Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, announced his resignation Oct. 14 in a letter to Southern Baptists released by email. Floyd pointed to the actions taken by trustees in a special called meeting on Oct. 5 as the basis for his decision.
“The decisions made on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 5, in response to the 2021 convention now place our missionary enterprise as Southern Baptists into uncertain, unknown, unprecedented and uncharted waters,” Floyd said in the letter.
Citing his fiduciary responsibilities as president and CEO, Floyd said, “Due to my personal integrity and the leadership responsibility entrusted to me, I will not and cannot any longer fulfill the duties placed upon me as the leader of the executive, fiscal, and fiduciary entity of the SBC.
“In the midst of deep disappointment and discouragement, we have to make this decision by our own choice and do so willingly, because there is no other decision for me to make.”
Rolland Slade, chairman of the EC, reacted to Floyd’s resignation, saying, “I am saddened by his resignation. He’s had a tremendous ministry for years and years. I know he loves Southern Baptists. I know it was his intention to come to Nashville to serve Southern Baptists well, and I believe he’s fulfilled that to the best of his ability. However, I understand the vote of the committee put him in a very difficult position.”
On Oct. 5, EC trustees voted to waive attorney-client privilege related to the independent third-party investigation of the possible mishandling of sexual abuse cases. Messengers at the 2021 SBC annual meeting mandated the investigation be carried out under the terms and scope recommended by the third-party investigative firm.
SBC President Ed Litton said, “The issues before the Executive Committee were indeed complex, and it remains true that good people came to different conclusions about the various issues set before them. While I was grateful for the outcome of last week’s Executive Committee meeting, I regret that Dr. Floyd and other trustees feel that this has placed them in a position where they can no longer continue to serve in their current capacities.”
Prior to coming to the EC, Floyd pastored several churches across Texas until he moved to First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark., (now Cross Church) in 1986, where he pastored for more than 32 years before his stint at the Executive Committee. Throughout his career, Floyd has been active in Southern Baptist life and other interdenominational ministries, including serving as president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and as SBC president (2014-2016).
Floyd said he would remain in the leadership role until Oct. 31.
According to the SBC EC bylaws, a seven-member search committee will be formed to begin the search for a new president. Six of the members will be the existing trustees who receive the highest number of votes to serve on the committee. The seventh member will be the chairperson of the board who will act as an ex-officio member.
— Brandon Porter serves as associate vice president for convention news at the SBC Executive Committee.