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Bob Jones University, Board of Trustees, 2011

From 2007-2010, Charles Phelps was not on the Bob Jones University, Board of Trustees. From 2007-2009, he was president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College.

In April 2011, 20/20 broadcast an exposé on Ernie Willis’s rape trial — a broadcast in which I participated. Charles Phelps, Ernie Willis’s pastor at the time of the rape and defender at the time of the trial, was interviewed for that broadcast as well. At that time, we did not know what we know now:

Charles Phelps was already back on the BJU Board of Trustees. We know that now. This is the kind of “minister” with which BJU aligns. This is a graduate of whom they are most proud.

2011a 2011b

UPDATE: If you want to do something about this, Bob Joneser at Chance Rants has some worthwhile suggestions.

36 thoughts on “Bob Jones University, Board of Trustees, 2011

  1. Well, I for one will have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness such as Chuck Phelps.

  2. Wow. BJU snapped him back up as soon as they could.

    If you can find the MBBC board statement regarding Phelps’s resignation, you’ll note that it is dated May 25, 2009. The BJU board already had its meeting earlier that year. Chuck was apparently nominated and voted back onto board at the very next meeting with elections–May 2010.

  3. Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.
    “Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’

    “Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.

    “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. ~ Matthew 23.1-12, The Message

    1. AMEN! “Jesus came to serve, not to ‘be served!” “Jesus was a friend of sinners!” We ‘know’ we need a Savior. I don’t think ‘they’ know that anymore. Lord have mercy on them all. For all of you good ex-fundamentalists, who have been praying for improvement there, ‘this shocking realization’, must come as a real downer. But Jesus has not forgotten your fervent prayers. Some day, the light will shine brighter over there, and the lord will open people’s hearts and minds ‘up to the truth’. Maybe someday there will be a ‘massive walkout’! Who knows how God will intervene? We don’t know, but I believe He ‘will.’ You all have friends in high places ( heaven , angels ), and you have ‘paid’ a painful price to gain your freedom from that place and the system that controls it. God will never forget your devotion to Him and your courage to stand up, change your mind, do your own thinking, support each other, and fight the good fight. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee, is mighty, is mighty!” And everybody says AMEN! Love you guys! Love this blog. Love this awesome God!

  4. Come on now Dr. Lewis, all the man did was force a child to publicl confess to the congregation her sin of allowing herself to be raped. And for that poor Pastor Phelps has been vilified in the librul godless media!

    1. How can a man with no respect from any sane American, believer or no, possibly have ‘anything left’ of his pathetic character to ‘be’ vilified, by ‘anyone’ anymore? The mysoginy in IFB fundamentalism, is so bad, it makes ‘unregenerated sinners’out in the fallem world look good! How can the man look at himself in the mirror? Is this the spiritual nightmare of what happens to people when they have completely shut down their consciences? And no longer care about people? Is this what the Bible speaks of, such as “without natural affection”? No love for anybody? Is this what bad religions looks like in its ugliest form? Is this one more nail in the ‘coffin’ of the death knell of IFB fundamentalism in America? Didn’t Jesus say something about’ a millstone around a person’s neck, who causes one of these little ones to stop believing in Him ? I wonder how many years ago, Phelps stopped listening to God? Thirty? Forty? Or, as soon as he was ‘exalted’ to his high and mighty PREACHER BOYS PULPIT? My God, deliver America from shameful religious leaders like these. I am shocked beyond distraction at this.

  5. This is infuriating. Chuck Phelps has never even apologized or admitted he was wrong! I wouldn’t trust him to take care of my dog, much less influence any policies or decisions about my college aged child. It is disgusting.

    I can’t help but notice one other thing: could this group of people be MORE lily white? Good grief!

  6. Phelps has never once pubicaly apologized or been called out to do so by anyone with Bob Jones University, his church, or other fundy leaders. Even AFTER it was proven he lied by his own testimony under oath.

    While Brian Fuller was interviewing with 20/20, Phelps was spreading lies around the country, before the trial ever took plaace Chuck Phelps was quietly placed back on the board of Bob Jones University.

    1. I hope you’e right Clinton. Letting this man back on their board, is basically saying, ‘they all agree with the man’s behaviour and treatment of the fifteen year old rape victim.’ Ignore the victim and reward the secondary abuser, the pastor who refused to protect her and call in the authorities! Exalt the mysoginist pastor, and completely forget, the scandal and reproach, the entire tragedy, has brought to Christanity and christian chuches in America. Lord open EVERYONE’s eyes!

  7. my family and I have recently left Colonial Hills Baptist Church because of this issue. I met with 4 deacons over the past few months and 3 of them basically had the same response word for word. It was obvious that they had been coached and I later found out that David Gibbs had met with them earlier.

    After 12 great years at Colonial my wife and I decided that we had had enough. Colonial was a breathe of fresh air for us after we both grew up under the Jack Hyles regime in Hammond. We will be forever grateful for the people of the church but are saddened by the lack of concern regarding the truth of this issue.

    We will never be members of an IFB church again. There is NO accountability and the “big cheese” has far too much power. We are currently visiting other solid churches in our area and will officially move our membership before year end.

    Our prayer is that the truth would continue to come out and that ALL those who have done wrong would be held accountable.

    1. So happy for you and your family that you are looking for a healthier community. God Bless you. It’s an important step to take, to ‘know’ that ‘you’ve had enough’ and that’it’s time to move on. There’s been so much conniving complicity and deliberate cover up manipulation regarding this Tina tragedy, that I believe there are ‘many’ people who could have done something to help, but who ‘did nothing’. They have to live with whatever they have left with of their consciences. I think Phelps is a SCUD, and the people who let him back on the BJU board are SCUDS as well. SCUD means: sneaky, Conniving, Underhanded and Deceitful. Jesus called people like these snake and vipers. Now we can understand something of Jesus righteous anger, when he confronted the Pharisees with their bad religionistic SIN. “Whitewashed sepulchers full of dead an’s bones and all uncleanness.” ‘Bring out the dead. Bring out the dead.’ They’re DEAD in TOXIC BLIND RELIGION. God help them!

  8. Anderson Cooper and Mike Tuchman need to investigate and find out why Chuckie-baby is fit to be on the board. Maybe a prime-time expose would help bring public attention to the matter, hence helping the decision makers understand that Chuck’s crimes will NOT go un-noticed. EVER.

    1. I have hoped for the same thing that perhaps this could get on CNN for wider exposure. Not sure what Anderson Cooper’s ‘scandal rating’ is, ( no offense for all those who have been scandalized by this shocking matter ) for something to be considered newsworthy enough to be good news copy? Anderson has a producer for the telecast, so he’s not entirely independent in this sense. Maybe if some of you guys feel direceted to do so, you might consider emailing Cooper. I don’t watch him all the time, but I respect the man for really being shocked at seriously wrong things, realistically, and without ‘ever’ rationalizing the terrible suffering that people go through. I have never seen or heard the man ‘ever’ minimize or invalidate, the pain and abuse, or the seriousness of scandal, from the bad chuch practices on people, and on children that have been reported on CNN. Maybe his producer needs to know that there is a large contingency out there that is seeking wider exposure of this terrible insult to good christians and good people everyhere in America. That an institution would ‘reward’ an abusive pastor, after he punished an innocent victim, and even ‘lied’ about what he said and did. No wonder places and churches like BJU are unsafe for people to be in! Isn’t there a verse in Proverbs, where it says, ‘when bad, evil leaders are exalted’… the people are not in a good or safe place? I’ll bet it’s ‘not safe’, to say anything about this on campus, right now, at BJU! Inimidation to silence by fear. It always works when people don’t want to get picked off by the religious mafia goons. Sorry for the rant. This has just upset me so much. Rewarding Phelps is like a ‘slap in the face’to Tina, re everything she went through. Don’t let this matter die down. Keep it alive until someone picks it up on the news. Maybe it’s time for another tv special documentary,like a follow up to the 20 / 20 one. Maybe people could contact the reporter who hosted the 20 / 20 documentary. Don’t give in or give up guys. Remember, the best way for evil to continue, is for good people to do nothing about it. when people don’t bother taking a stand on anything, they end up ‘standing for nothing.’ Something that no responsibile christian would ever want to be guilty of, ‘standing for nothing’. Love you guys!

  9. Did the Truth Seeking Graduates group get deleted from facebook? I’ve been following some of the comments/stories there (where I found this blog post) about the Phelps issue and I cannot find it again.

      1. Thanks Camille for putting this link on your web. I just looked at it and the comments are of course right on the money. Now I just need to figure out how the heck to sign the petition, because the alum say you don’t have to have attended BJU or be a grad. Thanks for all your good service in exposing this to as many people who want to know about it and take a responsible and bold stand against it. We must never let this thing die down. No ‘let sleeping dogs lay’ for this scandal! No way Jose! Thanks again. keep u the good work.

  10. When you really look at this it isn’t a surprise at all. There are at least four men on these boards with strong ties to Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis. Wendell Heller, Bob Taylor, Joe Henderson, and Chuck Phelps. Strong ties here and none believe that Chuck has done anything amiss.


    1. They’re all so co dependant. They re inforce each other in all of their weaknesses, which they blindly believe to be ‘strengths’. Theyre like ‘religious bananas’. They hang around in a bunch. I can’t imagine how this kind of thing breaks the heart of God who loves these people, people who have relegated salvation and christianity to church organizational politics, and greedy- -effective ‘control of people’. I call them people rather than christians, because they really are ‘bad christians.’ I think it’s disgusting. Control, control, control. Cause the goons want your soul. “Let my people go!” There’s so much ‘spiritual’ and ‘relational’ idolatry in these places, more than I ever realized before! Relationships of people with their pastors and with their fellow members, being more important than their relationship with God and His Son? Afraid to put God first, and leave such places, because they don’t want to be placed on ‘a black list’ and ‘lose’ their friends. They place their pastors ans their friends, above and more important, than listening to God for themselves and for their own spiritual health and well being? What about Jesus? For crying out loud? Doesn’t ‘He’ have anything to say in all this? But you see the noise and cachaphony of the ‘wrong voices’ coming from religion, how easily such things, such over emphasized relationships, ‘drown out’ that still small voice, and deceive us from ‘not’ listening to one’s own conscience! Lord save us all from our wrong priorties. Lord deliver us from these blinding forms of idolatry.

  11. So as I’m reading all of the information from various blogs and Twitter a question came to my mind. First of all, BJUAlumni via Twitter claims that Phelps was put back on the board in 2009 after he left MBBC. That may or may not be true. At least the timing of it all is in question. Second, he became the senior pastor at Colonial Hills in Indiana shortly after leaving MBBC. His biography page at Colonial Hills lists personal information such as his likes, interests, etc. It also lists his accomplishments as one might expect. It then goes through a list of advisory boards that he serves on and lists many of them by name. There is where the question hit me. Why isn’t his position on BJU’s board listed? Certainly, it should be one of the largest, if not the largest feather in the cap of a IFB pastor. It would seem to be much more prestigious to claim you are part of BJU’s board than the GFA or the WCCA, yet that information isn’t there. Why? Could it just be that no one wanted the news to get out? A cover up? Surely not!

    1. BJUAlumni as stated here is incorrect:


      I don’t know if Jonathan Pait (who runs the social media for the Alumni Association) is just mistaken or if there’s something else up. But their own documents prove that Phelps was *not* on the BJU Board from 2007-2010. I have the yearbooks all out in front of me, and their own catalogs reveal the facts:


      I don’t know if Jonathan was told this officially from the top, if it’s just chatter around the office, or if he got his dates just mixed up. But this is not the truth. This is not reality.

      1. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I’m obviously less concerned about when he was put on the board, though that is important, than the fact that he is on the board. My real point, which you picked up on, is that being on a board should be something to be proud about. Both for the individual and for the institution. Yet neither BJU nor Chuck seemed to be very forthcoming about this new appointment. Why?

        As I see it, and I’m not a BJU alumni (just someone who is angered by this whole ordeal), there are three main questions; why did BJU place Phelps on the board (i.e. how did they determine that he was an eligible candidate), when did they place him on the board, and why did they hide the fact, or at least not publicize that he had been placed on the board. Yes, there are other questions as well, but they are sub questions of those main three.

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