A U.S. district court agreed with attorneys representing the North American Mission Board on March 3 that a continuance was necessary to complete the discovery process in a case brought against the entity by former state executive Will McRaney.
McRaney originally filed the lawsuit in 2017. In it, the former executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware stated that NAMB had wrongfully influenced his 2015 termination and furthermore intentionally defamed him over a dispute regarding collaborative missions efforts in the area.
Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson signed the order moving the court date to Aug. 7 from the original date of June 5.
NAMB attorneys filed the motion for continuance on Feb. 24. Among their reasons for doing so was the addition of new witnesses and amended disclosures. An affidavit of one of those witnesses, former NAMB employee Bill Barker, was presented on Feb. 22. Barker, who directed Appalachia Regional Ministry with NAMB from 2001-2017, alleges in his affidavit that he felt pressured into early retirement by NAMB President Kevin Ezell. NAMB’s legal team countered that the Feb. 22 affidavit — filed a little over a week before the discovery deadline — made the continuance necessary.