Baptist college hires president accused of pretending to be ex-Muslim after 9/11 to gain fame
- Dr. Ergun Caner was selected as the new president of Brewton-Parker College
A Georgia Baptist college has made a controversial selection for its next president: A man who was accused of pretending to be an ex-Muslim to gain fame after 9/11.
The school's trustees selected Dr. Ergun Caner as the new president of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga. on Dec. 2.
Carner delivered his "Jihad to Jesus" testimony at Southern Baptist mega churches and national conferences, according to an article in the Associated Baptist Press.
"Jesus strapped a cross to his back so that I wouldn't have to strap a bomb to mine," Caner said at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference in 2004.
Caner was demoted as dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary after trustees discovered inconsistent statements in his stories.
For example, in a sermon Nov. 20, 2001, at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., Caner said he was raised in Stockholm and in the Islamic Youth Jihad until he was 15. But according to legal documents, Caner’s father arrived in the U.S. in 1969, when Caner was still a young child.
Furthermore, he had claimed that he had dressed in full, traditional Muslim attire until he became a Christian as a teenager, but pictures from his high school yearbook seem to contradict those claims.
In 2010, Caner released a statement admitting to “pulpit mistakes,” but maintaining that he had "never intentionally misled anyone.”
Despite the controversy, the college's board of trustees chose Caner unanimously.
The head of the Georgia Baptist Convention has also endorsed the selection.
"Dr. Ergun Caner is an evangelist who is on fire for Jesus Christ,” GBC Executive Director Robert White said.
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