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’

The call Buck made to Rice was intended to remain private, Buck explained, characterizing the difficult conversation as both “respectful and gracious.” The two pastors agreed to do all they could to keep the details of their conversation from becoming public.

“There was no need to cause more hurt and pain to the family in his church,” Buck said.

That all changed a few days after Buck made the call. Buck said that it was then that “everything began to unravel as I began to receive phone calls from various people who heard that I called Willy and said they were told I was acting politically to take Willy down.”

Buck clarified that the only person he had spoken with regarding Calvary Church’s situation was Rachael Denhollander, who was the an advisor to the Sexual Abuse Task Force at that time.

“I had sought for advice to be certain that I wasn’t acting politically. [Denhollander] promised to speak up and defend me if anyone made such an accusation,” Buck shared. This led Buck to wrongfully believe that Rice was the one intentionally driving accusations that his motives were political.

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“After Willy and I recently shared our individual experiences and perspectives from everything that transpired, I’m convinced that individuals in the SBC who had their own political agendas were feeding us both information that gave us reason to distrust one another,” Buck stated.

Buck asked Rice to forgive him for wrongful assumptions he made, as well as for anything he said publicly that assaulted Rice’s character.

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“Since this began, [Willy] is the first person who has truly sought to make right what happened,” Buck said. “Jennifer and I are still praying that justice will be done and those responsible will be held accountable.”

“Although I wish I had come to know him under different circumstances, I am thankful to have gotten to know Willy. He is right that we don’t agree on everything,” Buck said. “But that isn’t necessary for us to love one another as brothers in Christ.”

Concluding his statement, Buck shared that the two pastors have both come to learn “that the SBC needs to be a place where the gospel drives everything we do and that we are not defined by our past but by who we are as new creations in Christ. I love Willy Rice and will be praying for him and Calvary Baptist Church. They are blessed to have him as their pastor.”