Annual Meeting Resolutions on Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, and Human Trafficking

SUMMARY: This page links to resolutions passed at SBC annual meetings 2000-2018 on topics related to sexual abuse, clergy and sexuality, human trafficking, and abuse in general.


  • Trafficking of women/children (2000)
  • Sexual integrity of ministers (2002)
  • Protecting children from abuse (2007)
  • Responding to Evil of Sexual Abuse (2008)
  • Sexual abuse of children (2013)
  • Human trafficking (2013)
  • Abuse (2018)

RESOLUTION – 2000: On Condemning The Trafficking Of Women And Children For Sexual Purposes. Orlando, Florida – 2000.

RESOLUTION – 2002: On The Sexual Integrity Of Ministers. St. Louis, MO – 2002.

RESOLUTION – 2007: On Protecting Children From Abuse. San Antonio, TX – 2007.

STATEMENT – 2008: Responding to the Evil of Sexual Abuse. Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 2008. “The workgroup received and assessed information and suggestions from various sources both within and outside Southern Baptist circles.”

RESOLUTION – 2013: On Sexual Abuse Of Children. Houston, TX – 2013.

RESOLUTION – 2013: On Human Trafficking. Houston, TX – 2013.

RESOLUTION – 2018: On Abuse. Dallas, TX – 2018.

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RESOLUTION – 2019: On the Evil of Sexual Abuse. Birmingham, AL – 2019.

RESOLUTION – 2019: On Local Church Autonomy and Accountability. Birmingham, AL – 2019. This is of particular relevance to any eventual Credentials Committee actions related to churches deemed not in good-faith cooperation with the spirit of the SBC on issues of abuse. EXCERPT:


WHEREAS, Recent news stories make it painfully clear that some Southern Baptist churches have failed either to choose fitting persons to be set apart for ministerial leadership, to discipline ministers and other church members properly, or to communicate from church to church the unfit condition of some ministers, and that some church leaders have failed voluntarily to submit themselves to others for spiritual accountability; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, reaffirm our doctrine of local church autonomy under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which must be exercised through congregational processes with the leadership of scriptural officers and with reference to other churches for the glory of God alone; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm the autonomy of the local church must never be understood apart from being a gift of God in Christ, who grants His church authority for His purposes alone and only according to His ways; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reject the concept of local church autonomy as mere “self-rule,” for Christian authority may never be exercised apart from Christ’s Lordship and must be exercised only for God’s glory as revealed in the Word interpreted by the congregation led by the Holy Spirit; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that local church autonomy is compatible with the mutual accountability to the Lord of all the churches, especially those churches of like faith and practice that voluntarily cooperate through associations and conventions for the sake of better fulfilling the Great Commission (see The Baptist Faith and Message, Article XIV); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we warn those who would misuse local church autonomy as a license for sin that God will judge both shepherds and the wolves who abuse the vulnerable sheep in the flock (Ezekiel 34:1–24); and be it further

RESOLVED, That God explicitly instructed His churches to be careful when setting apart individuals for ministerial leadership, appointing ministers in their churches, and monitoring the continued integrity of these ministers (1 Timothy 3:1–7; 5:22; Titus 1:5–9); and be it further

RESOLVED, That every local church must carefully determine whether a professed minister or Christian transferring from another church is worthy of reception in their own congregation; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we as Southern Baptists hereby repudiate any who seek to use the cherished doctrine of local church autonomy as a means of hiding the sins of ministers and others in the church who abuse, sexually or otherwise, “the little ones” of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:6–10).

Resolution(s) 2020, if any, to be added.