June 20, 2007

Dear Dr. McClain:

It was a delight seeing you in San Antonio. Our relationship got off to a rough and rocky start in the aftermath of my chapel sermon, but from my vantage point we finally experienced genuine healing and reconciliation. I accepted our mutual words of grace and “putting the past behind” as genuine. I deeply appreciated the affirmation and mercy that you extended toward me in our April trustee meeting, which in turn bought an extension of mercy and longsuffering from others. Know that I genuinely and deeply respect, value and appreciate you for who you are and the work that you do. I regret whatever pain and frustration that I caused Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from the very beginning of my tenure as a trustee until today. As you know, Dr. Patterson and I have also discussed our mutual misunderstanding(s) and pain related to my actions, and his response, and we also experienced a time of genuine healing and reconciliation. Although as with you, he and I still view some issues quite differently. My love, respect and appreciation for Dr. Patterson remains strong in spite of these differences.Know that my love for SWBTS will also remain. I am in part who I am because of the training I received at SWBTS. I shall forever be grateful for the training I received there. Our church has made an annual or bi-annual contribution to SWBTS for the past ten years and we will continue to do so. In 1983, our church was birthed through the cooperative efforts of NAMB, BGCT, and the Tate Springs Baptist Church of Arlington, which was at that time pastored by Rev. Charles Clary, a SWBTS alumnus. I maintain a good relationship with Brother Charles to this day. He preached for us last year, and we’ve supported his mission work in New Mexico. Little did I know when I shared with him my beliefs, practices and teachings as it relates to praying in tongues in private, which was prior to his sponsoring our church as a mission, that ours was a match made in heaven. My sense of belonging in the Southern Baptist Convention has been reaffirmed due to the recent Lifeway poll, which revealed that a majority of our people accept my views and practice on this issue. I had never before thought that Southern Baptists were afraid or uneasy with my views on this issue, that is, until my August 29, 2006 chapel sermon when I discovered how intense and how substantial (although, according to the Lifeway poll in the minority) the opposition to my position and practice was or is. Nevertheless, because our church was birthed through the church planting efforts of the SBC and Brother Charles, and because the Lifeway poll and the recent affirmative vote of the EC motion on the role of the BF&M in Baptist life, our church will remain Southern Baptist for the foreseeable future and I will continue to morally, prayerfully and financially support the SBC and her entities as long as I see hope that the convention is moving in what I consider to be the right direction. The Lifeway poll regarding “private prayer language,” the EC, BF&M vote at the recent San Antonio convention, and the recent revisions of the IMB “tongues” policy that reflect a step in the right direction are all positive changes that breathed new life into me. Actually these actions energized me as it relates to my appreciation of and affiliation with SBC. Ibelieve God used me to contribute in some small way to assist in bringing about these positive changes. It is my prayer that IMB, NAMB and SWBTS will soon reflect the biblical viewpoint that Dr. Patterson so eloquently articulated in his SWBTS report in San Antonio and that is, restrictions and Pauline regulations with regard to public tongues and freedom and privacy with regard to private tongues. If the IMB had never adopted their tongues policy our convention would not be embroiled in this controversy, which will surely continue until the Indianapolis convention next summer. If our policies reflected the results of the Lifeway poll, I believe it would offer a truer picture of Southern Baptists as a whole. Nevertheless, I remain committed to the SBC and hope to see you in Indianapolis at the convention if not before.Finally, I’ve come to the purpose of this correspondence: Effective the above date, I am submitting my resignation as a trustee of SWBTS. I shall always be grateful and honored for the opportunity to have served the SBC and SWBTS this past year. As stated above my love and support will remain. However, my involvement as a trustee has been a huge distraction from my ministry priorities for the past nine months. I’ve devoted too much mental, physical, emotional and even spiritual energy to matters resulting from the aftermath of my chapel sermon. I’ve been distracted and consumed with SBC/SWBTS matters the past nine months in a way that I haven’t been the past 24 years of pastoring an SBC church. It has taken a tremendous toll on my family and ministry, and my wife believes it has negatively impacted my health. I simply want to return to the place I was prior to being a trustee.The time and attention that I’ve given to SBC/SWBTS issues since my chapel sermon, I must now once again devote to my family and the Cornerstone Church. Furthermore, I don’t want any possible future relationships or involvements with other missions or ministry opportunities to in anywise be misconstrued as a conflict of interest with my role as a trustee at SWBTS. I do not want my exercise of freedom of speech or freedom of associations in any way to create conflicts of interest or violations of SWBTS policies. Therefore, I must resign.This letter is much too long, but because my relationships with you, SWBTS and Paige Patterson are so precious to me, I wanted to make sure that I communicated to you from the bottom of my heart so that it would hopefully reduce significantly any potential misunderstanding growing out of my resignation. Dr. McClain, know that I’m available to assist as a friend of SWBTS in any way I possibly can. I’ve always done whatever SWBTS has asked me to do from the time of Dr. Dilday through the Patterson presidency. If asked, I will continue to do so. Enough said! God bless SWBTS, Dr. Paige Patterson, the Board of Trustees, and may He bless you.I’m forwarding copies to the persons listed below because I want them to learn of this from me first based on their office or our historic friendships.Sincerely in Christ,Rev. Wm. Dwight McKissic,

Sr. Senior Pastor

My Response to Media Accounts 

June 22, 2007 – 

 The Star Telegram reporter Bret Hoffman called my home about 10:30 pm Thursday.  I told him as I told Sam Hodges of the Dallas Morning News my letter says all that I want to say at this time.  Reporter Sam Hodges of the Dallas Morning News stated, if I did not talk to them, my side of the story would not be reflected therefore what I really wanted to say might misrepresented.   When Brett Hoffman asked about Dr. Klouda I said, “No comment” and that was the total extent of our conversation concerning that issue.  I have made no recent comments on the Klouda case and don’t necessarily plan to address this issue directly.   Be assured that I have no attack pieces planned for SWBTS.  I do plan to do a post of my reflections on the SBC in the aftermath of the San Antonio convention in 10 days, but it will be in the same tenor and tone that I presented in my resignation letter. Unfortunately, Brett Hoffman pulled articles from the past to use for his wording concerning the Klouda issue.  Be assured the same spirit found in my letter is the one I maintain.  I have no reason to be adversarial or antagonistic.   I regret the media’s exploitation of this situation.  A good friend that I choose to leave unnamed revealed this to the media.  Although he stated that it was “off the record” and I believe him I was very disappointed that he shared this and I have told him so.  The reason I did not want the media to be notified of this was so that I could avoid this kind of unbalanced reporting and unnecessary attention that my resignation could possibly cause.  I’m very sorry.  In no way do I want to cast any negative aspersions on SWBTS as a result of my resignation.