I am glad to use this space to answer questions and appreciate your ideas and concerns.
Samurai asked about non-disclosure statements. Yes, there were non-disclosure statements before I came to be Executive Director. Chris Liebrum was HR director at that time and he has written a full response to the question which will be posted by tomorrow, if not tonight.
In re: to questions re: EB Brooks. As I have said earlier, the full document detailing every conversation or observation made by the investigators is available for anyone to see. (One can read them either here in the Baptist Building or at the Baptist Standard offices.) If you have a copy of something you found in your study of the materials that you feel is relevant to ongoing discussion, please forward to me. I will be glad to review and give my opinion as to the meaning and significance of the page you have in mind.
I am sure I have been, “fooled,” by many people across the years. Most pastors and people who want to work with people have that experience. Surely, I accept the responsibility that as the CEO of a great ministry like the BGCT, I need to be as careful as possible about protecting our work, our reputation, our resouces as best I can. It is a great and 24/7 responsibility for which I must be fully accountable.
My only defense in regard to Brother Brooks is that he answered every question I raised with him (and there were many) and as best I could tell he told me the truth. There were many people on our staff and in the churches and associations who had great confidence in him. He and I were both passionate about trying to develop effective ways to help start Hispanic churches. By the time I became aware that there were discrepencies between what I understood and the reality of the matter, he had retired. Others who had worked closely with him in the arena of church starting in the Valley resigned within a few days after the report was released to me and to the Executive Board committee working with me to discover the nature of the problem.
The summary report, as I have pointed out before, was available to anyone…even posted on our website…and that report said that there was no suggestion found in their investigation that anyone on our staff, which included EB Brooks, although he had already retired, had profited financially from all the financial transactions.
Could I have done a better job of realizing that the process was being exploited? Yes. If I could have known eight years ago what I now have learned, I could have done a better job in many areas of our work. But I have only been able to know what I know and can learn. I have prayed for both wisdom and courage all along the way. I still pray for those great gifts from God….James 1:5 and Joshua 1:9.
My failures belong to me. My successes belong to God.
You suggest that perhaps I could offer some insight to a new Executive Director so that he would not make the mistake of trusting someone too long. I believe the new Director will be a person of such great gifts that he will need very little help from me. I will pray for him every day, though. And if asked to advise or reflect with him, I will do my best…but mainly, I will pray. I hope we all will.