Open Mediation

October 11, 2013

The Missouri Baptist Convention recently announced they were meeting in mediation with four ministry organizations they have sued as well as insurance companies. This news comes on the heels of my Ethics Daily exposé on how the MBC quietly settled a lawsuit. In an Ethics Daily article in July, I broke the news of the MBC's $500,000 settlement with the estate of the late William Jester (who countersued the MBC after they sued him). Although the MBC settled the case in late 2012, MBC leaders failed to report it to Missouri Baptists. That article, which was noted in an open letter by leaders of Windermere Baptist Conference Center and reprinted by other news outlets, prompted two responses from the MBC's publication, The Pathway. Although the responses included some factual inaccuracies, they did finally admit to the settlement as I reported in a follow-up article for Ethics Daily. Given all of that, it was nice to see The Pathway announce recent mediation efforts. Although they put their spin on the case - and do not seem open to any real compromise - they are at least being more transparent and forthright with Missouri Baptists. Even though MBC leaders refuse to admit they did anything wrong with keeping last year's settlement quiet, at least they are now being more open. Perhaps a little journalistic oversight was all they needed.

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