Statement on Stine Investigation

In late May, our offices received an email of resignation from Bob Stine who was at that time the president of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention. He informed us that he also intended to resign as pastor of the Midvale Baptist Church on the following Sunday. At the time, we had no knowledge of the underlying reason for this resignation. However, a few days later we were informed of the sexual abuse investigation and the shutdown of Kids Best Child Care run by Midvale. We confirmed that all known allegations of abuse had been reported to the authorities and were informed that the church had placed Mr. Stine on an indefinite leave of absence. We were unaware that any dynamics related to Mr. Stine’s presence, preaching, or leading at the church had shifted in the past several weeks.

On Monday, July 31, we became aware of the news story regarding the sexual abuse accusations against Pastor Bob Stine of the Midvale Baptist Church in Madison, Wisconsin. We are heartbroken by these allegations and pray that the truth is known in full and justice is pursued. We likewise urge any individuals with relevant information to participate proactively in the investigative process by reaching out to the Madison Police Department as they conduct their investigation.

While it is true that each church within the Southern Baptist Convention and our state convention – including Midvale Baptist – operates autonomously, the Messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention have come together to authorize a broad system of reform within our Convention. This system includes a Ministry Check website which will serve to resource churches by making them aware of credible allegations against SBC ministers and leaders, and a process by which a church’s cooperation with the Convention can be assessed.

The Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention stands for the safety and care of all children and supports the reform the Messengers have passed. We have taken part in a number of workshops and discussions related to this reform and are committed to participating in these processes. We likewise encourage others to do the same.

As part of this reform, an independent and confidential hotline for reporting abuse allegations or mishandling has been established, run by a trauma-informed team of intake specialists.  Anyone with relevant information is encouraged to reach out. All survivor information is held confidentially with the team and protected. Information can be provided to the hotline phone number at 202-864-5578. While the SBC is still in the process of establishing each part of this system, this intake process is the first step in any additional steps which may be needed.

We are heartbroken for those affected by abuse and believe firmly that our God is glorified when we seek justice. Isaiah 1:17 reminds us, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.” We commit ourselves to this command.