Many people feel my blog about a pastor in Florida charged with sending obscene text messages is a private church matter that should not be talked about and that speaking out is wrong. Some feel it is really sinful and slanderous.
All of us are certainly entitled our own opinion and need to listen to our own convictions. I struggled with this years ago, when I found out Darrell Gilyard had moved back to Jacksonville to become pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.
I was shocked that he had been allowed to simply move from church to church after he was not only was caught, but also made admissions of misconduct toward me, not to mention his long history of the same.
I wanted to speak out. I wanted to warn the church. I wanted to confront him directly. I did not know if it was the right thing to do, if it would help or if anyone would listen. Then there was the question of maybe he had gotten help? I doubted this, but there was a possibility.
So I kept quiet. I would think about it occasionally, see him on TV, hear someone mention his church or the past, or something would just a trigger memory of that horrible time.
Then a couple of years ago, I heard that he had more victims that were remaining quiet or had been paid off to keep quiet. I heard he had been confronted, along with the some of the deacons, and even that many people were notified of his behavior with women and girls. No one seemed interested in dealing with the problem. And this was current stuff. Mine was “old news”.
Coming out publicly is very scary. You get attacked and few believe you. Most accuse you of lying or being vindictive, and you also have to relive it all again. I also figured if all of these people had not listened all these years and he continued to pastor with everything that happened, how would my one small voice change anything?
Well, it took one “small voice” of the current victims to give me the courage and opportunity to speak, and now many others are gaining the same strength little by little. One voice does make a difference! It is painful and hurtful, but it is worth it if it saves even a few from being hurt by him.
I would like to pass along some information that I was not even aware of until all of this happened. I did not know how huge this problem is until now. I never would have guessed that this is more of an epidemic than a rare problem.
I am speaking of sick men being allowed to do horrible things to women/girls in their ministry, while they are wearing the disguise of pastor. A victim gets the courage to stand up and tell someone in the church (or confront the perpetrator directly), is told “we will handle it,” and then watches watch the pastor leave the church and move on.
There is no real accountability for him. We wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone or cause a “bad light” on the church. They tell the victim to keep quiet, then offer no counsel or help to the victim.
The next thing you know, the pastor is at another church and usually victimizes again–ditto all over again, then another church and more victims–only he is given more power now because he has been allowed to get away before.
When people finally rise up and say “When is it enough? Nothing’s being done. Let’s expose this and stop him,” other people are outraged that anyone would speak against a pastor. You are the sinful one, who is shaming God.
The silence is the problem. It is what gives them power!
We are not talking about a pastor who has made a bad decision and has fallen in some way. We are talking about exposing repeat offenders.
Look at the problem from a real-world view, as I have recently done. See the following links. See how you feel about silence after you really see the full spectrum of the problem.
National News story:
Request for Help:I personally do not feel God would tell us to turn our heads to this problem.
Tiffany Thigpen Croft, a wife and mother in Jacksonville, Fla., publishes a blog titled “Let’s Stop Pastor Darrell Gilyard Together.”
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