April 7, 2021
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — To continue its commitment to preventing abuse in congregations and advocating for abuse survivors, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has named CBF South Carolina Coordinator Jay Kieve to serve in the newly-created position of CBF Abuse Prevention and Response Advocate.
In this part-time role, Kieve will be the Fellowship’s point person for connecting churches to resources for the prevention of clergy sexual abuse and clergy sexual misconduct, and will work alongside the Clergy Sexual Misconduct Task Force and CBF-partner GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). He will also support congregations seeking prevention training, developing abuse prevention policies and establishing a culture that protects children and vulnerable adults from abuse. Additionally, Kieve will be available to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including receiving allegations and recommending church response. He will continue to serve as coordinator of CBFSC.
Kieve is one of the founding members of the Clergy Sexual Misconduct Task Force launched five years ago jointly by CBF and Baptist Women in Ministry. During his leadership of CBFSC, he met Cooperative Baptists working in sexual trauma services centers, who he credits with helping him to see and understand the impact of abuse on children, families and communities. Kieve notes that relationships with these colleagues as well as his work with the task force inspired him to pursue learning related to the prevention of abuse in church settings. Over the past five years, Kieve has participated in many prevention and response trainings, become a facilitator for the “Stewards of Children” prevention curriculum and has given multiple presentations at professional abuse prevention conferences. He is also a certified trauma professional and will soon be a GRACE-certified safeguarding specialist.
A graduate of Duke Divinity School (M.Div. and Th.M. and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (D.Min.), Kieve has served as CBFSC coordinator for the past eight years. In 2017, CBFSC was named community partner of the year by Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands for its work to conduct clergy training. In 2019, BWIM honored Kieve with the Frankie Huff Granger Outstanding Mentor award. Kieve and wife Melanie have been married for 30 years and have two adult children.
CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley expressed his gratefulness to Kieve for taking on this new role and noted his extensive experience as an advocate on behalf of abuse survivors.
“Jay Kieve has already provided significant leadership across our Fellowship in preparing congregations to develop policies and practices that prevent the devastating experience of sexual misconduct, and he is already a compelling advocate for those who have been abused,” Baxley said. “I am grateful that he will take formal leadership of our ongoing work in this area while continuing to give exceptional leadership to CBF South Carolina. The calling to advocate for those who are abused and develop preventative practices in congregations requires persistent faithfulness. Jay’s new leadership role is the next step in our Fellowship’s response to that calling.”
Kieve said he was honored to serve the Fellowship as CBF Abuse Prevention and Response Advocate.
“I am so proud that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship prioritizes the protection of children and vulnerable adults enough to create a staff position supporting churches,” Kieve said. “Jesus issued very harsh warnings to people who harm children (Matt. 18:1-14) so churches need to be conscientious in our care and protection of them. I am honored and humbled to be able to serve in this capacity.”
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith into practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.