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Maryland Pastor Raises Money to Send Abuse Survivors to SBC Convention

Keith Myer raised over $16,000 to help with travel and lodging

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A Southern Baptist pastor in Maryland recently organized a fundraiser to help sexual abuse survivors travel to the denomination’s convention in New Orleans this June.

Rev. Keith Myer, who leads Harvest Baptist Church in Salisbury, organized the GoFundMe fundraiser in March to financially assist nine survivors in their travel, lodging, and food expenses.

He encouraged others to “pitch in” so the survivors can network and interact with leaders and messengers—the denomination’s name for church representatives—about continued reforms.

In 2022, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) messengers voted to create an Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force in response to the Guidepost Solutions report showing the denomination’s mishandling of sexual abuse allegations. It is also working on a database to track pastors, denominational workers, ministry employees, and volunteers who have been credibly accused of abuse.

Myer raised $16,293—just over the $16,250 goal—through 195 donations. Most donations were $100 or less, but one anonymous donor gave $1,000 and Cornerstone Baptist Church gave $2,000.

Myer posted a breakdown for using the funds: 42.5% for airfare, 20% for housing, 18.5% for food, 4% for Uber rides from the airport, and the final 15% for miscellaneous expenses and a cushion for unexpected costs. GoFundMe will receive $520 in fees.

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Assuring donors of transparency, Myer explained that “several people will look over the transactions to ensure everything was handled properly.” After the convention, any leftover funds will be donated to a charity helping survivors—one not affiliated with the SBC, he said.

Myer also exhorted donors and others involved to pray—for the survivors while at the convention, for the SBC leaders to complete the work it has begun, and for the messengers to have wisdom in the changes they support.

“From the very beginning, I had been nervous about overpromising and under delivering, but that’s more about me and less about what God can do,” Myer told The Oklahoman. “I’ve been humbled to see the generosity from so many people who care about abuse and want to see the problem addressed, and I’ve been honored to watch God work in bringing this project to completion.”

Main photo: Keith Myer preaching at Harvest Baptist Church on April 30, 2023 / Video screenshot via Facebook

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years.