By Jeff Robinson
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In their annual fall meeting, trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously voted not to remove the names of the school’s founders from several campus buildings, but embraced steps to lament the institution’s racial history and provide up to $5 million in scholarships for African American students over the next few years.
Meeting today, Seminary trustees responded to a call from several individuals within the Southern Baptist Convention to remove the names of founding president James P. Boyce and founding faculty members John Broadus, Basil Manly Jr., and William Williams, all of whom held slaves prior to emancipation. The four founded the seminary in 1859 in Greenville, S.C. Several buildings on Southern’s campus bear their names, including Boyce College, the James P. Boyce Library and Broadus Chapel.
Dealing with such a challenge means recognizing both “the burden of history and the blessing of heritage,” SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said.
“We’re not going to erase our history in any respect or leave our history unaddressed,” he said. “We’re trying to do what is right for a Christian institution. I’m incredibly thankful to this board of trustees for its careful deliberation of these issues and its unanimity in supporting Southern Seminary in dealing honestly with the burden of history and dealing respectfully with the blessing of a heritage. [Read more…]