothing to do with them, that they deserved more. That it had nothing to do with them but was all about you. It would go a long way to healing for many.

I have written this blog for the girls out their with names and faces, real people whose lives have been forever altered. That have not healed. I have read your stories, your letters, your emails, I know most of your names. You are on my mind and in my heart as I started this blog, as I chose to leave it up all of these years. None of this is about me. I found healing years ago. This is all for YOU - to hopefully keep knowledge alive, to keep others safe. YOU are martyrs in some ways, YOU were the warning cry...YOU are now the lighthouses that show that depite man's hurt, you can overcome! YOU can! YOU are not what he used you for - YOU are not who he told you that you were and you are definitely NOT his victim!

Whether or not he ever heals, YOU can! Find power in that...find healing.

God be glorified! To the world - we as believers are a laughingstock - God is not who we reflect most of the time. Please don't let this become your reflection of who you think God is. Dig deeper. I am a broken person that is trying to find her way, I desire to reflect God's love as I desire to be loved that way as well. I am not perfect - I do not feel I am better than him or anyone fact, truth be known, I am really hard on myself. But I do believe there is a God - one God - and I have a personal relationship with Jesus, who I desire to be like...though I will never achieve it :-/
I am not a super christian or a throw it in your face believer - I believe everyone has a choice to believe as they wish...I only wish in some ways through my day to day interaction to people for them to see something different in me. It is not me they see...but the goodness of Jesus shining through. And Jesus unconditional love of me when I am not showing his goodness...

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Darrell Gilyard set to be released 12/28/2011

I pray that there has been some sort of progress and that somehow he has allowed God to intervene. Although statistically speaking, once an offender - it is always a struggle. Most child sex offenders repeat. And this is not what God wants nor does He overlook it - what's done in secret will be revealed in the light.

Too many lives ruined by the actions of these selfish, cold hearted offenders. Too many stories to even begin to tell. You can not make excuses - there is simply no way to excuse these behaviors. Sex crimes are life altering - but those against children are incomprehensible!

I fully believe after reading many statistics - that the large majority of offenders have been offended themselves at some point in their lives.

I know that with God, all things are possible. And I know that those that have fallen into the hands of sexual predators can be healed and restored - but I also know that the pain for them never leaves and nothing is ever the same. God be with them and give them the comfort that only YOU can give!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time For Change

It has been a long time since I have posted anything new. I thought that it would be best for my family and myself to take a break and knew that when any news of Gilyard's release came I would pick this back up. There is no news of that, but my soul cannot rest.

I am grieved. Not for myself in any way - but for us as a church body, for people that are survivors of church abuses. For all of those who are still crying themselves to sleep every night, who are unable to hold down jobs and provide for their families, for broken marriages and failed relationships, those who have turned their back on any reminder of a religious institution that failed them. These things result from carrying a terrible secret and being trapped in a vacuum of silence. After being abused reaching out for help only to be told that you need to keep this a secret, being shamed and believing that if they ever told they would be responsible for weakening the cause of Christ. While they sit and watch the perpetrator move to another church, knowing that nothing is being done to protect the next person.

It happens more than we care to know, really it is a burden knowing how often this happens. The grief can be overwhelming. Just ask Christa Brown, she has carried not only her own story but now years of others pain within. It is so hard to know that there are so many people that have carried such a huge burden, that have been abused sexually by someone they should be able to trust and then abused again by the leadership that should step in and defend them. They are kicked and shamed instead. While the perpetrator is lifted up and put on a pedestal, transferred to another church and not one other person knows the terrible deeds they are getting away from.

I recently spoke with a law enforcement officer who shared that this crime happens more than we care to know. That our children are definitely not safe anywhere and especially not churches, until this changes.

These perpetrators should not move on to another church with no warning - period! This should simply never be allowed to happen. Yet it does, almost daily. We do not have to become judge and jury, but something has to change.

Do we really believe that this is what God would want to happen? Do you really think that it is best to let a Pastor get away with hurting a child in this way? Do you realize that you actually become a part of this by washing your hands of the knowledge of it? Are you really able to sleep at night knowing that he/she will abuse again and you have warned no one? I dare say that many leaders wrestle with this, have no idea what to do about their findings and at the cost of the innocent, they do nothing. You assume it is better to keep it a secret and "hope" they find healing, but God's word will not be mocked. These are His children and He cares for them, they are the tiny sparrows that are so precious to Him. Yes, God cares for the sinner perpetrating the crime also, but He does not condone their behavior, He is grieved by it and they will be put to shame. His word promise those things done in the dark will be exposed and pride comes before the fall. None of these things are done with the Father's approval or blessing - do not be fooled by the title of "Pastor" or "deacon" or "youth leader" - this does not mean all of their behaviors are right before the Lord. They are still but mere human men. We wish for healing for all, redemption and restoring of their minds and hearts - but FIRST comes repentance and turning away from the sin.

The big question is, "What will we do about this?"
Will we just be angry and outraged by it, talk about it, blog about it, feel the pain and carry the hurt, and is that all? What will we do to make changes? Obviously our leaders are not going to step up. They have excuses as to how impossible it is to govern churches. Really? So we do nothing?

We all know that nearly everything we touch in our daily lives was at one time seen as "impossible."
It took people with vision and that were willing to take risks to discover new lands, to fly for the first time, to invent the light bulb, the telegraph, modern communication - plenty of people stand by and say "it can't be done". If they had stuck with that mentality we would have never walked on the moon, had modern day communication, cars, planes, electricity and the list goes on. What man sees as impossible, God sees as possible.
If we all come together, surely God has planned a way for us. Do you not think that He wants us to rise up and do something to protect His sheep? We need to pray about it and ask what our role might be. We need to do more than just hear a sad story and go on about our day, only thinking about it from time to time. This is an epedemic crime that is leaving the church very wounded and unprotected. We have become a laughing stock as the media presents yet another story of a preacher pedophile getting caught. We need to step up and protect our people and not allow them to continue to prey on our trust and abuse their title.

There are those of us with resources and connections to make this happen - let's all pray and ask God to show us the way. How can we protect our children and families against predators within our churches? I am on board, how about you?

I have no idea what my role in this may be, there may be a plan for someone else to do this and they just need encouragement - I surely don't know God's plan. I know that many have lain the foundation and have done all that they know to do - Christa Brown has a database started, others are sounding the alarm and have given calls to action. Let's continue to lay this railway and make a way.

I have recently taught my children about the Underground Railroad and about The Civil War and all of the obstacles people faced trying to fight for what is right, how people pulled together to make things happen and help slaves find their way to freedom. We have modern day slaves to secrecy and shame right now in our churches.

I know there were many that risked it all historically- let's lay the foundation to have the "above ground railroad". We want to live above this hypocrisy, living honorably and transparently in our churches. This needs to be done right and responsibly, but it needs to be done.

We can trust that God will surely provide the way. This is blasphemous to Him to allow this in His Holy places and to "the least of these". Those in positions of leadership that have done nothing, will one day answer for all of this. But we cannot count on them to do this and we cannot judge them for their choices. But we can be different.

We must pray individually about our roles and God will move. He will lay out a path.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just a Man

Darrell received his sentence today and was led away in handcuffs. I look at this picture and I see just a man. Not a Pastor or any other label - just a man that has been broken by sin. I wonder what happened in his life that led him down this path of destruction. Surely there is a reason beyond his obvious sin, a path was chosen and along the way a compromise was made. I am anxious to see what he may allow God to do from this point on with his life.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Trail of Tears

Since the plea bargain I have received so many emails from caring people from my past, people that also watched Darrell Gilyard preach back in the late 80's early 90's and revered him. Most of these people knew of my situation with him and also of the scandal that that all became public once his past was fully seen. But there are still many that simply did not know and are now shocked. They wondered what happened to him, why he wasn't a regular at First Baptist any longer, but assumed he just moved on. There have been pictures of our church youth group tour days posted on the popular "facebook" site, in many of these Darrell is sitting in a pew with his arms around teen girls and no one thought much of it. They have held onto the pictures and just see the memories of being with this "famous pastor" and of the fun we had as a huge group of kids that love the Lord and were on the road telling people about Jesus. No one really saw any red flags, atleast not any that they mentioned. Why, you may ask? Because he was presented to us as a Pastor/Evangelist that we were very blessed to have the honor of touring with, and because we should have been able to trust him. Because people just don't think to be careful of a Pastor, to be weary of "innappropriate behavior". I am sure at that time if anyone had a "complaint" it would have been scrutinized and maybe even blamed as "overactive teen imagination". After all, this is the "great Darrell Gilyard", a famous southern Baptist Preacher. Many were fooled, epecially his victims.

But, he wasn't safe, as I along with many others found out. This post is to make us really think about what to do next time, not that anything big will necessarily change, but maybe someone will be more wary if they feel things are not "feeling right". You see, he had a past, a long history of sexual problems and it was all dismissed. Look at the situation today, really look at it and see that a great injustice was done and know that it will probably happen again. The reality is we have to face the facts that there will be more situations where people feel it is best to "cover up" these sins and "forgive" and no real action will be taken. This is a sad reality, but it is evident - especially as you read again the details of this long road and how long it took to get this criminal sentence and his admission of guilt by his plea bargain.

It has been a true "trail of tears" and devastation. Pastor Wade Burleson did the best job of creating and posting a timeline based on the facts. This was posted on his blog last year, I have asked his permisssion to post it again here. It is baffling to me upon reading it again, what in the world does it really take to get the churches attention? How many cries for help are really needed? How many witnesses? How much "grace and forgiveness" is extended to the abuser by being sensitive to his position, but yet the "victims" are trampled, humiliated and left alone to deal with it, most of the time placed in absolute shame by the ones they went to for help. What a shame.

My personal note: In addition to all of the information below from the past, we now know that he has fathered children (atleast 3 confirmed); he has solicited sex through text messages to teens (part of the plea was that he asked for those charges to be dropped); he has molested teens in his office during "counseling"; he has had many relationships with women, single and married (while he was married); there have been payoff's, silence being the condition; people that have also had their credibility ruined after trying to report alleged rape or other sexual misconduct - the list goes on. I kept an actual notebook as the information poured in listing the proof against him. It could have all been avoided years ago, by the actions of many along the way.
Wake up call, what does it really take?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The Sordid and Strange Darrell Gilyard Story and What It Reveals About the SBC ,The Florida Times Union reports that Darrell Gilyard, a former Southern Baptist pastor, will appear in Florida court this month to defend himself on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct against a fourteen year old girl. Gilyard, who resigned January 4, 2008 as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida after his arrest, is an interesting case study regarding the old, but sad axiom in the Southern Baptist Convention - "It's not who you are, but who you know that gets you places." Though one cannot be sure of the motives of those involved in the following story, it seems that there is an air of "us vs. them" mentality in some SBC leadership circles that leads to cover ups and excuses for inexcusable conduct among SBC ministers.

Darrell Gilyard burst on the SBC scene when he preached at the 1989 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference at the instigation of Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines. Gilyard related to SBC pastors how he had grown up as a homeless teenager, living under a bridge in Jacksonville, Florida, only to be miraculously converted and called to preach. He expressed gratefulness to both Vines and Patterson as he articulated the need for young, conservative gospel preachers to follow the leaders of the conservative resurgence. His message received a standing ovation at the SBC Pastor's Conference, and a star had been born in SBC circles. Jerry Vines had "discovered" Gilyard in Jacksonville, and Paige Patterson had discipled Gilyard as the young preacher attended Criswell College in the mid-1980's.

Gilyard would later repeat this "homeless" story on Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour television broadcast, only to have his adoptive mother, Barbara Davis of Palatka, Florida, tell the media afterwards that she had raised Darrell from age 5 to 19 in middle income comfort, and that his story of living homeless under a bridge was a lie. Unfortunately, lying was the least of the problems of this young man who was fast becoming a rising star among Southern Baptists. While Gilyard was at Criswell, a long litany of sexual allegations against Gilyard came to the surface. It was during this time that Gilyard, with the encouragemnt and recommendation of Paige Patterson, became a staff member at Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas. What happened next is unconscionable.

Predatorial Behavior Explained Away
According to The Dallas Morning News, Concord's Senior Pastor, E.K. Bailey said a dark side of Mr. Gilyard began to emerge while "ministering" at Concord. Rumors began to fly that the associate pastor was making advances on women in the church. In 1987, within two years after his hiring at Concord, Mr. Gilyard was fired in front of 1,500 members of Concord Baptist for having had inappropriate sexual relationships with at least, according to Pastor Baily, twenty five women members of the church.

Mr. Bailey said officials from First Baptist, Dallas, Texas, the church that sponsors Criswell College, attended the open service during which Mr. Gilyard was fired. Though Criswell College and FBC Dallas representatives were present at the Concord service where Gilard was fired, Patterson later decided there was not enough "evidence" to further investigate Mr. Gilyard or discipline him in terms of Criswell College or Gilyard's ministry among SBC churches. Gilyard was promoted among SBC churches by Patterson, Vines and other conservative leaders. In fact, according to Pastor Bailey, "Paige Patterson wrote me an unkind letter over the whole ordeal (Gilyard's firing). He basically told me that he would have come out to my church and solved the problem for me if I had told him first." Notice, according to the letter, the problem was not the young ladies being victimized. The problem was not the sexual impropriety of Mr. Gilyard. The "problem" was the public firing. It never would have happened if Patterson had been involved.

Pastor Bailey, now deceased, said First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas and specifically Paige Patterson, continued to promote Mr. Gilyard throughout the predominantly white Southern Baptist churches. "You saw his star rising and rising," said Pastor Bailey, "and you knew what kind of a person he was." Pastor Bailey's comment illumines the theme of this post: "It is not 'who' you are, but 'who' you know that matters in the SBC."

Let me illustrate. After Gilyard's termination at Concord in 1987, he had little trouble gaining employment as assistant pastor for Hilltop Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Hilltop is a Southern Baptist Church and Senior Pastor Dan Maxwell hired Gilyard in 1988, less than a year after Gilyard was terminated at Concord. Maxwell had previously hosted a series of "conservative resurgence" pastors' meetings at his church at Hilltop, with Paige Patterson as the guest speaker. A former staff member at Hilltop, who would later serve with us at Emmanuel, told me that Pastor Maxwell hired Gilyard in 1988 at the sole urging and recommendation of Paige Patterson. Patterson told Maxwell to hire Gilyard, in spite of the allegations in Dallas, because the women in Dallas could not be believed. This squares with what Pastor Maxwell would later recount to The Dallas Morning News when he explained why he had hired Gilyard. "Paige Patterson said he had been out there (to Concord Missionary Baptist) and talked to the women and there had been nothing to the allegations. He (Patterson) could not substantiate them." However, less than a year after Gilyard arrived at Hilltop, allegations of sexual misconduct against Gilyard surfaced at that Southern Baptist church as well. Two women told Pastor Dan Maxwell that Mr. Gilyard had made sexual advances toward them, and a third woman confessed to having an affair with Mr. Gilyard.

Pastor Maxwell says he took this information of Gilyard's misconduct to Dr. Patterson. Dr. Patterson called and spoke personally to the woman who said she had an affair with Mr. Gilyard. After Patterson spoke to the woman, he told Pastor Maxwell that he did not believe the woman's story. "That individual's story changed many times," Dr. Patterson later explained to a reporter of The Dallas Morning News. "That bothered me," he said.

What is disturbing to me is the fact that Patterson is "bothered" by the womans story and not by the fact Gilyard is once again accused of sexual impropriety; particularly since Patterson already knew of Gilyard's 1987 sexual misconduct at Concord Baptist Church. Patterson was "bothered" by the woman's story at Hilltop, but NOT by Gilyard's alleged sexual misbehavior at Hilltop? Gilyard was terminated from Hilltop in early 1989 by Pastor Maxwell, and the friendship between Maxwell and Patterson, according to a staff member at Hilltop at the time, was terminally breached.

Back in Dallas in 1990
After being released from Hilltop in 1989, Mr. Gilyard made his way back to Dallas, Texas, and with the assistance of Patterson, Gilyard become the associate pastor at Shiloh Baptist in Garland, Texas. Before long, sexual misconduct allegations surfaced at Shiloh against Gilyard. Once again, Dr. Patterson intervened on behalf of his disciple. In 1990 Dr. Patterson met with two women who represented friends who, they said, were involved with Mr. Gilyard. Don Simpkins, a pastoral counselor, also attended. Mr. Simpkins said Dr. Patterson asked him to counsel Mr. Gilyard once a week. "I was supposed to "polish the rough edges," said Mr. Simpkins. Mr. Simpkins said that after a few visits with Mr. Gilyard, he suspected some "personality disorders' and wanted to test Mr. Gilyard . "He refused," Mr. Simpkins told the Dallas Morning News, "so I called Paige to let him know it wasn't going well, but he never returned any of my calls."

Gilyard was fired from Shiloh Baptist Church in 1990, only to wind up as pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas a few months later. In July of 1991, reports of sexual improprieties by Pastor Gilyard at Victory Baptist (his fourth church in four years), burst into the public realm. The allegations by the women at Victory Baptist Church who claimed to be his victims are so bizarre that I will post them verbatim from the July 14, 1991 Dallas Morning News article that made them public:

"When it came to women (Gilyard) would not allow them to usher, serve on the finance committee, teach men or take classes with them.But outside the church, according to the women who claim to have been victimized by him, Mr. Gilyard spent most of his time with women. Those who talked with The Dallas Morning News about their experiences asked to remain anonymous . . . A woman joined Victory Baptist shortly after she moved to Dallas last year. Mr. Gilyard offered her a job at the church. "He called about 10 o'clock one night and said he wanted to talk about my work," she recalled. "We talked for a while like that, then the conversation shifted and he started getting real personal. He wanted to know what attracted me to him. I should have hung up, but I felt flattered.' She said the phone call became more sexually explicit until finally she hung up. I felt dirty and sick afterward," she said.She said she told Darrell DeBoard, the administrator at Victory Baptist, two or three days later. The woman said she also quit her job at the church and moved out of town that weekend.Mr. DeBoard declined to discuss the incident, saying he could not violate a confidence . . . Martha Dixius, a social worker who taught Sunday school at Victory Baptist, said a woman in the congregation approached her in November for help. The woman, said Ms. Dixius, had "a trust level of a 7-year-old. She is very naive.' In a counseling session, Ms. Dixius said, the woman told her that Mr. Gilyard had noted her visitor's card and phoned her the next day with an offer to show her through the church. During the tour, he asked her questions a bout her personal life.The next evening about 6 p.m., the woman told Ms. Dixius, Mr. Gilyard drove to her apartment and called her from his car phone. "She let him in her apartment because he told her he wanted to talk about some of the problems they had discussed the night before,' Ms. Dixius said. "She told me that by 6:30, she was raped." The woman told her she was too confused and frightened to call police. The woman told Ms. Dixius that Mr. Gilyard continued to go to her apartment for six months and have sex with her. "He would - call her from the car phone and say, "I'm coming up, let me in,' and she would be too frightened to say no.' After counseling the woman for four months, Ms. Dixius referred her to another counselor. The two counselors met with the woman and Darrell DeBoard, administrator of Victory Baptist. "The word "rape' was used a lot," Mr. DeBoard recalled, "but I understood that to be emotional rape. She was graphic with details, so it was hard not to believe that something had happened."

It was only during the time that the Dallas Morning News made the above allegations against Gilyard public that Paige Patterson ended his support of Gilyard. Gilyard had been fired from FOUR churches in FOUR years for allegations of sexual misconduct from dozens and dozens of women. Patterson knew of the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard at Concord Baptist Church in 1987. He knew about the sexual allegations against Gilyard at Hilltop Baptist Church in 1988. Gilyard preached at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in 1989 after being introduced to Conference leaders by Patterson and Vines. Patterson knew about the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard at Shiloh Baptist Church in 1990. Patterson knew about the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard at Victory Baptist Church in 1991.

Again, The Dallas Morning News made public the sexual misconduct allegations against Gilyard on July 14, 1991, at least six years after initial accounts of Gilyard's sexual improprieties surfaced at Criswell. Since that day in 1991 Patterson says he has had nothing to do with Darrell Gilyard.

Gilyard left Dallas in late 1991 and went to Florida where he eventually became pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville in 1993. The state of Florida is now seeking to prosecute Gilyard for "lewd and lascivious conduct" against a fourteen year old girl while serving as pastor at Shiloh in Florida. The sordid and strange Darrell Gilyard story has yet to end, but there are some lessons we can learn from it in the SBC.

Lessons Learned

(1). Information is power - to either check or correct poor leadership.

One wonders if glowing recommendations regarding Darrell Gilyard and his "ministry" would have continued from SBC leadership, in spite of their knowledge of allegations of sexual impropriety against Gilyard, had it not been for the public revelations of the Dallas Morning News in 1991. Thank God for a free, independent press. In addition, we thank the Lord for those women who have been victimized by Gilyard but are now making their voices heard in order to prevent other predatory behavior. Tiffany Croft, a young lady who became a victim of Gilyard's immoral conduct, wrote to me this past year expressing her desire to stop Gilyard from victimizing other women and girls. Croft eventually started a blog of her own called Let's Stop Darrell Gilyard Together". She is proof that every voice counts. She has made a difference.

(2). Southern Baptist churches would do well to remember that the qualifications for effective pastoral leadership are measured by the words and testimonies of those church members who have been recipients of a pastor's love and ministry - not professional endorsers.

In other words, though it is often not "who you are, but who you know" that gets you places in the SBC, a wise church will discount the big names on a resume and do due diligence with those people who have experienced the ministry of a pastor over the course of years. Likewise, big name denominational leaders may say negative things about people they do not like, but the "proof" of effective pastoral leadership is in the people being led.

(3). It is a shame when those outside the SBC must call our leaders to account for their actions because we Southern Baptists are too fearful to hold our own leaders accountable.

The Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called on the trustees of Southwestern Theological Seminary to remove President Paige Patterson for protecting Darrell Gilyard from being held accountable for his sexual misconduct in the 1980's and 1990's. SNAP believes victimized women and girls could have been protected from the predatory behavior of Gilyard had Southern Baptist leaders, particularly former SBC Presidents Vines and Patterson, held him accountable when they first were informed of his behavior. On January 9, 2008, President Paige Patterson officially responded to SNAP's request that Patterson be removed:

"Christa Brown and the SNAP organization have alleged that years ago, and even in the present, I have protected Darrell Gilyard, most recently the Pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, when he was involved in sexual misconduct. These snap judgments by Brown and others are misinformed and inaccurate. "

Patterson goes on to write about how he "moderated" the 1991 meeting where Gilyard was terminated from Shiloh Baptist Church in Dallas, but . . .

(a). He does not answer why in 1987 he rebuked Pastor E.K. Baily for terminating Gilyard from Concord Baptist Church after "twenty-five" women accused Gilyard of sexual misconduct.

(b). He does not answer why he recommended Gilyard to Hilltop Baptist Church in 1988 AFTER knowing the charges against Gilyard at Concord.

(c). He does not answer why he arranged for Gilyard to speak at the SBC Pastors Conference AFTER he knew of the sexual misconduct allegations at BOTH Concord Baptist and Hilltop Baptist churches.

(d). He does not answer why he refused to "believe" the stories of the women who claimed to be having sexual relationships with Pastor Gilyard; that is, not until The Dallas Morning news reported the stories of these women publicly.

(e). He does not answer why he arranged for a "pastoral counselor" to work on "the rough edges" of Darrell Gilyard in 1990 after Gilyard had been terminated from his THIRD church in THREE years (Shiloh Baptist, Dallas, Texas) for sexual misconduct instead of working to remove Gilyard from all pastoral ministry.

Why Bring All This Up Again Now?

Southern Baptists have proven we do not like to air our dirty laundry. When things become known to the outside world, we attack the messenger, rather than deal with the problem. We must change our approach. Southern Baptists must stand up and speak out, rather than mock or ridicule those who do.

According to the blog Abuse and Christianity, Darrell Gilyard has been back in the pulpit of a Southern Baptist affiliated church while he awaits his trial in Florida. Rather than act as if Southern Baptists would never ignore sexual predators in the pulpit, rather than mock and ridicule those who expose our lack of moral judgment, we should learn from our history so that Southern Baptist churches and pastors will not be tempted to repeat it.We must understand that if we don't clean up our own house, nobody else will.
In His Grace,Wade