“In his study of 561 sex offenders, Dr. Gene Abel found pedophiles who targeted young boys outside the home committed the greatest number of crimes with an average of 281.7 acts …”
Once again I would like to thank a reader for calling attention to the developments in this situation. In so doing, I also discovered that *something is going on* at Paul Warren’s church. Abbot Memorial Presbyterian Church (now apparently known as Abbott Church) in Baltimore. In May of 2020. I wrote the following two posts.
- Paul Warren, Alleged Molester, Is a Pastor At Abbott Church, Baltimore, and Preached on 5/24/20.
- Well Done, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church! Churches: This Is How to Handle Sex Abuse Allegations.
Here is an overview to catch you up on what happened and the good response of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church (PCA.) LMPC is the abbreviation that I will use for convenience.
- In June 2019, an inquiry concerning potential past sexual abuse by an individual previously associated with LMPC came to me. Immediately, I formed a small committee, which was soon approved by the Session, to investigate further. After a careful internal investigation, we learned of multiple incidents of alleged abuse from a summer youth intern over 35 years ago who was also a volunteer during the school year. The alleged offender, whose name is Paul Warren, is now a member of a Presbytery in another state, within our denomination. (Ed. note: Abbott Memorial Presbyterian Church aka Abbott Church in Baltimore, MD.)
- Two letters (2019, 2010) were sent to the Chesapeake Presbytery notifying them of the abuse.
- This was a confusing situation for the church because it appeared the activity may have happened about 35 years ago. Also, there was an inquiry as opposed to an accusation. This church notified the Session and started to look into what may have happened. They learned the worst. It appears that there were multiple incidents that had occurred and that these could be traced to one summer intern. (Ed Note: Another abuser, Tony Marcano was identified and other victims were found.)
- The church even met with the victims offering them support which included professional counseling. Many churches, including one I know very well, refuse to offer professional counseling since their families “can afford it.”They also did the right thing by not releasing the names of the victims, at the request of those victims, which is the right move. Many of these victims had never spoken of their abuse which is quite typical and the emotional pain is significant as this process begins. Kudos to this church which made them feel safe to speak of their abuse.
- LMPC asked G.R.A.C.E. to come into the church to investigate.
A complete summary of what transpired before and after the G.R.A.C.E. report is available, for now, on the LMPC website.
Go to this link to see the LMPC page. The written Grace report and the response of LMPC can be found there. I downloaded the documents. The following lengthy, transparent, and informative video posted on January 19. 2021 which gives us thorough information from the perspective of LMPC leadership. Show this to your pastors so they can see how the Lead Pastor, Brian Salter, handles this. It is well worth your time.
Some information from the video. Please let me know if I skipped anything important.
- All abuse was perpetrated on minors.
- LMPC reported the abuse to the Chesapeake Presbytery twice.
- LMPC reported the abuse to the police who informed them that the Statute of Limitations has passed.
- LMPC reported this to the Baltimore City Schools where Tony Marcano is reportedly employed, including all former employers.
- LMPC revealed that one victim of Tony Marcano allegedly reported this to the pastors at the time.
Those pastors allegedly did not report this to the police and the current staff was not made aware of this.
- There has been no substantive repentance on the part of Warren and there has been no contact with Marcano.
- The pastor gave a great explanation of why Matthew 18 is often misused in cases of abuse.
- Pastor Salter clearly stated that some sins are worse than others. By doing so he avoided the silly argument that *all sins are equal* argument.
- Any PCA judicial process must be in the hands of the Chesapeake Presbytery according to PCA church polity.
- He stressed that this wasn’t just a sin. It was criminal activity by spiritual leaders in the church.
- Salter claims there are other victims who did not come forward and expressed concern about more unknown victims by these two molesters.
- He mentioned the two posts at TWW and said that they were favorable to LMPC. He’s correct.
One disagreement I have with Salter’s comments.
He claims that sexual abuse has risen due to the sexual revolution/Hugh Hefner. I disagree. I believe that sexual abuse has always been around and has always been hidden because *good people don’t talk about these things.* People who abuse minors are not *sexually liberated.” They are molesters and pedophiles. People with normal sexual drives will only have sexual relations with other consenting adults. Pedophiles and molesters have serious psychiatric disabilities. They have a desire for non-consensual relations with adults (like rape) or relationships with minors who, by law, cannot give consent. Many people with these abnormal desires will struggle with them for a lifetime, even with intervention.
The sexually violent, pedophiles, and those with other paraphilias have been around for millennia. These persons are even found in the Bible. Pederasty and pedophilia were found in ancient Greece and Rome, Women have been abused and raped throughout history. There was a reason that God gave the Law condemning rape. See this link regarding Genesis 19, Genesis 34, and many more passages. I wish we could blame this on the 60s and Hugh Hefner. Sadly, it is part of the Fall. That is why we need to get smart. Churches will attract those who molest and rape. It is a trusting environment. Who could imagine that a nice youth pastor would ever molest a student? Jules Woodson, a high school student, learned that hard lesson.
I would like to recommend two papers from the NIH for consideration.
- Paraphilias: definition, diagnosis, and treatment
- The Neurobiology and Psychology of Pedophilia: Recent Advances and Challenges
Is something going on with Paul Warren and his church?
The link in my initial post took me to Abbott Memorial Presbyterian Church. Now it takes me to a website called Join My Church. Each time I check it, information is disappearing. In the meantime, this website has popped up for Abbott Church. I double-checked looking at the address and church affiliation to see if it was the same church and it is.
Now, here is where it gets interesting. On the Abbott Church site, mash the *staff* button. The only staff member noted is Julius Fisher who appears to be in charge of the music. On the other site, scroll down and Paul Warren is listed as pastor.
So what’s going on? I was told by one source that Warren is still active as a pastor in the PCA because the abuse happened long ago and he has had no further claims against him. However, concern was raised after more victims came forward. Paul Warren’s name and Abbott Memorial Presbyterian Church are still listed on the Chesapeake Presbytery’s website.
So, what’s going on? Are the recent statements by LMPC and G.R.A.C.E having an effect? Let’s watch and see. I would appreciate any input from readers as they learn new information. I will post it as it develops.
Once again, I am grateful to LMPC for demonstrating how to be transparent, while taking positive steps in dealing with a terrible situation. That lengthy video was great! I listened to the whole thing. Please, LMPC, don’t ever take it down. I will use it as an example to other churches.
My heart goes out to the victims and it is my hope that Paul Warren NEVER disgraces a pulpit again. Chesapeake Presbytery…the ball is in your court. Do the right thing.