OSAGE BEACH — Messengers to the 177th Missouri Baptist Convention remained quiet about ongoing litigation between the MBC and three formerly affiliated institutions. Following the report of the Agency Restoration Group on Nov. 1, no one responded with questions or brought a motion to end legal action that now spans nine years.
In 2000 and 2001, five agencies – The Baptist Home, Windermere Baptist Conference Center, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University and Word&Way – changed their charters to allow each to elect its own trustees.
In a video report, members of the MBC agency restoration group focused on the convention’s case against the Foundation. The report centered on a ruling by former Cole County Circuit Court Judge Paul Wilson in December 2010 that favored the convention. Judge Wilson ruled the Foundation’s governing documents give the MBC the right to elect the Foundation’s trustees.
Windermere won its battle because its governing documents did not include a provision for the MBC to elect trustees, the ARG reported. The convention dropped its case against Word&Way in 2010. Its governing documents also did not include the provision.
After the report, no messengers made any motions to end the litigation.
Last week, Foundation trustees released an open letter to Missouri Baptists, calling for an end to the litigation and for finding a way to peace and unity. Writing on behalf of the board of trustees, Chair Tom Ogle pointed out: “This path which all of the parties to the litigation are following will not result in any real victory for any one. Rather, the only people who will continue to benefit from the litigation are the legal counsel for both sides.”