SBC Pastors’ Conference Rejects CRT Critic Voddie Baucham in Vote for President

By Bob Smietana
Voddie Baucham
Pastor Voddie Baucham (Photo Credit: Voddie Baucham Ministries)

The presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors’ Conference carries little power and the event itself, though it draws thousands of SBC pastors in the days ahead of the denomination’s annual meeting in Anaheim, is usually a low-key affair — a day and a half of preaching and singing.

But this year’s election for Pastor’s Conference president, held Monday night, was hotly contested, as conservative Baptists have come to the annual meeting this year determined to halt what they see as a drift away from biblical principles in favor of woke-ism.

A group called the Conservative Baptist Network came to the Pastor’s Conference supporting Voddie Baucham, a popular preacher and best-selling author of “Fault Lines,” which warns that “liberal” ideas such as critical race theory and social justice are invading the evangelical world.

Though, as president, Voddie Baucham would officially only choose speakers and set the agenda for next year’s event, his candidacy became a way to capture a bully pulpit for the conservative cause.

They were turned away. At the end of the evening session, it was announced that Baucham’s opponent, Daniel Dickard, pastor of Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, had received 690 votes to 608 votes for Baucham.

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The vote was accompanied by controversy, as an initial round, in which pastors were asked to stand to show their preference proved inconclusive, and the conference moved to a paper ballot. As the conference adjourned for dinner while ballots were counted, accusations of ballot stuffing and photos of non-pastors began circulating on social media. Fifty-nine votes were eventually disallowed. 

“This would not have changed the results,” said Matt Henslee, the outgoing president.

Monday began with a relatively quiet meeting of the SBC’s Executive Committee, which elected new officers and made final preparations for the denomination’s two-day annual meeting, which begins Tuesday.

During the meeting, Texas pastor Jared Wellman was elected as the committee’s new chairman, succeeding California pastor Rolland Slade, whose term was marked with tension over how to respond to a crisis over the handling of sexual abuse in the SBC.  After a series of contentious meetings last fall, 16 members resigned.

On Monday South Carolina pastor David Sons was elected vice-chair, while Pamela Reed, a retired nurse from North Carolina, was elected secretary. Three candidates with ties to the Conservative Baptist Network — Indiana pastor Andrew Hunt, Louisiana pastor Philip Robertson, and Missouri pastor Monte Shinkle ­— were also nominated but were defeated.

In the election for vice-chair, Sons received more votes than Robertson but fell short due to abstentions, which would have required a re-vote. But Robertson then withdrew, open the door to Sons’ election.

“I just feel like that we’re in a place where we need to move forward,” said Robertson, saying that the committee needed to work together in unity.

Committee members also rescinded a decision made earlier this month over how to fund reforms intended to address sexual abuse. That decision was rendered moot after leaders at Send Relief, a partnership between the SBC’s International Mission Board and North American Mission Board that does compassion ministry, offered to provide $3 million in initial funding for abuse reforms.

During the meeting, Slade was also given the “faithful servant” award by interim Executive Committee president Willie McLaurin, for his service as chairman. The committee also recognized Georgia pastor Mike Stone, Slade’s predecessor whose term had expired during COVID. Slade has said in the past that his goal as chairman was to make the Executive Committee “boring.” He seemed to have accomplished that goal, noting that by the end of the meeting, almost all the observers had left.

Earlier in the meeting, Slade noted that the committee’s rules limited the chair to a two-year term, something for which he was grateful.

“It is a blessing,” he said.

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana is a national reporter for Religion News Service.

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31 thoughts on “SBC Pastors’ Conference Rejects CRT Critic Voddie Baucham in Vote for President”

  1. Circumstances surrounding the vote itself made the case for why Vodie was a good candidate….back to the bible means accountability and I font think majority of SB want to face the skeletons in their closests in order to clean up Gods house.

  2. This gives me hope. Baucham is a fundamentalist who has a low veiw of women and has built his career on creating boogie men for everyone to fear and attack instead of teaching an ambassadoril approach to to culture shift. Although the term religious jingoism might be premature, it certainly seems on trajectory with his rhetoric.

    1. Brian Patrick

      Mark Deckard,

      Have you read any of the words of Paul, Jesus, David? They were far more “religious jingoists” than this pastor.

    2. Jeff Pittmnan

      Please provide this forum with evidence of your statement that Voddie Baucham has a low view of women. Thank you.

        1. Tom Parker,

          “Jeff, I say very kindly you can google Bauchaum’s views of women–it is a low one.”

          Coming from someone who views anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders as “indefensible”, we need more corroboration than that.

          Believing a woman shouldn’t be a head pastor doesn’t count, I’m afraid.

          1. Mark Gunderson

            How about believing it’s a daughter’s responsibility to keep her dad from having an affair?

            http://thatmom.com/2009/11/19/voddie-baucham-explains-the-video-clip-on-older-men-yearning-for-younger-women/

            “A lot of men are leaving their wives for younger women because they yearn for attention from younger women. And God gave them a daughter who can give them that. And instead they go find a substitute daughter….you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it. These old guys going and finding these substitute daughters.”

      1. Mark Gunderson

        Baucham changed his site so it’s hard to find full copies of his old blog posts, but he came out strongly against Sarah Palin as VP pick because he believed she should be at home taking care of her children.

        “First, if Mr. McCain was pro-family, he would want to see Mrs. Palin at home taking care of her five children, not headed to Washington to be consumed by the responsibilities of being second in command to the most powerful man in the world or serving as the Governor of Alaska for that matter). Let me also say that I would have the same reservations about a man with five children at home seeking the VP office. It’s not exactly a pro-family job….”

        https://reformedbaptistblog.com/2008/09/10/voddie-baucham-speaks-out-on-women-in-office/

        He’s super patriarchal. Just look up the weirdness he has taught on father and daughters. It’s too much to summarize.

        1. Mark Gunderson,

          ““First, if Mr. McCain was pro-family, he would want to see Mrs. Palin at home taking care of her five children, not headed to Washington to be consumed by the responsibilities of being second in command to the most powerful man in the world or serving as the Governor of Alaska for that matter). Let me also say that I would have the same reservations about a man with five children at home seeking the VP office. It’s not exactly a pro-family job….””

          I’d feel more inclined to take your information to heart if you were a Sarah Palin supporter at the time, which I rather doubt, but I digress.

          I might differ with Voddie on the topic of Ms. Palin and the necessity of all mothers to strictly stay at home, but it’s not like he’s saying something unfathomably wild like what Luther said about women (and Jews) or the like. There is a Biblical case for his position. You may disagree with Voddie, but his stance is within the mainstream of serious church introspection on the topic.

  3. Let the games begin. I envision three groups set apart. The two bully groups of “Guilt” versus the small remnant of Free Grace Baptists. CRT dupes and dullards voicing the same old race jargon of the 1960’s (yawn). Then you have the hyper-bully crowd. These are the hapless, deeply compromised and confused Baptist preachers yearning to be Calvinists. These gents probably should have been Mormons or cult leaders, and are part of the grace plus 613 laws crowd. At the convention you will discern their ilk by their judgmental countenance and fruit inspection certifications. Last and most scarce in the Brave New Protestant world, you will find a small scattered group of Good News and Free Grace Baptists……..you know, the ones that used to be majority back in the seventies and eighties. It will be a good show of moralism……..let the show begin!

  4. Marin Heiskell

    While I understand Voddie’s stance, I don’t fully agree with it. I think any church that sticks its head in the sand and uses “sloppy agape” and Christianese (e.g. quoting scriptures that sound good but avoid accountability to actually abide by them) to avoid addressing the systemic injustices that are hurting people around the world will find itself irrelevant and on the wrong side of history. Truth is, if the church as a body was doing its job of loving as Christ called us to love – and not just quoting it whenever uncomfortable topics like racism come up – it wouldn’t be crawling with segregation and bias (both racial and political).

    Let’s remember MLK and other key leaders came from the church and saw addressing social and racial injustice as part of their individual and collective calling as Christians. And to this day, my parents remember the churches and evangelical leaders that were speaking against MLK in his prime – and how they used the SAME political stances and sloppy agape the church is using today to justify it – and how to this day they use revisionist history and conveniently quote MLK every January as if they ever supported him.

    It’s a cycle repeating itself.

    I also hate how “they must have cheated” is now THE go-to reaction to losing. It reeks of pride, and lacks the spirit of humility and unity it takes to move forward in a productive, Christlike manner. The SBC needs an overhaul or it will continue its slide into being little more than a punchline the evokes eye-rolling in the near future.

    1. Brian Patrick

      Marin Heiskell,

      How do you feel about the plainly stated Gospel of the Holy Scripture, in and of itself, without our “enlightened” lens through which to view it today?

      1. Marin Heiskell

        I believe the Gospel is living and active – it is as relevant today as it ever was. And yes, that means actually loving others as Christ calls us to do, and putting faith into action. It means not just talking about faith while comfortably sitting in pews with others who look, think (and vote) just like you, or hiding behind carefully selected scriptures to avoid the discomfort that can come from actually loving and serving those who DON’T look, think (or vote) like you.

        1. Marin Heiskell,

          The Gospel is certainly alive–not sure what you mean by “active”. God’s words don’t change with the times and the culture. If premarital sex and same-sex actions were wrong 2000 years ago, they’re just as wrong today and the culture approving of it now holds no water in the matter. We’ve been there before. We were CALLED to be that unpopular line in the sand just as we were in the days of ancient Rome when anything-went in the pagan temples of the Greco-Roman false gods, and it was considered totally normal for men to sexually use males who were in subordinate social rank to them (consensually, or otherwise). Infanticide by exposure was also popular in Greece/Rome… and surely the early church didn’t win itself many mainstream fans by fighting against it.

          1. Marin Heiskell

            By active, I mean it is not dormant. God is still at work through His word today. He still speaks to us through His word (and the Holy Spirit).
            Not sure what the rest has to do with my post. I said nothing about sex or Rome or anything like that.

  5. I really like Voddie Baucham. He brings Biblical clarity to a gray and confusing world. I would like it if Julie Roys did a podcast with him. Make it three hours and cover a wide range of subjects, lol! Seriously though, Voddie Baucham has helped people like me find grounding in a storm of enemy ideas.

    1. I think that would be an excellent idea. However, from what I hear of Voddie Baucham from people who have interacted with him, my guess would be that either he would decline the opportunity, or, if it did happen, it would become a very unpleasant expense for Ms. Roys.

  6. Ballot stuffing? Only Baptist and Democrats can sink so low. I also read these godly men want to erect a monument for the abused. A monument vs falling on your knees and beg forgiveness for the years of hiding the abuse. Baptist. That good ole boy network never stops entertaining us Christians.

  7. WHY was vodie even allowed to be there let alone run for anything as I believe 1) he is NOT even a southern baptist, 2) he is not a pastor. could a catholic priest or a morman bishop run for president of the southern baptist convention and participate in the convention? videi denies the atonement of christ as well becouse he is a calvinist. he believes Christ only love and died for a few “elect” people.

  8. Those who do not know history, are condemned to repeat it. The Presbyterian church was a model of woke……ism in the 1970’s. Need I remind any of you over age 55 that experienced that decade, if you go woke, you grow broke. I am fairly certain I grew up in a much more dynamic and integrated school than the majority of folks commenting here. My school was over 50 percent Black in Los Angeles. Myself and others got along just fine from 1971-1975, until social engineers scolded us into “guilt.” For my generation, the social engineers were often most notable in the Presbyterian pulpit. Never again for me. You don’t have my permission to “guilt” and bully me into submission for your abstract utopian ideology. There you have it. The first wave of CRT was in the 70’s, and an entire generation has nearly bankrupted the Presbyterian church, because we simply walked away from irrelevance.

    Second, Jesus is relevant. Jesus is about freedom, liberty, unconditional grace. For the Grace plus 613 Judaic laws crowd, not really certain what music you are listening to. Every Christian music song I hear is about Christ’s love and victory. These songs aren’t selling via praise for harsh Calvinism!

    So there, that leaves us with Free Grace and a desire to be obedient BECAUSE of Christ’s blood. For those in the sanctimonious, moving quickly towards sanctification and perfection camp…….good luck. Those of us with a healthy self image in Christ can see right through your guilt trips, and your denominations are in danger of irrelevance.

    Calvinism is just that…….an “ism.” And again, not hearing a lot of inspirational songs out there praising perfection.

    1. Marin Heiskell

      Sam –
      I do believe Jesus is relevant. I also believe that if you (or anyone) stops loving others as Christ calls you to, that’s no one’s fault but your own. Blameshifting is not taking the personal accountability required for repentance.

  9. Brian Patrick

    Voddie is a dear brother who is paying the price for adhering to Scriptural truth and the one and only real Gospel rather than the modern-day Gnosticism that has metastasized throughout the whole “church”. God bless him.

  10. Voddie Baucham is simply towing the world’s line – and who is the god of this world???

    I hope Voddie educates himself – so he will not engage in such destructive behavior.

  11. Meredith Nienhuis

    Mr. Smietana, such a negative headline of Voddie Baucham who is a brother in Christ. Bob, are you not in league with the “accuser of the brethren”? Voddie is a faithful preacher and teacher of the one true gospel – Jesus Who is the Way and the Truth and the Life.

  12. Why should Abuse Reform need a $3million slush fund?
    Surely all abuse claims can be investigated at congregation level in cooperation with local police?

    1. And that’s exactly the problem. The abuse claims haven’t been investigated at the congregation level. The local churches haven’t contacted the local police to investigate the claims. Abuse allegations have been swept under the rug and abusers have been allowed to continue being on staff at churches while hiding their past misdeeds. This has been going on for decades. The SBC wouldn’t be in this situation and the $3 million wouldn’t have been requested if the local congregations had handled the various situations responsibly in the first place.

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