Last night Ronnie Floyd announced his resignation as president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. You can read the Baptist Press article here. The article contains the full text of Floyd’s resignation letter to EC trustees and Southern Baptists.
Floyd attributed his resignation to “decisions made on Tuesday afternoon, October 5, in response to the 2021 Convention,” which he said, “now place our missionary enterprise as Southern Baptists into uncertain, unknown, unprecedented and uncharted waters.”
EC Chairman Rolland Slade said of Floyd’s resignation, “I am saddened by his resignation. He’s had a tremendous ministry for years and years. I know he loves Southern Baptists. I know it was his intention to come to Nashville to serve Southern Baptists well and I believe he’s fulfilled that to the best of his ability. However, I understand the vote of the committee put him in a very difficult position.”
I appreciate Slade’s comments. Regardless of how you feel about Ronnie Floyd or his leadership at the Executive Committee, he did what he had to do. Dr. Floyd represented his employment situation accurately when he said, “There is no other decision for me to make.”
Ronnie Floyd clearly did not support waiving attorney client privilege for the Guidepost investigation as directed by the convention. Rather, he brought in high-powered lawyers to argue against waiving privilege. When the EC rejected the position of Floyd and the attorneys he hired, they left him out on a limb.
Dr. Floyd clearly does not believe that his position against waiving privilege was wrong. He stands by his leadership in that regard. With that being the case, he has no choice but to depart the Executive Committee.
When you try to lead a church or organization in a particular direction of significant consequence and the organization or church rejects that direction, you eventually have to leave. Your leadership has been compromised. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong. It’s part of the price of leadership. The best thing for the leader and for the organization is for the leader to move on. I’ve experienced this before in my own leadership.
I am hopeful that this change will prove to be a positive for the EC and the SBC. The EC has been a mess for several years now. I had hoped that Dr. Floyd would lead us out of the chaos. Unfortunately, the situation has only gotten worse. The next president will have his/her work cut out for him/her. Let’s pray for wisdom for the EC trustees as they choose a search committee to identify the next leader of the SBC Executive Committee.