Most SBC leaders acknowledged reports from large news agencies. Many ignored reports from smaller news outlets. It seems a couple attempted to silence them.
Let’s take a look at two stories that have been recently published, and the similarities of the actions of those SBC leaders. We encourage everyone to read Janet Mefferd’s and Joni Hannigan’s own accounts and to follow them as the stories continue to develop.
Intimidation should have no place in our convention, especially with news outlets and journalists. These two SBC leaders are welcome to apologize for their actions or clarify what happened. Neither have done that to this day.
Here is the breakdown of what happened below.
Who did they attempt to silence?
Who did they attempt to silence? Janet Mefferd
To protect what SBC Leader? Albert Mohler
Who carried this out? Two Corporate Executives who blindsided her on a conference call saying they received a call from "Mohler's office."
When? After a couple of months Janet started investigating the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal in 2012
What Happened? In 2013, after covering Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) for several months, two executives from radio networks corporate headquarters on a conference told her that they received call from “Albert Mohler’s Office” (although most likely from Mohler himself) to express “concern” over the interviews. They then chastised her and asked her to remove Detwiler from her show. When she refused, they asked her to instead interview a Mohler-recommended SGM pastor who once said that reading or listening to allegations and critics of SGM was to “poison your soul… and displease God.”
The Result? Detwiler’s evidence was true, and now leaders are distancing themselves from Mahaney. However, Mohler has still yet to apologize to Brent Detwiler who he attempted to silence by taking away his platform on Janet Mefferd's radio show, and Janet Mefferd by having two execs scold her and pressure her to remove him and interview someone else approved by Mohler.
Who did they attempt to silence? Joni Hannigan
To protect what SBC Leader? Kevin Ezell
Who carried this out? VP of Public Relations of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), Mike Ebert
When? Four hours after Joni posted on her website covering the topic of SBC 18 and #MeToo
What Happened? Four hours after she posted, Joni received a text message from the head of PR for NAMB, Mike Ebert. He claimed that what she wrote was potentially libelous (which it clearly was not) and that he encouraged her in "the strongest way possible to remove what you have posted about Kevin."
The Result? Kevin Ezell’s has attempted something worse than Mohler what Mohler did. He has doubled down.