Augie Boto, SBC leader who opposed abuse database, set to retire

Baptist News Global

July 25, 2019

By Bob Allen

A denominational worker who functioned as the Southern Baptist Convention’s point man in the ouster of churches for affirming homosexuality and the denomination’s response to sexual abuse is retiring at the end of September.

August “Augie” Boto, 68, announced July 18 he is stepping down as executive vice president and general counsel of the SBC Executive Committee, according to Baptist Press.

While an attorney in Dallas in the early 1980s, Boto helped Paige Patterson organize laymen in the “conservative resurgence” movement to promote biblical inerrancy in the SBC. He was involved in the 1980 launch of the Southern Baptist Advocate, a fundamentalist propaganda tool.

Boto joined the Executive Committee as a member in 1995 and was hired in 1998 as vice president for convention policy and staff counsel under President and CEO Morris Chapman, a former pastor and past SBC president who led the organization from 1992 until his retirement in 2010.

Boto picked up the additional title of general counsel in 2004 and recently served 13 months as interim president after Frank Page stepped down due to sexual misconduct in 2018.

As staff liaison to the Executive Committee’s bylaws work group, Boto mediated the 2009 ouster of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, from the SBC, saying the congregation’s views on homosexuality were too ambiguous to ensure its “friendly cooperation” with the national body.

In 2014 the Executive Committee took similar action against New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, California, ousting the church for failure to fire its pastor after he said from the pulpit he no longer believed that all same-sex relationships are sinful.

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