Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Ergun Caner's father's middle name is "Mehmet." Is that Ergun Caner's middle name? It's not clear if it is or ever was his real middle name. I've tried to track down references to Dr. Ergun Caner before 11 September 2001. In his high school yearbooks (1981-1984) he is listed simply as Ergun Caner, no middle name provided (UPDATE 5/26/2010: There is one exception. His middle name "Michael" is provided in his senior yearbook). In a publication of the Southeastern BTS (circa 1993-95) (shown at left), Caner's middle name is listed as "Michael."
The following are the other datable instances of his name that I've been able to track down.
UPDATE 2/11/2014: (June 8, 1989, The Mt. Vernon Signal Thursday) Mentions that "Three students were recognized as Presidential Scholars. They were Ergun Michael "Butch" Caner of Gahanna, Ohio; ..." referring to an award received during the 1989 commencement exercises at Cumberland College. (source) (he was still referred to by the "Butch" nickname when referenced in an Cumberlands alumni magazine in Spring 2007 - source).
(June 7, 1991, Little Rock, AR) Mentions that "Ergun Caner, an associate pastor from Indiana," was discussing the Bible with a protester. (offline, News and Observer)
(November 2, 1991 - Richmond, VA) Quotes "Ergun Caner" as Paige Patterson's assistant regarding the ouster of Paige Patterson from The Criswell College (in the wake of the Darrel Gilyard scandal). (source)
(November 9, 1991 - St. Petersburg, FL) Cites "Ergun Caner, a master of divinity student and Patterson's assistant" as suggesting that Patterson's ouster may lead to student's leaving the college. (source)
(June 17, 1994) E. Michael Caner writes an article regarding another minister's testimony for the Baptist Press (link to article)
(March 19, 1995 - Durham, NC) "Rev. Butch Caner" indicated as officiant for funeral service. (offline - The Herald-Sun)
(June 30, 1995) E. Michael Caner writes an article regarding another minister's testimony for the Baptist Press (link to article)
(1995 - NC?) "Hills and Hearts of Gold" by "Ergun Michael Caner" (source)(Updated 2/11/2014: E. Michael Caner at another source)
(1995 - Wake Forest, NC) "Expeditio crucis: an examination of the motivation, justification, and implications of the summons to the First Crusade (1096- 1099)" (Issue 6790 of Publication (Historical Commission, Southern Baptist Convention) by "Ergun Michael Caner" (source)
(May 4, 1996 - Covington, KY) Mentions that "E. Michael 'Butch' Caner" is an experienced skydiver and guest evangelist. (source)
(March 21, 1997 - Durham, NC) Mentions that "Rev. Butch Caner" conducted a funeral service with another minister (offline - The Herald Sun - see also here)
(May 9, 1997 - Raleigh, NC) Mentions that "Rev. Butch Caner" of "Wood Baptist Church" will be conducting a funeral service. (offline - News and Observer)
(June 19, 1997 - Raleigh, NC) "'Mickey Mouse is innocent; lesbianism isn't,' said Butch Caner of Wood, N.C. 'And you can't have bile and poison next to fresh milk.'" (offline, News and Observer)
UPDATED on 5/26/2010: (April 23, 1999) "E. Michael 'Butch' Caner" and his role in counseling at the Littleton, CO massacre is discussed (source)(photo on right is apparently dated to around this time, and is hosted at baptistrecorder.org)
(SBC Convention 1999) "E. Michael Caner, pastor of Central Baptist Church, Aurora, Colo." (source)
(August 12, 1999 - Lynchburg, VA) "E. Michael Caner, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado and lead minister on the scene of the Columbine High massacre" (offline, AP - state and local wire)
UPDATED on 2/11/2014: (October 1999) "Glover recently hosted a luncheon that was keynoted by Dr. E. Michael Caner, Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Caner spoke about his experience as the lead minister on the scene of the Columbine High School shooting in April."
(April 17, 2000 - Littleton, CO) "E. Michael Caner, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, Aurora, Colo., and one of the first counselors on scene April 20, 1999, when 12 students and a teacher were killed and numerous others wounded by two classmates who then killed themselves" (source)
(April 27, 2000) "E. Michael Caner" comments on the Littleton massacre and shares some wisdom from his grandmother (source)
(Summer 2000 - Williamsburg, KY) "Ergun Michael Caner (‘89) is an assistant professor of Systematic Theology and Church History at Criswell College in Dallas, TX." (source)
(November 15, 2000 - Fort Collins, CO) "Butch Caner, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, Aurora" (source)
(Spring 2001 - SBTS) "Dr. & Mrs. E. Michael Caner" (as among those alumni who contributed between $100-$499 and as Board Member Donor Families)(source)
UPDATE: See this comparison of the Criswell College Faculty page from 2001 to 2002 (link)
In addition to the above, even to this day in court records (available via this link) Dr. Caner's name is always listed as Ergun Michael Caner (on various minor traffic tickets and a concealed weapons permit). Did Dr. Caner change his name at some point? If so, there should be a legal record of the name change somewhere. Furthermore, since giving a false name on one's motor vehicle registration is a misdemeanor crime in Virginia (same for a false name on a driver's license application), it seems reasonable to assume that "Ergun Michael Caner" is Dr. Caner's real name today.
The question then is this: why does Dr. Caner use the name "Mehmet" in his post-9/11 writings and self-promotion? Is it his birth name? Is it simply an alias?
N.B. There is always the possibility that the correct answer is that Caner's name is "Ergun Michael Mehmet Giovanni Caner" as he claimed here (link) (also claimed here).
P.S. The Caner Brothers' book, "The Sacred Trust," was apparently published in 2003. In Lifeway's June 2003 brochure, it was advertised under the name Ergun Michael Caner (link to brochure).