MBC Executive Board issues official statement
Editor’s note: The following is the verbatim official statement released after the April 10 board meeting that resulted in the dismissal of David Clippard as MBC executive director.
The Ad Hoc Investigating Committee presented its report making a finding of lack of confidence in the continued leadership of David Clippard as executive director, and recommending the termination of his employment, effective immediately. The committee vote was 4-1. After hearing a two-hour presentation by the committee, the Executive Board voted to approve the Committee recommendation by a vote of 44 to 7, with one abstention. 52 board members were present and eligible to vote.
The Board appointed David Tolliver to serve as interim executive director. Tolliver has served for over two years on the Executive Board staff as associate executive director for the Cooperative Program. He formerly was pastor at Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs.
Board action was taken in executive session, including only board members, the committee and legal counsel. Some details of the report must remain confidential as is customary for any personnel decision. However, the Board believed that some parts of the report should be made public to answer reasonable questions. Therefore the Board authorized the release of portions of the written report, after review and editing by the committee and its legal counsel, and convention legal counsel. It is expected to be released later this week.
Because the report included some legally sensitive items, the Board appointed Michael Whitehead, convention legal counsel, as the spokesman for the Convention on this matter. Whitehead is a Kansas City lawyer and lead counsel for the Convention’s legal task force, regarding the recovery of five breakaway agencies. Whitehead is a member of Abundant Life Baptist Church in Lee’s Summit.
The Board approved severance pay equal to about 4 ½ months of salary and benefits. Members of Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) leadership met with David Clippard during the noon break and presented the results of the board meeting. Discussion about severance and other transition details are still in progress.
A joint statement was released, expressing thanks to God for the positive accomplishments under Dr. Clippard’s service.
“There have been many positive accomplishments for the Missouri Baptist Convention during these last four and one-half years; not the least of which includes financial stability, increased emphasis and budget given to church planting, evangelism, partnership missions and the assembling of a fine staff to serve Missouri Baptists.
“Both parties express their gratitude for one another in accomplishing these and many more advancements. We believe the Kingdom is richer for it.”
Whitehead added: “David and Suzanna Clippard are in the hearts and prayers of Missouri Baptists and Southern Baptists who know their love for Christ and their passion to make Him known. That is their legacy among us. We pray God’s blessings on them as they continue to bless others in new fields of service.”