TWW has often criticized those “important” pastors addressed as “Doctors” as though they have earned a doctorate. An actual doctorate takes time and effort. It appears many people in the evangelical world feel left out. After all, it takes too much time to earn a doctorate, and there are souls to be saved. Look at this website which wrote: “Are all Doctors’ Really Doctors?”
Around 250 years ago some universities began granting a “degree” called an “honorary doctorate” to persons it wanted to honor or recognize (usually a dignitary, benefactor, or notable alumni). However, neither the university or the honoree were gullible enough to believe the honor actually conferred a full doctorate. The purpose of the honor was simply to recognize a person for whatever reason, not to grant an instant education. Many times the honor was bestowed on someone who already had an earned doctorate.
…What could possess a normally rational man who is born again, called to preach Jesus Christ, and otherwise scripturally sound to parade around with a phony doctorate, pretending to be “educated”? What power could cause him to boast of an attainment he has not attained and allow others to boast for him?
…Another deceptive, tactic used by some “schools” and preachers is the schools grant degrees that are usually considered earned with minimal or almost no academic requirements. One missionary we know who holds an earned doctorate said he has encountered several preachers who have received “doctorates” from one of these “diploma mills.” One told him, “the ONLY requirement was one book with a minimum of 100 pages and $600.”
Here are a few offenders of the “Call me doctor” religious class.
- “Dr” David Jeremiah: On ResultSource, Honorary Degrees, and Satan’s Financial Strategy for Armageddon
- MR. Ravi Zacharias
- After Touting Fake Doctorate, Bryan Loritts Earns Real One ( ed. This one is funny. He even posed in doctoral robes before getting his doctorate. He is now known as JD Greear’s right-hand man.)
Dee was fooled into trusting the SBC knew how to check a resume.
In April 2023, the Baptist Press posted Jared Wellman to be nominated to lead SBC Executive Committee.
The SBC Executive Committee (EC) has a candidate to consider for the entity’s leader. Jared Wellman will be nominated to serve as EC president/CEO in a special called meeting in Dallas on May 1 at noon.
Wellman, 39, is the pastor of Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. He served as a member of the EC from 2015-2023, serving as chairman from June 2022. He stepped down from the EC in a confidential letter to EC officers on April 17, according to newly named chairman David Sons. The full body was made aware in a confidential communication on April 19, Sons told Baptist Press.
This turned into a mess.
First, Jared Wellman served on the Executive Search Committee, which nominated him for the position. That is a no-no. In May 2023, Baptist News Global posted SBC Executive Committee rejects nominee for president.
The fact that he was an insider candidate — having served ex officio on the search committee that eventually “found” him — was among three reasons cited by critics before the full Executive Committee met in executive session for two and half hours near DFW International Airport.
Second, and here is where Dee got punked, Willie McLaurin was qualified, serving as temporary president, and, most importantly, is African American.
Again, from the above Baptist News Global, Wellmn was rejected because
Critics also were upset that Interim President Willie McLaurin was interviewed twice but not selected for the role. He would have become the first Black head of any SBC entity. McLaurin has received widespread accolades for righting the ship after former Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd resigned abruptly in October 2022.
Vines and other critics of the process also asked why interim President Willie McLaurin, who is Black, had been passed over by the search committee. McLaurin has served as interim since the resignation of former President and CEO Ronnie Floyd in October 2021. No SBC entity has ever had a top leader of color.
Dee pondered and pondered this apparent rejection of McLaurin.Why on earth would the Executive Search Committee overlook a well-qualified African American? Surely racism couldn’t be a part of that decision. Yet everything I read about McLaurin’s work appeared exemplary.
McLaurin was considered a candidate for the position even before Wellman withdrew.
Finally, McLaurin was under consideration for the position. Dee thought they had realized their mistake and would make it right. However, he had been under consideration since February 2023, so surely they checked his references.
According to February 2023 The Baptist Paper: SBC Exec Comm presidential search team working ‘to find right candidate.’
In the year since Willie McLaurin was named interim president and CEO of Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, he has spent a lot of energy building relationships.
…McLaurin, the first African American to serve in an entity head position in the SBC (even as interim), added, “I pray in some way God has used my influence and relational competency to move us forward as a convention.”
…McLaurin also remains “a viable candidate” for the position, Adron Robinson, chair of the EC presidential search committee, told The Baptist Paper.
Full Stop. Before we discuss what happened next, try to figure out why McLaurin wasn’t a shoo-in for the position.
Before I wrote what came next, I decided something was up with the search committee. We know that these appointments for SBC leadership positions are pretty lucrative. I believe they are so profitable that the SBC REFUSES to disclose the salaries of these SBC men of power. If the reader feels sorry for Jared Wellman, let me set your mind at ease. He serves on all sorts of committees in the SBC and will be plenty busy.
Mclaurin resigns over a falsified resume.
The search committee proceeded to “vet” McLaurin, and I was encouraged for about a week until the following. Christianity Today posted Southern Baptist EC President Resigns Over Falsified Résumé. This guy had no academic background.
“In a recent résumé that I submitted, it included schools that I did not attend or complete the course of study,” McLaurin reportedly said in resigning.
According to Baptist Press, an official SBC publication, McLaurin claimed that he had degrees from North Carolina Central University, Duke University Divinity School, and Hood Theological Seminary on his résumé. When presidential search committee members attempted to confirm those degrees, they learned he did not hold those degrees.
According to AP in Tenn. pastor, first African American, named to key SBC post:
McLaurin previously worked at the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board for 15 years and has held various pastoral roles for several churches. He also has served in state and national convention roles, including on the SBC Resolutions Committee, on the Tennessee Baptist Convention executive board, as president of the Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network and with the African American Fellowship of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
I guess the SBC wants us to believe that in all these roles, not one person thought to check if McLauren was who he said he was. Anyone who would like to check on the backgrounds of Dee and her husband would find it quick and easy, and I hope some of you have done this. I can truthfully say that I have checked the backgrounds of many people we write about. Todd Wilhelm is an expert at this,
Yes, all those SBC entities could have been stupid and lazy and never checked McLaurin’s background.
My theory: Some knew about McLaurin’s lies.
However, I propose a different scenario. Given the SBC’s historical penchant for padding resumes, the Executive Committee could have known about McLaurin’s ridiculous lies. That’s why he was not considered for the position from the get-go. It causes me to wonder how many others in the SBC “leadership” have padded their resumes. I remember discovering Ravi Zacharias’s lies in 2015. I still believe that some members of his team knew about the lies but continued to support him because he was “too important.” The SBC leaders were forced into making it seem like they were considering it. Ultimately, I wonder how many are faking it, just like Brian Loritts (now working for JD Greear) and Willie McLaurin did. Hundreds? More?