June 3, 2022
Dear Church Family,

Your prayers and support continue to sustain us. We thank God for the remarkable spirit of unity that was felt in a palpable way during our worship service on Sunday, May 29. As was stated by Pastor Jeremy during the message, we earnestly seek to do the right thing by all parties involved, including victims of abuse, the Hunt family, and First Baptist Woodstock (FBCW).

If you were not able to view or hear the May 29 message, you can access it here.

In light of our current circumstances, it is important that you remain informed. We have prayerfully sought the Lord’s guidance together. We believe the following action steps are in order:

First, be assured that we are proactively seeking to do everything we reasonably can in the fight against all forms of abuse. Nothing matters more than the safety of all participants in our ministry. We will continue taking all reasonable steps possible to ensure the well-being of all current and future members of our congregation and participants in our ministries, including:

  • In 2021, our staff was trained in social awareness, specifically as it pertains to appropriately and biblically relating to someone of the opposite sex. Earlier this year we had many on our staff go through specific training related to abuse prevention and reporting. We will be expanding that training to include all employees of FBCW.

 

  • We already have policies in place related to sexual abuse and mandatory reporting. However, we have engaged an outside legal firm to professionally review our current policies. Our goal is for our people to have assurance and trust that we are doing everything we reasonably can in every facet of every policy.

 

  • Prior to the public report of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force, FBCW had already signed on to become a Ministry Safe Campus. This is a program for staff and lay volunteers that provides a complete child safety approach and reduces the risk of child sexual abuse.

 

  • If you know of any abuse taking place, or you are a victim of abuse, we urge you to immediately contact law enforcement. If you know of any abuse taking place, or you are a victim of abuse involving a staff member or leader of FBCW, we urge you to immediately report it. Your concerns will be investigated promptly and appropriate remedial action will be taken in the event that it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred.

 

  • Also, please know that the Southern Baptist Convention has established a permanent reporting hub where you can report abuse to Guidepost Solutions. You may contact them at SBChotline@guidepostsolutions.com or 202-864-5578.

Second, we have recommended to our former pastor, Johnny Hunt, a clear process of counseling, accountability, and restoration. We also believe it is in the best interest of FBCW to suspend his role as Pastor Emeritus. While we are forever grateful for the supernatural work of God over the last 30+ years at FBCW, we believe this decision aligns with our biblical theology as a church regarding spiritual leaders being above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2).

These have been challenging days. But we believe that through the grace of God, and our mutual commitment to do the right thing together, better days are coming.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our church leadership with any questions or feedback that you might have. You can email us leadership@fbcw.net

We love you church family. It is an honor to serve you, and we do not take this privilege lightly.

Jeremy Morton, Lead Pastor
Staff Lead Team
Jim Woodward, Personnel Chair
Kirby Jones, Deacon Chair

 

 

May, 25, 2022

Dear Church Family,

Like many of you, we have read the report that was released by the Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Task Force on Sunday afternoon, May 22. On a deeply personal level, we are heartsick, confused, and disillusioned by what we have read. We are still processing and praying through the contents of the report. Our hearts and prayers go out to all victims of sexual abuse and their families. You can read online the report commissioned by the SBC Task Force as well as the statement posted by our former Pastor, Johnny Hunt. 

Though the allegations stem from events that transpired in 2010, we first heard about them this past week. 

We are submitting all of this to the Lord. We truly need the Lord’s guidance. We desire for truth and righteousness to fully prevail (Psalm 27:13). Thank you for praying for God’s wisdom, grace, and leadership to be poured upon us. 

This Sunday, May 29, Pastor Jeremy will address our church family in one worship gathering at 10:00AM. We will only have one gathering and no small groups or Sunday school on campus. However, we will offer Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, and Thrive programming.

Let us be faithful to pray for one another, for all parties involved, and for Pastor Jeremy as he leads FBC Woodstock in the days ahead.

Prayerfully,

Jeremy Morton, Lead Pastor
Lead Team Staff
Jim Woodward, Personnel Chair
Kirby Jones, Deacon Chair