Petition to NAMB Trustees from Southern Baptists

May 16, 2016

Dear NAMB Trustees,

As this article clearly explains, several of our state convention executives in Southern Baptist life have expressed concerns with the way that NAMB President Kevin Ezell is interacting with our state conventions. The charges explained on this website by former state convention executive Dr. Will McRaney deserve very careful and deliberate consideration.

In cases like these, when a major pattern of misconduct is alleged by more than one trustworthy leader, it is not uncommon for Trustee Boards to launch an independent investigation led by trusted, impartial individuals with absolutely no ties to the controversy. We, the undersigned Pastors and members of Southern Baptist Churches, respectfully request such an independent investigation.

We are stewards of the Cooperative Program gifts forwarded by our churches through the North American Mission Board. Our churches do not make these donations through NAMB with the intent that they be used by the NAMB President as leverage against state executives to force state conventions into compliance with revised cooperative agreement terms or to influence personnel decisions, as has been alleged.

We especially do not appreciate the use of non-disclosure agreements (that is, gag orders) that prevent our trusted and beloved state convention leaders from openly telling the truth about any and all such negotiations. As the leaders and members of local churches, we are responsible to the Lord for the faithful stewardship of our missions giving. We do not wish to fund pressure tactics, strong arming, national level interference with state level personnel decisions, or the purchase of silence.

Our understanding is that a high ranking NAMB official, in a private conversation with a NAMB staffer, described Dr. Will McRaney as a “gnat” whose concerns may simply be ignored. We, the undersigned Southern Baptists, do not consider ourselves to be gnats. Rather, we believe that faithful Southern Baptists who give sacrificially toward missions must be able to trust that those administering the Lord’s money do so as humble servants and not as authoritarian dictators.

The issues raised by Dr. McRaney are of an extremely serious nature and deserve to be thoroughly investigated. Such an investigation should not consist of a few internal memos and interviews, but rather, should involve a significant review of the facts by an outside and impartial third party.

If the allegations presented by these Southern Baptist state executives are true, then Dr. Ezell has overstepped his bounds and forfeited the trust of all Southern Baptists. Appropriate action should be taken.

To any Southern Baptist willing to add your name to this letter appealing for an independent investigation, please type your name, church and location in the comment stream and you will be added to the list.

1 Rick Patrick, First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
2 Brad Jones , Looxahoma Baptist Church, Senatobia, MS
3 Lee Hickman, Black Oak Baptist Church, Clinton, TN
4 Bob Hadley, Westside Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, FL
5 Kyle B. Gulledge, Southview Baptist Church, Rosharon, TX
6 Bob Bauman, Bellevue Baptist, Memphis, TN
7 Phillip C. Senn, Fort Hudson Baptist Church, Dyersburg, TN
8 J.T. Taylor, Cadwell Baptist Church, Cadwell, GA
9 Tom DeWitt, First Baptist Church, Sesser, IL
10 Patrick Collins, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Woodland, MS
11 Luke Kidwell, Batley Baptist Church, Clinton, TN
12 Sam Schmidt, First Baptist Church, Inez, KY
13 Ken Skelton, Ward’s Grove Baptist Church, Lexington, TN
14 Steve Brumbelow, Southview Baptist Church, Rosharon, TX
15 Jeff Phillips, Woodfield Park Baptist Church, Columbia, SC
16 J. Macon Phillips, Enterprise Baptist Church, Enterprise, MS
17 Mark Dwyer, Montrose Baptist Church, Rockville, MD
18 Lavonne Brumfield, First Baptist Church, Summit, MS
19 Kirk Vandevender, Riverside Baptist Church,Pascagoula MS
20 Bruce Vandevender, First Baptist Church, Las Cruces, NM
21 Steve Wolverton, Canton Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD
22 Chet Thomas, First Baptist Church, Flagler Beach, FL
23 Jonathan Carter, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Monticello, KY
24 Harold S. Miller, Center Point Baptist Church, Springfield, TN
25 Chris Parkin, First Baptist Church, Auburn, GA
26 Becky Dalton, First Baptist Church, Sallisaw, OK
27 Bill Harrell, Abilene Baptist Church, Martinez, GA
28 Allen Calkins, First Baptist Church, Gray Summit, MO
29 Jason Cooper, The Church at Oak Level, Ocoee, FL
30 Marietta Martin, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula MS
31 Macy McRaney, First Bapist Church, Orlando, FL
32 Jerry Langan, Newspring Church, Greenville, SC
33 John Sanders, The Church at Clayton Crossings, Clayton, NC
34 John Galey, Poydras Baptist Church, St. Bernard, LA
35 Roark McDonald, First Baptist Church, Guntersville, AL
36 Brad Layton, Pastor, South Park Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas
37 Greg Roberts, Indian Springs Baptist Church, Tallahassee, FL
38 David Smith, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, GA
39 Jamey Hunt, Riverview Baptist, Calhoun, GA
40 Kirby Winstead, First Baptist Church, Myrtle Beach, SC
41 Linda Gardner, First Baptist Church, Vidalia, LA
42 Patrick McCoy, South Berkeley Baptist Church, Inwood, WV
43 Ken Miller, North Harford Baptist Church, Jarrettsville, MD
44 Rich McLawhorn, First Baptist Church, Myrtle Beach, SC
45 Gary Mauldin, First Baptist Church, Dallas, GA
46 Johnny Nix, First Baptist Church, Wartburg, TN
47 Jeffrey Stockdale, The Point, Jacksonville, FL
48 Jack May, West Bradenton Baptist Church, Bradenton, FL
49 Paulette Hill, Oak Hill Baptist Church, Griffin, GA
50 Herb Miller, Willowbrook Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
51 Leslie Puryear, Bethany Baptist Church, Gulf , NC
52 Ronnie Mayes, First Baptist Church, Lockesburg, AR
53 Charlotte Marlow, Parkway Baptist Church, Natchez, MS
54 Gloria Raybon, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
55 Troy Mueller, East End Baptist Church, Roanoke, VA
56 Jack Maroon, First Baptist Church, Crisfield, MD
57 Steve Schenewerk, Community Baptist Church, Winston, OR
58 Jimmy Brumfield, First Baptist Church, Jackson, MS
59 Collin Brumfield, Vicksburg, First Baptist Church Vicksburg, MS
60 Bill Salters, Parkway Baptist Church, Natchez, MS
61 Martha Salters, Parkway Baptist Church, Natchez, MS
62 Harold Bullock, Hope Church, Ft. Worth, TX
63 Earline Nelson, Park Avene Baptist Church, Enterprise, AL
64 Tracy Martin, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
65 Renee Barton, First Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
66 Bevan Unrau, Seabreeze Church, Huntington Beach, CA
67 Thad King, Pierpoint Church, Huntington Beach, CA
68 Randal Lanthripe, Church in the Valley, Diamond Bar, CA
69 Alex Barrett, Church in the Valley, Alhambra, CA
70 Buddy Carrier, Arlington Heights Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
71 Teresa Carrier, Arlington Heights Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
72 Jerry Boyd, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
73 Curtis Rayborn, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
74 Michael D. Martin, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
75 Lewis Smith, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
76 Mildred Faulks, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
77 Opal Hawkins, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
78 J. H. Jones, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
79 Jimmy Willey, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
80 Jane Willey, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
81 Linda Childers, Riverside Baptist Church, Pascagoula, MS
82 Michael C. Spencer, Nanjemoy Baptist Church, Nanjemoy, MD
83 Jeff Stading, New Home Baptist Church, Perry, FL
84 Thaddaeus Lanthripe, Church in the Valley, Diamond Bar, CA
85 Katherine Racine, First Baptist Church, Covington, LA
86 Robert Beckman, Redemption Church, Lakeland, FL