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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
More churches using background checks
By Aaron Earls
An estimated 1-in-5 background checks processed through LifeWay Christian Resources' program with backgroundchecks.com reveals a conviction of a felony or other serious offense.
This may be part of the reason why a growing number of churches use background checks as a way to better protect children and others involved in ministry.
After a six-year partnership between LifeWay and backgroundchecks.com, the number of churches that say they are benefiting from the screenings continues to grow. Since last year, 50 percent more churches and organizations have used the service.
Since 2008, approximately 7,700 churches and religious organizations have conducted more than 142,000 background checks by using backgroundchecks.com (www.LifeWay.com/backgroundchecks). Of those checks, nearly half (47 percent) contained some type of criminal offense, according to Jennie Taylor, a LifeWay coordinator who helps manage the service.
Taylor said the majority of those were for minor incidents, such as speeding tickets or seatbelt violations. But more than 21 percent of the checks discovered misdemeanors or more serious crimes, including more than 9,000 felonies.
Dr. Pat Ford joined Church Partnerships of LifeWay Christian Resources in 2007 after 35 years of ministry in church, university, and seminary settings. He can be contacted at 832-725-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Twitter at @patford.