Calvary Baptist Church
Measures to Protect Participants from Sexual Abuse
News reports over the last several years of sexual abuse being committed and covered up in the Roman Catholic Church have revealed countless stories of predation and devastation. High profile pastors of several churches have stepped down over charges of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. Most recently, the Houston Chronicle ran a 3-part report revealing more than 700 victims of sexual abuse and approximately 220 Southern Baptist pastors, staff members, program directors, Sunday school teachers and other paid/volunteer workers charged with sexual abuse crimes who were allowed to return to or continue in ministry. You can read the report here.
Calvary Baptist Church’s position on this state of affairs is one shared by scores of other faithful Christians who both devastated and dismayed that so many have been hurt, and that so many in positions of leadership have acted with such gross negligence, recklessness, and foolishness. Ours is a church that has openly discussed this issue and is a church that takes this issue very seriously. To that end, this document is intended to provide a summary of the mindset, expectations, and procedures in place at Calvary to protect its members and participants from harm.
A Mindset of Accountability
No one is beyond accountability at Calvary. Newcomer or old-timer, Lead Pastor or first-time guest. Elder, deacon, teacher, big tither, popular or unknown, there are none of us beyond the reach of legal and community scrutiny as we endeavor to minister with integrity in Jesus’ name.
An Expectation of Vigilance and Compliance
It takes all of us working together to create and sustain an environment of safety. This means that every pastor, staff person, leader, volunteer, member, and guest are expected to speak up and point out when someone or something is cause for concern. If you see something, say something.
In addition, anyone and everyone serving at Calvary are required to comply with the appropriate vetting and screening processes, and to observe the policies and procedures we have in place.
Procedures and Systems in Place
In 2015, our church campus installed HD security cameras throughout our building, entrances, and parking lots. This is under surveillance 24 hours a day.
Calvary also has trained security personnel on-site during services. These are members of Calvary with military, law enforcement, security, or other tactical training. They are spread throughout the campus during worship services.
Policy for Safe Environment for Children and Youth
We want to provide a safe environment for the children and youth who attend activities at Calvary Baptist Church (CBC) or who attend events sponsored by CBC. We also want to safeguard all paid employees, staff, clergy, and volunteers. In order to provide this environment, the church has implementing the following policies:
Responsible Screening of Employees
1. All paid church employees, including clergy, will undergo a thorough screening process as a part of the job application procedure. This includes a professional third-party background check.
2. A documented reference check, prior to employment, will be done on all paid employees working with children or youth.
3. A pre-employment criminal history investigation will be made for all persons being considered for full-time or permanent part-time paid employment. A pastor and/or the Elders will review and evaluate any information obtained from the inquiry into the applicant's criminal history. All information obtained in such an investigation, including any review/evaluation notes, will become a part of the applicant's permanent personnel file.
Responsible Screening of Volunteers
1. All volunteer workers for any and all positions involving work with children or youth will be screened. This includes a professional third-party background check.
2. All adult volunteers working with preschoolers, children, or youth are required to be members of our church for a minimum of six months.
3. Adults who have been convicted of either child sexual or physical abuse may NOT do volunteer service in any church-sponsored activity or program involving children or youth.
4. Adult survivors of childhood sexual or physical abuse need the love and acceptance of this church family. Individuals who have such a history should discuss their desire to work with preschoolers, children, or youth with one of the pastoral staff prior to engaging in any volunteer service.
Providing a Safe Environment
1. All volunteers must observe the "two non-related adult" rule. This rule requires that adults are never alone with children or youth without another adult partner present.
2. All classroom and office doors have windows in the doors to allow visibility into the classroom or office at all times.
3. All church staff and regular volunteers who work with children or youth will complete the training that is recommended and offered in regard to the nature of child abuse; and, in regard to carrying out our policies to prevent sexual abuse.
4. Pertinent state law information concerning child abuse reporting obligations will be posted in the church office.
5. Any suspected incident of child and/or sexual abuse will be reported to the authorities.
Thank you for your interest in Calvary’s safety. Should you have questions or concerns, please
contact us at 575-522-7900 or email us at email@example.com.