Turmoil at Southern Baptist seminary leaves stained glass artists picking up the pieces

Religion News Service | 5/15/2019 | Staff
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FORT WORTH, Texas (RNS) — Stained glass is fragile. So, too, are the fortunes of a stained glass artist.

Don Young and his wife, Debora, were reminded of that lesson last month with the abrupt cancellation of a lucrative, once-in-a-lifetime commission to produce a series of stained glass windows for the J.W. MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Project - Dozen - Years - Youngs - Studio

The project, launched in 2013, was to take a dozen years or more and could have brought the Youngs, who run a small studio out of their Fort Worth home, as much as $2 million in income.

“In our line of work, a job like that — oh, my God, it just doesn’t happen,” Don Young said in an interview with Religion News Service.

Dream - Dream - Job - Paycheck

“It was like a dream. And then, just like that, we went from a dream job with a regular paycheck to nothing.”

The windows, more than 60 in all, were to honor titans of the conservative resurgence within the Southern Baptist Convention. That movement began in the late 1970s with the stated goal of reversing what its proponents perceived as a liberal drift away from an unbending, unambiguous adherence to biblical inerrancy.

Tenet - Movement - Bible - Prescribes - Roles

One tenet of the conservative movement is that the Bible prescribes separate roles for men and women, precluding the latter from several functions of ministry. Another is that science can never override the supreme truth of Scripture — on, for example, such matters as creation.

In early April, the seminary’s board of trustees announced that it was removing the 32 windows that the Youngs had already completed, “in the best interest of the institution.”

Baptist - Explanation - Decision - Spokesman - Request

Southwestern Baptist offered no further explanation for the decision. A seminary spokesman, after initially saying he would respond to a written request from RNS for comment, did not do so.

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(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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