Transition with dignity…

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In 1755, not long after he became a Baptist minister under the preaching of George Whitfield, Shubal Stearns joined his brother-in-law and sixteen family members to pastor the Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Randolph County, North Carolina. An adherent of the New Light movement, Stearns was vehemently opposed to the Calvinism of the predominate Regular Baptists. His strong evangelistic, emotionally riveting sermons became reported far and wide, and within a few years the small church had grown to more than 500 members. Rigidly moralistic, the Sandy Creek Baptists were surprisingly charismatic in their worship and egalitarian in their polity. Women were given leadership roles; some even served as deacons and elders.

Within three years Stearns had formed the Sandy Creek Association, a loose network of separatist churches that stretched from the North Carolina Piedmont area to the coast, and eventually including churches in South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. Despite his popularity, Stearns was famously temperamental, notoriously fickle, and devoid of any administrative skill. Nonetheless, he was an influential leader in North Carolina that caused headaches for the ruling elites, whom he opposed for their use of public funds to build elaborate homes for themselves, among other grievances.

Flash forward to May 24, 2007.  On that date, the three-member board of directors of the Paige Patterson Evangelistic Association voted to change the non-profit organization’s name to the Patmos Evangelistic Association. Five years later, the newly-named Patmos Evangelistic Association changed its registered address from 1901 Boyce Avenue in Fort Worth, TX (location of Southwestern Seminary’s presidential home) to 1912 West Spurgeon Street, Fort Worth, TX.

Basically, Patmos went from a front door ministry to a back door corporation operating rent-free on seminary property and ostensibly staffed by seminary personnel and subsidized by Cooperative Program funds. The organization has consistently listed the seminary’s phone number as its contact information on federal disclosure forms.

Along the way, Patmos brought in tens of thousands of dollars every year (the most recent disclosures reveal $65K of revenue in 2015, $73K in 2016, and $62K in 2017.) According to the last five reporting years, Patmos has hauled in nearly $322,000. In the last three reporting years, Patmos has disclosed $104k in travel expenses and $3K in office expenses.

Then on June 25, 2018, a Fort Worth attorney named Shelby Sharpe filed a certificate of amendment with the Texas Secretary of State on behalf of the Patmos Evangelistic Association. That filing listed the new address for Patmos as 6100 Western Place, Suite 1000, Ft. Worth, TX, which is the business address of Sharpe’s law firm. The filing also changed the name of the Patmos Evangelistic Association (née Paige Patterson Evangelistic Association) to the Sandy Creek Foundation.

Another filing was recorded on Dec. 21, 2018, changing the registered agent of the Sandy Creek Foundation from Paige Patterson to the CT Corporation, though leaving the registered address at Sharpe’s law firm. The filing was signed by Fort Worth attorney Reid Rector, who is also associated with the Sharpe firm.

The mailing address listed for Sandy Creek Foundation is PO Box 703726, Dallas, TX, 75370, which appears to be a post office located on Trinity Mills Road across the street from a place called “Malarkey’s Tavern.”

Now comes the fun part.

The physical location of the Sandy Creek Foundation is in nearby Parker, TX, at the same Collin County location where Paige and Dorothy Patterson registered to vote in late 2018, according to publicly available state voting records.

Property tax records from the Collin County Tax Assessor Collector’s office reveal that the Sandy Creek Foundation owns a single family home in the Dublin Road Estates Phase IV with land value of $188,100 and improvements totaling $711,233. Current taxes owed are $18,140.78. According to, the property was purchased on Aug. 13, 2018 for $899,333. County records indicate the deed was transferred on Aug. 20, 2018. The seller’s agent was The Shuey Group with luxury brokerage Ebby Halliday. The buyer appears to have been represented by an agent with The League Real Estate firm in Fort Worth.

The 5,448 sqft home includes: five bedrooms; six bathrooms; a quiet study, a craft room, a bonus media room, a kitchen with a Dacor 8 burner gas range, 2 ovens and a warming drawer; Knotty Alder custom cabinets; granite counters; a saltwater diving pool and spa; a wood fireplace; an outdoor kitchen; and a 10 x 20 covered dog run.

Here are the photos from the original listing:


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This past summer, Louisiana pastor and Ken Hemphill nominator Brad Jurkovich wrote the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He asserted that many Southern Baptist pastors “from around [the] Convention” wanted to know that the Pattersons were “treated with a certain amount of dignity.” He implored them to “revisit the original proposal to the Patterson family and find some ways to help them transition with dignity.”

We are pleased to report to Pastor Jurkovich that it seems the Pattersons have found dignified unemployment in a modest North Texas home valued at nearly $1 million.

Southwestern Seminary, however, is living paycheck to paycheck and facing another round of layoffs. We hope the faculty and staff who don’t make the cut are allowed to “transition with dignity” as well, and look forward to his letter asking for the same.

Meanwhile, Southwestern trustees have assured Southern Baptists that they cut a check to the Pattersons for an undisclosed amount, despite Paige Patterson’s refusal to sign a severance agreement. What is not known is the amount of the severance package or the duration of benefits.

Why won’t the trustees tell Southern Baptists what they’ve done? It seems the Pattersons have landed pretty well, yet the seminary continues to struggle. When will a full disclosure be made about the school’s financial troubles, their causes, and the plan to get the school back on track?

One more thing:

It looks like Paige and Dorothy have plenty of room to install their stained glass windows now. Can we go ahead and ship them to Parker, TX?