"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Dr. Patterson, Flowers No Substitute for Answers

Friday we were visiting Rachelle's ailing father in Frisco, Texas when my secretary sent me a text photo of a bouquet sent me from Dr. and Mrs. Patterson, President and First Lady of Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

I'm always appreciative of flowers, and this is the second time I've received such a gift from the Pattersons. The previous floral arrangement came after I began asking questions about the secret decision of Dr. Patterson to admit a professing Muslim into Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in opposition to the school's charter and without approval from the school's trustees.

Those questions eventually led to some uncomfortable answers and an apology issued by Dr. Patterson to the entire Southern Baptist Convention.

The Patterson Retirement Home
I believe the current crop of daisies and mums sent to me by the Pattersons are a result of similar questions being asked about a decision to build a retirement home for the Pattersons on SWBTS school property. I am now asking if the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees voted to approve this retirement home during an open business session - consistent with charter mandated ethical business practice for all SBC agencies - or if that decision was made in secret.

My calls to Southwestern Baptist Theological Trustee Chairman Kevin Ueckert are not being returned. I learned a long time ago that if answers to good questions are not forthcoming when requested in private, then the proper recourse is to ask those questions publicly. (Edit: Technically, I left one electronic message February 6, 2018 and made one additional phone call Friday morning, February 23, 2018 to Chairman Ueckert. That phone call (“not calls”) was returned by Chairman Kevin Ueckert on Monday, February 26, 2018, with a follow-up phone call on Thursday, March 1, 2018. I promised Chairman Ueckert that I would not publish any of our conversations over the phone to allow SWBTS to release an official statement that would answer the questions I’ve posted. The clarity and transparency of Chairman Ueckert were both surprising and refreshing. Agreement on the decisions of SWBTS leadership over the past year may be hard to come by, but praise for the manner in which the questions posed were thoroughly answered is due. Thank you Chairman Ueckert and the SWBTS Executive Committee for the conversation by phone today - the date of the edit -  March 1, 2018).

Though I am appreciative of the flowers sent my way, I would prefer daisies of declaration and disclosure, carnations of call-backs and clarity, and tulips of truth and transparency. Flower arrangements are no substitute for frank authenticity. The former smells good for a few days while the latter issues a fragrance that Southern Baptists will appreciate for generations to come.

Questions that Need To Be Answered

Record Details for Construction

1. On what date did Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees vote to approve building a retirement home for the Pattersons on school property, and where is the public record of this action, including the vote?

2. When filing for code permits for construction of this home, why does the application state "residential" and "single family residence," when the SWBTS public relations department says it is a Baptist Heritage Center and not a residence?

Residential New Building Permit - Page One
3. In making room for the new retirement home for the Pattersons, how many student residential housing units were demolished?

4. Was anyone informed of needs of the young lady with cancer - the wife of an SWBTS student - who was living in student housing while taking her cancer treatments, but was forced to relocate to make room for the construction of the Patterson retirement home on school property?

5. Was there a competitive bidding process on the construction of the new residence built on school property or was the contract awarded to Bailey Draper Custom Homes, son of Dr. Jimmy Draper, without competitive bidding? And, if a competitive bidding process did take place, when were the bids opened, and who determined the winning bid?

6. Did anyone on the trustee board of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary request permission from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention before seeking to raise capital funds for the Patterson retirement home being built on school property, per the constitutional requirement of the Southern Baptist Convention for convention entities?

7. Finally, would the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary allow private capital funds to be raised for any current or future president, administrator, or professor of SWBTS to have their respective retirement homes built on school property, and if not, what is the rationale or principle being followed for secretly allowing the Patterson's home to be built on school property?

More to come.

29 comments:

RB Kuter said...

As my Australian friend would say, "Good on ya', Wade!"

I am so glad that you continue to pursue this and expose Paige and what appears to be his extremely arrogant behavior. Given the context of both flower gifts and the timing of their being sent, it seems like he is almost snubbing his nose at you and saying in a paternalistic manner, "That's a good boy, Mr. Burleson. Try as you may, you cannot hurt me. I have too much celebrity and power in the SBC." Which does seem to be the case.

That's the most destructive aspect of his behavior with the Muslim and with this absurd venture to build his immense castle upon SBC property as well as other escapades, most notably, the stained glass portrait of he and his wife in worship place. The impact such shenanigans have upon the image and integrity of the Southern Baptist Convention AND its TRUSTEES and its entire system is incalculable. Seems he is totally unaccountable to anyone.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

Your comment reminded me of the story, “The Man that would be King” by Rudyard Kipling (1888).

Wade,

Many years ago in Japan, ‘Baptist Authorities’ would not buy a lot to build a house because the land was too expensive. The house was to be used by a Baptist woman missionary to spread the Gospel. Women of a local church took the action of Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho. Every day for a period of time, they walked around the lot singing praises to God until the ‘Authorities’ from embarrassment bought the lot. I heard this story while I was ‘finishing’ the sheetrock on the house.

With that said, I believe if a group of us carrying signs did the same at SWBTS the ‘Man that would be King’ would get his ‘reward’. I know there would be people like you with too many responsibilities to take part, but I know many people that would.

BTW, Patterson’s apology to the SBC was more or less saying he was sorry that some had hurt feelings. His apology ended with self praise: "When I stand before God, it cannot be said that I turned any away from the Kingdom of God." He had people feeling sorry for him.

Baptist Blogger said...

Meanwhile, a $5k chair is needed for Housing First Lady's butt.

https://baptistblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/5k-chair-needed-to-accommodate-housing-first-ladys-butt/

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade, you should see the latest chapel 2/27/18. At about 54:45, Dr. Patterson starts talking about gossip and how destructive it can be to a person and that person's family. He used the example of someone selling their house and people saying that there was bad business dealings. Would you consider what you are doing here in this article to be gossip or calling to account or what?

The chapel can be found here (until they move it to the archives): https://swbts.edu/campus-life/chapel/chapel-live/

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I listened to the chapel message.

I don’t think what I’ve written qualifies as gossip.

It’s public. I’ve called the people involved. I’m asking questions.

When they give me the answers, I’ll be happy to publish them. I had a promise last night that answers would be forthcoming very soon.

Rex Ray said...

OFF TOPIC

My niece in Washington called today. Her husband is the pastor of their church. She was close to tears.

An 18 year old girl in their church had communicated online with a man that asked her to marry him. She flew to Korea and no contact has been made for a month.

My niece is afraid she’s been kidnapped by a ‘sex ring’.

My cousin (deceased) was a missionary to Korea for 39 years. Their daughter was contacted by my niece hoping she would know someone that might help.

This afternoon my niece sent a text: “RESCUE is in progress. It’s a flat out miracle. So so so grateful.”

Wade Burleson said...

Wow - what a story, Rex.

Prayers for the safe return of the young lady.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

It was a lie that Patterson shouted to the crowd; “We got them all” because he whispered in my ear, “We got all we could”.

Patterson’s office is decorated with trophies of every kind–giraffe, lion, leopard, buffalo and even an alligator.

The taxidermy was paid by SWBTS. They also paid for his ‘mission trips’ where the animals were shot.

It’s been proven that people who lie, will steal,(what he's doing at SWBTS) and under certain circumstances they will kill. Remember King David.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I'd be shocked if the taxidermy were paid by SWBTS. I've seen the giraffe - with my son Logan (who was quite young at the time). I'll never forget my son wide-eyed at the giraffe head mounted, and stretching from the floor to the ceiling in the President's outer office, and my junior high school son looking up at me and asking a question that I never dreamed I'd be called upon to answer at a theological seminary: "Dad, is hunting giraffe considered a sport? How hard can it be find and shoot an 18-foot tall giraffe?"

Baptist Blogger said...

Paige and Rex:

You are partially correct, and partially incorrect.

Some of the taxidermy was paid for by Southeastern Seminary. In 2007, I posted copies of ledgers from Southeastern's business office that showed some of his outlandish spending on dead animals with CP dollars.

https://baptistblog.wordpress.com/2007/03/12/summary

Baptist Blogger

Baptist Blogger said...

Paige, Rex, and Wade, that is . . .

Rex Ray said...

Baptist Blogger,

I believe you’ve got the ‘goods’ on Patterson, or should I say the ‘no goods’. :)

I think he’s been to 125 countries. In 2004, he influenced the SBC to withdraw fellowship from the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) because they accepted the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He made a false claim they were “gay friendly”.

Afterwards he tried to start a new BWA and went to many countries trying to get them to join with them agreeing with the 2000 BFM. He failed to get one country.

Baptist Blogger, your records in 2002-2003 shows Paige Patterson’s expenses (excluding his wife’s) for travel was $98,000.

Speaking to a gun club, he said, “The greatest need in America was for every boy to have a dad, a dog, and a gun.”

Wade,

The ‘fly to Korea girl’ was not near the drama as first thought if you believe ‘Face book’. It said she went to a hotel but no one met her. In a few days she ran out of money, got hungry and wanted to come home. She called her aunt that sent money to fly back.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

At least it's a happy ending in Korea.

Yet to know about the ending in Fort Worth! :)

Baptist Blogger, by the way, carries a pen like a weapon - he only pulls it when needed, but woe to the evil-doer that causes his ink to spill. :)

RB Kuter said...

Wade, you should have told son, Logan, that Paige probably killed the giraffe "just for the meat."

Rex, so glad to hear the outcome of your niece.

We heard from friends in Thailand last week of a new bar girl approached by our ministry friends who offered her an escape from her circumstances. She is being held captive locked upstairs above the bar when not working in the bar and brothel at night. Our friends made arrangements to meet secretly to assist in her escape but she did not show at the pre-arranged time and place. They fear her plans were discovered. I think it's okay for me to give this much information so as to remind us all to pray for the millions being forced into this existence. This is the world.

RB Kuter said...

Wonder if there are income tax violations involved in Paige's receiving all of these perks? Nah, on second thought, I'm sure he claims them all and accounts for it, being the "stellar" fellow he is, and all. Don't mean to "gossip".

Christiane said...

it is sad that Paige Patterson 'needs' a stained glass window to his own honor and so many 'perks' to feel that he has been appreciated . . . .

that neediness is a kind of poverty for which all the perks in this world would not be 'enough' to satisfy

Paige Patterson needs Our Lord only. Maybe one day he will come to realize this.

The last shall be first . . . better Paige and Dorothy had tried to help the young struggling students and their wives, better Paige had not been so blind as to cause such suffering to Dr. Kluda and her family, better that all the 'perks' and 'monies' gifted to Paige might have found a place in the missions to fund those who are 'called to be sent'

We are all fragile and wounded. Paige Patterson is no exception. The Lord Christ Who loves him may open his eyes yet. This world has nothing in it compared to what Our Lord holds in store for those who love Him. Let Paige find a real humility before the Lord . . . then his perspective will come right for the remainder of his days on this Earth, yes.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I understand that SWBTS's funding for operations comes from the Cooperative Program, Tuition, Fees, direct gifts, etc. but is there also a general endowment fund from which income is available for operational expenses? If so, is it known how that fund has been enriched during Patterson's tenure compared with the capital projects that have been funded? When I read the Nov. article on cuts at the seminary, I do not see any mention of any such fund and how it has been impacted by recent earnings, losses, or contributions.

Anonymous said...

Dad, is hunting giraffe considered a sport? How hard can it be find and shoot an 18-foot tall giraffe?"

Question of a smart son. :)

Anonymous said...

IMO, Patterson’s advice in this article is problematic, and is certain to lead to more abuse cover-ups.
https://baptistnews.com/article/witness-larry-nassar-case-calls-evangelicals-double-standard-sexual-abuse/#.Wp4JVspMGhC

Anonymous said...

I posted the wrong link regarding Patterson - https://baptistnews.com/article/advocate-says-sbc-leader-gives-bad-advice/.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

With your permission I’d like to print your seven questions in the “Fannin County Leader” newspaper. It’s printed once a week, and has a circulation of 15,428 in 15 local towns.

I’d reference: http://www.wadeburleson.org/ February 28, 2016.

1. On what date did Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) trustees vote to approve building a retirement home for the present President of SWBTS, Paige Patterson and his wife, on school property, and where is the public record of this action, including the vote?

2. When filing for code permits for construction of this home, why does the application state "residential" and "single family residence," when the SWBTS public relations department says it is a Baptist Heritage Center and not a residence?

3. In making room for the new retirement home for the Pattersons, how many student residential housing units were demolished?

4. Was anyone informed of needs of the young lady with cancer - the wife of an SWBTS student - who was living in student housing while taking her cancer treatments, but was forced to relocate to make room for the construction of the Patterson retirement home on school property?

5. Was there a competitive bidding process on the construction of the new residence built on school property or was the contract awarded to Bailey Draper Custom Homes, son of Dr. Jimmy Draper, without competitive bidding? And, if a competitive bidding process did take place, when were the bids opened, and who determined the winning bid?

6. Did anyone on the trustee board of SWBTS request permission from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention before seeking to raise capital funds for the Patterson retirement home being built on school property, per the constitutional requirement of the Southern Baptist Convention for convention entities?

7. Would the trustees of SWBTS allow private capital funds to be raised for any current or future president, administrator, or professor of SWBTS to have their respective retirement homes built on school property, and if not, what is the rationale or principle being followed for secretly allowing the Patterson's home to be built on school property?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I think I should add to question one: in a building that cost $2,500,000.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

According to the chairman of the trustees, SWBTS is working on an official response to my questions. Whether you send the questions to your local newspaper is your decision alone - I've done my part, and it's up to others to seek answers in the way they deem best.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I like your reply.

John Roland said...

Bless you Wade Burleson for bringing to light such arrogance and blind hubris.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Wade Burleson for having the courage to stand up to Paige Patterson. He has been such a self-serving, arrogant and warring bully of SBC life for so long, it is amazing you are brave enough to stand up to him. No one else seems to be doing so. Your stand with Dr Klouda was heroic. As a SWBTS grad, I have been ashamed of how Patterson lied and abused Dr Klouda and then the board looked the other way. Then the war with the Tarrant Co Association over their land, then the closing of the Counseling Center, closing of the Day Care Center, his shameful "advice" on domestic violence, Muslim student, staff layoffs, cutting back on the benefits of retirees, and it never ends. Impotent SBC leaders do nothing EXCEPT for Wade Burleson. Thank you from a SWBTS Mdiv 2001 grad.

Anonymous said...

After he gave his sermon on tithing a couple of years ago in chapel and horribly distorting the Malachi 3 passage, really don't trust Patterson with handling Scripture or with money. In doing an indepth study on tithing, tithing can't be taught correctly unless a congregation is going to follow the Jewish calendar and THEN instruct congregational members that are debt holders to cancel debt every seventh years BUT YOU NEVER HEAR THAT IN A SERMON DO YA! A healthy practical fundamentalist, Patterson is not.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You said, “According to the chairman of the trustees, SWBTS is working on an official response to my questions.”

Since Patterson picked his friends to write the 2000 BFM, I’m sure nothing was written without his approval.

Likewise, I believe the answers you get from his trustees will have the same results.

Anonymous said...

Drove by the campus today out of curiosity. Not sure why a one bedroom apartment needs a two car garage. Also a little curious as to the cost of the Spanish clay tiles they are using for roofing...