Paying the Bills

News of change continues to flow out of the Baptist building in Dallas. This week CFO David Nabors resigned. When I heard the news I was saddened because I have found David to be a good honest reliable man who found himself in a very difficult pinch. The press release about this move read as follows:

Daehnert said Nabors was not involved in any “illegal, unethical or immoral activity,” but acknowledged some leaders around the state lost “confidence” in his judgment in the use of funds. Expenditure of investment funds has been of particular concern.

“We needed a change as it relates to the coming of a new executive director and moving forward to greater hope and possibilities,” Daehnert said. “We want to look forward to reaching people for Christ in effective and fiscally-responsible ways.”

I am much better and more highly trained at interpreting scripture than I am reading between the lines of a press release, but it appears the message coming out of Dallas boils down to this: Nabors did not do anything “illegal, unethical, or immoral”, but his financial decisions and judgments have been questionable. It was particularly noted concerns about the expenditure of investment funds.

Before we throw too much blame on Nabors, we need to take a hard look in the mirror. I would suggest there is plenty of responsibility to go around. Why did we have to even touch the investment funds? You know the answer, we lost hundreds of churches in our struggle against fundamentalism, and many of our churches have diverted their funds to other worthwhile causes.

Nabors may have written or released the checks, but he did not create the “white elephant” in the living room we did. Our inability to find ways to stay focused on Kingdom values and relationships created this “no win” situation for anyone holding the purse strings. Granted, Roger Hall probably would have raised a red flag during the Valleygate scandal, but Nabors did not make the decisions to release the funds he simply followed his instructions and the wishes of those on the front lines.

We can get a new CFO, but until we face the “white elephant” in the living room, we are simply looking for another scapegoat. I believe Nabors stepped aside for the good of our convention and to give Dr. Everett an opportunity to surround himself with a team of leaders commissioned to restore our trust. The task will be daunting but not impossible. I believe Dr. Everett is off to a good start by calling us back to our mission of taking Jesus to our friends and neighbors across the state.

I deeply appreciate David Nabors’ willingness to step aside at this time. I pray the Lord will open a new door of opportunity for him and his family in the days ahead. Now it is up to all of us to make the most of this opportunity and to move forward together for the sake of the Kingdom.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Paying the Bills

  1. David, I may be able to help you read between the lines. The real story is that D.N. was seen to be Charles Wade’s guy. Charles brought him in. I believe this is nothing more than clearing out things so the new guy can build his own team. I would hope Randel will Pinsonize that position, that is hire someone with whom he has no previous connection, as Pinson did with Roger Hall.

  2. Lee

    I would hope that Dr. Everett will “pinsonize” the whole convention staff, as the opportunity arises, and help rid the BGCT of the idea that executive team members are “the E.D.’s guy” rather than “our” guy which is part of the problem. That’s the kind of attitude which leads people to believe that jobs in the state convention are given to people because of who they know rather than what they can do.

    There are those who believe the exodus of churches from the BGCT, the formation of the SBTC, and thus the results of those events, were not preventable if the BGCT were going to be “saved” from fundamentalist control. Perhaps the battle was early enough in Texas and Virginia to cause those in other states to pause and reconsider the way they approached things, but it appears that most state Baptist conventions have weathered the storm, avoided the “winner take all” battles that occurred in the SBC, as well as Texas and Virginia, and avoided splits and large losses of church participation. There have been some bumps along the way to be sure, and most of the others are in the hands of more conservative leadership than the BGCT or BGAV were, but the kind of complete takeover that occurred in the SBC has not repeated itself in any state convention except Missouri, where an alternative moderate convention was formed. The jury is still out on whether North Carolina, where conservatives have gained control of the convention, but where they have left a proportionate door open to moderates to cooperate, will be that way as well. In fact, in NC, it was the moderates who got huffy, turned their backs and refused to participate in a convention they could not control, even though the door was open to them to do so. That Bible-believing Christians in churches of the same denomination have split, not over doctrine, really, but over who is going to control who gets the convention’s jobs and offices, is sad.

    I hope that the new hires in the BGCT’s executive positions are people that can be considered “our” employees, and “our” guys, and that we don’t have to completely replace a team of skilled and experienced professionals everytime there is a change at the top.

  3. Lee, I find nothing in your comment with which I could disagree.

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