Below is the letter the accused has sent today to the Discipline Committee via John Blount...asking for full disclosure of all charges against the accused, including disclosure of allegations made against the accused regarding criminal action that were stated in front of the deacons. The accused is also asking for confirmation of whether a court order was obtained in order to find the identity the owner of the Watchdog. Some deacons have claimed that these allegations were made to the deacons on 2/23/09.
Would it not be ironic if its discovered that the Discipline Committee and Trustees took legal action and went to a judge to obtain a court order to confirm the identity of the Watchdog...when the church leadership, just a year earlier changed the church bylaws to declare that all members forfeit their right to take any legal action against the church.
As I have blogged before, the intent of the legal action prohibition clause in the bylaws may have been to make it extremely difficult for any member to obtain a court order to have access to financial records of the church. Amazing: members can't take any legal action against the church for any reason, but the church, in its zeal to silence a blog that the believed was hurting the church, may have used legal action to gain access into the private records of a church member - not to be able to minister and reach out to said member, but in order to know who they can issue trespass warnings to and ban them from the church. If they did get a court order, it will be quite interesting to see what legal basis was argued to gain access to the Internet records. Not to mention how interesting it will be to see WHO did this.
Meanwhile we'll wait to hear from John Blount.
And check out a new article at Wade Burleson's blog contrasting methods of handling disgruntled church members.
Here is the email:
"Hello Reverend Blount:
Now that the discipline committee has completed their investigation, made their report to the deacons, and to the church through the official statement read by Judge A.C. Soud, Jr. and ratified by the church, I am awaiting the letter summarizing the deacon's proposed action against me, which you are compelled to send me in accordance with Article XIV of the church bylaws.
As I have requested numerous times since you and Rev. King delivered my wife and I the November 28th letter and trespass warnings, I once again insist that the discipline committee explain the basis of the allegations - that is, exactly how was I singled out, and "positively identified" as the owner of fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com blog site.
I have received credible information that other totally false and harmful and potentially slanderous allegations were made against me, in addition to those in the November 28th letter, at the 2/23 deacons meeting, including:
- that I have been accused of stalking or videotaping Mrs. Brunson while she was jogging; and
- that I have been accused of stealing the Brunson's personal mail or email.
Some that were present at the meeting have said the deacons were told the State's Attorney has been contacted by the church and that the church pursued a court order to obtain our private records from Google and/or Comcast.
As former church members who have been pursued by the discipline committee at FBC Jacksonville, we believe it right for the committee to disclose all allegations and relevant information gathered by the discipline committee about us that was used as a basis for the actions taken. Since this information is now spread amongst the membership harming our reputation, we need to know exactly the nature of all allegations against us, and what person brought those allegations against us, so that we may clear our name with our friends and family at FBC Jax. We believe this fair especially considering we were not given an opportunity to speak openly and freely without interruption to the deacons that evening. We will now take every opportunity we have available, by whatever legal means necessary, to clear our name. But first we need to know the nature of all allegations, and the basis of those allegations.
We also would like to know if the trespass warnings issued to my wife and I on November 28, 2008 are still in effect, and if so what action must be taken by us to have them removed so that at some time in the future we may worship the Lord Jesus Christ at FBC Jax as the Spirit leads us.
We await your prompt reply."