Missouri Baptist Convention Decides to Defund William Jewel College

( [email protected] ) Nov 15, 2003 10:33 AM EST

Another split has occurred between the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and William Jewel College (WJC) over homosexuality issue. MBC has decided not to offer any financial support to WJC because of its support over the past several years for homosexuality and sexually explicit theatrical presentations on campus such as The Vagina Monologue and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas despite strong opposition from MBC.

WJC has been receiving funds from MBC for 154 years but now the MBC has voted to de-fund more than $1 million. The MBC contribution to the school amounted to about 3% of JWC annual budget.

The MBC's associate executive director, Kenny Qualls, says the decision to end ties with WJC was more of a right-and-wrong issues based on scripture rather than whether they are conservative or liberal on the issue of sexuality related matters including homosexuality.

"We want to send a very clear message in this culture that we live in that the Missouri Baptist Convention has absolutely defined itself -- and we're defining ourselves by the inerrant Word of God -- [and that] serious departures from biblical standards will never be tolerated," Qualls says.

According to Qualls, the school officials were ignoring the scripture. "All through this process, we met [and] had discussions, and we tried to get the leadership of William Jewell to take a stand based on scripture on the issues of family, on the issues of morality, on the issues of homosexuality -- and we never heard a single stand by any trustee or by [anyone] in leadership of that university," he says.

Qualls adds that as a parent of a teenager, he would never send his child to William Jewell College.

Funds that would have gone to William Jewell College are going to be redistributed to a Baptist children's home and other Baptist colleges in the state.