Mercer sent this “Statement Concerning my Dismissal from Bob Jones University” to BJU Board of Trustees after his firing on June 15, 1953.
For those of you unfamiliar with BJU, the statement is a snoozer, so you can head over here. For those of you currently associated with BJU, you’ll dismiss it as some crackpot with an agenda who just needs to “shut up.” He even mentions that — that people wanted him to “crawl off into a hole after being fired.” So you can mosey over here.
But if you’ve ever found yourself on the other side of a BJU administrator’s desk feeling the ax hovering above your neck, the statement reads eerily prophetic.
The litany of accusations against him are mostly familiar. We’ve all been called the same whether in front of or behind our backs — “avowed enemy of the school,” unfaithful, inefficient, deceitful, “one of the greatest crooks in the history of the school,” demon-possessed, “the devil.” Mercer euphemizes the most intense accusation of homosexuality under the term “my moral character” — an accusation that still lingers in contemporary BJU histories (more on that later).
You’ll want to look at the list of BJU Board Members near the end. It’s at the very least intriguing. There’s Homer Rodeheaver and Jack Wyrtzen. There’s Mordecai Ham and Ernest Reveal. And you see some familiar fathers there. Look. There’s Ted Mercer’s dad, Jim. And John MacArthur, Sr. (father of the John MacArthur, Jr.). and William Piper (father of John Piper).
BJU apparently was undergoing an enormous faculty turnover in the 1952-53 school year — a movement that would only continue into the years to come. Mercer includes one letter of resignation in the end of his pamphlet from Karl E. Keefer. We who have been associated with BJU since 1952 don’t know Dr. Keefer. We do know his replacement very well — a 24-year-old Dwight Gustafson.