For the past few years, the Southern Baptist Convention has contended that David Sills is a sex abuser and Jennifer Lyell was a victim. While the Southern Baptist Convention would go on to pay in a defamation suit brought by Jennifer Lyell over one million dollars, nothing of her retconned claims have been remotely close to proven. The SBC has a lot riding on Jennifer Lyell’s victim status. This status was the main focus of the Sex Abuse Task Force Report from earlier this year, which was even criticized by Rosaria Butterfield for how it redefined abuse to fit a narrative.
Sex abuse is the issue liberals in the convention are using to attack conservatives like Mike Stone and Rod Martin, bringing forth the Rachael DenHollander theology of Me Too into the church. But it appears the redefining of sex abuse by the SBC has resulted in a defamation lawsuit brought forth by David Sills, arguably the most maligned figure in the SBC. Earlier this week, Sills filed the defamation lawsuit in Alabama. According to Baptist News Global
Now, David Sills and Mary Sills contend they have been smeared repeatedly in the process and seek monetary damages from the SBC; the SBC Executive Committee; former SBC President Ed Litton; current SBC President Bart Barber; Lyell; Lifeway Christian Resources; Eric Geiger, a former executive vice president at Lifeway; Willie McLaurin, interim president of the Executive Committee; Rolland Slade, former chairman of the Executive Committee; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary; and Guidepost Solutions, the firm that conducted the independent investigation.
But wait, there’s more. In the lawsuit, David Sills contends that he never even had sex with Jennifer Lyell during this twelve year long affair which he admits was inappropriate. The lawsuit also claims that Sills broke off the relationship and that Lyell continued to pursue him. Although David Sills lives in Mississippi, he has filed suit in Mobile, Alabama where Ed Litton and other SBC entities are located. These are the stated reasons, but it also appears that Alabama has more favorable defamation tort laws than Mississippi.
This is a major developing story.