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Misleading statement and second rape case contributed to Patterson firing

by Mickey McLean
Posted 6/02/18, 09:19 am

The chairman of the board of trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary released further information Friday night as to why the board fired seminary President Paige Patterson on Wednesday. Board Chairman Kevin Ueckert confirmed in a statement that a female student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary did accuse another student of rape in 2003, when Patterson was president of the school in Wake Forest, N.C. “This information contradicts a statement previously provided by Dr. Patterson in response to a direct question by a Board member regarding the incident referenced in our May 30 statement,” Ueckert wrote.

In another rape case that took place in 2015 at Southwestern, Patterson, who by then had moved on to become president at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus, asked in an email to the chief of campus security to meet with the accuser alone so he could “break her down.” Ueckert said, “The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS.” The 2015 rape case was reported to police, while the incident in 2003 was not.

Southwestern’s board of trustees on May 23 removed Patterson as president but allowed him to remain as “president emeritus” after a Washington Post report revealed he had counseled the student at Southeastern not to report her rape to civil authorities. On Wednesday, the board stripped the 75-year-old Southern Baptist leader of his new title and his retirement benefits.

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Mickey McLean

Mickey is WORLD’s executive editor for audience engagement. He previously was the executive editor for WORLD Digital. Mickey resides in Greensboro, N.C. Follow him on Twitter @MickeyMcLean.

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  • RC
    Posted: Mon, 06/04/2018 02:04 pm

    When reading this article the punishment (a loss of retirement benefits) seems pretty severe. But then after reading about the details from the referenced articles I changed my mind.  It appears that Dr. Patterson has been guilty of outrageous pride resulting in an outrageous fall.  I am saddened by the damage this does to the church but gladdened by responsible leaders who have taken this action.