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NAMB funds egalitarian ARC church

The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has come under a lot of scrutiny as of late for its treatment of state and local level Baptist conventions and general ineffectiveness or misuse of its funds. This is a major focus of Randy Adams who is running for SBC President. However, the practices of NAMB, helmed by Kevin Ezell, may not be adhering to the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 which codifies male eldership into the denomination’s bylaws. This came into greater light when Tom Ascol pointed out that a NAMB church plant in his local area has a female pastor.

The church in question named, 1Name Church, launched in person services just this week, despite operating in Florida, and have been supported by NAMB during this process. Their website, under the section “meet our pastors” reads:

Corey and Jamie have grown up in the local church. Since they got married at the age of 21, they have embraced and pursued a God-given vision to lead people to change the world with the message of the Gospel. The time has come for that vision to unfold further as they launched 1NAME Church in South Florida in 2020.

For over a decade, Corey has led as a Youth Pastor and Campus Pastor. Having been given the opportunity to preach multiple times a year to thousands of people, Corey has developed an engaging and effective gift for communicating the truths of Scripture in a clear, relevant, and practical way.

Jamie is an incredible wife, mother, and leader. Her love for others and commitment to excellence have set her apart. She has over 10 years of full-time ministry experience and has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry from Trinity International University. Because of her experience, Jamie is well acquainted with both the joys and struggles of pioneering a local church. Her wisdom, discernment, and leadership skills will greatly benefit the launch and establishment of 1NAME Church in South Florida.

Corey and Jamie have a daughter named Jacie Leigh, born in 2018. She is the joy of their life. They believe family is a priority and want to build a church as a family, where families are transformed by the name of Jesus. 

1Name Church clearly operates with a husband-and-wife pastorate, which is in violation of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which codified complementarianism.

A less reported aspect of this story is their affiliation with ARC, the Association of Related Churches, an organization helmed by Chris Hodges. Chris Hodges comes from a Prosperity Gospel background and is more charismatic as well. It is a trend of both Prosperity and Pentecostal churches to have a husband wife pastorate. A few major examples of this are Lakewood Church, with Joel and Victoria Osteen and Hillsong with Brian and Bobbie Houston. It would seem that ARC, which has their logo branded on 1Name’s website, has a greater influence than the North American Mission Board. This proves problematic for multiple reasons. NAMB has reduced its church plants over the last decade, yet it would seem they are putting their name on a church plant they are hardly overseeing. Alternatively, they could be overseeing this church and indifferent to the doctrinal issue. In any case, this issue is another reason to call into question Kevin Ezell’s leadership.

Kevin Ezell talked to Tom Ascol privately over the issue, and from Ascol’s subsequent tweets, it does not appear the desired goal was meant. Tom Ascol is a rare figure in the Grassroots Evangelical movement who Big Eva will talk to. However, it is not a good thing that one man be our voice on this issue, especially as Ascol is a lot more trusting of the SBC establishment than many of us are. This is not to demean Ascol, but it is something I have observed on other issues. This is why one of the goals of the Evangelical Dark Web is to decentralize the influence, away from the celebrity culture that is plaguing the church.


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