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SBC DIGEST: Alvin Reid resigns at Southeastern; Connect316 leader resigns over ‘reprehensible’ Facebook post; Karen Prior hit by bus in Nashville

Evangelism prof Alvin Reid resigns at Southeastern

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) — Alvin Reid has resigned from the faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, citing “personal and spiritual issues.”

Reid, 59, SEBTS senior professor of evangelism and student ministry, stated on his website Monday, May 21, “I have resigned from teaching and public ministry to address personal and spiritual issues in my life. Please pray for me and my family. For now and the foreseeable future, to respect my family, I do not intend to say anything else publicly about this.”

Reid, who joined Southeastern’s faculty in 1995, resigned on May 18, according to a seminary spokesperson, who told Baptist Press, “Beyond that, our institutional policy dictates that all personnel matters are confidential.”

Reid held the Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism at the seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., in the Raleigh-Durham area. He also has resigned as pastor of the young professionals ministry at Richland Creek Community Church in Wake Forest.

Reid’s website previously had stated he had spoken at more than 2,000 churches, colleges, conferences and events.

His involvement with The Gospel Coalition and the youth program Student Leadership University has been deleted from their websites. Reid’s involvement with the Desiring God ministry led by John Piper and Ligonier Ministries is still listed on those websites.

Before teaching at Southeastern, Reid taught at Houston Baptist University from 1992-1995 and had served as director of evangelism and stewardship for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.

He is the author of more than 20 books, including “Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out” and “As You Go: Creating a Missional Culture of Gospel-Centered Students.”

Reid holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and an undergraduate degree from Samford University in Alabama.

Reid and his wife Michelle have two married children and one grandchild, according to a Google search.


Connect316 leader resigns over ‘reprehensible’ Facebook post

SYLACAUGA, Ala. (BP) — Alabama pastor Rick Patrick has resigned as the leader of Connect316, an organization advocating a “traditionalist” view of salvation, due to a Facebook post he subsequently acknowledged as “reprehensible and completely unworthy of Christ.”

Patrick, in a public statement at Connect 316’s SBC Today website on May 23 titled “My Heartfelt Apology and Resignation,” said he wrote the Facebook post May 22 “when I was extremely upset” over trustee deliberations regarding Paige Patterson as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Patterson was removed as president after a 13-hour trustee meeting.

Patrick had written of “a donkey being gang raped” in “lashing out with sarcasm” May 22 over the timing of an alleged unreported student rape when Patterson was president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary — published by The Washington Post on the day the trustees began their meeting.

Patrick named five individuals in his Facebook post: Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Ed Stetzer, executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center; Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson; writer Jonathan Merritt; and blogger Ben Cole.

Patrick, pastor of First Baptist Church in Sylacauga, Ala., said he removed the post from a private Facebook group “after about 90 seconds” but a screen shot had already been publicly posted. “My sin was thus exposed on social media,” he wrote.

The Connect316 board of directors, with whom Patrick has served as executive director for five years, issued a statement May 23 stating that “Connect 316 does not condone, endorse, or approve of Rick Patrick’s remarks. We find them reprehensible and unbecoming of Christian comportment.

“We have accepted the resignation of Rick Patrick from Connect 316 and have called upon him to apologize to each individual he insulted and ask for their forgiveness.

“Although Rick Patrick was not speaking on behalf of Connect 316 when he made those deplorable remarks, we understand how terribly hurtful they were and would like to extend our apologies to each individual who was maligned.

“Dr. Patrick’s comments do not reflect the character, heart, and purposes of C316.”

Patrick, in his statement at SBC Today, said, “I have reached out by telephone to two of the people and by email to the other three while I attempt to reach them by phone as well. The two I have spoken with have both been gracious.”

Moore, soon after Patrick’s post went public May 22, called it “unconscionable.” Stetzer told BP. he had received a call from Patrick “and I accepted his apology.”

In light of the #MeToo movement, Patrick wrote in his May 23 statement, “some people felt I might be minimizing the pain of those who had gone through real hardship, abuse, and suffering. I would never do such a thing. I have a heart of compassion for all people who have endured any type of abuse.

“Even preachers make mistakes, and Tuesday I made a big one. I am truly, truly sorry. I am grieved beyond words. I will learn from this. And it will never happen again. If you can find it in your heart to do so, please forgive me.”


Karen Swallow Prior hit by bus while walking in Nashville

NASHVILLE (BP) — Noted author and speaker Karen Swallow Prior was hospitalized in surgery this morning (May 24) after being hit by a bus while walking in downtown Nashville yesterday.

“I’ve been in a serious accident in Nashville. Being admitted to the hospital,” she tweeted at 9:45 a.m. May 23. “I will be OK but am unable to respond to messages. Prayers appreciated.”

The Liberty University English professor is a research fellow for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, but was in Nashville for work unrelated to the commission. Many details of the accident were not available, but according to tweets by friends and family, she suffered multiple fractures and a collapsed lung.

Trillia Newbell, ERLC director of community outreach, told BP that Prior was in good spirits during a hospital visit on the day of the accident.

“She’s in good spirits and the Lord is caring for her,” Newbell said. “She was able to talk and she was totally conscious. We are all praying for her, praying for a quick recovery. It has been encouraging to see the outpouring of love and support for a dear sister, whom we hope recovers quickly.”

Prior’s husband tweeted of her surgery this morning.

“She is marginally better this (a.m.) and headed to surgery,” he wrote. “Thanks to all for prayers and support. Karen has asked me to respond to many of you with her thanks.”

ERLC President Russell Moore also requested prayers for Prior.

“Maria just got home from all day at the hospital with @KSPrior,” Moore wrote of his wife Maria last night. “We are grateful to God that Karen was not killed. Please keep praying for her!”

Noted Bible teacher Beth Moore tweeted hours after the accident: “We could have lost one of our fiercest, most loving, most articulate warriors today. Thank God for protecting @KSPrior.”

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