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Pastor Finds '97 Response Regrettable _ Concord Monitor

Pastor Finds '97 Response Regrettable _ Concord Monitor

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Published by fourbzboysmom
Back up copies of news articles. Story of Tina Anderson: raped and impregnated by IFB church member. Made to confess her role in a "compromising situation" by the IFB pastor in front of congregation as part of church discipline meeting. Sent away to have baby, forced to give baby up for adoption; allowed to choose from list of families provided by the pastor. Rapist finally charged and convicted 14 years after the crime. Later Bob Jones University would enter the news story because leadership insisted Chuck Phelps did nothing wrong and allowed him to be on the board.
Back up copies of news articles. Story of Tina Anderson: raped and impregnated by IFB church member. Made to confess her role in a "compromising situation" by the IFB pastor in front of congregation as part of church discipline meeting. Sent away to have baby, forced to give baby up for adoption; allowed to choose from list of families provided by the pastor. Rapist finally charged and convicted 14 years after the crime. Later Bob Jones University would enter the news story because leadership insisted Chuck Phelps did nothing wrong and allowed him to be on the board.

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Published by: fourbzboysmom on May 21, 2014
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08/25/2015

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5/21/2014CONCORD: Pastor finds '97 response regrettable | Concord Monitohttp://www.concordmonitor.com/news/4702325-95/trinitybaptistchurch-ernestwillis-tinaanderson?print=true1/3
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Concord Monitor 
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Pastor finds '97 responseregrettable
By BEN LEUBSDORFMonitor staff ednesday, June 16, 2010The pastor of Trinity Baptist Church expressed regret yesterday for aspects of how the Concordchurch responded to the alleged rape of a 15-year-old parishioner in 1997, including having the girlstand before the congregation and allowing the accused rapist to remain a church member for yearsafterward.The Rev. Brian Fuller, who became Trinity's senior pastor in 2007, said the church followed state lawand reported the crime to the authorities. But Fuller said he and other church leaders are conducting aprocess of self-examination to determine exactly what happened in 1997 and if the congregation livedup to its Christian mission."Our desire at Trinity Baptist Church is to display the love of Christ and mercy, and that is what webelieve should be the signet for our identification as followers of Christ," Fuller said. "The mostdisappointing, hurtful thing in all of this has not been that we're getting bad press. It's not been that thestory just keeps going and we want it to stop. The most disappointing thing is that our love andcompassion toward people has been questioned."Tina Anderson, now 28, said she was raped twice and impregnated by Ernest Willis, now 51, in 1997.illis, a former real estate agent who is charged with two counts of rape and two counts of having sexith a minor, is expected in Concord District Court today for arraignment.nderson told the police that then-pastor Chuck Phelps had her stand before the congregation as heannounced she was pregnant and read a letter she had been ordered to write, asking forgiveness for "allowing a compromising situation to occur" that led to "immorality."
 
5/21/2014CONCORD: Pastor finds '97 response regrettable | Concord Monitohttp://www.concordmonitor.com/news/4702325-95/trinitybaptistchurch-ernestwillis-tinaanderson?print=true2/3
The Monitor generally doesn't name victims of sexual assault but has made an exception atnderson's request.Phelps helped Anderson move to Colorado, where she delivered her baby, and Willis remained achurch member until he was disciplined in another matter and expelled about seven years later."We have heartfelt regret for the victim, that she ever stood in front of our congregation, as well asabsolute regret and . . . disgust that the perpetrator remained so long in our congregation," Fuller said. Soul-searchingFuller came to Trinity Baptist Church in 1998 as a youth pastor and took over for Phelps as senior pastor in 2007. Phelps is now senior pastor at a church in Indianapolis.The church at 80 Clinton St. sees 900 to 950 worshippers attend Sunday morning services eacheek, Fuller said. It's an independent Baptist congregation that isn't affiliated with a denomination or convention.Fuller said he is trying to piece together exactly what happened in 1997, one year before he arrived,and is speaking with church members who were there at the time. He said it appears church leadersproperly reported the situation to the authorities and didn't intend to cover up the alleged crime.Phelps said he called the Concord police twice in October 1997 to report the rape after he learned of it, as well as contacting the Division for Children, Youth and Families. The Concord police havedeclined to discuss details of their 1997 investigation but said it was hampered because Andersoncouldn't be located.But beyond the legalities, Fuller said, the church must examine whether it fulfilled its Christian chargeo promote love, compassion, mercy and justice.In a sermon delivered to the congregation May 30, 10 days after Willis was arrested, Fuller said theprocess of considering criticism was difficult but necessary."We are being accused of not showing mercy to a victim, not showing real justice to a criminal. Theseare heavy charges to the people of God," Fuller said in a recording on the church's website. "And Iant you to know, as your pastor, that I take them very seriously. . . . I want to consider everythingcarefully and prayerfully and humbly."Fuller said in an interview yesterday it is too soon to know for certain what happened 13 years ago, buthe church's mission is clear."We desire to show the love of Christ. Jesus Christ demonstrated love and respect to women . . . andhe also showed incredible compassion and protection for children, and those two things have to berue of any church that calls themselves Christian," Fuller said. "If something happened like this today,

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