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The Southern Baptist Convention in the largest Protestant denomination in America.
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A prominent Southern Baptist leader recently released from a Texas seminary for having inappropriately responded when women told him they were raped, will not hold the assembly sermon at the meeting of the great evangelical denomination ,

Paige Patterson retired on Friday. The chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention conference, Roger S. Oldham, said that this morning he will be the one in Keynote speech The convention's two-day annual convention begins in Dallas on Tuesday.

His decision to apologize for himself came after days of soul research, according to a letter from Patterson to Congress President and Memphis pastor Steve Gaines. The Baptist Press, an official denominational publication, published the letter.

"For those of you who have supported me with love, prayer, and encouragement, in addition to the reasons given above, I understand this decision as an attempt to protect my family as much as possible," Patterson said.

Related: Thousands of women are pushing back against a leading Baptist leader from the South. Here is why.

Patterson ousted: Southern Baptist Leader Paige Patterson removed as Texas President of the Seminary after comments on women abuse

Patterson Gives Seat on Task Force

that he has also given up his role as chair of the evangelization task force in favor of harmony within the convention. Deputy Chairman Adam Greenway will be holding the congressional report at the annual meeting, to which Patterson said he would not attend.

"All this I do with a heart of trust in our God and in the hope that he favors the convention and their churches with the blessing of heaven," wrote Patterson.

In the letter, Patterson also reiterated his belief that marriage was a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, affirming the complementary roles of men and women and the inerrancy of Scripture. He also said that the strong should protect the weak and his belief in justice for all.

Patterson's decision comes more than a week after the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary located in Fort Worth, Texas, and broke all ties to his former president. Press officers released Patterson on May 30 for ill-treating allegations by students who said they were raped in 2003 and 2015.

Concerns that Patterson shared inaccurate information with the Board of Trustees regarding the allegations were also a factor.

Patterson Defends Against Accusations

In a separate letter to the Southern Baptists, Patterson said he did not want to discuss or repeat the trustee's decision. But he fought back charges that he ever ignored or did not report the abuse of women or students.

"For my words, behavior, feelings or disposition to be twisted to be exactly the opposite of who I am, the biblical message that I have presented for over half a century is not just for me and my family, but inevitably proves to be hurtful to others in this process, "said Patterson in the letter published by Baptist Press. "I've never tried to hurt a woman or a man."

The School Board of Trustees removed Patterson on May 23 as President, but made him President emeritus. A week later, the board of directors dismissed him and took all the benefits from him.

In addition to maltreating the student's allegations, Patterson came under fire this spring for commenting on women's appearances and domestic violence in the past. He turned against his remarks in his letter to the Southern Baptists.

"For decades of service, there has been a wrong choice of words inside and outside the pulpit," Patterson said. "I regret every case in which my heart and message have not been clearly presented."

Controversy and Withdrawal

With the criticism of Patterson, the demand for resignation or dismissal as Convention Predigtsprecher

Last year, the voting members of the largest Protestant denomination in the US have chosen Patterson to make the key sermon for the Annual Meeting 2018 to hold. Southern Baptists have long admired Patterson for the key role he played in the conservative shift of the term.

But Gaines stated in an article in the Baptist press on May 11 that only the polling body could remove Patterson as speaker at the upcoming meeting in Dallas if he does not resign. Patterson's withdrawal means that the convention can avoid such a vote.

Kie Bowman, the pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church and Quarries Church in Austin, Texas, is the alternative and replaces Patterson. Bowman attended the Southwestern Seminar, according to his website. Patterson praised Bowman in his letter.

"My hope and confidence is that everyone will pray for him as he preaches and willingly hear him," Patterson said.

The convention sermon begins at 9:55 am on Wednesday morning.

Reach Holly Meyer at hmeyer@tennessean.com or 615-259-8241 and on Twitter @HollyAMeyer

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