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Plano, Texas 75093 Dear Neal, Almost 18 years ago you officiated my wedding. Sadly, I now find myself conflicting with you and your boss, Jack Graham. I’m writing to again ask for your help, and to question why we would be on opposite sides of an issue that the rest of the country universally agrees upon. My father-in-law, Allen Jordan, while defending John’s crimes, did share some details about John Langworthy with me. Here’s what I know from him, the victims involved, and law enforcement officials: John Langworthy was an employee of Prestonwood Baptist Church in 1989. In that year, it came to light that he had been molesting several boys for years. These boys were between the ages of 15-17 when the sexual contact occurred. When church leadership found out about his behavior, John was quickly fired from employment. He moved back home to Mississippi within days of being fired. No Prestonwood employees, deacons or victims contacted the police. Texas state law describes John’s behavior as a felony crime. State law also required at the time that all citizens report suspected child abuse, including victims of the ages involved in this case. Prestonwood used outside counsel to advise them on the situation in 1989. If any of this is incorrect, please contact me immediately. We want to make sure all the facts are correct. Two years ago my wife contacted you to ask for your help. She had learned that Langworthy had spent the last 20 years working with kids. The obvious fear is that he probably continued his criminal behavior after he left Dallas. Psychologists, criminologists, and common sense tell us that child molesters like Langworthy usually do not stop their behavior, even those who are caught, prosecuted and convicted. Amy wanted John to face justice for the crimes he had committed, and hoped that his prosecution would help any past victims come forward and receive healing. We assumed that once you and others at the church learned of Langworthy’s employment, you would offer law enforcement more details about his dismissal, hopefully resulting in his prosecution for child sex crimes in Texas. More importantly, a public acknowledgement of his criminal behavior by Prestonwood leaders would result in more victims coming forward. As a point of fact, Langworthy’s indictment last year in Mississippi gave one Prestonwood victim the strength to tell his family for the first time that he had been molested by Langworthy. He had never
told anyone, including the Prestonwood staff. If there is one man who has suffered silently for 20 years, are there more? Mike Buster responded publicly in 2011 that the church “handled it.” Jack has recently preached that the proper response to questions about his decisions is to stand silent before his “accusers.” These responses are no different than corrupt businessmen, adulterous politicians, or pious football coaches. Instead of answering straightforward questions with straightforward answers, we have only heard phrases of emotional distraction followed by long periods of silence. To your credit, one of your emailed responses two years ago did include the phrase, “we all wish it had been handled differently.” But you have been silent since that communication, both to us privately and publicly. Your silence and the silence of the church is tacit consent for the facts above, and serves as damning testimony to Prestonwood’s mishandling of the situation. More specifically, if Prestonwood “handled it” properly in 1989, why not reach out to the Dallas Police Department, make a statement, and end the controversy? Or more boldly, make a statement from the pulpit that describes what decisions were made in 1989, and let your members decide? By decrying Langworthy’s criminal behavior and publicly encouraging his victims to contact the police, you and the church would be done of the controversy, and your name would be cleared of a scandalous legacy. It confounds logic that you, Jack and others would dig in your heels on such a subject as child sexual abuse. You risk losing the credibility you’ve built over a lifetime. I am still hopeful that there is a part of you that remembers being called by God to speak the truth. I’m hopeful that you make the choice to do the right thing, and clear your name of any lingering doubt. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life wondering if there was more you could have done. I have one final request. We have heard rumors that Prestonwood senior staff members are describing my wife as imbalanced, unstable, or mentally ill. If there is any truth to this rumor, I would ask that you personally put a stop to it. At best, describing Amy in this way is laughable foolishness. At worse, it is insulting, slanderous, and sinful. Amy’s goal has been to help those who were hurt by a criminal sex offender and prevent him from hurting anyone else. Her methods have been to publicly speak the truth. How ironic that your colleagues would describe her as unstable. I welcome your response. Sincerely,