Steven and Kay Armstrong, missionaries on leave of absence from the International Mission Board, who were preparing to return to the field, sent this letter to their regional leader, Dr. Gordon Fort, on May 29.
Thank you for being the first to admit to us in writing that IMB leaders have decided that Kay and I are not going to be allowed to return to the field. Since Avery made a decision that was final that we could not return to the field and now you, as our regional leader, also write that we cannot be allowed to return to active service, Kay and I request that we be issued an official termination letter or other formal notification that our employment with the IMB is being terminated. This is only fitting since our tenure as missionaries with the IMB is ending as the result of decisions made by IMB leaders.
It is already public knowledge that the IMB is terminating other missionaries for not signing the Baptist Faith and Message statements.
Dr. Rankin publicly stated that those who would not sign and chose not to resign by May 5th would be terminated. So we were surprised and confused about why were we not included among those missionaries terminated at the May trustee meeting you attended. Help me understand why are we being treated differently than any other missionaries in this regard?
We informed you over a year ago that we could not sign the BF&M statements and asked that a decision be reached quickly concerning whether or not we would be allowed to continue with the IMB. If we had wanted to resign, we would have already done so. We do not want to resign and find the efforts to try to manipulate us to do so unprofessional and hurtful. We choose to continue under our appointment and commissioning as IMB missionaries until the day we receive notice in writing that we have been terminated.
Resting in Him,
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