Norman Jameson, editor of the Biblical Recorder since Aug. 1, 2007, has resigned, effective Dec. 31, 2010.
Saying his resignation was “not required, but necessary” Jameson offered to resign prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting in Charlotte Oct. 21. Board members expected their meeting to include discussion about an announced challenge to the Recorder’s Cooperative Program funding through the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina when the Convention meets Nov. 8-10.
A letter to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Executive Director-treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. and copied to Recorder board members threatened such action if the editor was not removed. Hollifield has no supervisory responsibility for the Recorder, which is an agency of the Baptist State Convention with a separate board.
Cooperative Program funding accounts for about 45 percent of the Biblical Recorder’s $726,500 budget in 2010.
“It seems that Mr. Jameson does not know the mindset of this predominantly biblically conservative state…enough is enough,” wrote Sandy Beck, director of missions in the Carolina Baptist Association. “If his board of directors cannot influence his lack of sensitivity, perhaps the conservative pastors and laity of this state can.”
Jameson, a Baptist journalist since 1977, said he was confident until just hours before his board meeting that the Recorder would survive such a challenge if it were to materialize. But with no such confidence expressed by the board, he offered to resign.
“The board of directors affirms Mr. Jameson’s many positive personal qualities and his excellent work for and dedication to the Biblical Recorder and to North Carolina Baptists,” said board chair Bill Flowe, a lawyer and member of First Baptist Church, Liberty. “He was gracious in his action and the board responded graciously. Mr. Jameson exhibited a confidence in God that we trust and pray God will honor.
“The editor’s job is not only to report but also to challenge readers to think in ways they otherwise might not think. This duty makes the job precarious. The perception that Mr. Jameson is not a good fit as editor with the current direction of the Convention resulted in the painful decision to make a change.”
Jameson, whose writing is regularly honored by peers in the Baptist Communicators Association, came to the Recorder following three years as executive leader for public relations at the Baptist State Convention. For 12 years he directed communications for Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, was associate editor of the Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, a public relations staffer at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and feature editor of Baptist Press, the international news agency for the Southern Baptist Convention.
For five years he consulted non-profits from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans in public relations and capital fundraising while trying to plant a church in High Point.