Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Says Removal of Stained Glass Windows Commemorating Conservative Resurgence Leaders Is in the School’s Best Interests

A window depicting Jimmy and Carol Ann Draper is among 32 being relocated from J.W. McGorman Chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Photo courtesy of Don Young Glass Studio

Forty years after the birth of the Southern Baptist Conservative Resurgence, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is relocating from the J.W. MacGorman Chapel more than 40 stained glass windows commemorating the era.

“We are working with donors on future plans for the windows,” Colby Adams, SWBTS vice president for strategic initiatives, told Baptist Press today (April 15).

The seminary has stated no official reason for the relocation, neither did an April 4 letter to donors signed by then SWBTS trustee chairman Kevin Ueckert.

Jimmy Draper, chairman of the Southwestern Advisory Council, is one of dozens of leaders the windows depict. He told Baptist Press today (April 15) that their removal and planned relocation are likely aimed at appropriately honoring a portion of SWBTS history.

“There has been such a sense that we needed to change the windows, that has existed for at least a year,” Draper, SBC Executive Committee presidential ambassador and president emeritus of LifeWay Christian Resources, told BP.

The J.W. MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center has become a campus centerpiece, he said, and is probably not the best place to spotlight a small segment of the school’s history.

“I have mixed feelings about that, because I think the Conservative Resurgence was a very significant part of Southern Baptist life, but it was only … two decades, really, of the 111-year history of the school,” Draper said. “I do understand that. I’m not upset about” the windows’ relocation.

The letter announcing the windows’ relocation to donors noted: “After much prayerful consideration and discussion, we have concluded that it is in the best interest of the institution to remove and relocate the stained-glass windows,” reads a copy of the letter BP obtained. “The seminary will safely store the windows until we have a chance to discuss with you the next steps.”

Draper is confident the windows will be appropriately relocated, he told BP.

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Source: Baptist Press