Founders Ministries President Tom Ascol, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, who has garnered controversy for his criticism of social justice ideologies within the Southern Baptist Convention, has been hospitalized.
In a statement posted to the Founders’ website on Sunday, the ministry group explained that during church Ascol “suddenly fell to the ground and was unresponsive.”
Founders went on to explain that Ascol was sent to the hospital and that while he had “stable vitals,” he was still struggling with responsiveness.
“We request your earnest prayers for Pastor Tom, his family, Grace Baptist Church, and Founders Ministries,” stated the group.
“We are all worshiping our good and sovereign God. We are putting our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ whose gospel is the only way of salvation. Thank you for praying with us.”
In an update posted later on Sunday, Pastor Jared Longshore, vice president of Founders Ministries, explained that Ascol was at present “much more coherent and responsive.”
“While he has little mobility he is speaking clearly, smiling, and talking of the goodness of God. He could hear our singing, prayers and words throughout the day when unresponsive,” wrote Longshore.
“Unspeakable glory and grace has rained down upon Tom, his dear wife Donna, his family, Grace Baptist Church and Founders Ministries this day. We have seen a man fighting the good fight.”
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Ascol received his bachelor of arts at Texas A&M and then went on to get a master’s in Divinity and a doctorate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
An author and former seminary professor, Ascol presently heads the Founders Ministries, a theologically conservative Reformed group that is part of the SBC.
In November 2018, Instagram deleted a post of his in which he argued that only men should be ordained as pastors. Eventually, Instagram restored the post.
Earlier this year, Ascol garnered controversy over a video in which he denounced the presence of social justice views within the SBC, labeling it a “Trojan horse” for “godless ideologies.”
His comments were part of a film titled “By What Standard,” a documentary critical of the presence of social justice ideology in the SBC.
“These ideologies are even being promoted among some evangelicals as reliable analytical tools that can assist our understandings and efforts in gospel ministry,” stated a website promoting the film.
“The result is that, in the name of social justice, many unbiblical agendas are being advanced under the guise of honoring and protecting women, promoting racial reconciliation, and showing love and compassion to people experiencing sexual dysphoria.”
Many SBC leaders, among them Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, took issue with how the trailer for the project portrayed certain SBC figures.
“Yes, folks, I have now seen the @FoundersMin video trailer and I am alarmed at how some respected SBC leaders are represented. Southern Baptists expect and deserve a respectful and honest exchange of ideas. I am convinced we are all capable of this,” said Mohler on Twitter.
“I have also long known and enjoyed the company of the folks who made the video and the folks offended by the video and I am hopeful that @FoundersMin will respond appropriately and in a way that affirms their intention to be a responsible voice in the SBC.”