GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Several Triad churches have been named in lawsuits related to an investigation into sexual abuse that allegedly happened in the mid-80s.
The investigation is connected to the Boy Scouts of America, and the churches reportedly served as sponsors and meeting places for scout troops.
Two lawsuits were filed in Guilford County Superior Court at the end of 2021.
The first suit alleges that a now 49-year-old man was in the Boy Scouts and was sexually abused when he was a minor by a scout leader.
The suit says the troop met at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, so the church is named as a defendant alongside the Old North State Council, a local council of the Boy Scouts of America, which is based in Greensboro.
The suit goes on to say First Presbyterian organized outings for the troop, including activities and events like camping trips and merit badge activities.
A second suit names:
- First Presbyterian of High Point
- Old North State Council
- Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro
- Salem Presbytery
- Mebane United Methodist Church
- Baptist Children’s Home
The suit lists the plaintiffs as “John Does…number one through ten.” Those plaintiffs were all born between 1955 and 1986.
All of them allege to have been victims of one or more criminal sex acts by a scout leader, youth leader or Boy Scout camp personnel.
FOX8 has reached out to all of the other local defendants for comment as well, and more in-depth reports are forthcoming.
The full statement from First Presbyterian is provided below:
First Presbyterian Church has been named in a lawsuit related to the Boy Scouts of America ongoing sexual abuse investigation. The conduct described in the complaint is alleged to have occurred more than 35 years ago in the mid-1980’s. No details or specifics are provided in the lawsuit other than First Presbyterian serving as a sponsoring organization and meeting place for a scout troop. The church has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and supports individuals who have experienced trauma.
The pastor of Mebane United Methodist Church also responded to a FOX8 inquiry:
To my knowledge, our church has not received any communication from the court regarding this lawsuit. As a church we take the allegation of abuse very seriously. Providing a safe environment for everyone at our church is our highest priority.
Mebane UMC seeks to comfort those who suffer, care for those in need, and listen to those who feel unheard. Although we do not know the details or specifics about this lawsuit, we pray for all who are involved.