Home Christian News Conservative Baptist Network’s Mike Stone Accepts Nomination for SBC President

Conservative Baptist Network’s Mike Stone Accepts Nomination for SBC President

Mike Stone
Screengrab via Twitter @macbrunson

Georgia pastor Mike Stone announced on Wednesday (April 26) that he intends to accept a nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) at the denomination’s annual meeting in June. 

In addition to being pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, Stone is also a former chairman for the SBC’s Executive Committee (EC), as well as an influential figure within the Conservative Baptist Network, a group formed in 2020 by a group of SBC pastors to address what they believe to be “liberal drift” in the denomination.

Stone will run against Texas pastor and current SBC president Bart Barber, who will be seeking a second term.

“After hearing from Southern Baptists across the country, I have prayerfully agreed to accept a nomination for the presidency of the SBC,” Stone said in his video announcement, which was posted by Alabama pastor and longtime SBC influencer Mac Brunson.

Stone continued, “I’m thankful for the godly men and women who serve our Convention, and there’s a lot to celebrate in the SBC—from church planting to international missions and beyond.”

“And while I have no desire to disparage anyone, there are also serious causes of grave concern,” Stone said. 

Stone specifically identified two areas of concern. The first was the denomination’s handling of its sexual abuse crisis. The second was evangelism. 

With regard to the SBC’s sexual abuse crisis, Stone said, “In this critical hour, we need leaders who will guide us to care well for victims while, at the same time, embracing scriptural principles of due process and the handling and publishing of accusations.” 

Stone added that when outside help is necessary for these matters, SBC leaders must be “committed to only use those that are driven by facts and informed by the truth.”

These remarks were a reference to Guidepost Solutions, the firm that was hired to investigate the EC’s handling of sexual abuse across a 20-year period. The report that Guidepost Solutions delivered in May 2022 revealed the repeated and systemic failure of the EC to respond well. 

Notably, Stone was named in that report, which accused him of helping to cover up the misconduct of a fellow pastor and intimidating witnesses who sought to bring that misconduct to light in 2019. Stone has denied the allegations. 

Despite the thoroughness of the investigation, Guidepost Solutions came under fire from some Southern Baptists for a June 2021 tweet in which the firm expressed support for LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Some cited the tweet as a reason why they distrusted the findings of the Guidepost Solutions investigation. 

Controversy surrounding Guidepost Solutions was later reignited when the SBC’s Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force announced the denomination would again partner with the firm—this time for the creation of a “Ministry Check” website, which will serve as a database of SBC clergy and leaders who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.