FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth is cutting all ties with its former President Paige Patterson.
Patterson was removed as president last week.READ MORE: US Launches Mass Expulsion Of Haitian Migrants Who Crossed Into Texas Illegally
But Wednesday night, the trustees said they’ve stripped his president emeritus title because new information has come to light.
It involves a complaint from a student about the way Patterson handled a claim of sexual abuse while he was president at North Carolina Seminary.
Here is the complete statement from the board:
During the May 30, 2018, Executive Committee meeting of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) Board of Trustees, new information confirmed this morning was presented regarding the handling of an allegation of sexual abuse against a student during Dr. Paige Patterson’s presidency at another institution and resulting issues connected with statements to the Board of Trustees that are inconsistent with SWBTS’s biblically informed core values.
Deeming the information demanded immediate action and could not be deferred to a regular meeting of the Board, based on the details presented, the Executive Committee unanimously resolved to terminate Dr. Paige Patterson, effective immediately, removing all the benefits, rights and privileges provided by the May 22-23 board meeting, including the title of President Emeritus, the invitation to reside at the Baptist Heritage Center as theologian-in-residence and ongoing compensation.READ MORE: Chargers Finally Get Fans At SoFi, But Many Cheer For Dallas
Under the leadership of Interim President Dr. Jeffrey Bingham, SWBTS remains committed to its calling to assist the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by biblically educating God-called men and women for ministries that fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.
Further, the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse and grieves for individuals wounded by abuse. Today, Dr. Bingham made it clear that SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse. Additionally, Dr. Bingham called for the SWBTS community to join the Body of Christ in praying for healing for all individuals affected by abuse.
Patterson is accused of commenting on a teenage girl’s body, saying female seminarians should work to look attractive and that abused women should almost always stay with their husbands.
The 75-year-old is also accused of ignoring a woman’s rape complaint when he was president at a seminary in North Carolina. According to the Washington Post, the woman said she was assaulted in 2003 and that Patterson “wanted to know every detail of the rape.” After relaying the information she says Patterson did not report the incident to the police and encouraged her not to, as well.
On May 10 Patterson issued an apology that said, in part, “I wish to apologize to every woman who has been wounded by anything I have said that was inappropriate or that lacked clarity. We live in a world of hurt and sorrow, and the last thing that I need to do is add to anyone’s heartache. Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been.”
Patterson rose to prominence in the 1970s while leading a conservative takeover of the Baptist Convention. He helped to pass resolutions banning women as pastors and taught that women should be submissive to their husbands.MORE NEWS: Power Lines Electrocute 1 Of 2 Pilots Ejected From Military Training Jet That Crashed
Dr. D. Jeffrey Bingham, Dean of the School of Theology, has been appointed as the interim president.