SBC EC officers approved Chapman’s call for resignation of business and finance VP

R. Clark Logan Jr., with his wife Helen and three sons behind him, addresses the SBC Executive Committee after his election as vice president for business and financeOct. 15, 2007. At left is EC President Morris H. Chapman; at right, Georgia pastor and EC chairman Bill Harrell. Photo by Morris Abernathy.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Clark Logan resigned abruptly July 1 from the staff of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention where he has served as vice president for business and finance since Oct. 15, 2007. The TEXAN broke the story July 2, reporting that Logan told friends he had been fired.

When asked for a statement as to whether he had sought Logan’s resignation, EC President Morris Chapman stood by his account that Logan had resigned, adding, “It is not the practice of the Executive Committee to respond to rumors.”

EC officers are responsible for approving termination of executive staff, a requirement Chapman fulfilled during a June 30 conference call that chairman Randall James of Orlando, Fla., described as lasting about five minutes, according to a report in the Florida Baptist Witness.

Until then, none of the officers expressed a willingness to speak on the record about the event that has since dominated posts to online networking sites used by many Southern Baptists to update one another on developing news.

James, who serves as president of the First Orlando Foundation and assistant pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando, broke the silence of EC officers by communicating his thoughts in a July 16 e-mail to state Baptist newspaper editor James A. Smith Sr., who released the account of their participation in Chapman’s decision. After sending the e-mail, the 62-year-old EC chairman left for a two-week vacation encouraged by his oncologist as he continues his recovery from cancer treatment.

“I considered this a courtesy call from Dr. Chapman to inform EC officers of an administrative matter he was going to undertake shortly,” James said. He told the Witness that Chapman “had been praying for six months about the matter” due to problems he had experienced with Logan. “He told the officers a change was imminent and asked us to approve his authority to make the change,” James said, acknowledging that he was not certain Chapman was required to seek their approval.

Unanimous consent was granted by five of the six officers, including James, newly named vice chairman Roger L. Spradlin of Bakersfield, Calif., secretary Martha Lawley of Worland, Wyo., business and finance committee chairman David R. Mitchell of Monticello, Ark., and Cooperative Program committee chairman Doug Melton of Oklahoma City. Administrative committee chairman Rick Lineberger of Bradenton, Fla., was not available to participate in the conference call.

Spradlin has not responded to e-mail inquiries. When contacted by the TEXAN, Lawley declined further comment on the officers’ response to information provided by Chapman. Noting they agreed to let James serve as their spokesman, she encouraged Southern Baptists to pray for peace and patience.

Logan told the TEXAN that he felt it best not to comment the day after being asked to resign, but issued this statement to the Witness the following week:

“On Wednesday, July 1, 2009, I was asked to submit my resignation before the end of the day, which I did. I do not have any comment to make regarding my separation, except to make clear that I have not been involved in, nor have I been accused of being involved in, any immoral or unethical action.”

Chapman later confirmed Logan’s assertion, while noting the EC “follows established policy” for personnel matters, which must remain “private,” according to the Witness update.

Logan added, “I have enjoyed the past 21 months of service to the people of the SBC through the VP role and that of Convention Manager. I am grateful to God, my staff, and countless volunteers for a successful Annual Meeting just two weeks ago.” He expressed confidence in the staff with whom he worked and desire for God’s blessings on the entire Executive Committee.

Chapman assessed Logan’s tenure for the TEXAN via e-mail, writing on July 2: “Clark Logan resigned yesterday from his position as Vice President for Business and Finance of the Executive Committee. Clark is a fine young man and his gifts and skills uniquely equip him for many positions of service among Southern Baptists. I am grateful for the contributions he made to the work of the Executive Committee, and I wish the best for him and his family as Clark pursues othr opportunities for ministry.”

Logan came to Nashville from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where he had first served as assistant director of admissions, then director of development, and finally as vice president for administration. He was a computer analyst with State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Ill., and later served churches in Owenton and Louisville. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in business aadministration as well as a master of divinity from Southern.

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