Trying to claim the moral high ground, Tom Hicks and Fred Malone publicly left Founders Ministries over a perceived slight to a sexual abuse victim, Rachael Denhollander. Ironically, they’ve been caught up in a far worse, very real sex abuse cover-up and scandal of their own.
Writing of his resignation from Founder Ministries, Malone said…
“So, after I came to the knowledge of a confusing image which was Mrs. Rachel Denhollander (now removed from the trailer by Board agreement), I came to the conviction that I had sinned unintentionally in my approval and that the trailer itself committed a sin unintentionally of false witness against Mrs. Denhollander based upon the 6th and 9th commandments (see Westminster Larger Catechism; Lev. 4:2-27; Num. 15:24-29; 1 John 1:9). By associating her image closely with a confusing statement about powers of darkness, it appeared to many that we were somehow disapproving of her work against sexual abuse. No one on the Board intended this to be the message, yet it was confusing to many and especially to several sexual abuse victims with whom I have spoken. This confusing association brought into question our intentions and motives. I have been an advocate against sexual abuse, a counselor of numerous victims for almost 35 years in my pastoral work, and a reporter of several cases.”
Also, Tom Hicks cited Denhollander in his resignation.
I was particularly concerned about the inclusion of Rachael Denhollander in the trailer, whom I did not see when I first watched it. Her presence in the trailer, along with other sexual abuse survivors, seemed to conflate sexual abuse with other problematic views of social justice. Jacob and Rachael communicated to me that her primary concern was not her portrayal as much as the portrayal of sexual abuse survivors and the conflation of sexual abuse with other issues.
We explained how Denhollander has capitalized upon his wife’s abuse to portray himself as an expert on Social Justice issues within the church (even those not related to abuse), in the post, Founders Board Splits in Two After Controversial Trailer.
Once Denhollander applied pressure via social media, Hicks and Malone folded like cheap paper bags.
They’re in an abuse and cover-up scandal of their own.
You can find Fred Malone’s “admission of guilt” in the Tom Chantry abuse cover-up post here.
In a post entitled, Fred Malone’s Admission of Guilt, Malone was allegedly instrumental in covering up the abuse of Tom Chantry. Chantry’s abuse has been written about by P&P several times, but most recently after his conviction and recent sentence to prison for inappropriately touching boys for his own pleasure. Malone helped to make the initial accusations against Chantry go away, and didn’t properly notify legal authorities, allowing Chantry to do it again.
Malone pastors First Baptist Church of Clinton, Louisiana with Tom Hicks. When these men discovered that a church member had posted an article from Brent Detweiler about how Malone had covered up the Chantry abuse, they tried to make them delete the info, so they wouldn’t have to properly deal with it.
So, not only did Malone allegedly cover-up Chantry’s abuse, he allegedly tried to cover-up his cover-up recently. It didn’t work when church members took good notes and it wound up on the Internet.
With copies of emails and other evidence laid out, the ARBCA site explains that Malone refused to repent for failing to report abuse. Likewise, Tom Hicks, senior pastor at Malone’s church, refused to discipline Malone in any way.
With this pressure of abuse – that they’re responsible for covering up (Malone for Chantry, and Hicks for Malone) – the two left the Founders Ministries board the moment Denhollander complained about be insensitive to abuse victims.
It seems that some Reformed Baptists might believe in penance after all.
In the meantime, it seems that the one who doesn’t appear guilty of covering up abuse or perpetuating victimhood is Tom Ascol, who was thrown under the bus by the two who are guilty.