SBC Executive Committee holds special-called meeting to discuss legal strategy


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The board of trustees of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee met in a special-called online executive session Thursday afternoon to hear updates and discuss legal strategy, according to board chair Philip Robertson.

Because the meeting was held in executive session, no official comments could be shared by trustee members, but Baptist Press reported information from the meeting around 6 p.m. this evening.

According to the BP article, the EC board of trustees took steps today to create a seven-member work study group to review the EC’s and SBC’s “long-term legal strategy.”

“The work study group is being asked to review biblical justice and due process doctrine as it relates to our current legal system (including statutes of limitations), a broader, long-term legal strategy … and the process by which the Executive Committee and the Southern Baptist Convention approve significant legal decisions,” according to BP.

A statement from Robertson also was provided to The Baptist Paper:

“Today, we had a second zoom Executive Committee meeting in the span of two weeks, which is indicative of the commitment of your EC trustees to fulfill their responsibilities on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention. Know that God is working in and through your trustees. I am thankful for them, and I am extremely grateful for the spirit of unity and cooperation. I would ask Southern Baptists to please continue to pray for the Executive Committee as we seek to continue to follow the Lord and glorify Him as we carry out our assignments.”

Robertson confirmed with The Baptist Paper ahead of today’s meeting that the agenda would focus on two amicus briefs.

One is related to the appeal process of a sexual abuse case (unrelated to the SBC) in Kentucky. EC attorneys signed onto the brief in August 2022 with permission from then-EC interim president Willie McLaurin and current SBC president Bart Barber but without the board’s knowledge. Read more here.

Information about a new amicus brief related to the North American Mission Board and signed by individuals, some of whom are former members of the EC, was the second brief on the agenda. More details coming in a future article on the NAMB brief.

Legal updates in today’s meeting were to be provided by EC attorneys Gene Besen and Scarlett Nokes, according to Robertson.

In other EC news, BP reported that Jonathan Howe was approved to continue serving as the interim president/CEO for the duration of the EC presidential search process, which is anticipated through at least February.