FORT WORTH, Texas — In a meeting characterized by unity despite differences of opinion, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustees voted to uphold the trustee executive committee’s decision in May to terminate former president Paige Patterson.
The board also heard a report from its presidential search committee and affirmed an administration decision to discipline a faculty member — though the faculty member was not named during the board’s public session.
“I was deeply worried about this meeting,” said trustee Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, adding he “forbade” his wife and children from attending. “I should have brought them not only because it wasn’t bad, but because it was good.”
Trustees convened for committee meetings and informal “working sessions” Oct. 16-17 that were closed to the public before holding one public “general session” Oct. 17, in which they voted without discussion on the matters considered in private sessions.
New Mexico trustee Jonathan Richard moved that the full board ratify “the executive committee actions since the last full board meeting.” The executive committee’s actions included terminating Patterson May 30 after the full board had moved him to president emeritus status a week earlier.
The 34 trustees present at the Oct. 17 general session adopted Richard’s motion on a voice vote with what Baptist Press estimated as no more than four negative votes.