Monday, April 9, 2001 about 5:00 pm
Mr. Jim Hill,
the Executive Director
of the Missouri Baptist Convention
Dr. Ray Leininger,
SBU Trustee and pastor
of the First Baptist Church
of Bolivar, Missouri
The Southwest Baptist University
Board of Trustees and Regents
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
I last addressed you in two letters which I had faxed
to you on Monday, February 12, 2001 and Tuesday,
February 13, 2001 during the Winter Meeting of the
Southwest Baptist University Board of Trustees.
At that time, I asked you for a response to the question:
Will you compensate me for the years of financial,
physical, academic, professional, social, emotional,
psychological, mental, and spiritual injury and
harm which you and your associates have inflicted
upon me, my family, and friends by the use of
unethical, immoral, abusive, and illegal means?
I asked that you "commission" your corporate attorney,
Gary Lynch, to review the material that he had at
his disposal and provide a report to the SBU Board
of Trustees within ten (10) days.
Through a series of missteps, miscommunications,
convolutions, and contortions, we are now some forty-
five (45) days beyond that point in time.
I must now respectfully request a definitive answer
from you: Will you agree to resolve this situation
by compensating me for these losses?
I am told that you are not necessarily eager to
engage in lengthy dialog or discussions.
Given the extreme and precarious circumstances,
I would have to agree.
In order to minimize friction, it may be best that
we refrain from needless, rancorous discourse.
However, if we are to work toward a peaceably
and amicably negotiated agreement, we will need
to communicate in some fashion.
Therefore, if you are, in fact, willing to begin
negotiations toward settling this dispute, I ask
that you indicate your desire to seek an agreement
by sending to my home a small gift: a little, indoor
fig plant (such as those sold at The Flower Patch
Florist or A Cottage Garden Florist in Bolivar).
I will interpret this as a sign that in spite of
the years of fruitless frustration between us,
you believe, as do I, that with God, it is still
possible to "plunk figs" from a "thorn tree."
This little fig plant will be a witness between us:
it's name is "Shalom" -- the Hebrew word for
Once I have received this sign from you, I would like
to send a gift to you in order to acknowledge your
willingness to find a graceful resolution to this
It is my hope that during this Easter Holy Week,
we can quickly come to a peaceful and satisfactory
I ask, however, that every effort be made to resolve
our differences before the Spring meeting of the SBU
Trustees on May 7-8, 2001, so that the SBU Trustees
may approve our arrangements.
If I do not hear from you before tomorrow (Tuesday,
April 10, 2001) at 10:00 am in the morning, I will
assume that the answer to my inquiry is negative --
that you do not intend to compensate me for these
If that is the case, I must take other appropriate
and immediate action.
In the Hope and Healing Peace of Christ,
Marie Ann O'Hara