It looks like a local TV station in Dallas/Fort Worth had to interview a church lawyer in the ongoing story of Chris Tynes, a 14 year parishioner who found himself being kicked off church property by security, facing questions by police and he and his family being banned from the church permanently. Prestonwood told police they believed Tynes was ‘potentially violent.’
WFAA, covered Tynes story about trying to ask Prestonwood leaders about how they handled the dismissal of staffer John Langworthy, a now notorious child molester, who went on to molest children in Mississippi. Langworthy was on staff at Prestonwood in the late 1980′s.
Prestonwood Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist mega-church is the size of a small town with a staff of about 40. For years the church has dodged questions about how they handled reports of Langworthy abusing boys, and why they did not report him to police.
Mandatory reporting has been in place in Texas since 1971.
WFAA interviewed Chris Tynes, the report, which aired in the Dallas area Thursday shows a man named Ben Lovven calling Tynes a terrorist. WFAA reporter Jobin Panicker did not clarify or question anything the Prestonwood representative said. The report took the angle of miscommunication online, as opposed to the deeper story, the ongoing stonewalling by the church regarding Langworthy, and the heavy handed tactics the church took toward Tynes. FBC Jax Watchdogs:
But how ironic is this: Prestonwood apparently did NOT issue any trespass papers or “suspicious person’s report” against Langworthy when he was found to be touching young boys at the church….but let a church member ask questions about how they handled the Langworthy case, and HE gets the boot.
Don’t call the cops when the music man is molesting minors…but quickly call the cops when the faithful member wants to know why the cops weren’t called to report the molester.
Don’t report the molester to the cops…but report the “suspicious” church member who wants answers to his questions.
Can things get any crazier in the Southern Baptist Convention?
And ratchet it up, call him a terrorist.
It is interesting that the church deleted Chris Tynes questions on their Facebook page, and monitored his twitter account perhaps even before he had asked for an appointment with a Prestonwood minister. Since Chris Tynes went public about how he was ‘handled’ (mishandled), people asking a question to Prestonwood about Tynes treatment or John Langworthy have been blocked from the church twitter accounts and Facebook page.
There are a few problems with this story, but what is interesting is this:
Ben Lovven is a full time lawyer for the mega church according to the State Bar of Texas.
Martin Benjamin Lovven is licenced to practise law in the state of Texas as of 2007, listed at various sites as an associate at the law firm of Bell Nunnally & Martin. I don’t know if being a lawyer for a mega church is a step up or not.
I have sympathy for WFAA. Someone at Prestonwood Baptist Church just has to whisper to a few business people that they can get better bang for their advertising buck elsewhere, and a media outlet in the area is going to feel the hurt. WFAA did cover the Prestonwood/Langworthy connection in 2011 and featured Amy Smith S.N.A.P representaive for Houston. The station didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Amy Smith and Christa Browne of Stop Baptist Predators precede Chris Tynes in asking Prestonwood hard questions.
Okay, Chris Tynes, who is a software engineer, could have chosen different words while tweeting to a couple of friends while waiting in the church parking lot. He knows that, and the reality is
Prestonwood, the lawyer did a masterful job of deflecting WFAA from the real story.
Calling Tynes a ‘terrorist’ is weird even for Texas. It’s effective, Prestonwood has been able to dodge this for years, and after this report, there are no signs the church will ever be accountable. But this is what is chilling. WFAA:
The church said the action was taken because Tynes turned from Facebook to Twitter and started making terroristic threats. One Twitter post obtained by News 8 showed a picture of a minister’s parking spot and the words “My target.” Another tweet said, “I’m sitting in my perfect ambush spot.”
“When it comes to protecting our people, we take that very seriously,” Lovvorn said.
Our people? Lovvorn means church staff, not parishoners, not the Texas boys abused by Langworthy and certainly not the boys abused in Mississippi.
Chris Tynes has responded to the uncontested statements of lawyer Lovvern, the members of Prestonwood are the ones who need to see it, see what Tynes has been through and stand up and demand answers for Langworthys victims.
From the first day Chris Tynes asked a question on the Prestonwood Church FB page, he has seen how capable this church leadership is of boot-stomping a member. All because he began to see the terrible consequences of a church not reporting one of their child molesting staffers to police.