On Sunday (May 22), Johnny Hunt announced his resignation as the Senior Vice President of Evangelism and Leadership at the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) North American Mission Board (NAMB). According to NAMB’s President Kevin Ezell’s statement, Hunt stepped down on May 13, 2022.
Hunt served as the senior pastor of First Baptist Woodstock Church in Georgia for over 30 years, was the president of the SBC Pastors’ Conference in 1996, and was the president of the SBC from 2008 to 2010. Hunt has been serving as NAMB’s Senior Vice President of Evangelism and Leadership since 2018.
The news comes after the 69-year-old Hunt was mentioned in the Guidepost Solutions report, which was released on Sunday afternoon and detailed a forced sexual encounter with a pastor’s wife at the end of Hunt’s SBC presidency in 2010.
The 288-page Guidepost Solutions report compiled 330 interviews in the investigation as to how the SBC had responded to allegations of sexual abuse within the denomination since 2000. SBC messengers called for the investigation at the denomination’s 2021 annual meeting.
According to the report (pg. 149), Hunt allegedly groomed and sexually assaulted the wife of a longtime SBC pastor who had looked up to Hunt as a mentor.
The pastor and his wife, who are two decades younger than Hunt, recalled the first time Hunt acted inappropriately toward the younger woman. It was while spending time together during a vacation that Hunt made inappropriate comments about the pastor’s wife’s figure and kissed her on the forehead.
Some time after the vacation, the pastor asked Hunt for a recommendation regarding where his wife could stay while traveling to hear college football coach Bobby Bowden speak at Highland Park Baptist Church in Panama City Beach, Florida. Hunt shared a number for the owner of his condo complex. The pastor called and booked the unit on VRBO at the request of the owner. At the time of booking the unit, the pastor was unaware that it was next door to Hunt’s condo unit.
Trusting Hunt, the pastor asked his mentor to look after his wife while she was in town, because he was not traveling with her. Hunt replied that “he would take care of her and that his family will keep an eye out.”
When the pastor’s wife arrived at the condo, she notified her husband and Hunt via text by sending them a picture of the ocean.
The report states that the pastor’s wife “was surprised that the condo her husband had rented was right next door to the Hunts’ condo,” something she found out after Hunt texted her to come out and talk on their adjacent balconies.