On September 1st we got the announcement that the NAMB CEO search committee was bringing Kevin Ezell to the trustees as nominee to be the new NAMB leader.
The SBC at large, folks whose churches pay all those bills and put $130+ million into NAMB, got exactly 13 days to talk it over, examine the nominee's record, discuss it, question it, complain about it, and be delighted about it.
During the 13 days people from blogging nobodies to state convention presidents asked questions, some SBC leaders offered high praise, and some NAMB trustees supported the nominee in the face of questions.
In response to questions raised on Ezell, Tim Dowdy, NAMB trustee chairman said on September 10th that
"I realize there is an ongoing discussion among Southern Baptists about how we can best express our passion for missions through our giving," Dowdy said, "and I am sure that will be part of our discussion this Tuesday when our trustees meet to discuss Kevin's nomination.
If they did. SBCers will have to take someone's word about it because the meeting was closed. That is unacceptable, inappropriate, and, to use Norman Jameson's term for it, an insult.
It is an insult.
It was an insult to Southern Baptists for NAMB trustees sit on their hands while Robert Reccord wasted millions on such things as flying to London for a movie premier, and then hand him a secret severence package.
It was an insult to Southern Baptists for NAMB trustees to handle the Geoff Hammond meltdown as they did.
It was an insult for NAMB trustees to follow both of those by telling Southern Baptists to just move on from those debacles but do keep on sending their money.
It is an insult to Southern Baptists for NAMB trustees to stiff the entire convention and the legitimate questions they asked about the new CEO and missions support.
I hope Kevin Ezell can lead our dysfunctional agency to some successes. He might start with a frank conversation with trustees about openness and transparency. He might remind trustees where the money comes from. He might assess the agency's credibility and try and assign a reason for the lack thereof.
Trustees might have someone to lead NAMB out of the morass they have put themselves in. I hope so. I pray so. But they certainly haven't helped themselves here.
But maybe I undervalue the idea of sticking one's head in the sand and ignoring all the clamor.
Update: Trustee spokesman says a "strong majority" supported Ezell. Come on guys. The world isn't going to end if we have frank discussions and disagree about things.
Yet another update: ABP reports the vote to have been 37-12, the new CEO getting about a 75% vote. That's right guys, let the news trickle out from anonymous sources.