Churches, community urged to be more outspoken
regarding serial rapist attacking sorority
Dr. Cheryl Ensley, a local member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and head principal at DeSoto High School (right), said that while she doesn't want to give too much publicity to a Dallas/Fort Worth-area serial rapist, it is imperative that awareness campaigns stay prevalent --- at least until the rapist, who remains at large, is caught and brought to justice.
"I definitely don't want to see (public awareness) die down until the perpetrator is caught," said Ensley, who also has four sisters who are members of the sorority organization.
Asked whether she thought the community, in general, and area churches, in particular, are doing enough to raise awareness of the crimes that have gone on since 2010, when the first woman from the sorority group was raped, Ensley said: "The issue has sort of died down in the local churches, as far as I know, but it is definitely in the hands of the local law enforcement."
Ensley's message to area churches and the community is simple: "Keep the awareness going ... be vigilant in making sure that everything else is taken care of" in terms of taking measures to improve women's safety.
There have been three rapes and one rape attempt involving women who are members of Delta Sigma Theta, with the first incident occurring in November of 2010. The most recent crime happened this past October. Authorities have noticed a pattern in these crimes committed. All of the women are members of the sorority, and all of them are in their mid-50s to mid-60s. The rapist also reportedly has broken into these women's homes between the hours of 9 p.m. and 4 a.m.
The rapes have occurred in Plano, Coppell and Corinth.
As Ensley stated, there should be continued awareness campaigns throughout the DFW Metro-plex. This shouldn't be anything that we as a community get lax about. Just because there hasn't been a reported rape or attempted rape in this pattern since October, that doesn't mean that the rapist has decided to stop this madness.
And no woman should let her guard down because she's not a member of Delta Sigma Theta or she isn't in the age range that the attacker has previously targeted. Moreover, area churches should lead the charge in speaking out against these atrocious acts.
Organized vigils and planned rallies are ways that churches can become more vigilant in the community.
My appeal to pastors: Please, if you haven't yet, remind your congregations that this area rapist is still on the loose. Remind the women to not let their guard down. And by all means, stay tuned in to the news. Keep abreast of latest developments. Don't disregard matters outside of your church.
"Some churches are so busy with the operations and issues concerning their own churches that they fail to see the importance of focusing on issues affecting the surrounding community," said Dr. Aimee Colbert (left), a faith-based counselor in Fort Worth.
Heightened awareness will improve these women's safety.
Donald Lee, pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas, is a free-lance journalist. He also co-authored "Married to Commitment," a powerful Xulon Press-published book about relationships and commitment. To order your copy of "Married to Commitment", call Xulon Press toll-free at (866) 909-2665 or order it online at http://www.xulonpress.com.