CBS News [New York NY]
June 14, 2022
By Nikki Battiste
Delegates from the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, met Tuesday to choose new leaders and confront shocking allegations of sexual abuse.
A recent 288-page report by independent firm Guidepost Solutions alleged that the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee was “stonewalling” survivors of sexual abuse. After the report, Southern Baptist leaders released a secret database listing accused pastors and church staff spanning decades.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Pastor Rolland Slade, outgoing chair of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, responded to survivors: “We need to fix what we’ve done. We need to apologize. We need to be grateful for what the report has exposed so that we can correct it.”
David Pittman, one of those survivors, told CBS News that the music minister at his Southern Baptist church in Georgia raped him repeatedly, beginning when he was 12 in the 1980s.
“It started with sleepovers,” he said. “And you would have two or three or six boys, that’s when the abuse would take place.”
He said Frankie Wiley sexually abused him until he was 15.
“It would be oral, digital insertion, you name it, it occurred,” he said. “I froze.”
More than two decades later, Pittman reported Wiley to police, but the statute of limitations had expired so he says he then told numerous church leaders.
“I was told, unceremoniously, ‘Be quiet. Go away. There’s nothing we can do for you. But we would like to pray for you,'” he said.
In a 2019 email that Pittman provided to CBS News, Wiley did confess to sexually assaulting five boys, which was corroborated by the independent report.
Yet, Wiley is still employed at a church, playing the keyboard at Sunday’s service at Georgia’s Trinity Community Church, which recently cut ties with the Southern Baptist Convention.
When asked what he would say to parishioners at that church, Pittman said: “Wiley is a professional liar. He is a sexual predator. Your children are not safe. Please keep them as far away from him as possible.”
CBS News reached out to Wiley and Trinity Community Church, but did not hear back. Wiley has never been charged with a crime.