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Is Truth Stranger than Fiction: Who is Bob Crawford and why is he speaking at BJU’s Conference on Sexual Abuse?

“Now that the trial is over, my brother has indicated plans to host a convention of abuse victims.  Will you be going to that?”

“I haven’t heard anything about this convention.”

Neither Brother Jerry, nor Gloria, ever called me.

“Do you know if this convention is happening?” I asked Larry.

“No, and that’s why I’m calling you.” he said, “I would like you to write an article about this convention, if it happens.  I have a feeling nothing is going to come of it.  I don’t think anyone is going to be convinced to call the Sheriff.  Or help with recovery. Or anything.  I think it’s all P.R. . .”

from Christian School Confidential

                                                                                                  

A convention is held on the premises of a bible college/christian school where the administrators  have been accused of covering up the molestations committed by their former pastor.  It is organized by the daughter of America’s favorite televangelist, Brother Jerry, in order to deflect attention from their sphere of the IFB.  The idea that someone working within the ranks of the IFB to gather information to use against victims and deflect attention is difficult to prove in real life, but great material for a novel.

Is truth stranger than fiction?  Bob Jones University, a college that has been accused of giving intellectual ammunition and cover for abusive pastors and church workers, is hosting a conference about sexual abuse.  None of the speakers are familiar to me, although one of them has suddenly become a person of interest for those of us following such matters.

Rev. Bob Crawford, according to the website, ‘served as an assistant and investigator for Chace Campbell (P.A.) Law Firm since 2008, a position in which he regularly advocates for physically and sexually abused children. He has also volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem in Greenville County, S.C., since 1997. In his 37 years as a pastor, he has ministered to many individuals and families affected by sexual abuse and has developed a heart to love and help those who are hurting.

What is not mentioned on the website is Bob Crawford also served as the pastor for Bensalem Baptist Church in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.  If you read Jeri Massi’s Schizophrenic Christianity, you will remember that is this is the church which introduced Massi to fundamentalism.  A bus drove through her complex and her older sister called them up.  Next thing you know, two men on visitation showed up at their door and Massi would soon be knocking on doors like the rest of them!

Massi has much praise for Bob Crawford as being well educated with a Masters of Divinity  and doing graduate work at the Westminster Theological Seminary.  She writes: “For the first year or two at Bensalem Baptist, my Christianity was idyllic.”

So what does she think now of her former pastor, Bob Crawford?  Is Bob Jones University’s conference in good hands?  A brief google search of “Jeri Massi” +”Bob Crawford” isn’t yielding much.  Nor is a casual glance at her web page.

I can tell you that sources who brought this to my attention were counseled by Crawford regarding sexual abuse.  They don’t speak too highly of him.  Because he did work as Guardian ad Litem  his word was often respected over a social worker because he was ‘independent’.  My sources also reveal that he was responsible for sending some unfortunate children to Hephzibah House, the abusive home profiled on Anderson Cooper.

Instead of constantly bumping up her post ‘I answer my accuser#2: Camille Lewis’, which never seems to get updated with new info, why not address this question?  Tell us a bit about Rev. Bob Crawford.  Did he ever recommend Hephzibah House to parents or state authorities?  Has he changed  his tune as to what he regards as abusive behavior? Or, does he back up the discipline practices currently endorsed by people like Michael Pearl?

How ironic that Jeri Massi brags of her association with survivors of Hephzibah House!  Don’t you think they might deserve some answers?

First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana retakes the lead in the game of fundamental scandals!

The local news source for Hammond, Indiana reports that Jack Schaap, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, was removed from his post because of
“a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.”

Hammond Baptist dismisses pastor for ‘sin’.

No details from the mainstream media about the ‘sin’. Not to worry! As always, Facebook goes where the MSM fears to tread. A Facebook group, DoRightHylesAnderson has just been formed: https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/210248275769396/

Someone from the church allegedly found a cell phone with a picture of Pastor Jack in a compromising position with a minor. Hence, the police involvement spoken of in this article:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/07/31/hammond-pastor-dismissed-for-improper-relationship-with-young-woman/

First Baptist of Hammond, Indiana once had the reputation as the World’s Largest Baptist Church. This would eventually be eclipsed by Willow Creek and a number of other megachurches across the country.

Jack Hyles was a pioneer in fundamentalist sin and salvation, having built the ‘world’s largest church’ and creating the strategy for fundamentalist cover ups. Hyles story has been recounted in books ranging from The Wizard of God by Victor Nischick and Fundamental Seduction by Voyle Glover.

Dave Hyles, his son, developed a reputation for seducing girls in his Christian school and was fingered for the death of infant, Brent Stevens. Jack was accused of having an improper relationship with his secretary. The fundamentalist world didn’t seem to have a problem throwing Dave under the proverbial bus, as it were.

Bob Gray, the late pastor of my former church, Trinity Baptist of Jacksonville, Florida, was a good friend of Hyles. A number of Trinity members I spoke with didn’t hesitate to condemn Dave Hyles. Possibly to show they didn’t have their heads in the sand. (“I don’t know about the accusations against Brother Hyles, but David definitely did it!”)

Many of those who defended Bob Gray after Gray’s arrest for child molestation didn’t bat an eye when it came to trashing Dave. However, once the accusations moved up the fundamental food chain to Hyles and Gray, they started to get nervous.

Schaap took over after the death of Hyles. He became known for preaching wild sermons that sounded like Al Bundy had traded in his booze for a bible. He preached women were sinning by ‘letting themselves go’ and basically preached against abuse victims seeking accountability. Now, we know why!

David Gibbs, official lawyer for scandal ridden fundamentalist churches, is flying in for damage control.