Paige Patterson’s slush fund?

Has anybody ever heard of the Patmos Evangelistic Association?

I thought Southwestern Seminary’s presidential residence was located at 1901 W. Boyce Ave, Fort Worth, TX, 76115? Apparently, Patmos Evangelistic Association has offices there as well.

I guess that explains the construction around Pecan Manor over the last few years.

If you download the non-profit filings for Patmos Evangelistic Association, you get the following information:

1. The most recent IRS Form 990 was filed in December 2005.

2. The employer identification number is 751777000.

3. The Reported Form 990 Asset Amount is $67,658.00

4. The Reported Form 990 Asset Range is $25,000.00 to $99,999.00.

5. The Reported Form 990 Income amount is $63,064.00.

6. The Reported Form 990 Income Amount Range is $25,000.00 to $99,999.00.

7. The Reported From 990 Revenue Amount is $62,894.00

8. The Organization is classified as an independent religious organization not affiliated with a national, regional, or geographic grouping of organizations.

9. The Organization was granted non-profit status in November 1981.

10. Contributions to the organization are tax-deductible.

11. The Organization receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public.

12. The Principal Activity of the Organization is Evangelism.

Wow, $63,000.00 worth of evangelism in 2005 alone. Paige Patterson must have paid for Bobby Welch’s bus tour. Either that or a lot of wild African game heard the Gospel. I wonder if he discloses the revenues of Patmos Evangelistic Association to the SWBTS Board of Trustees? And who is on the board of Patmos Ministries, because they haven’t filed any updated information with the Texas Secretary of State. In fact, according to the Secretary of State, the Paige Patterson Evangelistic Association, also formed in 1981, is currently in “expired” status for a non-profit corporation.



One of our commenters has found that a car could have been donated to Patmos Evangelistic Association in Wake Forest, NC. I’m wondering if PEA ever received a donated silver Cadillac sedan? Did Southeastern Seminary give Paige Patterson a car when he left to go to SWBTS, even though SWBTS provides the president with an automobile? Talk about bureaucratic duplication…

Also, it appears that there are only two directors on the Patmos Evangelistic Association Board of Directors. They are Paige Patterson, president; and Dorothy Patterson, secretary. Read for yourself by clicking here. The tax forms were prepared by Charles Armstrong, CPA, who is also the father of SEBTS Comptroller, David Armstrong.

The 2005-990 Form, page ten, reveals that Paige and Dorothy Patterson spent $26,275.00 in travel on behalf of the Patmos Evangelistic Association. It also shows that the Patterson’s son, Armour, received $6,650.00 for “research” related to a “forthcoming book,” as well as what appears to be $727.00 in travel reimbursements. In 2004, Armour Patterson received $5,800.00 for similar research for a “forthcoming book” and $1,215.00 for expenses incurred while conducting “research surveys.” In 2003, Armour Patterson received $4,950.00 for “contract services” for researching a “forthcoming book,” and travel reimbursements totalling $3,442.00. I guess we are all waiting to see this book.

It is also apparent that the Patterson’s have been experiencing tremendous fundraising success through Patmos Evangelistic Association. In 2004, total receipts were $45,657.00. In 2003, they were $20,259. Back in 2002 at Southeastern, when Patmos was based in North Carolina, the Patterson’s brought in a meager $16,619. I’m assuming the Patterson’s non-profit is reflecting a basic law of economic theory: as demand goes up, prices increase. Either that, or the amount adding to total assets each year is roughly $20,000, which is not being used for ministry purposes, but rather being accumulated year-to-year.

I cannot help but think about the fact that the United States Government forbids elected officials from using the offices and resources afforded by taxpayer dollars to conduct private business. How long will Southern Baptists tolerate a lesser standard for tithe-money than Congress tolerates for tax-money?

Also, the number listed for Patmos Evangelistic Association on the IRS Forms is (817) 923-1921, which seems to be the same number for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tonight, I called the seminary switchboard and asked a very helpful young man named Jarod if he would connect me to the voicemail for “Patmos Evangelistic Association.”

He searched for a while, and then politely informed me that he had no such listing. I should try back on Monday morning when the seminary switchboard operator is at work. I guess I’ll have to call at 7:30am and ask for Sue.


Very interesting.

You know what they say about a broken clock…

We at Baptist Blogger are grateful that Gary Ledbetter over at the TEXAN has provided Southern Baptists with a survey of SBC seminaries regarding the issues of female professors and tenure review. This kind of coverage, my friends, is reporting that helps the convention. This kind…not so much.

Of course, we’re wondering why the TEXAN didn’t feel obliged to ask Southwestern Seminary for further clarification? And we’re curious if Paige Patterson would have responded if they had, or if he would have sent out Torquemada, armed with another pink white paper?

Nonetheless, we understand that Paige Patterson will have a chance to answer those questions soon, but in another venue.

More documents…more questions to follow…

Early last October I received a set of documents that were provided to Southwestern Seminary trustees stating the intention of the school’s president to shift more than $90 million from management with the Baptist Foundation of Texas to the school’s own seminary foundation. The documents included the dates, names, and figures that Paige Patterson thought was necessary to inform trustees to make a decision of such tremendous financial concern.

What Paige Patterson didn’t provide the trustees was that the seminary’s foundation was going to be placed with a non-profit investment cooperative whose investment portfolios included alcohol, tobacco, and gambling industries. Neither did Patterson find it necessary to tell his trustees that the man he recommended for chairmanship of the seminary foundation board had been cited and fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose conflicts of interest and violations of other federal guidelines. The fact that he was a Presbyterian winebibber was likewise excluded from Patterson’s dossier.

I faxed the documentation to Marty Duren over at SBCOutpost, who started making phonecalls and digging through the internet to find more information about the seminary foundation. On Sunday evening, October 15, 2006, Marty posted the information on the Outpost, and sent seminary administrators and trustees scurrying to figure out how those pesky bloggers had gotten their hands on their hush-hush plans. Rather than express appreciation that bloggers had informed seminary trustees in a way that the administration had neglected, some Southern Baptists cried foul and spun their oft-repeated allegations that a “conspiracy” was afoot to bring Paige Patterson down.

On that Sunday afternoon, Marty and I talked at length about the timing of his post. We had, as we saw it, two options. We could let the trustees vote to shift the money and elect the new foundation board, then release the information we had uncovered and hit the whole institution in the face with a nasty scandal that involved Paige Patterson’s negligence or deceit. We could let them proceed as planned, then gather like hyenas and nip at the wounded institution. Or we could release the information on the eve of the trustee meeting and hope that the board might start to understand how Paige Patterson thinks information pertinent to the governance of the seminary should be provided on a need-to-know basis, with the trustees not needing to know. More importantly, we could spare the convention another embarrassing example of systemic hypocrisy and bureaucratic bungling.

We could act beforehand and protect the seminary from its own lapse of judgment and preserve the assets and interests of Southern Baptists in a way that the seminary board and administration had become lax. Or we could wait and act afterwards, leaving the school with $90 Million worth of egg on their faces.

We chose preemption.

Seminary trustees responded by delaying the action for further investigation, and Baptist Press reported the matter. In the news coverage, the following “facts” were listed:

1. Seminary trustee Geoff Kolander read a statement that assured Southern Baptists that the board was committed to pursuing a path that avoided any appearance of evil when it comes to the issue of alcoholic beverage.

2. The business administration committee, led by Mr. Jack Sherrod Smith, a long-time member of First Baptist Dallas and Mrs. Criswell’s Sunday School class, reported that the board would seek “outside counsel” before making any changes to the seminary’s investment vehicles.

3. The seminary acquired the foundation from a long-time donor named Harold Riley — for whom trustee Geoff Kolander works — in 1998, though it took until 2005 for the Executive Committee to approve the seminary’s controlling interest in the foundation.

This chain of events pressed me to begin researching the history and purpose of the Southwestern Seminary foundation. My search has uncovered the following:

1. Southwestern Seminary drafted original articles of incorporation for a foundation in 1960, and the Texas Comptroller approved those articles in 1962. The original articles can be found here.

2. In 1985, the seminary foundation’s registered agent was amended from Wayne Evans to Hubert Martin, the seminary’s former vice president for business administration. The documentation can be found here.

3. In 1988, the seminary filed restated articles of incorporation. The revised articles can be found here.

4. In 2001, the Harold E. Riley Southwestern Seminary Foundation filed its report with the State of Texas, naming the foundation trustees as Harold Riley, two of his sons, and Ralph Smith, former pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, TX. The report can be found here.

5. In May 2004, the seminary filed a notice that the earlier seminary foundation had changed its registered agent from Hubert Martin to Joe Breshears, the seminary counsel. The notice can be found here.

6. The second foundation, awarded to the institution by Harold Riley, similarly changed its registered agent from Riley to Joe Breshears. That notice can be found here.

So let us review. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has had a foundation — since 1960. That foundation was joined by the Harold E. Riley Southwestern Seminary Foundation, which was approved by the SBC Executive Committee in 2005, according to Baptist Press. In 2006, Southwestern Seminary’s administration wished to move $90 million from management with the Baptist Foundation of Texas to the Harold. E. Riley Southwestern Seminary Foundation, to be privately managed by the seminary through a non-profit collective utlitizing a variety of breweries and casinos to “do better in [their] yield,” according to Paige Patterson.

Marty Duren released information about the $90 million transfer that exposed details previously unavailable to the seminary trustees by the school’s administration. The trustees acted wisely to delay and changes to the seminary foundation or their investment management until further study could be conducted. The business affairs committee of the seminary reported that no immediate action would be taken except retaining the assistance of outside counsel.

The seminary trustee meeting ended on October 17, 2006, and Southern Baptists were content to let the seminary trustees study the endowment fiasco further. No action was taken in the plenary sessions of the board to elect new trustees of the seminary foundation. The slate of candidates who had been recommended by the seminary were tabled, and trustees went home satisfied that the administration would abide by their decisions.

If all of this is so, why did the seminary file a new slate of new foundation directors with the State of Texas three days after the end of the trustee meeting?

According to the 2006 Foundation Periodic Report, the earlier seminary foundation has seven directors. These directors include Jerry Yowell, Seminary Trustee Harlan Lee (AZ), Seminary Vice-President Greg Kingry, Seminary Trustee Mike Eklund (AR), George L. Weaver, Seminary Trustee Jack Smith (TX); and Mr. Richard Headrick of Mississippi.

The final director, Mr. Headrick of Mississippi has been a supporter of Paige Patterson’s causes for years, and shares membership with the Pattersons in the Council for National Policy (also listed here). He endowed a chair in World Missions at Southeastern Seminary in 1998. In 2001, Headrick was elected to serve on the Southeastern Board of trustees, having been appointed to that post by the wife of a Southeastern dean and an SEBTS doctoral student.

Four years subsequent to his election as a Southeastern trustee, however, Mr. Headrick resigned abruptly, after voicing dissent from the seminary’s intention to name an academic building rather than a student center for Paige and Dorothy Patterson. I must add the caveat that the Headricks are, without a doubt, two of the most generous and committed Christian evangelists in the Southern Baptist Convention.

The seminary also filed restated articles of incorporation for the Harold E. Riley Foundation, which were adopted by the board of trustees at their August 15, 2005 meeting.

The questions will follow…