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Depositions underway in McRaney v NAMB

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

A lawsuit against NAMB filed in April 2017 by Will McRaney over allegations NAMB and its president Kevin Ezell conspired to force an independent Baptist organization to fire McRaney saw depositions begin Friday after years of delay.

A lawsuit filed in April 2017 alleging the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) conspired to harm an employee of an independent Baptist organization is now in depositions. After years of delays by NAMB, Friday saw NAMB employee Carlos Ferrer sit for a deposition as McRaney’s lawyers questioned him about NAMB’s actions involving Will McRaney and the Baptist Convention of Maryland-Delaware.

Carlos Ferrer is an important ally of Kevin Ezell. Ferrer has served in various posts under Ezell with titles like CFO and VP. Ferrer recently entered what NAMB called “semi-retirement.” When Ezell took the job to lead NAMB in September 2010, he lived in Ferrer’s basement for a few months.

Depositions are one element in the discovery process where both sides gather evidence to build their respective cases for trial—which should start sometime in 2023.

What will we find out about Ezell and NAMB now that lawyers are actively questioning witnesses?

We’ve already found out thanks to Will McRaney’s case that former ERLC President and current Christianity Today editor Russell Moore is an unrepentant liar and a rabid anti-Catholic bigot. Which forces us to ask—Did Christianity Today know about Russell Moore’s public anti-Catholic comments when it named him to lead its magazine’s editorial work?

What will discovery reveal at Kevin Ezell? We already know based on some of the evidence released to the public that Ezell lied in emails.

Also, we know that Ezell lied directly to state convention leaders in meetings.

Other details about Ezell emerged in the last few years including how Ezell used vulgar language in a rant against State Convention executives. This came to light in an explosive three-hour meeting with then SBC CEO Ronnie Floyd and included about 20 people.

What else will be revealed? No doubt, that is a worry for NAMB trustees even if they won’t admit it publicly.

After all, delaying tactics were the entire NAMB strategy. They wanted to avoid trial and most importantly discovery by taking so much time that Will McRaney ran out of money to hold NAMB accountable. So far, that strategy has failed—McRaney has lasted despite a trip all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where McRaney won forcing the case to advance to discovery.

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