No, I’m not courageous. Forging ahead when you have something to lose, or when the power you are speaking truth to can hurt you, is courageous. Speaking truth to power when the power can’t hurt you isn’t courage. It’s just talking. Talking is valuable, but it is not, of itself, courageous.

Others are courageous. Others are speaking out when family relationships may shatter, when their stories may cause humiliation to themselves, to those they love. Others are speaking out when they may be shouted down, called liars, ridiculed, shunned. Others are speaking out when they may be fired, left with nothing, forced to move. Others are speaking out when they live right there, must interact with the principals, must rub shoulders with the hurting, the wounded, the perpetrators, the uncaring. Others are speaking out when they must pick up the slack, pay the bills, promise again where promises have been broken, discounted, disappeared.

Others are courageous. I’m just typing.

Here’s something else that requires no courage, and I hope many of you will do this:

It does not require courage to pick up a telephone, dial 864-242-5100, and say, “The firing of Dr. Bill McCauley was the wrong move. Please rescind it.” It does not require courage to open your computer, go to, click on the little “Contact Us” envelope at the bottom of the home page and write a little note to Dr. Stephen Jones or Dr. Bob Jones III or Darren Lawson or Ed Dunbar or whoever you want to talk to and say, “You know what, firing Dr. McCauley was not right. Please reinstate him,” and sign your name. There is no courage required for this, only fingers.

It might also be a good idea to follow up your call or email with a real letter on a real piece of paper with a real stamp and really mail it to 1700 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greenville, SC 29614, since I understand the computer people go through the mail (this may not be true, but I’ve heard such a rumor) and don’t deliver what they don’t want to deliver.

Banish those silly sounds in the back of your head that say, “Who am I?” and “They won’t listen to me,” and “I shouldn’t get involved” or “That would be ganging up.” It’s not ganging up. It’s talking. It’s just talking.

Do not be afraid to do the right thing. Do it for Dr. McCauley. And, if there is someone else you know of who was forced to retire, do it for him. Do it for her.

9 thoughts on “COURAGE”

  1. Thank you Sharon. I have been overwhelmed at the kindness of people who I have never even met before.
    And to the many people who have had that nagging voice in the back of your head, wondering about BJU and wondering if they were truly on the right path, etc. Let me assure you, my family has had many personal one-to-one conversations and emails with the authority there these past three months, all the way up to Stephen himself. They are not trying to do what it right. Not on any level. They are not changing for the better, they are changing for the worse.
    The firing of so many of their hard-working, student-loving, well educated faculty is proof enough for anyone to see that they are not taking care of the only thing they had going for them-their faculty.
    If they are not going to do right by their faculty of 20, 30 and 40 plus years, do you think they will really truly care about your child as a student?
    They’re not even lifting a finger to help the faculty who are retiring with nothing.
    But they are sitting on a lot of (supposedly) valuable art.
    Is that laying up treasures in heaven? Is art more important that your own people who literally have no home, no car and no food?
    If you had any doubts before, look at the facts. Now is the time to do something about it.
    And you’re not alone-I know 4 people who called the Alumni Office today and many others who have emailed, so do not be afraid that you will stick out as a lone warrior.
    Lots and lots of people are catching on, and they’re doing something about it. I’ve heard from more than 40 alumni this month who have finally “crossed the line” and decided to no longer support or advertise for BJU. People I never dreamed would have done this before.
    Thank you again, Sharon…I don’t even really know you, but it really helps to have others come along when you’re so beaten and tired but you want the truth to be known.

  2. It sounds like your family’s stand may have cost them, Erin. I am sorry. I know their reward in heaven will be great, but I will also be thinking about what to say in my email, and I hope they DO choose to do the right thing by your father and family.

    I hope we can make a difference.

  3. You might have better success getting to Stephen Jones if you send mail to his other home at 497 Meadow Lark Lane, Tryon, NC 28782.

  4. The only redeeming thing about BJU for me is the faculty. I admire anyone who is willing to make such little money in the name of being in the ministry. You have your super-crabby power trip authority figures that make living in an already strict environment a little harder, but overall the faculty there are pretty great. How many times were we told that a good ministry is judged by its people and the relationships they form. The leadership at BJU is forgetting to honor the people that make it a good place, a place worth going to. Thanks for the post.

  5. I live in Greenville and I am very familiar with Bob Jones. I graduated from Tri- City in Kansas City Missouri. I had great admiration for my teachers and didn’t really come to understand how little they got paid till I was an adult. I can only imagine how Bob Jones is treating their teachers. However I will say this article really bothers me. I have lived in Greenville for 7 years and have heard so many bad things about Bob Jones and how people in this area do not want anything to do with Christianity because of the self righteous, judgmental attitudes that come out of this school. It’s so sad to see Christians perceived this way. I really hope the leaders of Bob Jones will stand up and be the light in this world and show God’s glory because treating their teachers this way only confirms to Greenville that there is no need to be a Christian.

  6. Erin,

    I just put together your maiden name and your married name. I know the Doctors McM from our days at Mt Calvary. Add me to your list of Alumni that is very disappointed with BJU. Your parents are wonderful people and it is shameful what is happening to them and others.

  7. I do not know the details behind the firing of the McCauleys, but I am very saddened by it. I just heard recently that Rachel Larson was laid off before she was ready to retire. She was instrumental in my daughter loving history and becoming a history teacher herself. I have great respect for her.

    The year my husband and I were notified of our layoffs was the year (so I heard later) that many of the administrators got new cars. That was very disappointing if our layoff was due to finances and cutbacks.

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