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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Furman makes history with first Female President; Baptist moorings

     My sister called to tell me this morning Furman had a new President a woman. I called some folks close to the search process with some congratulations. I was surprised, not so much they'd chosen a woman but her Baptist street cred was so Strong.

     From Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Stewart A Newman, LD, Jeff Rogers and Melissa Rogers couldn't be happier I imagine. For sure she is distinct from her other Baylor alum of influence in the Upstate, Trey Gowdy. They are about the same age, 51.

     Davis former pastor Julie Pennington Russell stirred up a lot of controversy when she became pastor of FBC Decatur Ga. But closer to Gowdy and the world view of Billy Graham's First Baptist Church Spartanburg which recently claimed Harry Dent's daughter is the distinction that cannot be lost on any but the most dimwitted what this means. It coincides with the release of Molly Worthen's book The Apostles of Reason which has a chapter on the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. And Dr. Davis fellow parishioner at Calvary, Roger Olson, has an online review of Worthen where he says she scorches Francis Schaeffer as a "charlatan."

    While Furman has many constituencies and some consider this an esoteric, in light of the Tea Party and Fox News Gowdy hold on Upstate S.C. this is an elephant in the room that cannot be ignored. With the Greenville and Upstate Furman welcome to Dr. Davis, time for some soul searching for credible Republicans like Knox White, David Wilkins and even Lester Maddox nephew Baxter Wynn to navigate this thicket with Dr. Davis and lets have a prophetic word for Trey Gowdy and what he represents.

    That would be a good place to stop, but this conversation anchored in Jeff Rogers early 90's lecture in the LD Johnson Series What Really Matters is about Furman and the best of the Baptist tradition of higher education is a great framework.

     My friend Randall Balmer will have a review of Worthen's book soon in the Christian Century.

     Dr Davis will have good company in the region with her fellow Baptist presidents Nathan Hatch at Wake Forest, Bill Underwood at Mercer and Randall OBrien at Carson Newman. I am satisfied the late Tom Corts of Samford is smiling on this choice from above.

    God Bless Dr. Davis in this new chapter at Furman and God Bless Furman University.


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