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Leader of Missouri Baptists resigns for 'immoral behavior'

Leader of Missouri Baptists resigns for 'immoral behavior'

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The executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention resigned Friday “due to immoral behavior with a woman,” according to a statement from the organization.

The Rev. David Tolliver, had led the 600,000-member state arm of the Southern Baptist Convention since February 2009. He had worked for the Missouri Baptist Convention as an associate executive director since 2005.

Jay Hughes, the organization’s associate executive director of support services, will serve as acting interim executive director, according to the statement.

Tolliver did not return a call or e-mail seeking comment.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., with about 16 million members. There are about 2,000 Southern Baptist churches in Missouri.

Tolliver, a fourth-generation Missouri Baptist pastor, had served as interim executive director for nearly two years before the executive board chose him to lead the organization. He had been named as the interim director in 2007, after the board fired his predecessor, the Rev. David Clippard for what an investigative committee at the time called "rumors affecting (Clippard's) character."

An attorney for the organization told the Post-Dispatch at the time that the reasons for Clippard's firing "ran the gamut from morale in the Baptist building to comments and conduct and the perception of unprofessionalism to poor administration, management and judgment made over the last two to three years."

Clippard said then that the committee had found nothing “immoral, unethical, unbiblical, financially mismanaged or inappropriate,” during their investigation.

 

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