On April 21, 1992, Baptist Press ran an article announcing the trustee decision for the new president of Southern Baptists' seminary in Wake Forest:
Paige Patterson, an architect of the "conservative resurgence" in the Southern Baptist Convention, is the nominee for the next president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
Within the same article, another paragraph reads:
Two other candidates had been interviewed by the trustees' executive committee acting as the search committee, Ellsworth said. R. Albert Mohler Jr., editor of the Georgia Baptist newsjournal, The Christian Index, and Richard Melick, a professor at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tenn., are both considered strong and active conservatives within the SBC.
It's fascinating to wonder how Southeastern seminary would have fared had Dr. Patterson been the "also ran" rather than either Drs. Mohler or Melick. How would Southern have been different had Dr. Mohler been selected for Southeastern seminary?
Less than a year later (02/15/93), Baptist Press recorded the shortlist trustees were reportedly considering as the next president of Southern seminary:
The four finalists in a search committee's effort to recommend a new president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are, according to Associated Baptist Press, Bob Agee, Timothy George, Richard Land and Albert R. Mohler Jr.
Three days later, Dr. Agee withdrew his name from consideration due to what he apparently considered was an invasion of privacy. While Baptist Press picked up the story from Associated Baptist Press (ABP), it was ABP that Agee accuses of unethical journalism. In his letter of withdrawal, Agee reportedly said:
The action by ABP has compromised the interview process and creates a very difficult atmosphere which can be potentially harmful to the current places of service of the candidates... The decision of ABP to run the story the week of the interviews and to report the story with the tone used, in my opinion, has compromised the process and has the potential to be harmful or hurtful to the OBU family as well as to the candidate chosen for the post.
Eight days after announcing Al Mohler as one of four candidates on the trustees' shortlist for president of Southern seminary, and only five days after the eruption over revealing the shortlist, Al Mohler is publicly named as president of Southern seminary:
One has to wonder:
What would have become of Southern seminary had Dr. Mohler been bypassed there in 1993 as he was at Southeastern in 1992?
Our God reigns.