May 28, 2014
On May 27, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court denied the request by attorneys for the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention to consider an appeal of the convention’s loss before the Circuit Court in Camden County, Missouri and the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District in their litigation against Windermere Baptist Conference Center. The Circuit Court had ruled in Windermere’s favor when they issued a Summary Judgment which found that, as a matter of law, the convention’s multiple claims against Windermere were all without merit. On March 25, 2014, the Missouri Court of Appeals Southern District issued a unanimous decision affirming that summary judgment. With this order by the Supreme Court, all pending claims by the convention against Windermere have been resolved and Windermere has prevailed on all claims. The convention has no further appeal options in these cases. For more than twelve years the MBC attorneys have pursued litigation against Windermere. This litigation has involved two cases before Circuit Courts in both Cole and Camden counties, four different hearings and reviews by the Court of Appeals in both the Western and Southern Districts, and two requests to the Supreme Court. In total, nearly twenty different judges have considered the claims against Windermere and ultimately ruled in favor of Windermere.
After the action by the Supreme Court, the following statement was released by the Windermere Board of Trustees:
The entire Windermere family is pleased that this litigation has come to an end. We continue to thank God for His blessings on Windermere and its ministry. After more than 12 years and millions of dollars spent on these various pieces of litigation, it is our hope and prayer that all Baptists in Missouri can focus on sharing the Gospel in our state rather than attorneys guiding decisions and charting the course.
While we are glad that the actions previously taken by Windermere have been affirmed in this litigation, we take no joy in where these cases have brought Baptists in this state. It is our sincere desire to put the past behind us and work together as brothers and sisters to advance God’s Kingdom.
Throughout the years of these cases thousands of Baptists from hundreds of Missouri Baptist churches have continued to come to our campus and had life-changing experiences. Windermere Baptist Conference Center will have a record-breaking year in 2014. Nearly 30,000 children, youth and adults will come to our campus and while here they will encounter the Living Christ. Hundreds will profess faith in Christ and hundreds will also commit to fulltime Christian service. Windermere is God’s ministry and our staff and leadership totally rely upon God leadership and direction in all we do. God is doing great things at Windermere and we invite all Baptists in Missouri to be a part of our ministry.