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Johnny Hunt

Sex Abuse Task Force Accuses Johnny Hunt of Sexual Assault

On Sunday the Sex Abuse Task Force of the Southern Baptist Convention released its highly anticipated report ahead of the 2022 Annual Southern Baptist Convention. The predictably underwhelming report did have one major finding that was previously unknown and that is a sexual assault allegation against former SBC President (2008-2010), Johnny Hunt.

Prior to the report’s release, Johnny Hunt quietly resigned from serving at the North American Mission Board.

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The details contained in the report are of him allegedly sexually assaulting another pastor’s wife in a condo in Panama City. The event begins with the two talking on adjacent balconies. It then escalates to the following, according to the report.

Dr. Hunt then moved towards Survivor and proceeded to pull her shorts down, turn her over and stare at her bare backside. He made sexual remarks about her body and things he had imagined about her. During this time, Survivor felt frozen. Survivor said these were some of the longest moments of her life. She mustered the courage to ask him could she turn back over, and Dr. Hunt said yes. When she turned back over, she began to pull up her shorts. Dr. Hunt then pinned her to the couch, got on top of her, and pulled up her shirt. He sexually assaulted her with his hands and mouth. Suddenly, Dr. Hunt stopped and then stood up. Survivor pulled down her shirt. Survivor said she did not want him to ruin his ministry, at which he responded he did not want to ruin hers. But he then forced himself on her again by groping her, trying to pull her shirt down, and violently kissing her. Survivor did not reciprocate, but rather stood eyes open and very stiff, hoping he would just stop and leave. He finally stopped and left.

This is undoubtedly a serious allegation that the report makes, unlike the Jennifer Lyell abuse survivor claims that the Sex Abuse Task Forces indulges all too much. Still, the pattern in the report is to use heightened language, like sex abuse and survivor, flippantly.

Several days later, Dr. Hunt contacted Pastor and told him that they needed to meet at Pastor’s church, FBC Woodstock, on Monday evening, August 2, 2010. Dr. Hunt met the couple there, accompanied by Roy Blankenship, a Counseling Pastor at FBC Woodstock. During the discussion, the Pastor learned for the first time that Dr. Hunt had sexually assaulted Survivor. Dr. Hunt mischaracterized his assault of Survivor, admitting to a light kiss, touching the Survivor’s breasts over the clothes, and trying to pull her shorts down. He stated that “thank God I didn’t consummate the relationship.”

Survivor and Pastor stated that Mr. Blankenship said that in his expert opinion an inappropriate relationship had developed, and that based on his information it was consensual. Survivor states that at the time she believed that, even though she did not consent to what Dr. Hunt did to her, she was made to feel it was consensual because she did not fight back. When Survivor attempted to provide her version of the event, both Dr. Hunt and Mr. Blankenship spoke over her.

This section confuses whether the event is being retroactively interpreted to be assault, as we must keep in mind she is a married woman with agency who has already invited another man into her condo, per the report.

Coverup Worse Than The Crime?

The allegation takes a perhaps more sinister turn when the two pastors have a gentlemen’s agreement to cover up the events.

Survivor and Pastor stated that Mr. Blankenship told the couple that he had cleared his calendar and was going to initiate counseling for them. That week, the couple began to meet with Mr. Blankenship, who forbade them from discussing what happened on July 25th. On August 5th, Mr. Blankenship brought Dr. Hunt, his wife, Pastor, and Survivor in for another meeting at HopeQuest, a counseling ministry, to bring closure to the events on the 25th of July. Dr. Hunt and Mr. Blankenship stated that they could never talk about what had happened, and that if they did, it would negatively impact the over 40,000 churches Dr. Hunt represented. Dr. Hunt asked for Pastor’s forgiveness, and Pastor said he agreed. After Pastor agreed, Dr. Hunt asked Pastor if Dr. Hunt needed to step down from FBC Woodstock. Pastor said no.

Three pastors conspire to bury an alleged sexual assault so as to preserve the ministries of two men, one of them being Johnny Hunt. The report alleges that Johnny Hunt sexually assaulted a pastor’s wife, and that pastor would make a gentlemen’s agreement with Johnny Hunt to burry the hatchet free of consequence. That pastor presumably went on lead a church, for which this reproach made him unqualified to do.

Conclusions

The report ultimately finds Johnny Hunt not to be a credible witness while finding even Roy Blankenship, the shady counselor, to be credible. The limitation of the report is that it does not provide enough evidence to conclusively find that the inappropriate and sinful actions Johnny Hunt committed amount to sexual assault. Additionally the report is very insightful on the character of Big Eva men who participate in these gentlemen’s agreements so as to continue their respective ministries publicly unblemished. 

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