June 19, 2003 — Patterson confirms scheduled meeting with SWBTS trustees as candidate for presidency

June 24, 2003 — Paige Patterson elected as president of Southwestern.

June 25, 2003 — Patterson responds ‘openly, honestly’ in meeting with Southwestern faculty.

July 22, 2003 — Committee begins search for next Southeastern president.

And then, this curious ledger entry:

July 15, 2003 — Southeastern Seminary pays Emerson’s Taxidermy $2,712.50.

8 thoughts on “Chronology…

  1. Rut Roh,

    A few questions come to mind:

    (1). Did Cooperative Program funds pay for the stuffing of this animal?
    (2). Is the other entry for $2,544 on the documented receipt payment for the taxidermy of a stuffed animal as well? How many other taxidermy bills did the finance office at Southeastern pay from 1993-2003?
    (3). Where are these stuffed deceased mammals now located? In the President’s office at Southeastern or at Southwestern?
    (4). Is it possible that the $5,256.50 spent in 2003 for taxidermy came from private funds? If that is claimed, why are their not designated entries for reimbursement as there are for other reimbursables during the same time period? More importantly, if private funds were given to reimburse these bills, was there a tax credit given, and if so, why? Also, is there proper documentation of the contribution with dates, names and purpose of donation?
    (5). Were the trustees at Southeastern aware of these expenditures? Are there other expenditures that were made that did not fall under the accountability or scrutiny of trustee policiies and guidelines including cars, furniture, etc . . ?

    It would seem to me these are the types of questions that trustees should be asking. In fact, I would go further. It is the duty of trustees to hold any SBC administration accountable in areas of finance. We trustees better come to grips with the fact that we hire administration to implement vision for the organization and to manage it, but it is our job to hold administration accountable for the job they were hired to do.

    Of course, this is difficult when the process for the election of trustees is compromised by administrators working the system to place only pastor friends, loyalists and extended family on the very boards that are mandated to hold said administration accountable.

    May God help us.

  2. If all this criticism and exposure of finances at SBC institutions ever produces change in the convention, perhaps Campus Crusade would provide us with an adequate model.

    From president to every staff member, salaries are determined by index, with the highest salary in 2004 being $57,466. Can you imagine the reaction to capping all SBC salaries at similar numbers? Why don’t we do this? Salaries can be determined by area cost-of-living, children, etc., and be standard across the board. This seems much more reasonable than letting the world’s CEO model determine how we hire and pay administrators. It could also help highlight some underpayment of “lower” employees.

    Here are some of Campus Crusade’sstewardship guidelines. There are some wise ideas in them for those who would take the time.

  3. exit78 – I think that is a great idea. Money and Baptist sound to me like Catholics and Homosexuality. There is only so much you can sweep under a rug until you can see if without removing the rug.

    I am very uninformed as to large budgets and committees like these. The only experience I have is with the local church level, which by the way doesn’t sound anything like what is going on at Southwe..err…the seminaries. My question is, when would it ever be o.k. for a seminary to purchase taxidermy services? Why do we spend money on that? When is that a valid expenditure? It might be nice (I guess) but not a need. I have a very minor budget comparatively as a student minister at a slightly above average church – but I just can not see spending money on something so pointless. We count pennies, not because we have so little but because we have been given so much – and we are accountable. It doesn’t matter if my committee knows, God does. That might sound trite but it is true. This whole topic just makes me sick to my stomach. I know there are a lot of nice things that can help in education but I just don’t see how even if it is on the up and up, how it is justified in a Kingdom Theology sort of way.

    Jesus is coming; souls are dieing, and let’s stuff an animal. I don’t know, sounds silly to me.

  4. Wade:

    First, check OMS International. Every person in the Society makes the same, from President on down. It’s a mission, not a business. Oh, and they are members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

    Second, if this is all true, and the executives of such institutions really do influence appointment of trustees, I’d imagine someone would make a motion that such be investigated, at the SBC convention. That certainly seems like a prudent thing to do.

    Third, anyone with a lick of sense will see the glaring message in your last line. You said “us”, not “the SBC”. Folks who question your motives should take note.

    For what it’s worth, I would have said “the SBC”.

  5. Are you quite sure the bill was for an animals’ stuffing?

    The editors at USA today had this situation pegged 8 years ago. Below a large, front page color picture of president Patterson in his office, including views of mounted antelope and wildebeasts, ran this headline……

    Southern Baptism by fiery leader
    Paige Patterson knows he’s on God’s side against liberals
    [FINAL Edition]

    USA TODAY – McLean, Va.
    Author: Cathy Lynn Grossman
    Date: Jun 15, 1999
    Start Page: 01.D
    Section: LIFE
    Document Types: Feature
    WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Paige Patterson, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, may be a sweet-talking Irish-Texan, but he can be lethal.

    The heads of the 40 Southeastern faculty who retired or moved on from a staff of 42 after Patterson became seminary president seven years ago are nowhere in sight. This morning, when the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) opens in Atlanta, the faces of dissent will be scarce as well.

    Finally, the 14,000 messengers, representing nearly 16 million Southern Baptists, can focus their annual meeting on evangelism and missions, says Patterson, who fired the opening shots in the Southern Baptist “civil war” in the ’70s.

    The USA today article was an obvious sight-gag that would not be lost on the reader.

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