Goodpasture too close to Madison turmoil

Goodpasture too close to Madison turmoil

Goodpasture Parent
Goodpasture Parent

February 24th, 2007, 11:45 pm #1

Goodpasture grew largely out of Madison Church of Christ and closely related churches from the 1960's. With Bill Ruhl's retirement, much has changed and changed in ways that are of concern to many. Goodpasture is now less than 50% Church of Christ and apparently has its first non-Church of Christ instructor.

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Not Impressed
Not Impressed

February 27th, 2007, 5:49 pm #2

<font face=arial>Dear Parent,

It is interesting that you seem to be drawing a parallel between a church (at Madison) and a school (Goodpasture High School). If so, I’m inclined to believe that you are accurately stating your case.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Christian Church was such a strong force—it was gaining momentum and it dominated and acquired many of our large churches and schools; and it took a while for churches of Christ to regain what had been lost. That seems to be recurring.

If our Christian universities (Pepperdine, Abilene Christian, Lipscomb, etc.) have been/are being intruded by outside forces, why should our Christian high schools be an exception to this takeover? As the song goes, “How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts?” Of course, the change agents would say—there’s no better time than now to indoctrinate the young … and they will not depart from it. Unfortunately, the departure is a move for the wrong reasons.

I wonder, based on the history of the Saddleback Community influences at Madison, if Goodpasture HS had already been being subjected to the same influences and indoctrination while the change agents were busily taking over Madison in the 90’s. My question to you, Parent, is if you concur that this was the case at Goodpasture during that time?

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that GHS has its first non-church instructor. Lipscomb probably has more. I don’t know what to think of the more than 50% of the student body being affiliated with other churches.

I have a few questions to ask … later</font>
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

February 27th, 2007, 6:41 pm #3

Someone noted some time back that a teacher was fired from a church of Christ school for teaching that baptism was required.
The Baptists complained and the board lost its stiffness and fired the teacher.

Was that posted here?

A school funded by churches of Christ should not bow to internal or external pressure. Firstly, the people decided to send their children to the school based on perceived merit. Once they grow to be a majority the finances will test the ethics of the board of directors.

I served on such a board for 7 years and sad to say, the Bible program is pretty week and there is no plan to make a person competent in Bible knowledge as they are in math or science. Unfortunately, in my own family I regretted sending one for 13 years when the EXAMPLES were extremely damaging.

As teachers come out of the 'once Christian' colleges my impression from their knowledge and attitude is that they are ripe to infiltrate false teaching.

This would not happen in a Baptist school which would teach their views and refuse to have outsiders be on the board and threats would be handled with a firm hand.

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Anonymous
Anonymous

February 28th, 2007, 4:05 am #4

<font face=arial>Dear Parent,

It is interesting that you seem to be drawing a parallel between a church (at Madison) and a school (Goodpasture High School). If so, I’m inclined to believe that you are accurately stating your case.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Christian Church was such a strong force—it was gaining momentum and it dominated and acquired many of our large churches and schools; and it took a while for churches of Christ to regain what had been lost. That seems to be recurring.

If our Christian universities (Pepperdine, Abilene Christian, Lipscomb, etc.) have been/are being intruded by outside forces, why should our Christian high schools be an exception to this takeover? As the song goes, “How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts?” Of course, the change agents would say—there’s no better time than now to indoctrinate the young … and they will not depart from it. Unfortunately, the departure is a move for the wrong reasons.

I wonder, based on the history of the Saddleback Community influences at Madison, if Goodpasture HS had already been being subjected to the same influences and indoctrination while the change agents were busily taking over Madison in the 90’s. My question to you, Parent, is if you concur that this was the case at Goodpasture during that time?

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that GHS has its first non-church instructor. Lipscomb probably has more. I don’t know what to think of the more than 50% of the student body being affiliated with other churches.

I have a few questions to ask … later</font>
It is hard to say when the changes evolved at Goodpasture. Few doubt that it is no longer the school that it was in the 1970's or even the 1980's. Many trace the decline of the school academically and spirtually to a period 10 to 15 years ago. There may be a correlation or it may be a mere coincidence. However, many of the school leadership were among the leadership at Madison throughout that period. J.D. Elliot is on the Goodpasture Board still. Bill Ruhl was on the Goodpasture Board until he resigned last spring. Gilbert Drake who was selected to replace Dr. Ruhl was perhaps a deacon at Madison. Many of the teachers and families are clearly affiliated with Madison even today. Although many may have left Madison over the last 10 years, the question presents whether these who left and moved to other local charges are the very change agents being discussed. I do know that comments are often made in and around Goodpasture about a division in the Church of Christ based families and one segment being the "clappers."

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Not Impressed
Not Impressed

February 28th, 2007, 6:20 pm #5

Goodpasture grew largely out of Madison Church of Christ and closely related churches from the 1960's. With Bill Ruhl's retirement, much has changed and changed in ways that are of concern to many. Goodpasture is now less than 50% Church of Christ and apparently has its first non-Church of Christ instructor.

www.goodpastureconfidential.com/forum
<font face=arial>Dear Parent,

Thank you so much for responding.

I have other questions to which you may have answers, I hope.

You mentioned in your initial post that—“With Bill Ruhl's retirement, much has changed and changed in ways that are of concern to many.” Dr. Ruhl’s resignation or retirement occurred only last spring (spring of 2006). Is the implication here that much more has changed in less than a year? Perhaps, that’s not really surprising. My understanding is that he is no longer at Madison. Is he still in the local area and which congregation is he in fellowship with?

According to Madison’s Timeline, J.D. Elliot resigned from the eldership a few years ago—in the midst of the havoc—upon which I’m drawing my personal conclusion that he was in opposition to Madison’s takeover and wanted no part in the leadership that had allowed such to happen. I could be wrong in assuming that, according to the high school’s current situation—its apparent “takeover” and decline, Mr. Elliott is still a board member because he is in the midst of a school situation, rather than that of a church.

Is there some way that you can ascertain if Gilbert Drake was/is a deacon at Madison?

When you attributed the school’s decline to a period 10 to 15 years ago, I am reminded of the subtle and gradual takeover at Madison occurring during that same period—in the 90’s. It appears to be more than just a coincidence!

Your last statement about comments of a division in the church is noteworthy. While division resulting from the implementation of unwanted and unnecessary changes goes deeper than outward appearances, it is basically the church being segmented between: (1) those that prefer not to change God’s directives for the church and (2) those “clappers.”</font>
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 1st, 2007, 2:21 am #6

I believe Dr. Ruhl retired as the president of the school 3 years ago but he remained as a member of the school's board of directors on which he had served since the school was formed in the 1960's. He agreed to stay on 2 years to help Gilbert Drake as he took over the duties of president and to work on special projects. If I recall correctly, Drake or those supporting him claimed that Bill Ruhl was involved with the attempt to force him out as president last spring when Drake resigned and then came back after a parent uprising that involved "unsigned" letters etc. Drake came back with demands and conditions. When he came back Doyle Tidwell and Bill Ruhl resigned as board members.

J.D. Elliot was on Madison's eldership when we were there. I don't know when he left or why. Some might conclude he was not in agreement with the takeover. Others might similarly conclude that he and the other elders who resigned during that period were unwilling to fight for what was right. Only he knows for sure.

I am also certain Drake was a deacon at Madison somewhere around 2000. I remember sitting in church when he was presented to the church and comments were requested.

Takeover through differences of philosophy is an interesting question. When a church has grown as Madison did on fundamental conservative Church of Christ doctrine, it could be concluded that a takeover by those with a non-Church of Christ agenda is not much more than an invasion that almost equates to theft of Church of Christ assets. What would be the difference if a group of Church of Christ members decided they needed a bigger church but instead of building it, just moved into another church, let's say Baptists, and displacing that church's membership under false pretense in order to take over the facilities. Honest disagreement should not result in the problems that arose at Madison but impure agendas could be predicted to result in the events that unfolded.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 3rd, 2007, 8:04 pm #7

Goodpasture has always had a large population of non CofC students. I don't believe a non CofC instructor is a new thing. However,there have been very few. Now the President's board, created by Dr. Ruhl, has always been decided by MONEY, not church affiliation.

Gilbert Drake is a fine man that is NOT swayed by special interest groups. Dr. Ruhl did not have this intergrity. Sports ruled his school. I'm glad Gilbert has the job!!

The school is declining because of the neighborhood. They would be wise to follow DA to Sumner Co.

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Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

March 4th, 2007, 5:21 am #8

<font color=blue size=3 face=times new roman>Would you qualify your statement regarding “a large population of non CofC students”? It is somewhat a contrast to the initial post which stated, “Goodpasture is now less than 50% Church of Christ.” By “large population,” are you saying that it has always had more than 50% non-church of Christ students? I would like more specific data so that we can have a better perspective of its growth or decline.

Are you suggesting that since the President’s board “has always been decided by MONEY,” (a) that it continues to be decided by money still or (b) that it will take a different route under the new management?

It seems that Goodpasture is still ruled by sports. Do you believe that Drake will take measures to upgrade the school’s academic standing? You mentioned that “the school is declining because of the neighborhood.” Did you mean … the student population or the school’s standard?

Do you see any correlation between Goodpasture’s situation and that of the Madison congregation?

Donnie</font>
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 5th, 2007, 3:25 am #9

Goodpasture has always had a large population of non CofC students. I don't believe a non CofC instructor is a new thing. However,there have been very few. Now the President's board, created by Dr. Ruhl, has always been decided by MONEY, not church affiliation.

Gilbert Drake is a fine man that is NOT swayed by special interest groups. Dr. Ruhl did not have this intergrity. Sports ruled his school. I'm glad Gilbert has the job!!

The school is declining because of the neighborhood. They would be wise to follow DA to Sumner Co.
I strongly disagree that the decline in Goodpasture is the neighborhood. When I was there, students came from East Nashville to Springfield to Hendersonville to Donelson. If anything, the geographic reach now is the same if not expanded. I have seen students from as far away as southern Kentucky and Wilson County. I see fewer students from East Nashville - well, except for the sports program. I have heard it said that Goodpasture now sees its target areas as those areas to its west, north and east - it is not looking south.

I do however agree that the president's board is a waste of time for those on it. They have no purpose or duty. It is an honorary position with little participation except as a panel of contacts that were selected for reasons ranging from money to influence. If it was so important for the school to be led by Church of Christ believers then explain why that feature does not apply to the president's board. It is likely because leadership is not expected but other support is.

As for Mr. Drake, he is a nice man but he is not a leader. He has been in control of the school for 3 years and there is no material evidence that it is turning around and/or that the academic standings are increasing. The rumor mill has it that one principal and as many as 10 teachers are not renewing their contracts at the end of this school year. That might be fine if these were individuals that needed to be pruned anyhow but I suspect that the ones leaving are the ones who are aware that the school has hit an iceburg with its current administration and board.

God himself (or perhaps other super human beings who influence the decisions of humans) knows why Mr. Drake was really selected or why he returned after resigning last spring. It is not apparent to human evaluation. When he was hired, and even now, he had no experience in education, he had no master's or doctoriate degrees in education, he has never taught, he has never been a principal or administrator, he was never even the chief executive officer of a business. He sold insurance and then sold seats on corporate jets. Neither of those have a lot to do with setting and enforcing academic policy, overseeing teachers and principals, dealing with demanding parents, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, this is not to say that Mr. Drake is not a good man nor that he is not trying. But, seriously, how many white collar insurance salesmen are selected to be surgeons or to lead the military or to do any other thing that requires and needs experience and qualifications to succeed. Its almost comedic. Why would any prudent person select a position of such importance knowing that they had no qualifications unless either qualifications were unimportant or their ego was clouding their judgment? My goodness, the position of president of a K-12 school facility should require some experience and qualifications. But apparently, the Goodpasture Board (which was under the control of Bill Ruhl and Doyle Tidwell at the time) wanted something other than an individual with experience and qualifications in leading an educational institution when they selected Mr. Drake. Perhaps they felt that an individual with experience and qualifications might not agree with the unguided manner in which the board of directors has allowed Goodpasture to operate since the early 1990's that has contributed to its decline as an educational facility.

No doubt, Goodpasture knows how to recruit atheletes but does it operate its sports program as a first priority or does it operate its academic program as a first priority. I think, at best, Christian principles are 3rd or 4th in priority.

I am very disappointed in and and concerned about the future of the school unless, as with Madison, the parents stand up and demand that they be allowed to remove the existing board and appoint capable, competent men and women to take a good hard look at the school and set it back on a path of educating young men and women in a Christian environment as was originally intended.
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Ken Sublett
Ken Sublett

March 5th, 2007, 8:10 pm #10

Do you know who heads their Bible department and where he was trained?
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