Ronnie Floyd, the president and CEO of the Southern Baptists Convention (SBC) Executive Committee (EC), announced his resignation Thursday night in a letter sent to the Executive Committee and SBC members. The letter states he will stay on to serve through the month of October.
The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in America, consisting of an estimated 14 million members.
Prior to becoming the president of the SBC EC in 2019, Floyd served as the senior pastor of the Arkansas SBC megachurch Cross Church from 1986 to 2019. Floyd also served as the SBC’s 61st president from 2014 to 2016.
“What was desired to be leveraged for the advancement of the gospel by those who called me here, I will not jeopardize any longer because of serving in this role,” Floyd said.
Floyd’s resignation comes amid an ongoing investigation into whether the SBC EC mishandled allegations of sexual abuse. The EC recently voted to waive attorney-client privilege (ACP), a decision Floyd firmly stood against, siding with the SBC’s legal counsel’s recommendation.
Earlier this week, the SBC’s longtime general counsel decided to cut ties with the EC after its ACP decision.
Floyd recently came under fire when a leaked recording of him surfaced just before the SBC’s annual meeting this past June. In that audio, Floyd can be heard saying, “I’m not scared by anything the survivors would say — I’m thinking, the base. I just want to preserve the base.”
In his resignation letter, Floyd pushed back against the criticism he has received. “One of the most grievous things for me personally has been the attacks on myself and the trustees as if we are people who only care about ‘the system,’” Floyd wrote. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Floyd reaffirmed his commitment to honoring the will of the SBC messengers with regard to the sexual abuse investigation, explaining that the recent meetings about waiving ACP were “about how to do this in the most effective way.”