Southern Baptist Convention | KERA News

Southern Baptist Convention

This Dec. 12, 2013, photo shows a composite of three different windows designed for the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary MacGorman Chapel in Fort Worth. Former Texas judge Paul Pressler is second from right.
Paul Moseley / Courtesy Fort Worth Star-Telegram via AP

Stained-glass windows honoring some religious leaders who helped shift the Southern Baptist Convention to a more conservative stance have been removed from the MacGorman Chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

The Southern Baptist Convention of Texas on Monday expressed sorrow over newspaper reports that more than 700 Southern Baptists have been sexually abused by church leaders or volunteers over the past 20 years.

Convention Communications Director Gary Ledbetter said it's horrible what happened in reference to the abuse reported by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

From Texas Standard:

The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News uncovered hundreds of Southern Baptist Convention, or SBC, church leaders and volunteers who faced sexual misconduct allegations in a recent investigation, “Abuse of Faith.” Reporters found that church leaders often knew about the abuse and did little, if anything, to stop it.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country, wrapped up its annual meeting Wednesday on a partisan tone. The featured speaker was Vice President Pence, who spoke of the day he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and of the importance of prayer, but mostly delivered a speech fit for a campaign rally.

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Vice President Mike Pence gave an often boastful campaign-style speech Wednesday to the closing session of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, winning several standing ovations even as some evangelicals criticized his appearance.

Joyce Marshall / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

America’s more than 46,000 Southern Baptist churches are grappling with their own #MeToo moment after a leader from Fort Worth fell from prominence after weeks of scandal around past statements he’d made about women. It follows after other recent scandals in which Southern Baptist leaders have been accused of or admitted to inappropriate behavior toward women.

The board of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has voted to fire its longtime president, Paige Patterson, who was ousted from the top post last week amid controversy over past counsel he had given women concerning marital abuse and rape.

The Fort Worth-based seminary's board voted a week ago to replace Patterson as president, appointing him instead "president emeritus with compensation."

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Paige Patterson, who has been under fire for weeks over his past advice to women concerning marital abuse and rape, has been quietly replaced as president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Patterson has been on the defensive since allegations surfaced that he once counseled women who suffered marital abuse to pray for their husbands. The Washington Post on Tuesday also reported an incident in which Patterson allegedly told a woman who said she had been raped to forgive her assailant rather than report the crime to the police.