What’s Going on with the EC Foundation?

 

Indeed, what is going on with the EC Foundation? (link)

If you are an ARP or someone who is interested in things ARP and you have not yet accessed this site, you will find it interesting. It is more than just a curiosity that an organization that has NO official standing with Erskine College and Seminary or the ARP Church would speak with such an official air regarding Erskine College and Seminary.

Below are some items of note that one will find posted on the EC Foundation site:

  1. “EC Foundation, Inc. exists to support activities that further or complement the educational activities and mission of Erskine College and Seminary.”
  2. “Our Mission: The mission of the EC Foundation is to provide support and encouragement to Erskine College and Erskine Theological Seminary.”
  3. “Our Vision: The Vision of the directors of the EC Foundation is to enable Erskine College and Seminary to continue to fulfill the aspirations the founders of these institutions set forth over 170 years ago.”
  4. “Our Hero: We must note that First Presbytery of the ARP Church persists in its attempt to unilaterally “punish” Dr. Parker Young for his participation in the legal action which preserved the present Erskine Board of Trustees. We believe that Dr. Young was correct in all that he alleged and the results of the legal action support this view. Our representatives who attended the First Presbytery meeting were astounded and amazed with the obviously coordinated attacks which continue against Dr. Young. We pray that these delegates will be able to understand the self destructive effects of their lack of Christian love and grace.”

Now, having taken a cursory look at the EC Foundation, consider the following regarding the Erskine Alums’ Facebook Site. Below is a copy of a post on that site by Dr. Jay West, former VP for Development at Erskine College and Seminary. This post gives information involving a possible class action lawsuit against the ARP Church that would wrest Erskine from the ARP Church. (This Facebook post and subsequent posts appear as they were posted.)

Opportunity for Separation with the ARP: I just received a phone call from a dedicated alumni. He/she is committed to contributing to and raising funds for a class action lawsuit for the alumni to retain ownership and control of Erskine. They are only interested in five people bringing the suit. Actually, they can probably fund it alone. This person is very serious, and is willing to out spend and go as deep and hard as necessary. In the end, it may be the only option left. If what I am told by this person is right, there is no possible way the ARP could fund such an effort financially, and if they can’t, they lose. I promised that he/she would remain anonymous. We are scheduled to speak via conference call again in two weeks. I am interested in your thoughts. Their thought is clear: there will be no compromise- look at the by-laws. This is the final stage. Please tell me your thoughts and suggestions.

Below is the follow-up that was posted by Dr. West.

THE ISSUE: I just heard from an alum who articulated very clearly what the issue is at hand. I have been told so many times, “just be patient, we are working on it.” Don’t worry, the Moderator’s Commission will not find anything because it is all about lies.” “Just give him (Norman) a chance.” : “Let the by-laws committee work.” “Syhod will come around.” “Now, we are losing credibility with some on the board of trustees- surprise” WAKE UP

THE ISSUE: as delivered by a fellow alum: “I am not hearing one leader beat out one message, deliver a Vision, Mission, and Steps to get there”

He is dead on target. When will we learn that the old ways of doing business with Synod are over. The constituency of Synod has changed.

Vision: to have Erskine as a Christian liberal arts institution that is tolerant of all faiths, but committed to one. Concscious of all of humanity. Excellent in academics. An incubator for future leaders. The family it used to be.

Mission: To exhaust all legal recourse whether or not there is a concensus as to how to move forward. To collaborate with all interested in the vision. To organize even a small group of alumni and resources to engage in a long and lengthy process whereby we have the voice we deserve as those who funded scholarships and built the campus. Execute a class action lawsuit with as few as five alumni to this end.

Steps:

  • Organize those interested.
  • Develop one comprehensive strategy
  • ecure the legal counsel already interested
  • und the process
  • Outspend the defendent.
  • “’Win anyway” – Ray Tanner, USC National Champions Baseball Coach.

I am done with all of the back and forth discussions about evolution, lies, ploys, people afraid to call a spade a spade.

I am committed to what is stated above. Period.

The Editor of ARPTalk takes this threat of a class action lawsuit by Dr. West and the secular Erskine alums seriously. Some may counter that Dr. West is a “bully” whose threats cannot be taken seriously because he has so often threatened to sue people with whom he has come into disagreement. This threat, however, should be taken seriously because of what has taken place and what is being said on the alums’ Facebook site (“Alumni for Erskine”) and because of the existence of the EC Foundation.

Please, take note of the following.

First, note that there is a constant call on the Alums’ Facebook Site for contributions to be made to the EC Foundation. Since the establishment of the EC Foundation, the secular Erskine alums on the “Alumni for Erskine” (AFE) site have been encouraging the more than 1500 members of the site to contribute to the foundation. Sources in Due West have informed the Editor that the EC Foundation has a war chest of at least $150,000. Obviously, the folks at the EC Foundation are probably not willing to substantiate that figure; however, whatever the level of their resources, the calls to the alums for contributions to go to the EC Foundation rather than to Erskine College and Seminary have been loud and clear and, to some extent, successful. So, what are the folks at the EC Foundation going to do with the contributions that have been sent to the foundation?

Second, take note that in recent days there has been a division on the AFE Facebook site. This division occurred when the administrators of the site asked Dr. Jay West and others to tone down their rhetoric. The AFE administrators took exception to Dr. West’s references to the evangelical leaders of the ARP Church as the “Taliban” and to other disparaging remarks that Dr. West and others had made and to his and others’ call for a class action lawsuit in order to take over Erskine from the ARP Church. Many of the AFE participants cried “censorship” and have left for another Facebook site: “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” (AFIE).

From the discussions on the AFIE site, it seems that these secular alums who are for Erskine being an exsanguinated and a religiously insipid and theologically featureless Christian school are now promoting the ideas of Jay West and his lawsuit-happy band of ex-Erskinites who joyfully and loudly sing “I-hate-the-evangelical-faith-of-the-ARP-Church-so-let-us-take-Erskine-from-the-ARP-Church.” Mr. Jonathan Breazeale writes, “I’ve asked a friend who is a reporter for the Greenville News to investigate this further. / I also know some good attorneys in Greenville – too many of them, in fact.” Ms. Mary Elizabeth Todd followed suit with these words, “I know Anderson attorneys.”

The heavyweight voice in this song of villainy is that of Dr. Bill Crenshaw, “the Pied Piper of Due West” and “the Oracle of Erskine.” Notwithstanding that he is an Erskine English professor, Dr. Crenshaw calls for alums to withhold both their money and students. Responding to those who advocate negotiations behind the scenes, he writes:

If it is only behind the scenes work that is accomplishing anything, then this site is a total waste of time.

I haven’t seen much — if anything — that has been accomplished by behind the scenes work. The specific “accomplishments” that have been pointed to are spurious at best. I can tell you that they have had zero effect on the ground at Erskine.

I think this site does accomplish three things. First it spreads the word and the outrage. This is a means to and end. The end are the other two accomplishments: second, people are encouraged to quit donating to Erskine and to quit sending their kids until all this is straightened up. The power of the purse is far more significant and successful than any behind the scenes deal-cutting has been. And third, this shines the light on the actions of Synod, wingnuts, and the admin; i.e., it delivers a healthy wallop of bad publicity to Erskine, which means they have to spend time countering the bad publicity and answering for what they are doing. I would submit that if there is behind the scenes pressure being put on the admin or the wingnuts, it has come from the sense of outrage generated by this site that led to private, chew-them-out phone calls, not something achieved by following Marquis of Queensbury niceties.

Who has ever been offended that was a potential ally? Whom have we driven off with “Taliban” or other remarks judged intemperate? In theory, you can try to make a case that we might offend a potential ally: show me that evidence that this is actually so.Who have we lost? When? Why?

To whom can TOS appeal by using our words against us? We’ve done nothing compared to the atomic bombs dropped by TOS, by Chuck and Turby and all those who won’t submit and demand that we do. Does anyone seriously think that there is a large group of undecideds out there waiting to join the other side if we say “Taliban?” Who are they? Why haven’t they decided? If they haven’t decided yet, what good are they? You’re arguing that even though the issues are clear and the stakes are high that there is a significant number of people out there who haven’t made up they’re minds? Really?

Please. You’ve had a couple of posters who you thought were over the top, and you’ve made this into a broad issue that is simply a distraction and is working against your goal of comity. With all due respect to Nan, we’ve seen in that editorial how attempts at comity can become simple comedy, which ends up making us look stupid and spineless.

This is a non-issue. You’re wasting time with it. Rome is burning. Stop fiddling around.

For a man who is now infamous for publicly telling an Erskine student with whom he disagreed and who is an evangelical Christian that he had told a lie and that he could go to his “evangelical hell,” Dr. Crenshaw’s sense of outrage seems a bit over the top.

Well, we are back to the question of what is going on with the EC Foundation. Actually, what will be the role of the EC Foundation as the alums for a secular Erskine plot and proceed in their plans to bring a class action lawsuit against the ARP Church in order to steal Erskine from the ARP Church?

Once again, if the reader takes a look at the EC Foundation’s website, it is stated that the Directors are Bill Lesesne (President), Andy Byrd (Vice President), Lee Logan (Secretary – Treasurer), Sarah Brice (Director), Betty Hunt (Director), John Hunt (Director), and Steve Southwell (Director). Interestingly,

  • John Hunt is an elder in the Young Memorial ARP Church.
  • Steve Southwell is an elder in the Neely’s Creek ARP Church.
  • Bill Lesesne and Lee Logan are elders in the Due West ARP Church.

Did not all these men vow to submit to the higher courts of the ARP Church? The last two mentioned are also retired Erskine Vice Presidents. These are men who helped to shape the Erskine disaster with which we now have to deal. When they took their positions at Erskine, they found Erskine a small, struggling liberal arts college of less than 600 in the middle of a cow pasture, and when they left Erskine after years and years of ruinous management, they left Erskine a piss-ant hill school of less than 600 in the middle of a cow pasture – terminally feeble and dying! Indeed, Mr. Lesesne and Mr. Logan are horrified that so many in the ARP Church call their tenure a failure and a nightmare and want to change the direction of Erskine! Let it also not be forgotten that these nice men provided leadership in setting up the EC Foundation so that tax-deductible gifts could be given to those who contributed to the foundation so that the foundation could pay the attorneys’ fees of those who sued the ARP Church in civil court last year.

Once again, as one looks on the EC Foundation website, one finds that the EC Foundation has contributed a paltry $11,000 to Erskine College and Seminary this past year in scholarships. Sources in Due West have informed the Editor that the EC Foundation has received much more money than that, on top of the approximately $160,000 that the Foundation raised and used to pay the legal expenses of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit last year against the General Synod. If the EC Foundation is so intent on “supporting” Erskine, why has more money not been contributed to Erskine College and Seminary’s scholarship fund? A gift of $11,000 in scholarships is not much when the foundation has received contributions far in excess of that. What are the Directors of the EC Foundation waiting for? Are these monies being held as a reserve to pay for legal fees if a class action lawsuit? Indeed, the Erskine Facebook alums have not been shy in stating that they are for legal actions against the ARP Church and that they are contributing to the EC Foundation instead of Erskine in expectation that the folks at the EC Foundation will lead the way to an Erskine free of the ARP Church. The AFE site claims a membership of over 1500, and $150,000 is easily within the means of a group that large!

Well, what is going on with the EC Foundation? If past performance is an indicator of future actions, and, if there is a class action lawsuit against the ARP Church in order to seize Erskine from the ARP Church, the secular Erskine alums will need a place to channel their donations so that they can get a tax deduction. Was that not the role of the EC Foundation in the lawsuit last year? These secular Erskine alums are not going to give without it being a tax deduction! They are too parsimonious for that! Their passion only goes so far!

Now, there is another question – a far more important question: WHAT WILL THE ARP CHURCH DO WHEN THIS TAKES PLACE?

We are averse to lawsuits. Unless it is a freedom of religion issue, most of us had rather suffer wrong than fight a legal battle. We are simply opposed to seeing the resources of the church being used to enrich the pockets of attorneys in the name of Christ. Also, today, there are not many of us in the ARP Church who have relational ties to Erskine College or Seminary; besides, this conflict over Erskine has been long and divisive and distracting from the work of the church. Whatever affection we had for Erskine College and Seminary, it has been exhausted.

Of course, none of this may come to pass. These secular Erskine alums want it to come to pass; however, there is a matter of “standing.” That is, do they have “standing” in the eyes of the civil court to do what they propose? This is a matter for attorneys and judges to hash out. Many of you were of the opinion that the civil actions last year of Chesnut, Taylor, and Young would not stick in court. Many of you were shocked by the ruling of the Newberry judge. Forasmuch as the actions of judges are not predictable, the Editor urges that ARPs should take seriously the threats of Dr. West and his happy band of Erskinites who want to steal Erskine from the ARP Church. They hate us! Their spite knows no limits!

Ugh! All of this is so tawdry and disgusting and reprehensible! Outsiders watching what we are doing must think that we are battling for something of great significance. Good grief, this is a struggle for a pitiful college and a pathetic seminary! The truth of the matter is that we have become nothing more than dung beetles fighting over a steaming pile as though it were the only cow pie in the pasture. We speak of Erskine BECOMING “the preeminent liberal arts college in Southeast.” That ain’t goin’ to happen! First of all, Erskine is no longer a “liberal arts” school but is now classified as a “Baccalaureate” school. Good heavens!

Is the above discussion as nauseating to you as it is to me? We are in a struggle for something that has become irrelevant to the future of the ARP Church. Erskine College and Seminary are a distraction from the mission of the ARP Church as the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and a waste of the resources of the ARP Church.

Let Jay West and Bill Crenshaw and their merry band of secular clowns and BOIs have Erskine College and Seminary, and let the BOIs dance all day and night to the piping of Bill Crenshaw as he plays his “I-hate-the-religion-of-the-Bible” tunes as Erskine becomes a memory and Due West a ghost town. Let these masters of institutional ruin who have elevated mediocrity and unfaithfulness to art forms be the ones who carve the Erskine tombstone and plant it in the cow pasture. How fitting!

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson

 

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  1. Howard Carlson says:

    Brother, thank you for your labors. This news is truly troubling. Continue your sharp focus as stated in your masthead by awakening us “snorers” even in other associations. God bless – Howard Carlson Th.D.

     
  2. Dr M A Fleagle says:

    I have said for years that Scripture does not mandate/support Christ’s Church having a college or seminary. The distraction that is Erskine may go its own way, and let the problems of governance of said institutions be instructive to the new president and alumni.

     
  3. James Curtis says:

    Chuck,

    “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

    Respectfully,
    James Curtis

     
  4. Eric Goodwin says:

    “From the towers that point to Heaven
    Looks she proudly down.
    Through the ages we will cherish
    All her precepts sound.

    Erskine College, sing we ever,
    Loud her priases tell;
    Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,
    Hail, all hail to thee!”

    You’ve sung that, Chuck, as have thousands of callow youths who became businessmen and pastors, warriors and mothers, thinkers all. It breaks my heart to hear you call “our noble Alma Mater” a stinking pile of dung. It breaks that you and Crenshaw and so many others make Erskine a playground for your petty egos and ambitions. She deserves far more than that.

    She deserves far more than your desertion. You are who you are – for better or for worse – because you walked Under the Towers, you are part of the Erskine Community. What right do you have to desert it? She needs you, she needs every member of the Community – even when, especially when they disagree – to set aside their fighting egos and fight for her continued strength.

    Dr. Norman deserves far more than your desertion and your insults. Yes, you insult him when you call what he has dedicated himself to a dung heap. He, maybe more than Erskine, needs the community to be there, to have his back on the good days and the bad.

    You have been blessed with a bully pulpit, I pray that you use it for the good of your Alma Mater and your President. They deserve nothing less – Hail, all hail to thee.

     
  5. Dear Mr. Eric Goodwin,

    As I read your comments, you have posed a number of questions to me in the form of assumptions about me. I don’t feel as you do about Erskine. Let me explain.

    1. Eric, the only institution on this earth to which I have loyalty is the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church is the only thing that lasts forever. As the ARP Church is a faithful expression of the Church of Jesus Christ, I am loyal to the ARP Church. Indeed, Erskine and all other institutions are “dust in the wind.” Also, FYI, I also have degrees from three other educational institutions, and I feel the same about them. The only reason that I write and speak regarding Erskine is because of the ecclesiastical and financial relationships that exist between the ARP Church and Erskine. If Erskine were not “officially” a part of the ARP Church, I would be silent. One other thing: I take my vows as an ordained minister in the ARP Church seriously; therefore, I cannot be silent. Others may; I can’t!

    2. Erskine is simply an “agency” of the ARP Church – one of many. The founding purpose of Erskine by the ARP Church and the continuing stated purpose of Erskine as set by the ARP Church are for Erskine to be the ARP Church in college education and seminary training. When Erskine cannot function as the faithful handmaiden of the ARP Church, Erskine no longer has a legitimate reason for existence.

    3. The idea that Erskine now functions as the handmaiden of the ARP Church is ludicrous. The last 40 years is a story of rebellion. At this point, the ARP Church has to make a decision regarding Erskine: (1) The ARP Church can remain silent and allow Erskine to continue as she is – the unrest over Erskine is too great and that is not going to happen. (2) The ARP Church can attempt to reform Erskine – that failed with “the Snow Synod.” (3) The ARP Church can disassociate from Erskine and allow her to find a new way – that is the point I’m making. My motto now is “Free Erskine!” It is obvious that the vast majority of the faculty members are in agreement with Bill Crenshaw and long for a free Erskine. After 170 years of nursing at the financial breast of the ARP Church as a “startup” business, isn’t it time that Erskine stood on her own?

    4. Eric, honestly, I don’t know what petty ego and ambition I have. There is no money in this for me. There are no honors in this for me. From the hate-calls, hate-letters, hate-emails, and hate-FB-postings that I have received either calling or implying that I’m the ARP SOB Fundy, I would say that my reward has been on the red side of the ledger. Once again, I do what I do because I take my ordination vows as an ARP seriously. If I were a minister in another denomination, I would be silent because this conflict would not be my conflict. I can’t speak for Bill Crenshaw.

    5. I’m not a part of “the Erskine Community” as you define community; therefore, Dr. David Norman is not “my president” – he is the President of Erskine; and the members of the General Synod speaks both to the BOT and to him.

    6. I’m not disloyal to Dr. Norman. The Erskine I have blasted is not the Erskine of his making. I believe he is as appalled at “old Erskine” as I am. I applaud what he is attempting to do. I wish him well. I hope I’m wrong, but I know Erskine and Due West and I don’t see a way out apart from separation. BTW, I hope Dr. Norman is able to turn Erskine into the finest independent evangelical Christian Liberal Arts College in the US. However, to do that, he will have to return Erskine to evangelical Christian first and then he will have to return Erskine to Liberal Arts. Both of those have been lost! The only real disagreement that I have with Dr. Norman has to do with language. He speaks of Erskine as “evangelical Christian going forward.” I don’t buy that language. The past can’t be ignored. As I see it, the mountain that he has to climb is “Erskine going backwards.” His enemies of his vision are not in front of him; they are behind him.

    7. The “dung” reference is a Biblical metaphor that is used to communicate a very, very high level of disgust. I meant what I said! You say, “Hail, all hail to thee.” I don’t thing I would say it that way!!! BTW, of the 17 or 18 pages that I wrote, is that all that you got? I thought I was harder on the ARP Church.

    Finally, I don’t know if you have heard or not, however, some people say that I’m blunt in my writing. (-: I hope I haven’t offended you. That was never on my radar. My intentions are not to debate you; rather, to help you understand where I’m coming from.

    Bill Crenshaw invites people to coffee and conversation. Bill’s parsimonious! If you will come and visit me in Seneca, I will buy you the finest that the folks at Fatz have on their menu and, if you like, give you a $6 cigar to smoke as we talk. How about it? Date? I’m gracious in my hospitality – my wife has taught me well! Call me at 864-882-6337.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
    • James Curtis says:

      Eric,

      Chuck’s serious about lunch, don’t think he’s doing it for political reasons. I went, enjoyed discussion, and left. I wasn’t yelled at or degraded.

      And yes, I still walked away with disagreements. So I’m sure you will, but hear the man out. It’s only courteous.

      Respectfully,
      James Curtis

       
  6. James Curtis says:

    Perhaps my comment regarding 1 Timothy 6:10 should be made a little more clear-

    If the EC Foundation is all about helping Erskine College and Seminary, Chuck, why have they donated $11,000 to scholarship funds while receiving over $300,000? What are they doing what that money? Are they holding it for a “rainy day”?

    I think everyone knows right now that Erskine could use all the funds it can get, why hold back?

    Respectfully,
    James Curtis

     
  7. Dear Mr. James Curtis,

    Thank you for your comments. Thank you for staying on track with this article. The question that was asked is: “What going on with the EC Foundation?”

    The EC Foundation is not pro-Erskine College and Seminary. The EC Foundation was set up to be an outside influence to oppose evangelical Christian reformation at Erskine by the ARP Church and to be a financial lever to cajole the administration. The Directors of the EC Foundation want the “Old Erskine” back. In order to get the “Old” Erskine back, they have done or are willing to do the following.

    1. The EC Foundation is a 501.c.3 that exists in order to collect and to channel monies to pay for lawsuits against the ARP Church and/or the Erskine administration in order to affect the return of “Old” Erskine which was partly the monstrous making of Directors Lee Logan and Bill Lesesne. The Directors of the EC Foundation hold considerable spite against what the ARP Church is today. In their day, they thought the ARP Church was too conservative and changed Erskine into the image of their making; now, they think the ARP Church is too conservative and loathe the vision of the ARP Church to reform Erskine.

    2. The EC Foundation is not about getting money for scholarship at Erskine College and Seminary. They boast of $11,000 in scholarship on the website. My sources inform me they have received at least $150,000 in donations. They are fools and think that no one sees the foolishness of their claim. Indeed, look where they have used their monies: to pay for the lawsuit against the ARP Church last year.

    3. The EC Foundation is not about financial gain for the Directors. It’s far more sinister than that! The EC Foundation is about the anti-Christian, secular religious dunghill that they have turned Erskine into and want to preserve so that they can gather to worship under the Towers with Bill Crenshaw leading them in singing another stanza of “Hail, all hail to thee.” What a ghastly lot of dung beetles!

    BTW, for the record, I wrote $150,000 and not $300,000. The AFE and AFIE have enough members to easily collect $300,000; however, I wrote $150,000. If you have information that is different from mine, please contact me by email or phone.

    One more thing: thanks for the good word to Eric.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
  8. Dean Turbeville says:

    Dear Chuck, you state in your response to Mr. Goodwin that efforts to reform Erskine failed at the Snow Synod. But actually (and I think you would agree with me here) it wasn’t at that called meeting of Synod that swift reform failed. Indeed, that meeting finally promised a way forward toward a truly faithful Christian college and a reformed seminary. Incredible financial resources and national prominence were within sight, if we had just held true to our purpose.
    Alas, it was not to be. Reform actually failed due to our Synod’s feckless lack of seriousness in remaining true to its purpose at the Snow Synod meeting. We allowed godly, reform-minded presbyters to be characterized as outsiders, extremists and glory-seekers. Then, we sat by passively and allowed ordained men to sue their own denomination in order to stop the reform they had NEVER supported. Meanwhile, men who serve a denomination which was formed from faithful Covenanters bowed before the authority of a small-town South Carolina judge whose ruling had already been substantially overturned by the appellate court upon first reading! Moreover, we ignored our own ordination vows and gave deference to a secular SACS committee which had been inflamed by alarmist reports from their buddies who had sued the denomination (think of it this way: the very men who had maliciously set the fire called the fire department, and then they blamed the homeowners for the fire).
    The results of all this were not only that the reform which might have saved Erskine for the Kingdom was lost, but the denomination itself seemed to be heading toward schism and/or anarchy. Yet, the renewed seriousness of the church to assert her rights over her agency at our last meeting of Synod may have saved us from that dreadful fate. Still, it is entirely unclear that Erskine is willing to honor its historic relationship with the church. We will see. I understand your pessimism about that, Chuck.
    Though David Norman would not have been my first choice to lead the school, I believe he is good man, and I think he sees what he’s up against now. I pray for him and his success. If the Erskine Board does not enthusiastically embrace what was done at our last Synod meeting, we will know that even a man like Dr. Norman will not be able to save the school from itself. This year should reveal all.

     
  9. Eric Goodwin says:

    “It would be fun to give Erskine to one [Dr. Bill Crenshaw] who is so intellectually vapid and feckless. The disaster would be so great that the earth would open up and swallow Due West for shame of the debacle.”

    Really, Mr. Wilson? You treat Erskine like a tank of Sea Monkeys the ARP bought, but damn – now they are dirty and smelly so let’s chuck them. There are thousands of people who owe who they are (including you) to Erskine. Hundreds who call Erskine their job, their life.

    And you would chuckle to see it fall to pieces. That’s the real story here, how you and Bill Crenshaw and so many others have fiddled while Erskine burned. While Erskine needs people advancing her cause – by suggesting her, by offering advice and money and prayers – you and the Alumni are content with endless bickering.

    Your motto is now “Free Erskine!” – but how are implementing it? Who are you talking to? Who are you convincing?

    Mr. Wilson, I appreciate the offer of dinner and a cigar. I think I remember reading that you are legally blind; that must impede your actions around your home too. If you have any needs the Euphemian Society would find it a pleasure to come out and help. I mean that in all seriousness – we have deep divisions between us, but I know that it is through Christ that we may break bread together.

     
  10. Dear Mr. Eric Goodwin,

    You are a thoughtful young man. Thank you for your comments.

    Before you judge me too harshly, I haven’t fiddled while Erskine was burning. If you remember, I have been speaking out for 40 years. Actually, as I remember, I have put some sweat, heart, money, and students in Erskine. I’m tired of a fight that has crippled the ARP Church for more than 40 year. You might want to read some of my articles that tell who I am. The passion you see in me comes from one who has loved deeply.

    I applaud your enthusiasm and hope.

    I also applaud your sensitivity to my disability. Indeed, I believe you are sincere in your offer. Your offer has touched my heart. God bless you!!!

    Thank you, and thank your friends for me, but so far my needs are being met.

    I do want to break bread (steak, ribs, and shrimp, too) with you. Call me. You have my number and email. If I don’t answer immediately, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I have a wife and sometimes she says, “Honey, do!” and I do. I also have 8 grandchildren who get my time.

    I’m looking forward to meeting you. Convince me!

    BTW, do you like splitting wood? Do you want to work for food on a Saturday? (-: We can talk about that if it pleases you!

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
  11. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    My dear Rev. Wilson:

    Oh for the chance to get my comments posted. Do you think you might edit, block or post my comment today? What say you?

    “After 170 years of nursing at the financial breast of the ARP Church as a “startup” business, isn’t it time that Erskine stood on her own?”

    Another falsehood.

    Mary L. Grier Holmes

     
  12. Mary L. Grier Holmes says:

    Rev. Wilson:

    Too many times in Erskine’s history to count, the College and Seminary survived on its own or through the donations the Presidents were able to obtain or from the President’s own pockets. From the Civil War, the Depression, World War I and II there were times when only the most committed Erskine supporters would sacrifice for Erskine. Nothing was forthcoming from the ARP Church at some of those times. Ask professors who did not receive pay. Ask the families who sacrificed.

    Yours very truly,
    Mary L. Grier Holmes

     
  13. Dear Ms. Mary Lou G. Holmes,

    I see you’re back. Thanks for your comments. How are things going as the administrator of the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site?

    I have a few comments to your two posts.

    1. No, Mary Lou, I’m not blocking or editing your comments. Your comments are much too interesting to block or edit them.

    2. Obviously, you have taken umbrage with my comment that Erskine is a 170 year old “startup business” that needs to stand on its own. Well, what do you call it? You and the Facebook BOIs have made much of the fact that “so many” people have lost their jobs at Erskine, mainly due to Erskine’s financial distress. All the other stuff you guys say is simply political pestering! In fact, apart from the $600,000 + a year that the ARP Church gives to Erskine, many more jobs would have disappeared – faculty jobs. Why don’t you encourage the folks over at the EC Foundation to give some of the war chest they have accumulated? I understand it’s large. Have you heard that?

    3. Indeed, the Civil War and the Reconstruction were hard on all educational institutions in the South. Erskine was no exception. I have great respect for those good people who were able to keep Erskine going. What I do not have respect for are those who have been in charge of Erskine in the last 40 years. I don’t know how I could be clearer about that.

    4. Don’t you see what I’m doing? I have joined you and those on your “Alumni for an Independent Erskine.” I am trumpeting the cause of an Erskine that is free from the ARP Church – and the money of the ARP Church. After you get rid of Dr. Norman, get a President of your liking, and restore the administration to pre-Norman days, I’m sure you and the BOIs will be able to raise all the support money that Erskine needs. Indeed, that will be kingdom come for you. Hallelujah! The EC Foundation will save!

    5. BTW, about two weeks ago, I sent an email to David Danehower and asked him if I could be a member of the “Alumni for Erskine” Facebook site. He hasn’t replied. I guess I can! I’m disappointed! Well, you’re the administrator of the “Alumni for an Independent Erskine” Facebook site; would you be so kind as to allow me membership? I agree with what you guys are attempting to do! You’re not going to disappoint me like Danehower did, are you?

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
  14. Matt Danejur says:

    It seems that you are passionate about this subject Mr. Wilson, If it is dust in the wind to you, then why do you devote a good portion of time into it. It seems you have spent countless hours researching this subject, down to the details of current students attending Erskine. That takes a great deal of time and money. It seems like a passion more than simply dust in the wind. If you are more concerned with the gospel, why not devote the time spent in pursuit of the furtherment of the gospel than obsessing over Erskine. If you feel the ship is sinking, let it sink. Reassure us that you are not going to become The ‘Michael Moore’ of your organization.

    -Philanthropist Danejur

     
    • Charles W. Wilson says:

      Dear Mr. Matt Danejur,

      It’s good to see you back on ARPTalk, Matt. Thank you for your comments.

      You have asked me a number of questions; however, before I attempt to answer your questions, I want to ask you a question.

      My question: who are you? I don’t know you. I have asked people at Erskine, and they don’t seem to know you. That I do not know you does not diminish the validity of your comments or questions; however, it would be nice to know with whom I am conversing.

      Now, to your comments and questions.

      1. Why do I devote my time to this endeavor?
      It’s because I’m an ARP minister. Erskine is an agency of the ARP Church. ARP ministers and elders through our Presbyteries and the General Synod are charged with oversight of all our agencies. I am surprised that others are not devoting time to Erskine. It is my contention that Erskine is in the mess that it is in because time was not devoted by ministers and elders in the past.

      2. How do I know what I know?
      Well, it’s NOT because of much research. I’ve been around a long time. In the words of Yogi Berra: “You can learn a lot by looking.”

      3. Why don’t you put your time in the furtherance of the Gospel?
      I’ve done that – I’m still doing it! It’s not a choice; rather, it is both and!

      4. Why not just let Erskine go?
      It’s not that easy. Erskine is an agency of the ARP Church. One fourth of the yearly budget of the ARP Church is designated to Erskine.

      Now, I have two other items that I would like to mention.

      • The above article is about the EC Foundation and the influence and future actions of the foundation. Your comments don’t seem to deal with the article. I don’t mind telling people who I am; however, what are your thoughts about the article and the foundation?

      • Forgive me; I don’t get the Michael Moore metaphor. Could you elucidate?

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       

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