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Furman 20 years after Break with SC SBC

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:08 pm
by Stephen Fox
Story starts on page three when you scroll down. Remarkably straight forward assessment of the University 20 years after the break. Many acquaintances and loved ones are quoted in this piece. I plan to blog; and later today in the Expository letter thread share a letter Furman and SC Baptist Historian Loulie Latimer Owens Pettigrew sent me in 1990 ... 20Fall.pdf

My initial blog thoughts on the matter

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:30 pm
by Stephen Fox

My letter to Furman Magazine re Lyn Riddle article

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:37 pm
by Stephen Fox
Ms Zrama had a letter published in the Winter issue of the Furman magazine I received a few days ago. Member of the class of 07 she parked on the issue of inerrancy.

Here is a letter I submitted a few weeks ago and has a good chance of publication in the Spring issue, most likely in the mail mid May:

Letters for Publication
The Furman Magazine

The Editors:

In January 1992 I wrote an article published in the Christian Century about the fundamentalist threat to Furman and other SBC affiliated schools of higher education. Thus it was with great interest I read Ms. Riddle's Fall 2012 Furman Magazine piece on spiritual life at Furman 20 years after the break with South Carolina Baptist Convention.
I continue to be concerned about an aspect of recent Baptist history not explored in the FUmag article. The easily googled article of Notre Dame's Mark Noll in the New Republic a couple years ago is but the latest to examine the rightwing political strategy in the fundamentalist maneuverings that continue to have an ill effect for our country.
At a progressive gathering of Baptists in Greensboro in 1993 Cecil Sherman, an early leader among Baptist in the resistance to Fundamentalism shared with me a statement Bill Friday had told him. Friday, former Chancellor of the UNC system and longstanding popular state PBS personality told Sherman the most significant event in N.C. the decade of the 80's was the fundamentalist takeover of the Baptist seminary in the town of Wake Forest, N.C. With that seminary, said Friday, fundamentalists hardwired to Senator Jesse Helms and other national forces had inroads to every hamlet and suburb in the state through Baptist pulpits.
Ellen Rosenberg had expressed a similar sentiment in a letter she wrote me in 1989. In fact the last chapter in her late 80's book on Baptists in Transition is devoted to New Right influences on the struggle.
Emory Historian Joe Crespino book Strom Thurmond's America of October 2012 spotlights and ratifies these concerns and others in the Baptist thicket. Reporting it was Furman benefactor Charles E. Daniel--the Furman chapel among other buildings named for him--who introduced textile magnate of GOP force Roger Milliken to Strom Thurmond in 1956. Furman's entanglement in culture wars are deep indeed in Crespino's tale of how Dixiecrats evolved into the Sunbelt. You don't have to go further than the High Cotton or Reedy River Falls or BMW to see how that played out; but as Crespino says, the origins of today's Tea Party are in that story.
My letter from Ms. Rosenberg is in the History section of the forums at There you can also see a note Furman and Baptist historian Loulie Latimer Owens Pettigrew sent me in 1990. Some of you may want to take up the conversation if you like.


Stephen M. Fox, FU 75


PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:52 pm
by Stephen Fox
Sources in the Furman community say Ms. Zrama's letter has been gettin a lot of chat over the weekend.

Ms. Pettigrew's letter of 1990

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:03 pm
by Stephen Fox

This is to try to thank you for your letter to the Nov 29 Baptist Courier and the one to Birmingham News of Nov 26. Just a few courageous, interested voices like yours, scattered over the strategic states, could have saved us from the total chaos on SBC and state levels. I am sure you have been doing just that--speaking and writing. I have been screaming since 1979. We believe the fundys; they do what they say they will do. Also, we know our Baptist polity and its dependence on trust and integrity.

Within hours after cutting out your Courier letter, I read of the Beeson bequest. I rushed a note to my Alabama relative to congratulate her and Samford. Since she is so confident that the trials that rage in the SBC and other states (ours, alas) will not come in Alabama, I dared to comment. It was something like this: "I hope that the wisdom that helped Mr. Beeson make his fortune also cautioned him to write safeguards around the Samford Bequest. I hope he knew that the word 'convention' cannot be equated with' Baptist." You may have broken the light to her; by return mail she sent me your Birmingham News letter.!

I don't think you need to worry about Furman. I can tell you more...You doubtless have noted that our "cold turkey" approach gave us a better deal than Stetson, Mercer, or even Baylor.

Keep writing and I'll keep screaming. I am a member of the Convention Affiliations Committee, FBC Greenville. You must have been at Atlanta I; I'll see you at Atlanta II.

Very best wishes,

Loulie L. O. Pettigrew

Pardon the fuzzy copy. My typewriter is at the fixer's
for the third time this fall. Nervous break-down, I think

Two Furman grads

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:18 am
by Stephen Fox

Furman's Brent Nelsen nominee for national PBS board

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:18 pm
by Stephen Fox
Nelsen has been in the poli sci department for some time. He was a founding member of Redeemer Prez, PCA with the Tea Party's Jim Demint.

Nelsen's Dad was a Baptist preacher; and Nelsen is a Wheaton grad.

He ran for SC State School Supe with the blessing of Tea Party Gov Nikki Haley and Demint. Could be an interesting vetting proecess.

Furman Commencement 2014

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:58 am
by Stephen Fox
I watched it online last night. Sister Peggy of ElSalvador main speaker. Great address. I hope to post link to her transcript soon. There was running commentary on the online site that grew to be quite interesting in places.
I may share some thoughts later with specific reference to What Really Matters and Dean Chiles of mid 20th Century take on Lee Atwater and Gov Riley

Civility and Furman justice legacy

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:45 am
by Stephen Fox
Proud of these two fellows. Going to link this story in the Furman conversation of the History room at They make Marshall Frady proud and I hope this summer they google and read the Scott Sherman piece The Unvanquished tribute to Frady. But as Bush 43 Between freedom and fear, God is not neutral. Likewise honoring the Furman value of civility, there is a noble stream from Furman--see Marguerite Chiles lecture in Furman's What Really Matters. Chiles said there is a difference between Lee Atwater and Dick Riley. Joe Crespino accents that thought in Strom Thurmonds America. With all this goodwill and the nation needs it in the worst way, lets don't sacrifice the overriding virtues of Furman greats, Gordon Blackwell, Marshall Frady, Ernie Harrill and LD Johnson as it intersects the public square. I am convinced these fellows would have serious reservations about how Lindsey Graham bows to the tea Party, and for sure these Furman greats would take Trey Gowdy to the Woodshed, like Ike took Joe McCarthy. ... -discourse

FU Prez steps down after three years

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 3:33 pm
by Stephen Fox

Will Campbell at Furman early 90s

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:17 pm
by Stephen Fox

Furman grad 81, SNL Star Victoria Jackson

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:21 pm
by Stephen Fox

Goodwill Baptists and Furman's Jim Guth

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:20 pm
by Stephen Fox
See the Tsarnaev discussion at Baptist Faith and Practice room at this site.

Furman's poli sci legend polling SBC pastors on their political inclinations once told me Roger Milliken went to Furman president Blackwell in 73 or so attempting to place Pressler's Fireside chat interviewer, Gary North on the Furman Faculty.

To Furman's credit it never happened.

Now North's legacy in Tyler Texas, Rep Gohmert is sliming the Boston mosque that hosted Furman Grad Tee Thomas and former proff Charles Kimball in the filming of's different books common word.

With Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America well versed, here's hoping Furman's Riley Inst has Kimball on campus this fall with Parham to discuss this lingering Ben Ghazi swamp in Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy's back yard.

Campsen Mosteller of Furman new Miss SC

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:52 pm
by Stephen Fox ... e-new.html

I had a delightful conversation with Brooke in passing the summer of 2010 on campus.

Her Mother, Cyndi Campsen was three years behind me at Furman, Cyndi class of 78, very attractive woman in her own right.

Her brother Chip Campsen followed her to Furman, the family at one time great friends of Mark Sanford, Furman Grad and S.C. Governor of some notoriety.

Uncle Chip with another former Gov whose name I can't recall right now, led the fight to keep Furman in the SC SBC under the fundamentalist banner. And Mother Cyndi is a low country tea party stalwart.

Brooke has taken up a noble cause as part of her service agreement with S.C. pageant.

Would be interesting for the Mosteller/Campsen family, Miss S.C. Brooke included to navigate S.C.'s Stand Your Ground Law. Maybe Viola Davis of S.C. and Denzel Washington's daughter--see Covenant room at this site under Trayvon heading to see what kind of pilgrimage this family of influential S.C. Southern Baptists has taken since the early 90s when they tried to keep Furman under the control of fundamentalism.

Willie Earle and Furman's Miss South Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:42 am
by Stephen Fox
I rediscovered this link this morning and had forgotten a comment I made on the site two years ago, that at the time invoked the names of Miss South Carolina's parents. Interesting replies to this story including one from the great grandson Willie Earler murdered ... id=1108264

Furman and Presbyterian Hymns

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:00 am
by Stephen Fox
I cited Furman Singers in a comment about this piece in the Greenville News that cited Beeson Div School Tim George in the process. See my comment on this piece when you click the link ... irs-debate

History of the Furman Singers

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:30 pm
by Stephen Fox

Albert Blackwell, Beloved Furman proff on Isaac Watts

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:29 am
by Stephen Fox

Furman's Marshall Frady shines

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:14 pm
by Stephen Fox

Furman a big disappointment today

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:51 pm
by Stephen Fox
I commented as much on Furman's home public facebook wall and in the comments here at the SHJ ... ?p=3&tc=pg

Slide Show

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:11 pm
by Stephen Fox

Furman Singers Reunion, Great job

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:46 pm
by Stephen Fox

One of Furman's greatest assets last quarter 20th Century

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:16 am
by Stephen Fox

Furman Presidential Search Committee

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:41 pm
by Stephen Fox
One tantalizing name to bubble up is former Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham. Who's to say if Meacham is interested but with S.C. Gov Riley, President Clinton's Sec Ed all things are possible. I am making some suggestions to the committee. Could be interesting process and will be great indication of what Baptist ID remains there after the Alum mag story of December 2012. ... mbers.aspx

Furman, LD Johnson and BJC's Holly Hollman

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:07 pm
by Stephen Fox
I cannot say there was a direct line from this event in 67 at the church of which Holly is a prdouct, but I bet her mother remembers LD being in town in those days. See Sept 1967 at this link: