Southern Baptist leader quits amid abuse review division

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After weeks of internal division about how to best handle an investigation into Southern Baptist Convention’s response to reports of sexual abuse, a top Southern Baptist Convention administrator has resigned.

Ronnie Floyd, the president and CEO of SBC’s Executive Committee announced his resignation Thursday. He made a critical statement about recent decisions regarding the third-party review currently underway. He stated that he would be leaving the position at the end the month.

Floyd stated, “Due to the integrity of my personal and leadership responsibility entrusted me, I will no longer fulfill the duties placed on me as the leader the executive, fiscal and fiduciary entity SBC.”

The Executive Committee has hired an investigative firm to review allegations that it mishandled survivors’ abuse reports and mistreated them. After multiple meetings, mounting pressure from all sides of the convention, the Executive Committee split Oct. 5, agreeing to waive the attorney-client privilege and turn over legally protected records.

The waiver’s supporters claimed it satisfied a crucial demand from thousands of Southern Baptist delegate who initiated the third-party review. Opponents claimed it could cause financial risk to the convention’s insurance policies.

Floyd stated that the Executive Committee was committed to reviewing the matter, but that it could have been done without creating potential risks related to the Convention’s liabilities.

The scandal of sex abuse has plagued the largest Protestant denomination in America for years. The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News published a report in 2019 that documented hundreds of cases in Southern Baptist churches of abuse, many of which were still being prosecuted.