IRONTON, Mo. — The Baptist Home board unanimously voted February 26, 2019 to cease further appeals in the 17-year civil case over the issue of governance. The board action to not appeal ends one of the longest civil cases in Missouri jurisprudence.
The Missouri Baptist Convention filed suit against the Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University, The Baptist Home, Windermere Baptist Conference Center and Word&Way in 2002 following moves by the five boards to shift to self-perpetuating status in 2000 and 2001. Windermere won its portion of the 2002 lawsuit, and the MBC voluntarily dropped the case against Word&Way in 2010. The MBC won its case against the Missouri Baptist Foundation in 2016.
The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled February 19 in favor of the Missouri Baptist Convention and Missouri Baptist University. MBU has not announced if it will appeal the decision.
Steven Jones, president of The Baptist Home, announced that the board wanted to cease spending money on the litigation and focus on ministry to the residents.
Executive Director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, John Yeats, shares a similar sentiment with Jones, “The decision by The Baptist Home to cease the appeals and begin the transfer from the self-perpetuating board to the members of the MBC duly-elected board is welcomed news. The opinion by the Court of Appeals was precedent setting for non-profits. We are anxious to close this chapter in our history. We welcome The Baptist Home back to our family of churches.”
Jones and Yeats both agree that it will take several weeks of meetings and conversations for the transition to be complete. We want the residents to have confidence in the current staff and their leadership while the transition to the MBC board is taking place.