The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

May 31, Ascension Day Holy Communion,
7 PM Centray Daylight Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Friday, March 17, 2017

President's Message for Ecclesia College Students




Dear Friends,

Our world is changing.  But we know that God’s ways have not changed and are still perfect.  When it comes to helping shape our minds and the minds of our students, we are determined to follow His ways so that His purposes will be fully realized in our lives.
There is a particular order He prescribes to us in II Peter 1:5-10.  As we follow this prescription for knowledge, we arrive at an increasing understanding of Him, the Truth Who sets us free.  According to Scripture, the proper foundation for knowledge is first “faith” and then “character.”   In Christ we continually add faith, character and knowledge, in that order of cyclical increase.  Knowledge gained through any means apart from the foundation of Christ inevitably leads us to spiritual ignorance and eventual ruin.  Begin with the wrong premise, and you will arrive at the wrong conclusion.
We encourage you to stand firmly against the trends of this present culture to pursue a faith and character-based education.  And we invite you to do it here at Ecclesia College.  Here we always emphasize—whatever your major—setting your mind on the things above so you will be rooted and grounded in unshakable Truth.
Allow us to help equip you with godly knowledge, skills and credentials so you can be even more effective for His Kingdom in your sphere of influence!
"Dr." Oren Paris III
BA Ecclesia College, BA University of Arkansas, Online DMin Laurel Univeristy
President, Ecclesia College

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Ecclesia College President Oren Paris Among New Indictments in Arkansas Bribery Scandal

The other shoe dropped today.
After Arkansas state representative Micah Neal was indicted for his part in a kickback scheme involving Western Arkansas non-profits, including Ecclesia College, speculation mounted that state senator Jon Woods would also be indicted. The fate of others mentioned in the Neal indictment was not as clear. However, today a federal grand jury released indictments of Woods, Ecclesia College president Oren Paris III and their mutual friend Randell Shelton, Jr.
According to the indictment, Neal, Woods, Shelton and Paris conspired to defraud the citizens of Arkansas.
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On Sept. 27, 2013, Ecclesia College President Oren Paris III signed an agreement accepting $200,000 from the Arkansas General Improvement Fund -- $200,000 that had been directed to the college by Republican State Senator Jonathan E. Woods, federal prosecutors say.
The same September day, Ecclesia College cut a check for $50,000 to a consulting firm that had been established the day before by Randell G. Shelton Jr., a friend of both Paris and Woods. Shelton took the check and used it as an initial deposit to open a bank account for the consulting business. Then four days later, on Oct. 1, Shelton transferred $40,000 from the newly opened bank account to a personal account owned by the state senator, Woods.
Also on Oct. 1, Woods withdrew $33,000 from his personal account to buy a cashier’s check. The only funds in the account at the time had come from the consulting firm’s account, which was only filled with money from Ecclesia College.
Shelton issued a check to himself on the same day from the consulting firm’s account for $1,035.62, writing that it was a reimbursement for gas expenses. Two days later, Ecclesia College’s Board of Governance approved a $25,000 bonus payment to its president, Paris. The board approved the bonus on the same day the college deposited the state General Improvement Fund money into its own account.
That series of events is described in an indictment issued March 1 of this year against Woods -- who did not run for re-election past the start of 2017 -- Paris and Shelton. A similar series of transfers took place numerous times between September 2013 and October 2015, according to the indictment. A federal grand jury charged the three men with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud in the alleged kickback scheme. The college was not named in the indictment.
Paris paid a total of $267,500 to Shelton’s consulting firm over the two years without the knowledge of Ecclesia’s Board of Governance, according to the indictment. He also had the college hire a secretary in the summer of 2013 at the behest of Woods, paying her a salary of $43,000 and increasing her bonus from $4,000 to $7,000 during the hiring process, the charging document alleges.
It’s rare for a college president to face such a serious set of charges. But Paris has not signaled any intent to leave Ecclesia, a work-learning interdenominational Christian college founded by his parents. Paris, his mother and his brother-in-law are all on the Board of Governance. His sister, Christian singer-songwriter Twila Paris, is on the college’s Board of Regents.
On Thursday the Board of Governance issued a statement backing Paris, writing that while the charges should be taken seriously, its members believe the president acted with integrity and is a “godly leader.”
 Angie Paris Snyder is charge of the college website,
so I would not take any of the "facts" posted there
too seriously.
Thanks to excessive spending on themselves, the Paris family
has let the Third World college facilities run down even more.
No gym. No stand-alone library (just a room in the old octagon building). Three "classrooms" upstairs are separated by a
folding plastic curtain on a track.
One classroom near the dean's office is little more than a broom closet with desks there.