Following a three-and-a-half hour meeting today in its second special called meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee voted 44 to 31 to waive attorney client privilege in the coming investigation by Guidepost Solutions. Four* members did not vote, and six members resigned prior to today’s meeting.
The motion by Jared Wellman of Texas reads:
“I would like to make a motion that represents the will of the messengers of a selective waiver that includes an investigation into any allegations of abuse, mishandling of abuse, mistreatment of victims, a pattern of intimidation of victims or advocates, and resistance to sexual abuse reform initiatives of the actions and decisions of staff and members of the Executive Committee from January 1, 2000 to June 14, 2021. I move that the Executive Committee authorize our Chairman to execute the contract with Guidepost that we received on October 1, 2021 which includes waiver of attorney-client privilege in accordance with the action of the messengers to the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention.”
Also approved during the meeting was a motion to authorize EC chairman Rolland Slade to appoint two EC members to serve on the Committee of Cooperation of the Executive Committee as outlined by the contract with Guidepost. Along with the two members appointed by Slade, the Sexual Abuse Task Force will select two members. All four are to come from the current EC membership and the committee will be led by SBC President Ed Litton.
At least two EC members resigned following today’s meeting and more are expected.
To read previous coverage, click here.
*The verbal vote count by officers during the meeting indicated three members did not vote, but TAB Media staff counted four who did not vote (which could have been because they were not present). With 79 existing EC members at the start of today’s meeting because of six resignations and with TAB Media also counting 44 to 31 as the vote, then the math also indicates that four did not vote. It is certainly understandable how the count was confused with the technical difficulties taking place during the vote count.