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Kevin Ezell

Did Kevin Ezell back Ed Litton over Al Mohler?

One of the bigger surprises of SBC21 was the emergence of Ed Litton over Al Mohler. The establishment seminary president had a base of support from former students and from elite circles. But it appears that the North American Mission Board was backing a different candidate, Ed Litton. Litton’s strong second place finish indicated just how widespread the liberal drift had gotten in the convention and this was made even more evident when he and not the conservative candidate could build a coalition to reach majority. The coverage of the Washington Post would indicate that resources at the helm of Kevin Ezell backed Litton over Mohler.

One insider said NAMB has been pouring money into getting urban church leaders to the annual meeting to get enough votes to secure the presidency for Ed Litton, an Alabama pastor who has promoted work on racial reconciliation. Litton’s wife, Kathy, heads NAMB’s ministry for wives. A NAMB spokesman said it will send 150 church planters to the meeting this year.

It’s worth noting that NAMB funds the expenses of their messengers. This would essentially mean that Cooperative Program funds are being used to influence who would help oversee the program. This incestuous conflict of interest is the latest corruption of the North American Misson Board to become apparent. However this is not really a new concept.

Last month a theory was posited by Evangelical Dark Web that the spending on real estate for celebrity pastor church plants were a bribe or a sordid means of courting favor. JD Greear’s megachurch would have four houses purchased by NAMB funds. Greear would later become SBC President and make appointees that so far have been favorable to Ezell.

However a more surprising power struggle may be at play between Kevin Ezell and Al Mohler. Al Mohler has widely been viewed as the most powerful Southern Baptist, and certainly one of the most influential Evangelicals today. Ezell was at one point a creature of Al Mohler. But since helming the North American Mission Board, he has achieved power to wield funds and influence churches independent of Mohler. The relationship between the two is the Baptist Biumvirate.

However, power shared between two people is rarely stable. Caesar and Pompey turned on one another after the death of Crassus, and Marcus Lepidus was the clear beta male in the Second Triumvirate of Rome. And so the inevitable power struggle ensued. Kevin Ezell had no apparent reason to not see Al Mohler as a friend; thus why Mohler was the assumed candidate to beat. But it appears that the influence Ezell sowed with JD Greear was also sown through Ed Litton, given his wife’s prominent position in NAMB.

With Al Mohler’s apparent diminished influence, Kevin Ezell has emerged the clear kingmaker and most powerful man in the Southern Baptist Convention.


3 Responses

  1. Power and money can corrupt, and often do. Ends do not justify the means, but that seems to be lost on so many who should have a solid moral base. But its the case with all bureaucracies, political even if they aren’t supposed to be. I would hate to see money given to be used in such ways. We really need to be more discerning with our giving. On that note let me vent:
    I’m really disappointed seeing pastors with watches worth more than an average car and sneakers worth more than an average bi-weekly paycheck. But if congregants don’t have a problem tithing so their pastor can have a new wardrobe and pair of kicks for every sermon than that’s their business I suppose. I’m not coveting, I just think we need to ensure our giving gets further than that, as most of us out there have tight budgets these days and wish we could do more. Plus, there are starving kids in China (all over the world really but you should get my reference!)

    1. Spot on Tom. The body of Christ should be more discerning in their giving.It is God’s money, not ours. He expects us to be good stewards and that means closely examining the finances, practices and behaviors of those receiving our giving. Pray for wisdom and discernment before giving.

  2. Steve do you think this is true? What do these churches do with these houses. Are they missionary houses?


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