The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges revoked the membership of Brewton-Parker College. Officials at the Georgia Baptist Convention-affiliated school announced plans to appeal the decision. SACS placed Brewton-Parker on probation in 2012 after finding deficiencies in the number and qualifications of faculty, financial stability and oversight of business functions including compliance with rules for federal student aid. Ergun Caner’s selection as the school’s president sparked additional controversy because of questions that have dogged him in recent years about the veracity of details claimed in a dramatic “ex-Muslim” testimony that made him a hit on the Southern Baptist preaching circuit following the 9/11 terror attacks. Another Georgia Baptist Convention school, Shorter University in Rome, Ga., announced the same day the SACS commission voted to affirm its accreditation, after placing the school on warning last year for questions about student-teacher ratio and qualifications of faculty members. SACS also placed on probation Louisiana College, a Louisiana Baptist Convention-affiliated school in Pineville, La., beset by controversy, lawsuits and a leadership change. The school returned to SACS probation for “administrative issues,” just six months after having its accreditation reaffirmed after two years on probation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Based on wire service articles, the story as originally posted reported Brewton-Parker College lost its accreditation. SACS voted to remove the school from its membership. However, during the appeals process, its accreditation remains intact.
Former SBC president supports convicted New Orleans mayor. The immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention sought leniency for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, convicted in February on 20 criminal counts including bribery, fraud and money laundering. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, wrote one of 31 letters of support—five written by ministers—in advance of Nagin’s sentencing on July 9. Luter, the first African-American SBC president, said he has known Nagin since high school, and Nagin wasn’t the same person after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the city in August 2005. Luter asked U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to consider that context and grant Nagin leniency. “He is a good and decent man who made some unwise choices and decisions during a very difficult and traumatic time in his personal and professional life,” Luter said.