I’d guess that most reasonably informed Southern Baptists are aware that our North American Mission Board is being sued by a former state convention executive.
Baptist Press reported the suit here and summarized the allegations against NAMB:
– NAMB leaders made “false and libelous” statements about McRaney in 2014-15 as NAMB and the BCMD attempted to work out details of a partnership agreement.
— In late 2015, NAMB posted McRaney’s photo at the welcome desk of its Alpharetta, Ga., headquarters, communicating implicitly “that he was not to be trusted.” The posting, the suit alleges, was “purposely designed to damage [McRaney’s] reputation.”
— NAMB President Kevin Ezell attempted “to interfere” with McRaney’s scheduled speaking appearance at the 2016 Florida Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference.
NAMB’s legal response was reported here. The answers to the allegations in the lawsuit were summarized:
NAMB’s response alledged that he BCMD “became a dysfunctional and difficult ministry partner” during McRaney’s tenure.
NAMB is informed and believes that [McRaney] voluntarily resigned his employment pursuant to some kind of severance agreement.”
NAMB’s response to the lawsuit claimed McRaney “caused the BCMD to violate the terms of the Strategic Partnership Agreement [for evangelism and church planting] and otherwise hindered and interfered with BCMD’s performance of its obligations.” According to the response, “NAMB was entitled” to notify the BCMD it would terminate the partnership “given the facts and circumstances as they existed at the time.”
— “NAMB denie[d] that it published any defamatory statement regarding” McRaney.
— NAMB denied it interfered with McRaney’s speaking engagements after he left the BCMD.
— NAMB acknowledged it “situated” a photo of McRaney “in the reception area at NAMB’s office in Alpharetta [Ga.] during some period of time.” But it denied McRaney’s claim the photo “has caused additional damage” to him.
— NAMB denied that McRaney is “entitled to any relief whatsoever in this action.”
NAMB claimed McRaney “seeks to unfairly enrich himself” in filing suit and alleged he “demanded in a letter to NAMB that it pay him … $7.7 million in damages.”
BP gave the additional information that,
NAMB told BP in a statement, “After [McRaney] rejected or ignored several offers to meet and discuss these matters biblically, we regret that Dr. McRaney has chosen to involve the courts, however, since he has chosen this venue, we will be good stewards of NAMB’s resources and defend the case vigorously.”
There’s not much new in the court filings that wasn’t alleged by the plaintiff, who is a frequent blogger and commenter, and denied by NAMB in earlier statements and responses.
This is all sad news. I doubt NAMB will be answering questions related to this while the matter is under litigation and there’s not much that can be discussed here about it. We can all pray for a positive resolution, though.