Mohler to undergo colon surgery, to forego SBC president nomination in June

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will require additional surgery after a scheduled colonoscopy Feb. 11 revealed a tumor in his colon. An initial biopsy indicated that the tumor is pre-cancerous and further tests are to be scheduled, along with surgical options.

The surgery will require that he forego nomination as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Mohler said.

Mohler, 48, underwent major abdominal surgery in late December 2006, complicated by the development of bilateral blood clots in his lungs. Doctors will take special precautions to prevent a recurrence of the blood clots with this new surgery. Specialists are consulting on the case and a decision on the date and location for the surgery is to be made in the near future. The procedure is likely to require an extensive period for recuperation and recovery.

Mohler said his time of recuperation would necessarily alter some of his plans as he gives first priority to his health and his family.

"Some have asked how this new development affects my nomination to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis this June," Mohler said. "I have decided to give my greatest attention right now to addressing this new challenge and to ministering to my wife and children. This is clearly not the right time for me to accept this nomination. I have asked my good friend Robert Jeffress not to proceed with nominating me for president of our Southern Baptist Convention this year.

"Frankly that decision is made much easier by my knowledge that there is at least one strongly conservative, committed pastor who intends to be nominated in Indianapolis," Mohler said.

Mohler expressed gratitude to God that medical personnel found the tumor this early.

"Sometimes we take it for granted that we live in an age like this one, in which God has given us the blessing of medical technology," Mohler said. "For most of human history, a tumor such as this one would have gone unnoticed until it was too late. I am thankful for modern medicine, but I am even more thankful that we live in a world in which our God hears us when we pray, a Father who listens to his children."

Mohler said Southern Seminary "would not skip a beat" during his recuperation.

"I have absolute confidence in the seminary leadership team. We will move forward with momentum," Mohler said. "God has blessed and is blessing Southern Seminary. We do not take that for granted, and we pledge to be good stewards of that blessing, even through this time."

Southern Seminary will release additional information as it becomes available. The Mohler family has expressed appreciation for all concern, prayer and encouragement.


Reported by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's office of communications.

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