In explosive secret meeting with Ronnie Floyd, Southern Baptist state convention leaders detail Kevin Ezell’s belligerent insults and vulgar language against state convention leaders.
SBC leaders told that Kevin Ezell said to state executive that ‘the Cooperative Program is dead.’
State Convention leaders on teleconference were unanimous in belief that Kevin Ezell cannot be trusted.
12 Southern Baptist state convention executives met with Ronnie Floyd and Executive Committee officers about issues with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and its president Kevin Ezell. The meeting of over 20 persons lasted almost 3 hours on October 15. This previously unreported meeting included bombshell allegations that Ezell claimed to state conventions that the Cooperative Program is dead, that Ezell used vulgar language in describing at least one state convention leader and that many state conventions are considering options of withdrawing cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention because of Ezell.
During the meeting, a state convention leader revealed firsthand experience with Ezell using vulgar language as Ezell talked with one state executive about other state executives. Floyd was told Ezell belittled other state convention leaders in front of multiple witnesses and on many occasions.
The meeting was held via teleconference and included the officers of the Executive Committee, several state convention executive directors, Jonathan Howe, an SBC VP who oversees Baptist Press, and SBC Executive Committee CEO Ronnie Floyd.
This secret meeting was arranged at the request of six state executive directors to address concerns raised in a letter over the failures of the NAMB to cooperate with state conventions. However, six other non-Southern state convention leaders asked to participate.
Many members of the Executive Committee were unaware of the secret meeting or the issues raised by the state conventions at press time.
Floyd began the meeting with what amounted to a 20-minute sermon on unity. This was followed by over two hours of complaints from state convention executives. State leader after state leader for over 2 straight hours told similar stories of Ezell’s poisonous actions and attitudes. Over two hours of similar stories detailing bad character, bad partnership and bad results from the 10 year leadership of Ezell.
Many of the complaints cited autocratic and belligerent insults, crude language and dissolving partnerships with SBC mission gifts by Ezell and NAMB.
The message from the state convention leaders was clear—they do not trust Kevin Ezell or NAMB under his leadership.
Most of the 12 State Execs shared similar accounts of Ezell’s actions to undermine them and belittle the work in their respective state conventions. At least eight state convention executives spoke on the call. The teleconference was informed that Ezell said several state conventions do not need to exist.
During the over two hours of grievance airing, not one of the state executives on the call defended Ezell. In fact, it was unanimous that Ezell cannot be trusted to keep any commitment he makes. One state executive told Floyd and the officials on the call that Ezell changed NAMB evangelism funding commitments “six times in less than one year.”
Furthermore, the state executives told Floyd and the Executive Committee officers that there is no path forward with NAMB that includes Ezell as the leader because Ezell made clear he does not value nor want to work in mutual partnership with the states.
Another state convention executive told the meeting that Ezell said the Cooperative Program is dead. This was a stunning and troubling statement that could provide insight into a host of NAMB actions ranging from expending several hundred thousand dollars lobbying the federal government to other fundraising actions.
State Convention complaints about Ezell date back years. Reports detail how Ezell in a meeting that included then IMB chief David Platt and young Southern Baptist pastors said, “Your state conventions suck, but stick with us change is coming.” Even SBC Voices detailed as far back as 2010 how Ezell insulted those asking legitimate questions about his candidacy for NAMB president.
One person on the teleconference described the reaction of the SBC leadership in Nashville and the Executive Committee as “stunned” by the number and severity of the allegations against Ezell.
One person familiar with the allegations raised on the call said this would get someone terminated as a pastor.
Will these allegations be enough to terminate an SBC bureaucrat?