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President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary removed following remarks to abused women

Paige Patterson was removed as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. More than 1,000 Southern Baptist women signed an open letter denouncing the leader earlier this month. (Image source: Video screenshot)

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees removed Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson from his position as president of the school in Fort Worth, Texas.

Patterson was appointed as president emeritus after a marathon 13-hour executive session that started Tuesday afternoon and ran into the early morning hours Wednesday. Trustees convened to discuss a number of issues including the fate of the prominent Southern Baptist leader who came under fire for controversial remarks and advice given to women in abusive marriages.

"The board passed a motion through a majority vote to appoint Dr. Patterson as President Emeritus with compensation, effective immediately, which he accepted. In addition, the board passed a motion to affirm the trustees’ September 2017 offer for Dr. and Mrs. Patterson to live on campus as the first theologians-in-residence at the Baptist Heritage Center, scheduled to be completed in July 2018," the board said in a statement Wednesday.

What about the claims against Patterson?

More than 1,000 Southern Baptist women signed an open letter denouncing the leader earlier this month. The women called for his removal claiming the 75-year-old made an inappropriate comment regarding a teenage girl and allegedly advising women to pray and stay married to their abusive husbands.

Trustees stated that Patterson "complied with reporting laws regarding assault" and abuse and that "the Seminary stands against all forms of abuse."

Who will replace Patterson?

Trustees appointed Jeffrey Bingham, dean of Southwestern's School of Theology, as interim president of the seminary.

“I am humbled and honored to be asked to serve Southwestern Seminary in the capacity of interim president,” Bingham said in a statement after accepting the appointment. “May I please request that the Southwestern Seminary family and the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention faithfully pray for Dr. and Mrs. Patterson, Southwestern’s administration, the trustee transition committee, and me in the months ahead as we collectively work together in unity and love during this transition period. Jesus remains on His throne, and Southwestern Seminary remains faithful to its commitment to Preach the Word and Reach the World."

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