Allan Blume, editor and president of the Biblical Recorder, has announced plans to retire at the end of next May.
Blume, 68, took over in 2011 as editor of the official news journal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Previously a pastor, he followed veteran Baptist journalist Norman Jameson, who resigned after publishing stories unpopular with the Southern Baptist Convention affiliate’s conservative leaders.
Jameson, who since leaving the newspaper business has written as a freelancer for Baptist News Global and done other jobs as a contract worker, resigned when a director of missions threatened to try to defund the Biblical Recorder from the state convention floor.
Jameson, who had been on the job a little more than three years, said at the time he was neither fired nor asked to resign but found it “necessary” to step down when the newspaper’s board of directors could not say with confidence the Recorder would survive such a challenge.
Directors of Associated Baptist Press, forerunner to Baptist News Global, responded with a rare resolution describing Jameson’s “principled leadership” of the Biblical Recorder as “marked by the utmost integrity and the highest standards of journalistic excellence.”
Previous editors of the Biblical Recorder, founded in 1831 by Southern Baptist pioneer Thomas Meredith, include R.G. Puckett, a founding director of ABP and a past chairman of the board who died in 2013, and Tony Cartledge, contributing editor of Nurturing Faith, a publishing ministry formerly branded as the newspaper Baptists Today.
Blume sparked a national controversy in a 2012 interview when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy answered “guilty as charged” to a question about the company’s support for groups that were lobbying against the legalization of same-sex marriage.
The comment, picked up by Baptist Press and reported in mainstream media, prompted boycott threats and a counter-protest spearheaded by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Blume later implied Biblical Recorder was among conservative non-profit political groups being targeted for audit by the IRS. He subsequently walked back the claim, saying he misspoke by saying a 2013 audit by the IRS was the first in the newspaper’s history.
Blume’s editorship earned praise from Milton Hollified, executive director of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Southern Baptist Convention entity located in the state.
“It was a great day when God led Allan Blume to the Biblical Recorder,” Akin said in comments quoted by newspaper staff. “The tone and content of the paper immediately changed for the better.”
“For the first time, I was proud to call the Biblical Recorder my Baptist state paper,” Akin said.” Allan will be greatly missed, but he has laid a great foundation for the future of the BR.”