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Southwestern board releases extended response following May 30 meeting

Baptist Press file photo

FORT WORTH (BP) – In a statement released today, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees addressed four specific matters discussed at a May 30 special called meeting.

The meeting followed a May 20 email, signed by board member Andrew Bunnell, that revolved around a report delivered by fellow board member Aaron Sligar to trustees and the executive committee in April. According to the board’s statement today, that email “question[ed] the conduct of the officers and Executive Committee concerning the work of the task force that investigated financial practices of the former president.”

The board’s responses to allegations in the report include:

  • “Funds establishing the endowment for what is now called Revive the Nation have been used for this purpose and other instruction consistent with the donor’s intent.” The statement further charged that disclosing the donor’s name was “a violation of the donor’s intent to remain anonymous.”
  • Future Fort Worth is “a private nonprofit organization [and] has not engaged in any business activity, including any business with Southwestern Seminary. [SWBTS Special Assistant to the President Colby] Adams’ involvement in Future Fort Worth is personal in nature and has been fully disclosed to Board and administrative leadership.”

According to the Texas Secretary of State’s website, Future Fort Worth was formed in March with Adams listed as one of three directors, alongside David Motheral Jr. and John Freese. Motheral is CEO of Motheral Development, according to his LinkedIn profile, and Freese is owner of J Commercial RE Inc.

  • Rumors involving “certain seminary staff members” or “other personal moral misconduct against seminary staff are baseless, egregious, and harmful to the individuals.”

The task force in question came about after the Fall 2022 board meeting when John Rayburn, chair of the Business Administration Committee, “outlined concerning patterns of stewardship under the previous administration.” Those patterns included spending on former president Adam Greenway’s home and office, as well as “personal expenditures … that were perceived to be inappropriate, such as first-class airfare for Dr. Greenway and his family and other spending on personal items for the former president.”

After that meeting Rayburn asked BAC members George West, Mike Bussey and Josh Grega to join the task force. Sligar was added in March “to evaluate the relevant financial records because of his belief that a forensic audit may be required,” according to the statement.

The statement concluded that findings coming from a response to a motion adopted May 30 for audited financials from 2003-2022 “and examples of presidential expenses as generated by the Task Force review” would become available “in a few days.” A report by Board officers on “possible misconduct” by Sligar and Bunnell will become available within 60 days.