SBC entities work for the churches. Right?
We thought so too.
But what about when employees of an SBC Entity refuse to help stop the blackmail a Southern Baptist pastor and try to use his wife as a weapon in order to keep him quiet? This is not working for the churches but against them. This is not only against the way the Southern Baptist Convention operates, but it is against Biblical ecclesiology. However, not only is it against Biblical ecclesiology, but it is also against Biblical morality. It is rot. And Southern Baptists should be asking a lot of questions right now.
Now, does this mean the SEBTS President and at least two of his faculty were in a backroom with Willy Rice actively planning the demise of Tom Buck? No, it doesn’t necessarily mean that. Remember, the Bible teaches us about sins of commission and sins of omission. Some of these people may or may not have actively campaigned to destroy the Bucks. That would be doing what God says not to do. Others may be guilty of simply not doing what God says to do. Because what’s obvious from the facts and timeline below is that at the very least, no one tried to seriously stop this from happening. Saying that something is wrong but not working to stop the wrong from happening when it is absolutely in your power to do so is a sin of omission. At the very least there is serious negligence and dereliction of duty from those supposed to be serving the churches. At the very least.
Where is the integrity of our convention? Why are people covering up sin? We ought to be asking these questions and more (see below).
These essential facts and the timeline have been verified by Tom and Jennifer Buck.
Facts and Timeline
April 2018 – Jennifer asks Karen Prior to help her edit a rough draft to eventually publish when the final draft is ready. Karen asks Jennifer to email the rough draft to help her edit. Jennifer emails it to Karen.
May 2018 – Karen was involved in a tragic accident.
June 2018 – Karen tells Jennifer that she is not able to help edit the rough draft and the only connection Karen makes for Jennifer is with Jacki King (SBC Voices) to potentially help edit. Jacki is never given the rough draft by Karen or Jennifer. She asks Jennifer to edit it herself and send it to Jacki when ready to publish. With no one to help her edit, Jennifer sets it aside.
The following dates are all from 2022:
March 26 – Tom Buck and two elders contact Willy Rice about his deacon. At the end of the phone call, Willy states he would seek advice from “some people I value in convention leadership about it and figure out what to do from there.”
March 27 – Someone emails Jennifer Buck’s rough draft to Baptist News Global and other media outlets saying it was written by Jennifer. But since the rough draft doesn’t contain any names, it needed to be verified. (source)
Few Days Later – Someone contacts Keith Whitfield asking him if he could get Karen Prior to verify the rough draft as being from Jennifer Buck (This fact wasn’t revealed until April 19). Karen refuses to verify it. Keith tells the person they won’t verify it. Karen and Keith claim they thought it would be wrong to publish without Jennifer’s permission, but they never contact Jennifer to let her know someone had stolen her rough draft and was seeking to publish it.
April 1 – Tom and Jennifer are told that Jennifer’s rough draft has been sent to media outlets. Then Tom is told to keep quiet about Willy Rice situation to prevent Jennifer’s rough draft from being published. Tom and Jennifer reach out to someone they trust who tells them that Karen Prior had been contacted to verify the rough draft.
April 2 (6:33 pm) – Jennifer and Tom call Karen Prior. Jennifer pleads with Karen to tell her who came to her to verify the rough draft. She reminds Karen that there is sensitive information regarding sin done to Jennifer before she met Tom that she didn’t want to be public. She reminds Karen that she had only asked her to help edit the rough draft and that is one of the things that would’ve been removed. Karen refuses to give Jennifer and Tom the name saying she doesn’t trust them. Then Karen says to Jennifer, “They were your words and my mom told me to never put in writing what you don’t want the whole world to read.”
April 2 (7:00 pm) – Jennifer and Tom call Danny Akin. Jennifer pleads with Danny and explains the sensitive information in that rough draft. She shares what Karen said to her. Danny seems incensed by Karen’s actions and says she must reveal the third party. He promises to get the name to Tom and Jennnifer in 48 hours. Danny doesn’t keep his word.
April 7 (7:00 am) – Jennifer’s article is published at G3.
April 7 (9:39 am) – Danny Akin texts Tom saying he had been sick and “I have been told no one is going to confirm to the media the essay about you and Jennifer. I hope this puts an end to this for you.” Tom replies that it doesn’t put an end and that he and Jennifer want him to keep his word to reveal who came to Karen to verify the rough draft.
April 7 (3:46 pm) – Tom texts Danny Akin to tell him that he had just had a phone call with Todd Benkert with SBC Voices and that when Todd tells Tom that he reached out to someone to get a copy of Jennifer’s rough draft, he mentioned Karen Prior had been giving him information. Danny never responds.
April 11 (10:30 am) – Tom sees Baptist News Global hit piece that reveals they were in possession of Jennifer’s rough draft and BNG makes multiple false insinuations.
April 11 (11:25 am) – Tom texts a link to the BNG article to Danny Akin and writes, “You obviously were wrong, Danny. Now will you tell me who came to Karen Prior?” He asks Danny again to give him the information of who came to Karen “by the end of the day.”
April 19 (1:00 pm) – FBC elders and leadership issue statement.
April 19 (7:55 pm) – Danny Akin emails letter to FBC elders and finally reveals it was Keith Whitfield who came to Karen to verify Jennifer’s rough draft, and that Keith had received the request by an “anonymous text.”
- Is it a coincidence that Jennifer’s rough draft was emailed to news outlets 24 hours after Tom and FBC elders contact Willy Rice?
- Who were the people “in convention leadership” from which Willy sought advice?
- Was Keith Whitfield one of the people Willy Rice consulted or did any of them contact Keith Whitfield about the Rice situation prior to the leak of Jennifer’s rough draft on March 27?
- How did anyone know that Karen Prior was the only person who could verify the rough draft?
- Why didn’t Karen Prior, who knew the intimate details of Jennifer’s’ story, contact Jennifer to tell her the story had been stolen and was likely being used for nefarious purposes?
- Why didn’t Keith Whitfield ask the person who contacted him who they were?
- Did Keith Whitfield preserve the evidence that would substantiate his claim that he was contacted anonymously?
- Why didn’t Keith Whitfield contact Jennifer Buck or instruct Karen Prior to tell Jennifer that her story had been stolen?
- Why did Karen Prior and Danny Akin feel it necessary to cover for Keith Whitfield?
- If all Keith Whitfield did was field an anonymous text, why was there a need to withhold Keith’s name?
- What caused Danny to finally reveal Keith Whitfield’s involvement after FBC elders and leaders published their public statement?
- Why did the SEBTS Trustee chairman tell FBC Lindale, “I do not believe the matter needs further attention?”
FINAL QUESTION: WILL ANYONE IN THE SBC FINALLY STEP UP AND DO WHAT’S RIGHT?
My rough draft was spread around the SBC as gossip before we were blackmailed w/ it. Untold numbers had it – several admit having it. None will reveal who gave it to them. Is there not anyone with integrity in the SBC who will confess where they got it? Who are they covering for?
— Jennifer Buck (@JenniferBuck65) April 22, 2022