NASHVILLE (BP) — Southern Baptists across the nation will be able to watch the Executive Committee work through a disagreement Tuesday over whether to waive attorney-client privilege as had been requested by messengers to the SBC annual meeting and the Sexual Abuse Task Force appointed by SBC President Ed Litton.
The Executive Committee is scheduled to hold a special session on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The meeting will be streamed at sbc.net/ec0921 so people can watch from their own homes and offices.
Rolland Slade, chairman of the Executive Committee, said the central issues of the meeting will be finalization of an agreement with Guidepost Solutions and the matter of waiving of the EC’s attorney-client privilege.
At the SBC Annual Meeting in June, SBC messengers voted for the formation of the task force to oversee an investigation of the Executive Committee by a third party.
Executive Committee officers have been working with attorneys and EC senior staff to navigate the issue of waiving attorney-client privilege while still protecting the fiduciary responsibility entrusted to them.
Trustees voted on Sept. 21 to provide up to $1.6 million of Cooperative Funds for the third-party investigation.
In that meeting, a motion by EC trustee Jared Wellman to outright waive attorney client privilege failed by a vote of 50-22. A similar motion by Wellman was defeated 39-35 in the Sept. 28 special called meeting.
Since the meeting earlier this week, several state conventions and Southern Baptist pastors have called for the Executive Committee to waive attorney-client privilege and “follow the will of the messengers.”
Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the SBC EC, released an open letter to Southern Baptists on Friday (Oct. 1). In it he said the debate has not been about conducting the review, but, instead the EC has been, “…trying to wrestle with accomplishing this process in the right way as they weigh their duty as trustees to conduct the business in a manner which does not bring harm to either the entity they serve or the SBC they serve.”
Tuesday’s meeting will be held virtually.