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Yarnell decides not to take Louisiana College presidency

PINEVILLE, La. (BP)–Malcolm Yarnell announced Nov. 23 that he will not become president of Louisiana College but instead will return to his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Yarnell was elected as president of Louisiana College in September and was slated to take the helm in January. But in an e-mail to the school, Yarnell said that he and the board of trustees had failed to reach a contract agreement.

The school has 1,100 students. The next president will replace Rory Lee, who announced his resignation March 15 to become executive director of the Mississippi Baptist Children’s Village, the children’s home affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. John Traylor is serving as the college’s interim president.

“After accepting the presidency at Louisiana College, governance issues which would significantly impact my ability to lead the school were fully disclosed during the subsequent negotiations over the contract which the Board of Trustees desired,” Yarnell wrote. “Although the Trustee Chairman and the Executive Committee and I have sought in good faith to resolve these issues to our mutual satisfaction, we have been unable to arrive at a ‘meeting of the minds.’

“As a result, I have withdrawn my name from consideration as President. I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their generous offer and I want to express my sincere desire for the welfare of Louisiana College, its trustees, administration, faculty, students, and alumni, and for Louisiana Baptists with whom I have and always will identify myself, and especially for my father in the ministry, Rev. Wayne DuBose.”

Bill Hudson, chairman of the Louisiana College board of trustees, said the presidential search committee will begin again looking for a president.

“We deeply regret that Dr. Yarnell has chosen to decline the office of president, and the Board wishes him and his family well as they continue to serve our Lord and denomination at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,” Hudson said in a statement. “We respect his wishes to withdraw from the presidency of Louisiana College. We are confident that God, in His sovereignty, already knows who will be the next president of Louisiana College.

“The Search Committee plans to be very prayerful and deliberate, seeking the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit as we continue the search process.”

Yarnell served as the director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Center for Theological Research. He also was the assistant dean for theological studies and associate professor of systematic theology. Southwestern Seminary is located in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I am excited to rejoin the faculty and administration of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in mind and heart as well as in body as we seek to serve Southern Baptists and ultimately the Kingdom of God through the development of keen theological minds in tandem with hot evangelistic hearts, under the leadership of a President who exhibits both characteristics, my mentor, Dr. Paige Patterson.”

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