Two weeks after the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright announced his resignation from the organization, effective Oct. 4, some members remain surprised by the abrupt nature of his decision.
In his resignation letter to NRB Board Chairman, Richard P. Bott II, which was made public on March 21, Wright noted that the decision was a prayerful one. It appears, however, that the rumination on his exit from the NRB was kept mostly between him and God, until recently.
"I have prayerfully concluded that my season of service at NRB is drawing to a close," Wright wrote in a letter to Bott. "Accordingly, I do hereby resign my position as president and CEO of NRB, effective October 4, 2013."
Commenting on Wright's resignation on Friday, president of the American Family Association (AFA), Tim Wildmon, told The Christian Post that he was only aware of Wright's decision for a couple weeks. "I knew Frank was stepping down for a couple of weeks," said Wildmon, a NRB Board member. "He was an effective leader of the NRB and a good friend. He will be missed and we at AFA/American Family Radio wish him all the best."
Sources close to the NRB leadership suggested the reaction to Wright's resignation was not received quite as mildly by some members who wondered if Wright had been "forced out," particularly because he elected not to mention anything about his intentions at the recently concluded NRB Convention. The abrupt nature of his resignation brought back memories of the messy exit of former NRB President Wayne Pederson, who Wright succeeded in 2002.
Pederson, who now heads HCJB Global in Colorado Springs, Colo., was forced to resign from office when he set off a controversy among the organization's membership by suggesting the NRB should be known more for its evangelical theology than its conservative views on issues of politics and policy.
When contacted for comment about the abrupt nature of his resignation, Wright released a statement through his communications personnel that any suggestion that he was being forced out is complete fantasy.
"This is a silly speculation worthy of Lewis Carroll," said Wright. "My decision to step down as NRB president, which came after more than a year of prayer, counsel, and deliberation, was mine and mine alone. Any assertions to the contrary are factually incorrect," he added.
In his response to the allegations, NRB Chairman Bott also dismissed the notion. "Where did you get such ridiculous information? It's totally false. I don't know how more emphatically to say that but any suggestion that Frank Wright was being forced out is totally false," Bott told CP.
"I would just say what I said in my letter to the board of directors, outstanding service and stellar performance. Any notion whatsoever that he was asked to resign or forced out or anything is totally false and nothing could be further from the truth," he said.