“Looking back on 2022, I think that the work that @GuidepostGlobal performed on the Sexual Abuse Task Force (SATF) investigation and report will prove to be a key moment in the history of the SBC that will lead to good things,” Barber wrote.
Noting the controversy that erupted after Guidepost Solutions posted about LGBTQ+ pride in June, Barber added, “There was one day in 2022 when they tweeted one tweet that I profoundly disagreed with. I think that will be forgotten pretty quickly in our history. The work they did for the SBC the other 364 days this year will prove to be the real, enduring story. Time will tell, but that’s my prediction.”
Barber went on to praise the state conventions in the SBC, saying, “In every difficult question that the national SBC faced in 2022, state conventions have been important for where Southern Baptists have worked toward solutions.”
In another of Barber’s observations, he stated that the interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, Willie McLaurin, and its chairman, Jared C. Wellman (pastor of Tate Springs in Arlington, TX), “have given historic leadership to the SBCEC this year. Things feel (to me) healthier at the SBCEC. Jared’s election is a key moment in the story of this year.”
“I cannot say strongly enough how grateful I am for @BlalockMarshall‘s consent to lead the ARITF in 2022,” Barber wrote. “Everyone who has served on the SATF and everyone who is serving on the ARITF are writing SBC history—Marshall is the glue connecting those two groups.”
The SBC president appeared fully aware of recent criticism the ARITF has received, which included direct words from abuse survivor advocate Christa Brown last week (Dec. 23).
“For many of us, 2022 showed us more reasons the SBC shouldn’t be trusted on dealing with clergy sex abuse,” Brown tweeted.
“Many have applauded the sexual abuse reforms of the Southern Baptist Convention, adopted at their annual meeting last June. Not me,” Brown wrote in an op-ed for Good Faith Media this past August.
Barber continued, “I don’t begrudge ANYONE their skepticism and/or impatience about what will come out of the ARITF. That skepticism and impatience is well-earned. I’m just saying that, for my part, I am confident that their work, when it comes out, will be filled with the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the level of quality and attention to detail that has come at the cost of much time and energy spent getting things just right.”