Dr. Robert D. Shrum has been the pastor at Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC since 1983. Shrum was serving as the chairman of the South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) Educational Institutions Committee in 1990 when Furmanís Board of Trustees voted to amend the school charter giving itself the sole right to elect trustees.
In response, the Furman/SCBC Relations Committee was established by the Executive Committee of the General Board in October 1990 with Robert D. Shrum as chairman. This committee was charged to enter into negotiations with the Board of Trustees of Furman University to resolve the dispute over the manner in which trustees would be elected at Furman.
The Furman/SCBC Relations Committee and the Board of Trustees of Furman University met several times and agreed on a covenant that guaranteed that 60% of Furmanís trustees would be South Carolina Baptists, and that annually Furman would give the SCBC a list of ten Christian nominees for the board from which it would choose five. Finally, the SCBC would continue to give Furman the $1.6 million per year. The covenant did not deal with the legality of Furmanís 1990 amendment of their charter.
Since a negotiation could not be reached between the SCBC and Furmanís Board of Trustees, legal and financial ties between the SCBC and Furman University were dissolved as of May 16, 1992.