BSC ends ties with WFU, Meredith
November 16 2001 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

BSC ends ties with WFU, Meredith | Friday, Nov 16, 2001

Friday, Nov 16, 2001

BSC ends ties with WFU, Meredith

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor WINSTON-SALEM - The Baptist State Convention (BSC) all but ended its relationship with Wake Forest University (WFU) and Meredith College in an overwhelming vote at the BSC annual meeting Nov. 13. More than 90 percent of messengers voted to amend the BSC Constitution and Bylaws, changing WFU and Meredith from "affiliated" educational institutions to "historical" educational institutions.

WFU and Meredith will continue to get some scholarship funding, but the two schools lose their non-voting seats on the BSC Council on Christian Higher Education. The schools will no longer be promoted by the BSC.

Tim Moore, the chairman of the BSC Constitution and Bylaws Committee, said the move severs "the last direct link" between the schools and the BSC.

Moore reminded messengers that a similar motion at last year's meeting was amended to totally remove WFU from the BSC constitution and cut all funding, then failed to get the needed two thirds vote for passage.

"I'm not above begging you not to repeat history," he said.

Moore asked those who thought the motion went too far and those who thought it didn't go far enough to join those in the middle.

"If we don't meet in the middle, friends, this will keep hounding us for another year," he said.

Nathan Parrish, pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and twice a graduate of WFU, spoke against the motion. He said he thought the change sets a bad precedent that other schools might follow.

"I just feel like we lose a lot when these institutions that have been a part of us get away from us," he said.

Jack Homesley, pastor of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, said that people who believe the Bible must stand against homosexuality and alcohol.

Some have criticized WFU for selling alcohol on campus and allowing a same-sex union ceremony to be held in its Wait Chapel.

"We have not left Wake Forest," Homesley said. "I believe Wake Forest has left us."

Wake Forest President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. released a statement that said nothing can change WFU's history or its strong commitment to its heritage.

"We will continue to pursue our academic mission, honoring the values drawn from our religious heritage," he said. "Our commitment is evident in the building of an excellent Divinity School, the support of Baptist students through the Poteat Scholars program, and the continuation of other programs of support for Baptist students and churches."

Sarah Greer, a WFU sophomore from Whiteville, receives one of the Poteat Scholarships funded by the BSC. She said in a written statement that she understands that people have different views on some campus activities.

"As with any college, there are things that occur on campus that would not necessarily be supported by members of the Baptist State Convention, but this school strongly supports its religious community and especially the Baptists," she said.

Greer said the BSC should continue to look on WFU with pride.

"The university recognizes its heritage and whether or not the members of the BSC support this school monetarily, they should be proud of what was initially created as a Baptist school," she said. "This university has a strong focus on honor and displays the challenge of academics alongside the support and care of the individuals."

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11/16/2001 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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