Pedophiles in the Church

I have recently discovered and been reading two blogs by the same family who have been dealing with a terrible tragedy.

They discovered after decades that a beloved Preacher Husband/Father was a practicing pedophile all along.

They share lots of good information about detecting pedophiles, boundaries that need to be set up, and how the church can/should respond, especially about protecting our children.

Here is a quote from Jimmy Hinton’s blog

“Repentance needs to be proved. A repentant pedophile will perform deeds by demanding that he not be near children again. A repentant pedophile doesn’t ask for pictures (no matter how innocent they seem) of any children. A repentant pedophile will renounce any internet use for the rest of his life, since pornography and fantasy drive them to their core. A repentant pedophile will not happily accept a role as minister where people now look to him as a spiritual leader of old and, yes even very young, people. A repentant pedophile will make sure that his presence is not traumatizing to survivors of child sex abuse in the congregation. And if it is, he will gladly find another church and not put up a fight. A repentant pedophile will not ask church members if he can babysit their kids. Please beware of these things and let’s work together to make our churches safe.”

Clara Hinton was the wife of a pedophile for 40 years and only looking back, do all the red-flags appear obvious.  She is courageously telling her story in attempts to help and save others.  It’s difficult to read.  It will make you cry and make you sick.  But the family is on a crusade (in a good sense) to educate people and especially churches about the dangers that exist. They will sound alarmist to some, especially because of all that they have been through, but if you love your children, you should listen.  If you are a preacher, elder, or youth minister, you should listen.

Finding a Healing Place by Clara Hinton

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5 thoughts on “Pedophiles in the Church

  1. I think Jimmy was at Harding around the same time as I; I knew of him anyway, and I think he might have gone to the same church as my brother-in-law in Memphis. I found out about their blogs and have been reading them as well. To be honest, I don’t really like the way everyone has now become suspect in my mind, as I look for those red flags Clara discovered too late. Even yesterday an innocent comment made during the sermon was turned over in my mind a few times. However, if looking out for the kids in this way helps us prevent a tragedy in our families, is it worth it maybe? I don’t know, I’m still trying to decide. 🙂 I might be viewed as the other extreme from the alarmist, maybe too lax with my family’s safety here on earth.

  2. Thank you for pointing others to their sites. I have come to love those two. Theirs is a message needing to be heard. In our case, the perversion ended up in two murders. These people–Clara and Jimmy–can help open our eyes!

  3. I dont think we can be too lax. I reported an incident that was ignored (excused away by the guilty party). A decade later a formal complaint to higher authorities within the church has resulted in dozens of cases of abuse by this guy coming to light. And thats by families still IN that church. I imagine many victims have left and have no idea that it’s now being investigated. If only I had made more fuss… but I was a victim of his bullying too, and a victim of patriarchalism.

  4. I am usually on the alert, but try not to act out my fears, I try to be careful without being obvious. but yeah, it’s hard not to become paranoid. I think the best part is educating our kids. reminding them about their bodies being private, and keeping communication open

  5. uggh, i am afraid that’s too common, Wendy. sad!
    It’s tough to balance grace with safety. I heard a good sermon yesterday and read something about the need for risk in evangelism, living like Jesus, but at the same time, if we aren’t protective of the least of these, how will Jesus think of that?

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