When the Conservative Baptist Network formed, it was widely known that at the center of its formation was the powerful hand of Dr. Paige Patterson, the recently dismissed president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was present at Mid-American Seminary at the meeting where the CBN was formed. The introductory videos were filmed in his study. All the key leaders were “Pattersonian” – it had his handprints all over it.
Yet, representatives of the CBN scoffed, tap-danced, and fell just short of outright denials of Patterson’s involvement. When we made statements here that this was a known fact, buttressed by clear and convincing evidence, people accused us of spreading unsubstantiated rumors and some (like Dr. Chuck Kelley) made accusations against our integrity and biblical fidelity based on identifying Dr. Patterson as part of the leadership team.
I don’t keep records, but we were challenged OVER and OVER about this well-known fact. Everyone knew Patterson was involved, but CBN supporters denied it and CBN leaders refused to admit it.
And then the truth came out.
SWBTS, in the published Book of Reports for the 2021 Annual Meeting, released information about the mishandling of confidential records by Dr. Patterson and the refusal of both Paige and Dorothy Patterson to comply with requests by the seminary. In his response to these accusations to Baptist Press, Dr. Patterson himself admitted that he was involved in the founding of CBN.
Patterson and his wife were in attendance at a Bible conference held by the Conservative Baptist Network (CBN) in September 2020 at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis. While he played no role in the event’s program, Patterson acknowledged to Baptist Press his involvement in the formation of the CBN. He confirmed that his home in Parker, Texas, was the setting for initial promotional videos made upon the group’s launch in February 2020. His ties had not previously been publicly acknowledged.
Patterson did not characterize his level of involvement with the group, but said: “I’m very grateful for what they are doing, and I believe in what they are doing.”
I am sure we will see the spin machine start trying to downplay Dr. Patterson’s involvement, but anyone who knows Dr. Patterson and believes he took a small or background role in the formation of the CBN is not accepting reality. The fact is that he was part of the formation of the CBN despite the protests of Brad Jurkovich, Chuck Kelley, and others.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Dr. Patterson helping to form a network, but one wonders why people worked so hard to deny or downplay his involvement? Why not just tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Those who denied or downplayed Patterson’s involvement should correct the record. Those who accused us and others of dishonesty or spreading gossip because we spoke the truth about Patterson’s involvement in CBN, maybe it is time for you to admit those accusations to be false.
Not that we are saying we told you so or anything…
NOTE: a word of thanks to the “Baptist Blogger” (we all know his real identity when he takes off the cape and mask) for his motion at the 2019 convention that resulted in this response from SWBTS that showed the misdeeds of Pattersons.