The following was posted on the Newsgroup -- misc.education
during the Fall of 1999.
Several years of attempts at discussion and negotiation with the
officials from Southwest Baptist University, the Missouri Baptist
Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention have, thus far,
yielded little constructive action toward actually resolving the
WOUNDED HEARTS: The SBU "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART"
Petition and the "CHANGE OF HEART" Boycott
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a
wounded spirit, who can bear. -- Proverbs 18:14
Beginning September 7, 1999, the "CHANGE OF HEART"
BOYCOTT PETITION will call for immediate action
by the Southern Baptist Convention, the Missouri
Baptist Convention, and the general public in
boycotting Southwest Baptist University (SBU) in
Bolivar, Missouri due to its deceptive, unethical,
and possibly criminal business practices.
During their May 10-11, 1999 meeting, we asked
that the SBU Board of Trustees deliberate our
concerns and determine a sound and responsible
course of action.
The SBU Board of Trustees did ... little or nothing.
As the SBU Trustees failed to handle the situation
in a prudent, responsible, and timely manner,
we suggested that Bob Agee (the Executive Director
of the Southern Baptist Convention Association of
Southern Baptists Colleges and Schools) might offer
some guidance when he visited SBU as the scheduled
speaker at the May 22, 1999 SBU graduation
Bob Agee apparently did ... nothing
During the annual June 15-16 meeting of the
Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, Georgia,
we were prepared to present information
on the Convention floor.
Procedural obstacles and concerns by Convention
officials that there was not enough time to
fully review the information before presentation
prevented us from proceeding.
In short, the Southern Baptist Convention did ...
We set a date of July 7, 1999 in order to allow
Dr. Richard Land, the President of the Ethics
and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern
Baptist Convention, to familiarize himself with
the situation and make public his assessment
of the ethical conduct of the SBU Trustees,
governance, faculty, staff, employees, and
associates and the situation at SBU.
Our full complaint has not yet been heard, but,
thus far, Dr. Land has apparently done ... nothing.
Instead, the "situation" was referred back to
the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Surely, we were told, the Missouri Baptist Convention
will deal promptly, and prudently with these matters.
We waited, as requested by the Southern Baptist
Convention and a number of SBU alumni, for the
July 12-13 meeting of the Executive Board of
the Missouri Baptist Convention, which owns and
The Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist
Convention apparently did ... nothing.
We waited all summer hoping to avoid this, but
if none of these others will act ... we will.
*By refusing to act responsibly, SBU denies her
own mission and purpose by wounding the spirits and
hearts of others -- both students and strangers.
Is the Holy Spirit -- who, in the person of His Son,
Jesus, wept for the multitudes -- not grieved for
the wounding of even the least of these?
In struggling against the call of His Spirit --
SBU defiles her own calling and
wounds her *own* spirit.
SBU has wounded -- and continues to wound --
her *own* heart.
THE "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION
This coming week, the remainder of
The "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION
will be distributed (Part 1 revised - Part 5),
and afterwards --
The "CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT.
WHAT IS THE SBU
"QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION?
For a number of years now, allegations have
swirled concerning the unethical and possibly
illegal conduct of various members of the SBU
faculty, staff and administration.
Though others have known of the truth of these
allegations for years, many individuals fear the
repercussions to themselves and their families if
they speak ... and so, they have remained silent.
In the meantime, however, until the truth is
finally and fully brought to light, innocent
individuals have suffered and continue to suffer.
This situation is profoundly unethical, and, by
its very nature, destructive to everyone involved.
For this reason, we would like to suggest an
ASK THEM...ALL OF THEM.
Ask the former and present FACULTY, STAFF,
ADMINISTRATORS, REGENTS, and TRUSTEES
of Southwest Baptist University if they
have any information which could lend light
to these conflicts.
Therefore, we have some questions...
THE "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION
The "QUESTIONS OF THE HEART" PETITION
will be distributed in intervals in five separate parts
by way of e-mail, the Internet, and by other means.
However, the entire set of 100 questions will be
accessible via a website following the Labor Day
The questions -- 100 in total -- are presented in
a simple yes or no format and will be provided
in five parts.
The Role of the Law at a Christian University
This set of questions asks if any member of the SBU
administration or staff has any specific knowledge
of the unethical or criminal conduct of Missouri
Baptist Convention or Southwest Baptist University
officials, employees or supporters.
This part has been revised and amended.
Confidentiality and Privacy Rights of the Students
This section deals with the unethical and, in
some instances, possibly illegal breech of student
confidentiality by SBU employees and associates
and the violation of student privacy rights.
[WARNING: Due to the discussions of the sexual
harassment or molestation of SBU students by SBU
administrative personnel and other students, this
section is certainly inappropriate for children
and may be disturbing to sensitive adults. ]
Though these descriptions are not graphic and
are deliberately ambiguous, discretion is
The Health and Safety of Students and Faculty
This portion questions the ethics and legality of
the health and safety measures and standards on
the SBU campus and contains extensive medical
information and research references.
The Emotional, Psychological, Academic and Spiritual
Well-Being of Students and Faculty
These questions focus on aspects of the total
welfare of the students and faculty and contain
details of a variety of harmful, unethical, possibly
illegal, incidents involving SBU personnel and
supporters which the Trustees have thus far not
addressed in a reasonable manner.
Accountability: The Administration, Faculty,
Staff, Regents, and Board of Trustees of SBU
Part 5 lists the names and positions of those
individuals and officials who are responsible for
the decisions which govern, guide, and shape the
moral, ethical, and legal standards at SBU.
CHANGING HEARTS...THE SBU BOYCOTT
The "CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT will ask:
Should Southern Baptists sanction, condone ...
and *fund* an institution of Higher Education
which, though declaring itself to uphold Christian
excellence and ethics in its recruiting literature,
persists in conducting itself in an immoral,
unethical, or potentially criminal manner?
As a private, Christian institution, Southwest
Baptist University is owned and operated by
the Missouri Baptist Convention and is closely
affiliated with and partially *funded* by the
membership and churches of the Missouri Baptist
and Southern Baptist Conventions.
The BOYCOTT PETITION will urge a generalized
boycott of all SBU products and programs, including
sports and concert events, by the general public.
Further, the "CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT PETITION
appeals for the suspension and WITHDRAWAL of all
monies and FINANCIAL SUPPORT by the Southern
Baptist Convention, its churches, and the general
public from Southwest Baptist University until
such time as these questions are answered and
reasoned and judicious action is taken to deal
with these situations.
RECONCILING THE TRUTH
Following the Labor Day weekend, a series of
several publications, websites, and other media
will begin to provide documented evidence that
supports allegations of a pattern of deceptive,
unethical or illegal mismanagement by Missouri
Baptist and SBU officials, faculty, personnel,
and supporters including:
*the depraved indifference of SBU and Missouri
Baptist officials to the health and safety of
students, faculty, and their progeny,
*document falsification and/or tampering and
*the abuse of power and political influence
and conflict of interest;
*the collaboration of SBU officials with local
businesses and city, county, and state officials
in inciting the threat and act of financial,
psychological, and physical harm or abuse of
those individuals who oppose SBU policies;
*the improper use of state and federal grant
and loan programs;
*the conspiracy to deceive and withhold relevant
information from government officials, students,
parents, and the general public pertaining to
repeated indoor, daytime fumigations of highly
toxic pesticides applied by, among others, Richard
Bakkum, an admittedly uncertified applicator;
*the possible obstruction of justice;
*the violation of students' rights and the
invasion of student privacy and confidentiality;
*the improper (and possibly criminal) conduct
of several local pastors, deacons, and church
members in SBU business affairs;
*the abuse of pastoral authority or church
leadership by the SBU administration, faculty, or
legal staff to incite and nurture pernicious ill-will
and hostility against a student (or student's family
or friends) with the purpose of attempting to discredit,
defraud, or cause retaliatory physical or psychological
harm to a student or other individual.
*the abuse of administrative authority by the
encouragement or continued tolerance of sexual
harassment, intimidation, or slander of students
by administrative staff, faculty, or other students,
especially in retaliation for reporting wrongdoing;
*the abuse of administrative authority by the
purposeful manipulation or destruction of a student's
relationships with family, friends, employers, co-
workers, or others, especially in retaliation for
*the harassment, intimidation, and denigration
of female and disabled students and individuals
with differing insights, experiences, and opinions
by the SBU personnel and supporters;
*and the possible or probable criminal violations of:
~the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA),
~the Missouri Pesticide Use Act and the Federal
~Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodentcide Act (FIFRA),
~Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act,
~the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
~the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
This conduct, both past and currently ongoing, has had
and continues to have devastating consequences in the
present lives of others -- repercussions which the SBU
governance has failed to acknowledge and to take
responsibility for by providing long-overdue apologies,
reconciliation, amelioration, recompense or amends.
REGRETTABLE LACK OF INTEGRITY
Indeed, it is regrettable that the lack of integrity
and the persistent hostility of the officials of
Southwest Baptist University and the Missouri Baptist
Convention have necessitated release of this
information to the general public.
It has been (and remains) the conviction of everyone
concerned with this petition that these matters are
best handled privately.
During the first week of September, once the
PETITION is distributed and before beginning the
actual BOYCOTT, a representative will approach the
SBU governance with a reasonable, written proposal.
If accepted, this proposal will resolve at least
one portion of the conflict. It is hoped that
the SBU governance will take this opportunity to
rectify ALL the outstanding disputes over the
upcoming Labor Day Holiday (September 4-6, 1999).
If the proposal is denied and no progress is made
toward settling these conflicts, the "CHANGE OF HEART"
BOYCOTT will commence on September 7, 1999.
We request that the SBU governance carefully
consider the consequences to the well-being
of Southwest Baptist University, its students,
faculty, and alumni if they do not act in a
decisive, just, and redemptive manner.
God help us all.
After negotiations with the SBU administration
organizers determined that the the actions requested by the
SBU Boycott and the wording of the existing Petition were
not comprehensive enough.
As was reported on the "Updates" page of this site:
Update on the SBU "CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT
Currently, we are still testing an official site for the
"CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT
of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri ,
which will be used for the official distribution of information
related to the BOYCOTT.
It has became apparent -- from a poll of our participants -- that
the "CHANGE OF HEART" BOYCOTT, as it was previously
written, DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH.
Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri is a
private, Christian institution, owned and operated by the
Missouri Baptist Convention and is closely affiliated with
and partially funded by the membership and churches of the
Missouri Baptist and Southern Baptist Conventions.
The SBU "CHANGE OF HEARTS" BOYCOTT calls for
immediate action by the Southern Baptist Convention,
the Missouri Baptist Convention, and the general public
in boycotting Southwest Baptist University (SBU)
in Bolivar, Missouri due to:
* deceptive, unethical, immoral, and possibly criminal
* the advocacy of defamation, abuse, and violence
against those who disagree with these unethical, immoral,
deceptive, and potentially criminal practices;
* and the abandonment of Christian principles,
ethical and moral business precepts, and family values.
Although the "CHANGE OF HEARTS" BOYCOTT website
was to have been opened on Thursday, September 23, 1999,
we are still in the process of investigating the procedures
involved in requesting that the Missouri Baptist Convention
and its members take MORE RESOLUTE and decisive action
against SBU and some of its officials -- during the October
25-27, 1999 Annual Meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Specifically, we are considering the incorporation
the following petitions within the Boycott:
* the DISASSOCIATION of Southwest Baptist University
from the Missouri Baptist Convention on the grounds that SBU is
NO LONGER an institution of Christian education which upholds
the Baptist tradition and Christian moral and ethical standards
* the DISMISSAL of several SBU OFFICIALS and LEGAL
STAFF due to their involvement in potential criminal conduct,
* the DEFROCKING (removal from the clergy) of
(at least) one pastor for this potential criminal conduct,
* and the DISMISSAL of the ENTIRE SBU Board of Trustees.
Further updates will be posted on the "Updates" page.
Southwest Baptist University (SBU)
SBU Switchboard Telephone: 1-(417)-326-5281
SBU Admissions 800 Number: 1-(800)-526-5859
SBU President C. Pat Taylor: 1-(417)-326-1501
Dr. Ray Leininger
SBU Trustee and member of the Executive
Committee of the Missouri Baptist Convention,
Pastor of First Baptist Church of Bolivar
Office Phone of FBC, Bolivar: 1-(417)-326-2431
Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC)
Executive President Missouri Baptist Convention,
Jim Hill (Jefferson City, MO)
MBC Question Line: 1-(800)-736-6227
Southern Baptist Convention (Nashville, Tennessee)
SBC Switchboard Telephone: 1-(615)-251-2000
SBC Sunday School Board
(primarily for ordering but can
assist with SBC contact numbers): 1-800-458-2772
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
of the Southern Baptist Convention,
Richard Land, President
901 Commerce, #550
Nashville, TN 37293-3696
The Fall of 1997: The Beginnings of the SBU Boycott
An Internet Newsgroup Post
SBU: A Sacred Trust? What Would Mickey Say, Dr. Elliff?
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