NAMB and the Grifting Gift Cards

(Capstone Report) Why does an SBC entity use untraceable gift cards? It looks like an accounting nightmare that makes Bob Reccord seem parsimonious in comparison.

The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention is using gift cards to buy loyalty, according to a bombshell allegation included in an 8,000-word story by legendary Baptist reporter Joe Westbury.

According to Westbury, NAMB provides gift cards worth hundreds of dollars to church planters. NAMB confirmed it used them but refused to specify the value range. Westbury’s digging found the range of gifts from NAMB was $100-1,000 in gift cards and sometimes checks.

Further, Westbury documented, “As recently as December at least one staff member in the Northwest received two gift cards from NAMB totaling $450. The employee was instructed that the $300 should be given to his wife as a gift, and the $150 card was to be used to pay for a ‘date night.’”

Also, “Joseph Bunce, who retired Feb. 1 after 15 years with the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, says NAMB overstepped its boundaries by sending gift cards to his own convention employees without his knowledge. And that included staff members who had little, if any, professional contact with NAMB.”

Now the money quote from Bunce: “I was not upset with anyone who received an unsolicited gift card. But it was like someone sending flowers to a neighbor’s wife because the neighbor was doing such a good job of mowing his lawn,” Bunce said. “It is a sly way to buy

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Editor’s Note. This article was written and published at the Capstone Report.


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