- Paige Patterson
name = Paige Patterson
image_size = 200px
birth_date = 1942
occupation = Pastor, Educator, Seminary President
spouse = Dorothy Jean nee Kelley
parents = Thomas Armour "T.A." Patterson (father), Roberta M. "Honey" Turner Patterson (mother)
children = Armour (son) and Carmen (daughter)Southern Baptists
L. Paige Patterson (born
October 19, 1942) is the eighth president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminaryin Fort Worth, Texas.
A native Texan, Patterson was born in 1942 while his father, T.A. Patterson, was completing his Th.D. degree at Southwestern Seminary under the tutelage of W.T. Conner. His wife, Dorothy, is a professor of theology in women's studies at Southwestern, but she sees her most critically important role as that of wife, mother, and now grandmother. Their son, Armour, together with his wife Rachel, live in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, where he pursues a literary vocation. Their daughter, Carmen, is married to Dr. Mark Howell, pastor of the Houston Northwest Baptist Church in Houston, TX. The Howells have presented the Pattersons with two granddaughters, Abigail and Rebekah. Noche, the ever-present black Labrador Retriever, completes the family circle. [ [http://www.swbts.edu/index.cfm?pageid=516 Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Bio Page] ]
Patterson received his
B.A.from Hardin-Simmons Universityin Abilene, Texasand a Th.M.and Ph.D.of theology studies from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Patterson started preaching while still in his teens. He held several Pastorates before becoming president of the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies (later called the
Criswell College) in Dallas, Texas. Patterson formed a strong connection with Dr W.A. Criswellof the First Baptist Church of Dallas while in this position. After 17 years he became President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaryin Wake Forest, North Carolina(1992-2003). Patterson was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention(SBC) in both 1998 and 1999. He has lectured and preached extensively and authored and edited many books and journals. [http://www.bpnews.net/printerfriendly.asp?ID=16912]
Role in the SBC Conservative Resurgence
Patterson is best known for his prominent role in a conservative resurgence within the SBC starting in 1979 with the election of Adrian Rogers as Convention President. Believing SBC seminaries and other SBC institutions had drifted away from their conservative
Biblicalroots, Patterson joined with Judge Paul Pressler of Houston, TX to carry out a plan that included exposing the liberal theologyallegedly taught and practiced by the leadership in SBC institutions. The most important issue was the nature of scripture, particularly, whether or not it contains errors. Patterson, Pressler, and a host of pastors and laymen began to spread the word that the teaching of SBC leadership was not reflective of their constituents who were paying their salaries.
Patterson and the conservatives won the support of hundreds of like-minded churches, and as many as 40,000 messengers (church members willing to travel to the annual Southern Baptist Convention to vote). Patterson's influence has been felt at all levels of Southern Baptist life. The seminaries have for the most part returned to their conservative moorings. Local churches are hiring pastors educated at schools led by conservatives. Missionaries are being influenced by Patterson's leadership. By the time Patterson was appointed president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, the conservative leadership required that all faculty sign documents stating their allegiance to Southern Baptist theology, most notably, the "Baptist Faith and Message".
Stance on Women in Ministry
Patterson has attracted interest because of his stance on the role of women in churches and related areas such as the academic training of ministers. According to Patterson, the "the highest and noblest calling of God" for women is that of "mother and grandmother." [http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=19402] Additionally, Patterson's interpretation of the Bible includes "an assignment from God, in this case that a woman not be involved in a teaching or ruling capacity over men." [http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=19402] This stance was highlighted in a case involving Sheri Klouda, a Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor hired prior to Patterson's arrival. Klouda's case against Southwestern and Patterson was dismissed because of church-state concerns and a lack of evidence.
Southwestern Seminary has had a number of female faculty members, though Paige Patterson's wife, Dorothy, is now the only female faculty member listed among the School of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her teaching responsibilities are for the women at the Seminary. [http://www.swbts.edu/faculty/index.cfm]
Dr. Patterson has also become known for his enjoyment of African hunting expeditions. He has killed giraffe, lion, leopards, and buffalo and shares images of his hunts at Christian sportsmens banquets. [http://www.paigepatterson.info/about.cfm]
* [http://paigepatterson.info/ Official web site]
* [http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i32/32a01001.htm] Chronicle of Higher Education article on the Klouda event and Patterson's role therein
* [http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/171/106/ Interview with Dorothy Patterson]
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