A group of Texas pastors plans to launch a Web log next week defending current leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas accused in an existing blog of mismanagement.
David Montoya, pastor of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Calvary BaptistChurch in Mineral Wells, Texas, started a blog last November to draw attention to evidence of a potentially large-scale misappropriation of church-starting funds in the lower Rio GrandeValley.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
Montoya has for some time been calling for a leadership change in the BGCT, and announced plans to bring a motion requesting the resignation of Executive Director Charles Wade when the state convention holds its annual meeting Nov. 13-14 in Dallas.
In a Monday e-mail soliciting writers for a new blog to build support for Wade’s administration, Mitch Randall, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bedford, Texas, said he and other pastors in Tarrant County believe Montoya’s motion will either be ruled out of order or defeated. But they are concerned about his allegations gaining a wider audience through the media platform available at the state meeting.
Randall told EthicsDaily.com Tuesday the blog, Texas Baptists Together, will have multiple contributors. It is scheduled for launch Oct. 31 and to continue through the state convention.
Montoya says he tried for four years to alert BGCT officials to allegations that numerous church cell groups receiving financial aid from the state convention existed only on paper, with church planters apparently pocketing the money, but no one paid attention until he started airing them in a blog.
In May the BGCT Executive Board hired a lawyer to investigate possible misappropriation of funds. The five-month probe, which included review of 11,000 pages of financial documents, has so far cost about $100,000.
The Executive Board is due to see results of the investigation at a called meeting Oct. 31. Executive officers of the board and senior BGCT staff were scheduled to get it a week early, Oct. 24.
Wade, 65, former pastor of FirstBaptistChurch in Arlington, Texas, was elected BGCT executive director in 1999. He served as BGCT president from 1995 to 1997.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.