ACCUSATIONS AGAINST OUR FOUNDER

Public Statements and Timeline Regarding Accusations Against Vision Baptist Missions Founder and Former President, Austin Gardner

Timeline of Becky Earnhart Accusations Against Austin Gardner

The following timeline is intended to keep Vision Baptist Missions' supporters and associates informed regarding the process of investigating the serious accusations that were made by Becky Earnhart against Austin Gardner, the former president and founder of Vision Baptist Missions. Vision Baptist Missions takes these allegations very seriously. Please note that this timeline is an overview, not a record of all discussions or decisions made.

August 3/4, 2021
Visions Baptist Missions Board was made aware that allegations against Austin Gardner, the former president and founder, were published on several social media platforms by Becky Earnhart.

August 5, 2021
The General Director of Vision Baptist Missions communicated with Jonathan Earnhart, Becky's husband. Also, a deacon from Vision Baptist Church reached out to Jonathan Earnhart. Vision Baptist Missions announced that Austin Gardner tendered his resignation as President and Board member. Within 24 hours, he was officially removed from Vision Baptist Missions.
August 7, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions committed to launching an independent, external investigation into the allegations made against Austin Gardner. Vision Baptist Missions also announced that they appointed an ombudsman to receive any complaints or accusations.
August 24, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions authorized A. Lee Parks, senior partner at the law firm of Parks, Chesin, & Walbert of Atlanta, Georgia, to conduct an independent, external investigation of these accusations. Vision Baptist Missions announced, upon completion of the independent investigation, they will release an official statement regarding its findings.
Vision Baptist Mission’s General Director contacted both Becky Earnhart and Austin Gardner to inform them that the law firm of Parks, Chesin, & Walbert of Atlanta, GA, would contact them to schedule interviews as part of their investigation.

Both Becky Earnhart and Austin Gardner agreed to cooperate with the investigation and to how the findings of the investigation would be released.

This investigation is currently underway.
September 13, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions sent a letter to all supporting churches of Vision Baptist Missions' missionaries informing them of the events detailed in these timelines.
October 8, 2021
The independent external investigation by Parks, Chesin, & Walbert of Atlanta, Georgia, into the allegations by Becky Earnhart against Austin Gardner, our former president and founder, has been completed. The entire investigative report is available below.
Vision Baptist Missions sent a letter to all supporting churches of Vision Baptist Missions' missionaries informing them that the independent external investigation by A. Lee Parks, senior partner at the law firm of Parks, Chesin, & Walbert of Atlanta, Georgia, into the allegations by Becky Earnhart against Austin Gardner, our former president and founder, has been completed.
October 13, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions received the following addedum from Parks, Chesin, & Walbert of Atlanta, Georgia with additional testimony from Teresa Lentz.

Timeline of Spiritual Abuse Accusations Against The Founder

The following timeline is intended to keep Vision Baptist Missions' supporters and associates informed regarding the process of investigating the spiritual abuse accusations that were made against Austin Gardner, the former president and founder of Vision Baptist Missions. Vision Baptist Missions takes these allegations very seriously. Please note that this timeline is an overview, not a record of all discussions or decisions made.

August 6, 2021
Several individuals released a statement on a private Facebook group accusing Austin Gardner, the founder and former president of Vision Baptist Missions, of “spiritual abuse, mental abuse, bullying, manipulation, pastoral neglect, fits of anger, slander, abuse of power, breach of confidentiality, and the mishandling of sexual trauma.”

August 12, 2021
Pastor Trent Cornwell informed Vision Baptist Missions that he and the deacons met and would form a special committee to receive spiritual abuse accusations related to Austin Gardner, a member of Vision Baptist Church, to investigate and deal with those accusations as a local church.

The investigation is currently underway.

August 24, 2021
Pastor Trent Cornwell informed Vision Baptist Missions that he was in contact with one of the signers of the original statement and let him know about the special committee and their willingness to hear and investigate their accusations.

September 6, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions released an official statement concerning the spiritual abuse accusations against Austin Gardner.
September 11, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions commissioned a Pastoral Advisory Committee to counsel, encourage, and advise the Board of Directors of Vision Baptist Missions as they carry out their work according to the Bible and the policies and procedures of Vision Baptist Missions.
September 13, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions sent a letter to all supporting churches of Vision Baptist Missions' missionaries informing them of the events detailed in these timelines.
October 8, 2021
The Special Committee of Vision Baptist Church that received the spiritual abuse accusations related to Austin Gardner, a member of their church, informed Vision Baptist Missions in the process of being completed. Vision Baptist Missions has been given an informal verbal statement of their findings, but a formal written statement will be released on this website when available.

Vision Baptist Missions sent a letter to all supporting churches of Vision Baptist Missions' missionaries giving them an update on the investigation of the spiritual abuse accusations the Special Committee of Vision Baptist Church has received related to Austin Gardner, a member of their church.
October 9, 2021
Vision Baptist Missions received the following statement from the Special Committee of Vision Baptist Church related to allegations against Austin Gardner of a spiritual nature.