I’m sure some of you are getting tired of stories about Paul Pressler. As I have said before, I was asked to write something about Pressler when I first started blogging. However, he was a powerful attorney at Paige Patterson’s side as they shepherded the Conservative Resurgence into the SBC. Here is a link to the stories I have written about Pressler. There have been many allegations of him abusing young male teens and young university-aged men for years.
To make matters worse, it is alleged that many leaders in the SBC were aware of this and chose not to address the issue. After all, he helped spearhead the Conservative Resurgence, and the SBC was sooooo grateful for bringing the SBC back to its roots. So why let a little problem with abuse get in the way of the Gospel? Many are now concerned about Pressler. And well, they should be.
Rollin’s lawsuit sends shockwaves through SBC.
Rollin’s case is particularly egregious because he claims that Pressler raped him for 24 years, beginning when he was 14! Liam Adams of The Tennessean posted SBC seminary and prominent former leader settle in high-profile abuse lawsuit, SBC still defending. He emphasizes that this lawsuit by Rollins has sent shockwaves in the SBC and Texas.
Rollins’ case has sent shockwaves in the SBC and in Texas. It led to an adjacent Texas Supreme Court case over the statute of limitations and Rollins’ ability to sue Pressler. The Texas Supreme Court ruled last April in favor of Rollins, who argued the trauma of the abuse caused him to suppress memories until 2016.
For the SBC, Rollins’ lawsuit, through which additional abuse allegations against Pressler have emerged, helped spark a reckoning over abuse throughout the convention and cover-up by its top leaders. That reckoning is recently marked by a historic report in May following a third-party investigation and ongoing reform led by a task force.
Rollins initially sued the SBC, the SBC Executive Committee, Paige Patterson, SWBTS, Pressler’s wife, First Baptist Church Houston (Pressler’s main church), and Pressler’s law partners (where Pressler conducted his profession)
A diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome changes the game.
This extensive lawsuit was dismissed in 2018 due to the statute of limitations being met; however, according to The Christian Post, Paige Patterson and SWBTS dismissed from sexual abuse lawsuit involving former SBC member.
The case had been dismissed in 2018 due to the statute of limitations, but the Appellate Court revisited the decision in 2021 after Rollins was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, which extended the statute of limitations for reporting the alleged abuse.
Rollins claims what many people whispered about for many years: All those getting sued knew what was happening to a number of young teens and men and did nothing about it.
I guess they sure wouldn’t want the Gospel, according to the leaders of the SBC, to be affected. The problem is this. I believe Rollins. In my early days of blogging, I was contacted by many people who claimed Pressler abused teen males. Pressler was allowed to continue his activities, and many leaders kept their mouths shut.
Paige Patterson and SWBTS have now settled the lawsuit. That means they are out. See if you can read between the lines.
According to The Tennessean:
A prominent former leader in the Southern Baptist Convention and an SBC seminary settled a lawsuit with an alleged sexual abuse victim. But the high-stakes case remains pending against two others — another prominent Southern Baptist leader and the denomination itself.
The. first thing that came to mind was, “How much did they pay?”
According to The Tennessean:
“Dr. Patterson is grateful that he has been removed from a suit that he should never have been included,” J. Shelby Sharpe, Patterson’s attorney, said in a statement. “No money was paid on Dr. Patterson’s behalf or by him to have him non-suited.”
Southwestern Seminary declined to comment on its dismissal from Rollins’ suit. Rollins’ attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Very interesting. Patterson claims no money was paid. At the same time, SWBTS ain’t talkin.’ For a long time, SWBTS and Patterson were essentially the same. Is it possible that SWBTS picked up the tab? I guess that part of the settlement meant people would need to keep their mouths shut. NDAs. are often standard in these sorts of things.
The rest, including the SBC, are going to trial in May. This is a big deal. Finally, the SBC is getting sued.
I genuinely believe that many leaders in the SBC were aware of Pressler’s activities and did nothing to stop it. I think there are some big names, including formerly young guys who are now leaders in their churches, who were aware of these claims and kept their mouths shut so they could advance through the ranks. Some of those guys are current golden boys in the SBC.
In the meantime, I wonder if this will be settled out of court at the last minute with the standard NDAs applied. This would mean Rollins would get the money he deserved, but the leaders would not get the ridicule they well deserve.
What do you think will happen?