A Response to Recent Media Reports

This week reporters published the apologies of two Southern Baptist leaders who regret their previous support of C.J. Mahaney. C.J. formerly served as president of Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC) and now serves as the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville (SGCL).

As pastors who have known and worked with C.J.—most of us for decades—we unreservedly commend his character and support him in his role as a pastor. He is a man of personal integrity who is unswervingly committed to the gospel of Christ, and we are honored to serve with him.

As for the implications in these articles, C.J. has denied before, and continues to deny, ever being involved in the cover-up of sexual abuse. After seven years of scrutiny and countless hours of investigation, no credible evidence has ever been produced implicating C.J. in any kind of cover-up. To the contrary, as far back as 2009 C.J. addressed all SGC pastors on the imperatives to (a) report abuse to the appropriate authorities, and (b) provide compassionate care to survivors of abuse. The implication that he was involved in anything like this was patently false when originally suggested and remains so today, no matter how many times it is wrongly repeated.

SGC has attempted to communicate as many details as possible and appropriate concerning these accusations, particularly in its statement of February 2018, which SGC has affirmed again today. Anyone interested in the details of these matters should refer to these statements.

Finally, the churches of SGC, including ours, continue to take these matters with the utmost seriousness. We have a common church governance that provides accountability for pastors and recourse for survivors. For a number of years now, SGC has provided its churches, free of charge, a comprehensive safety system designed by experts in preventing abuse. In our own local church, sexual abuse training is a pre-requisite for anyone desiring to serve in children’s ministry, and all of our pastors have completed this training. We grieve for every survivor of abuse and are continuously seeking to ensure the safety of every member of our church community.