Missouri board fires Clippard as exec

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)--Members of the Missouri Baptist Convention's executive board voted in executive session April 10 to fire MBC Executive Director David Clippard.

The process that led to Clippard's dismissal originated last Dec. 12 when Wesley Hammond, pastor of First Baptist Church in Paris, Mo., presented a motion that the executive board form a committee to investigate the sources and veracity of allegations regarding leaders within the convention. Hammond's motion passed 29-19, with three abstentions.

The vote to fire Clippard, taken by secret ballot, was 44-7 with one abstention.

At 1:10 p.m., following nearly four hours of executive committee deliberation, all MBC staff members were notified by inter-office e-mail to assemble in a conference room at 1:30 where they were informed of Clippard's termination.

At 2:20, the board reconvened in open session, with parliamentarian Michael Whitehead announcing that the investigative committee made a "finding of lack of confidence" in the continued leadership of Clippard and had recommended his immediate termination.

The investigative committee voted 4-1 on the recommendation to fire Clippard.

Whitehead, a member of Abundant Life Baptist Church in Lee's Summit, said the board agreed in executive session that individual members of the board would not talk to media and reveal details about the executive session, but that later this week the necessary and appropriate details would be released.

Whitehead also said that Clippard's termination didn't translate into a "rejection of David Clippard and his conviction to plant churches worldwide," adding that the same gifts and talents that attracted the board to Clippard four years and eight months ago he still possesses.

"This is a hurtful time, but not a funeral for a man and his ministry," Whitehead told board members.

In executive session the board also elected David Tolliver, MBC associate executive director, to serve as interim.


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