A Southern Baptist church in Tennessee has publicly called for SBC President Ed Litton to immediately resign his post and ask for repentance, the result of the ‘sermongate scandal’ that has plagued the beleaguered leader since his election 8 months ago, after our sister site Reformation Charlotte broke the news and publicized the fact that Pastor Ed Litton has been plagiarizing his sermons for over a decade. If that wasn’t bad enough, Litton has repeatedly lied over and over in his public statements about the nasty affair, showing himself unapproved to the extreme.
In a public statement, Unity Baptist Church, led by elders Dr. Louis Brenton and Mark Driver, condemned the actions of Litton, pointing out “this is the kind of sin that even non-believers know is wrong” and called for him to repent and resign. Further, they call on their local and state association, the SBC Executive Committee, and the president of the six SBC seminaries to do likewise.
Dr. Ed Litton is the pastor of Redemption Church in Mobile, Alabama. In June of 2021 he was elected as the 63rd President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Within weeks of his election, videos began appearing on YouTube that demonstrated with certainty that Dr. Litton participated in a long ongoing pattern of plagiarism of other men’s sermons. Links to evidence about this behavior and discussion regarding it may be found here. Since these initial revelations, Redemption Church has pulled down more than 100 videos from their sermon archive. Dr. Litton has consistently refused to take ownership of the magnitude of this sin or to truly confess the scope of this sin and express repentance of it.
Plagiarism is the act of stealing other people’s work and then presenting it as your own. It includes the sins of theft and dishonesty. In addition, it shows that Dr. Litton has not been faithful in fulfilling his pastoral duties at his church.
Dr. Litton’s behavior brings reproach to Redemption Church. In addition, he brings reproach to the Southern Baptist Convention, as he is the chief public representative of our convention. Lastly and most importantly, Dr. Litton’s behavior brings reproach to the reputation of our great Savior.
This is the kind of sin that even non-believers know is wrong. Dr. Litton’s behavior has been widely reported upon by secular news networks, so that the name of Christ and His church is being derided. Dr. Litton should clearly be considered disqualified to hold his office as a local pastor. Even more so, he should not be considered qualified to represent the entire Southern Baptist Convention.
In light of these facts, the Elders of Unity Baptist Church issue these public callings:
1.We call upon Dr. Ed Litton to take public ownership of the full scale of these offenses, confess them, repent of them, and resign immediately from his office as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
2.We call upon our nearest local Baptist Associations (Mid-South Baptist Association & Big Hatchie Baptist Association) to publicly denounce Dr. Litton and to call for his immediate resignation. We further extend this call to all local Baptist Associations.
3. We call upon our state association, the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, to publicly denounce Dr. Litton and to call for his immediate resignation. We further extend this call to all state associations.
4. We call upon the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to publicly denounce Dr. Litton and to call for his immediate resignation.
5. We call upon the Presidents of each of the Southern Baptist Seminaries and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary to publicly denounce Dr. Litton and to call for his immediate resignation.
In the meantime, we pledge to pray for Dr. Litton’s repentance and for the good of his church and call upon our fellow Southern Baptists to do likewise.
–The Elders of Unity Baptist Church
Sadly, while this call is absolutely deserving and necessary, Unity is one of the few SBC churches to release a statement, with Kenwood Baptist Church being the only other known one to do likewise, having written “We believe that Dr. Litton would do well to resign voluntarily. His credibility as a leader and a preacher has been too compromised for him to continue. He may choose to muddle through the next convention or two, but we believe that would be a mistake. He should resign.”