Stolen Innocence: Lauren’s Story of Church Sexual Abuse

After two years I am finally using my name. My name is Lauren.

I am not just “the victim” or the young teenager with the orange bow in her hair, as I was labeled by lawyers and the media.

I am Lauren …

And this is my story of sexual abuse by Derrick Trump, the youth director of Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia.

Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia

Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia

I grew up in Greenwich Presbyterian Church, which is a small church in Nokesville, Virginia. I have many good memories from that church that will always be with me; however, most of my memories will haunt me for a long time to come.

When I was eleven the church hired a new youth director, Derrick Trump. That is when the abuse began, as Derrick Trump started to use my youthful vulnerability to groom me. He never allowed me to form friendships correctly, interact with boys my age, or experience a normal preteen existence.

It seemed like we were attached at the hip. He taught me to play the guitar. We were involved together with youth group and mission trips. When we were not physically together, he was always texting me.

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The Life Church: New Pedophilia Charges Against Youth Pastor Jordan Baird

“When the abusive behavior of Christian leaders is uncovered, all too often the immediate response is not an unconditional admission or a genuine expression of authentic repentance. Instead, a common response is a new narrative. A false narrative. A narrative that attempts to paint a picture of the situation without any regard for truth. A narrative designed to protect reputations and preserve future incomes. A narrative designed to keep the leaders in the spotlight and the victims out of the way.”

~ Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.)

Yup.

And it’s still happening at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia, following youth pastor Jordan Baird’s conviction and incarceration in January 2018 for pedophilia at the church.

In response, there was no open confession, repentance and asking for forgiveness as Scripture demands. Instead, Jordan Baird’s father and Senior Pastor David Baird – along with the rest of the Baird family which runs the church – announced they were forming an “independent” review of what happened.

That now seems, in hindsight, to have been a deceptive and hollow response, given the many lives destroyed by the pervasive culture of narcissism they created and sustained at The Life Church …

Which also allowed Jordan Baird to thrive there as a sexual predator and pedophile.

Their announcement also seems hollow given the two years of victim shaming they engaged in, through multiple public pronouncements of Jordan’s and the church’s innocence by David Baird and the rest of the Baird family church leadership – while also acting aggressively behind the scenes to cover up the facts and silence those abused at the church.

It is now many months later, and their full “independent” review hasn’t seen the light of day.

Why?

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A Tale of Victim Shaming and Blaming at Greenwich Presbyterian Church

My name is Cherie and my daughter was sexually abused by Derrick Trump when he was the youth director of Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia. Derrick Trump was convicted of his crime and released from jail in May 2018. However, this is my story – from a mom’s perspective – about sexual abuse and the subsequent victim shaming which prevails in the church community.

Our family attended Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia, for 12 years. We bonded with other church members over many mission trips, Vacation Bible School and youth group. We supported each other in times of joy and adversity. Church was more than just a Sunday thing for us. My kids grew up there. It was our second home. We were a family.

Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia

Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville, Virginia

It has been two years since that devastating day when my daughter told me that the man we all cared for so deeply, Derrick Trump, had hurt her in the worst way imaginable!

As our church youth director, Derrick Trump – then a 28-year-old husband and expectant father – was being arrested, charged and sentenced to jail for sexually abusing my sixteen year old child, she was also being judged by the court of public opinion and our church congregation. As if the damage caused by Derrick was not enough, my child was condemned for his sins, too.

After Derrick’s sentencing, my daughter initially attempted to go back to youth group at Greenwich Presbyterian Church, but she was so shamed, shunned and re-victimized that she never returned. When we see people from our former church they literally cover their faces, turn their whole body away to shun us or approach us to initiate a confrontation with my child. They blame her for what a 28-year-old church leader did to her, as if a sixteen year old child under her abuser’s care was the “other woman.”

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The Life Church: Tax Evasion, Lies and Pedophilia

The Life Church scandals keep on coming …

The IRS has filed four court liens against The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia (with additional “campuses” in Winchester, Bristow and Warrenton).

Those multiple liens are for massive tax evasion by The Life Church over an eleven year period for unpaid employee payroll withholdings.

The outstanding taxes listed in the liens equal $912,128.50, but with penalties they currently total MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS.

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Silent No More: Morgan’s Brave Statement Against Her Abuser

On February 21, 2018, a court imposed a nearly five-and-a-half year sentence on Jordan David Baird for six pedophilia felony convictions.

His charges all involved using his position as a worship leader and youth pastor at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia, to sexually solicit and molest a young girl soon after her sixteenth birthday. (See, Sexual Predation and Pedophilia at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia.)

Jordan Baird also is the son of that church’s senior pastor, David Baird.

At the sentencing hearing, his victim (now 19 years old) took the stand. While looking directly at Jordan David Baird, she gave a powerful impact statement.

With her permission, we are posting Morgan’s statement (she also gave us permission to use her name) to encourage and embolden other survivors of sexual abuse at The Life Church – and elsewhere – to likewise find their voice and tell their stories.

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A Mom Confronts The Life Church and Her Daughter’s Abuser

On February 21, 2018, a court imposed a nearly five-and-a-half year sentence on Jordan David Baird for six pedophilia felony convictions.

His charges all involved using his position as a worship leader and youth pastor at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia, to sexually solicit and molest a young girl soon after her sixteenth birthday. (See, Sexual Predation and Pedophilia at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia.)

Jordan Baird also is the son of that church’s senior pastor, David Baird.

At that sentencing hearing, the victim’s mom took the stand. While looking directly at Jordan Baird and the Baird family – which controls The Life Church and was sitting in the court room – she gave a very direct and powerful impact statement.

With the mom’s permission, we are posting her statement (her daughter, who is now 19, also gave us permission to post it and keep her name in it) to encourage and embolden other survivors of sexual abuse at The Life Church – and elsewhere – to likewise find their voice and tell their stories.

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Sexual Predation and Pedophilia at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia

Update: On January 11, 2018, Jordan David Baird was convicted by a jury of his peers on five of seven felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor while in a custodial or supervisory position as a youth and worship leader at The Life Church in Manassas, Virginia. He was immediately incarcerated and is now a registered sex offender.

On February 21, 2018, he was convicted on an additional felony charge of electronically sexually soliciting a minor. This arose under a plea agreement with the prosecutor, after the jury had hit an impasse and the judge originally declared a mistrial on that charge.

Before sentencing Jordan Baird, the court allowed one of his victims and her mother to directly face him – and his assembled immediate and extended family – to give very powerful statements on how his pedophilia at the church, and the resulting shunning and coverup by his family and The Life Church, impacted their lives.

With their permission, we have published those statements, in full, on Nathan’s Voice at Silent No More: Morgan’s Brave Statement Against Her Abuser and A Mom Confronts The Life Church and Her Daughter’s Abuser.

After sentencing Jordan Baird to jail, five years probation, restitution, and a lifetime ban on going within 100 feet of any building housing a school or child care facility, the judge went out of his way to then rebuke The Life Church in very blunt terms for having “re-victimized” the child Jordan Baird had molested and her family.

Addressing Mr. Baird and his family members who run the church and were sitting in the courtroom, the judge noted that the abuse “happened in church”, which “should be a sanctuary where people are protected.” The judge said that the actions of The Life Church in this case, however, were anything but protective and were “particularly disturbing”.

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Sexual Predation by Christian Author and “Apostle” Frank Viola

The pattern is common, but the carnage is great.

After months of investigation, Nathan’s Voice – a victim support ministry by a network of fellowships in Virginia – has confirmed through multiple witnesses a history of lies, abuse, sexual predation and cover up involving noted Christian author and self-proclaimed “apostolic worker” Frank Viola.

Eventually, the edifice of lies and cover up in such cases comes crashing down, as the voices of the victims – even when initially silenced – are finally heard.

In this case, his former church finally had enough and dared to expose Frank Viola’s history of sexual exploitation and leadership abuse, only to be muzzled. That church eventually fell apart because of the lies, deceptions and cult practices foisted upon them.

Finally, however, Nathan’s Voice is allowing their story and first-person accounts to be heard once again – as a warning to all.

Unlike the past, we are resolute in standing against any further threats and other efforts to silence them yet again.

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Beauty from Ashes

Since early this year, we’ve been working on a huge sex abuse case involving Christ Chapel, a large Assembly of God church in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Hurt and Confusion

The human carnage and shattered lives have been great.

We take on these kinds of cases not only because we believe in justice, but because we also believe in redemption. Often, I have the privilege of seeing God’s grace shine through as healing comes and the survivors begin to find the strength to reclaim their lives – and their stolen voices.

As I interview and get to know various survivors and their families, I’m often asked if the pain will ever stop. I tell them how I have seen God bring beauty from ashes time and again, both in others and in my own life.

It is hard, but once we pass through the fire and begin to see what God does with the ashes of our lives, we experience gratitude for who we start to become.

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Christian Counseling Class

For those who want to become part of a support network for abuse survivors, one of our founders, Jim Wright, will be teaching a semester-long Christian counseling class beginning Tuesday, September 6th, through early December. We will be meeting every Tuesday evening at his home just south of Manassas, Virginia, from 7:00 to 9:15 pm.

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