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Sunday, March 11, 2001

Marie O'Hara
Bolivar, MO 65613

Lynda Thompson
Credit and Collections
Empire District Electric Company
Joplin, MO

Dear Lynda Thompson,

I apologize for not being able to contact you late
last week as I had indicated in my March 1, 2001 letter.

I had written an extensive letter to you on Thursday
of that week (March 8), but due to a computer error
(and the aid of a "helpful" human), the letter file
was damaged and unreadable.

I was indisposed both this Friday and Saturday (March 9
and 10), and, therefore, was unable to revise and rewrite
this letter until today.

As I had promised in my March 1 letter, I did, in fact,
attempt to contact Mr. Jim Hill, the Executive Director
of the Missouri Baptist Convention
, on the Friday before
last (March 2) to make an appointment to speak with him.

I was deterred from doing so by the revelation that he
was preparing for a speaking engagement and would not
be in his office for the rest of the day.

However, the secretary informed me that Mr. Hill
would be in his office during the entirety of the
following week (March 5-9).

Boosted by this knowledge, I set about the task of
synchronizing this schedule with that of the other
participants -- only to discover that the others
were, for various reasons, unavailable during that

My own representatives were previously committed
and unavailable during the early portion of the

I, myself, was unable to reschedule previous
arrangements on both Wednesday and Thursday,
March 7 and 8.

And, sporadically throughout the week, the Southwest
Baptist University representatives were inaccessible.

We do not seem to be connecting ...

Obviously, it does not appear that we will be able
to organize an actual telephone conference among
these various participants at this time.

Though I had earnestly endeavored to avoid it, I now
have little choice but to initiate these "discussions"
via written correspondence.

With this in mind, I have arranged to distribute these
three (3) sets of signed correspondences this week:

The first set of correspondences:

To the deacons and trustees of the First Baptist Church
of Bolivar, Missouri
and Dr. Ray Leininger, the church's

Because this letter directly concerns the dealings of
Southwest Baptist University and the First Baptist
Church of Bolivar with Empire District Electric
Company, I will forward to you a copy of this
correspondence by Wednesday evening (March 14).

In this context, I have prepared two (2) letters
to the church.

The first, an open letter to the church members,
will be delivered to the pastor in time for this
Wednesday's evening service (March 14).

A second letter will be presented privately to the
deacons and trustees during their next meeting on
Sunday, March 18.

The second set of correspondences:

To the North Central Association of Colleges, the
Missouri Department of Education, the Association
of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools
, and the
Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities.

I have sought recourse from these accrediting
and affiliated agencies in coordinating my efforts
to discover a remedy for this conflict.

This impasse is not the result of any insufficiency,
fault, or failure on my part, but, rather, it is
the consequence of a protracted series of immoral,
unethical, and illegal conduct by the employees
and associates of Southwest Baptist University.

For this reason, I have requested that, if needed,
these agencies intercede in facilitating: the
amendment and/or correction of my academic
records;  the orderly transfer of my academic
records to another university, and the rectification
of my National Direct Student Loan (NDSL) status.

Although I have stipulated that these authorities
postpone their inquiries for two weeks, I have
authorized the immediate intercession of these
various governing agencies if we are unable to
accomplish an appropriate resolution by Monday,
April 2, 2001.

During this interim, I will participate in communication
toward an amicable and mutually beneficial solution
to this conflict.

I will forward a copy of the correspondence to these
agencies to you later this week.

The third correspondence:

To the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention

I have implored the Executive Board of the Missouri
Baptist Convention to intervene in monitoring and
overseeing any decision made by the Southwest Baptist
University administration or trustees regarding this matter.

Further, I have proposed that the Executive Board
require that the Southwest Baptist University trustees
and administration submit a written summary of any
mutual agreement to the MBC Executive Board by
Tuesday, April 3, 2001.

In addition, I have petitioned that -- during the Executive
Board's April 9-10, 2001 meeting -- the MBC Board vote
to approve the proposal and recommend means by which
to supervise and insure the successful implementation of
such an agreement.

I will also forward this communication to you
this week.

Each of these correspondences will be sent simultaneously
to the Trustees of Southwest Baptist University, the
Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention,
and to several other agencies and individuals.

As I have said, I am uncomfortable in this role and
would have preferred a rational, civil conversation.

Though I am discouraged that I must now adopt this
more severe tone, I feel that a more concise and
cogent mode of interaction is required to precipitate
and hasten a resolution.

Again, your perseverance and forbearance in this matter
is appreciated.

Sincerest Regards,

Marie Ann O'Hara

Faxed to: Lynda Thompson
Credit and Collections Manager,
Empire District Electric Company,
Joplin, Missouri
Fax: (417)-625-5169

cc Glen Blake,
Empire District Electric Company,
Ozark, Missouri
Fax: (417)-582-1317

cc Customer Service Representative, June
Empire District Electric Company,
Ozark, Missouri
Fax: (417)-581-7560

 ~~~~~~Marie's Letter's Letters to Empire District Electric Company~~~~~~
click here


 ~~~~~~Marie's Letters to the Southwest Baptist University Board of Trustees~~~~~~

First Letter:  A Pledge Before God
February 12, 2001

Return to Welcome Page
click here


Second Letter:   A Prayer for Peace
Tuesday, February 13, 2001


Marie's Letters to the Officials of the Missouri and Southern Baptist Conventions

Letter to Mr. Jim Hill,
Executive Director of the Missouri Baptist Convention

Thursday, February 15, 2001 about 7:30 am

An Excerpt From:
So What About the Money:
A Conversation Among Friends  

Wounded Hearts:
"Questions of the Heart"Petition Website


~*~How Can I Help?~*~
Revised on Christmas Day of 2000
Sunday, February 4, 2001