Tennessee Baptists drop challenge to Belmont University

Test of whether Southern Baptist–related colleges can be independently run
In the latest test of whether Southern Baptist–related colleges can be independently run, Tennessee state Baptists have reached an agreement to drop their lawsuit to regain control of the 4,800-student Belmont University in Nashville.

Belmont will provide the state organization a total of $11 million toward a ministry-endowment fund, and Tennessee Baptists will end their attempt to regain control, lost in 2004 when the school’s trustees acted to make it independent.

State convention messengers, or delegates, meeting in Kingsport, received the news from a negotiating committee with applause. The pact ends the convention’s 56-year-old relationship with the school and also likely marks the end of a sometimes bitter dispute.

 

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