Following afternoon NFL games on CBS this Sunday (Oct. 9), Southern Baptists may find another compelling matchup on their TV as SBC President Bart Barber sits down for an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper.
The weekly news show, which will air at 6 p.m. (Central), teased the episode Thursday (Oct. 6) online with two clips, one of which describes the interview as “surprising” and “wide-ranging.”
The shortest clip opens with, “Bart Barber may be a small town pastor but he’s also the new president of the largest and most influential evangelical group in the country as he pledges to clean up a historic sex abuse scandal of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
In the second clip, Cooper, who also is anchor of CNN’s news show Anderson Cooper 360°, addresses the Sexual Abuse Task Force report about accusations of the SBC Executive Committee mishandling reports of sexual abuse and the Department of Justice investigation. The task force presented recommendations to messengers in June during the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, which they overwhelmingly approved.
Ignore “is not a strong enough word,” Barber says in response to Cooper’s description of how the reports were handled. “We didn’t just ignore them. Sometimes we impugned their motives, sometimes we attacked them,” Barber contends. “The reason I am president of the Southern Baptist Convention is because our churches do not agree with that and have taken action to correct those things.”
‘I want to serve God well’
“I have strong feelings about this,” Barber notes. “It’s not just anger. Although I am angry about it. God called me to be a pastor when I was 11. I believe in this. For people to sully this, hurts me. I’m not trying to do this to accomplish some PR objective for us. I’m doing this because I want to serve God well.”
Barber responded to the release of the video clips on Twitter by sharing the clip and responding with the following tweet, “I spent several hours a few weeks ago with @andersoncooper talking about the Southern Baptist Convention.”
The Baptist Paper reached out to Barber for a response to the release of the video clips but did not hear back before deadline.
Next week, The Baptist Paper is planning to run a follow-up interview with Barber sharing his thoughts on the 60 Minutes interview, his last few months in the spotlight as SBC president and other reflections so far on his first term in office.