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SBC Seminary President David Dockery Identifies Employees Referenced in DOJ Charges Against Matthew Queen

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
David Dockery, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, gives a report June 14 during the SBC annual meeting in New Orleans. Photo by Robin Cornetet

David Dockery, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas, confirmed that Florida Pastor Heath Woolman is one of two previously unnamed seminary employees referenced in the federal charges against former seminary administrator and professor Matthew Queen

Queen is accused of falsifying records in a federal grand jury investigation. According to accounts from Dockery and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Woolman encouraged the other previously unnamed employee, Terri Stovall, to destroy a document that was relevant to the investigation.

“This episode is a matter of deep regret to me. I am, however, grateful that several employees in whom I placed great trust acted responsibly, especially Terri Stovall,” said Dockery in a statement published Wednesday, May 29, in response to a request for comment from The Tennessean. “I commend the service and integrity of these employees. We remain resolute to continue to cooperate fully with the Department of Justice in all aspects of this investigation.”

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Employees Revealed

On May 21, Matthew Queen was charged with obstruction of justice. Queen allegedly falsified documents he provided to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and to the FBI. Since 2022, the two organizations have been investigating the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and the mishandling of such allegations within the denomination. 

RELATED: Former SBC Seminary Administrator Charged With Falsifying Records in DOJ Sexual Abuse Investigation

A May 21 press release from the DOJ describes the charges against Queen, referring to a grand jury subpoena that was issued to SWBTS in October 2022. “Among other things, the subpoena required the production of all documents in the Seminary’s possession related to allegations of sexual abuse against anyone employed by or associated with the Seminary,” says the release.

That November, a person the DOJ referred to as “Employee-1” learned of a report stating that a seminary student had committed sexual abuse. In his May 29 statement, Dockery confirmed with permission that this employee was Terri Stovall, who serves a professor, dean of women, and interim associate dean of the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries.

According to the DOJ, Stovall notified campus police of the sexual abuse report, but the seminary took no action in response and did not tell the U.S. Attorney’s Office about it. The DOJ goes on to say that in January 2023, Stovall created a document describing her actions in this matter, as well as the seminary’s failure to act. 

The DOJ said that a meeting took place on Jan. 26, 2023, between Stovall, Queen, and “Employee-2.” During this meeting, Employee-2 told Stovall “in sum and substance, to destroy the Document.”

In his statement, Dockery corroborated that Stovall had indeed relayed the report of sexual abuse to campus police, who took no action at that time, and that she subsequently documented her actions. Dockery said Stovall “followed institutional procedure” and that the only person on campus who learned of the sexual abuse report was the chief of campus police, who is no longer employed at SWBTS.

Dockery said that at the end of January 2023, SWBTS “assisted the Burleson Police Department in arresting the student accused of sexual assault.” He then described a meeting that took place between Stovall, Queen, and Woolman, who was chief of staff at the time, at which the three discussed the document Stovall had created.