In a stunning development, Willie McLaurin has resigned as interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, according to a statement released by the EC on Thursday (Aug. 17). The search committee noted that they had discovered “disqualifying information during their process of vetting and due diligence.”
McLaurin, considered to be the most recent frontrunner in the EC’s search for a new president, shared in his resignation letter that “in a recent resumé that I submitted, it included schools that I did not attend or complete the course of study.”
Philip Robertson, chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, noted that in a “commitment to transparency” the EC will be issuing “further updates related to next steps to the presidential search team and SBC Executive Committee’s staff leadership in the near future.”
Wisdom and direction ‘paramount’
Robertson added, “I want to express my deep appreciation for your prayers for the SBC Executive Committee’s members and staff as well the presidential search team. The need for God’s wisdom and direction is paramount at each and every point in the process of searching and selecting the next president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. Please keep the EC staff and the McLaurin family in your prayers.”
McLaurin has been serving as interim since Feb. 1, 2022. Prior to that role he served as vice president for Great Commission relations and mobilization at the EC for two years, coming to the role in January 2020.
He served with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board from 2005 until going to the EC. Prior to the TBMB role, McLaurin was executive pastor at Greater Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, and senior pastor at Greater Hope Baptist Church in Union City, Tennessee. He has also served as an interim pastor for numerous Southern Baptist churches.
McLaurin previously served on the SBC Resolutions Committee in 2018 and as president of the Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network in 2011–2012. He also was on the executive board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention from 2003 to 2005 and was the inaugural president of the African American Fellowship of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
McLaurin is a member of Simeon Baptist Church in Antioch, Tennessee. He and his wife, Antonia, have two daughters, Sienna and SiChanna.
He is the first African American to have led an SBC entity and followed Ronnie Floyd, who resigned as EC president and CEO in October 2021. Floyd served in the role for less than 30 months before leaving the post.