On Thursday (Nov. 16), the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) met in a special session three weeks after it was discovered that the SBC, the EC, Lifeway Christian Resources, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) quietly submitted an amicus brief to the Kentucky Supreme Court earlier this year.
None of the current EC members, apart from ex officio member and SBC president Bart Barber, knew about the briefing until Andrew Wolfson of Louisville Courier Journal published a story about the case on Oct. 24.
In the amicus brief, lawyers representing SBC entities argued against statute of limitations reform for sexual abuse survivors attempting to sue non-perpetrating parties who failed to report abuse.
During Thursday’s meeting, the EC decided to “create a work study group to review the EC’s and SBC’s long-term legal strategy.”
EC Chairman Philip Robertson told Baptist Press, “Know that God is working in and through your trustees. I am thankful for them and I am extremely grateful for the spirit of unity and cooperation.” He also asked Southern Baptists for continued prayers.
According to Baptist Press, the forthcoming work study group will review three main areas: “Biblical justice and due process doctrine as it relates to our current legal system (including statutes of limitations), a broader, long-term legal strategy for the EC and SBC moving forward, and the process by which the EC and the SBC approve significant legal decisions.”
The work study group’s chairman will be appointed by Robertson, who will serve as an ex officio group member. The group will consist of EC members appointed by EC officers and trustees who are attorneys and will give a report at the next in-person EC meeting.
SBC Abuse Survivor and Advocate Calls EC’s Actions ‘Hogwash’
SBC sexual abuse survivor and advocate Tiffany Thigpen told her social media followers that the “secretive action of filing the amicus brief against Samantha Hillary versus the open and visible action of doing absolutely nothing present day to amend the damage is quite the nothingness we are accustomed to.”