BPC Trustees: Caner Has Lied Like Coach o'Leary, But Still Deserves to Prosper

How could Brewton-Parker trustees justify hiring a man who has been caught on a multitude of audio and video recordings lying about himself (and has been aggressively unrepentant) to run their Christian college? That was the question for many of us who were concerned about integrity and credibility, as the lost world sees a Southern Baptist College plainly dismissive about such public sin and scandal. Did the trustees not know? Did David Wallace – the man in charge of communicating with the public over this issue during the hiring process – not give them the evidence we sent him? Did he not tell them our concerns? Had they not yet discovered the Internet, the one place where religious cronyism can’t make things just disappear?

We (a Pulpit & Pen contributing writer) gained clarity by speaking on several occasions with none other than David Wallace – filling in on an interim basis until Peter Lumpkins could take some of the additional responsibilities that were added to him during his tenure as the Director of Development. Originally signing on in a part-time position to write grants for the college, former President Simoneaux asked Wallace to take on these additional communication responsibilities. Although eager at times to pass the buck to his replacement, Peter Lumpkins, in the new position of VP of Communications, Wallace was able to share some valuable information with us. In fact, he reiterated that he shared information with us that was “exclusive information” directly from what was given to him by search committee person Linda Yawn and “that no one else has this information.”

Although some of the info given to us by Wallace in our question-and-answer sessions (including those instrumental in the presidential search committee and who the “men of reknown” were that gave their recommendation to BPC for Caner) will be reserved for The Caner Project documentary, one interesting piece will be shared now. What were the trustees thinking? How could BPC trustees hire a man who has told lie after lie about himself for nearly a decade?

Answer: Ergun Caner is just like disgraced Coach George O’Leary. According to Wallace, the general consensus was that “it’s common for a man, if he’s a had a setback, to still prosper.”

This was the illustration given to us by Wallace in multiple conversations concerning the trustee board’s feelings toward Caner. According to Wallace, the George O’Leary illustration is the trustee’s rationale for hiring Ergun Caner.

In case you’re not familiar, George O’Leary was – for a brief time – the head coach for Notre Dame. Prior to that, O’Leary was a successful coach for Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. O’Leary, who is in his own rights a successful head coach, is best known for his dismissal from Notre Dame for lies in his biography. His bio – created twenty years before – stated that he earned three letters in football at the University of New Hampshire. He never played a game. Once caught on this lie by a journalist, he then also freely admitted to fabricating a Masters Degree from a non-existent institution. O’Leary immediately resigned and apologized for disgracing himself and the institutions he had worked for. Since that time, O’Leary has reestablished himself at the University of Central Florida and has had several successful seasons.

There are some interesting things here.

First, this is an acknowledgement from a Brewton-Parker official – apparently emboldened by retirement (he scheduled his last day on the job, after he left for home, to speak to us) – that the trustees knew very well that Caner had lied. O’Leary was not set up, neither was he framed nor misunderstood. O’Leary lied. Again, this was the rationale given us by Wallace on multiple occasions.

Secondly, it should be pointed out that O’Leary – after being caught – willingly confessed other lies that were not yet in the open. This, of course, has not been the path of Ergun Caner. Instead, he has chosen to sue Southern Baptist Pastors for copyright claims of videos for which he doesn’t own the copyright. Caner is the only preacher in America actively seeking to remove his preaching from the public’s view. Caner has been defiant and aggressive toward those who’ve pointed out his lies, while O’Leary humbly apologized and was brought to repentance. To this day, in spite of the multitude of evidence alleging everything from being born and raised in Turkey (neither is true), speaking Arabic and Turkish (neither is true), fabricating over 60 debates he never had, and dozens of other things about his life that will be uncovered in The Caner Project, Ergun Caner has yet to repent or acknowledge any sin. He has only “apologized” for misstating the names of people he never debated and for implying (accidentally, according to him) that casual discussions were “debates.”

Third, the Catholic Notre Dame and Coach O’Leary showed more integrity than what has thus far been demonstrated by Liberty University (who, to their credit at least demoted Caner), Arlington Baptist College and Brewton-Parker College. Christian standards, one would think, should be higher than that of the world.

Fourth, a twenty year-old lie eventually caught up to O’Leary. Caner continues to lie and continues to conceal audio to hide it.

What’s most disturbing here is the trustee’s justification that just because someone has had a “set-back” (read that: repeatedly sinned) they should still be able to “prosper.” Prospering aside, I think the concept Wallace said the trustees were grasping for is called “restoration.” There can be no Biblical restoration, of course, without repentance (Hebrews 12:11).

As new Brewton-Parker appointees Peter Lumpkins and CB Scott refuse to answer the question as to whether or not Caner lied repeatedly about his life (a demonstration of the deficit of integrity to begin with), the Brewton Parker trustees are rationalizing their hire by acknowledging that he did lie. And sadly, they point to a man with more repentance than Ergun Caner and assert his “right to prosper.”

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16 Responses

  1. Interesting. This is what happens when repentance is described as an option for forgiveness. O’Leary repented. Caner didn’t. But for those who think that repentance has no connection to forgiveness, that difference doesn’t matter.

  2. Neptune says:

    JD, I decided to close my Twitter account. I didn’t want to get into the middle of the constant arguments and never-ending theological debates on Twitter. Anyway, I’m long-winded and 140 characters doesn’t work for me.

    The response from the Brewton-Parker trustees DOES NOT surprise us at all. Not at all. This is what I’ve been trying to tell you about this area. It is corrupt and they are willing to use any excuse to condone their corruption.

    As a matter of fact, I tried to post some troubling facts about the drug trafficking in this area on the popular political blog “Peach Pundit” and how it relates to Georgia’s economy. Because the blog’s Editor-in-Chief Charlie Harper has a weekly column in the local Montgomery Monitor, and obviously has a vested interest in keeping his employers happy, I was instantly accused of “thread-jacking”, and the conversation was quickly shut down.

    Even though this seems to be an innocent, small Southern town, it is not. Corruption is covered up on all levels. There have been times when people have “died” and the story is buried. Burglaries are never solved. Local banks are shut down by the FDIC and the details are glossed over in the newspaper. Once you read the names of the folks sitting on the boards of these banks, you will then understand. The latest banking scandal down here stinks all the way into Georgia’s political leadership (again, good ‘ole church-going folks)

    Again, the same landed gentry who bury corruption are the same ones who go to church. They are the same ones who sit in a bar on Saturday night and excuse themselves early because they need to be in Sunday School. (And yes, someone we know heard this conversation)

    This is the land of grandpa’s moonshine, which has been traded for meth labs, marijuana and the Lord only knows what else they’re selling on the streets. A local dentist in Vidalia was even busted for meth labs:


    It is absolutely mind-boggling that 30 trustees would be in favor of a pathological liar for president, but in order to understand the decision, you must understand WHO these people are. They are not nice people – they will smile and shake your hand – but behind your back……..

    It is not uncommon to have surveillance aircraft flying grids over Montgomery County. It happens constantly. A few days later, almost within spitting distance of BPC, there will be a meth lab bust.

    One more time…….to understand the Board of Trustees and their destructive decision, you must understand Toombs County, Montgomery County and Treutlen County. BPC is located in Montgomery County.

    Hiring a college president who openly lies would be right on par with these people. God knows I wish this wasn’t the truth, but it is.

    Let me say this, I’m not trying to derail this comment section, I’m trying to bring understanding as to why trustees at a Baptist school would be willing to hire someone like Caner. Brewton-Parker College exists in a context.

    Another example of the corruption down here:

    Regarding Aubrey Lee Price (former Baptist minister from Lyons, Georgia turned con artist investor)


    When Aubrey Lee Price came in with his magical $10 million to bail out Montgomery Bank & Trust:


    • Neptune, You’re right about the South, where I’m from and live. I’ve said that “Southerners are natural liars”. Even the myth of “Southern hospitality” is a lie, based on perceptions about smiles and hand-shakes. I know exactly what you mean about the culture you describe. And I think they will totally surprised by our complaint that there is something deeply wrong with that culture of lying.

  3. Neptune says:

    Thank you, John. We have constantly talked about the myth of Southern hospitality. I’ve lived in the South all of my life and had never lived in a very rural area until several years ago. Having a college education and having had my own business for several years, I have unfortunately seen the “ugly” and the “backstabbing” all of my life, even in the local churches.

    When people watch the Hollywood movies about the South or the small, quaint Southern town, I would remind them that it is a movie. It is not reality. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice, honest folks, but they are becoming more scarce by the minute.

    The people we encounter today are certainly not like my parents or grandparents. My grandmother was a Sunday School teacher for 50 years and loved the Lord with all of her heart. Not only did she serve God, she believed in living a life of honesty and holiness as unto the Lord. Her yea was yea and her nay was nay. She was not about foolishness.

    I was raised in a very Conservative, Christian home and attended a traditional church when tradition could still be found. In years past, the “sins” of the South would be hidden in the history books or in the dark recesses of a person’s mind. People would still try to hide the sins that they committed in the darkness. That is no longer the case today. Down here, we are up against the corruption 24/7. You honestly can’t trust anyone except your family.

    My husband and I are deeply concerned about Brewton-Parker College. We have been on the receiving end of some of the corruption/crime that is down here. However, no matter where you turn for help, you suspicion that you may be dealing with the enemy. I know that I must sound dramatic to some people, but it’s worse than people can imagine.

    If people could sense the corruption, darkness and spiritual oppression that is this area, they would understand why we are so worried about the appointment of Ergun Caner. We are currently praying about possible relocation because the spiritual oppression has placed a heavy burden in our spirits. You don’t have to live in a third world country to feel spiritual oppression.

    We have spoken with other people affiliated with BPC; and like us, they are deeply disturbed in their spirits, and for good reason. People who have lived in these trees for their entire lives may not see what I am talking about; OR, they see it and ignore it. More than ever, regarding this culture, I understand the term, “Ignorance is bliss”. Anyone could become jaded from a lifetime of this. However, you would have to live in a cave to not see what goes on down here.

    • You’re right about the South. Some people are deceived by all the churches, what I derisively call “the old time religion”. Someone once said that religion in the South is a mile wide but an inch deep. There’s a lot of lip service to it but it hasn’t really made much of an impact on the culture.
      An example is racism. There is no way that authentic Christianity can live peacefully with racism. But the old time religion in the South got along easily with racism.

  4. sethdunn88 says:

    I am aghast that trustees who would equivocally compare a football coach to a Christian administrator were appointed to a oversee christian college.

    Not only do they ignore scripture but logic and reason have now been abandoned.

  5. paperthinhymn says:

    I think what has really struck me is that these people don’t care. They don’t seem to appreciate how important and serious the role is as President of a Christian College. We’ve contacted lots of people, and they don’t look into them, or investigate them. They just say “we trust that panel”, even though it is so patently clear that whatever panel cleared him we’re either completely incompetant, or they are liars and complicit with him. I just don’t get why they don’t care. It baffles me

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow to see that they openly knew about Caner and went a head with this…shame on them

  7. We now have indirect confirmation that Richard Land was behind the removal of my article at “The Christian Post”, on December 19, entitled “Mark Driscoll, Ergun Caner, and the Scandal of Evangelical Integrity” (now at: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2014/01/02/mark-driscoll-ergun-caner-and-the-scandal-of-evangelical-integrity/). This would have been the first explicit exposure of Caner on a major Christian media out-let that I know of.

    I’ve corresponded John Gano, the Senior Managing Editor at The Christian Post. When I originally submitted my article to him he wrote, “I like this one” and accepted it for publication. It appeared on The Christian Post Dec. 19 at about 9:30 AM (EST) and was taken down without explanation by the time I got back from lunch. I had no idea why. Now in an e-mail exchange I twice point-blank asked Mr. Gano if Richard Land, the executive editor, was behind removing the article. He responded otherwise but did not answer that question. So I asked him one more time, explaining that if I didn’t get an explicit denial that Land was behind it by the end of the day (2-3-14) I would assume he was. I didn’t get any further response.

    Conclusion: I believe we can we can identify Richard Land as fully participating in the cover-up.

    • ^ I should have said, “he responded to other matters”. Gano twice notably passed on answering whether Richard Land instructed him to remove my article. Then he wouldn’t respond when I told him anything other than an explicit denial would be deemed an affirmation that Land was responsible.

  8. Neptune says:

    Peter Lumpkins announced on his Twitter account that he had lunch with the following young man in the link below. Notice any resemblance to someone?


    By the way, since Caner can’t decide if he was born in Istanbul or Stockholm, the Georgia Driver’s License Requirements will help him out with this issue. Had a name change lately? They’ll be interested in his paperwork.


  9. mennoknight says:

    No surprises here. Sadly.

    If only Christian apologists, college professors and celebrities would heed the famous words of Spiderman’s uncle…but they don’t listen to wisdom from comic books let alone God.

  10. Jim Sarco says:

    No surprises here. Sadly. The mennoknight site is pure excrement and trash.

    If only the mennoknight site was deleted, college professors and celebrities would heed the famous words of Spiderman’s uncle…but his site continues to be utter junk.

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