Bowling Green-Calling Campbellsville University’s recent election of 11 members to its trustee board without Kentucky Baptists’ approval “a clear violation of its covenant agreement,” KBC President Chip Hutcheson announced to convention messengers in Bowling Green that the school had “clearly chosen to remove itself” from its partnership with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Hutcheson brought a recommendation for the KBC Mission Board Nov. 11 to “take no action,” except to remain “prayerful and hopeful that the university will someday return to covenant with the churches that nursed her along for nearly 100 years.”
Recounting recent steps taken by Campbellsville leaders and trustees
that have led to the severing of the longstanding covenant agreement, Hutcheson assured messengers, “We have done everything possible to discourage Campbellsville from moving away from her historic relationship with the KBC.”
While KBC leaders expressed regret over the university’s desire to step away from its covenant agreement, they respect the university’s right to do so.
The university’s report was moved up in the program to Tuesday morning. Hutcheson brought the convention report, in lieu of Campbellsville President Michael Carter, who was not in attendance.
Campbellsville’s trustees voted earlier this year to unilaterally
terminate the covenant agreement and voluntarily surrender Cooperative Program allocations. Hutcheson recounted how in meetings with the university, KBC leaders had urged school officials to re-establish its connection to the convention and its churches.
Campbellsville, however, elected 11 trustees to its board Oct. 28,
disregarding a process spelled out in its covenant agreement with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which calls for the school’s president to recommend trustees to be approved by KBC messengers at annual meetings.
“We’re grieved that Campbellsville University has walked away from the agreement with Kentucky Baptists,” Hutcheson said. “We’ve done all we know to do to try to salvage the relationship. This latest action, unfortunately, is a blatant breach of the covenant.”
In an earlier statement to the Western Recorder, Campbellsville’s
Trustee Chairman Joseph Owens and Carter said, “The slate of 11
trustees was elected by the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Each elected trustee is either serving currently, or has served in the past, on the CU Board of Trustees and meets service requirements set by the board.”
The slate included Steve Branscum, Jana Gore, Cordell Maddox, Mary
Frances May, David Morris, Ron Rafferty, Malinda Smith, Matthew Smyzer, Tommy Turner, Jane Wheatley and Leon Wilson.