Southern Baptist leader Frank Page resigns over 'morally inappropriate relationship'

A top Southern Baptist leader resigned Tuesday over what was described as “a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.”

Frank S. Page, 65, was president and chief executive of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee. His resignation came in the form of a 300-word statement released Tuesday by committee chairman Stephen Rummage, Christianity Today reported.

The exact nature of the “inappropriate relationship” was not disclosed.

Page announced earlier in the day that he was retiring, but later said he needed to be more forthcoming about his departure, the Tennessean reported.

“As a result of a personal failing, I have embarrassed my family, my Lord, myself and the Kingdom,” Page said in a statement released by the Baptist Press, a Nashville-based official publication of the denomination.

Page discussed his plans Monday night in a conference call with other executive committee members, Rummage said in a statement.

Page then admitted the reason behind his decision in a follow-up conversation Tuesday, the Tennessean reported.

"Today, I spoke with Dr. Page and learned that his retirement announcement was precipitated by a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past," said Rummage, the senior pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla.

According to the Tennessean, Page has served in his post since 2010, overseeing a $200 million annual budget for the Southern Baptists’ Cooperative Program.

The Southern Baptist Convention connects some 47,000 Baptist churches across the U.S. and its territories, representing more than 15 million total congregants, the denomination’s website says.

The executive committee will search for a replacement for Page, in keeping with the denomination’s bylaws, Rummage told the Tennessean.