By Scott Barkley
NASHVILLE — SBC presidential candidate Randy Adams said he, along with others he declined to name, combined to fund the publication and delivery of a tabloid-styled newspaper. “SBC News” was being distributed outside the Music City Center Sunday and Monday (June 13-14).
The tabloid alleges dishonesty and corruption among SBC institutions, in keeping with the charges Adams has routinely made as part of his campaign platform.
Adams, who is the executive director/treasurer of the Northwest Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press the publication “is a one-off for now, at least.” He said the tabloid’s purpose was to help messengers understand why he is a candidate for SBC president, particularly related to issues of transparency, accountability, participation and building partnerships.
Without providing specifics, Adams said no one from the Northwest Baptist Convention was involved in the project. He said “several very concerned people” assisted him, including writers who provided content. He said others support his candidacy but prefer to remain unnamed due to what he described as “fear and intimidation” for supporting him.
Adams said he contributed “thousands of dollars” toward the eight-page paper, which outlines the presidential candidate’s criticisms of the North American Mission Board, SBC leadership and the Great Commission Resurgence. The paper also announced that Mary Habila, president of the Northwest Baptist Convention WMU, will nominate Adams for SBC president Tuesday (June 15).
Adams had initially announced he would be nominated by former Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Russell Fuller, but later told Baptist Press he would have a different nominator, who would be announced the day of the election.
In the tabloid distributed outside the Music City Center, Adams pointed – as he has throughout his candidacy for president – to the passage of the Great Commission Resurgence report in 2010 as “the worst decision we’ve made in my lifetime” and a significant starting mark of decline for the SBC.
Messengers at the 2010 gathering easily adopted the GCR. But Adams told BP the messengers’ action could be attributed to a nice-sounding title. He said the GCR “was crammed down our throats.” He also alleged that during open discussion of the report in 2010, microphones where critics stood were never called upon.
Adams contributed three pieces in the tabloid alongside an extended quote. In the tabloid as well as his conversation with Baptist Press, he maintained that a consolidation of power and influence in the SBC is at the root of what he described as troubling issues. As an example, he pointed to the membership of the GCR task force, which was formed in June 2009.
“Every [SBC] president we’ve had since then was a part of the Great Commission Task Force, or their family member was,” Adams said.
While that charge is true of some SBC presidents, Bryant Wright, a pastor from Marietta, Ga., was elected SBC president in 2010 during the annual meeting that witnessed the passage of the GCR. Wright served two terms as president and was followed by New Orleans pastor Fred Luter, who served from 2012-2014. Neither served on the GCR task force nor had a relative do so. B&R