Judge Richard Callahan ruled in favor of Windermere Baptist Conference Center, and of course against the Missouri Baptist Convention. You can read more about the reaction on Windermere’s website or in one of the local newspapers. Suffice it to say, this is a significant win not only for the Conference Center but also for the remaining Baptist institutions whose trials are pending. Many Missouri Baptists were watching to see what happened with Windermere with the view that it might set a precedent for the others.
It’s no big secret that the Convention isn’t happy about the decision, and has already decided to take the matter to the Appeals court. This means that this matter will take another indefinite period of time to deal with the lawsuit plus the fact that additional monies will be required. Missouri Baptists are footing the bill for this ongoing struggle by the way, and it’s not too hard to imagine where these dollars could go if the matter was dropped.
I’m new to the state, so this is wishful thinking I’m told.
Our church is glad to be called a friend of Windermere, and we offer our congratulations for this victory. It’s unfortunate that this beautiful retreat center has suffered a loss of business and a damaged reputation at the hands of the Missouri Baptist Convention. What is apparent to me is that if the convention can’t control Windermere then it will attempt to destroy it or send it into bankruptcy. Perhaps this decision will offer some vindication for Windermere, but unfortunately I do not expect the MBC to let this defeat go unchallenged. Still, this is an important victory and is worthy of celebration.