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Baptist Press temporarily restricts Howe’s website access


Editor’s note: This story was updated after initial publication to include Brandon Porter’s interim role as EC vice president of communications.

NASHVILLE (BP) – In a move to provide separation between the administrative leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and Baptist Press, EC interim president and CEO Jonathan Howe’s credentials on the Baptist Press site have been altered so that he cannot post or edit BP stories.

Howe’s permanent role at the EC is vice president of communications. He was named the interim leader when Willie McLaurin stepped down on Aug. 18.

“Jonathan Howe has willingly surrendered his ability to edit Baptist Press stories or add new stories to the website,” said Brandon Porter, EC associate vice president for convention news. Porter will also serve as acting vice president of communications at least through the Sept. 18-19 EC meeting.

In February, the EC approved the recommendations of a task force assigned to look at the relationship between BP and EC leadership.

One of the recommendations approved to give BP “greater editorial independence” was “the inclusion of a section defining the relationship between the Executive Committee and Baptist Press in the Personnel Policies of the SBC Executive Committee.”

Howe will continue to assemble and send the SBC Morning Briefing email. The email features Baptist Press stories, SBC history moments, and other newsworthy items. Howe does not edit the BP stories but only adds them to the email.

Porter and Laura Erlanson, Baptist Press managing editor, will host the “SBC This Week” podcast while Howe is serving in the interim role. The podcast created by Howe and Amy Whitfield is available on all major podcast platforms.

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