July 31, 2005

Despite misconduct claims, minister keeps on counseling

Lexington Herald-Leader

By Frank E. Lockwood

When three former clients accused him of misconduct and the state ordered him to stop offering marriage and family therapy, the Rev. Robert G. Humphreys didn't get out of the business -- he merely changed his title.

By dropping the word "licensed," and by branding himself a "pastoral counselor," the Southern Baptist preacher found a loophole that he says allows him to stay in business. That dismays clients who say Humphreys made inappropriate sexual comments and revealed their secrets without proper authorization.

While it requires most counselors and therapists to be licensed, Kentucky -- like most states -- does not require pastoral counselors to be licensed.

"It's a technicality," said Humphreys, 69, interim pastor of Lexington's First Baptist Church in the 1980s and a 1962 graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "When you're dealing with the law, I'm not sure that you're dealing with common sense."

Mary Baker, one of Humphreys' accusers, says the state marriage and family therapy licensure board should stop him.

Posted by kshaw at July 31, 2005 08:55 AM