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Southern Baptist Cooperative Program Pays Lawyers to Hide Leadership Misrepresentations

by | Feb 4, 2019

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On December 19, 2018, a federal district court judge in New Mexico granted LifeWay/ Glorieta 2.0 motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by Glorieta property owners Kirk & Susie Tompkins. The lawsuit is about alleged lies, deceptions, Contract Agreements, ignoring entity-governing documents, all Allegations resulting from Tompkins receiving zero dollars for the family property. This case is appealed to 10th Court case #18-2187.

LifeWay/Glorieta 2.0 personal injury case on Glorieta campus recent out-of-court settlement in NM District Court of case #D-101-CV-201703166 opened the door to other injured parties. Whether employee or guests, signed Waivers now void-on-their-face, others that may have been exposed, sick or impacted by Glorieta 2.0, Inc. and LifeWay’s neglect, non-compliance and sub-standard health and safety issues cited in Santa Fe County “Cease & Desist Order” have litigation opportunity.

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The active NM District Court case #D-101-CV-201803359 is making its way through the Courts, which, among other facts, opines to assure LifeWay remains strictly and legally joined with Glorieta 2.0, Inc. for all matters pertaining to legal compliances, Cease &Desist Order satisfaction, Variance denial (per county staff’s demand) and Site Development Plan rejection. (see attached)

Additionally, there are other active lawsuits against Executive Committee, and North American Mission Board.

Sadly, closed-door secret meetings of Baptist leaders do not always match their public images and behaviors causing enormous hurt/damage to individual Baptists’ resulting in grief and outrage. Southern Baptists are lamenting over several recent national entity leadership failings by individuals entrusted with such enormous Power, Money and Assets. Entity executives elected to high privilege demands high accountability, to match their high responsibility to 16 million SBC members’ convention votes that approved their position of leadership, contribute $12 billion annually to cooperative program, and approve governing documents intended to protect members’ money and interests.

Consider the remarks of one former closed-door meeting member of the SBC secret inner society.

I hate the politics of the SBC. And I don’t say that as an outsider.  I say that as an insider these last four years. Some of the lowest points in my leadership have been when I found myself participating in them— jockeying for position, continual self-promotion, backroom deals followed by spin in the front room, strategizing like brothers are your enemy, feeling like others see you as their enemy … getting to the point where you wonder if you can trust anyone even as you start to wonder how trustworthy you’ve become.David Platt, former IMB president.

Glorieta residents and others continue to suffer financial hardship and significant damages at the hands of those attending secret meetings. A few men and women know the truth, but remain silent fearful of opposing entity Presidents. Glorieta residents sought first to gain Biblical restitution writing to LifeWay President Thom Rainer privately, then writing publicly to include SBC leadership, but leadership silence left civil Courts the only path to restitution. The silence, denials, and deception of leaders prompted investigation, reading reports and documents in preparing legal actions.

Individuals brave enough to challenge SBC Entities and the billions of dollars in cash wealth face enormous legal battles and multiple law firms, print and  social media and public relations designed to facilitate the deception and cover-up of entity leaders, and ongoing legal delay and deception tactics paid for by a poorly informed Trustee board intimidated by a President with a bully pulpit who has the presumption of innocence in a legal system with its own set of rules, timetables, and challenges.

Active legal actions against some SBC entities is exposing self-promoting executives known for backroom deals, disorder, and evil practices that continually damage members trust.

A growing number of Baptist blogs, websites, and articles are exposing entity executives’ selfish ambitions and their secrets. Questions about annual executive compensation, and who receives the interest from multi-billions of dollars in “undesignated” cooperative program surplus cash. 

Adjudicated lawsuits take years and cost Baptist Entities millions of dollars in legal fees, all paid with SBC members money to keep members from learning the truth and from exposing leadership participation in deceptive practices.

Michael Whitehead representing the facts successfully adjudicated against defendants for failing to follow entity governing documents in the Missouri Baptist Case #02CV325096-02, after 15-years of litigation, comments:

“is anyone willing to print the facts and law so Baptists can know the truth? The facts are not that complicated. …  Now, it doesn’t take a room full of Philadelphia lawyers to explain the meaning of the words ‘provided said amendment is approved by the Missouri Baptist Convention.’ And even a room full of Philadelphia lawyers cannot hide the meaning. … Now, that’s legal magic! Five corporations worth nearly $100 million dollars just disappear… [Glorieta Conference Center, appraised by Santa Fe County, NM at $240 million, just disappeared at the hand of LifeWay’s Thom Rainer]. … That’s better than David Copperfield’s trick of making the Statue of Liberty vanish. But the legal David Copperfield is different. After the disappearing act, he won’t make the agencies come back. … What do you call the persons in your church who have the right to vote for leaders? Baptists know–you call them members. … Non-Profit Corporation Code defines “member” as …any person or persons who on more than one occasion, pursuant to a provision of a corporation’s articles or bylaws, have the right to vote…” Where is the convention vote to approve LifeWay Trustees’ recommendation to dispose of Glorieta?

Will the curtain will come down on the individuals responsible for misleading, and misrepresenting the truth in defiance of the provisions of their corporation’s articles or bylaws that give legal right to members for the protection of 16 million Southern Baptist who finance all of SBC?

We pray SBC Entity search committees and the head hunter firms will be led by the Spirit to find leaders who look to the interest of members and the mission, not their own interests and agendas.  Is this the time for SBC Entity Trustees to open the doors to meetings, publish executive compensation, establish committees to investigate the issues and challenges leadership ignored leading to costly litigation. We pray trustees no longer stand in silence, but in the light of truth. We pray the Spirit of God to move a few righteous individuals to rise up with spiritual courage to examine the evidence and change the passivity “there is not much we can do” attitudes with examination and adherence to SBC governing documents.  

 More at these web links:

Reports from SBC Members:

Subject: Secret meeting

He told me that either late 2014 or early 2015, he along with 20+ other young, influential pastors were brought to Alpharetta. They had to leave their phones outside of the conference room and from what I understand, they had to either verbally or in writing sign an agreement that they would not post anything about the meeting. Kevin and David then came into the conference room and “basically told us, ‘we know your state conventions suck, but just hang with us because change is coming’”. He did not tell me who else was in that meeting.”

Secret SBC meetings may be planning to take over State Conventions! Attorneys for an SBC Entity Claim an SBC entity Can Interfere in State Conventions. Is an SBC Entity allowed to interfere in state conventions and force out state leaders? Civ. A. No. 1:17-cv-00080-GHD-DAS



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