We were introduced to Barry in the summer of 2006 when he preached in Mac's stead on a Sunday night, unannounced, and then last year when Mac (or Honey) had the absolutely brilliant idea to have Barry ordained to the gospel ministry here in Jax - not at his home church or his church where he and his wife currently serve. No, gotta have it where Daddy Mac is the big time celebrity preacher. According to Mac, Barry is soon going to begin a one-year mentorship at FBC Woodstock under Johnny Hunt as Barry completes his PhD dissertation. Membership in Team Brunson does have its privileges, doesn't it?
But my point is: how does a young, recent graduate of Southern Seminary get to preach at FBC Jacksonville, on the night that new deacons are ordained? Out of the many, many graduates at the SBC seminaries, who gets selected to preach for Mac Brunson at FBC Jacksonville? Why the one who is married to a relative of Mac Brunson, of course!
Just a warning to the people of FBC Jacksonville...after Barry completes his mentorship, you can bet he will be coming to serve at FBC Jacksonville. He might be well qualified, he might not be, but that is not the point. The danger of nepotism is that positions are filled not through a process of defining a position and requisite qualifications and experience and then interviewing to select the best qualified - but rather it is filled according to the whims of someone of power in the organization. In fact, if no position exists for a family member, they will be created.
Have you wondered why from the very beginning of Mac's tenure at FBC Jacksonville he has included his extended family, including son-in-law Barry, in all family photos and birthday card greetings to FBC Jax members? Why would Mac ordain his son-in-law where no one knows him and where he is not a member? Yes, Mac is a proud family man, but I believe that it is part of a marketing plan to sell the "Team Brunson" concept to the church...that when we were told about "Team Brunson" back in March 2006 when we voted on Mac we were voting for "Team Brunson". And "Team Brunson" as we are discovering includes 'em all. All part of the plan so that we'll all say "Sure, Barry is a perfect fit for our church...why Barry was ordained here, his son was dedicated here, and why he's even preached here on multiple occasions."
Sad, isn't it, that Pigg, Howard, Barton, Carr, and others weren't good enough to keep, but Mac's relatives, of course, will earn the mark of approval from Team Brunson and will be hired as soon as possible. Our church exists now as the "Brunson full-employment agency" apparently. While it was great to have a provision in our bylaws that gives the pastor exclusive authority in all hiring and firing when Lindsay and Vines were here, it is backfiring with Brunson here.
Yes, I am jumping the gun here in predicting Barry's arrival at FBC Jax, but I'm bringing this up so that perhaps some in the church will let Mac know that the blatant nepotism is over...that the hiring of son and wife is as far as we will go. This is very problematic, in that the bylaws specifically state the pastor has sole and exclusive authority in the matter of hiring and dismissing staff members. There is no "personnel committee" as in most baptist committees that provides oversight to the hiring/firing of staff members. So as the bylaws are currently written, Mac can hire every single family member that he desires - according to the bylaws of the church.
After Barry's sermon the four new deacons were ordained, and just before concluding the service in the typical angry-Mac fasion he delivered another warning to the deacons that they are NOT to be involved in anything at the church but serving...he screamed angrily (paraphrasing):
"Deacons have been set apart as servants...NOT BUSINESS MEN [yelling that very sternly and angrily]...but servants to the church..."
This was his follow-up to his warning that deacons are not to be "worriers", and that if they "worry" about anything in the church the are "not trusting Jesus", and worrying deacons should be removed from the deacon board.
One minor detail: Deacons are charged in the bylaws with the general welfare of the church...which MIGHT just include business matters if they deem it necessary to be involved in such matters - whether Mac likes it or not. Its somewhat ironic that Mac likes to take his initiatives to be rubber stamped by a vote of the deacons, but then declares they are not to be businessmen! If they are not to be "businessmen", then why bring matters to them for voting as Mac does? Answer: Mac wants "yes men" only to serve as deacons, and to rubber stamp any and all initiatives that he brings before them.
This all reminds me of the immortal words of Mel Brooks: "Its good to be da king."