"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where is the Leadership?

Ole Mac Brunson has made significant changes to the bylaws of our church and no one seems to care. And Mac Brunson is so spineless that he won't even bother to tell the church what the changes are. Not a word. What a disgrace.

You probably thought, as I did, that the by-law changes voted on last night were just some minor administrative changes. After all, the two men who conducted the business meeting last night made no explanation of the by law changes - not even a brief summary or statement regarding what the changes were. Surely, the pastor would stand before his people and spend 1 minute explaining what the changes are, why they are made, and what the implications are. Nope. Doesn't feel the need to. To him you are the stupid sheep who will rubber stamp everything - from by law changes, to his FBC Academy, with either no explanation, or the lamest of explanations ("people aren't home anymore" so we need to reach them with a school).

Last night in the business meeting you saw a very clever maneuver - absolutely no explanation whatsoever of the by law changes which were NOT just minor insignificant administrative changes. But Mr. Moderator did give a direct reading and explanation of the proposed changes to the articles of incorporation which WERE minor and relatively insignificant. Because of the direct reading of the changes of the articles, the membership was left with the impression that the bylaw changes TOO were administrative and insignificant. Apparently they were not.

Well, I will confess I didn't go and read the proposed by law changes in the library which were announced in the past few weeks' bulletins. Apparently we all should have.

Here is a quote from an anonymous poster last night when asked about the by law changes:

"A quick summary of the ones I remember:The Pastor appoints the Board of Trustees with the input from the Chair of the Deacons and then the Board is elected by the church.

The Pastor provides input and consents as to which Deacons participate on the various committees.

A disciplinary committee was established with responsibilities.

By your membership in the church, if there are any disputes with the church you agree to mediate the matter with the church. If there is no resolution with the church, then the issue will go to the Florida Baptist Convention to be mediated by them.

The amount of money that can be spent and the various approvals required were also changed."

If those changes don't require the leader of our church to give an explanation of what he is doing and why he is doing it, then we all might as well just hand the keys of the church to Mac Brunson, we'll all sign a pledge card stating our loyalty to Sir Mac, and just let him do as he pleases.

FBC Jax - wake up. The train has not only left the station, but its gaining speed and soon will be out of control.

Anyone else care to give more explanation or analysis, pro or con, of the proposed changes to the bylaws last night?

42 comments:

Jerry B. said...

If you disagree so much, grow a backbone, stand up, and object during the businesses meeting! They can’t do anything as long as you are a member. Now let's see you dance around this straight forward approach.

I think you are a person who hinds in darkness and disrupts. Your blog is counter productive and yields nothing. You are green with jealousy and wished you could be Dr. Mac Brunson himself - all the power, riches and attention. You remind me of the snake himself.

You can't do the right thing so you complain, complain, complain and you want others to join-in so you don’t feel lonely and unloved.

Be a "man" once in your life and quit hiding - you hypocrite!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Jerry B - I appreciate your Christian spirit.

I have been called many things on the blog, but Satan himself I have not been called. People like you in churches scare me.

Hey, maybe with your mean, accusatory attitude Jerry B. you could be one of the first members of the discipline committee!

As far as objecting during the business meeting, no opportunity for discussion was given so not a chance. But Mr. Moderator did a great job of masking the issues of what we voted on by remaining silent on the by laws, but being descriptive about the articles of incorporation. The more I watch this pastor and his supporters, the more it takes on characteristics of the Clinton administration. Instead of giving more information to the church, instead of changing the rules to be more open, the guy changes the rules to give less information, and to have a means to intimidate those who might oppose him. ALL THE WHILE NOT HAVING THE GUTS TO TELL THE VERY PEOPLE WHO LIKE SHEEP SAID VOTED "AYE" WHEN ASKED LAST NIGHT AND HAD NO CLUE WHAT THEY WERE VOTING ON.

You tell me to be a man? You should tell that to Mac Brunson - be a man Mac...tell your congregation before you change the rules of the church and add stipulations to EVERYONE'S church membership.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Reposting an anonymous post from previous thread that should go here:

---------------------------

Watchdog - Some areas of concern members of FBC Jax should have based on what I am reading here, assuming most of it is accurate:

1.) Why would a person have to sign a list "in black and white for everyone to see" just to get a copy of the proposed bylaws? This might discourage some concerned members from having the opportunity to review these bylaws since their reasons for "caring" about what changes were about to made might make them look like potential "troublemakers."

2. Two of the changes listed obviously give the pastor more unbridled power and authority to select trustees and to select which deacons participate on committees. Doesn't anyone see any potential concerns with this?! Clearly it reduces his accountability even further to anyone other than who he chooses.

3. A discipline committee? This might be a good thing, but again, guess who picks the members of this committee...the pastor. Also, whatever happened to the biblical model for handling church discipline? Did this pastor decide the bible doesn't work again? First he decided door to door evangelism, as modeled in scripture, does not work. Now, he needs to create a non-biblical "discipline committe" where he hand picks the members?

4. "By my membership in the church I agree to...." What? I would like to see all the fine print of what I "agreed" to when I gave my life to Christ and went down front to make it public like the pastor told me Jesus required of us. Did they also sneak in several other things I agreed to? If so, I would like to see that list. And if so, SHAME ON THEM, trying to add to my commitment to Christ!

5. The most scary comment of all, almost just mentioned as an "oh, by the way, there is also change to the by-laws about this little topic": "The amount of money that can be spent and the various approvals required were also changed." Wow!

FBCJW - If I still attended your church, I would be very, very concerned about the nature and timing of these changes in advance of a major fundraising campaign for a new school.

Anonymous said...

Jerry B at least you were honest enough to acknowledge that Mac Brunson does have the power, riches and attention. That is what its all about-power for Mac, riches for Mac and focused attention on Mac.

Anonymous said...

FBJCW - I posted this in the previous comment section be mistake so I am reposting it here:

I would hope that if anyone gets contacted by any member of the "discipline committee", they will make a full report for all of us here to be able to follow along with the process. I am sure the church would want this kind of "discipline" to be very open and transparent.

memphis said...

Uh oh. It looks like the church may have just opened itself up to an IRS investigation into its 501(c)(3) statue.

Thank you, sir/madam, for being a "watchdog." You are obviously really needed at FBC Jax. I was not there but before the vote was taken, was there any opportunity for discussion, or for questions to be presented by members? It seems the motion was presented and put to a vote of all in favor say "aye." The changes to the by-laws were not explained as to what they were intended to accomplish or why the changes were needed. Changes to the church by-laws are very important and should be presented and discussed. Explanations of what the changes are, and why they are needed, are important before asking members to vote. And members should be given an opportunity to ask questions.

I believe the approval of these significant changes may not be legal since no notice of the changes were made available to a quorum of the congregation, were not sufficiently described or explained, and NO OPPORTUNITY FOR DISCUSSION WAS GIVEN PRIOR TO PUTTING IT TO A VOTE! Is this legally sufficient process for a 501(c)(3) corporation to conduct its business?

It appears by requiring members to sign a list before they could read the proposed changes, then rubber stamping the vote before discussion, your church may be in violation of some practices that could cause it to lose its 501(c)(3) status. It may seem to outsiders that a few private persons are using the 501(c)(3) status (ie: not paying taxes on the money, capital gains, donations given, etc.) to build their own personal wealth and pursue their own interests.

When all the power and authority is given to a small group with no real input from the members, and clealy no accountability to the members at large, you can expect the IRS to step in down the road.

Anonymous said...

jerry b - How do you suggest that FBCJW "grow a backbone?" Is this about being "macho" and "being a man?" I hope not since often the pastor's wives in some churches are the real, behind the scenes leaders and they cannot "be a man" yet they actually are calling all the shots and influencing all the decisions the "yes men" make. These yes men, who think they are big, bad macho guys with backbones, are actually just rubber stamping the wives' leadership anyway. How ironic.

And I will assure you, no one that blogs here is jealous of any humble, God-called Baptist preacher who is humbly serving the Lord at great sacrifice, right? And we know they are not jealous of a middle aged, bald, glasses wearing, and overweight man. Trust us on that.

And no one is hiding and being a hypocrite except the deacons and leadership who are sitting quietly by and saying nothing. Those are the real cowards who will give an account in a few years when Mac has left town with his bounty, or our church loses all of its members except the few devoted to a man who stick around no matter what a pastor might do.

Come on jerry b. Be a man and question the leadership like you question those of us who comment here occasionally.

And jerry - what did the snake want except to be like God. Are you saying FBCJW wants to be like GOD? Or are you implying that Mac Brunson is GOD? If so, I am sure no one is more gullible and open to being manipulated than a person who would actually believe a man with a theology degree who is a good speaker is comparable to GOD.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Memphis - just received an email from somone who has a recording of the business meeting, and I've just played it and no doubt about it: no discussion was asked for, no explanation was given whatsoever about what the changes to the bylaws was about...and the moderator claimed that the trustees took the changes to the deacons LAST NIGHT and they unanimously approved them - not much chance for any thoughtful deliberation if it was just last night that they were presented to the deacons. The moderator also did not mention to the members where they could get a copy of the bylaws or proposed changes.

I certainly would not doubt that this is some violation of the 501(c)3 rules when the bylaws governing the corporation are changed and hardly anyone knows about it.

I will post the business meeting clip here on the website very soon.

Anonymous said...

Just an observation from afar...

This pastor seemed to have missed a great opportunity to defuse your blog. He could have amended the bylaws to transfer power to others on boards and committees that he did not select; and he could have made amendments that required more openness and accountability in response to some members concerns. Unfortunately, it looks like he once again did exactly the opposite of what would have appeased many concerned members.

It will all just get nastier from here as a result. We now have a "goon squad committee" that can arbitrarily call members before it for "discipline" for any number of things that have not been set out. I presume the only activities that will be "disciplined" are those that involve questioning the pastor.

Looks like the thought police will now have a recognized committee to act under.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! A discipline committee. I would hate to be appointed to that one. Imagine the legal exposure and personal liability you open yourself up to if you cause any kind of civil harm to a member based on accusations made against them by others. I hope they have only police officers, detectives and lawyers on that committee, since they are aware of the legal ramifications of the actions of this committee in accusing members of the community falsely or wrongly.

Anonymous said...

Its your fault WD. You close the blog for 2 weeks, and all hell breaks loose: the pastor declares door to door evangelism dead, he decides to not hold a vote on a school, brings some nut from Orlando who believes parents who choose in good conscience to put their kids in public schools are disobedient and rebellious parents to God, Mac rewrites the by laws, forms a goon squad discipline committee, and sends his two most prominent trustees to hold a farse business meeting to implement his changes and doesn't bother explaining them.

Please don't shut the blog down again...else we'll turn around and find the pastor has been given $300k by one of our donors, has given jobs to all of his family members, and we're hosting a Jewish fund raiser to raise funds to go to an Israeli hospital at which government abortions are performed...wait a minute...

Anonymous said...

Anybody out there ever heard of a Southern Baptist Church having a "discipline committee" at their church? I've been in SBC and PCA churches my whole life and I've never ever heard of a "discipline committee". I've been a deacon and this has never been one of the committees? Anybody else out there ever heard of this? Why would we need this? Would not the pastor tell us that we need this and explain it to us? Did he honestly think that even 1% of the regular church attenders would read the bylaws in the library?

I'm now concerned. I'm very concerned about this man we called to be our preacher.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:00 p.m. - I share your concerns. I recall one sermon the pastor mentioned how he does not worry about these things. I believe him on that point with one exception. The ONE and ONLY thing those running the church do worry about is REDUCED GIVING. If the giving begins to drop significantly, they will all be concerned. Until then, why should they be worried?

The ONLY VOICE you ignorant, gullible sheep have(their view of you, not mine) is your wallet. Stop the giving and they will immediately become concerned about you and your needs.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the few who read the bylaws first. One of the tenants for "transitioning" (As outlined in Dan Southerland's book on how to take over a church, 'Transitioning') is to get more and more power for the pastor. I went to the library to read the bylaws, fully expecting that the changes being made were going to be giving the pastor unbridled authority. Low and behold, that's exactly what happened. I was one of the 10 or so who voted against the changes. But, just like everything else at ‘First’, everyone votes yes on everything without having a clue what they are doing. That’s the “benefit” of having a big church, people are much less likely to object to anything.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon: you said:

"I was one of the 10 or so who voted against the changes."

Do you mean by that you said "NO" in the Wed night meeting? Or did you vote "NO" in the deacon's meeting the night prior?

David Bristow said that the by laws changes were approved unanimously by the deacons.

Are there any deacons out there who are fed up with the take over of our church by this man Mac Brunson and will speak out here on the blog? How did the meeting go Tuesday night? Was it a secret ballot or verbal? What explanation did Mac give you for needing to acquire more power for himself and to create a discipline committee?

I have talked to people in the Christian education field, and they tell me that this is one risky proposition, starting a school downtown given the capacity at other local Christian Schools.

But that doesn't matter to Mac. He wants to start a school. With our money. So people will come up to him and ask him "Are you Dr. Brunson? I graduated from the school YOU started"

Anonymous said...

Where is the local media? Where is the Folio Weekly? We have the most historical, influential church in our city taken over by Donald McCall Brunson, one of our donors gives him a 300,000 dollar gift when he arrives, he immediately begins construction of a 5400 square foot, 6 bed 4.5 bath home, most of our ministers leave within a year, he hires his wife and son, now he has clandestinely changed the by laws to grant himself more power and to set up a "discipline" committee that he will appoint the members to, to presumably intimidate members who speak against him.

Gee, maybe its just me, but what a story waiting to be told.

Kathy said...

I was taught that there are no problems only solutions…

If we truly believe what we are writing, I think everyone who opposes the changes that are occurring at FBC should wear something unique and identifiable at church. Suggestions?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Kathy - I like the idea, but I don't think there are enough people who even have a clue of what is going on to even entertain such a thing that would make a difference.

Want to make a difference?

Stop giving your tithes and offerings to FBC Jax. That is the one and only thing that will awaken the trustees and Mac. When the trustees see that Mac's leadership results in people being so disgusted with their pastor's leadership that they give their tithes and offerings elsewhere, they will take action...the first action though, before they kick Mac out will be to come after you and I who dare to create dissention in the church. After that doesn't work, and the rev goes down, and the bills go up, Mac won't last long.

As long as the money keeps rolling in...as long as people keep saying "Aye" on By Law changes without even having one iota of a clue of what they are voting on, things will stay the same.

You don't give your money to FBC Jax first, you give it to God. So you can certainly give your tithes and offerings elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Get a copy and post it online for all to see.

A church's by-laws should not be a document that the leadership feels needs to be closely held.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - that's right...not only should they not be closely held, but to signifcantly change the by laws like our pastor did with no explanation...I mean ZERO, NONE, SIPPO....is another new height in his arrogance. I'm embarrassed for every deacon, and especially Dave Bristow who ran the sham business meeting where the bylaw changes were voted on. I have always thought so highly of Dave Bristow but to now see him take part in that just really disappoints me.

Anonymous said...

I posted under anon 6:31. I was not in the deacon's meeting, I was in the congregation and voted against it. I had gone to the library on two separate occasions to read and re-read to make sure I knew what was going on. Also, it is a known fact that the bylaws were kept as far from the people of the church as possible because the powers that be didn't want them to hit the blogs before voting time.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks for your input here Anon I think this issue has really sparked interest among the congregation. The readership of this blog just in the past 36 hours has spiked greatly.

When you went to read the by law changes in the library, did you have to sign your name before they would give them to you?

I've talked to several lawyers who tell me that this kind of nonsense of changing our by laws in this manner may very well have violated IRS rules for 501(c)3 corporations.

We shall see.

Those of you reading this blog - the time is now to tell your friends to hit this website so they can read what is going on in our church. If you have access to any email distribution lists for the church, I recommend that you email people and direct them to this web site to read about what Mac Brunson is up to...no less than the week he wants us to vote for the First Brunson Academy.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Further thoughts: I can't get over the brazennes of Brunson.

The VERY WEEK he wants us to vote and follow him in this venture of the First Brunson Academy, he sends Dave Bristow up to get us all to blindly pass changes in the by laws giving him more authority, and changing the terms of our church membership.

THE GALL!!!! The church should vote no on the First Brunson Academy until we revoke his bylaw changes, or until he explains them and allows discussion and a REAL vote on them.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Mac pulled this kind of nonsense at Dallas.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:31 here again. Both times I did have to sign my name in order to view the bylaws, and they recorded which one of the 6 copies I looked at as well. I'm surprised they didn't check my ID too. The librarians were VERY clear that I was not allowed to take it out of the library. They definitely wanted to keep close tabs on the bylaws.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 6:31 - wow, that is absoutely unbelievable. I wonder what they would have done if you just said "hey, I'm going to go across the street and make a copy of this, I'll bring it right back." The security guards probably would have been all over you!

Since you read the proposed changes, can you comment any further or perhaps characterize the proposed changes? The only thing we have right now is the anon poster from yesterday who described them - I copied them onto the current main post on the blog. Any more insights you can add to help people understand what the by law changes were would be appreciated by all.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - You mentioned Dave Bristow(e) (spelling?). I am not sure, but I believe he serves as the Chairman of the Deacons, AND as the Chairman of the Finance Committee, AND since just very recently, he has now been named the PRESIDENT and Trustee of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Inc. Isn't this also poor operations in a 501(c)(3) to have so much leadership given to one man on so many influential committees? Here is where I found this information, cut and pasted from the web:

Florida Non Profit Corporation
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA INC.

Registered Agent Name & Address
THE SOUD LAW FIRM
233 EAST BAY STREET STE L-3
JACKSONVILLE FL 32202
Name Changed: 05/30/2007
Address Changed: 05/30/2007

Officer/Director Detail
Name & Address
Title PTR (President - Trustee)
BRISTOWE, DAVID

Title VTR (Vice-President - Trustee)
KAY, DAVID

Title STR (Secretary - Trustee)
WALLACE, RICKY

Title TTR (Treasurer - Trustee)
STIMLER, THOMAS

Anonymous said...

I wonder why a non-profit, charitable institution that represents Jesus Christ to our community and to the world, want to make it difficult for members to have information? This makes them look like they are hiding something does it not?

I wanted to make a copy of the bylaws and take them home to read over them so I could make an informed vote. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to have a copy of the by-laws. I don't think that is fair. Is it?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks there Anon. Good point about so very much power going to one guy. But that must be Mac's MO....concentration of power means more control.

To me this is where the saga gets very sad. Dave is one of us. He's not some guy from Texas that we hardly know. He is a long time faithful member. I would have expected Dave to stand up to the pastor and tell him that the pastor is wrong in sending Dave in front of the church to propose changes to the bylaws without the very trusting, faithful Wednesday attenders knowing what they are voting on. In my opinion, Dave should be ashamed that he betrayed the trust of his fellow church members that have always loved and trusted their leadership. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

The following are two activities that could cause your church to lose its tax-exempt position. I have added capitalizations that might relate to some of the issues you have been concerned about:

PRIVATE BENEFIT/INUREMENT:
A nonprofit differs from a for-profit organization in that it does not benefit the private interests of any individual or organization. A nonprofit organization must serve the public good. Profits are not paid to individuals but channeled back into the organization's activities. However, you can pay REASONABLE salaries to staff.

Inurement goes a bit further in that IT PROHIBITS THE NONPROFIT FROM ALLOWING ANY OF ITS INCOME TO BE PAID TO, OR PROPERTY SOLD (BELOW FAIR MARKET VALUE) to insiders such as officers, directors, or employees. This requirement is "absolute" which means that any such payment or sale will allow the IRS to strip your exempt status.

Watchdog - If you think your organization has violated the above provisions, you may report this activity by completing Form 3949-A. You may fill out Form 3949-A online, print it and mail it to:

Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888

If you do not wish to use Form 3949-A, you may send a letter to the address above. Please include the following information, if available:

Name and address of the person (AND/OR ORGANIZATION)you are reporting
The taxpayer identification number (social security number for an individual or employer identification number for a business)
A brief description of the alleged violation, including how you became aware of or obtained the information
The years involved
The estimated dollar amount of any unreported income
Your name, address and daytime telephone number

Although you ARE NOT required to identify yourself, it is helpful to do so. YOUR IDENTITY CAN BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. You may also be entitled to a REWARD.

I hope this helps.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I assume you are referring to the 300k dollar gift?

I don't think any of the men involved in bringing Mac to Jacksonville are stupid, I'm sure they covered their bases on this.

From just a novice reading what you posted, it seems that having a donor giving a 300,000 land gift to new pastor is too close to the line of haviing the non-profit's income funneled directly to an insider of the non-profit.

Anonymous said...

FBCJW - it has nothing to do with anyone being "stupid." Arrogance and a sense of entitlement and no accountability to anyone but people who adore them gets these kinds of guys burned eventually. An attitude that says "I can do whatever I want and no one can, or wants to, do anything about it."

Jon L. Estes said...

WD,

Thanks for the invite. I don't know what the specific changes are and how the stuff (your post gives in italics) I will respond to below actually is different than the previous by-laws.

"A quick summary of the ones I remember:The Pastor appoints the Board of Trustees with the input from the Chair of the Deacons and then the Board is elected by the church.

How is this different than before? In a church the size of FBCJax, I would think the role of a trustee needs to be someone with high competency. As a pastor, I would want men and women on such a board that knew what they were doing. I do like the idea that it still must have church approval.

The Pastor provides input and consents as to which Deacons participate on the various committees.

Is it the input or consent you have trouble with. I don't know of to many people who would want to serve where they were not wanted unless they were wanting to cause trouble. Then it could be that Dr. Brunson is helping the deacons use their gifts to the best of their abilities. I am not sure what the previous structure was.

A disciplinary committee was established with responsibilities.

By your membership in the church, if there are any disputes with the church you agree to mediate the matter with the church. If there is no resolution with the church, then the issue will go to the Florida Baptist Convention to be mediated by them.


Sounds like it is giving those with complaint a path to travel. I think it is wise.

I also think that it is important to know the by-laws were made available to all who wished to look at them for several weeks. If a person chose not to look, then their gripe is moot. Like a man who does not vote for president but complains the whole time he is in office.

WD,

I think you have been hurt and most anything will seem larger than what it is.

read some of Wade Burleson
s stuff and learn how to dissent with grace.

Anonymous said...

W-dog - good one! "First Brunson Academy"...I get it.

May I suggest a team mascot for that expensive football program that is going to run all over the other schools (no expense spared to build a top notch program I am sure)..How about the "Mighty Fighting Yes Men"

Go Yes Men!

Anonymous said...

anon 6:31 again. I don't really have much to add beyond what you posted already. The main things I saw were that the pastor now has total control over who gets nominated to be on the Board of Trustees, "with the advice from the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Deacons" (I believe it was these two who are allowed to offer their advice). Also, and Dr. Brunson mentioned this one, they were changing the number of people on the Board of Trustees from a minimum of 8 and maximum of 11 to a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 17. There were many, many small, subtle changes that mostly just involved clarifying something here or there or expounding more on a subject, nothing too controversial other than what was mention already in your post. The fact alone that the church went through great pains to make sure the bylaws were not widely disseminated sent up an ENORMOUS red flag to me, as it should to anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - you asked "Anon - I assume you are referring to the 300k dollar gift?"

Yes, that and the fact that perhaps private investors used church funds, church facilities and the church choir to sponsor and/or host a private fundraising event. The IRS is very interested on activities that are not within the stated purposes of the organization. That seems to be another example of the 501(c)(3) status being exploited for personal and private gain. I think if either of those actions (the land and the fundraiser)are given scrutiny, they may not be in compliance with the stated purpose of the organization.

concernedSBCer said...

Members of Jax: You have a choice: stand up for the true leader in your church, Jesus, or get ready to be taken over by Mac and Co.

I have seen this happen twice in my own city in 2 megas. One fought with blogs, meetings, etc. when their pastor tried to change the by-laws. (I'm sure Mac watched that carefully because he corrected "mistakes" made by the other pastor by not letting the changes get out ahead of the vote.) The second congregation tried to fight but ended up splintered and scattered and their beloved church is a shell of what it was.

In both cases families and friends had to "choose ye this day whom you would serve" and it was hard.

I think it's more than wanting to keep your church home as pure and Biblically sound as possible. I think it's also about keeping false teaching, poor leadership, and surface Christianity from leading others astray.

R.L. Peeples said...

R. Peeples,

http://fbcjaxopenblog.blogspot.com

Check it out everyone. Interest discussions Watchdog.

Anonymous said...

"The librarians were VERY clear that I was not allowed to take it out of the library. They definitely wanted to keep close tabs on the bylaws."

This is right out of the play book. They know very FEW will even want to read them and now they have your names! The troublemakers to be watched. This is right out of the Bellevue Baptist playbook, too. I don't think those people ever got to see the by laws...at least all of them.

He has it all in place...a friendly discipline committee who will do his bidding.

There was ONLY one reason to play this down by making it HARD to see the changes in detail.... for a yes vote. People following men...NOT Christ. How sad.

There should have been some guidelines for the discipline committee that people could have some input on. this has huge potential for spiritual abuse.

Had they known the details, more would have voted against it....but face it folks...in a seeker mega...with tons of money the Body becomes an audience and the audience comes to see the hirling perform each week. He gets paid very well for it. And more 'professing Christians' will throw money at him.

Hello...Jesus Christ has left the building.

Brunson is a big player in the SBC and has the backing of the big dogs. Even his wife sits on the IMB board.

Wonder if she voted yes to censure Wade Burleson. See, he wants openess and transparancy. He does not believe that the IMB Board of Trustees should meet behind closed doors so much on matters that are not relevant to missionary security. And he blogs about it. So, they censured him. Ironically, they censured him and he is not allowed to attend the next 4 meetings...up to the Convention in Indy. Ironic, huh?

Ask her how she voted. For some reason, I doubt she craves openess and transparency.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

No wonder he waited so long to ramrod changes to the bylaws without a fair hearing and discussion on the substance of and need for the changes to the bylaws. He had to wait until certain individuals who had some integrity were out of the way.

Imagine, just for a second, Calvin Carr standing by while this farce of a preacher ramrodded these bylaw changes through. I tell you Calvin Carr would not have stood for it.

Imagine, just for a second, Doug Pigg, standing idly by while this fool from Texas rides into town, claims his 250,000 dollar land prize, then shoves down our throats these changes to the bylaws to grant himself more power and the use of a "disciplinary committee" to squelch opposition. Doug Pigg wouldn't have let it happen - or at least wouldn't have stood by while it happened. Doug Pigg, as the professional church administrator that he is, would have known the right thing to do was to hand out copies of the resolution, or have someone in a business meeting summarize and explain the changes. Mac had to get rid of Doug Pigg. He had to. Doug Pigg has a spine. Doug Pigg knows WHAT IS RIGHT when it comes to church administration.

Would Lewis Howard have objected to Mac making these changes in a clandestine manner? I think he would have had no qualms going to Mac and to the inner circle of Mac's advisors and telling them that they are going about it wrongly. Lewis Howard knows what it is to love a congregation, and to do what is best for the congregation not for himself.

Here's the clincher...imagine Bob Barton letting Mac do this to the wonderful people of FBC Jacksonville and keeping his mouth shut. NO WAY! Bobby Barton would have been screaming that this is wrong even if it meant he would be fired.

Once he had these people out of the way, he could crank into high gear his agenda.

These actions on the bylaws by Mac Brunson speaks volumes to us about who he is, what are his motives and most importantly, what he things about us as a congregation.

Mac's actions also beg certain questions:

What does this say to the incredible music minister Jim Whitmire? Jim Whitmire knows full well what a preacher who runs roughshod over the congregation with his own agenda can do - he has watched Steve Gaines single handedly destroy the church he and Adrian Rogers labored in for so many years. Jim when Mac asked you to come serve here in Jax and you stood in our church and compared him to Adrian Rogers, what do you think now? When you came did you think Mac was different than Steve Gaines? Did you ever imagine Mac would do such a low-ball act to such a loving and trusting congregation like us? Will Jim Whitmire stand with Mac Brunson now? Is he going to taint his reputation by sticking with Mac?

How about you Jim Smyrl? Did you ever think when you came back here to work for Mac Brunson that he would do this to his congregation? You are known as one of the young, rising preacher boy starts in the convention...you going to stick with Mac on this? Did Mac consult you or ask your opinion on these changes to the bylaws? Did he ask you what was the best way to communicate them to the church to get them passed? Or are you as shocked as we are to find what he has done?

John Blount - growing up you were taught the Bible by Homer Lindsay Jr and Sr. You sat under their preaching for years and years and Homer, Jr. is your hero of the faith. In fact Homer had the wisdom in selecting godly laypeople like you and Kevin King to serve as full time ministers - he knew that you weren't professional religionists who might be apt to use the church for your own agendas. Would Homer have done this to the church? Would Homer have asked his chairman of the deacons and president of the trustees to stand before the church and hold a phoney baloney business meeting asking people to vote on significant changes to the bylaws of the church without first HIMSELF addressing them with the congregation?

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the fine students at Southwest Seminary - are you proud of how Mac is treating his congregation? Are you still praying for "poor ole Mac" who is being attacked by "recalcitrants"? Perhaps he'll write another chapter in his Pastor's Guidebook on how to ramrod bylaw changes through in a mega church.

Jerry Vines - when you asked Mac to be your copastor, when you saw our search committee bring Mac here...did you ever think he would treat us like this? If you thought in a million years Mac would stoop this low, would you have ever asked him to come to Jax? Would you or Homer have ever done this to us? Will you call Mac and tell him the error of his ways so he can correct this mess he's made?

Pastors around the convention - are you going to spend your church's money to come to our church for the Pastor's Conference 2008? Would you in your wildest nightmare ever think you could pull this with your congregation? Would they stand for it? If not, send Mac a message by not coming to the conference this year. Our church has nothing to teach you...perhaps we once did, but as you can see we have some fixing up to do. If you registered, cancel your registration and tell Mac you'll look at 2009 perhaps.

How will people react? Their action or inaction will speak volumes.

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon December 1, 2007 12:13 AM:

Ask her how she voted. For some reason, I doubt she craves openess and transparency.


This sarcastic statement is moot when coming from someone who is not open and transparent. You would agree, right Anon?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Good luck with your blog R.L. Peeples.

I believe however that your blog is not needed, because people at FBC Jax who are enjoying the church, its ministries, and the fellowship already do share their experiences face to face and aren't apt to blog about it. I don't believe a blog is needed to create a forum where people can blog about positive things at the church - they're already communicating it and experiencing it personally with each other in SS classes, services, etc.

The Watchdog blog is a blog where these same people who are enjoying the church, can also get information and express opinions about the troubling trends we see in our leadership. Some people like Jon Estes view people who blog about the things going on at our church as ogres, sitting at home stewing all day long with a frown on our face. Far from it! We are happy, well adjusted Christians with families who love Christ, love our church, love the people at the church, who enjoy life and family and church, and have fun and laugh and joke! Its just that we won't sit idly by why the church leadership is doing what they are doing - we've chosen this means to try to make an impact, to awaken some in the church as to what is going on.

But good luck, perhaps there are some who would enjoy discussing the many, many positive things that are going on at FBC Jax.