It’s Official – No Erskine Board Meeting


The Editor of ARPTalk has heard from more than two sources that a letter by Chairman Scott Mitchell of the Erskine BoT has been sent to the members of the Erskine BoT canceling the called meeting of the BoT that had been called for June 18.

The purpose of the called meeting of the BoT was to change the Erskine charter and bylaws. Many of us in the General Synod had speculated that those changes to the charter and bylaws would, in some manner, have severed the historic and organic ties between Erskine College and Seminary and the ARP Church. That is, the members of the BoT would have voted to declare the present BoT self-perpetuating and Erskine College and Seminary independent of the ARP Church.

The June 18 meeting was vital to those on the BoT who desire a change in the governance of Erskine. On July 1, a new President takes office and new board members are installed. In order to declare the present BoT self-perpetuating before July 1, the present BoT would have had to meet on June 18 and propose and adopt changes and then met again before June 30 in order to confirm the changes adopted at a June 18 meeting. No changes can take place now. The time specification cannot be met.

Inside sources have stated that, even if the June 18 meeting had taken place, the efforts of those on the BoT who want to change the governance of Erskine and withdraw from the ARP Church would have failed. It seems an informal count was done by phone and the proposals would have failed 19 to 15. PTL! However, 19 to 15 is much too close!

The Editor of ARPTalk is delighted with this turn of events. The Editor expected and has written that an attempt would be made to change the governance of Erskine and withdraw Erskine from the ARP Church. The Editor also expected the attempt to succeed. The Editor’s predictions have failed to materialize!

This news is helpful for Erskine. This news may begin the healing of the breech between Erskine and the ARP Church.

One hopes that the 15 members of the Erskine BoT who are set on a change in the governance of Erskine that removes Erskine from the ARP Church would do the honorable thing and resign from the BoT. That would immensely expedite the healing of the breach between Erskine and the ARP Church.

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson

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  1. Aldon Knight says:

    Chuck –
    Just a little clarity here on your information. The only reason the June 18th meeting was canceled was that the public humiliation of Dick deWitt at Synod, rendering him and the moderator’s commission essentially null, was followed by the defeat of the presented slate of nominees for EC Board positions. The new slate that actually got elected has only one member that we don’t support and that is Bobby McDonald. Be assured we are going to watch him every day, like hawks. He won’t have a chance to do anything. The rest of the BOT members elected will support academic freedom and the speculation is that insistence on inerrancy and signing of statements of faith will be simply allowed to fade into the woodwork. It’s hilarious, don’t you think, that deWitt and Wingate now don’t like each other. Oh, Steve Maye is also now pretty much powerless to do anything to stop Erskine from being academically free. The coalition that won the moderator’s chair for 2011 came about an inch from having him removed even as this year’s moderator.

    So, to summarize, we gained major ground at Synod. We’re proud of deWitt’s humiliation. We’re proud of the defeat of Synod’s desired slate of trustees. We’re proud of Andy Putnam as moderator-elect. Instead of just until July 1, we now have a year to make continued substantive improvements at Erskine. Now that the alums are organized, we are going to be more supportive than ever of not only our allies who were on the board before, but probably four of the new ones coming on in July who will support broad academic freedom.

    We are not satisfied – but at least scored an initial victory at Synod. We’ll watch every move the BOT makes this coming year. And guess what. WE’LL COMMENT ON IT. Boldy. Loudly. Publicly. I’ll continue to make sure SACS is aware of anything I don’t find appealing about what goes on.

    Synod at first looked like it was going to be a crushing blow to Erskine. Turns out, we’re in much better shape than we were 4 months ago. We have your side’s visceral approaches and viewpoints to thank for that. Had it not been for you guys’ forming the moderator’s commission and wreaking about 9 months worth of havoc on Erskine, we would have never risen up, formed the EC foundation, filed a lawsuit, galvanized the alumni, defeated deWitt, changed the slate of nominees for the board for the better, and taken one strong step shifting Erskine back away from you.

    Thanks very much for that. Looking forward to the next phase…

  2. Chuck — I have to admit that I find Aldon’s analysis more heartening than yours. I was also pleased to see that the new president listed as the first of his three goals the maintenance of academic integrity. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. It means, among other things, that we will not sink into teaching pseudo-science because of narrow doctrinal demands. The fistful of zealots who have felt empowered over the last decade may find a new atmosphere developing — the rest of us, the majority, will welcome them to enjoy it with us.

    • Scott Robar says:

      Academic integrity would involve adhering to the Erskine mission statement. Are you for that?

  3. Dean turbeville says:

    Chuck, please highlight the comments above and distribute them widely. And kindly make sure the new President at Erskine sees the character of some of the men who work there.

  4. Jay West says:


    I find it very interresting that Dean Turbeville is bold enough to comment on the character of others considering the malicious and hateful tactics he has been a part of over recent years.

    Needless to say, I believe General Synod spoke loudly against such tactics that both he and Mulner perpetuated.

    I have to agree with Mr. Aldon Knight. We will hold Bobby McDonald accountable. He has circumvented the adminstration and board for years.

    • Scott Robar says:

      Jay, You said that Dean Turbeville has been involved in “malicious and hateful tactics…over recent years.” Would you please elaborate?