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She was then sent to a family in Colorado until the baby was born and given up for adoption.
Anderson’s rapist, a registered sex offender, was made to confess as well—but to adultery, not rape—and he remained at the church for years.
Anderson’s story highlighted what these critics—dismissed by the school as disaffected “detractors”—saw as a pattern in how Bob Jones stigmatized students who reported rape or sexual assault.
A senior named Christopher Peterman started a Facebook group and website called Do Right BJU, which aimed to remove Phelps from the board and called for a range of reforms; he organized the first campus protest in the university’s history to raise awareness of sexual abuse.
While Bob Jones was for decades the choice destination for conservative Christian students, enrollment at the school was dropping: down about 10 percent in the last decade and nearly 25 percent since its heyday in the early 1980s.
Alumni blogs published pictures of what used to be an overflowing chapel, now left with hundreds of empty seats; two dorms are scheduled to be demolished this summer.
Before he came to fame, Graham was a Bob Jones University dropout who Bob Jones Sr.
said would never amount to more than a “poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks.” Though the two later became friends, they split again in 1957 over Graham’s revival crusades—in particular, a crusade at Madison Square Garden that Jones, who’d warned Graham to avoid cities and politicians, condemned as too ecumenical and accommodating to modern society.
But then a few months later, on the eve of graduating, Peterman was expelled for watching , among other violations. Peterman and alumni groups active on Facebook began to hear from more and more students who claimed they had been poorly treated when they reported sexual abuse to school staff.
Tina Anderson, a 15-year-old who lived in New Hampshire, was raped and impregnated in 1997 by one of her church’s deacons, then in his late thirties, while she was a babysitter for his family.
When Anderson and her mother told their pastor, Bob Jones graduate Chuck Phelps, what had happened, Phelps had Anderson stand before the congregation while he read a confession of her pregnancy.
Leaked minutes from a recent faculty meeting noted that Christian colleges are closing across the U. but that Bob Jones might find salvation in China and South Korea, where “the opportunity for Christian education” is still “unbelievable.” The school has begun selling off assets: the radio station, the music publisher, the hospital.
“The Promise” to support retiring faculty has been rescinded.