Texas Baptist Forum

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Thank you for the excellent article on Pastor Gary Fannon and his church (May 26). They are to be commended for the ways they have dealt with a challenging situation. The ways his congregation and community have continued to affirm his ministry are very meaningful.

Too often, congregations feel threatened when a pastor’s brokenness and vulnerability are so publicly displayed. I am sure the experience will enrich his pastoral ministry to the congregation at Diboll.

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Letters are welcomed. Send them to [email protected]; 250 words maximum.

As a hospital chaplain who uses a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy, I can identify with many of the thoughts and feelings expressed. The one caution I would express is the negative connotation of the term “wheelchair-bound” used in the article’s headline. For many persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs, myself included, wheelchairs do not limit or “bind” a person. Rather, the wheelchair allows a person to be active and involved in the world. Would a journalist refer to a person who uses bifocals as “eyeglasses-bound”?

James A. Garrison

Asheville, N.C.

Un-Christian treatment

I protest the callous manner in which Nina Pinkston, interim executive director of Texas Woman’s Missionary Union, was terminated. She accepted the position temporarily after Carolyn Porterfield resigned for “personal reasons.” Nina Pinkston’s treatment makes me wonder if Carolyn Porterfield, too, was treated so shamefully?

After traveling to a scheduled retreat and finding no one there, Pinkston called the office. She was told on the telephone to go home; she was fired, her contract was terminated. No warning. No reason. She was ordered not to return to the office to pick up personal effects and not to discuss her termination.

The next day, she received a letter, purportedly from the president of the Texas WMU, unsigned and on plain stationary, that repeated her termination and ordered her, again, not to discuss it. This is the Baptist way?

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I have known Nina Pinkston 10 years. I hold few people in higher esteem. Her commitment to Christ is impeccable. This treatment is inexcusable. Termination of a contract without given cause and due process is illegal.

As a retired missionary, she probably is reluctant to seek redress for this un-Christian treatment. I think her story should be told to every print and broadcast reporter who will share it. Those responsible for this travesty deserve to have their infamy made public.

WMU has always been the glue that holds Baptists’ mission efforts together. The shortsighted actions of a few, fueled by ambition, have hindered God’s work. For shame.

Bonita Sparrow

Fort Worth

Additional Online-only letters:

Appalled by termination

I read about the termination of Nina Pinkston as interim executive director of Texas Woman’s Missionary Union (May 26). I was appalled at the manner in which this was carried out.

We grew up together, and I know her to be a fine Christian. She also gave lengthy service in Europe as a missionary. It certainly lowers my opinion of WMU leadership.

I am sure she was doing what she could to build up the unity of the staff.

What a way to pay someone for her efforts.

Anna Marie Marchman



Do unto others….

What a way to treat a lady. This is in reference to the way the Texas Woman’s Missionary Union executive committee fired my friend Nina Pinkston.

I’m thinking of a Bible verse that we all learned at an early age, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Who would like to drive all the way to a retreat to find out that it had been cancelled and she had been fired?

What a cowardly way of not being able to face a person to discuss issues and plans. I find it hard to trust the newly formed slate of officers who would use this lack of integrity in being so deceitful.

LaNelle Phillips



What do you think? Send letters to Editor Marv Knox by mail: P.O. Box 660267, Dallas 75266-0267; or by e-mail: [email protected].



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If we achieved our goal—or didn’t—we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to Eric Black, our editor. Maximum length for publication is 250 words.

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