Not all So. Baptists on board with firm's hiring

Not all So. Baptists on board with firm's hiring

Not all So. Baptists on board with firm's hiring

Concerns and questions remain among some in the Southern Baptist Convention after the denomination's executive committee met with a consulting company about running the SBC's sex abuse database.

Guidepost Solutions was the firm the SBC put in charge of investigating sexual abuse allegations within the denomination. Shortly after the report came out last year, so did Guidepost. In celebration of "LGBTQI+ Pride Month" last June, the firm tweeted out that it was "proud to be an ally to our LGBTQ+ community." (See image above)

Now, as AFN reported last month, the denomination is in talks with Guidepost to run its Ministry Check database. To insulate itself in working with the SBC, Guidepost set up a "faith-based division" to manage the project, assigned "people of faith in Christ" to work on the project, and hired a Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary grad to run the new division.

Executive Committee chairman Marshall Blalock sat down with Guidepost's Faith-Based Solutions director Samantha Kilpatrick for an interview, hoping to allay the concerns within the denomination:

Blalock: "The fact that you have the Baptist background, you understand our polity, you understand our convictions and share those – is a really encouraging thing."

Southern Baptist talk-show host Janet Mefferd, however, is skeptical.

"I think that what they're trying to do is to create more calm within the Convention over the issue of Guidepost," she tells AFN. "And if you have this firm creating a faith-based vision, and then you have it overseen by a woman who went to Southeastern Seminary – c'mon, everybody can feel good about this."

But Mefferd argues that the despite its new division, Guidepost is still a pro-"gay" company – and points out the topic wasn't even brought up in the Blalock-Kilpatrick interview.

"They didn't address it one time in the video that they put out … on the task force website," she laments. "So – many, many questions remain."

In an interview in February, pastor and former SBC presidential candidate Tom Ascol stated it was "the height of hypocrisy and stupidity and immorality" to ask any pro-LGBTQ group to oversee anything dealing with "sexual predatory behavior."

As of Friday, the SBC and Guidepost were in contract negotiations regarding the database project.