About those windows . . .

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October 19, 2018

Mr. Travis Trawick
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2001 W. Seminary Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76115

Dear Sir:

On Dec. 17, 2013, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary published a news item directing the attention of the school’s constituency to an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram which, according to the seminary website, served the purpose of “highlighting the efforts of Dorothy Patterson, wife of [then]-seminary president Paige Patterson, to tell the story of the conservative resurgence in the SBC through stained glass.” The original article’s lede noted how the windows’ creator, Don Young, “watched anxiously as Dorothy Patterson’s dream came one window closer to fulfillment.”

Readers were further informed that the windows would “immortalize Baptists who helped effect the culture change to more conservative attitudes in the Southern Baptist Convention.” Furthermore, the windows – numbering at least 69 at the time of the Star-Telegram report, would delight “anyone who loves nature, sunrises, and sunsets.” At least that’s what Mrs. Patterson explained.

“I really hope the public will have an interest and want to come and see,” Patterson said. “I’m proud of this for Fort Worth. I think it’s pretty unique for Paige’s hometown.

As one who loves nature, sunrises, and sunsets – and who is sympathetic with the conservative turn in the Southern Baptist Convention – I would like to register my unyielding objection to the continued display of the so-called Patterson windows.  Indeed, their dubious aesthetic value is exceeded only by the grotesque and perverse theology that conceived their commission in the first place.  So long as they remain in place, they serve only as a reminder of the dark and shameful era from which Southwestern has recently begun to emerge. And while they are certainly “unique” in Fort Worth and among the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Patterson windows in no wise make Southwestern’s constituency any more “proud” of the school than do the “enrollment, financial, leadership, and institutional identity” concerns that warranted the Pattersons’ dismissal in the first place.

Nevertheless, I do not send this letter for the singular purpose of registering my strong protest against one of many vanity projects inspired by the seminary’s previous administration over the course of fifteen years.  I write to reinforce my wholehearted desire to support the school in every way as it enters a new era of financial stability, enrollment growth, and institutional integrity.

With that in mind, I would like to offer to purchase from the seminary at full cost the window that purports to depict Paige Patterson, Dorothy Patterson, and an unnamed dog.  I will also contribute to the seminary any such costs associated with their removal, storage, and safe delivery to me intact. Additionally, I am in communication with other seminary supporters – some of whom are depicted in the Patterson windows – who have expressed similar desire to see the windows removed and to help raise support for their removal as needed.

At your earliest convenience, could you inform me in writing of both the window’s original cost and the seminary’s plan – if any – to remove all 69-plus of the Patterson windows; moreover, I would like to know if the opportunity to purchase the windows and offset the cost of their removal will be made available to seminary supporters like me.


/signed/ BSC

CC: Mr. Kevin Ueckert; Dr. Jeffrey Bingham


Editor’s note: A partial list of the windows which may become available for purchase from Southwestern Seminary are: Ronnie Floyd; Huber Drumwright; Rick Warren; Dottie Riley; O.S. & Susie Hawkins; Paul & Nancy Pressler; W.A. Criswell & Jack Pogue; Andy & Joan Horner; Charles Stanley; Bailey Smith; Adrian Rogers; Ed Young, Sr; Gerald Harris; Dana Collett; Jimmy & Carol Ann Draper; Tommy French; Jim Richards; Bobby & Phoebe Lambeth; Harold & Barbara O’Chester; Jerry Vines; The Brumbelows; Bob Tenery; Jerry Sutton; Fred Powell; T.C. Pinckney; Lollie Cogswell; Lou Brooks; Bill Harrell; Danny Watters; Richard Land; Barry McCarty; Joe Atchison; Simon Tsoi; Morris Chapman; Frank Page; Homer Lindsay, Jr; Johnny Hunt; Jerry Falwell; Ken Whitten; Jimmy Jackson; Chuck & Rhonda Kelley; Gary & Tammi Ledbetter; John Yeats; Jim Wells; Ron Wilson; Jay Strack. 

11 thoughts on “About those windows . . .

  1. I graduated from SWBTS in 2008 & know Travis very well-consider him a dear friend. The stain glassed windows sickened me the moment I first heard about them & they still make me sick to my stomach. I’m glad they will be removed.

  2. Your window choice also includes an antique curved seat lion gargoyle chair, roughly 100 sprigs of grass and a few flowers. Remember, these windows delight “anyone who loves nature, sunrises, and sunsets.”

  3. Anon 7:17, I hope that number is not true, but in case it is, could we please make material comparisons of what $90,000 can buy a person?
    I’ll start!
    For about $90,000 you can be the proud owner of a brand new Tesla Model S!

    1. Does that Tesla come with place to hold your teacup and a built-in hat box? Is the upholstery made of tanned giraffe or zebra hides? If not, I’d rather have a Pontiac Grand Prix, preferably in Pewter Metallic Gray.

      1. Sadly, no, but if that doesn’t suit you…

        For about $90,000 you can hunt not one but TWO lions in Africa!* The money should cover travel, licensing fees, tip, and taxidermy!

        *Lions are approx $35,000 while the Lioness will run you about $10,000.

  4. So I have a Paige Patterson SWBTS mug that I got when I graduated, I feel that one of the Patterson windows would complete the set and make a great conversation piece. I however will be unable to pay 90k because that is like four year’s salary and my children like to eat.

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