Thursday, May 21, 2009

You are no longer silenced


To all of the women in Texas that were told you didn't have enough witnesses;
To all the girls across the U.S. that were abused by Gilyard;
To the women and girls that didn't come forward here in Jacksonville and especially for the brave ones that did;
THIS WAS YOUR DAY - You have been heard!
Everyone is listening, your story is being validated. You are no longer silenced!
It was a powerful day in the courtroom! I am in awe at the strength and message delivered by the mother of one of the victims. It was such a powerful, bold, stern but loving message.
Darrell Gilyard had to stand there at the podium and listen first to the Judge read out his crimes and the penalties, then hear the mother of a victim describe the pain to her family and all of the lives his sin has touched.
But, how sad it was to sit there and watch a man with such gifts, such potential, hang his head as he received the sentence for crimes that he hoped no one would ever know of. The same crimes he has intimidated people from reporting, the ones he has tried to convince others did not happen, the ones he himself has adamantly denied - until now.
Sin is so powerful and once it takes root, it does not let go. If you allow it authority in your life, you eventually lose yourself to it, you become ill, sick in sin. As the mother pointed out today, God always plans a way of escape, she asked him why he did not take it. I honestly think he had gotten away with it all for so long, he was no longer afraid of getting caught. By statements made to many, he didn't seem to be afraid of even the Almighty God - what a scary place to be. I look at his face in the above picture and I do not gloat, I do not feel anger, I feel absolute pity. I hope that he finds in his heart some remorse, from what I am being told that hasn't appeared to be the case yet, but I hope it comes.


http://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/crime/2009-05-21/story/former_jacksonville_pastor_guilty_in_sex_case

http://www.news4jax.com/news/19526773/detail.html

http://http//www.actionnewsjax.com/content/actionbreaking/story/Pastor-pleads-guilty-to-molestation-charges/9ZmIQFkDeUOkaiQcGC8lhA.cspx

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tiffany, I am in awe of your strength! Praise the Lord for today's news! I love you, girl!

Elisa M.

Paul Green said...

Was he arrested in court or is he still out on bail?

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

He is still out and has to report back on June 11th before the Judge. Judge Weatherby was very pointed and let him know he better appear before him on that date or he would be sentenced to the full penalty of the actual sentence, 2 consecutive 15 year sentences.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding!! Tiffany, you deserve so much credit for being an empowering voice in this whole proceess. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tiffany on behalf of all the women who have crossed Darrell's path! God Bless you!

dfsa said...

So glad this is over!

dfsa

Thy Peace said...

ABP News > Former rising star preacher pleads guilty to molestation.
A woman who claimed she resisted sexual advances by Gilyard when she was 18 and a youth leader at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville in 1991, started a blog in 2008 urging others with similar stories to come forward.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said in a recent posting she was not rejoicing about Gilyard's downfall, but she labeled him a sexual predator and said he should suffer consequences for his actions. Croft said if Gilyard had not been sentenced "I am confident that there would be more victims."

In April Gilyard settled a lawsuit with a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted and got her pregnant, but a paternity suit against him continues. According to the Florida Times-Union, an earlier sexual misconduct case against him was settled quietly by his church for $300,000
.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tiffany for your resolve in staying with this. Thank you for not allowing yourself to be intimidated -- by anyone!

I thought it quite odd that Gilyard called what he did "mistakes." You can't call sin mistakes and expect God to go along with that.

The ONLY reason he agreed to 3 years prison and 3 years probation is because he knew he was guilty of the crimes he was accused of plus so many more that have not been brought to a court of law and he could have to go to prison for 30 years!

Statistics show that pedophiles and child molesters are continual repeat offenders. He should never be allowed to stand at a pulpit ever again nor be around children in any capacity!

Thy Peace said...

Stop Baptist Predators > It should not be forgotten.
If Southern Baptists are ever going to effectively address clergy sex abuse, they must begin to see that the problem is about more than “a few bad apples.” It’s about the way in which the barrel itself enables the rot.

That’s what we asked the trustees to do -- look at whether Patterson played a role in enabling the rot. That sort of accountability inquiry is the sort of thing that a responsible organization would do. It’s what an organization that truly cared about the safety of kids and congregants would do.

Why? Because when it takes two decades and at least 46 wounded people before a predatory preacher is stopped, there is something very wrong with the system. Either the institutional safeguards are non-existent or they have failed. And someone in a position of responsibility needs to look into it and to assess what went wrong.

It should not be forgotten that a great many people suffered grievous wounds in this dreadful saga.

What would Baptist leaders do differently to prevent so many from being so wounded in the future? What would Patterson and Vines do differently?
.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading comments and posts on your blog since Pastor Gilyard was arrested some time ago. The more I read the angrier I got. I've fought the devil hard on not posting something awful. Now with God's help I will try to express myself as a Saved Christian. Its not that I believe Pastor Gilyard is innocent or guilty. Simply, I believe we must trust that God will handle matters like this for us. Man has set forth his punishment. However, I am pretty sure God will handle him the ways He sees fit do. Rather its here on Earth, down in Hell, or possibly still up in Heaven. We still must leave it up to God to handle this. Many lives have directly been affected and will continue to be effected by this situation. I am posting about the innocent lambs that you are indirectly affecting. These people had nothing to do with Pastor Gilyard's action. Your blog, your presence in the News, your lawsuit, and what I believe is your obsession for punishment will hurt these lambs for years to come. The Church is God's house not Pastor Gilyard's. So it is my belief that you punished God and His house for man's temptations of the flesh.

Thy Peace said...

"Your blog, your presence in the News, your lawsuit, and what I believe is your obsession for punishment will hurt these lambs for years to come. The Church is God's house not Pastor Gilyard's. So it is my belief that you punished God and His house for man's temptations of the flesh".

I am really biting my tongue and slapping my fingers from typing a response. Instead, I will link to comments I made earlier here, and here.

Anonymous said...

anon May 22, 6:56p- you said:
"The Church is God's house not Pastor Gilyard's. So it is my belief that you punished God and His house for man's temptations of the flesh."

You ere not knowing the Scriptures.
Read Matthew 18 to start. Steps were taken to bring Gilyard to repentance. He refused. He hid behind those who allowed him to. He continued on fulfilling his lustful, sinful, evil desires. God Himself has exposed him and is punishing him here and now on this earth rather than later. I see the mercy of God in this, in that He is allowing Gilyard yet even another opportunity to repent. This is what I hope he will do, REPENT. And do it publicly since all of his sin was made public. God has uncovered his secret sin which is what He said He would do. And for you or anyone else (especially Saved Christians) to say that anyone other than DARRELL GILYARD has punished the house of God ere not knowing the Scripture. This is a message to all of us (especially pastors, and SO CALED pastors) that God is serious about His sheep and He's serious about sin. It is God who has used a willing servant like Tiffany and the likes of her to do His will and get the attention of these wolves in sheep clothing and those who would fleece the flock for any type of personal gain or gratification.
Anon May 22, 6:56p you are right, the church (the church is actually the people of God-the body of Christ). But let’s say that the building (church) is the house of God. Since it is God’s house, He will do just what He has done, EXPOSED THE DIRT, so that they will clean it up. And the way that He chose to do this is through Tiffany and others who were willing. Wake up people! Get the message that the Lord has sent before it's too late. WAKE UP GILYARD- GOD HAS GIVEN YOU YET ANOTHER CHANCE, DON'T THROW IT AWAY AS YOU HAVE DONE IN THE PAST. Thank and praise the Lord Jesus Christ for Tiffany's God led bravery in this matter. May the Lord CONTINUE to shine through you.
Finally, never go on your belief, always filter everything through the Word of God. There you shall find the answers, understanding and peace.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:56 AM
What a "crock". If Gilyard were anything other than a preacher he'd have been dealt with a long time ago. His conduct would never have been tolerated in a secular environment for so long--we're talking about roughly 25 years of this perverted behavior (read his history). In addition, my personal experience with this man convinces me that he is one of the most evil men one will ever meet. This blog, Tiffany's involvement, the posting here which kept the pressure on, were of great benefit in bringing this perverted individual to justice. Now, in terms of the damage to the church: The church is the body of called out believers ("ekklesia" or "called out ones"), not some building. Gilyard and any others like him represent a cancer in the body of Christ and need to be "cut away" to allow the body to necessary healing to begin. It's deluded folks like yourself that have been enable this kind of behavior in the church and by doing so cause as much damage as the perpetrators themselves. If you want to blame someone for the hurt that's been caused include yourself and any other apologists that excuse or explain away the actions of these ungodly perverts by saying "let the Lord deal with it". God uses people to accomplish His purposes.

Anonymous said...

We still must leave it up to God to handle this. Many lives have directly been affected and will continue to be effected by this situation. I am posting about the innocent lambs that you are indirectly affecting. These people had nothing to do with Pastor Gilyard's action. Your blog, your presence in the News, your lawsuit, and what I believe is your obsession for punishment will hurt these lambs for years to come. The Church is God's house not Pastor Gilyard's. So it is my belief that you punished God and His house for man's temptations of the flesh.

May 22, 2009 6:56 AM

Wow, so much bad theology is believed these days!

So, we must leave it all up to God?

Then why, pray tell, do we have the Epistles? According to you, they are not needed. Paul, John and Peter were wasting their time. Perhaps you also believe the Epistles were not Inspired?

The Epistles are also instructions to the Body of Christ how to handle all sorts of things. Like kicking out a sexually immoral brother. See 1 Corin 5.

Guess we can ignore that and just wait on God who ironically, WORKS THROUGH US FOR HIS PURPOSES.

The 'church' is God's house? Incredible how biblically ignorant folks are. The temple veil was torn in two on the cross, friend. There are no more brick and morter temples in God's economy. God dwells in US by the indwelling Holy Spirit if we are saved. WE are the temples now. And when we meet, whether it is in a home, outside or anywhere, we are the Body of Christ.

The biblical ignorance of average Christians scares me half to death for all of us. Stop listening to these lame selfish preachers and get into the Word. If you pray, the Holy Spirit will teach you. He is the best teacher as scripture tell us.

Mark

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Good points here Mark. Especially your last paragraph...it is scary sometimes.

Thy Peace said...

Tiffany: I am sorry to see that either you hid the "Extending Grace - A powerful message" post or deleted it.

My comments in that post were not directed either at you or the Mom who gave Grace at the Court Room. They were directed more at the detractors.

I have always held you in high esteem, for you have suffered much and shown Grace to others.

God bless you, sister in Christ.

Thy Peace said...

The Wartburg Watch - Continuing Our Series On Abusive Churches > Revictimizing Victims.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

I removed the post last night becasue I could not find a way to move it's position without deleting it...I wanted to work on another post to replace it as I felt that it was detracting from the original message and was becoming hurtful to the mother - it was probably not in her best interest to publish her words. Though I feel the majority recieved the good that was meant by her message...I simply ran out of time and was to tired to stay up and work on it last night...

So, it is back up if anyone desires to continue posting on it. I am taking it off of the top just out of respect for the mother.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! Anon May 22 7:55am, 11:35am and Mark.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Tiffany:

You know I was thinking that after all Darrell did to people, he still got only three (3) years!

Then another three years of probation. So if we calculate it, that probably meant somewhere between 12 - 18 months in prison with a possible "house arrest" type thing.

The three years of probation will go by fast, and Darrell will be doing his thing all over! That is, of course, if God doesn't intervene in some way so as to stop him from ministering again!

Please hear this next sentence very well: when it comes to "forgiving and forgetting", Black people do it better than any race of people on the face of this earth!

That means when Darrell gets out of prison and provided he is healthy, do not be surprise to see him rise again to national prominence!

As strange as it may sound and feel, people love the under-dog even if the under-dog was in the wrong. I just thought I'd share these few words in order that people might know and be prepared for a quick resolution to this situation. I'm predicting between 12 & 18 months behind bars with house arrest for the remainder. What say all of you?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous it is something that some black people just will not excuse not matter what color you are. Children are innocent. I don't care what race you are when an adult preys on that sends an outrage to all race of people. Parents trusted him with thier children, some men with their wives. His behavior is the same no matter where he goes. He can be forgaven by God. No church congregation should ever call him in the ministry. I bet if the had went back in his history they would have found more. He mastered in lying and controlling others. Everything he was self obsorbed. He's not sorry for what he has done. He's sorry because he got caught.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster, I totally agree with your comments, however, unfortuantely, as bad as what he did is, "Black" people will STILL forgive him.

It happen to Henry Lyons, and he is now pastoring a church that is beginning to thrive under his leadership to the point that they're building a new structure!

He is in Tampa, and everybody knows what he did, how much time he spent in Federal prison, and he is packing the church out, and his calendar is far more filled than the rest of us!

We are a strange people we black people are. I don't think we mean any harm, we simply do not understand the concept of restitution and restoration the biblical way!

I don't think Darrell should ever dart the doors of a church to enter the pulpit again! Yet, I know in my heart of hearts that he most certainly will.....unless our Father intervenes in such a way that even black folks can't do anything about it!

Blessings to All!

Anonymous said...

Anon June 4, 2009 2:53 AM

Amen! But people are people, no matter what ethnic background. It happens in all cultures. We only see what we are around most of the time. But it happens across the board. Most of all, we're witnessing the great falling away (apotasy) the Scripture speaks of.

Anonymous said...

Thos eof us who know DG know that one day is too much for him in prision. He is a scary individual. Yes he did a lot to people but was never turned in to the legal ssytem. only to church officials. He can not be prosecuted to what he did for 20 years ago, only from what happened with the victims that turned him in to the authorities in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos. Tired...

Anonymous said...

Beware if wolves in sheep clothing. I believe that God has everything under control and he is tired of ministers claimin to be men/women of God. People are in search for salvation and ministers are using their teachings to manipulate them. Some of the so called preachers/pastors go and study to be ministers and have no calling from God. They have a master plan "a get rich, live big, and use others. God is not pleased with Darrell actions, and in the bibles says if you hurt the least one of my sheep. His sentence is light here on earth, but God will deal with him. He has been uncovering him for years and people turned a death ear, but God cannot lie and Darrell must answer to the almighty. Any church officials/members allow these types of things to happen and sit in silence are just as guilty as preachers like Darrell. If Darrell even thinks about stepping in someone pulpit again the individuals there should stand on the Lord side and not let him prey on anyone eles. ENOUGH is ENOUGH and God's true believers need to STAND!!!

Excuse any errors!!!!

Anonymous said...

To the poster who say "people are people", you're correct.....BUT, Black people are stranger than any ethnicity when it comes to forgiving the preacher!

In fact, someone has said that in the Black church, a pastor/preacher can be forgiven for anything except if he steals the church's money and if he cannot preach!

Everything and anything else is open for forgiveness including sleeping with the Deacons wives and women in the Church.

Shiloh is oneof thousands of Black churches that proves this point. She knew that her pastor was crooked and scandalous, but she kept turning her head as if she didn't see or know anything.

I can asure you that the White churches that I know would NEVER have put up with their minister bringing such reproach on Christ and their church!

He would have been gone if he was in a White church or even a Latino church; they wouldn't have put up with it!

Anonymous said...

Black church white church doesn't matter wrong is wrong. Cathederal of Faith in Atlanta had a white pastor. He had sex with members also. Sin is sin and it's done in the white churches as well. This is not a racial issue. All religions are falling prey to sexual misconducts by so called preachers/pastors.

Anonymous said...

So thankful that this young girl's mother did speak out until she was heard. Just amazed that he would only get 3 years! I am a prison volunteer and my observation has been that every one else usually receives around 10 YEARS for EACH count of child moslestation and no early out!
No one has mentioned his very sweet young wife? She comes from a good loving family and she must be totally distraught. I attended their wedding and I know she was expected to quit her job when she married Darrell Gilyard. Is anyone helping her? She is also a victim in this crime.