The North American Mission Board is notoriously corrupt on several fronts. In addition to over a decade of financial mismanagement, Kevin Ezell’s ambition to take over state conventions, funding egalitarians, there is a massive real estate scheme going on.
The real estate investments of the North American Mission Board have been reported to be extravagant in the past. For instance, NAMB invested in properties that were well above the median house cost to house select church plants. Majority of houses that NAMB purchases are above $400,000. And it’s clear that certain churches received this preferential treatment while others do not. According to Reform NAMB Now, the North American Mission Board has spent $62,000,000 on properties and spends and estimated $850,000 every year on property taxes.
Many prominent pastors or allies of Kevin Ezell have been the beneficiaries of this real estate strategy. JD Greear is among the most profound beneficiaries of NAMB’s investment strategy. North Carolina does not contain a “Send City” for NAMB. However, multiple properties have been purchased to benefit Summit Church. Reform NAMB Now reports two location in Morrisville, North Carolina that were made to the benefit of JD Greear and Summit Church.
- Roundhouse Lane, Morrisville, NC
- Purchased: 5/10/2016
- Purchase Price: $260,000
- Annual Tax: $3,235
- Estimated Total Taxes Paid: $9,705
- SBC Leader Connection: JD Greear
- Notes: This house is for a director for JD Greear’s Summit Network and is not in a Send City
- Mainline Station, Morrisville, NC
- Purchased: 7/5/2016
- Purchase Price: $250,000
- Annual Tax: $2,994
- Estimated Total Taxes Paid: $8,982
- SBC Leader Connection: JD Greear
- Notes: This property is supposedly for use at the direction of JD Greear’s Summit Network
It’s worth noting that Summit Church is a megachurch yet they do not have a franchise in Morrisville , North Carolina.
It’s an ethical issue for the North American Mission Board to finance a megachurch’s expansion, as opposed to a new church in an unchurched location. Furthermore, two properties in close proximity being purchased within three months is another cause for ethical concern. There also lacks of a clear innocent explanation for purchasing these two properties in JD Greear’s stomping ground.
These purchases made to benefit JD Greear came at a time of Greear’s rising prominence in Southern Baptist polity. In 2018, JD Greear would be nominated and voted president of the Southern Baptist Convention. The duties of this position especially include committee appointments. It cannot be said that JD Greear has made appointments for the North American Mission Board, during his three years, that have not been allies of Kevin Ezell.
JD Greear and Kevin Ezell have been close allies. In 2019, they would conspire to force First Baptist Church Naples, Florida to accept a woke pastor as its senior pastor. This plot ultimately failed, though only in the short term.
There is an impression that because JD Greear is the President of the entire denomination, that he wields more power than the President of the North American Mission Board, but this is a misconception. Kevin Ezell’s power trips with state and local conventions resulted in a major lawsuit between NAMB and the former head of the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware, Will McRaney. It should therefore be concluded that Kevin Ezell is the alpha in this relationship, not JD Greear. JD Greear’s term is up in June, whereas Kevin Ezell will outlast him just as he preceded him. It is furthermore reasonable to conclude that the real estate purchases for the benefit of Summit Church are a form of a bribe, if not an inappropriate use of funds.
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