(Capstone Report) State Baptist Convention leaders rebuke SBC Elite over lack of partnership. Make clear Elites must stop their autocratic ways or face the consequences
Six State Baptist Convention leaders fired a broadside directed at Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) last week. The state executive directors allege in a letter that Ezell and NAMB are attempting to centralize power and ignore the state conventions. The letter makes clear what everyone in the SBC already knows, Ezell is an autocrat intent on centralizing power and using money to do it.
The letter outlines how NAMB is taking more money from the states and then refusing to fund joint projects as in the past. And the states included an implicit warning—unless things change, the states will take drastic action.
“We must be ready to do what is necessary to support the ongoing work of the churches in our home states who look to us for contextualized assistance in church planting, evangelism, and missions,” the leaders said.
The six state leaders are Randy Adams (Northwest Baptist Convention), Bill Agee (California Southern Baptist Convention), Joe Bunce (Baptist Convention of New Mexico), Randy Covington (Alaska Baptist Resource Network), Jack Kwok (State Convention of Baptists in Ohio) and Chris Martin (Hawaii-Pacific Baptist Convention), according to the Louisiana Baptist Message.
The six state leaders sent to Ezell, NAMB trustees and Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee members and SBC Executive Committee president Ronnie Floyd the letter outlining the need for harmony in church planting and mission efforts; however, the letter asserts Ezell and NAMB do not seek unity.
“We work most effectively when working in collaboration and harmony, especially in our non-South states where the local context and cultures of our mission fields can vary so significantly,” the leaders say. However, NAMB ignores local expertise.
The spark was a new Strategic Cooperation Agreement presented to the non-South states by NAMB. The new agreement “leaves state conventions with little or no role in the assessment, supervision, or evaluation of church planters or statewide personnel.”
And the results of NAMB’s authoritarian push are horrible.
“We are convinced the results reveal diminished fruitfulness, and guidelines,” the state leaders say. “In spite of this, we have greatly reduced staff and state-directed ministry to provide Cooperative Program funds to the national SBC.”
This is the issue with the Cooperative Program—it is now taking more money…
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Editor’s note. This article was written by Jon Harris and published at the Capstone Report, Title changed by Pulpit & Pen.