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SBC OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO CURRENT LITIGATION

 

Dear 2nd Baptist Church Family,

We find ourselves facing an unexpected challenge, and we want to address it with utmost transparency and accountability. Recently, a member of our church family filed a civil lawsuit against Second Baptist Church, former Associate Pastor Ivan Lambert, and the church's insurance company.

 

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Lambert, during his time of employment at the church, engaged in a sexual relationship with the member when she was a minor, claiming coercion and grooming.

 

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the then church leadership in failing to recognize, prevent, or address the alleged abuse, as well as in its hiring and screening practices regarding Mr. Lambert.

We want to emphasize that all the allegations brought forth in this lawsuit occurred before the tenure of Senior Pastor Dr. Maurice Watson and before the establishment of our new Trustee Board.

As we navigate this sensitive matter, our church legal counsel is diligently working on a formal response on the merit of the lawsuit. Mr. Lambert is expected to have separate personal counsel representing him in this legal proceeding.

In times like these, our priority remains unwavering – to ensure that any alleged victim is treated with the utmost respect and care. Our church family and each member within it are of paramount importance, and we will approach this matter as a united and supportive body.

Out of respect for the privacy of our members and their loved ones, legal counsel has advised church trustees and leadership not to discuss specific details of the lawsuit. We understand the significance of this decision and appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

 

Also, during this challenging period, we humbly request your patience, and we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. We stand united in our determination to emerge stronger from this crisis, and we earnestly seek your prayers and support as we work towards a resolution.

Together, as a steadfast community of faith, we will navigate these trying times and reaffirm our commitment to compassion, healing, and fostering a safe environment for all to worship.

 

With gratitude and sincerity,

Dr. Maurice Watson, Senior Pastor                                                                                                

2nd Baptist Church Board of Trustees

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