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SBC Executive Committee Says No Charges Following Federal Investigation


Without offering details on the nature of the Justice Department inquiry, the denomination’s administrative entity says it’s “grateful” that “no further action” will be taken around its response to abuse.

An 18-month-long federal investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee has concluded without any charges or action against it, the Executive Committee said on Wednesday.

The country’s largest Protestant denomination has been the subject of a Justice Department probe following a 2022 report that showed SBC leaders refused to respond to allegations of abuse due to legal liability and failed to enact policies to protect its members from predatory pastors.

The Executive Committee—with staff at its Nashville headquarters and dozens of elected trustees from across the country—oversees everyday business for the SBC. The entity said it was informed last Thursday that its part of the investigation had concluded “with no further action to be taken.”

A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York declined to confirm or comment on the status of the inquiry when contacted by CT.

The Justice Department has not publicly acknowledged or commented on the SBC investigation since it began. Federal grand jury subpoenas and proceedings—for better or worse—are shrouded in secrecy. To protect the accused and the integrity of the investigation, the government often doesn’t disclose who had been involved.

According to the Executive Committee, the investigation was expected to look into multiple entities. Presidents of each of its seminaries and agencies had signed a letter in 2022 agreeing to participate and saying, “Our commitment to cooperating with the Department of Justice is born from our demonstrated commitment to transparently address the scourge of sexual abuse.”

Jonathan Howe, the interim president of the Executive …

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