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INSIDER: SBC EC moving toward usual elites for top job

EC Search Committee snubs Harvard educated & qualified grassroots candidate

The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has snubbed a Harvard trained lawyer, entity trustee, and longtime Southern Baptist as it searches for the next President of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. It appears the EC is headed toward some of the usual SBC Elites who have mismanaged the SBC’s business for a generation. The EC had a chance to make a change. It is choosing business as usual.

Jon Whitehead was endorsed by a range of Southern Baptists including the Executive Director of Missouri Baptists Dr. John Yeats, Pastor Phil Harper of Abundant Life Church, and former SBC 2nd VP and Pastor Jared Moore of Cumberland Homestead Baptist Church. Yet, Whitehead was not interviewed by the search committee and was only granted a cursory phone conversation with the search committee chairman.

The SBC EC President serves as the CEO of the convention staff. In recent years the post was filled by the likes of Ronnie Floyd, Frank Page, and Morris Chapman. With the focus on legal issues including sex abuse, many Southern Baptists thought it a good idea to get someone who understand both the SBC’s polity and legal issues.

The letters of recommendation highlight Whitehead’s passion for “defending religious liberty.” In fact, Whitehead has argued and won cases before the United States Supreme Court on these very grounds.

A recommendation to the EC Search Committee said, Jonathan Whitehead is “one of the most prepared leaders in the country to lead the Executive Committee.” He continued, “I trust you know that Jonathan has been a formidable leader with the Alliance Defending Freedom on two Supreme Court cases. Both of those cases champion Religious Liberty. He is unique in that he is a Harvard School of Law graduate and he serves with his dad providing legal counsel for the Missouri Baptist Convention. He leads the trustee training for the MBC and its six entities.”

Notable is that Whitehead as a trustee for the ERLC exposed Russell Moore’s obvious unethical conduct in 2020 and 2021.

According to Whitehead’s letter that CR exclusively reported last year, “I write to inform you that Dr. Russell Moore, and Dr. David Prince (the ERLC Board Chair), consciously concealed the claims in Dr. Moore’s February 2020 letter from the ERLC Trustees, until it was leaked by an ERLC trustee to the media in May 2021. Despite pointed questions to both men about the ERLC/ SBC EC relationship at our Fall 2020 annual trustee meeting, both men insisted that relations were positive and neither disclosed the alarming facts in the February 2020 letter…The blatant deception admitted by this response leads me to conclude that the letters were not designed for action by the ERLC Board; they were written and leaked to shake messenger trust and confidence at an SBC annual meeting. The leak avoided disclosure to fiduciaries and a dispassionate investigation, because the goal was to deprive the Convention of confidence in its entire fiduciary system.”

Whitehead stands in contrast to the SBC Elites and SBC bureaucrats. He holds them accountable.

He is just the type of man the SBC needs to Drain the Denominational Swamp of the bureaucrats preying on the Cooperative Program. Unfortunately, the EC wants more of the same insiders who have wrecked the SBC.

Never forget that the trustees are part of the SBC’s problem. It was incompetent trustees who enabled men like Russell Moore and it was one single incompetent trustee while having Thom Rainer publish his books at Lifeway authorized to Rainer a million-dollar severance package after Rainer destroyed Lifeway’s retail business.

SBC Elites are good at one thing—wastefully spending God’s money. They need accountability.

The EC search proves they don’t want it.

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