Home Christian News ERLC Trustees Hear From New President, Discuss Sexual Abuse Assessment

ERLC Trustees Hear From New President, Discuss Sexual Abuse Assessment

In response to a motion at the 2021 SBC meeting, the trustees voted last September to commit the ERLC to an assessment of sexual abuse in the convention and approved $250,000 as an initial investment in that effort.

A motion by Jonathan Whitehead, an at-large trustee, to reopen the bidding process to conduct the assessment failed. In February, the board had approved Guidepost Solutions to perform the assessment. Guidepost conducted a third-party review of the SBC Executive Committee’s handling of sexual abuse issues. Guidepost’s Twitter post in support of gay and transgender rights in June elicited grave concern from many Southern Baptists.

Leatherwood encouraged trustees to wait until ARITF completes the priority on its agenda – the creation of a database – and begins partnering with the ERLC in the assessment before reopening the bidding process.

In other actions, the ERLC trustees:

  • Approved a review of the commission’s bylaws to be conducted by a three-trustee working group that will collaborate with the entity’s general counsel, Palmer Williams. Bova will appoint the group’s members, who will provide an initial report at the mid-year trustees meeting in late winter or early spring and present a final report with recommendations at least 30 days before the 2023 meeting next September.
  • Re-elected Bova as chair and Kevin Smith, an at-large trustee, as vice chair and elected Juan Sanchez of Texas as secretary.
  • Endorsed Bova’s appointment of Miles Mullen of Missouri as chair of the Research and Public Policy Committee; Justin Sampler of Oklahoma as chair of the Communications Committee; and Trevor Atwood of Tennessee as chair of the Administrative and Finance Committee.
  • Approved a 2022-23 operating budget of slightly more than $3.688 million, about $224,000 less than the previous budget.

It was announced recommendations for the annual John Leland Religious Liberty Award and Richard Land Distinguished Service Award would be made at the next trustee meeting in early 2023.

This article originally appeared at Baptist Press.