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Goodpasture too close to Madison turmoil

February 24 2007 at 6:45 PM
Goodpasture Parent  (no login)
from IP address

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
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Goodpasture and Madison?

February 27 2007, 12:49 PM 

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

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Ken Sublett
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Questions? Comments?

February 27 2007, 1:41 PM 

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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Re: Goodpasture and Madison?

February 27 2007, 11:05 PM 

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
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A Christian High School’s [Takeover and] Decline

February 28 2007, 1:20 PM 

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.”

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Re: A Christian High School’s [Takeover and] Decline

February 28 2007, 9:21 PM 

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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Goodpasture info

March 3 2007, 3:04 PM 

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
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Re: Goodpasture info

March 4 2007, 12:21 AM 

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?


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Re: Goodpasture info

March 4 2007, 10:25 PM 

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
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Bible head?

March 5 2007, 3:10 PM 

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

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Re: Bible head?

March 5 2007, 9:28 PM 

Goodpasture web site says Charles Baugh who I think is the preacher at Goodletsville.

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Re: Bible head?

March 12 2007, 11:21 AM 

Goodpasture's requirement that someone employed by the school or sitting on the board of directors (you do not have to be Church of Christ to be on the President's board only the main board) is in current practice humorous. Attending football games and other events on campus it is pretty clear that the environment is marginally church oriented but how is it reinforced or supervised relative to the students. Its not, they act like any other public school and in some instances worst.

I would almost rather see a strong ethics code at the school than to substitute a specific church affiliation as a substitute for ethics. When all the school requires of its employees is some affiliation with some Church of Christ, how do you even know that the individuals being employed are any more Church of Christ than someone who is a lukewarm Baptist or Methodist or Catholic? Showing by example might be more important than carrying around a membership card.

The politics at Goodpasture is just disgusting. The things I have read on the website goodpastureconfidential causes me to think that the school may have people in leadership who are Church of Christ attendees but do those leaders have what it takes to lead a school in these times? If not, perhaps more harm is done than good.

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Re: Bible head?

March 14 2007, 10:13 PM 

Based on the comment above, let's take that a step further and look at the overall breakdown of the Church of Christ and how this is playing into the hands of the change agents...Let's see the pattern here!

As a person who knew the Oakhills congregation BEFORE Max Lucado and AFTER, this is exactly how people like Max work. As many know on this website, I've stated quite frankly my opinion on Mr. Lucado and his "sales" ability; much less my firm belief that he is NOT a Christian by Biblical standards. (What other standards are there, really?) Yet, there are those who continue to applaud him and his leadership behind the division in the Churches of Christ.

What always amazes me is that so many of you believe he is some wonderful, newly enlightned preacher who has finally found the truth. He was a true member of the Church of Christ who came to a realization that there is another way...Really? Are some of you really that gullable?

Let's look at the facts and not his "sales pitch". As early as the late 70's, he was still behind the Baptist Church. During his long tenure at Oakhills, he NEVER gave up his beliefs in other ways/forms of religion. Even during his so-called "early days" at Oakhills, he never once acted as if he was fully a member of the Churches of Christ. And when confronted with teaching errors, he did admit he had "issues" with some things that were believed. Yet, he was allowed to stay on because he was so charismatic. Hence the reason so many of the original members left in disgust and disbelief. And now we are all shocked that he leads the change?

Has no one realized that he was planted at Oakhills to do exactly what he has done? To sew discord and disbelief? To cause a break in the very religion he admits he was never truly in agreement with? To let his charismatic personality sway people from the truth? Why are we shocked? My parents talked about this in the late 1980's. All the other Churches of Christ in San Antonio talked about how "mesmerized" the Oakhill members were and how far from the actually Word of God they had strayed. He was known for being weak on scriptural understanding, and, in fact, still shows his weakness today. Yet, so many of you buy his "feel good" but erroneous books.

Here is another instance of how the devil starts to tear apart a church and/or Christian school. How else would he do it? Walk up to you and say "Hey, I'm here to ruin yet another congregation and tear it away from God?" I don't think he's quite so honest and upfront.

And so, it starts with the school President and stops....where?

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Ken Sublett
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March 15 2007, 4:19 PM 

It is a fact that Max is terminally ignorant about the Bible along with too many others.
If not so then terminally evil about lying about too much of the Bible.
Max writes fiction and when I read hs first book being the TEXBOOK for my daughter's
class in Atlanta, I knew that he was not feeding on the Biible. As a reaader
of myths and early gnosticism I would say that many of his ideas are bleed
from documents he knows no one else will understand.

I remember some of the Operation 68 people and Max had to hustle through
college and get some PRACTICE before he could join up. Didn't Max return
c 1985 from Brazil. I know that he was used by Shelly in contriving the
Jubilee heresy with the stated intention of restructuring churches of Christ.

My guess is that Max is Spiritist but clearly not Christian. I think now
that he is Opportunist sucking the life blood of people who live on
the effeminant stuff. He confessed that he gets Ideas, buys up all of the
books and then TESTS each word for their effect. That is, he intends
to change people through what, along with music and rhetoric,
always been identified as SORCERY.

What I wonder about is that too many of the bonded buddies
have the same look and style and I wonder if the relationship is
not closer than the blood of Jesus.

What can you tell us about any hints of the Spiritist of Brazil
who converted more preachers than they did Brazilians?

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Re: Max

March 16 2007, 8:23 PM 

PPB, I certainly question your knowledge of the Oak Hills congregation before Max was the preacher since you can not even print the name of the congregation correctly. If you have any legitimate questions that you would like answered regarding Oak Hills, I would be glad to answer them.

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Dr. Bill Crump
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Re: Max

March 17 2007, 10:16 AM 

PPB gave some detailed information about Lucado, yet "Anonymous" discredits that on the basis of a typo? Because "Oak Hills" is typed "Oakhills"? If PPB's message had contained reference to a bookmark and it was typed as "book mark," would "Anonymous" have strained to deny the message over that as well? People tend to nitpick when they are unable to counter strong arguments.

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Tom Brite
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Re: Max

March 17 2007, 2:55 PM 

Sorry Doctor, the anonymous was me. My specific questions to PPB would be: 1. Who planted Max at Oak Hills? (I was a member at the time that he was hired as minister.) and 2. Which were the congregations in San Antonio ("all other congregations in San Antonio") to which PPB was referring? He/She seems to speak from quite a bit of knowledge, just would like an answer to these questions.

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Re: Max

March 17 2007, 11:29 PM 


Wow, aren't you a nice guy. I'm sorry I was typing so early in the morning that I didn't proofread just so you would be impressed.

I could write pages on this issue, but everyone here has already heard some of it and those that need to read it wouldn't take the time. I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

I grew up in San Antonio as an area preacher's kid. This provided me with more info on the Max scandal than a normal young adult. Add to that, some of my family and friends attended Oak Hills before, during and after Max arrived. And yes, I know a lot of what went on back when he first came, more than most the members since I was privileged to knowledge of the in-fighting over Oak Hill's teachings after Max arrived (though it took some years to become evident). I was also witness to some events.

That Max caused division amongst family and friends is undisputed and a well-known fact. My family was not immune to the fall out. That very few of the original members are still there is also undisputed.

To say that area Churches such as Northside, MacAurthur, Jefferson, etc (must I go on?) were upset is an understatement. Talk about shocked and upset! They all questioned why Oak Hills had hired Max and knew it would take Oak HIlls down the wrong road. It was very upsetting news at the time. An ex-baptist preacher who's beliefs were questionable and who didn't work well with other area preachers was not exactly a welcomed addition. The controversy was strong across all of South Texas and still is.

My best friend still attends Oak Hills, though it is NOT something we discuss. She admits that Oak Hills is teaching mistruth, but she feels she has a better chance of meeting a nice single man there due to their large singles group. What a sad excuse.

I chose not to be a part of a congregation that was leading souls down the wrong path. I had this strange idea that being quiet about something I knew was wrong would make me just as guilty. I couldn't understand why people couldn't see past his charisma to the false Biblical truth underneath.

And who do I think sent Max? I think most of us on this board are very aware of the small group who started this movement in the 70s. Why must I explain such a well known issue?

And thanks but no Tom, I do not have questions I need answered about Oak Hills. I know more than I want to know or care to know. Oak Hills saddens me to my core. Max Lucado will have to answer to God, not me. I'm just glad I will not be standing in his shoes at that time.

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Re: Max

March 18 2007, 8:26 AM 

PPB, I too am deeply saddened by events at Oak Hills. I know far too many who have left for other congregations, all unnecessary. I do not think that other congregations in town were upset with Oak Hills when Max was hired. In fact, I remember attending a joint series of lessons held between MacArthur and Oak HIlls with Rubel Shelly speaking. Many Northside members attended Oak Hills (visiting) during those early years that Max was speaking. (Jefferson, well they have had 15 members during all of those years, most over the age of 80).

Why do you say that Max was hired as an "ex-Baptist preacher." That is not true. While I will be the first to say what has happened is a tragedy, one not without hope of reversing, by the way, I think that it serves no purpose to misinform.

I apologize for my earlier demeanor.

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Re: Max

March 19 2007, 12:10 AM 

Thank you Tom, for calling me a liar once more.

Really, the area churches were not upset about Max? Wow, and to think, all those meetings didn't really happen...All those sermons I heard were never spoken. All those class discussions never occured. Amazing!

Do you really know Max Lucado? His background? Are you not aware of where he started and where he is heading?

What is sad is that the members had to leave their Church building to be able to attend a Church that preached the truth and not according to Max's theories. No wonder other Churches have been calling it the "The Church according to Max Lucado".

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