Does Albert Mohler Compromise His Ethics to Keep Wealthy Donors Happy?

By | December 14, 2019


“A giant has fallen in Israel. The death of Dr. Duke K. McCall reminds us of the lengthened shadow one man can cast over a great denomination.  He, along with Drs. W.A. Criswell and Herschel H. Hobbs, brought the Southern Baptist Convention into the modern age.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, speaking after the death of Dr. Duke K. McCall in April 2013.
Source: The Christian Index 


I understand the inherent difficulties the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (admittedly the flagship seminary of the SBC) has of coddling wealthy donors, whose gifts frequently come with strings attached, while at the same time attempting to maintain the ethical Christian posture on sensitive social issues such as the sexual abuse of children or racial justice.

I was thrilled to hear that in February of this year Dr. Mohler, after speaking at length with Rachael Denhollander, a well-known advocate for victims of sexual abuse, realized his error in supporting C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches and, along with Danny Akin, made a public apology for their actions. You may recall that Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Covenant Life Church combined to donate over $200,000 to SBTS.


Portions of the statement referred to in the screenshot above are included below. It should be noted that Dr. Mohler is the only individual to have retracted his statement of support for C.J. Mahaney. Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan have, not surprisingly, remained quiet on the subject. As the saying goes: actions speak louder than words. Dever and Duncan are fine public orators but just can’t seem to apologize for supporting a man who has covered up the sexual abuse of children in the denomination he once led.

Statement from Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler
Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM

We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity. We can make no judgment as to the truthfulness of the horrifying charges of sexual abuse made against some individuals who have been connected, in some way, to Sovereign Grace.

A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney.

Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals.

For this reason, we, along with many others, refused to step away from C. J. in any way. We do not regret that decision.  We are profoundly thankful for C. J. as friend, and we are equally thankful for the vast influence for good he has been among so many Gospel-minded people.

On matters of protecting the vulnerable, Christians know what judgment must be made. We side with the victims. May every true victim of any injustice be vindicated. May every doer of wrong be exposed.

Those who minister in the name of the Lord Christ bear an inescapable duty to live and to minister in a way that is above reproach. Those who teach, reminds James, will face a stricter judgment. [James 3:1] May everything we do, everything we teach, and all that we are be measured against that standard.

Together for the Gospel,
Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler


So, while it seems that Dr. Mohler has done the right thing as it pertains to the sexual abuse of children; when it comes to racial issues Dr. Mohler just doesn’t seem to “get it.”  While I give Dr. Mohler credit for instigating a report on the history of slavery in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary,  his optics on racial issues remain absolutely terrible.

Below are a few illustrations from past blogs that illustrate my point.

“I believe I see in all this the end of slavery. I believe we are cutting its throat, curtailing its domain. And I have been, and am, an ultra pro-slavery man.”
-James P. Boyce, founder, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary



This leads me to the subject of my blog today.  In August Dr. Mohler announced that his good friend, Mark Dever has been appointed as the “first Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership.”


Mark Dever Inagural Duke K…. by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

Who is Duke K. McCall, you ask? He was the seventh President of SBTS, serving from 1951-1982.  He was the President when Al Mohler arrived at the SBTS as a student.

Duke K. McCall was also the founder of a secret society called Dodeka. This secret society was comprised of twelve men. Membership was by invitation only and consisted only of white men who were attending SBTS. I do not think it’s a stretch to label Dodeka as a white supremacist organization.  Dr. Mohler was a member while attending SBTS. Mohler, when questioned about his membership in the secret society, downplayed it calling it a social group that was basically a dinner society that offered an opportunity for fellowship, a noteworthy objective. Mohler is a smooth talker, you don’t get to his position without this ability.  The question you must ask yourself is was he being truthful about Dodeka? I believe Paige Patterson knew better.

I urge you to listen to the following three short audios.




On April 19, 1961 Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville, KY. It was and still is the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

King spoke to classes and in chapel about the need for Christians to support racial desegregation. The students and several faculty members received him well.

Others did not.

One man representing a church in Montgomery, AL wrote, “We know Martin Luther King for what he is, and how you, as president of this institution could permit such a racist agitator to appear before your student body is beyond me…We voted not to contribute even one cent to an institution whose president would permit a man like Martin Luther King to appear as a speaker before our future preachers.”

Seminary president, Duke McCall, soon issued an apology. “The Executive Committee of theBoard of Trustees, together with President Duke K. McCall, wishes to express regret for any offense caused by the recent visit of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to the campus of the Seminary.”

King never visited the seminary again.

We should never forget the level of opposition, especially from white Christians, that activists endured throughout all phases of the Black freedom struggle. We should also realize that opposition has never completely gone away.
Source: Jemar Tisby – Facebook Post  


Matthew J. Hall, provost at Southern Seminary called McCall a “transformational leader.” Hall also stated that McCall’s family had made a generous investment. Translated, that means they have donated a boatload of money to Southern Seminary. Funny how people say all kinds of nice things about a dead man when his family is donating big bucks to the Seminary that employs you!

Jason K. Allen, the President of the Midwestern Baptist Seminary, said in the article below that Duke K. McCall was a cherished friend. Allen also said McCall maintained a close relationship with Southern Seminary and that Al Mohler, Southern Seminaries faculty and administration all held McCall in “highest esteem.” In Allen’s Memoriam about the only thing it sounds like McCall didn’t do was walk on water. Call me a cynic, but can there be any doubt Allen is hopeful that McCall’s family will funnel a little of their wealth to the Seminary he presides over?

Dr. Mohler is apparently gearing up to make a run for the position of president of the SBC. I would guess he will easily win the election. In my opinion, Mohler is the ultimate politician. Does he actually have firm convictions on any issue or is he simply a pragmatic man, willing to say anything that enables him to continue his climb to the most powerful position in the SBC? That’s a question for SBC members to figure out.


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If Al Mohler truly cares about child sexual abuse victims of Sovereign Grace Ministries, then why doesn’t he personally apologize to them?

I know some of these victims quite well and
would therefore probably be aware if Mohler had made any such gesture.

I think you’re being very generous in your assessment of Al Mohler’s character overall, Todd. 😉 He’s seems like the classic Machiavellin pragmatist to me.

More details about Dodeka’s history, including its possible association with the occult, can be found here.

The Louisville Courier Journal itself is the primary source cited in the article referenced above.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Mr. Jesperson

You nailed it with the Machiavellin pragmatist label except for one point. They are quite content staying out of the limelight and enriching themselves on the coattails of the narcissist who is grabbing all the attention and power. This guy is going for the gusto with a big lust for temporal power just like Satan. I would describe him and all the other top guys in religious institutions like this as narcissists with some also being sociopaths like Driscoll and others being psychopaths like the murderous James McDonald.

Jesus said the greatest of us would be those who serve without becoming rich and famous and powerful while doing so. Mohler’s school has janitors that are greater in heaven then this neo-Pharisee. I honestly dislike most all of the top leaders in the SBC. You do not have to look hard to start finding scandals there, because it ain’t Christian. Jesus had zero selfish-ambition and was humble. These guys just go around praising each other until the press gets bad. Then some make weak all-too-late apologies while others just stonewall. Woe to these guys for they still “shut heaven in people faces” with their blatant hypocrisy.

Headless Unicorn Guy

You nailed it with the Machiavellin pragmatist label except for one point. They are quite content staying out of the limelight and enriching themselves on the coattails of the narcissist who is grabbing all the attention and power.

Tabaqui the Jackal, sucking up to Shere Khan for the scraps from the tiger’s kills.

Headless Unicorn Guy

Does Albert Mohler Compromise His Ethics to Keep Wealthy Donors Happy?

“Is a bear Catholic?
Does the Pope crap in the woods?”
— Gilber Shelton, Fabulous Furry Freak Bros

Stephen F Walsh

All I heard was that they wanted to “plant” Calvinists in leadership. Horror of horrors!

Care to share your source, so that others can review it?

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Stephen F Walsh

This Dodeka judging from the clips does not reveal any white supremacist beliefs. Not saying they don’t have any just that there has been no real evidence shown that they hold them. All the members were white does not automatically equal racism. There are many all black, all Hispanic or all Asian organizations that doesn’t make them racist.

The second part of your argument speaks for itself. Apparently, it’s appropriate for Southern Seminary to have an elite “all white” group on a campus that appears to have almost no people of color.

I usually need sunglasses every time I see a group picture of SBTS students. 😂

If Al Mohler wants to prove that he’s not a member of a white supremacist organization, then why doesn’t he produce some non white members of the group?

Is it possible that Al Mohler thinks that the existence of a “whites only” fraternity, on the campus of a seminary founded exclusively by Confederate, white bigots might not go over well in almost 2020?

Also, as I recall, Mohler condemns the Free Masons in one of those video clips. Yet SBTS openly listed a masonic lodge as an organization to which it gives scholarships.

So, Mohler runs around saying that yoga is evil, but he gives scholarships to Free Masons.

Sorry, buddy. I think that the market for the stupidity and hypocrisy that you and Mohler are selling is fast diminishing.

Ya’ll are just a bunch of goofballs in the God business, in my view.

Southern Seminary is certainly not attracting the best and the brightest, in my opinion. Many people think it did prior to Mohler’s reign.

Soon, the entire SBC will also be swept away by a mega child sexual abuse scandal.

No one needs to be a psychic, white member of Dodeka to know that.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Stephen F Walsh

Well I am not a member of SBC or the seminary but your insult is duly noted and the spirit in which it is given. I used to appreciate the info you gave but now that I see your character I will get it elsewhere from people who are not so warped by bitterness.

Stephen, you initially made a sarcastic and “bitter” comment about Mohler just wanting to bring Calvinists into his circle of power, and implied that Todd and others just have a problem with that.

In what spirit was that snarky comment given, Stephen?

I also asked for your source regarding the relevant statement about Mohler and Calvinists, and you’ve declined to provide it.

Now you’re just repeating lazy cliches about bitterness and insults instead of trying to rebut the points I’ve made about Dodeka and white supremacy at SBTS logically.

You may not be stupid, yet you’re acting stupidly, in my opinion. Most Mohler defenders do. Logic does not seem to be valued by people who like this man.

Yes, I was insulted, as someone who is 50 percent non white, by your unbelievably racist comment regarding Dodeka and “all white” elitist organizations in general.

Now that I understand what caliber of person I think I’m interacting with, I no longer care.

The comment guidelines say that comments need to be backed up by intelligent reasoning or quality sources.

You have not complied with either standard.

Perhaps it’s best that you find a blog more amenable to the level of dialogue in which you want to engage.

Have a nice day.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

a former ARBCA church attendee

I appreciate this blog and the work you do in providing information.
I am not very familiar with the people or organizations mentioned in the article.
I do not think that jokes should be made about the color of people’s skin, no matter the color. If it is inappropriate to make jokes about the darkness of black/brown people’s skin, it is also inappropriate to make jokes about the paleness of others. If we expect to make any progress in this area, we must not disrespect people on the basis of their skin color.
Additionally, people often self-segregage. It is natural to want to be with people who are like oneself. Excluding others on the basis of skin color is clearly wrong. I am not convinced that a picture including only white people proves that they are white supremacists. I would be more convinced by statements made to that effect.
I am married to someone who is non-white. I understand the issues. But I think that accusing people of racism where the evidence is thin does more harm than good.

Thanks for your perspective.

First, because the comment about sunglasses offended you, I won’t use it again. It was certainly unnecessary, at best, to make that statement. I apologize.

Second, most of my comments are partly based on an earlier article in which I think there’s even more evidence that SBTS is a racist organization.

Todd has already provided extensive commentary about perceived racism in this post, I believe.

That is just my opinion, of course.

SBTS itself acknowledges that it was founded by very racist Confederate leaders who were wealthy enough to own black slaves.

Despite that fact, SBTS has long refused to remove Confederate statues and other Confederate symbols from its campus.

I’m under the impression that SBTS may have removed some imagery that was offensive to African Americans in particular, yet they still stand by prominently featuring a lot of Confederate symbols representing a belief in white supremacy.

Is it possible that some non-white people don’t want to look at Confederate symbols that were designed solely to demean them?

Why doesn’t SBTS seem to care about that issue?

I understand your broad points, yet I stand by my contention that SBTS has always been and is still a very racist institution.

I think that’s likely the reason that it fails to attract very many quote unquote non white students.

Again, I suggest reading an earlier article I wrote in which I believe there’s good evidence that the present head of SBTS was knowingly part of an elitist white supremacist organization.

I agree with your general statements about race. However, if you look at all the material written about SBTS on this blog and on others, I think it becomes obvious that SBTS leaders still want a “whites only” elite crowd at their seminary.

I believe it’s important to call out racism where you believe it exists.

It’s definitely a mistake to think that Todd and I are only basing our judgments, about what we perceive as racism at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on photos in which no non white students or professors appear.

Again, because my comment about sunglasses and white people offended you, I won’t use it again. Thank you for bringing your concern to my attention.

I respect your perspective and happily concede that I may be wrong about the issues you raised. I am often wrong about many things.


Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Yes, it is often hard to find evidence about the activities of secret, elite fraternities. 😉

As I said in another comment, Al Mohler has confirmed that he was in Dodeka. If he wants to refute the allegation that it is not an organization based on white supremacism, all he has to do is produce some non white members.

At this point, I’d say it’s obvious that no non white members of Dodeka exist.

Interesting, Dodeka was discussed relatively openly until the 90s when Al Mohler pulled his coup and became the head of SBTS at age 33.

I suspect that he was initially just the front man for Dodeka. And that organization enabled him to take over SBTS, quite brutally I’m told, at such a young age.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Stephen, I need to clarify that several of my assumptions are based on the following article.

Dodeka and the Occult. I uncovered some references from very old Louisville Journal Courier articles indicating that Dodeka may have been involved in activities, which would then have been considered the Occult.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

According to Al Mohler himself, Dodeka, at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was merely a dinner club for outstanding students and their wives.

He maintains that there was nothing sinister about the organization.

Let’s assume that’s true.

What reason then, apart from continuing the white supremacist legacy of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, would Dodeka have for excluding black people, latino people, or asian people from its priveleged “dinner club” ranks?

I agree that not all groups limited to people of certain ethnicities are necessarily racist in a pejorative sense.

However, I fail to see why a purely academic organization like Dodeka, at a seminary that appears to be almost all white anyway, would be discriminating against people of color for any reason other than promoting a white supremacist agenda, a belief system that the school has arguably always been known to promote strongly.

Would you be comfortable if leaders at Southern Seminary belonged to country clubs or golf clubs that are all white?

I’m guessing that chances are that some of them do and that doesn’t bother you.

But again, what other reason besides bigotry and racism would Dodeka have for discriminating against non white people?

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)