Hemphill In Denial!

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Sherrie, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. Sherrie

    Sherrie
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    Southwestern president denies he was told to resign post

    By Lindsay Bergstrom

    FORT WORTH, Texas (ABP) -- Ken Hemphill denies he was given an ultimatum by SBC leaders to resign as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as reported in the Baptist Standard April 21.

    "I am appalled and dismayed that the Standard would print speculation that borders on libel," said Hemphill in a statement released April 23. "No group of SBC leaders has ever met with me about a deal to remain at or leave Southwestern."

    However, the Baptist Standard, the newsjournal of Texas Baptists, released its own statement in support of the story.

    The story, which also was carried in Associated Baptist Press, reported a former Southwestern professor told the Standard sources closely related to the seminary confirmed Hemphill had been to a meeting in North Carolina a few years ago in which he was given several ultimatums -- find another post, fire David Crutchley as dean of the school of theology, and hire Craig Blaising as provost and executive vice president.

    But Hemphill denies such a meeting took place. "The only meeting in North Carolina was held at my request over the Christmas holidays two years ago at Calvary Baptist Church with my three mentors, Mark Corts, Jimmy Draper and Charles Fuller," he said. "I asked them to pray with me concerning my desire to move back to pastoral ministry."

    Hemphill also denies he was told to remove David Crutchley as dean. "Anyone with knowledge of Baptist polity would know that no outside group has any authority to hold such a meeting or make such a suggestion apart from the trustees of an institution," said Hemphill.

    "The decision to reassign [Crutchley] was mine based on my understanding of his gifts and passion," he said. "I believed then and believe now that it was a decision that was in his best interest and that of the seminary."

    "The Baptist Standard stands by its story as reported in the April 21 issue," the newspaper said in response. "Every assertion in the article that was not directly attributed to a specific source was confirmed by a minimum of three knowledgeable sources."

    "Unfortunately, seminary faculty, staff, students and even retirees currently live under such a fear of reprisal from seminary trustees and administration that few are willing to be quoted on the record by name," it continued. "In such situations, the Standard's policy is to require confirmation by multiple sources."

    "Hemphill correctly asserts that in Baptist polity, 'no outside group has any authority' to force its will on another Baptist body," the statement said. "That statement, however, belies the well-documented pattern of action within the Southern Baptist Convention over the past 23 years."

    Hemphill will leave the Fort Worth, Texas, seminary at the end of the current academic year for Nashville, Tenn., where he will be jointly employed by the SBC Executive Committee and LifeWay Christian Resources as national strategist for the SBC's Empowering Kingdom Growth initiative. However, seminary trustee chairman David Allen confirmed April 16 that Hemphill's salary will be paid by Southwestern for a year after he leaves the seminary.
    -30-
     
  2. KPBAP

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    WOW! :eek:
     
  3. All about Grace

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    It is interesting how this story has surfaced at the same time another debate on the News forum has surfaced regarding the integrity of BP and ABP. This story simply proves that ABP writers (Wingfield in this instance) are not above reproach and are definitely not writing from an unbiased perspective.

    Let's see if Baptist Believer is equally as concerned about the integrity of Wingfield as he is about Russ Moore.

    Of course I can almost hear Baptist Believer now: it is another instance of BP resorting to lied to protect themselves.

    Sometimes one cannot see the truth even when it is staring them in the face.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    It “proves” nothing of the sort. Sources close to the situation (members of the seminary and trustee community) have quietly reported a different story and the Baptist Standard and Associated Baptist Press have reported their story. I’m guessing that my sources and the Baptist Standard’s sources may be similar.

    Since Ken Hemphill has told me personally that the seminary PR people and the trustees don’t always tell the truth because of political reasons (this was said in the context of discussing some of the more blatant trustee lies regarding the changing of locks on the SWBTS president’s office door while they were firing Dilday), there is also reason to question the official line.

    That’s charming. I wrote what I wrote yesterday morning, long before this story came to my attention. As I said in the other discussion, I am now reconsidering the situation in light of what Dr. Hemphill has stated here.

    I haven’t said anything of the sort. :rolleyes: Are you so desperate to win points in our discussion that you have to try to put false words in my mouth???)

    You’re drawing a false conclusion based on false assumptions that you have falsely ascribed to me. :rolleyes:

    Now let’s get this straight. I’ve posted quite a bit of evidence to demonstrate my claims and you have posted almost nothing except protests. The readers of Baptist Board can check it out and make up their own mind. You’re only hurting your cause by making faulty claims about what I believe or my attitude regarding certain people.

    One day the Lord will draw back the curtain covering the secret sins of humanity and all that is false will be exposed. Those who bear false witness against their brothers and sisters in Christ will have to answer for it. Those who are willingly mislead by their lies will also have to answer for their sin.

    My goal is to sound the alarm and let people know they are being deceived. As you said, “ Sometimes one cannot see the truth even when it is staring them in the face.” I sincerely hope you will stop being so defensive and take a look at the evidence I have presented.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    We have heard from Hemphill himself. So we are left with only 2 options: 1) believe Hemphill or 2) do not believe Hemphill and believe Wingfield and the Standard.

    If you opt for #1, you will have to recant your defense of ABP as being unbiased, objective, and truthful. If you opt for #2, there is no basis by which to convince you that the ABP writers have used deception.

    On a side note, there are as many (likely even more) trustees and insiders who say the opposite of what you suggest some who are "close to the situation" are saying. So who are we to believe? Again, I will cast my vote from the one who knows the most -- Hemphill himself.

    And I am assuming that you are confident that if I e-mail Hemphill and ask him if the PR people and trustees of SWBTS "do not always tell the truth for political reasons" that he will verify this accusation?
     
  6. TomVols

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    When Wingfield was at Western Recorder in Kentucky, he had as much journalistic credibility as Bill Clinton would have at a Promise Keeper's rally or George Bush at a GreenPeace meeting. He has even less now. With each fairy tale of the left he parrots, he has even less.

    I was at a state convention training event last night with some moderates. Even they are rolling their eyes at ABP's shenanigans, the left's attack on Hemphill and SWBTS, and the obsurdity of it all. Again, NO ONE who knows Dr. Hemphill at all is shocked by his move back to more church-based ministry and away from academia.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    Actually there are at least 4 options: 1) Believe Hemphill; (2) Believe Hemphill and believe the Standard received faulty information that was confirmed by at least three sources; (3) Not believe Hemphill and not believe the Standard; (4) Not believe Hemphill and believe the Baptist Standard.

    I tend to believe either my #2 or my #4. There are many reasons Hemphill would be tempted not to tell the truth (and he’s admitted as much in personal conversation about previous events) so the pressure may be on him to lie. I do not have any hard and fast evidence to prove that he is lying though so the question is up in the air for me. Do I believe the usually reliable sources (perhaps they were misled) or should I believe Hemphill? I don’t know and I won’t take a stand for either.

    Nope. (I supposed you noticed that ABP reported the story that initiated this thread?) The Baptist Standard reported the information they received from at least three sources. I’m sure they will also post this story this evening on their web site (www.baptiststandard.com) when they do their weekly update. Reporting both sides of the issue as truthfully as possible is being objective.

    Not at all. Please show me a deception in an ABP story that I can confirm.

    I know my sources very well and they have been extremely reliable in the past. I have never caught them in a lie.

    Southwestern trustees have been known to lie. (Just try to get a straight answer on the situation regarding the changing of the locks on Russell Dilday’s office.)

    To me, it’s a matter of who is more credible.

    Fortunately, I do not have to make a choice. The truth will eventually come out. Hemphill has a conscience and I don’t think he could ignore it forever if he is being deceptive.

    That’s assuming he is not being pressured…

    Frankly, I hope Hemphill is telling the truth and the seminary can have a transition to another more moderate president. But the way the trustees and the new dean are trying to run off professors, I doubt it.

    He might. (Hemphill does seem to have a strong conscience and his first impulse seems to be honesty – I sincerely believe he thought I was a supporter of the “conservative resurgence” (sic) and would understand the justifications for not telling the truth. Only after I reacted very negatively to his statement did he start to get ugly – he realized his mistake and tried to regain control over the situation by threatening my status as a student and my future in the SBC.)

    He certainly knows exactly who I am. I was a student at SWBTS at the time and he threatened that if I do anything that might make the seminary look bad I would “face the consequences” for my actions. I have documentation that the meeting took place (we had correspondence regarding the meeting after the fact and I have saved it) and I have a rough transcript of the substance of the meeting recorded the next day, printed, duplicated, sealed, postmarked and sent to three people who do not know the specifics of the sealed content of the envelope, but have kept it in their files and documentation as to the timing of my account of the meeting and how it has not changed from the day after the meeting. (Two of the three people who have envelopes are non-political people who support the “conservative resurgence”. One is a highly respected pastor who knows me very well and the other is a homemaker in my hometown. The third person is a college professor in the Eastern United States. In addition to the documents, I have several eyewitnesses of other actions related to our meeting.

    If he ever challenges me on the subject, I am ready for it. I don’t think he’d try.
     
  8. Sherrie

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    Is there any documentation to say that there was a meeting? is there Documentation of the deal? Who were the SBC leaders that were to have met with him?

    Unless there is something to support the fact that there was a meeting, I have no choice but to believe Hemphill.

    Does anyone with knowledge of Baptist polity know this to be true or false?

    Why would SBC leaders oust him with one breath, and place him in charge in anoher breath?

    Sherrie
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    Is there any documentation to say that there was a meeting? is there Documentation of the deal? Who were the SBC leaders that were to have met with him? </font>[/QUOTE]I have not heard, but I did not ask my sources either. (Actually my sources did not mention any previous meetings.)

    Not quite. There is still the question of whether he was forced out of the presidency of Southwestern. He says no, but others are saying it is true.

    I’m not sure to believe, so I’ll wait and see.

    Does anyone with knowledge of Baptist polity know this to be true or false?
    </font>[/QUOTE]That is very true. Unfortunately it is not always practiced. For instance, in the Texas Baptist historical collection in Dallas there is a copy of a fax from a trustee (sent from Bailey Smith’s evangelistic association office) to Jerry Vines back in 1994. The fax takes Vines to task for not doing more to publicly defend the trustees for firing Dr. Dilday since “we did what you wanted us to do” and Vines had “left them hanging” as a target for criticism. Less than a week later Vines issued a statement moderately supporting the firing of Dilday.

    Why would SBC leaders oust him with one breath, and place him in charge in anoher breath?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Because they only want him out of the presidency of Southwestern Seminary. Apparently, as the story goes, they want to finish “cleaning house” at Southwestern to get rid of any remaining professors (who have all presumably signed the 2000 BF&M) but are not politically correct in their selection of churches, the persons with whom they associate, and the things that they teach that are not addressed by the Baptist Faith and Message – such as whether or not the United States was founded as a “Christian” nation.
     
  10. Sherrie

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    I think you are right. I think it is going to have to be a wait and see. Little by little things are coming out.


    I would like to know however, who were the supposed SBC leaders who forced him out? Who are the others that are saying this is true? And how can they back those claims up?

    Is this another deliberate attempt to cause more division within the SBC?

    You got to admit he is a real dieheart. hee-hee!

    Sherrie
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    I do understand that there are several moderate if not liberal trustees on the SWBTS board right now.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    REALLY???

    Honestly, I sincerely doubt it. That process is controlled very tightly.

    Who are you thinking of?
     
  13. SaggyWoman

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    I was talking to my boss (who is also my pastor), and of course, being from and in NC, he has been known to have been pretty liberal and ran with liberal people, though he is not now.

    He told me names. But I would have to see them to remember.
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    I'm sorry, but I'm going to have a very hard time believing it unless I see some names. (Unless "liberal" means someone who is not KJVO. [​IMG] )

    I'm not saying you or your pastor are being dishonest, but maybe the story has gotten mixed up somewhere.

    And for what it's worth, sometimes people change their views because of conviction or for ecclesiastical opportunities. For instance, Al Mohler used to be an outspoken supporter of women in ministry (as senior pastors, etc.). When I was in seminary I had a number of fellow students tell me that they saw which way the tide was turning with the "conservative resurgence"(sic) so they were going to politically go along with that group. A couple who are good friends of mine went off to the mission field a while back explicitly told me that they signed the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message not because they believed it, but because the IMB was the best method for going on mission. (I know for a fact that they explicitly do not agree with most of the changes since 1963.)

    That may be what your pastor is referring to. :(
     
  15. Sherrie

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    That I can believe. Its sad...but I agree. I would have probably done the same in their shoes.

    Sherrie
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    He may have said moderate.

    Are any of the trustees from NC?
     
  17. Speedpass

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    I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they were Patterson and Pressler :mad: :eek: :confused:
     
  18. SaggyWoman

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    One that my pastor said was moderate was Michael Dean, pastor of Travis Avenue.
     
  19. Speedpass

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    Wasn't he President of the BGCT for two terms a while back? And isn't Travis Avenue one of the more conservative churches in the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex?
     
  20. Baptist Believer

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    Wasn't he President of the BGCT for two terms a while back?</font>[/QUOTE]If he was it was not a recent term. If I remember correctly Michael Dean was the pastor of Calvary Baptist in Beaumont, Texas. I'm familiar with that church and is it is extremely conservative.

    Travis Avenue Baptist church is also a very conservative church (Joel Gregory pastored there immediately before Dean).

    I find it extremely difficult to believe that Michael Dean is a closet liberal or moderate, much less an open liberal or moderate. His track record actually indicates he is fully on board with the "conservative resurgence"(sic).

    Dean was directly involved with the incident surrounding the aborting hiring of Dr. Steven Harmon where he freely admitted that they asked questions of a political nature when considering Harmon-- see the BGCT Seminary Study Report (www.bgct.org/communications/ss1.pdf) on page 11 - footnote #20.
     

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