Tommy 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.