NOTE: wish I had this notice earlier to put up. It might have brought some extra people to this event, which is happening today.
Also, for the record, what brings extra attention to events like this is to visit a meeting of the city council prior to your event. Place notices inside the boxes of each city council member. Personal experience shows that actually brings more attention than press releases to the media.
Here is the release from SNAP:
Please try to join us for this important event! Your presence will make a difference, it shows people that sexual abuse is a crime and people want it to stop.
As trial approaches, clergy sex abuse victims beg witnesses & victims to come forward
Group fears there are more who have information & want church officials to do outreach
Protestant minister was accused of sexual abuse at least once before, SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will emphatically urge anyone who
--- was hurt by an abusive Baptist pastor (who faces a criminal trial next month) to come forward, and call police,
--- saw or suspected his crimes to also call law enforcement immediately.
They'll also urge
--- church officials to beg those with information to step forward, so that he can be successfully prosecuted and kept away from kids, and
--- the Jacksonville Baptist Association to use their considerable resources to warn others about the accused predator.
TODAY, Tuesday, April 28, 1:30 p.m.
Outside Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist church, 1118 W. Beaver St. (corner of Cleveland St.), in Jacksonville, FL
Two individuals - a Missouri man who was molested as a child by a priest and who is the long time national director of a nationwide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) and a Jacksonville woman, Tiffany Thigpen Croft, who was victimized by the pastor and writes a blog called 'lets stop pastor darrell gilyard together'
In January 2008, Rev. Darrell Gilyard resigned as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL months after a woman had filed a complaint that he had sent sexually explicit text messages to her middle school daughter. (Later, a second victim with even more solid evidence surfaced). A criminal trial on those charges is set for next month. Gilyard has pleaded not guilty.
Documents of the text messages between the pastor and teenage church members were obtained by media, many of which to be found extremely graphic.
Court records show the church's disciplinary committee report, stating "that Pastor Gilyard has acted irresponsibly through his interaction with these teenage girls and has put his ministry and Shiloh Metropolitan Church at risk both spiritually and financially."
The police investigation shows there were allegations that Gilyard inappropriately touched one teenage girl during a counseling session. Gilyard defended his role as counselor, claiming "it wasn't all bad" since he got the girl to get better grades.
The victims feel that this is no time to be complacent, and that current and former church members and staff who have info about Gilyard's crimes have a moral and civic duty to break their silence so that he will be effectively prosecuted, convicted, jailed and kept away from youngsters.
The victims will also call, for the first time, on Jacksonville Baptist Association's churches and leaders to do outreach too, since some abused by Gilyard may well have joined other Baptist churches, and to show children who've been sexually assaulted in Baptist congregations that church leaders take such crimes seriously.
SNAP is a confidential, independent Chicago-based support group dedicated to protecting the vulnerable and healing the wounded.
A native of Palatka, FL, Gilyard had been pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church for 15 years.
The group is also urging the public to attend an upcoming screening of a new documentary on clergy sex abuse called "All God's Children." It will be shown Thursday, May 14th, at 7pm at the Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 2001 University Boulevard West in Jacksonville.
David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell), Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688),
Tiffany Croft (904-962-5970)