Former Baptist Pastor Didn't Know about Abuse Allegations, Widow

Eyewitness News
December 21, 2006

Memphis, Tenn. (AP) - The widow of long-time Memphis pastor Adrian Rogers said the prominent Southern Baptist leader knew nothing about sexual abuse allegations against a former minister at Bellevue Baptist Church.

Bellevue, a 30-thousand-member Southern Baptist congregation, announced Monday that minister Paul Williams has been placed on paid leave.

The church is currently investigating Williams for a "moral failure" 17 years ago. The church didn't provide other details on the allegations.

Joyce Rogers said that her husband, who died in 2005, had no knowledge of any indiscretion by Williams.

Rogers, a three-time former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was the church's pastor for 32 years.

Rogers' widow said that if he had known about the allegations, he would have addressed them immediately.

Rogers' successor, Steve Gaines, has been criticized because Williams told him about the incident in June.

Some church members are calling for Gaines to resign.


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