UPDATE: Here is link to audio of Mac's sermon where he included a commercial for the Collins Homebuilders in the middle of his March 16, 2008 sermon. Its about 5 MB, so might take a minute to download. Notice after his very emotional description of Jesus in the Garden, and how Jesus trusted God when God's plan didn't make sense at the time, Mac transitions into the current day example of trusting God in how the Collins boys decided to close their sales offices on Sundays. You'll of course only hear the audio of the commercial here, but it was a very professional piece that was done - I guess by our own media resources at the church, but very nicely done and edited. Again, this company is owned by the sons of the man who gifted Mac Brunson the $307,000 lot in Deerwood. Not saying this is quid-pro-quo...just giving you the facts and I'll let YOU decide. Since Mac included this commercial smack dab in the middle of his sermon, it was broadcast in the local Jacksonville TV market the following Sunday in HD on TV-12.
Thank you to poster "Ghost" for the following article on the infamous $307,000 "land gift" that our pastor accepted just weeks after arriving in Jacksonville ...those of you visiting this site for the first time, let me get you caught up before you read the "Ghost Post" article below on this gift.
Just weeks after arriving to Jacksonville to be our new pastor, Mac Brunson, accepted a land gift worth $307,000 - a 1/2 acre plot located in exclusive, gated development known as "Deerwood" in Jacksonville, Florida. Here is a link to the property record in the City of Jacksonville property appraisor website. The home and land is valued at over $1 million, making Mac one of the most lavish-living pastors in Jacksonville. This land gift was never disclosed and explained to the congregation, and questions of who on the search committee knew of this gift offer and when Mac Brunson knew of this gift still remain.
When did Mac accept this land gift? Mac preached his first sermon as pastor of FBC Jacksonville on April 9, 2006. The deed for the land transfer was executed on May 1, 2006, just 3 weeks after the Brunsons arrived in Jacksonville. The deed shows that the gift was given for "love and affection". Click here to see the deed for yourself. The construction on their 5200 square foot, 6 bedroom 4.5 bath home began in July 2006.
Now for the Ghost article:
Perhaps some of the confusion comes from people not knowing who J.D. Collins is. For those of you who do not know, J.D. Collins is a local real estate developer who is very powerful in the City of Jacksonville. He has a very long track record of giving money to politicians in Jacksonville and throughout the state. J.D. Collins has over 20 Corporations through which he donates money to political campaigns. Campaign contributions can be searched through at the State of Florida Campaign Web Site or the City of Jacksonville Campaign Reports . I will not bother to list all of J.D. Collins' corporations but they all are listed under the address 3840 Crown Point Road Suite A ,Jacksonville, FL 32257.
For those of you who do not wish to search through contributions I have searched through many of them myself and will list his political contributions from the last election cycle for the City of Jacksonville. In the 2007 election cycle J.D. Collins made the following political donations to candidates in Jacksonville:
Mayor John Peyton-$10,000
Supervisor of Elections,Jerry Holland-$15,000
City Councilman At Large Group 1, Ronnie Fussell-$10,000
Candidate for City Council at Large Group 2, Jay Jabour-$7,500
Candidate for City Council At Large Group 3, Stephen Joost-$5,000
City Councilman at Large Group 4, Kevin Hyde-$5,000
City Councilwoman At Large Group 5, Glorious Johnson-$1,000
Candidates for City Council District 1:Clay Yarborough-$1,500 Cheryl Grymes-$1,000
City Councilman District 3, Richard Clark-$5,000
Candidates for City Council District 4:George Banks-$500
City Councilman District 5, Art Shad-$5,000
Candidates for City Council District 6: Jack Webb-$1,500, Sean Richard-$4,000
Candidate for City Council District 7, Johnny Gaffney-$1,500
Candidate for City Council District 8, E. Denise Lee-$5,000
Candidate for City Council District, Warren Jones-$1,000
Candidate for City Council District10, Mia Jones-$2,500
Candidates for City Council District 11:Ray Holt-$1,000, Mike Saylor-$1,000
City Councilman District 12, Daniel Davis-$10,000
City Councilman District 13, Art Graham-$5,000
City Councilman District 14, Michael Corrigan-$5,000
You may say, what does this have to do with our church? While I apologize for the long listI wanted to make a point that J.D. Collins has a long history (this is only from one election cycle!) of making donations to people to whom he wants something in return. There is no correlation in his giving in regard to political party/ideology as he gave generously to Democrats Johnny Gaffney, Mia Jones, Denise Lee, and Warren Jones (when Warren had a Republican opponent). He even in FOUR RACES gave money to multiple candidates in the SAME RACE to ensure that he had his bases covered no matter who won (see Council Districts 1, 4, 6, and 11).
So, Robert, you claim that this land gift to Pastor Brunson was a "gift from the Lord." I ask, were these donations of over 100,000 dollars to local candidates in one election cycle also gifts from the Lord? I personally don't see how anyone could claim that over 100,000 dollars in political donations is a gift from the Lord. What makes the gift to Mac any different? How do the Brunson supporters know that Mac is not expected to give J.D. Collins something in return, just as he expects every politician at City Hall to be indebted to him? We have already seen a commercial played during the morning service advertising for Collins...what's next? Could new buildings or building improvements contracted through J.D. Collins be far off?
Also, I found another very interesting tidbit when I Googled J.D. Collins name. We all know that it was Jacksonville's Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland was one of three church members who leaked to the media that Mac Brunson was going to be our new pastor. I discovered a Folio Weekly article from 2000 that states: “J.D. Collins is more than just another powerful developer to Jacksonville City Councilman Jerry Holland. He’s an underwriter. Not only does Collins help pay Holland’s mortgage (his wife, Beverly Holland, is an executive officer in more than 12 Collins corporations, and Holland himself used to work for Collins), but the powerful builder also subsidized a fair chunk of Holland’s council bid in 1998. Collins, through his numerous businesses, gave 18 donations of $500 each - $9,000 - to Holland’s campaign coffers.”
This shows a link between Jerry Holland and J.D. Collins that I did not know existed. How did Jerry Holland know that Mac Brunson was coming to FBC? Could it be that he found out through his wife who works for J.D. Collins because the J.D. Collins land deal was what enticed Mac Brunson to come to Jacksonville in the first place? So again the question First Baptist Church of Jacksonville deserves an answer to is Did Mac Brunson know about this $300,000 land gift before he accepted the job as Pastor of First Baptist Church Jacksonville? This is a question that our church deserves an answer to, and yes Robert we will keep on "whining and griping" until it is eventually answered.