Southern Baptists Name IHOPKC Staff Member to Sex Offenders List

A former California Baptist church youth pastor who serves as a missionary at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City is listed as a suspected sex offender in a document published last week by Southern Baptist leaders.

Brad Tebbutt, who served as a youth minister years ago at First Baptist Church in Modesto, was accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl for two and a half years, starting in the mid-1980s, when that she was 14 years old.

“Tebbutt now works at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO…,” the recently released Southern Baptist document reads. “He was a youth pastor for 30 years.”

Founded in 1999, the International House of Prayer is a 24/7 evangelistic missions organization with its global headquarters on Red Bridge Road.

IHOPKC responded in an email Wednesday morning, referring to Tebbutt as “one of our missionaries” and referring The Star to a press release he issued in April 2019 when he announced that internal and external investigations into the matter had been completed and found that Tebbutt had committed no “other wrongdoing”.

“We have no further comment at this time,” IHOPKC said. “We refer you specifically to the section that states, “IHOPKC diligently seeks to be a safe, accountable, transparent, and integrity-based organization, fully alert and aware of the business of abuse and abusers, of any kind. We desire to be a safe and trustworthy organization that deeply embodies the values ​​and actions of Jesus for justice, mercy and redemption. We are committed to both preventing oppression and bringing justice to the oppressed. Furthermore, we challenge the abusers to repent completely with the hope of eventual restoration.

Jennifer Graves Roach of Seattle went public with her allegations about Tebbutt in 2018, saying she reported the abuse to church leaders in California in 1988, but they did nothing. Modesto’s First Baptist became CrossPoint Community Church in 2010.

The previously secret 205-page database of pastors and other church-affiliated workers, released last week, was launched in 2007 and contains details of around 700 abuse cases. Described as “a fluid working document” that “has not been adequately researched” and was “largely compiled from news articles”, the chart was created as a tool to discover the extent of child sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Its release came after Southern Baptist leaders released a bombshell report on May 22 saying church leaders mishandled and covered up sexual abuse allegations for decades. The revelation was reminiscent of a jaw-dropping 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report that found Catholic Church leaders in six of that state’s dioceses covered up sexual abuse by hundreds of priests for seven decades.

Roach, a licensed therapist who works primarily with traumatized clients – including those who have experienced sexual abuse – said for years victims’ groups had tried to get the Southern Baptist Convention to keep track of abusers. so that they are not hired or given away. volunteer positions with access to young people.

“The SBC flatly refused, saying such a list would be too complicated to maintain,” she said. “But the whole time they were actually keeping a list. The difference is that they knew the people on that list worked or volunteered at their churches and never told anyone about them.

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Jennifer Graves Roach is suing her former youth pastor, who now works at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, claiming he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1980s. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Roach

Roach’s allegations against Tebbutt became public in February 2018, when – emboldened by the #MeToo movement – she said The Modesto Bee that he had sexually assaulted her three decades earlier. Tebbutt was a 27-year-old pastor at First Baptist Church in Modesto when the abuse began, Roach told The Bee.

She said Tebbutt comforted her when her father died in a car accident, then sexually assaulted her over the next two-and-a-half years in his car, at the church office and outside of the city.

After Tebbutt left in 1988, Roach said, she confided in church leaders, who told her to forgive and forget and never talk about it again. She said they never told her mother or reported it to the police.

Tebbutt wrote him a long letter in 2005, Roach said, acknowledging what he had done and saying “I’m pained about it.”

She later learned that Tebbutt had moved to Kansas City and was leading the Simeon Company internship at the International House of Prayer. The internship has been described as “a training experience and mentoring community for people 50+” who “wish to dedicate their lives more fully to prayer, worship, ministry of the Holy Spirit, outreach and works of justice”.

Roach contacted IHOPKC, asking how Tebbutt could continue in ministry after sexually abusing a minor. She received an email from an IHOPKC executive saying that when Tebbutt started working there in 2013, he “told us the details of these events and provided information about a practicing psychologist with whom he worked with. followed an 18-month process of repentance and restoration.”

IHOPKC told The Star on March 1, 2018 that Tebbutt had been placed on administrative leave while the organization investigated the allegations. A few months later, IHOPKC hired a Virginia-based nonprofit to conduct an independent investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against Tebbutt. The organization was led by Boz Tchividjian, a former chief child abuse prosecutor and grandson of famed Christian evangelist Billy Graham.

In May 2018, Roach filed a lawsuit against Tebbutt, First Baptist in Modesto and its successor, CrossPoint Community Church. She later dropped Tebbutt from the suit when he agreed to cooperate with the case. CrossPoint settled with Roach in 2019 for $267,500.

The IHOPKC issued the press release in April 2019 stating that all investigations into Tebbutt were complete.

International House of Prayer
The International House of Prayer World Prayer Room at 3535 E. Red Bridge Road. File photo by DAVID PULLIAM | The Kansas City Star

“The critical conclusion of the report is that no evidence of other incidents has been uncovered by the independent company, and that there has been no evidence of other wrongdoing over the past 30 years, including time spent at IHOPKC,” he said.

The statement also said that during the internal and external investigations, Tebbutt had “demonstrated genuine remorse and repentance for the manifest moral failure committed at this time, as well as full cooperation with the litigation. The injured realized that the accuser sincerely apologized and sincerely forgave him.

The press release, however, did not say whether Tebbutt’s administrative leave had been lifted.

Roach said she still has serious concerns about Tebbutt still working at IHOPKC.

“IHOP knows its history and chooses to employ it anyway — the very thing the SBC is in hot water to do,” she said. “Over the years, a number of women have contacted me to share their stories of abuse at IHOP by men known to management.

“Does IHOP keep a list of these men like the SBC did?” Does that warn anyone about these men? »

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Judy L. Thomas joined The Star in 1995 and is a member of the investigative team, focusing on surveillance journalism. For three decades, the Kansas native covered domestic terrorism, extremist groups and clergy sex abuse. His stories of Kansas secrecy and religion have received national recognition.

Barry F. Howard