Members of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Agency Restoration Group (ARG) met in Springfield Jan. 29, 2014 with leaders of the Missouri Baptist Foundation, The Baptist Home, and mediators Jim Grau and Rob Schenck as part of discussions aimed at ending litigation that began more than a decade ago.
The meeting followed an attempt at global mediation by Missouri Baptist Convention leaders and the Missouri Baptist Foundation, The Baptist Home, Missouri Baptist University, and Windermere Baptist Conference Center (Windermere) Jan. 14-16 in Columbia.
At both January meetings, the parties had the opportunity to express from their perspectives the main issues of the dispute and to propose solutions. Each party conveyed a desire to have a meaningful relationship with one another and to work together for the benefit of all Missouri Baptists. The deliberations were civil and conducted in a spirit of openness.
At the same time, the discussions further confirmed the disagreement concerning corporate governance. As we recently reported, this remains the primary issue of disagreement in the litigation between the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Missouri Baptist Foundation, The Baptist Home and Missouri Baptist University.
Thus despite months of discussions and hard work towards that goal by all of the parties, no agreement was reached at this most recent conference. As a result, the Missouri Baptist Convention will ask the courts to rule on pending motions and briefs to clarify the corporate relationship between the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Missouri Baptist Foundation, The Baptist Home, Missouri Baptist University, and Windermere.
The mediators have offered to continue their efforts to assist the parties in exploring paths toward reconciliation and a full resolution.