THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) has announced it will seek a new speaker to replace Paige Patterson former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) at its annual conference in Dallas.
Ray Gentry SBCAL executive director announced the decision via the group's Facebook page:
"On May 15th Dr. Paige Patterson offered to be relieved of his duties as our June 10 Sunday night banquet speaker due to the harm his appearing may cause our organization" reads the statement.
"On May 23 the SBCAL leadership agreed to take him up on his gracious offer. The decision was based on the controversy surrounding recent revelations and the fact that the SWBTS Trustees relieved him of his position as President on May 22. We join the Trustees in asking for prayer for Dr. and Mrs. Patterson the seminary community and all affected by these revelations.
"We are in negotiations with Southwestern Seminary about sending us another speaker to represent the seminary on June 10."
Patterson was removed as president of Southwestern Seminary May 22 following a marathon 13-hour special called meeting of the seminary’s trustees in response to controversy surrounding Patterson since late April over statements he made years ago on domestic violence and a teenage girl's physical appearance.
He is scheduled to give the annual sermon at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention which meets June 12-13 in Dallas. Patterson also is chairman of an evangelical task force which is set to give a report at the annual meeting.