A retired Baptist pastor was wrongly tied to alleged SBC’s sexual abuse list after an Alabama TV station showed his picture on its news report.
According to The Alabama Baptist, retired Mobile pastor Charles Brown never anticipated that he would clear his name for others' misconduct. He was devastated after his life and ministry for 80 years went down because of an incorrect three-minute newscast on NBC 15.
NBC 15 made the corrections on their 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. According to the report, it was true that there is a pastor named Charles Brown indicated on page 26 of the SBC's sexual abuse list. However, the reporter who made prior reports included the wrong picture.
Two Pastors with the Same Name, 'Charles Brown'
The Government Street Baptist Church Retired Pastor was different from the alleged sexual abuser of London Baptist Center in Evergreen, Alabama. According to SBC's alleged abuser list, that pastor was convicted in 1987 of "abusing a teenage boy in 1986" and he got suspended at the church.
A station supervisor had talked and apologized to Mobile's Brown for not following the proper reporting channels. The representative acknowledged the mistake yet the name of the reporter was not provided or explained what exactly happened.
Brown said perhaps the reporter had looked at his resumé or biography online indicating he pastored Evergreen Baptist Church in Seminary, Mississippi, the first church he ever pastored from 1963 to 1965.
In case that's the scenario why the reporting went wrong, Brown said the reporter did not carefully check the information. He added that Evergreen can be the name of the church and the name of the town. He indicated that his years of service against the alleged abuser were 20 years apart. "The news media made a terrible mistake," he added.
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Addressing The Issue Upfront
Together with his lawyer and church members, they went to the station to share their comments which were also aired in both evening newscasts. "I tried to redeem as much of my morality and my character as I could," Brown said. According to him, since they are managing a private school and large daycare program, he was concerned about what the parents would think of him after the false report.
Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions Executive Director Rick Lance said he knows Brown for three decades and believes in him as a "Christian leader without equivocation." He also added that the pastor serves as a trustee on their State Board of Missions and an executive committee.
Mobile Baptist Association Executive Director C. Thomas Wright, who had known Brown for 18 years, sent a letter to the station saying many people still didn't see the correction, indicating that the retired pastor is innocent. He wrote, "Satan is alive and well and continues to try and destroy God's men and women."
During their church service last Sunday, ministry leaders addressed the issue upfront and explained the situation. Church members were glad of the confirmation and the leaders addressed it quickly and publicly.
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