Top Southern Baptist Leader Resigns Over ‘Morally Inappropriate Relationship’

By Published on March 28, 2018

The president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee announced Tuesday that he was resigning because he engaged in an immoral relationship.

Frank Page did not go into detail about the relationship except to say that it was “morally inappropriate” and characterized it as a “personal failing,” according to The Associated Press. Page initially announced that he was retiring, but chose later in the day to acknowledge the true reason for his resignation “in a more forthright manner.”

“It is with deep regret that I tender my resignation from the SBC Executive Committee and announce my retirement from active ministry, effective immediately. As a result of a personal failing, I have embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself, and the Kingdom. Out of a desire to protect my family and those I have hurt, I initially announced my retirement earlier today without a complete explanation. However, after further wrestling with my personal indiscretion, it became apparent to me that this situation must be acknowledged in a more forthright manner. It is my most earnest desire in the days to come to rebuild the fabric of trust with my wife and daughters, those who know me best and love me most,” Page’s statement read.

Stephen Rummage, a Florida pastor and chairman of the SBC’s executive committee, said in a statement on behalf of the committee’s officers that he urged members of the SBC to pray for Page and his wife, and that the members of the executive committee were committed to providing spiritual and emotional support to Page’s family.

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Page oversaw the SBC’s national ministries and its yearly budget of almost $200 million. Page’s service within the SBC leadership was marked by a strong promotion of evangelism and calls for the inclusion of women, youth, and more ethnic diversity in the convention’s leadership and other positions. The reason for his resignation surprised those in church leadership who knew him, as he was a widely respected figure within the SBC and had not previously demonstrated untoward behavior.

“The accolades that came in earlier today really expressed how Southern Baptists felt about Frank. He is widely loved and appreciated, and seen as a person of great character. So this is a shock to many of us,” said Ed Seltzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, told Christianity Today.

 

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