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News broke late Thursday afternoon that Willie McLaurin, the current interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, has resigned. Willie resigned in the wake of the discovery that he had misrepresented his academic degrees on his resume. Many of us are devastated. We are devastated because we had grown to trust Willie and believed he was the right man at the right time to lead us as Southern Baptists in this position. We are devastated because, once again, a leader’s sin is exposed to the watching world.

So where do we go from here? That question will be answered by the Search Team and the Executive Committee of the SBC. They are starting over. They will need time to grieve, process, and begin their prayerful search again.

In the meantime, Louisiana Baptists have a specific assignment. Our assignment is to pray.

Pray for our own Philip Robertson. Philip is the new chairman of the Executive Committee, having been elected in June. He is not new to the Executive Committee and he is not new as a leader, but he is new to being the chairman of this committee. His role will be great in this season of securing another interim leader. I have known Philip since we were in Seminary, 30 years ago. In fact, we spent time carpooling together. When we departed from an agreed upon location in Tickfaw, Louisiana 30 years ago, neither of us could imagine where ministry would take us, but here we are. Pray for our brother and friend.

Pray for Jonathan Howe, the newly appointed interim president of the Executive Committee. Jonathan has Louisiana roots and has family who are members of Louisiana Baptist churches. He deserves our faithful prayer support.

Pray for the Executive Committee, especially those members from Louisiana. In addition to Philip, Louisiana has two other members—Carolyn Fountain and Jack Hunter. Pray for each of these as they prayerfully lead in the next steps.

One more thing—today is not the day to be sarcastic or snarky as I have already seen on social media. Much to the contrary—today is the day to lament, grieve, and pray.

I most often close with the expression, “Keep Looking Up.” Days like today reveal why. Man will let us down. So, join me in looking unto Jesus and let’s be faithful in our assignment to pray for God’s wisdom, God’s direction, and keep looking up.

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Dr. Steve Horn
Steve Horn serves as the Executive Director for Louisiana Baptists. He was born in Columbia, Louisiana, and grew up in Lafayette. He served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Lafayette from June 2005 through May 2019. Dr. Horn has served in numerous national and state denominational positions including President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 2014-2015 and President of the Executive Board of the LBC in 2010-2011. He is married to Linett and they have two sons, Joshua and Dru.

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