Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Trinity International Foundation Replies

This came in an email to our home in response to Carol's email to TIF that protests the sale:


Dear partners in ministry,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us on the Spirit FM
web site. We are encouraged to hear how God has greatly blessed so many lives
through the ministry of Spirit FM. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that
some reactions have been strong in response to the announcement to sell Spirit
FM. We respect your comments and are addressing in this email the principal
concerns expressed.

In recent years, Trinity International University received several unsolicited
offers to buy the radio station. As a result of these offers and in order to
fulfill their fiduciary responsibility, the Board of Regents engaged a brokerage
firm in 2006. The broker began a process of assessing the value of the station
and determining the level of interest in the market. This process was a quiet
one because the outcome was uncertain and we did not want to interrupt the radio
ministry of Spirit FM. We saw no wisdom in making this professional inquiry
public and thereby open the door to questions the station staff could not answer about a topic under
exploration by the board.

We are extremely grateful to the thousands of listeners who have supported
Spirit FM financially and in prayer for so many years. We believe that God
places people in leadership in specific situations at specific times. Those
leaders are sometimes called upon to make tough decisions. Trinity’s board takes
seriously its responsibility as stewards of the resources of Trinity
International University and approached this decision with much deliberation and
prayer. In the end the board believed, before God, that this was the best
decision.

Many of the matters involved in the board’s inquiry and ultimate decision are
sensitive and confidential. However, we do want you to know that our desire was
to sell to a Christian organization, and we attempted without success to do so
with several different organizations.

A significant portion of the proceeds will be
placed in the TIU endowment. The endowment is like a long-term savings account that cannot be spent without action from the
board. The annual interest from endowment will be used to further the mission of
the university. Trinity College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Trinity
Graduate School, and Trinity Law School make a huge impact on our culture for
Christ. The board’s vision is to do more through the educational programs these
schools offer, including our programs in South Florida.

We believe that we are blessed with some of the most talented radio staff in the
nation. These faithful servants were informed of the process several weeks
prior to the signing of the Purchase Agreement on September 24, 2007. In spite
of this news, they continued to minister in a professional and effective manner.
After September 24 all parties agreed that it would be impossible for the Spirit
FM staff to continue their on-air duties as usual. Generous severance and
placement assistance for
the staff are being provided.

We ask you to join us in prayer that:

1. The sovereign Lord will pour out His Spirit on South Florida in order to
fill any void that may be left by closing Spirit FM
2. A strengthened unity in Christ will be demonstrated among churches and
believers with a shared purpose of reaching the lost in South Florida
3. The staff of Spirit FM will be sustained by God’s grace as they seek the
Lord’s will for future ministry.

One of the listeners responded as follows:

"...I am encouraged in my heart to pray for your ministry as a Christian entity
of education. I pray that the next Billy Graham will come from your school. I
pray that the seed that is now being sowed with tears by our community grows and
develops into a life-giving tree that will touch, not just the thousands the
radio touched here in South Florida, but the millions that are hungry and in
need of the love of God."

We join in these sentiments with this listener and ask you to join us in this
prayer.

Seeking God in all things,

Trinity International Foundation Board


As even a first year law student would say, res ipsa loquitur.

9 comments:

Carol said...

The idea that Trinity could "fulfill" its fiduciary responsibility by selling WMCU and then taking the $20 million proceeds of the sale out of the community is simply laughable. WMCU was built up over the last 37 years through the gifts of donors in South Florida, not through the work of TIU. Trinity's fiduciary responsibility for WMCU was to this community.

This email is also inconsistent with their earlier message on the WMCU website which had stated they were not trying to sell the station but had just received this offer. Now they say they they had engaged a broker in 2006. Yet somehow they were looking out for our benefit and "did not want to interrupt the radio ministry of Spirit FM" by telling us what they were doing. I would say that selling WMCU to a secular station and taking the money with them is a pretty significant interruption to the ministry! But how gracious they are to pray that God will "fill any void that may be left by closing Spirit FM".

Anonymous said...

Can anyone confirm that the workers knew for weeks in advance? Why do they say this? To make them complicit in the secrecy? What exactly did they tell the employees? "Who knew what when?"

Anonymous said...

Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Someone on another blog said they called TIU. Their sense = that essentially the dialogue about the sale of WMCU had terminated. In radio terms we have all received our 'cease and desist' orders.

Back in the day we had "Miami Christian College" (vis a vis Trinity International University). Perhaps people thought that they now still dealt with the same entity. But, TIU probably more like the new pharoah that did not know Joseph.

I do not know how evil their motives run. But at some level the plan might run like this: Sell WMCU. Then say that they won't close down the educational program in South Florida because ... they won't have to. It will close itself down due to backlash at the sale of WMCU and lack of viable "marketing" [I hate that term as applied to Christian endeavors.] Then, they can leave South Florida altogether.

In my not so humble opinion, the sooner the better.

But ... what about Christian education in South Florida??? Three things (for starters):

1. Churches need to take up the slack and start teaching sound doctrine. You can do this in a non-boring way.
2. Write to Moody and/or Call FM and see if they can strengthen their signal.
3. Strengthen your own spiritual life by reading the Scriptures. At one class we had in school they made us read the bible books 'at one sitting'. This helps immensely in understanding the Bible. Take some time and read Ephesians or Romans or Revelation (all of em'!) all the way through without interruption.

God's richest blessings to all!

bill said...

If you disagree with Trinity selling WMCU go to WMCU-FM.COM

Anonymous said...

TIU Deerfield is lying when they say this was not motivated by the need for money. Their debt ration has them worried because their 10 year accreditation is coming up. Also, they do not plan on supporting South Florida. 8-10 inquiries for the school was generated by the radio station. They have made no significant plans to replace that important marketing tool. The "spin" just makes this sickening. I may disagree, but for crying out loud: "Tell the Truth!"

Anonymous said...

Be sure to visit SaveWMCU.com to join some aggressive efforts to challenge the TIU/MPR contract ad get WMCU back on the air. Yes -- much of what TIU has said is suspicious. As for the workers knowing weeks in advance -- yes -- that is why Ken left so quickly. Of course, we have to dig for this info since the staf (and former staff) were placed under strict gag orders by MPR and/or TIU. By the way, NOW is the time to write to the FCC to challenge the contract. Go to SaveWMCU.com for instructions on this.

Carol said...

Thanks for the good and detailed information on writing to the FCC! I'm going to print and hand out that information at our church tonight.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that Calvary Chapel of Fort Lauderdale offered them somewhere in the neighborhood of $15million for the purchase of the station. It is my opinion that Trinity clearly was not seeking a Christian buyer for the station, they were seeking the deepest pockets.