“This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang” by Christa Brown was just published.
A few weeks ago I was invited to read a manuscript of Christa Brown’s outstanding autobiographical account of falling prey to her Baptist pastor as a young teenager, her realization of how the sexual abuse affected her life as an adult, her attempts to find compassion and help from her denomination and finally become an advocate for other survivors of clergy abuse and to protect children from becoming victims.
At first I was just honored that I was asked to read an early copy. And then, as soon as I started reading I was pulled into this page-turner and thought how lucky I was to just read this book and be allowed an inside glimpse of this woman’s experience. So much of it mirrored the accounts we collected while conducting our interviews with missionary kids (MKs) who were abused at their boarding school in Mamou, Africa.
Different organization, different individuals, different types of abuse – but the same misuse of power and the same denials when the survivor approaches the organization. And of course, there is always the reaction of: you are just bitter – why can’t you just forgive what happened? Even the first comment to the first article (Associated Baptist Press) about the book is full of such accusations and demands. It always baffles me that the survivor continues to be under attack even years after the initial abuse is over. It takes so much courage to speak out and Christa Brown has my admiration. Read her response to that specific negative comment on her blog. By the way, the quote from our film she mentions: “It’s not that the victims are against forgiveness. Victims are against forgiveness as the solution to the problem because then the problem will go on and on […]” is by Dianne Darr Couts.
I’m sure, “This Little Light” is going to help many people understand themselves and what has happened to them better and inspire and encourage them on their own journey of healing. Hopefully it will help families and communities to understand those who survived abuse. I also hope it will actually bring on some change to the system of reporting abuse and regulating who may work as a minister within the Baptist denomination and other organizations. Most certainly, this book was incredibly educational to me about the many aspects of clergy child abuse from the perspective of a survivor and advocate.
I highly recommend this book and am excited to finally be able to discuss it with everyone involved with All God’s Children.
This is my official short assessment of the book:
“Moving, eye-opening, shocking and even suspenseful . . . Christa Brown does not hold back in this courageous account of her journey from impressionable clergy sex abuse victim to tenacious advocate.”