Camp Windermere's Fan

March 31, 2008

My latest column came out today in the BGCM E-Message, the monthly newsletter of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. It is entitled "Camp Windermere's Fan" and talks about Windermere Baptist Conference Center. I deal with false attacks on the ministry and refer to an Oscar Wilde play entitled Lady Windermere's Fan. Here are a few excerpts:

Sometimes it seems that Missouri Baptists are stuck in an Oscar Wilde play as miscommunication and false claims often lead to inaccurate judgments and poor decisions. Windermere Baptist Conference Center has been the victim of false statements and mean-spirited gossip that has led some to believe things that are not true. Interestingly, both Wilde's characters and Windermere Baptist Conference Center are named after the same lake in England. Before the Baptists established campgrounds at Windermere, it had already been called "Windermere Club" because of resemblance to Windermere Lake in England.

... Despite the innuendo and attacks, the ministry continues. Windermere has remained focused on building lives despite lawsuits filed to harm their ministry. Fortunately, a judge recently offered a careful analysis of the merits of the case and ruled for Windermere. Hopefully, the legal and other attacks will end soon. The Baptist General Convention of Missouri gladly supports the life-changing ministry of Windermere. Individuals and churches cooperating with the BGCM have been able to help thousands of individuals make decisions at Windermere that have changed their lives forever.

... Hopefully, we can put aside the gossip and inaccurate claims so that we can work together to share the love of Jesus. When we hear false gossip and attacks against Windermere, we should remember what Lady Windermere declared at one point in the play: "there is not a word of truth in this stupid story." It is time to focus on ministry and not legal conflicts. It is time to focus on changing lives and not falsely accusing others. It is time for each of us to be a fan of Windermere Baptist Conference Center.
As one whose life has been changed by Windermere, I consider myself a fan of Windermere and hope other Missouri Baptists will join me in supporting this important ministry.