This election is the most controversial election I have seen in all the years I have lived in the SWRC. I have enclosed an updated poll based on the nominating committee’s top 3 picks and the current poll as it is receiving lots of current votes. If you want to see who has been entered as an “other” nomination click on the “View Results” button at the bottom of the poll, go to “other” and click “View.” The names entered are very interesting. Please cast your vote at the conclusion of reading this blog for the nominating committee’s top 3 and for the current poll. Now for the good part, names that have been reportedly put forth for vote in September.
The Adventist grapevine has been lit up all around the conference as these controversial nominations begin to surface. Reports have surfaced that Robert Davis and Theodore Weegar not only outsmart the “rat pack” but they duped every minister in this conference with their “no politics” rhetoric for this coming election. Ministers feel manipulated that these two offered to establish a prayer line in early June to pray for the upcoming decisions of the nominating committee to bring a sense of “unity” instead of “politics” for ministers, while the whole time they were working the background scene to get themselves nominated for positions that is beyond their experience level. Robert Davis was nominated for secretary, and Theodore Weegar for ministerial director. Being a good speaker, with a great life story of second chances and redemption is admirable, remarkable, and simply amazing. It doesn’t however, make you a good leader, they should have solicited support from their peers first. Respected senior ministers who have mentored these men feel manipulated and have openly communicated their opinions.
If there is one single issue the ministers of SWRC are united, it is that they do not support these two nominations and plan to fight it on the floor at constituency meeting. I don’t think I have ever heard a minister until yesterday say that he will openly, speak against this nomination, and has the support of the major ministerial leadership in this conference. You know, a great idea could be, and I know this might be a stretch for the nominating committee, how about asking the ministers to tell you who they would like to see in leadership? Perhaps…..a survey? My advice to the nominees…well nice try, but if I were you I would withdraw my name on Sunday out of respect for your brethren. We all know the Adventist grapevine is a fast pipeline. If the conference ministerial leadership does not respect your motives of getting a nomination, you should not even consider accepting such a position. I mean would you go hard in the paint, and let your entire brethren speak against you openly? Maybe you two should get back on the “prayer line” and ask them how they feel! I’m sure the “prayer line” is closed for “political business” for its work is done.
No one seems to know how Pastor Griffith’s son was nominated for educational superintendent for the SWRC. Buford Griffith Jr., does have a background in education, but did anyone on the nominating committee ask about his history of employment? This may be something the nominating committee should look further into on Sunday.
Vivian Johnson. Nominated, for SWRC Treasurer, she serves as an under treasurer for the Southwest Union. Does she have experience? I would say she does, but, our conference is in a financial crisis, we can’t find a CPA in this entire collection of regional conferences to get us out of this mess? It almost seems as if we are getting the southwest union’s picks, perhaps we should rethink this. No to discount Sis. Johnson, but we are in a real financial crisis, we need serious people, with a proven track record of “change” and “results” to help us move in a new direction, not more of the same. I would even agree with Dr. Stanley that bringing Dr. Ted Brown back to SWRC as treasurer might be a better option. I mean, when you think about it, we weren’t in this mess when he was here. What I am confused about is why are they not interviewing all candidates for all positions?
Finally, the “flip-flopper” of the year award goes to…..wait for it…..an unnamed minister who I’m sure every nominating committee member has received a call from. A lay person reports he has been lighting up the phones calling ministers, lay-people, and anyone else who will give him an ear. Here is some advice, your new to SWRC, you just got here, take a seat. It’s been reported that he has flipped flopped on so many decisions calling, ministers and telling them one thing and clearly publicly saying the opposite, silently pushing forward the will of Davis and Weegar. Maybe that works in other conferences but not here, not in SWRC.
The presidential nomination is between three candidates for which, as I predicted the “rat pack” and “fraternity brothers” stacked the deck with their own people on the small committee. First up, Dr. Jesse Wilson , professor of theology at Oakwood University and chairperson for the evangelism council for which ministers have been attending at Oakwood for many years. It goes without saying that he is accomplished and his leadership speaks for itself. A former activist in south-central Los Angeles, some feel he may be the answer for a new direction in the SWRC. Here is the problem, he is a favorite among the younger ministerial population, and senior ministers who make a large group of this conference are not sure he will tip the scale to bring unity and equity. The bottom line is younger ministers want bigger churches, older ministers desire to be recognized for their loyalty and commitment to this conference with opportunities for administrative leadership responsibility. Dr. Wilson how do you solve this problem?
Next up Calvin Watkins, a favorite amongst the “rat pack” is the ministerial association leader for South Atlantic Conference. Now my question is, if he is in this position at South Atlantic why would we give him a position of president? He hasn’t worked in this conference, he is not in an upper administrative role, and I’m not sure I can understand why they see him a good fit for president. He has a 5% approval rating on my poll. I mean shouldn’t nominating someone go beyond the scope of, I like him, he baptized me, or he is a great speaker? Many say he is a good leader, but do we want to take him for a test drive and find out?
Finally, Roger Bernard, a son of the SWRC. Many of us remember him as a youth, young pastor, and now he is the executive secretary for Central States Conference. His nomination goes without saying that he not only has experience but also has deep roots of loyalty to SWRC members. Can he work with senior ministers? Can he break up the packerization happening in this conference? Will he play favorites as so many presidents have done in the past causing nothing but strife and discord. It remains to be seen. All three are scheduled for interviews. I have updated the poll to include these ministers so you can vote and make your desire known as members. Remember you cannot vote twice so please make sure you use your vote wisely. I have set the poll to block multiple voting to ensure voting integrity.
To my critics, you may not like this blog, but take a look to the right, over 40,000 people see the input from this website as credible. Participants are voting for president on my public poll. This is a commercial site, I can’t manipulate stats. So, I would suggest those who think this is a negative “un-spiritual” or in the words of Davis “political” blog, cool your jets and take some advice.
Robert Davis and Theodore Weegar will not withdraw, even knowing they do not have support of their peers and senior ministers they will continue with their foolishness to accept the nomination bringing chaos and controversy to the constituency floor in September.
My Advice to the Nominating Committee
Ask the chair to revisit all names nominated, and ask yourselves does this really make sense? I disagree with the comments on this blog that senior ministers are disgruntled, and that this blog is dedicated to exposing their plight. Unfortunately, this is the issue that locks up every organizational decision that is made and has been made for the last 15 years, that’s a long time to be stuck in the mud on senior pastors vs. younger pastors. It can’t be ignored until its fixed, the nominating committee can fix it this Sunday.
Up to 50% of the employed ministers in this conference are senior men, not yet ready to retire. Meaning, they stayed, when it was rough, they stayed, when no one wanted to be here or take a call here they stayed, taking on multiple churches that were left with no pastoral leadership. They stayed taking multiple roles and responsibilities to absorb the financial crisis of 2008 and every other crisis prior. These senior pastors were willing to take a pay cut to preserve the positions of their fellow brethren, who were terminated in the end by the president who, now, is terminated from his position. Their divisiveness lie in the workings of a manipulative few who have managed to control and dominate the committee and leadership for over 20 years. End it on Sunday. How is it that with the last four elections totaling 20 years or more certain pastors have never moved from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, literally since the 1990’s while others have moved between 2,3,4 states? This is the issue that divides, this is the issue that dominates, this is the issue if never fixed with real leadership change you will continue to see strife and conflict with workers. End it on Sunday.
How would you feel if you worked for 30-40 years, built churches, schools, pitched tents, in-gathered, sold books, magazines all to bring thousands into God’s loving arms, and to be degraded by “The Rat Pack” and younger ministers who think your washed out and have nothing to offer? Here is a suggestion, ask the “non-pack” senior ministers who have seats on the nominating committee, what they see are the big issues that divide the ministers and cause major organizational conflicts. Ask them what they would do to change things. Then you don’t need me to tell you. It’s not a secret! That’s just the Kool-Aid “non-politicians” like Robert Davis want you to drink. I don’t believe senior pastors are looking for a handout, rather, an opportunity to lead with accountability.
If you want my advice well….I’m going to give it any way! Promote qualified, positive, and intelligent senior men in this conference into administrative leadership positions, here is a popular management term you can Google, it’s called succession planning.
We need smart local people who have built churches, managed programs, and most of all have a spine to stand up and call out foolishness when they see it. That would exclude “The Rat Pack,” and the “Frat Brothers” they had their chance. This will free up churches for movement, so younger ministers can have stepping-stones into larger responsibilities in churches. Then…. maybe someday soon “Bobby and Teddy” you can step up to the plate. How? Someone before knew you would eventually be looking to move ahead and created a fair, equitable path for your success. Succession planning starts on Sunday with the current nominating committee. It is not a sin to have ambition, it is a sin to harm others in your journey to get there.
Stop the packerization of “the pack” and bring in people who can do this job. Make a bold statement to people who look at our conference as a joke, that we can’t even promote our own people to leadership, giving senior ministers a chance to lead says we believe in the work and accomplishments of our ministers, we analyze all candidates, and we don’t base decisions on surface criteria, like “I just love how he speaks he reminds me of…M.L.K.”
Ask really “hard” questions of all applicants for every position you consider, and don’t let the “Rat Pack” or “Fraternity Brothers” butter you up with their gifts of oration. It’s a smoke screen that will keep us in this divisive crisis another four years. Look for mavericks, people who don’t follow the crowd, people who have managed to be successful without causing rifts and divides in their churches. People who carried the cross without complaint and have the breadth of experience and knowledge to back it up. You have the talent, the committee has to dig deeper.
Nominating Committee, show us that you are capable of making the best decision for this conference by starting with a clean slate on Sunday, come to the meeting prepared to work. Don’t lean on others, your smart and capable by accepting this role, ask the tough questions others would prefer you to ignore to get it over with.