UPDATE: Scott Gant takes lead in McRaney v. NAMB

Will McRaney accuses the Southern Baptist Convention and NAMB of defamation.

Bad news for the North American Mission Board (NAMB) but good news for Southern Baptists as Will McRaney announced Scott Gant is taking the lead in his lawsuit. Gant is a First Amendment expert with Boies, Schiller and Flexner. (If you are unfamiliar check out the background on McRaney’s case.)

The federal court approved Gant’s petition to represent McRaney pro hac vice.

Gant is the Washington, DC attorney who wrote the excellent refutation of NAMB’s (and the ERLC’s) lies about the Southern Baptist Convention and its polity.

Gant highlighted how lies about the Southern Baptist Convention’s polity may have influenced proceedings in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the brief, “As discussed above (page 3, footnote 1), the proceedings in the Fifth Circuit were tainted by a factually inaccurate amicus brief, which was corrected by its sponsors, but only after the conclusion of proceedings before the court of appeals. While the Fifth Circuit panel did not obviously rely on those misrepresentations, the six Judges voting for rehearing who mistakenly described the conduct challenged in McRaney’s complaint as an ‘internal dispute over who should lead a church’ (45a) may have done so, given their unsourced, but inaccurate, characterization.”

You can read the brief Gant wrote demolishing the lies told by Kevin Ezell’s NAMB and Russell Moore’s ERLC.

William H. Barton remains on McRaney’s legal team. This move provides more legal firepower as the case moves into its next phase—hearings on motions in the federal trial court and preparation for discovery in the case. The stay placed on the case during appeal was removed, and it is now returned to the court docket.

One of the first motions likely to be heard are filings by NAMB in 2018 claiming that it is a Supporting Organization of local state conventions like the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. This will be another area where NAMB’s legal claims undermine traditional Southern Baptist polity.

“This case is now much bigger than us,” McRaney said. “Then we learned Kevin had already done this to other leaders and other state conventions. It just got much bigger than us.”

McRaney vows to continue David vs. Goliath fight

McRaney said the move is another step in his David vs. Goliath fight.

“NAMB has virtually unlimited resources,” McRaney said. “Kevin Ezell has still not met with me once on this. NAMB trustees have failed in their duties…We have been fighting not just for ourselves but the Southern Baptist Convention and every Baptist body. The state conventions are Baptist, but they are not Southern Baptist.”

Since this is a fight that now gets to the very heart of what it means to be Southern Baptist and NAMB along with the ERLC have lied about this—why are Will and Sandy McRaney standing alone? Where are the state conventions?

Since many Baptist leaders are silent on these lies, there is a way for the rank-and-file Baptist to get into the fight. McRaney has a GoFundMe created. You can give to it here. And yes, if you need to, donations can even be anonymous.

This is an important time to sustain McRaney’s fight against the SBC Elites. Their abuses will only grow unless the Elites are stopped.

“If I lose, then all Southern Baptists lose,” McRaney said. “If I lose then all Baptist bodies lose and all Baptists ministers lose.