So far six trustees of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee have resigned since the Sept. 20–21 regularly scheduled meeting in Nashville.
- Robyn Hari of Tennessee, who served as chair of the Committee on Convention Finances and Stewardship Development
- Melissa Golden of Alabama, who proposed the original compromise motion coming out of the Sept. 21 meeting that provided more time for negotiations
- Ron Hale of Tennessee
- Paul Hicks of Alabama, who was the first to resign after the Sept. 21 meeting
- Gene McPherson of Arkansas
- Chuck Williams of Tennessee.
While there are 86 seats, only 85 were filled going into the September meeting because Modena J. Henderson of North Carolina resigned after the SBC annual meeting in June because of a job transfer. Her vacant seat will be filled next June at the 2022 SBC annual meeting. Now, 79 remain filled and 67 of those 79 were present at the opening of today’s second special called meeting.
And because the EC officers were again unable to come to an agreement with the members of the Sexual Abuse Task Force, two more executive sessions took place for more information to be shared and the group ultimately voted in favor of Jared Wellman’s motion (similar to what has been presented the past two meetings), which calls for waiving attorney client privilege within the scope of the motion. The vote was 44 in favor of waiving attorney client privilege to 31 against and 4 who did not vote (during the meeting, it was stated by the officers that 3 did not vote, but TAB Media staff counted four as not voting).
Roughly 1,900 people were watching online during the vote.
At the beginning of the meeting, EC chairman Rolland Slade apologized for the way EC members conducted themselves during the previous special called meeting (Sept. 28) and outlined a more organized and structured format for today’s meeting, which includes keeping members on mute until they are recognized by the chair and unmuted. He also shared Proverbs 3:5–6 and led a prayer for clarity and unity.
“We must stop fighting one another,” Slade pleaded.
Editor’s Note to update original story posted here — At least two more trustees resigned following the meeting and more resignations were anticipated.
Oct. 14, 2021, update: Trustee resignations are up to 10 since the six that were reported on Oct. 5. The four additional trustees who have resigned are: Phyllis Ingram of Alabama, Chad Garrison of Arizona, Mark Elliott of Nebraska and Stephen Swofford of Texas.
Oct. 20, 2021, updated: Two more resignations were reported Oct. 19: Kim Grueser of Pennsylvania and Barbara Norris of Texas. That takes the total to 12.
Oct. 27, 2021, updated: Rob Showers of Virginia is the next EC trustee to resign, bringing the total to 13 who have resigned since the September meeting plus the one unrelated resignation from earlier in the year. That leaves the number of active trustees at 72 out of 86 seats and three Baptist state conventions — in Arizona, Nebraska and Pennsylvania — without EC representation.