“One man’s transparency is another’s humiliation.” Gerry Adams
I am in one of those moods and need to focus on a post for Friday. So this post is simple and annoying.
Meet Rob Wilton: The struggling young church planter.
What if your dad was Billy Graham’s pastor and led a megachurch when you decided to “go into ministry in the SBC?” Whoops- I mean called by God…You plan to be an SBC church planter, and everyone knows those guys live on the cheap, or do they?
Baptist News Global posted Critics say this SBC missions agency appears to be in the real estate business.
Wilton comes from a legacy family within the SBC, which might explain why he has been entrusted with such riches allegedly for church planting — including a custom-built house for him in a gated community near Pittsburg.
…Wilton works as the church planting pastor at Vintage Church in Pittsburg and is founder of the Vintage Church Network, which advertises churches in suburban New Orleans and in Pittsburgh. He’s also a NAMB Send City missionary — a Send Network employee whose role is to ensure the planters/plants have every opportunity to be healthy
…Before moving to Pittsburg, Wilton made a name for himself in New Orleans fighting against the city’s morning noise ordinance. When residents complained about the noise generated by his Sunday morning church services in the French Quarter, he claimed his First Amendment rights allowed him to violate the ordinance.
Guess how many homes the North American Mission Board ( which appears to be a home for worn-out pastors who want to make a lot of dough) has gifted the son of Billy Graham’s pastor?
Eight homes for use by Wilton’s church and a new custom home for himself — a property located in a gated community nearly 30 minutes away from his inner-city church.
Again, according to public records, the nine houses entrusted to Wilton’s care are together valued at $2,377,300.
It houses the staff of megachurch enterprises.
Do those of you attempting to tithe your money to missions feel like this is a good return on your investment?
These SEND missionaries (Hey SBC, what happened to all the swag you spent on marketing Great Commission Baptists?) are supposed to coordinate church planting efforts in Baptist-lite communities. Did you know the SBC invests in real estate outside the designated Baptist-lite circles?
property records show NAMB began buying real estate outside its Send Cities targets — in places like Iowa and Oklahoma — and giving those houses to megachurch network staff members and trainees near megachurches outside of the Send Cities.
Wait, aren’t megachurches already successful? I would love to know the salaries of the top pastors in those churches. I bet some are making $500,000+, but the NAMB good old boys are housing their staff if this post is correct, and I bet it is.
The “investing and saving it for a rainy day” excuse means buying expensive houses in gated communities for their church planters.
The NAMB says they may need money in the future and can sell these houses to get them out of hot water. There is no question that the SBC membership is declining. Eventually, this will translate into less income. However, does this mean the NAMB should buy more expensive houses than most SBC members might be able to afford so that their “legacy” church planters can live large in gated communities with custom homes? Then again, I bet most of the worn-out boys on the NAMB also live in lovely homes.
The dirty little secret: The NAMB will not show their financial records to anyone! But keep tithing anyway and trust them…
Even if everything about NAMB’s real estate dealings is above board, critics warn no one knows that information except NAMB’s tightly held group of insiders in Alpharetta, Ga. Unlike its predecessor organization, the SBC Home Mission Board, NAMB does not publish salary scales for its employees or make public any personnel information.
NAMB also does not make its official audited financial statements public and reports only basic data required for the SBC Book of Reports. These are not the same things.
Exactly how much real estate NAMB owns, therefore, isn’t publicly known. NAMB officials previously said the agency purchased about 100 residential properties for use by church planters and trainees and had approved purchasing another 100 properties.
Ask them how many church plants failed. They won’t tell you. Ask how much the salaries are for the leaders in the NAMB. They won’t tell you. Just keep tithing.
There is little transparency in the NAMB, and much money is being spent.
They even stopped funding church planting efforts by the local Baptist conventions.
No wonder Will McRaney is suing the SBC. The NAMB rules the local state conventions and tells them what to do, who to fire, etc. The SBC is not autonomous. I know the arguments, and they fail in light of these situations.
Do you trust these guys? I don’t. Show us the financials. All of them!
Which genius at the SBC set up a NAMB that didn’t have to show any financial information to the SBC faithful? This would be worth a loud laugh amongst those who have completed at least one class in an MBA program. I wonder, are the boys at the NAMB laughing at the SBC faithful?
In the meantime, people should consider directly sending their money to missionaries and groups where they can see what is being accomplished. In other words, groups that emphasize transparency and accountability. Trying to figure out where the money goes in the SBC is like watching sausage being made. It turns the stomach of the uninitiated.