The acting president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee has resigned this week after confessing to lying on his resume.
A statement from the chairman of the SBC Executive Committee said Willie McLaurin, acting EC president, falsified parts of his resume, Christianity Today reports.
“While considering McLaurin as a candidate for Floyd’s permanent replacement, the SBC Executive Committee’s Presidential Search Team discovered disqualifying information during their process of vetting and due diligence,” said Philip Robertson, EC chairman, in a statement. “McLaurin’s education credentials that he presented in his résumé are false.”
In his resignation from the acting post, McLaurin admitted the lie.
“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 his resignation letter.
“To the Southern Baptists who have placed their confidence in me and have encouraged me to pursue the role of President & CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, including pastors, state partners, entity servants, colleagues, and SBC African American friends, I offer my deepest apologies,” he added. “Please forgive me for the harm or hurt that this has caused.”
According to Baptist Press, the official SBC publication, McLaurin claimed he had degrees from North Carolina Central University, Duke University Divinity School, and Hood Theological Seminary.
Presidential search committee members found that he did not have degrees from any of those schools.
McLaurin was named interim president and CEO of the EC in February 2022 and has worked for the EC since 2020.
He was in the running to be named permanently to the top position of the SBC’s EC. He would have been the first Black leader to lead a major Southern Baptist organization.
McLaurin’s resignation is the third departure from the post in just a few years. In October 2021, previous president Ronnie Floyd resigned from the role after controversy over the SBC’s sex abuse crisis. Before that, Frank Page had resigned from the post due to misconduct.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/By Muratdeniz
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.