Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More on "Hollywood" Bob Reccord

This article from Associated Baptist Press speaks for itself. How a church could fall for this line is beyond me. And "Hollywood" Bob just keeps raking in the bucks, bilking from good-hearted Christian people.

Church's offering for Reccord raises questions about six-figure severance

By Greg Warner
Published: March 27, 2007
SALISBURY, N.C. (ABP) -- Former missions leader Bob Reccord preached a revival last week in a North Carolina church where congregants were asked to give a sacrificial "love offering" because preaching is Reccord's "only source of income" -- one year after leaving his top Baptist missions post with a six-figure severance deal.

In a March 1 letter to his congregation, Rick Cockerham, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Salisbury, N.C., appealed for members to give generously to support their revival preacher. "Since he is no longer with NAMB, this ministry is Dr. Reccord's only source of income to support his family," Cockerham wrote three weeks before the March 23-25 revival. "He also is supporting his aging mother, who is in a nursing home near his home."
Reccord left the North American Mission Board in Spring 2006 after allegations of financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.

While it's customary for a visiting preacher to benefit from a voluntary offering from various congregations, few itinerant ministers receive severance pay from their last job. In Reccord's case, the severance was reported to be two-year's worth of his estimated $250,000 annual salary as president of NAMB.

A second letter 10 days later from Calvary's deacon chairman Kirby Sells admitted the love offering had not been successful and pleaded for more money. "Since Dr. Reccord left NAMB, he has not had a salary from anybody," the letter said. "He is totally dependent on meetings like ours for his livelihood…."

Trustee leaders who negotiated the severance agreement never revealed the details. When asked in April 2006 about the report of two-years' salary, NAMB trustee chairman Bill Curtis said "there is precedent at other SBC agencies" for such a settlement.
A member of the Salisbury church, who asked not to be identified, said "it makes me mad" that, after receiving a $500,000 severance from NAMB, Reccord "is now preying on small Baptist churches in our state."

Asked about the letter and revival, Cockerham said he couldn’t be happier with the three days the Reccords spent with his church. “I’ve never had anybody come who was more gracious and kind than Bob and Cheryl,” he said.

He said he never spoke with Reccord about Reccord’s personal finances, and he said Reccord didn’t know about the letter.

Cockerham said his church always asks for “love offerings” for guest speakers, and he sent the supplication letter only to the most “faithful” members to give them additional opportunities to give, he said.

“We’ve had just a very, very positive response with our people, and nobody to my knowledge at Calvary ever even mentioned anything other than a super positive response,” Cockerham said. “We were very pleased with the meeting and very pleased with the Reccords, and I was very pleased with the love offering.”

Reccord did not respond to two e-mail messages and was not available by phone. But his wife, Cheryl, said the couple was not aware of the fund-raising letter. "We never discussed financial things with the pastor," she said March 26. "We focus on the positive aspects of ministry, and we hope you would do the same."

She said the three-day revival provided "wonderful opportunities to minister to people and wonderful stories of people’s lives that were changed."

Preaching a revival at a 500-member church is a far cry from Reccord's heyday, when he spoke to Promise Keepers crowds of 10,000-plus people and flew around the world in a private plane.
His extravagant spending and self-aggrandizing earned him the nickname "Hollywood Bob" at NAMB and prompted an expose by the Christian Index newspaper and a trustee investigation, both of which led to his resignation under pressure in April 2006. They also were the subject of a tell-all book, Spending God's Money, by former NAMB administrator Mary Branson.
Curtis, the NAMB chairman, declined again to discuss the severance agreement March 26. "You know I can't answer those questions," said Curtis, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Florence, S.C. But he added "it is generally known" that Reccord received a severance.
As for the appropriateness of the Calvary Baptist appeal, he said, "I can't interpose myself into a local-church situation."

The results of the trustee investigation, released in March 2006, faulted Reccord for poor management, autocratic decision-making, extravagant spending on failed ministry projects, apparent conflicts of interest in no-bid contracts for a friend, and creating a "culture of fear" that prevented staffers from questioning the abuses. The trustees also said Reccord spent time and money on events and projects on the periphery of NAMB’s mission and was absent so much he couldn't provide consistent oversight "to properly manage the agency," which directs Southern Baptist mission work in the United States and Canada.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Confederate Heritage Month?

If I were a citizen of the state of Georgia, I would be ashamed of this effort described below in an Ethics Daily story. The NAACP of Georgia had proposed that the legislature issue a public apology for the state's role in supporting slavery in the 19th century, in hopes of following the action taken recently by the Virginia legislature. Instead, it looks as if the Georgia legislature wants to perpetuate the myth of the Confederacy.

By the way, for all those who believe that the Civil War was not about the issue of slavery, but was instead about states rights or confederate independence, you need go no further than to read the documents of secession written by several of the Confederate States' legislatures which spell out in black and white that the issue causing the separation is indeed slavery. For the document related to the state of Georgia, see this link:

The Southern states went to war to defend the institution of slavery. End of case. I can't believe Georgia has legislators who want to celebrate that!

Georgia State Senate Considering Confederate Heritage Month Bob Allen03-21-07

After being asked by black leaders to apologize for Georgia's role in slavery, the state Senate instead moved forward with a bill designating April as Confederate Heritage and History Month.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Bill Mullis, R-Chickamauga, said his proposal is not a reaction to a call by the Georgia state conference of the NAACP for the legislature to follow Virginia's example. Virginia's General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in February atoning for "involuntary servitude of Africans" and calling for reconciliation among all Virginians.

Georgia's Republican governor, Sonny Perdue, said he was skeptical about his state following Virginia's lead in apologizing for slavery. "Repentance comes from the heart," he said, according to the Associated Press. "I'm not sure about public apologies ... as far as the motivation for them."

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, also a Republican, broke ranks with Perdue, saying he would support the effort to acknowledge the state's role in slavery, which has biracial and bipartisan support. A top Republican leader, Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) said he would introduce such an apology, increasing its chance of passage.

In the meantime, the Senate Rules committee on Monday voted unanimously to send SB 283, setting aside each April "to honor, observe, and celebrate the Confederate States of America, its history, those who served in its armed forces and government, and all those millions of its citizens of various races and ethnic groups and religions who contributed in sundry and myriad ways to the cause of Southern Independence…."

Mullis' district is home to Chickamauga Battlefield, scene of the last major Confederate victory of the Civil War in September 1863. Mullis said he introduced the bill as a favor to John Culpepper, commissioner of the Georgia Civil War Commission and a personal friend, and because he believes children need to know the state's history.

His proposal encourages the Civil War Commission to develop curriculum for elementary and high schools about Georgia's Confederate heritage.

Mullis told the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., he filed his bill before the NAACP made their demand for an apology, and the timing made it more controversial. He said he is open to having "reconciliation language" added to the bill but not an apology.

"If I had done something personally, yes, I would apologize," he told the Associated Press.

Sen. Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta), an African-American, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the timing of Mullis' proposal is troublesome.

"I think that in light of the conversation we've been having about Georgia accepting responsibility for its history as it relates to slavery, this is not appropriate," Reed said. "If we're not going to address that issue in a candid way, I find it inappropriate to be passing a measure such as this."

Reed also said he is disappointed that lawmakers have not yet approved a proposal to hang a portrait of civil rights figure Coretta Scott King in the state Capitol.

Several Southern states observe Confederate Heritage and History Month in some form. April is the month the War Between the States both began in 1861 and ended in 1865. Georgia already celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on April 26.

The Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is working in all 159 counties in the state requesting proclamations by county commissions.

Mullis said his measure would help promote tourism in the state. State officials are already working on plans to promote tourism for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in 2011.

This year marks the 145th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, an 1883 executive order by President Abraham Lincoln declaring freedom for slaves in confederate states.

Bob Allen is managing editor of
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