Back in 2003, when Paige Patterson dedicated the J. Dalton Havard campus of Southwestern Seminary as the school’s newly elected president, Baptist Press reported that “Patterson likened the dedication of the facility to Solomon’s dedication of the temple he built and his father, David, envisioned.”
The 8.5 acre Houston campus was valued at $5.7 million at the time it was deeded to Southwestern.
Not long after that ceremonious Solomonic dedication, Patterson named J. Denny Autry, the former chairman of the presidential search committee that brought him to Southwestern Seminary, as the resident dean of the Houston campus. Though he denied it at the time, Autry was widely suspected among a number of Southwestern trustees who forced out Ken Hemphill over concerns about declining enrollment.
Fun fact: Southwestern reported FTE enrollment at the time of Hemphill’s departure at 2,381. Total FTE enrollment under Patterson last year was 1,249.
At its inaugural graduation ceremony, the Havard campus conferred degrees on 10 students. By 2006, there were 28 graduates. In 2008, during a ceremony in which Patterson likened the Houston campus’s significance to the birthplace of the Texas revolution, the campus saw 18 graduates. Last year, the Havard campus graduated 17 master’s students and 2 undergraduates.
Despite the strategic significance Patterson has placed on the Houston campus, Southwestern trustees voted to sell the multi-million dollar property earlier this month.
This is curious, especially given that the Houston property went on sale in 2014 for $3.9 million. Apparently it didn’t sell at the time, but who authorized the listing if the trustees have only recently voted to sell it?
And of course, Southern Baptists are left wondering just how many bogus Dead Sea Scroll Fragments Dorothy Patterson could buy with that kind of money?
King Solomon must be weeping today.
5 thoughts on “The day Paige Patterson auctioned Solomon’s Temple”
But Patterson can do anything he wants and very few if any will call him on it. But he has helped make the SBC a so much better place since he and the other TAKEOVER folks gained total control. Not!
Do we know whether or not the current FTE number reported in the fun fact includes undergraduates?
So J. Denny Autry and David Allen, both instrumental in Patterson getting the President’s job at SWBTS, eventually were appointed as Deans under Patterson. Didn’t realize that.
How did they lose that much value? Was the Houston real estate market still that rough in 2014? Was the building in a flood plain?
Houston Dean is no longer.