WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–The chairman of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s board of trustees praised outgoing president Paige Patterson for his “excellent leadership” June 24 as the board prepared to name an interim.
In a seminary press release Timothy D. Lewis, chairman of Southeastern Seminary’s board of trustees, said that Patterson provided “excellent leadership” during his 11 years at the seminary and “has been used by our Lord to grow a great theological school with a passion for missions and evangelism.”
Patterson was elected president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, June 24.
“While our hearts are saddened by the prospect of losing our president, our faith is bolstered by a firm trust in the sovereign leadership and provision of the Lord,” Lewis said.
The board of trustees is scheduled to meet July 21 in a special session to choose an interim president.
Patterson led Southeastern Seminary from an enrollment of about 500 when he took over to nearly 2,500 today. The number of professors at the school has tripled, and about $18 million has been spent on capital improvements, including the Jacumin-Simpson Missions Center.
During his tenure Southeastern also began an undergraduate program, Southeastern College at Wake Forest, as well as a Ph.D. program. His wife, Dorothy Kelley Patterson, guided the creation of a master of divinity degree in women’s studies at Southeastern.
Patterson said he is fully confident that he is leaving behind “the greatest faculty ever assembled on the earth” and that Southeastern Seminary’s best days are ahead.
“Exciting days of new adventure and the greatest accomplishments lie immediately ahead for Southeastern,” he said.
Lewis said that Southeastern Seminary trustees are “firmly committed to the faculty, staff and students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
“We are resolved to see the seminary continue its direction to be a great missionary force by equipping men and women in ministry, missions and evangelism,” he said. “We are certain that God is preparing the right person to lead an outstanding faculty and student body at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.”