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Southern Religion

Misspending God’s money

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Stop Baptist Predators makes superb use of Mary Kinney Branson’s book Spending God’s Money to illustrate how key Southern Baptist Convention organizations are abusing the trust of faithful contributors.

Branson is a former marketing director for the SBC’s North American Mission Board and her book is “an insider’s account of the extravagance and financial mismanagement there.”

Christa Brown writes:

Branson provides details that implicate high Southern Baptist officials and those details are not flattering. For example, (NAMB President) Bob Reccord “had a $1 million fund he could use at his discretion, no questions asked and no receipts required.” (Branson at p. 61)

Can you imagine any other organization that would allow an official to spend such sums with so little oversight? According to Branson, that $1 million fund was replenished each year, and in Reccord’s last two years, the fund was reduced to $350,000. In other words, the money didn’t just sit there. He spent it. “No receipts required.”

When Reccord resigned, 41 Southern Baptist leaders signed a letter, praising Reccord and essentially whitewashing his “undisputed misuse of funds.” (Branson at p. 18) One of those signers was Johnny Hunt, who is now the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Another was evangelist Jay Strack.

According to Branson, after Bob Reccord left the North American Mission Board, “auditors discovered that payments were being made to evangelist Jay Strack ($300,000) and Bob’s mega-pastor Johnny Hunt at Woodstock Baptist Church ($92,000). Final payments were sent after Bob resigned but before he left the building…. There were no written contracts. So nearly half a million dollars was paid to Strack and Hunt through verbal agreements with Bob.” (Branson at p. 113)

Brown’s entire piece also deals with the Baptist General Convention of Texas “Valleygate” scandal and a great deal more.

It deserves to be read in full here.

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December 9, 2008 - Posted by | Religion, SBC | , , , , ,

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