On October 27, 2021, Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) member Rod Martin submitted his resignation to current EC president and CEO Ronnie Floyd.
Floyd has also announced his resignation, saying that his last day serving the SBC would be on October 31, 2021.
Why Martin Resigned
In addition to Floyd, Martin’s resignation follows that of EC’s vice president Greg Addison. The SBC’s longtime council have announced their departure as well.
These resignations come after multiple meetings and votes, which resulted in the EC waiving attorney-client privilege on October 5, 2021 at the request of a task force appointed to oversee an investigation into whether it mishandled allegations of sexual abuse. The task force was create in response to a motion calling for a third party investigation, which passed at the SBC’s annual meeting earlier this year.
“There will be more,” Martin told Floyd, referring to more future EC resignations that he predicts will take place.
Martin said that his decision didn’t come easily, but he said that outside legal counsel advised him to step down, because the EC had deliberately chosen to breach their “legal and fiduciary duties.” According to Martin’s counsel, this now poses an unacceptable risk to the entities he serves outside of the SBC. Martin called waiving ACP a “foolish” decision, though he has stated that he fully supports the investigation.
SBC Messengers Were ‘Deceived’
In his letter, Martin said that the SBC messengers were “deceived,” having been misinformed about ACP. The messengers were led to believe that waiving privilege was a “perfectly normal and necessary” practice. However, Martin explained that a Guidepost Solutions representative admitted that it isn’t a common practice.
Martin also pointed out that the messengers were not informed of the implications that waiving ACP would have on the SBC. It would not only void the EC’s insurance, but also make the “SBC itself uninsurable,” which in turn will limit the SBC’s ability to properly compensate any victims the investigation may find.
The messengers were not warned that almost all of the EC’s professionals and many of its pastors would also have to resign because of the decision to waive ACP, Martin explained.