Church of the Brethren leaders respond following reporting of sexual abuse by former employee

A statement by the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren, approved July 4, 2023

Current Church of the Brethren, Inc. organizational leaders have become aware of sexual abuse by an employee in a work setting, reported to have taken place several decades ago. Both the abused victim and the alleged perpetrator were adults at the time of the abuse and both are now deceased. Action was taken by church leaders at that time, but a recently published book, Her Words, My Voice, has expanded and brought new attention to that reporting.

The General Secretary’s office, represented by acting general secretary Shawn Flory Replogle during general secretary David Steele’s recent sabbatical, has been responding to this new knowledge. Replogle and Mission and Ministry Board chair Carl Fike have met with the family of the abused person. More actions related to past practices and current policies and procedures are anticipated, in order to ensure a safe workplace for all staff and volunteers and those they serve, improve organizational responses to sexual abuse, and to meet the highest moral standards.

The Church of the Brethren, Inc. has an organizational process for responding to sexual abuse allegations, incorporated in its Employee Handbook. In recent years, all Church of the Brethren, Inc. personnel have been required to complete an annual training for prevention of abuse and other workplace misconduct.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault or abuse, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or 1-800-656-4673.

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