By Jonathan Howe
WASHINGTON — The North American Mission board has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States in its ongoing case involving a lawsuit against the board filed by a former Southern Baptist state executive director.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2017 by Will McRaney, former executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCMD), alleges NAMB had intentionally defamed him and wrongfully influenced his 2015 termination by the BCMD after a dispute over collaborative missions efforts in the region. NAMB legal counsel George McCallum called the allegations “unfounded” in a statement to Baptist Press in November of last year, adding that NAMB has “consistently denied” McRaney’s claims.
The lawsuit was dismissed by a lower court in April 2019 because of the judge’s concerns over the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine, which prevents the government from interfering in church or religious matters. But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision in July 2020. [Read more…]