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Louisiana College: Aguillard Fired!

Dr. Joe Aguillard in his office standing next to a 10 commantments plaque

It has been a long time since I wrote about Louisiana College. It has been just over a year and a half. I am writing today because there are developments that essentially put an end …

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Louisiana College Board Chairman prophesies a curse upon fellow board member

Tommy French sitting in front of the Louisiana College administration building

Tommy FrenchTommy French looks like an unassuming elderly preacher. He was the founding pastor for Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1959 and served as the Senior Pastor there for 50 years. For the last several years, he has served as pastor emeritus. He has been respected within the Louisiana Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, previously serving as both Vice-President and President of the Convention. He also spent a decade on the Board of Trustees for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as well as two years as the Chairman of that board. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Louisiana College.

With a resume like that one would expect behavior fitting the consummate man of God. Unfortunately, that is not what Tommy French has so far demonstrated in his role as Chairman of the Louisiana College Board of Trustees. French first gained attention for his behavior as Chairman of the Board when in March he threatened Trustee Jay Adkins for speaking publicly about ethical issues at LC and accused him of possessing materials which he had no right to have. French later became even more notorious when he lied to the Board of Trustees about SACS requiring an expanded confidentiality agreement. In July, French was one of two persons who received a copy of the damning letter from SACS. He ,shortly thereafter, promised trustee members who wanted to see the letter that he would “send information when it becomes available.” Despite that promise French held onto the letter for  a while two months until forced to release it because the Town Talk had obtained a copy. This failure frustrated trustees, including Jay Adkins, who in an e-mail to the board pointed out French’s failures at keeping his word.

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Southern Baptist Colleges Top Accrediting Agency’s Naughty List

Log for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

southern-associationThe Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) just voted to place four institutions on probation and to end the accreditation of another institution. Inside Higher Ed focused primarily on two Southern Baptist colleges in their story about this decision: Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia and Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana. These two Southern Baptist institutions face the most serious issues. SACS has chosen to rescind Brewton-Parker’s accreditation, a decision that places the financial viability of the school in doubt, and Louisiana College (LC) has been placed on probation only six months after being removed from “Warning” status.

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Louisiana College: Learning from Star Wars

Darth David Hankins laying hands on joe Aguillard to pray with smoke in the foreground and another minister shooting sith force lightning out of his hands

Darth HankinsOne of my favorite events that I organized when I was at Louisiana College was a panel on the Philosophy & Theology of Star Wars. We had a panel with two theology professors, a history professor, and me. We discussed the Philosophy of Star Wars (which often is not consistent with Biblical theology) and then watched the movies all night long. It was a good exercise in how to think through the philosophy presented in popular culture. Over the last month I have been thinking about Star Wars, especially episodes 1-3. Those movies are really about the struggle of good and evil and the political maneuvering of the evil Sith. All throughout the movies the Sith Lord is manipulating the political scene. There is also in each movie a “public” face of the Sith.

One of my favorite quotes in the first movie is from Padme who, while in the senate chamber, says, “This is how liberty dies… to thunderous applause.” This speaks to an important truth. Evil often manipulates the situation so that people excitedly think they are doing the right thing. I can’t help but think of when Joe Aguillard was made President of Louisiana College.

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Louisiana College: Heads will Roll, 10 Steps for Moving Forward

Joe Aguillard in a suit with his hand in his pocket
President Joe Aguillard
President Joe Aguillard

Rumors are flying that President Joe Aguillard has been given the choice of stepping down as President and being allowed to take medical retirement or being fired. For seemingly personal reasons, not ethical standards David Hankins has apparently removed his long-standing and important support of Joe Aguillard and that is proving to make the difference. A year ago, when it looked like Aguillard may no longer be president I wrote an article entitled Louisiana College…Moving Forward. That is an important article for people to go back and read. It explains why the wrongs LC has done over the last nine years can’t just be swept under the rug. But, I thought in this post it would be helpful to republish my thoughts about how LC can move forward.

  1.  Remove Aguillard from the Presidency. I don’t see any way around this. There is so much baggage with his presidency. As bad as what has been made public is…there is so much more. I pray that Aguillard will repent and turn his life around. But, whatever happens he should not remain as president.
  2. Publicly Admit Wrong. There has been so much damage over the last decade that has been swept under the rug. People’s lives have been destroyed and students have been emotionally and spiritually scarred. There are serious trust issues with LC right now. The only way for LC to get past these issues is to admit they blew it. Anything else will simply look like more of the same. Public sins need to be dealt with publicly.

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Am I a Liberal?

Reading aesthetics in a redwood forest

Today the Town Talk ran an article about the issue of forged documents at Louisiana College which I reported on yesterday: “Documents: Former Louisiana College employee was paid to keep quiet” One thing in that …

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Louisiana College Professor Kevin McFadden Makes First Public Statement

Dr. Kevin McFadden
Dr. Kevin McFadden

The non-renewal of the contracts of Kevin McFadden, Ryan Lister, and Jason Hiles caused a real stir a few months back. This was especially true since the non-renewals coincided with public statements from President Aguillard about his position against “hyper-Calvinism”.  It was assumed by all that the non-renewal had to do with the tensions between Arminian and Calvinist camps within the Louisiana Baptist Convention. As more information became available and further conversations where had it became clear to me that Calvinism, at least in the case of Jason Hiles, was used as  a smoke screen to hide that Aguillard was trying to hurt Dr. Quarles for blowing the whistle. Aguillard chose to attack Quarles by attacking those under him. It is a little less clear with Mcfadden and Lister if the primary motivation was hurting Quarles or if they simply  got caught in the situation and it was more theological for them. If it was theological, it was also misplaced to fight over a secondary doctrine, or tertiary as McFadden argues.

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