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 Zillow.com, 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:
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?
16 thoughts on “Transition with dignity…”
So evasion of property taxes? I’m sure the IRS and state of Texas would love to open an investigation.
Looking at the tax records, the taxes do not seem to be due yet.
This is same guy who wrote to SWBTS students in his (non)apology, “What matters most in all this is not the lives of a couple of old soldiers, but your bright futures for Christ.”
What matters most, indeed.
SWBTS “Trust”ees: When will you tell us the TRUTH?
I am definitely not a Patterson sympathizer. But I want to respond to the first comment about evasion of property taxes. There seem to be many things that PP needs to be held accountable for, but I don’t think property tax evasion is one of them. It appears from Zillow (tax history tab) that the $18K+ tax bill was for the entire 2018 tax year, not just the months the Pattersons occupied the property. Property taxes are paid in arrears, not advance. In Collin County, 2018 property taxes are considered paid on time if postmarked before Feb. 1, 2019. It doesn’t seem fair to accuse them of evading a tax bill when it hasn’t fallen due yet.
Here’s the way that the taxes can be avoided by the Patterson’s. The property is listed as owned by the nonprofit foundation. As a nonprofit, an application can be filed for a property tax exemption. Because the Pattersons are the primaries of the organization (and primary beneficiaries of the organizations resources), they have chosen to occupy the mansion as their primary residence while all the bills and benefits are applied to the foundation. This way, the taxes are avoided and public scrutiny of the value of the residence can be deflected from the Pattersons to the foundation. This way they get all of the benefits but none of the stigma and costs that would be associated with the extravagance.
The pattern of oblivious extravagance has been typical behavior of this couple. One needs look no further than the 15,000sf “Baptist Heritage Center” that they had built on Southerstern’s campus, of which, they set aside 3000sf for their private retirement residence. Of course, this was billed as a “modest one bedroom apartment”.
I guess they don’t need a ‘library’ to store the archives any longer.
I remember that raises were rare for staff. Every year was like a pay cut depending on inflation. The phrase that was always used to justify paying workers as little as possible was “We are going to get out rewards in heaven”.
But he’s getting rewarded now. I wonder what that means.
Please call in Joanna. I am sure she could work wonders with all that beige and brown. On second thought, let’s leave her out of it.
Why do you say “Louisiana pastor and Ken Hemphill nominator Brad Jurkovich?” Are you writing this way to somehow imply that Ken Hemphill is involved in Patterson’s wrongdoing? Just because Jurkovich nominated Ken Hemphill at the 2018 SBC does not mean that Hemphill in any way approves of what has been going on in this scandal. It was totally unnecessary for you to throw that “Ken Hemphill nominator” phrase in. It seems that, for some reason, you are trying to discredit Dr. Hemphill with these gratuitous remarks. Perhaps you are angry at him for running for president of the SBC against your favored J. D. Greear . . . maybe not. But Ken Hemphill is a great man of integrity, dignity, honesty, class, and decency. He does not deserve any more of these innuendos and certainly does not deserve these hints of guilt by association.
You misunderstand. Hemphill was wronged by SWBTS and Paige Patterson. He exited with grace, and dare we say it, dignity. Jurkovich nominated Hemphill. Period. It is a descriptor. And if you want to know what we think about that nomination, you can find it in the archives of this blog. Hemphill deserved better.
Thank you. I appreciate this response. And you are totally right . . . Dr. Hemphill WAS wronged. By the way, keep up the good work of telling the truth on these matters. What has happened to SWBTS is a terrible and inexcusable catastrophe. Please keep on “pushing” . . .
One more thing, Anonymous. Do you read this blog often? We seldom imply anything. We just state it outright.
Yes, I read this blog regularly and frequently, and I appreciate your forthrightness and candor. It’s just that I love Dr. Hemphill and respect him so much . . . I guess I was just oversensitive.
I am a huge fan of Dr Ken Hemphill. He is a great man of integrity, humility and wise scholarship. I am honored to have been a student at SWBTS while he was president. Thank you for your statement and support of him. He did a fantastic job in a difficult time at SWBTS. He was done wrong by the trustees who by all appearances pushed him out to get Patterson his dream job and a Deanship for Dr Allen.