Missouri Pastor Indicted for Sex Abuse Then Worked at Church for 5 More Months
March 13, 2020
New details on the abuse case at First Baptist Greenwood and a timeline of events based on news reports. More questions are raised about the role of the newest Southwest Baptist University trustee, Mike Roy.
Shawn Davies was under indictment for sexual abuse in Kentucky as of May 18, 2005 according to court records. Shawn was a pastor on staff at First Baptist Greenwood, MO and later convicted of abusing 7+ boys at the church.
He was not fired by the church until October 2005 - five months following the indictment.
Here's the timeline that we've pieced together after reviewing dozens of news articles:
2001 - Sheriff in Kentucky begins first known investigation into sexual abuse by Shawn Davies according to court records. Abuse occurred in Davies' role as pastor.
August 2003 - Shawn Davies is hired by First Baptist Greenwood / church senior pastor, Mike Roy. Abuse incidents at First Baptist Greenwood begin this same month.
May 18, 2005 - Shawn is INDICTED in Kentucky on sexual abuse charges.
July 2005 - 14-year old victim who had been doing community service at the First Baptist Greenwood comes forward to police to report that Shawn Davies abused him. According to news reports, Mike Roy is aware of this and talks to deacons about it. (We aren't sure, but it seems like the church members may have been unaware of allegations at this time.)
October 2005 - Shawn is fired from First Baptist Greenwood after the porn is discovered on his computer. This is at least the second time the church looked for porn. They didn't find any the first time. It is worth noting that the VICTIM'S TESTIMONY from the July police report was discounted by the church who did not act to remove Shawn Davies on the basis of the victim's report of abuse.
December 2005 - Shawn is jailed in Scott County, Kentucky for sex crimes.
May 2006 - KCTV-5 in Kansas City reports that authorities believe Davies abused 2 MORE BOYS at FBC Greenwood between July 2005 when Mike Roy learned of abuse allegations at Greenwood and October 2005 when Davies was fired. Did Mike Roy know that Shawn had been indicted for sex abuse in Kentucky in May 2005?
The Associated Baptist Press (now Baptist News Global) reports that police had to seek a search warrant in order to gain access to the church/crime scene.
"This is quite a large case," Leslie told reporters. "We're looking at some of these victims being victimized numerous times. I would really like some information from [Roy] in regard to this incident."
June 2006 - Shawn is charged in Missouri with 25 counts of crimes against children. According to the Georgetown News-Graphic in KY (January 21, 2007), "According to court record, some of the [Greenwood] victims said Davies touched their genitals, performed oral sex on them, gave them alcohol and choked them until they were unconscious."
FBC Greenwood Senior Pastor, Mike Roy left the church.
FBC Greenwood Associate Pastor, Bobby Albers resigned shortly thereafter. By September 2008, he had landed a promotion to senior pastor and was hired by Celebration Baptist Church in Kansas where he now goes by the name Dr. James Albers.
- FBC Greenwood Board Member, Lee Orth is quoted by Associated Baptist Press confirming that Mike Roy would not speak to authorities, "It was mishandled
," Orth said of Roy's decision not to talk. "Mike felt bad because it happened on his watch. He felt bad about that." Georgetown, KY newspaper also reported that Roy declined to speak to authorities
January 18, 2007 - Shawn Davies is sentenced to 20 years for child sex abuse in Missouri. He pleads guilty and begins serving a 20 year concurrent sentence for crimes in Kentucky and Missouri.
TWELVE YEARS LATER....
July 2019 - Shawn Davies is released early. Takes up residence near Branson, Missouri as a registered sex offender. His address in Reeds Spring, Missouri is a stones' throw from Keystone Baptist Church (Google map link).
October 2019 - Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Nominating Committee nominates and the convention appoints Mike Roy as trustee of Southwest Baptist University (SBU). Southwest Baptist University objected to the Nominating Commitee's role and provided two sets of alternative trustees both of which were rejected by the MBC. MBC gave SBU an ultimatum and timeframe in which to make MBC the sole member of the corporation (SBU) giving it unprecedented control over decision-making such as removal of trustees. Note: SBU's objections were unrelated to concerns over Mike Roy's involvement at FBC Greenwood.
Sidebar Regarding SBU vs MBC Dispute : The Rally has received a number of messages from people stating that SBU never wanted Mike Roy as trustee. Those associated with the Rally were unaware of the ongoing dispute between SBU and MBC over the appointment or dismissal of trustees. ,SBU did not object to Mike Roy on the basis of the mishandling of abuse at First Baptist Greenwood. SBU President, Eric Turner, said that they were unaware of these concerns until February 21, 2020, the date of the first For Such A Time As This Rally post. The Rally has since learned that there has been much, much written about this dispute - particularly centering around the October 2019 Missouri Baptist Convention Annual Meeting. There have been a few particularly noteworthy quotes from MBC leadership.
Chair of the MBC's Nominating Committee and pastor of First Baptist Church - Bethany, MO, Ryan Kunce, said at the October Annual Meeting that the Nominating Committee voted for those they “believe will best serve Missouri Baptists and will hold our entities accountable.” Isn't it ironic that this included an individual at the center of Missouri's largest clergy abuse case? Where is the accountability for Mike Roy?
January 2020 - Southwest Baptist University installs Mike Roy as trustee.
February 21, 2020 - For Such A Time As This Rally posts old news links outlining police concerns about Mike Roy's lack of cooperation and action in the FBC Greenwood / Shawn Davies abuse situation and notes Mike Roy's recent appointment as trustee to a Missouri Baptist Convention university.
February 24, 2020 - Southwest Baptist University trustees meet in emergency session. SBU president, Eric Turner, says that they had just learned about concerns over Mike Roy's past. Despite SBU trustees' ability to remove a fellow trustee based on their charter, they chose not to act by removing Roy based on the mountain of information available, but to investigate the situation.
February 24, 2020
- Missouri Baptist Convention publishes a news article in The Pathway
in which they ignore 12 - 14 years of news reports and state that allegations of Mike Roy not cooperating with police were raised by For Such A Time As This Rally founder, Cheryl Summers. The Pathway
declared these allegations "untrue.' The Pathway does not mention the Rally and individually targets one member of the Rally.
February 26, 2020 - Several Rally members along with SNAP representatives travel to Missouri Baptist Convention headquarters in Jefferson City to hold a press conference outside the Baptist Building. For Such A Time As This Rally and SNAP representatives called for an Attorney General investigation into sex abuse in the Missouri Baptist Convention similar to the one conducted of the Catholic Church in 2019.
While there, Cheryl Summers asked to speak with Don Hinkle, editor of The Pathway. The receptionist said Don would come down. After waiting 30 minutes, Don's assistant came down. She said that Don was not in the building, and that she couldn't call him because he left behind his cell phone. Cheryl hand-delivered copies of the prior news reports which initially raised concerns about Mike Roy's lack of cooperation in 2005 - 2007. Don's assistant said that it wasn't Don's idea to write the article. She referred Cheryl to MBC Communication Director, Rob Phillips. With two other Rally members as witnesses, Cheryl asked Rob Phillips if Don Hinkle wrote the article.
Phillips told the three Rally members that "What Don did was took information that came from [attorney] James Freeman who represented the church and represented Mike Roy and he took statements from other people who were on SBU’s Board - that’s my understanding on how he put that together."
Cheryl asked Phillips, "Why would you, or Don or John Yeats or Mike Roy’s attorney decide to say that I came up with those allegations? Allegations that have been in the public domain for 12 plus years?"
Phillips said he would need to go back and read what James posted," (referring to the article ostensibly written by Pathway editor, Don Hinkle). He went on to recommend that James Freeman was in the phone book and could be called.
Phillips became quite agitated, and wanted to end the conversation. When Cheryl extended her hand to shake his, he refused and shouted, "Get out of this building!" as he walked off.
Baptist News Global provided a summary of the situation to date here. The Word & Way also said of MBC's decision to attribute allegations to Rally founder, Cheryl Summers, "the group didn’t create the accusations about Roy but instead pointed out the allegations already reported more than a decade earlier by various news outlets."
March 6, 2020 - Having not received answers during her personal visit to the Baptist Building, Rally founder, Cheryl Summers, reached out to Don Hinkle, Rob Phillips and MBC Executive Director John Yeats via email.
An excerpt from her email to them:
"No one has explained to me why The Pathway would publish an article naming me as an individual stating that I leveled false allegations against Mike Roy. I assume it is because an organization I founded and am closely connected with, For Such A Time As This Rally, published the information about the Missouri Baptist Convention's appointment of Mike Roy as a trustee at Southwest Baptist University along with links from numerous news articles outlining the concerns expressed by police over what is said to have been Mr. Roy's lack of cooperation with the investigation into abuse perpetrated by Shawn Davies.
However, in the article published by The Pathway --
*No one chose to correctly attribute the allegations to the lead detective and church officials who originally made the allegations in 2006 - 2007. *No one attributed the allegations to the For Such A Time As This Rally on whose Facebook page the links to 2006-2007 articles containing the police and church official allegations were posted. *The allegations were attributed to an individual with whom The Pathway and the Missouri Baptist Convention had no contact and an individual who had made no public statements.
While there is a lengthy quote from James Freeman in Don's article, the specific portion that says "false allegations by Cheryl Summers" is not a James Freeman quote, so it is unclear why Rob Phillips would tell me to call Mike Roy's attorney, James Freeman for an explanation. I did ask Rob if James Freeman had ghost written the entire article. Rob said that was 'a rather silly thing to say.' "
There has been no response from Missouri Baptist Convention officials.
So many questions remain.
How could Missouri Baptist officials have completely forgotten about what has been called the biggest clergy abuse scandal in Missouri - something that occurred so recently?
If they didn't forget, how is that they do not take issue with a senior pastor who provided executive leadership at First Baptist Greenwood allowing an indicted pedophile to remain on staff as a minister for 5 months following the indictment?
Why is it worth the risk to MBC and SBU?
Why is it worth the pain caused to survivors?
Why is keeping Mike Roy as trustee worth the doubt that would be raised in the mind of a victim of sexual assault at SBU?
If Mike Roy "cooperate[d] with the police in whatever they asked for," as he told Baptist Press on February 26, 2020, why did police have to seek a search warrant to gain access to the church/crime scene? If your house was robbed, would you make police seek a search warrant before coming inside to dust for fingerprint?
Why is attorney James Freeman in such close contact with Missouri Baptist Convention officials more than 12 years after the FBC Greenwood case was closed?
When asked why The Pathway attributed concerns about Mike Roy's handling of abuse at FBC Greenwood, why would the Communication Director at Missouri Baptist Convention tell Rally founder, Cheryl Summers, to call James Freeman?
James Freeman told Baptist Press a few weeks ago that Mike Roy had "fully cooperated" with police. Then why a search warrant? During the active investigation, why were police publicly begging for information from Mike Roy?
Listening to your lawyer is not a rationalization for a pastor to mishandle abuse. Making sure your church doesn't get sued should not be the goal.
Why wasn't anyone connected to Missouri Baptist Convention churches tracking the release of a pedophile who preyed on 13+ children in multiple SBC churches?
Where were convention officials at Shawn Davies' parole hearing?
Where was Mike Roy at Shawn Davies' parole hearing?
Why wouldn't SBU trustees simply exercise the ability they have in the charter and bylaws to remove a figure that is sure to bring up considerable pain for survivors and considerable doubt for future sexual assault victims at SBU? SBU's website says,
"SBU takes all allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence seriously, initiating investigations and informing complainants of their rights, options and available resources under Title IX. We remain serious about our commitment to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students and employees, particularly victims of sexual harassment and sexual violence."
When the first victim at FBC Greenwood came forward in July 2005, the FBC leadership with Mike Roy at the helm did not take the allegations seriously enough to terminate Shawn Davies. Doesn't that fact stand at odds with SBU's stated objective to take allegations of sexual violence seriously?
Doesn't this situation call for courageous action? Even if. Even if it will be unpopular because of the political in-fighting in the MBC? Even if friends of Mike Roy who can't wrap their heads around his role at FBC Greenwood won't like it?
Where is MBC's concern and care for survivors of abuse within MBC churches?
It seems like there is plenty of money to continue paying attorneys as long as 12 years after the abuse cases were closed. Why not spend that money on a fund for counseling and trauma care for survivors of abuse?
Care for survivors is about more than a hurriedly published admonishment to use the Caring Well curriculum. Where is the action? James 1:27 tells us, "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress." Widows and orphans are the vulnerable among us even when they are not literally widows or orphans. Where is the pure and genuine religion here?
Last October, at the MBC annual meeting, SBC President J.D. Greear spoke to the Missouri Baptists who gathered. In a related interview with MBC's own Pathway, J.D. Greear said,
"Addressing abuse is more than merely important. It is a matter of reflecting and demonstrating the gospel itself. If a watching world does not trust us with protecting the vulnerable, then how will they believe us in the greatest news that Christ died for them?"