Robert Reccord resigned as president of the nation's second-largest domestic mission force, the North American Mission Board (NAMB), on April 17, less than a month after the board's trustees released a report critical of his leadership. Reccord had overseen the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) entity, which sponsors 5,126 missionaries in the U.S. and Canada, since its formation in 1997.

The 19-page report, created by a taskforce of eight NAMB trustees, said Reccord did nothing illegal or immoral, but faulted him for a series of costly and unwise management decisions. Reccord was chided for awarding no-bid media contracts to a friend's company, InovaOne, and for pursuing ministry opportunities and personal speaking engagements outside of NAMB's mission. The report also said he had failed to develop relationships with state Baptist officials and had created a "culture of fear" among agency employees.

Allegations of mismanagement first surfaced in a February 16 article in the Christian Index, the official newspaper of the SBC's Georgia Baptist Convention. On March 22, three high-level members of Reccord's administration resigned. The next day, the NAMB's 58-member board released its taskforce report and instituted strict "executive-level controls" reigning in Reccord's authority.

Reccord announced his resignation the day after Easter, when most Southern Baptist churches conclude their giving to the convention's annual NAMB fundraiser. All proceeds from the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, set to raise $56 million this year, go to support NAMB's missionaries (more than half of whom are salaried).

Vision vs. management?

Both Reccord and trustee chair Barry Holcomb cited Reccord's entrepreneurial leadership style and his willingness ...

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