Florida Baptist Convention’s State Board of Missions Responds to Recent Announcement Concerning Guidepost Solutions

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JACKSONVILLE–Florida Baptists’ State Board of Missions, acting ad interim on behalf of the Florida Baptist State Convention, unanimously approved a resolution March 31 expressing deep concern with the utilization of Guidepost Solutions or its subsidiary Faith Based Solutions.

While affirming “policies and procedures governing abuse prevention, abuse reporting and survivor care,” the resolution stated that “choosing to retain individuals or organizations which actively promote world-views contrary to the teachings of Scripture is simply not good stewardship of the Cooperative Program dollars.”

The resolution, in its entirety, reads as follows:

A Resolution of the State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist State Convention Concerning the Decisions by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee and the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force to Retain Guidepost Solutions 

Whereas Florida Baptist Convention leaders, staff, and the State Board of Missions continue to call upon all Florida Baptist churches to practice diligence in protecting Florida Baptists from sexual abuse, to minister compassionately to those who have been harmed by sexual abuse, and to cooperate fully with all laws and legal obligations in reporting and investigating all manner of sexual abuse,

Whereas the State Board of Missions has established extensive policies and procedures governing abuse prevention, abuse reporting and survivor care to include background screening of all convention staff, volunteers engaged with minors and all members of the State Board of Missions;

Whereas the State Board of Missions recommended at the 2021 annual meeting of our state convention the establishment of a taskforce to provide for an independent professional review of all policies and procedures of the convention and its cooperating ministries related to abuse prevention, abuse reporting and survivor care and the results of this review were shared with messengers at the 2022 annual meeting. The taskforce summarized the findings by stating there were “no overwhelming flaws in the policies and procedures”;

Whereas at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, TN, messengers voted to establish a Sexual Abuse Task Force and in September 2021 that taskforce recommended and engaged Guidepost Solutions to carry out an independent assessment and investigation of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention; 

Whereas in May 2022 the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention separately retained Guidepost Solutions to establish an abuse reporting hotline;

Whereas in June 2022, just prior to the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, California, Guidepost Solutions (the organization hired by the Sexual Abuse Task force of the Southern Baptist Convention) made public statements affirming sexual values at odds with the teaching of Scripture and the convictions of Florida Baptists by publicly supporting the LGBTQ movement;

Whereas in immediate response to Guidepost’s public support of the LGBTQ movement, the Florida Baptist Convention issued a statement which read in part: “the Florida Baptist Convention has always striven to associate with like-minded individuals and firms; those that share a solidly biblical worldview.  We would strongly encourage the Executive Committee (or any other arm, agency or group of the Southern Baptist Convention) to do likewise.  Choosing to retain individuals or organizations which actively promote world-views contrary to the teachings of Scripture is simply not good stewardship of the Cooperative Program dollars which have been entrusted to them by faithful Southern Baptists”;

Whereas at the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, messengers adopted various abuse reforms and established an Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF) and on February 20, 2023, the ARITF announced plans to further retain Guidepost Solutions in establishing and maintaining a “Ministry Check” website database for those credibly accused of sexual abuse;

Whereas upon such decisions and announcements, the Florida Baptist Convention has been inundated by concerned pastors and churches regarding such a decision to retain a firm that has clearly demonstrated a deviation from the biblical sexual ethic that Southern Baptist have held to for generations, whereby that ethic has been defined by numerous Southern Baptist resolutions and the Baptist Faith & Message doctrinal statement, that believe that God creates people in His image as either male or female, and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice and that marriage is created by God and is the only moral context for sexual intimacy between persons;

Whereas leaders from Florida Baptist Convention churches have had the opportunity to personally express their concerns and believe it is imperative that Southern Baptists be positioned to move forward bonded together in unity and any decision to continue to or further engage Guidepost Solutions or its subsidiary Faith Based Solutions is detrimental to our unity; and

 Whereas Florida Baptist churches have been leaders in Cooperative Program support, contributing 51% of all undesignated receipts given to the Cooperative Program to the CP budget of the Southern Baptist Convention totaling $108,154,986 since 2016; therefore, be it

Resolved, that the State Board of Missions acting ad interim for the Florida Baptist State Convention:

  1. appeals to all Florida Baptists to express their sincerest gratitude to the members of the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force and the members of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, the fabric of the Southern Baptist Convention has been woven together by the faithful service of fellow brothers and sisters, like these, that have volunteered their time and exercised their talents to our Lord and Savior and to fellow Southern Baptists;
  2. beseeches Florida Baptists to continue to undergird these leaders in fervent prayer and to cease all personal attacks on these brothers and sisters in Christ;
  3. urges the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force and the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to immediately cease further engagement and negotiations with Guidepost Solutions and its subsidiary Faith Based Solutions;
  4. implores the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force, prior to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, to reevaluate its decision and thereafter engage only providers that share a solidly biblical worldview to develop and maintain the “Ministry Check” website database;
  5. calls upon Florida Baptists to attend and make their voices heard at the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in New Orleans;
  6. directs that following the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, June 13-14, 2023, if either Guidepost Solutions or its subsidiary Faith Based Solutions continues to be retained or is further retained by the Southern Baptist Convention in any capacity, then the State Board of Missions acting in its capacity to serve ad interim and on behalf of the Florida Baptist State Convention, directs the Florida Baptist Convention staff to immediately escrow a percentage of funds commensurate with the allocation percentage for the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention , as adopted in the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program Budget at the 2023 Annual Meeting. Additionally, staff shall designate on all remittance reports that the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention shall not receive any financial distribution from funds forwarded by the Florida Baptist Convention on behalf of its churches. This shall remain in effect until such time as the Florida Baptist State Convention gathered in annual session November 13-14, 2023, at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, FL, can receive a recommendation from the State Board of Missions regarding the allocation of escrowed funds and recommend a modified Cooperative Program Allocation Budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

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