On May 8, 2005 Rick Scarborough was profiled on the front page of the Washington Post. He had just organized a conference in Washington D.C. on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" which launched the movement against the filibuster in congress and inspired three "Justice Sundays." Tom DeLay called Scarborough "one of my closest friends." He was also credited with organizing a network of 2000 "Patriot Pastors" that led evangelicals to the polls in 2004. He's still working his network of "Patriot Pastors" to get the vote out for the elections this year.
Who is Rick Scarborough?
He's a Dominionist Southern Baptist minister who first emerged as a leader of young pastors who supported the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In May 1989, when moderate, mainstream Baptists organized a last ditch effort to stop the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC, he organized a conference of young pastors to elect fundamentalists. That effort was successful.
In September 1989 he organized a fundamentalist pastor's conference to precede the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) meeting -- a tactic that assisted fundamentalists in taking control over the SBC. That effort was a failure. Texas Baptists defeated the fundamentalist's candidate and changed their meeting schedule to make it difficult for fundamentalists to hold pre-convention rallies.
In 1990 he became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pearland, Texas. From that pulpit, with help from the fundamentalist leaders of the SBC that he helped elect, he continued to work to takeover the Texas Baptist state Convention. His 1996 book Enough is Enough begins with two full page letters of endorsement. One by Paige Patterson, then the President of Southeastern Baptist Seminary in North Carolina, the other by Jimmy Draper, then President of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board in Tennessee. The book was mailed to the pastors of all the churches in the Baptist General Convention of Texas. That same year he ran against moderate incumbent Charles Wade for the presidency of the BGCT and lost by a 2-1 margin.
While in Pearland he moved from denominational politics to secular politics. He helped elect members of his congregation to the city council and school board, and encouraged church members to fill top local government jobs -- including city manager and chief of police. He also worked out a sweetheart deal with the city on the purchase of land for his church to relocate.
In 1994, after a member of his congregation, Republican Steve Stockman, defeated long tenured Democratic Representative Jack Brooks for his seat in Congress, Scarborough credited political action by his church with helping Stockman win the election. Unfortunately for his church, he bragged about it publicly in an article that he wrote for Jerry Falwell's Liberty Journal. The IRS investigated his church and they nearly lost their tax exemption. At one time pressures were so great at his church that he resigned, but Jerry Falwell wrote a letter to the church asking them to rescind his resignation and the church did.
In 2002 Scarborough resigned the pastorate and began working full time for Vision America - a political organizing ministry he founded with the help of Jerry Falwell. I've heard reports from credible sources that he preaches revivals with altar calls to register to vote.
He often promotes rallies around the country for Judge Roy Moore's 10 commandments monument. The rally he organized in Dallas on April 3, 2004 was reported to have had 5000 participants.
We've not heard the last from Scarborough. He's one of the best bellwether's I know for the designs and machinations of the Dominionist wing of the Southern Baptist Convention