A list of sex abuse cases involving people connected to Southern Baptist churches includes at least 30 names from North Carolina.
The list has numerous redactions, so there could be more preachers, teachers and volunteers from North Carolina on the list released last week. The Southern Baptist Convention released the list following a damning investigation by the Houston Chronicle.
The list includes more than 700 details on people associated with the church accused or convicted of sex crimes. The crimes include molesting children, rape and soliciting prostitutes.
“This list is being made public for the first time as an initial, but important, step towards addressing the scourge of sexual abuse and implementing reform,” Southern Baptist Convention CEO Willie McLaurin and executive committee chair Rolland Slade said in a joint statement.
“Each entry in this list reminds us of the devastation and destruction brought about by sexual abuse. Our prayer is that the survivors of these heinous acts find hope and healing, and that churches will utilize this list proactively to protect and care for the most vulnerable among us,” they said.
An investigation into abuse allegations by Guidepost Solutions criticized the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee. Abuse survivors, the report said, were “met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility from some within the EC.” Church leaders were more concerned about avoiding legal liability, according to the report.
“In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy – even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation,” the report said.
The company that compiled the report for the Southern Baptist Convention set up a hotline for survivors to report abuse and get help: 202-864-5578 or SBChotline@guidepostsolutions.com.
Here’s the list and details on each person with North Carolina connections, provided by the Southern Baptist Convention:
Phillip Jerard Buckson, pastor, Cleveland Chapel Baptist Church, SC, gave a full confession and was charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The Associated Press reported that Buckson had preached across Georgia, Chicago, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.
2019 - Four Oaks, North Carolina
Stephen Morris, pastor of Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church, Four Oaks, N.C., was arrested, July 5, 2019, and charged with five counts of statutory rape and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. Alleged abuse of the 13-year-old victim occurred between June 2013 and June 2014.
2018 - Ruffin, North Carolina
In 2018, Kevin Scott Heffner, pastor at Victory Baptist Church and private school principal in Ruffin, N.C., was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison without the chance of parole after pleading guilty to performing inappropriate sex acts and sending a dozen of nude pictures to one of his minor female students, who was also a member of his congregation.
2017 - REDACTED
REDACTED, pastor, REDACTED, charged with 13 counts of felony sexual offense with a child.
2016 - Avery County, North Carolina
Jude Dayton Hughes, 50, pastor of Jonas Ridge Baptist Church and Avery County High School custodian sent pornographic photos of himself to a 17-year-old girl. Registered sex offender in North Carolina for 2016 conviction of taking indecent liberties with a student, aged 17. Sentenced to 12-months probation.
2015 - Boone, North Carolina
Larry Edward Elliott, 50, Baptist pastor for 20 years, (Church Name Unstated), Boone, NC, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 15-year-old student and was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
2013 - Cherryville, North Carolina
Brandon James Carter was convicted in 2012 for abusing a 13-year-old girl in 2004. Carter was a youth and music minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Cherryville, NC. He accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to less than two years in prison. Once released, Carter will be on probation for nearly three years and be added to the Sex Offender Registry for 30 years.
2013 - Waynesville, North Carolina
Dallas Sherman Surrett, former youth pastor, Cove Creek Baptist Church, Waynesville, N.C. (Southern Baptist), was arrested for a lewd and lascivious act on a young girl, which allegedly took place in 2005. He was convicted of sexual offenses in 2014 and sentenced to seven years; incarcerated from Aug. 4, 2014 to March 25, 2018.
2013 - Caswell Beach, North Carolina
In 2015, Clyde Wesley Way pleaded guilty to charges regarding youth he had taken to camp at North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell while serving as volunteer student ministries team leader for the Stanly Baptist Association. North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell is a conference center for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. In 1990, he attended FBC, Glen Burnie, Md., which is affiliated with the SBC. He also planned to chaperone another group from Richfield Baptist Church, which is associated with the CBF. Multiple victims complained of inappropriate behavior by Way at a church camp, according to news reports. His convictions involved a plea deal.
2012 - Union County, North Carolina
Robert Gibson Warrick, deacon, convicted of four counts of indecent liberties with a minor in 2012. Sentence and convictions upheld on appeal. Released from prison in 2015. Registered sex offender in North Carolina.
2011 - Dunn, North Carolina
Abuse Against an Adult. Paul Burke Johnson, pastor, was arrested on charge of sexual battery. The abuse happened at a nursing home.
2011 - Edenton, North Carolina
Jonathan Winfield Rose, music and youth minister, Rocky Hock Baptist Church, Edenton, N.C., was arrested when his church group arrived at Ridgecrest Boys Camp in Black Mountain. He was charged with solicitation of a child by computer to commit illegal sex acts.
REDACTED, bus director and assistant pastor, REDACTED, arrested for child sex abuse.
2010 - Roseboro, North Carolina
Thomas Lee Elliott, youth minister, Autryville Baptist Church, Roseboro, N.C., was arrested for soliciting a minor over the internet for a sexual act and attempted indecent liberties with a minor. He registered as a sex offender in North Carolina with convictions of solicitation of a child by computer to commit a sex act and attempted indecent liberties with a minor. He received a suspended sentence and probation in 2011. Victim aged 14.
2009 - Bessemer City, North Carolina
Harley Michael Keough, pastor, King James Baptist Church, Bessemer City, N.C., accused of groping multiple women. Keough was convicted of two counts of sexual battery and ordered to register as a sex offender. He was given 18 months probation and would not go to prison. He died in 2013.
2008 - Charlotte, North Carolina
Lawrence Webber, member, member of men’s choir, lay preacher, Reeder Memorial Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C., was charged with three counts of rape of a child under 13 and five counts of indecent liberties with a child. Earlier, in 1997, Webber was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child for charges stemming from a 1991 incident in Gaston County. He received a suspended sentence and probation for the crime. He was on the North Carolina Sex Offenders Registry. The pastor knew of Webber’s previous conviction.
2008 - High Point, North Carolina
Guy Ellis Carr Jr. was a deacon at Emerywood Baptist Church in High Point. Carr was convicted in 2009 on eight counts of indecent liberties with a minor that occurred between 1976 and 1979. Imprisoned from Dec. 18, 2009, to April 10, 2013.
2008 - Gastonia, North Carolina
Paul Kevin Shives, a deacon at New Hope Baptist Church in Gastonia, was sentenced to prison in 2008 after being convicted of 11 charges, including indecent liberties with a child and statutory rape. He appealed, but the North Carolina Court of Appeals found no error on April 21, 2009.
2008 - Fayetteville, North Carolina
Anthony Phillips Denton, 57, was a former counselor at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. The abuse occurred while employed as music minister, Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C. Denton was charged with 16 counts of taking indecent liberties with children between 1977-81 in N.C.
2008 - Goldsboro, North Carolina
Example of multiple offenses. Robert Lee Adams Reaves, former bishop of Living in Favor Global Network Churches, Goldsboro, N.C., was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 21-year-old North Carolina college student. He was the preacher at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Bennettsville, S.C., in the mid 1980s until 1987 when he left after being accused of criminal sexual conduct involving a boy under the age of 17. He was convicted of third-degree sex charges. In 1982, he was also charged with simple assault and battery.
2008 - Goldsboro, North Carolina
REDACTED, youth leader, REDACTED, was accused of sexual abuse of two girls under the age of 13 and secret peeping.
2007 - Wake Forest, North Carolina
In 2007, Justin Eugene Taylor, 27, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student was arrested on one count of indecent liberties with a 10-year-old child. Taylor was suspended from the school.
2007 - Wake Forest, North Carolina
Coy Privette, past president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, trustee/chair of the SBC's Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and a trustee of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The retired Baptist minister and former state legislator. Pleaded guilty in 2007 to aiding and abetting prostitution and was sentenced to probation. He died in 2015.
2007 - Lumberton, North Carolina
Ronald Lee Simpson, 42, former pastor, St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church, Parkton or Lumberton, N.C., was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for abusing two girls, 12 and 14, in 2003.
2007 - High Point, North Carolina
Todd Turner Brock, 42, former pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church, High Point, N.C., pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation to commit first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, participating in the prostitution of a 17-yr-old boy and dissemination obscenity. He was sentenced to 10-12 months in prison. He resigned from church March 30, 2007.
2007 - Raleigh, North Carolina
In 2007, Brian “Doug” Goodrich, Jr., 26, volunteer youth worker and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student, Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C., was sentenced to 13 years in prison in exchange for guilty pleas on 2 counts of statutory sex offense, 4 counts of first degree sexual exploitation of minor, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child (8 boys ages 13-15 who were part of Bible study). The abuse occurred in 2005 while Goodrish was an intern at Providence Baptist Church. He was sentenced to a 13-year minimum prison sentence for six felonies, including two counts of statutory rape and four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
2007 - Asheville and Mars Hill, North Carolina
In 2007, Roy Mace Honeycutt, II, 63, pastor, affiliated with at least 2 churches, Bethel Baptist Church, Ashville, N.C., and Trinity Baptist Church, Mars Hill, N.C., was charged with 6 counts of indecent liberties with a child and 2 counts of first degree sex offense with a boy under age 13. The crimes dated back to the 1960s: He was convicted June 25, 2008 and released in 2011.
2007 - Hendersonville, North Carolina
Duain A. Whittemore, 66, director of the Anchor Baptist Church’s Missions International in Transylvania County, in the Pisgah Forest, was arrested sentenced for two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The abuse occurred between 1976-84. Whittmore abused a 13-year-old girl and a second girl under the age of 16. The abuse occurred when Whittemore was director of Tabernacle Baptist Church’s Children’s Home, S.C.
2002 - Iron Station, North Carolina
In 2002, Dewey “Eddie” White, pastor of Heavenly View Baptist Church in Iron Station, N.C., was found guilty of propositioning a 15-year-old.
1999 - Fayetteville
Laurie Christine Rehrer, 33, former teacher at New Hope Christian Academy took a plea agreement for having sex with two teenage boys (ages 14 and 15). She was sentenced to six months in prison. She pleaded guilty to lesser counts and received five years’ probation, was ordered to stay away from boys younger than 18 and register as a sex offender. Rehrer’s father was pastor and administrator for the school.