Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't Be Afraid Anymore

I know of several people who have been courageous with their stories and are a little intimidated about the thought of speaking out in front of the State Attorney and a court room. I know you feel a little scared at the thought of facing Darrell Gilyard again and others who may be there. I know you are worried about your name and your story being known. It is one thing to tell case workers or detectives in one quiet meeting or even telling me in a personal email or phone call. It is much bigger to tell it publicly in a court. I know their are those of you who feel you and your family will be embarrassed and I understand, fully, what you mean. It is difficult to expose the truth when it is this ugly. It is embarrassing, you do at times feel it would be easier to remain silent and just let it go away. But the thing is, it never goes away, not completely. You (I hope) will learn to forgive, but only God is capable of forgetting. It will creep up when you least expect it and it does show up in your life in different ways. Even if you do not allow it to become a focus, it is there.
What I am trying to say is, it is much better to face it, to purge it, to boldly confront it than to try to bury it or remain in bondage by the fear of coming out. You will not be embarrassed unless you allow yourself to be. You were not looking for this, you did not welcome the predator. No matter what you may have even consented to happen, you were still victimized by a respected figure you were supposed to trust. That is a violation and the only one who should carry shame is him. Shame is also a form of bondage and the devil can use that to keep you from all that God has planned for you - and trust me dear friend, He still has BIG plans. You may be able to help someone else down the road that you would otherwise have been unable to help, but with a shared story, there is much compassion and healing. I know from experience. I (after my 1991 incident) went on the following year to work at a Children's Home for troubled and abused children. I had the time of my life there helping others deal with their trauma and healing from physical and sexual abuse from people that they respected and loved. They had the choice to let it negatively affect their lives (some did) or to stand up, and work through it and forgive and to allow God to "work it all for good" because He loves us so. You may think "Why did God allow this?" well, there is this thing called free will, he allows us to sin and make our own choices (your predator made his choice to violate God's and man's law) unfortunately, you were the victim. But God's arms are WIDE open my friend, ready to heal, ready to make Beauty from the ashes. But it is all up to you ,there's that free will thing again : } you have to allow Him to be your strength, you have to welcome Him in to heal and direct you. And you have to expose the truth. You cannot fully heal unless you do, trust me. I have healed all over again during these last few weeks, it does not get any better than allowing God to take something that man meant for harm and let Him (the Great Healer) make it for good.
Please, be courageous (you already are a survivor) don't be silent or afraid, please don't allow your silence to cover his sin. To many people have already, and now there are more victims, I have to live with that also. But, I have seen His hand moving here and I have (with many others) covered this in prayer and I believe He is exposing it all at this time because it is time. I believe God is walking with us right now more than ever. I've seen so much happen this week that you cannot deny His hand at work! So, you pray about it and I know He will walk with you all the way through the process, all the way through what you are now fearing. He will give you strength. He never gives us more than we can bear, he must know you are really strong. Come and join us, let's glorify the Father and put and end to this deceiver. I am proud of you and many others are proud of you as well. The majority of the emails I receive are encouragement and love. It's not as bad as you think. Those that come against you or talk negatively, they are not friends, and they would turn on anyone. Be true to yourself, make your family and friends proud by showing what strength lays underneath those wounds. Then let the Lord be glorified by healing those wounds and using it for good. He is who we serve, not man, not evil.
I love you my fellow victims and warriors!! I know you can do it! I believe in you and I will stand with you. When this is all over, and we are allowed to communicate, we can have a survivors celebration dinner together - how does that sound?


Christa Brown said...

I would also urge abuse survivors to take baby-steps and one step at a time. You may be able to talk to a detective without committing to testify in court. You may be able to keep your anonymity. Most of these kinds of cases are ultimately plea-bargained anyway and don't actually go to a full trial. And the more victims that detectives know about, the more leverage the prosecutor will have in the plea-bargain process. When a perpetrator begins to realize that detectives have found out about his many victims, then he often begins to get worried, and he may not want to take the risk of seeing what a jury would do to him.

char said...

Well said Tiffany. The Lord Jesus is truly going ahead of you. I will continually pray for you and for God's mighty hand to be seen in all of this. May the name of Jesus be glorified. May the Lord God our Savior bless all involved in this case greatly.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Christa, thank you so much for adding your wisdom. That is so true that it may be plea bargained and may not have to go to a full trial. Thank you for adding your expertise as I am so new to all of this!
Thank you also to Char for your continued encouragement and prayers!
You both been a great encouragement to me!

Lady T said...

This was encouraging. The termoils that go through the vitims and their families is something no one understands if they are not going through it themselves and neither can they imagine what they would or would not do, however I pray that if anyone has any past dealings with even the simplest of abuse, that they not be afraid of DG as he has NO POWER other than what he is given by them.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Well said "Lady T". Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

You have already shown much courage. I will keep you in my prayers, as I do all the victims of clergy abuse.

Anonymous said...

Please clarify were you a victim? You stated that Gilyard invited you to meet him at a went...he asked you to go up to his didn't go.You were 18 so how does this make you a victim?????

Is there more to your story???

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Yes, there is more to the story and I have shared the full story with the investigators and others know the full story as well. But I am not the point here, I am focused on the current victims and making sure he is not able to continue to repeat these offenses. I am not looking for anything for myself. I wouldn't have the right to speak out, however, if I did not have a personal story. I don't feel it necessary to tell the details here, and a lot of what I would say gets misquoted, or a little twisted. So, I choose to let the attacks come and let people question, I will stay focused on the here and now. Thank you for understanding and even for asking the question that was bugging you.

Anonymous said...

Ms Croft, allow me to preface this comment with the fact that I intend no disrespect to woman,men, or children everywhere who have fallen victim to any type of harrassment or abuse, sexual or otherwise. I also do not believe that children should be used to pleasure an adult in any manner. With that said, I like to start by saying that I believe a full investigation of any accusation regarding the minors and Mr. Gilyard will finally come to light and the accused, if guilty will be punished or brought to justice. I believe my concern come into play when people like yourself who have vengeance and malice built up in their heart for whatever reason, come up with sites and pages like this on the worlwide web. Could it be that things did not turn out the way you would have liked them to concernation the realtionship with Mr. Gilyard. Since you have decided to post such a page and air your thoughts and feelings, I, and I think a lot of other people would like to know of how you are a victim in this whole situation concerning Mr. Gilyard. If truth is goin to be apart of your page, let's actually speak about such. What is it that actually happened to you that would classify you as a "victim"? Were you underaged?Were you battered? Were you forced to go to hotel rooms or secret places to meet Mr. Gilyard? Were you held captive against your "free will" to do things that you did not consent to do? Were you under age when, whatever was suppose to happen to you occured? I believe all criminals should be brought to justice and recieve due punishment. I also believe pages and sites such as this hinder the truth that could come forth when an investigation is being conducted. It would appear that you still may have some ongoing obsession with Mr. Gilyard that you have not been able to overcome over the years. There are folk who have family members who have been murdered who do not spend this much time and energy toward their conviction. Again, how have you been victimized? Being a wife and soon-to-be mother surly you have sympathy towards his wife with what she might be facing or going through. Leave it alone girl. Allow the investigators to do what they do and get to the bottom of this situation. Delete this mess and stop creating chaos and using this world wide web site a stanic way.

Anonymous said...


That's a very good question!! How were you victimized. I have seen the question asked a couple of times on this but you failed to address it. You were not a minor and you never mentioned being forced to to do anything.

How are you helping ACTUAL victims with this blog?

Anonymous said...

Yes, It's about time someone else ask this question...I have asked this same question many times, with no response from LADY T OR TIFFANY?...SO, answer the question, what really happen between you and Pastor Gilyard?

ezekiel said...

Oh but we do like to shuffle blame away from the preacher don't we. What is so hard to understand about 1 Tim 3:2 or Titus 1:6? What about 1 Cor 5? We are talking about sexual immorality of a pastor are we not?

And before you start throwing out all that grace and mercy and love stuff or tell me that it is under the blood, take a look at:

Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, Vengeance is mine; I will repay. And again, The Lord will judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Don't you think this sort of sin outrages the spirit of Grace? if not, what do you think does?

The civil law of Moses...would have had him stoned outside the camp. Our civil law today will be much more lenient and even with that some will is under the blood, we need to forgive him...on and on. What ever happened to the zeal of Phinehas? That was sexual sin as well. (Num 25:7)

A bunch of preachers have sold you down the river of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness to the point that you don't think there is any consequence for sin. And they do it so you will excuse their sin just like you are doing...

How much love, mercy and grace did the people that knew Darrell extend to him by allowing him to get this far off track and out of fellowship with God? How much love, mercy and grace did the people that knew about this extend to Tiffany and all the other victims?

People like you in their congregations had the same responsibility to love and protect them. You do call yourselves christians...Right?

Lady T said...

To answer: Yes, It's about time someone else ask this question...I have asked this same question many times, with no response from LADY T OR TIFFANY?...SO, answer the question, what really happen between you and Pastor Gilyard?

He did nothing physically, just verbally asked me if I could come by his office and give him a kiss. He tried to get me to set up a time but I scolded him for his agression and he never said anything else out of the way.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Lady T, thank you for sharing your story, however you did not need to justify yourself. I want this to be a safe place for victims, not a place where they have to prove whether or not their story warrants being officially called a victim.
That's a bit like going to a pastor or deacon with claims and being told that you have to come back with proof. Being victimized all over again.

sherwood said...

To say that I am sickened by what I have read regarding Darrell Gilyard and those who have dealt with his sins, would be an under statement of the highest order.

The Bible is quite clear, " is IN HIM - our Lord, Jesus Christ, that we live and move and exist" and those words were addressed to the unbelievers at Mars Hill. (Acts 4:28) That was the Apostle Paul's definition of the life we live as the followers of Christ. According to the words of our Lord, we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses, wherever we are, whatever we are doing - according to Acts 1:8 and it is obvious, the activities of Pastor Gilyard prove that he has not received such power.

At the first evidence of his sin, he should have been removed from his position of authority and informed, he would no longer be eligible for such. That his elders failed in their responsibilies to the church is an indication that they should have been removed from their offices as well. The church is not a game to be played, it is a life to be lived, as the song goes, "...pure and holy, tried and true."

I am not a Baptist, I could never become one - not because I do not believe in their doctrines, but I do believe we are to be crucified in Christ and that means, we have subjected ourselves to living His life here on earth.

All the rest is merely, wood, hay and stubble and we need not waste away our inheritance by getting involved in the opinions and the activities of this world.

Anonymous said...


You should shut down this site. I don't know you or Gilyard, but it's clear that you are out for vengeance. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord! The Lord does not need your help. Be careful that God's vengeance isn't turned on you and all of those who are interfering in his work. God will deal with his misguided servant.

tiffanypritchard said...

That last comment by: anonymous was wrong.
"My people parish for lack of knowledge" Please read Ephesians.
You called this a misguided servant.
Wrong again! This man is a wicked man who needs to be exposed so others can get the help they need.
God's ways are not our ways!

Too many Christians are so deceived about the heart of God!
If God has called someone to take a stand, you better just step back and let her!

Good job for being bold and telling your story!

Pastor Rod H. said...

Anonymous said "God will deal with his misguided servant"Jan.20,2008.11:32am.Jesus told the Sadducees "You err not knowing the scriptures".First of all who says Darrell is a servant of God.The Apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Corintians 11:14-15 "Do not marvel;for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;whose end will be according to their deeds".It is the responsibility of church members to remove such an evil man from ministry.The book of Revelation gives a comparative example.In chap.2:18 Jesus reveals Himself as "having eyes like flames of fire".This represents His omniscience,Christ see's all.After some commendations Jesus has some condemnations one being that "THEY PERMIT woman Jezebel who CALLS HERSELF A PROPHETESS to teach and seduce my servants to commit FORNICATION,and to eat things sacrificed to idol.And I gave time to repent of her FORNICATION(sexual immorality);and she did not repent.Behold,I will cast her into a bed,and THEM that commit adultery with her into great tribulation,EXCEPT THEY REPENT OF THEIR DEEDS".And I will kill her children with death;AND ALL THE CHURCHES SHALL KNOW THAT I AM HE WHICH SEARCHETH THE REINS AND HEARTS:AND WILL GIVE TO EVERY ONE OF YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR DEEDS".Jesus gave Darrell ample time to repent and just like Jezebel he would not.And all of those members at Shiloh who knew of his misdeeds and did nothing to protect God's sheep literally jumped into the bed of affliction with him and are culpable to his crimes.And since these cowards would do nothing;GOD DID.Peter wrote "For the time has come that judgment must begin at the HOUSE OF GOD:and if it first begins with us,what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"That judgment has finally caught up with Darrell and the enablers at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Pastor H:
Very Well Said!!!!
Thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with your church and the victims. It is grave when a child is abused or has been sacrificed to someone they have an established relationship with. I am appalled by Dr. Gilyard's alleged abuse. I have known of Dr. Gilyard for many years dating back to the 1980s. I had not originally known what to make of the original allegations, but must admit these are very concerning charges. I am a doctoral student in psychology and have a degree in theology. I offer this because I want to tell you first and foremost my prayers are offered up for everyone. Secondly, I am hoping that those involved receive therapeutic care. I know this may seem like an unbiased posting, but I must maintain an unbiased state. I do not know enough to say "dam him", but if he is indeed guilty I pray God's justice will prevail. Again, I am literally shocked by these allegations and the timing. I guess I had simply been blind sided as many of you were too.

Thank you for letting me share.


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