Home Christian News Willy Rice Says Tom Buck Didn’t Sabotage His SBC Candidacy, Admits Innocent...

Willy Rice Says Tom Buck Didn’t Sabotage His SBC Candidacy, Admits Innocent People ‘Were Badly Hurt’

Rice testified that he never retaliated against Buck for the confrontation, nor has he ever read Jennifer’s leaked draft, and he has no information regarding the matter.

RELATED: Willy Rice Withdraws His Name From Consideration for SBC President

“The harm they have suffered was unfair and uncalled for,” Rice stated. “Those who may have accused or insinuated that I participated in that in some way, I pray, were speaking out of ignorance and not malice, but regardless I bear no ill will.”

Rice said he wants “people to know that there are fences in our denominational pasture that may not need to be there. That sometimes assumptions and impressions can be tools of the enemy who knows that our divisions serve his devious ends.”

“I believe [Tom and I] have the kind of relationship where we would speak privately, listen carefully, and dialogue respectfully,” Rice shared. “We agree on many things, the most important things, and I find that agreement growing on other issues.”

“I think there is even now a mutual respect. And now that I actually know him better, I think I’m even starting to like Tom Buck,” Rice went on to express. “That sort of dangerous thing can happen when brothers quit talking about one another and start talking to one another.”

“Don’t be so surprised” to see the two pastors encourage each other on social media, Rice concluded. “It’s not the sort of thing that enemies do, but it is just the sort of thing brothers do. I’m not sure everyone will be pleased with that, but I know of at least one who is and for me, that is enough.”

Moments after Rice released his statement, Jennifer replied to him on Twitter, thanking him for his words.

“Dear @WillyRice, your words made me cry—for the first time since all this started, they were happy tears. Thank you. You are the first one to speak truthfully about the situation. I am ever so grateful. So thankful for the restoration that has been made between your family and ours,” she wrote.

Tom Buck Responds: ‘Willy Is One of the Kindest and Most Humble Men That I Know’

Less than an hour later, Buck released his own statement thanking Rice for his words and saying, “I’m thankful he is my brother in Christ and hope we will have a growing friendship.”

Speaking of the pain he and his family have experienced over the last year, Buck said that Rice “is the first person who has been willing to speak the truth about what happened and God has brought reconciliation between us.”

“It was never my intention to bring any harm,” Buck shared. “I believe if it weren’t for the current political climate in the SBC, none of what happened this past year would have transpired.”