OK, I feel much better now. 😉
Back in June we called your attention to the drama at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. It appears that president Adam Greenway was a big spender. He spent $1.5 million in seminary funds on renovations to the president’s home, including $60,000 on Christmas decorations, $25,000 on artwork, and $180,000 on HVAC work. He used the seminary credit card to buy first-class airfare, frame his diplomas, and purchase a $920 University of Florida “metal gator head decoration” (too bad, he could have gotten a much cheaper deal at this ETSY site).
Now Greenway is suing the seminary for humiliating him and limiting his future job prospects.
Here is Liam Adams of The Tennessean:
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is yet again facing turmoil over past leadership after it publicly disclosed details about spending under former president Adam Greenway.
Greenway threatened to sue Southwestern, a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in a demand letter for $5 million, which said the financial disclosures humiliated Greenway and harmed his job prospects. The letter is a sharp break from a resolution the two sides once sought.
Already a source of strife among seminary trustees, conflict over Greenway is the latest example of Southwestern dealing with repercussions of rocky leadership transitions. The tumultuousness has become a defining characteristic for Southwestern despite its effort to move past the controversy as it responds to enrollment losses.
Southwestern is one of six seminaries affiliated the Nashville-based SBC, which subsidizes seminarians’ tuition through church giving revenue it collects through a budget called the Cooperative Program. The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
“The demand letter from Adam Greenway is baseless and incredibly disappointing, especially given his professed love for this institution,” Jonathan Richard, Southwestern board chair, said in a statement.
Southwestern’s attorneys disputed Greenway’s claims and refused to give him $5 million in an Oct. 11 letter responding to the demand letter sent by Greenway’s lawyers in late September.
“If Dr. Greenway should decide to file suit, we will defend aggressively the seminary against every claim,” Richard said in his statement. “The facts, when fully known, will reveal a very different reality than the one contained in his demand letter.”
Greenway, who took over at Southwestern in February 2019, stepped down in September 2022 and fully resigned in February after he and the seminary reached a confidential settlement agreement. Since then, Southwestern appointed David Dockery as the new president.
Read the rest here.
But my favorite part of this story is the quote from Greenway’s attorney, Andrew Jones. In a September 2023 letter to Southwestern, Jones said that the public disclosures of Greenway’s spending “were grossly exxagerated and false.” He adds that the “infamous $11,000 espresso machine” was actually $5,952.67. Which leads me to ask: WHY DOES A SEMINARY PRESIDENT NEED A $5,952.67 ESPRESSO MACHINE?