Following a conference call by the SBC Executive Committee on Thursday (June 25) the officers of the Executive Committee convened and issued the following public statement on Friday (June 26):
The SBC Executive Committee held a conference call on Thursday, June 25, as a result of public accusations against chairman Mike Stone concerning alleged procedural and ethical improprieties related to the election of officers during its meeting on Tuesday, June 16. After a full discussion, the Executive Committee members determined by poll there was no impropriety of any kind in the recent nomination and election of the officers of the Executive Committee.
The Committee thanks Mike Stone for his exemplary servant leadership of the SBC Executive Committee during his entire tenure as chairman and for the manner in which he presided.
Newly-elected SBC Executive Committee chairman Rolland Slade released the following statement Friday (June 26):
This week, Pastor Mike Stone has been vilified via social media. He does not deserve that! Mike is a man of integrity and high ethical character. He does not deserve to be characterized in any negative way. He is my predecessor, my friend and, most importantly, my brother in Christ. He deserved better from me. I sincerely apologize for the hurt and damage my actions this week have caused to him, his reputation, his family and the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Blackshear, Ga.
In 1 Corinthians 11, the apostle Paul talks about the personal preparation that a person must do before taking the Lord’s Supper. Specifically in verse 28, he says, “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” As I reflect back on this first week serving as chairman of the SBC Executive Committee and examine myself, I am disappointed. Specifically I am disappointed that I did not give wise counsel when it was sought from me nor did I conduct myself fully in the ways of a servant leader.
Mike Stone, Ronnie Floyd, J.D. Greear, every member and the staff of the Executive Committee, Southern Baptists and most definitely our Lord Jesus Christ deserved better from me. It is my wholehearted intent to learn from this week and to move us forward to do the Kingdom work that our Heavenly Father has called us to.
Pastor Mike, I value the friendship that we have shared over the past six years. I hope that it has not been irreparably harmed this week and will continue to deepen in the years ahead.
Outgoing SBC Executive Committee chairman Mike Stone released the following statement Friday (June 26):
I joyfully accept the apology offered by Brother Rolland. In our June 25 meeting, he expressed to the full committee his sincere regret over the confusion his actions created in our recent election of officers. More specifically, he apologized that those actions led to misinformation being published about me in various online forums. His willingness to make that private apology public is a testament to the character of this dear and godly brother. I rejoiced at the time over his historic election. But my esteem of Rolland Slade has exponentially increased.
The events of the last several days are a sobering reminder of the caustic and damaging nature of social media among Southern Baptists. The rush to judgment based on half-truths and untruths is as old as Genesis. But modern technology has thrown gasoline on some of the baser aspects of our fallen nature. The old adage is true that a falsehood can march half-way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on.
Our cooperative effort is hindered when those who have apparent “inside information” turn it into “outside misinformation.” But our mission compels us to do better and our Master commands us to do better. Therefore, I look forward to continued service alongside Chairman Rolland Slade, the full Executive Committee and our EC President, Ronnie Floyd, in accomplishing Vision 2025 for the glory of God.