Three cheers for William Thornton, a pastor in Georgia and moderator of the "SBC News and Trends" discussion forum at Baptist Life.
William has sent an email to Tim Patterson, trustee chairman of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), expressing his deep concern over the recent "resignation" of NAMB president Geoff Hammond and three of Hammond's direct reports. Its obvious these were not resignations, but firings, but no word is coming from Patterson or the NAMB on the circumstances.
Here is Thornton's letter (with my own emphases) which he has posted openly at BL:
"I’m a pastor who has supported and given to Annie Armstrong and the Cooperative Program for decades.
NAMB’s continuing dysfunctional condition has called into question the efficacy of sending any of my church’s offerings to Atlanta because Southern Baptists deserve better than we have gotten from NAMB. I’m not mad about it but have reached a point where the same platitudes and explanations are no longer sufficient. I daresay that my church can spend our small amount of Annie Armstrong offering a lot better than NAMB can.
To repair the damage from this latest debacle, NAMB trustees need to be completely open and transparent. You can start with being frank and honest with Southern Baptists about why the leader who was highly praised just last May was sacked here in August. You can continue by disclosing how much it is costing us to replace these four employees. I am just a loney voice from the SBC hinterlands but I suggest that all NAMB trustees and staff take a substantial amount of time to shut up, sit down, and start listening to Southern Baptists. God only knows the damage that has been done to North American missions over the past few years. I hold trustees accountable for this.
I have asked the agency for email addresses for all NAMB trustees and would happily say the same things to all of them."
Full disclosure of what happened with Hammond, and the conditions of his departure are crucial, considering the debacle of Hammond's predecessor. For the health of the NAMB, and to be fair to Hammond, the SBC boys are going to have to come clean on what has happend this time at the NAMB that caused Hammond to lose his job so quickly.
Way to go, William. Its refreshing to see a SBC pastor who is not afraid to publicly call for openness and transparency from the SBC power structure....and to tell it like it is.
These guys have to learn that if they want the dollars to flow, whether it be the NAMB agencies or our SBC mega churches - leaders are going to have to start being open, honest, and transparent.