Wiley Drake, who initiated the 1996 Southern Baptist Convention boycott of the Walt Disney Corporation, announced he is running as an independent candidate for president, offering himself as an alternative to choosing “a lesser of two evils” between Democrats and Republicans. In 2008, Drake ran for vice president with the American Independent Party as running mate of Alan Keyes. Drake, 71-year old pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., was elected in 2006 as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. During his year as an SBC vice president, Drake drew rebuke from convention leaders after endorsing a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on letterhead he created for himself labeled “Southern Baptist Convention, Office of the 2nd Vice President.” The IRS investigated Drake in 2008 after he sent out a personal letter endorsing Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign written on church stationery. In 2009, Drake said on his radio program the murder of a doctor who provided late-term abortions was an answer to “imprecatory” prayer he had voiced against an enemy of God, and he told a talk-show host he also prayed imprecatory prayers against President Obama.
SBC tops budget projection for fiscal year. The Southern Baptist Convention ended its fiscal year $1.1 million over its 2014–2015 budgeted goal and $2.5 million over the previous year’s Cooperative Program allocation budget gifts. The SBC received $189,160,231.41 in Cooperative Program allocation gifts for the year. This amount is $2,592,620.78, or 1.39 percent, more than it received during the last fiscal year, and is $1,160,231.41, or 0.62 percent, more than its budgeted goal of $188 million. In designated giving, the fiscal year’s total of $195,013,412.58 is 0.17 percent above the previous year’s $194,678,166.09. Of this designated amount, $194,205,408.42 was disbursed to the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board through the seasonal missions offerings and Global Hunger Relief. The balance was designated for other SBC entities or the SBC operating budget. Combined designated gifts to SBC causes and Cooperative Program allocation budget gifts showed a 0.77 percent increase over the same time last year.