A Southern Baptist Church in South Carolina is facing backlash, after its student pastor reportedly passed out stickers to teenagers this week saying, “I hot youth pastors.”
A picture of the sticker was shared in a private Facebook group for South Carolina moms by someone who said her 14-year-old sister had received the sticker from the 35-year-old youth pastor at Fairview Baptist Church in Greer.
A redacted version of the post was tweeted by Emily Petrini, who said her best friend was in the Facebook group and had sent her the post. Petrini’s tweet quickly received thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets.
My best friend lives in South Carolina and sent me this SS from her local mom group and I just…..cannot. pic.twitter.com/Z3iw4bE8c1
— emily petrini (@emilykmay) October 6, 2022
Kyle J. Howard, a theologian and “trauma informed soul care provider,” called what the pastor did “Grooming Behavior!”
Orville Erickson, pastor of Greenhill Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, tweeted: “As a Senior Pastor if this happened at my church, this person would be immediately relieved of duties AND a third party would be asked to investigate to make sure nothing of an even more serious nature took place. I am NOT a prude in any way but this is beyond the pale.”
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The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to numerous pastors at Fairview Baptist for comment, including Student Pastor Cory Wall, but did not receive a response.
However, several people on Facebook and Twitter shared a screenshot of an email reportedly by Fairview Baptist Administrative and Children’s Pastor Scott Shipes, addressing the matter:
“We see and hear your concerns and affirm the matter has been taken seriously,” Shipes wrote.” I cannot comment on our accountability actions with Cory because it is a personnel (sic) that cannot be discussed publicly. I will confirm the leadership and Cory understand the severity of the incident and have addressed it with the him (sic). He is meeting with his leaders to discuss the mistake he made and that it was in very poor taste.”
In the email, Shipes also addresses Wall reportedly discussing a past sin struggle with students, stating: “We met with Cory and he understands this should not have been shared with the students until he made parents aware of the topic beforehand and explain (sic) the context of why he would share this from his testimony.”
Another email circulating online reportedly is from Wall to the woman whose sister received the objectionable sticker.
“Let me assure you that my intentions were pure, and the last thing I wanted to do was make you, your sister or anyone else feel uncomfortable,” the email stated. “. . . The sticker was meant to poke fun of the ‘I Love Hot Mom’ culture. In hindsight, the joke was of very poor taste and a mistake on my part. I do apologize for their distribution.”
According to a post on the church’s Instagram account, Wall has a master’s degree from Southeastern Theological Seminary and “has spent the last 14 years serving local churches in North and South Carolina in the areas of students and college.”
Fairview Baptist is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which has been embroiled in scandal concerning the coverup of sex abuse at SBC churches. An independent report by Guidepost Solutions found that for decades, SBC leaders protected sexual abusers and mistreated their victims.
45 thoughts on “‘I ♥ Hot Youth Pastors’ Sticker Given to Students Sparks Backlash”
I’m old enough to remember when a 35-year-old guy did not require adult supervision.
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