The five members of the new Committee on Cooperation are now in place and serving as the liaison between the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, the Sexual Abuse Task Force and Guidepost Solutions.
“The Committee on Cooperation is a way for the EC to have an official relationship with Guidepost Solutions while maintaining the independence of Guidepost,” explained task force vice chair Marshall Blalock in an interview with The Baptist Paper. “The committee will help process the billing and will serve as the facilitator of the relationship between Guidepost and the EC staff and trustees … but does not have any control of the contract (or investigation itself).”
The committee members are the ones tasked with ensuring the EC fully cooperates with requests made during the investigation, said Blalock, pastor of First Baptist Church Charleston, South Carolina.
The members are SBC President Ed Litton, a pastor from Alabama who will chair the committee; Mike Keahbone, a pastor from Oklahoma; Chris Dupree, a pastor from Texas; John Batts, a pastor from Washington, and Nancy Spalding, a layperson and CPA from Michigan.
The main stipulation to serve on the committee was that they needed to be new members of the EC so their service did not intersect with the scope of the investigation (Jan. 1, 2000, through June 14, 2021), Blalock noted. While the committee chair was predetermined to be the SBC president, two of the other four members were selected by EC chairman Rolland Slade and two by the task force.
Of the five members, four voted in favor of waiving attorney-client privilege in the investigation and one voted against.