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SBC Executive Committee hires a firm to investigate itself and report findings to itself – Baptist News Global

In what appears to be a preemptive move four days before the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, the president of the SBC Executive Committee announced he has hired an outside firm to investigate his own agency and, purportedly, report the findings to the agency being investigated.

Two SBC pastors — joined likely by others — already have said they intend to bring a motion at the June 15-16 convention for the newly elected president of the SBC to name a task force to hire an outside investigator of the Executive Committee. Such a report would come back through the task force to the SBC in annual session, not to the Executive Committee itself.

Ronnie Floyd

Yet late in the day on Friday, June 11, Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd — who has been named as one of those to be investigated — announced he and the Executive Committee have hired a firm to do their own independent investigation.

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And the chairman of the Executive Committee said he’s OK with that, even though he realizes it might look inappropriate.

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Rolland Slade

“I know there are folks who will not agree with the actions we’re taking. I want to ask them to be patient with us and join us in getting this right,” said Rolland Slade, pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, Calif.

And indeed, the response on social media to the Friday afternoon news drop was laced with suspicion.

Said the Baptist Blogger, a frequent inside critic of Floyd and the Executive Committee: “Can you name another moment in SBC history where an entity CEO announces he’s ‘vetting’ a firm to investigate his OWN trustees? This is so backwards it wouldn’t even pass the smell test in Northwest Arkansas.”

Dwight McKissic, an Arlington, Texas, pastor who also is an inside critic, similarly ridiculed the news: “This ill-fated decision by the EC deserves a MLK style protest. We cannot as a convention treat these victims with such disregard & disrespect to allow a review, as opposed to an investigation & something less than an independent investigation launched by the convention, not EC.”

Baptist Press, which is part of the Executive Committee staff managed by Floyd, released a story quoting “a statement to Baptist Press” from Floyd. In that statement to his own staff, Floyd said the firm he has chosen, Guidepost Solutions, “is one of the most reputable companies in the nation for uncovering facts and providing guidance for the future.”

A separate news release from the Executive Committee, not from Baptist Press, said the Executive Committee “is committed to serving Southern Baptists with integrity, excellence, transparency and accountability.”

Yet it is the lack of integrity, transparency and accountability that caused Floyd’s critics to call for an outside investigation. A firestorm of protest has erupted after two letters written by Russell Moore, former head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, became public over the past two weeks. Moore makes serious allegations against Floyd and former Executive Committee Chairman Mike Stone, saying they stonewalled necessary responses to allegations of sexual abuse detailed in a 2019 series of articles in the Houston Chronicle.

In one of those recordings, Floyd says he’s not so much concerned about the sexual abuse victims themselves but instead wants to “protect the base” of the SBC constituency that supports him.

In addition to those two letters, one of Moore’s former associates at the ERLC released audio clips of meetings where both Floyd and Stone are heard resisting calls for reform.

In one of those recordings, Floyd says he’s not so much concerned about the sexual abuse victims themselves but instead wants to “protect the base” of the SBC constituency that supports him.

Despite these accusations, the Executive Committee’s Friday afternoon news release stated: “Under the direction of Dr. Floyd, the SBC Executive Committee has helped to lead the Convention to address the issues of sex abuse in Southern Baptist churches.”

In his “statement” to Baptist Press, Floyd added: “Our staff commits to transparency and cooperation. Caring for abuse survivors and protecting the vulnerable in our churches must remain a priority for Southern Baptists, and we want to communicate that clearly before a watching world.”

 

Related articles:

‘Southern Baptist whistleblower’ offers audio clips to back Russell Moore’s claims

Mike Stone and Ronnie Floyd should step down | Opinion by Maina Mwaura and David Phillips

Leaked letters and charges of covering up sexual abuse set the stage for a potential investigation of the investigators inside SBC

Caring well? Speaker says Baptist Press reported abuse disclosure as a consensual affair

There’s controversy again, and more people are attending the SBC annual meeting

The saga of Southwestern Seminary and the Pattersons just got stranger, and it’s all in the SBC Book of Reports

Lawsuit reveals details about Paige Patterson’s ‘break her down’ meeting with woman alleging campus rape

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