"...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

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Moving to a New Phase

In a few days, the matter of First Baptist Jacksonville, the FBC Jax Watchdog blogsite, and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) subpoenas will enter into a new phase.

I have retained legal counsel to pursue the truth of exactly what happened last fall resulting in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office obtaining my identity through subpoena power, and then disclosing my identity to the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. The issues discussed on this blog, FBC Jax and the words and actions of its pastor Mac Brunson, will now shift to issues of free speech, free anonymous speech, and federal privacy matters. As will be alleged in the forthcoming legal action, I believe it will be proven the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) and the State Attorney's Office (SAO) have played a role in wrongly interfering in one of its citizen's rights to speak freely on religious matters concerning FBC Jacksonville.

From this point on, I am committed to using all legal means necessary to find the truth, and then prevent these types of things happening again in Duval County and elsewhere. Government officials involving themselves in the affairs of a church matter under the pretext of a criminal investigation, for the purpose of identifying and exposing an anonymous dissenter to a large, powerful, religious institution is completely wrong, and unacceptable.

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"Government officials involving themselves in the affairs of a church matter under the pretext of a criminal investigation, for the purpose of identifying and exposing an anonymous dissenter to a large, powerful, religious institution is completely wrong, and unacceptable."
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I have retained the services of the J. Scott Nooney law firm in Jacksonville, Florida in the forthcoming lawsuit for the issues mentioned above. With the aid of this law firm, I fully intend to find the truth, and to hold those accountable for any wrongdoing in that process, and to effect necessary change such that it won't happen again.

This blog will remain open for discussion of these matters.

And anonymous speech is welcome here.

249 comments:

1 – 200 of 249   Newer›   Newest»
gmommy said...

WD,
Thank you for this post and not one that says ...God has led me to move on and put this behind me!
Good for you!!! I will be praying for you regularly. I'm praying courage, wisdom, and protection for you and your family. Stay strong!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you WD for your courage in taking this where it needs to go. I know it was not your choice to make this a public thing. But I'm glad you've retained an attorney. The way that FBCJ chose to handle the outing of a blogger is an absolute travesty and sould be exposed! I hope Brunson, Blount etc will at least be truthful under oath! They know it was wrong to accomplish their goals in such an underhanded way and yet they seem to think they are not accountable for it!

Anonymous said...

You're taking on the police and men who think to challenge them is to defy God. You're a braver man than I.

These are people with the power to shut you up and make it look like an accident.

I don't want to sound too melodramatic but cops lie and preachers lie. Threaten their power or livelihood and they'll throw compunction (and maybe you) out the window.

Be careful. Find out how to protect yourself.

NFLP

Contented Man said...

I wish you all the best. Please let us all know if there is anything we can do to assist and/or support you. In the past you have kept this issue on a spiritual level. Unfortunately, FBCJ has decided to take it to a civil level. You are doing the right thing!

kehrsam said...

Include a count for RICO against both FBCJax and the JSO. That will get some media scrutiy, even if that part of the Complaint is dismissed.

My prayers are with you and your family.

Kurt Ehrsam

Anonymous said...

I hope you are ready. Your kids will be taunted. You will be accused of everything from homosexuality to adultery. Not publicly,of course but whisper campaigns. YOu will be accused of violating 1 Corin 6 even though those in power used the civil government for their own evil ends.

The rules do not apply to them. You have deluded yourself into thinking you are dealing with true Christians. You have not been. You have been dealing with those who profess to follow Christ and use His name for personal gain of influence, power and wealth. They do not see this, of course. They believe they have some sort of special anointing and that they are entitled. I wish it were just FBC Jax but it is the entire leadership of the SBC.

Read Mary Kinney's book titled "Spending God's Money" about the abuses at NAMB.

In that book, you will see the document signed by 41 mega church pastors protecting Bob Reccord of NAMB. Jerry Vines was one of the signers.

This stuff has been going on for years. The internet is the only way to stop it. They must be outed and folks need to come out of these business organizations they call a church. Their eternal life is at stake. Those that follow man will NOT be part of the Kingdom.

Anonymous said...
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Michelle said...

You're doing the right thing here. I applaud you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you've retained legal representation, Watchdog. I will continue to pray for you and your family through this whole ordeal. Stay strong and know that you're the one doing the right thing. Let us know if we can help you besides prayer. I'm sure many posters would be glad to help with legal fees if that becomes necessary. You're doing what has to be done, Watchdog, and from some of the posts here, something that should've been done years ago. Despite what has been done to your family, especially your wife, I hope they can see that you were right from the start and how necessary it was for them to be out of that un-Christlike church, for their own spiritual well-being. Thank you for being the Godly leader of your family. Would that other men would follow your example and hold accountable those who misuse their positions and mislead Christ's sheep.

D

Tony said...

Where I see this action crossing the line was when the police released the blogger's name to the church AFTER they found NO criminal activity.

That is when laws were violated and when the church should have been told not to worry, and that no crime had been committed.

and having a judge read that sorry proclamation... talk about intimidation attempt

Now, we will watch and see who gets the Final standing ovation

Thank God we have folks with Spines to stand against those within the "Baptist Mafia"!

You need to get in touch with the guy in Ga who stood against a couple of these "Baptist Mafia" ministers - he stood tall against them, their Deacon Disciples, and their Cult Membership!

We are watching how you bring these hateful men to their knees.

Praying for you and your family

Tony

Arce said...

Ask your attorney to consider filing your action in federal court, since there may have been a violation of federal electronic privacy laws. All of the state claims can be heard there in any case.

You will have a battle. Be prepared for it.

As a Christian, Baptist, deacon, attorney, and as a consultant to churches and other non-profits, you are fully in the right with your questions and with the now pending filing of a suit. The other side chose to violate the law and your privacy rights, just like the abuses of power, contributions, and who knows what else, that they have committed.

I will be praying for you for justice; once you have it, you can choose to be merciful.

RC

Anonymous said...

I don't think Hinson had legitimate grounds for uncovering WD's identity in the first place. Why did he need to know who WD was to determine that no crime had been committed? Shouldn't he have been able to determine that just by reading the blog?

And there's definitely no justification for him giving WD's identity to the church.

Johnny D. said...

Dude, that is way cool and totally righteous. Yes! This must be done. Big huge religious institutions, and Detective Hinson's abuse of his power should not be able to hide - they must be held accountable.

Brunson's brainwashed hordes will now completely hate you, but what would you expect from a group of people that have had their brains sucked out by the Mad Mac Machine?

I applaud this, and wish you the very best. THANK YOU for not giving in to FBCJ's intimidation tactics.

gmommy said...

Hinson KNEW there was no criminal activity from WD. They are liars...and apparently the police are too because they are trying to make it sound like business as usual.
The attorney hired has to have some guts too. He will need to fight...the powers that be are probably already pulling their strings, calling in favors.... to get the case thrown out.
No way will the self anointed king and his little men take this calmly.

gmommy said...

..." people that have had their brains sucked out by the Mad Mac Machine?"

ROTFL!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So far all of the comments are supportive...how glad I am to see this. I believe people know that there is a violation here on multiple levels.

Good for you!

What happened to all the hate posters? It all got quiet now!

Anonymous said...

Before all the dawg haters chime in and whine about lawsuits and they are not scriptural, I would remind them it was FBC Jax who made the decision to bring the civil authorities into this matter. And if you review the letter sent to the Rich's answering his request to bring representation to a meeting with the discipline committee (I think its labled 'Discipline Letter 2' on his blog), you'll see they claimed this was ecclisiastical in nature and thus no representation or tape recording could be made. They knew they had involved the civil authorities to out the blogger, and had the audacity to claim 'ecclisiastical'...and they refused to answer Mr. Rich's basic question: 'how did you identify me as the blogger'. Of course they wouldn't answer that, because they didn't want it to be known they had gone to the JSO.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom - you are correct. There was NO "investigation." How do I "know" that? Because any investigation would have at least included Detective Hinson talking with you. Also, there would have been a criminal statute number on those subpoenas to describe to the SA what crimes were being investigated. There was no crime listed as the basis of the investigation. So, it is really quite simple as you point out: the church used the JSO and SAO to out "the blogger." Then when deacons and some of their wives got the word back to you and your wife about subpoenas and innuendo about stalking and mail stealing, the cat was out of the bag. The church and Detective Hinson NEVER thought in a million years they would be found out! I mean, they waited 90 days and destroyed the documents, right? And how would Tom ever find a file without his name on it? Hmmm. So, when Hinson was contacted and asked about the investigation and to explain it, he was caught with his pants down. He knows it, the JSO knows it, and the church knows it. So they all went into full spin control. Statements from the church, from Mackesy, from Rutherford, from Angela Cory, and others show the city is waiting on a lawsuit. They know they are in big trouble and the entire city is all over this story. Why? Because every citizen, whether they hate anon bloggers or not, know the greater harm here is the abuse of state and church power.

There is not going to be a happy ending to this mess for the SAO, JSO or FBC Jax.

And thanks to Jeff Brumley and the Times-Union for having the integrity and professionalism to run with this story on the front page. And that "sociopath" quote from Brunson...priceless. His words speak for themselves about what kind of "pastor" and "Chrstian" he REALLY is.

Anonymous said...

Your actions are bringing dishonor to the Lord Jesus Christ. You can give all kinds of "reasons", but the first sentence still holds true. Is this a crown to lay before the Master's feet? Do you put this much energy into sharing your faith? I fear you will only bring harm to you and your family's love for serving God.

Anonymous said...

April 25, 2009 10:09 PM - I believe you have quoted my first anonymous email to Mac Brunson. :)

Anonymous said...

No, don't know about your first email. Just quoted what was on my heart.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard a peep out of Robert Peeples recently? The silence from certain corners has been deafening lately. I wonder why that is?

gmommy said...

Anon 10:09,
You sound SO bogus and fake...we've been expecting you :)
Care to comment on how the Mac Machine is dishonoring the Lord Jesus Christ?

Anonymous said...

The Law Offices of J. Scott Nooney & Associates is for personal injury, criminal defense, family law, and other nonrelated areas. Under which category does your file fall?

Anonymous said...

I know Robert Peeples. We're both in the choir. He's still following the blog. I'll be sure to tell him you want him to stop by.

Christa Brown said...

Truth. Thank you for seeking it and pursuing it Watchdog. Godspeed!

Anonymous said...

W.D Sometimes the Lord calls people to do what needs to be done for the greater good. This time he picked a strong Warrior. As he called David to slay the Giant, Such is you. Our prayers, and may Godspeed be with you in your fight.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Mac Brunson and crew did dishonor God and violate scripture by making this a legal issue.

However, the power of the gospel is seen when we do not sin against those who sin against us and we offer them the forgiveness of Christ. To ignore this is to deny the basic truth of our faith.

Unfortunately the greater good of the church has long since been clouded over by attempts at power, vindication, hurt feelings, and disappointments. Jesus must be so proud.

Anonymous said...

Your actions are bringing dishonor to the Lord Jesus Christ. You can give all kinds of "reasons", but the first sentence still holds true. Is this a crown to lay before the Master's feet? Do you put this much energy into sharing your faith? I fear you will only bring harm to you and your family's love for serving God.

April 25, 2009 10:09 PM

Yet this kool aid drinker thinks that Mac brings honor to the Lord with his actions. This comment only proves it is not a church but a cult. This person probably believes that Mac has some sort of special anointing, too. And this person should scare you. They would follow their leaders ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING for their leader.

Arce said...

Re Anon 10:03 pm --
the "sociopath" comment from Brunson is not only priceless, it will have a price, to be determined in a court of law.

Re Anon 10:09 pm -- the person who has brought dishonor on the work of the Lord is Mac Brunson with his abusive approach to pastoring. Excessive spending on himself and his family is an offense against God and all of his children. Read Matthew 25, Isaiah 58, Micah, etc. The church budget is not Mac Brunson's personal account.

Anonymous said...

Jesus wept.

Anonymous said...

I wept this morning too when I was driving around trying to find a new church. you may think thats a joke, its not.

Former FBC Insider said...

Tom, I'm so proud of you. Nooney is a good choice too. Be encouraged, God has chosen you "for such a time as this".
(Esther)

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, they need to settle with you immediately. They are rumors of changing tax laws in regard to preachers because of such salaries...if they get lean they should have no problem. If Mac really wants respect in writing a book on leadership then he needs to get a clue...gov't ain't the problem. They will only seize on the hypocrisy that is out there.

Anonymous said...

To the former members of FBC Jax.
FBC was my "home" for more than 20 years. I have a lot of friends there. Long time friends who were a huge part of my life and my kids lives. It was very difficult making the decision to leave FBC, but I could no longer sit under a pastor that I could not trust or respect. Leaving all our friends was very heartbreaking! Searching for other churches to call home is not what I had planned at this time of my life, but sometimes we have to make choices that aren't always easy. Keep praying and searching. God is faithful and will lead you to where He wants you to worship Him. We think we have now found a church. We've attended there several times. The pastor taught God's Word with conviction and humility. The music was awesome (something all FBC members really do appreciate). We have to drive a bit further, but it's worth it. Of course, we will pray and seek God's will before joining. But, from what we've experienced so far, God is doing an amazing work at this church and we're excited to be a part of it!
So, to those of you who are looking for another church, keep looking and don't be discouraged! God is in control!!!!!!

Dwayne Walker said...

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Glad to hear you're standing up against the behmouth that is First Baptist Church. That institution is not the only one in Jacksonville, or this nation, that utilizes members, who happen to have a position in government, for their bidding, advancement, and/or cover-ups.

Will definitely be following this case. It will have implications.

Dwayne Walker said...

>Watchdog, they need to settle with you immediately.

One more thing: please don't settle with FBC.

If they're smart, they will want to settle. I'm hoping you won't.

The implications of this case are staggering. I believe connections with Jax government have been used by certain organizations to cover up pastoral, and other, crimes as well.

It's not just about uncovering a blogger's identity. It's about dishonesty and the abuse of power.

Robert said...

I was called into the dean of student developments' office by a police captain about an anonymous discussion board and was threatened by expulsion for use of my free speech.

They claim in churches that those rights don't apply. Bully is them! I will especially be watching this case, for it is very important that our rights are not hindered under the protection of our constitution.

I praise your stand, and hope you make examples of of those that violate our civil rights!

Jeri said...

Go man go! You're in my prayers for success. But honestly, you better get ready for all the filth the SBC machine in Jacksonville can throw at you, Brother. I know from my own experience in documenting gross sexual abuse cases in the IFB that nobody fights dirtier than a Baptist pastor. Then again, I guess you already know this. I wish you success and keep you in my prayers,

Jeri said...

"Jesus wept."

Not over a fat overpaid tyrant being held to accountability. I'm sure that Jesus wept the first time some SBC pastor committed adultery and got away with it because the SBC declared it was not their business and glossed it over. And I am sure the Lord Jesus has wept each time one more SBC pastor, elder, or deacon molests a child, beats his wife, or sells out the Gospel for a political agenda, and the SBC lets him get away with it because of their unbiblical claim of autonomy restricting their power to interfere and set matters right in God's name. I don't know what the Lord's mind is regarding the SBC, but I am hoping that He chooses to shake out the dirty carpet, hang it on a line, and give it a good beating to clean it up.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Much has happened in the absence of my participation on this blog. And though the events that have transpired in my period of absence have proven to be sad, I believe the Lord is doing a work in both the church of FBC Jax, Tom Rich, and the Brunson supporters.

I recently had a good friend in the choir at FBC Jax tell me that my input was requested on this blog. And so I have discovered that an anonymous poster has indeed asked about me, and I intend to respond with a final closing statement about the events that have transpired since this past fall.

To start, it is important to note that I was a regular on this blog almost since the beginning of its existence. I was the leader of the Brunson supporters (at least in my mind I thought I was). I blogged with my name, put myself out there and was often criticized for my opinions. Tom Rich and I differed greatly on issues he raised on this blog. And those differences can be seen in our comments in past articles.
But the point that I want to make here is that even though he and I disagreed greatly on issues regarding FBC Jax, he and I are both still human beings who share the same faith of Christianity. While I may disagree with him about his stance on issues at FBC Jax, and though he may not be a member there any longer, we are both members of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
I say all that to say this. I am not going to continue arguing my case against Tom Rich. I put forth my opinions and presented my arguments in a Christ-like manner to the best of my ability while he was a member of FBC Jax. But he is no longer a member there. So there is no need to continue to criticize his views from that standpoint.
The final point I want to make is that just because Tom Rich is no longer a member of FBC Jax, it does not mean I should dismiss Mr. Rich altogether.
I believe Mr. Rich's motives for initially raising concerns about the church were solely based on the fact that he loved the church and wanted the best for the church. I too want the best for my church and it is on this premise that Tom Rich and I agree. As I said before, Tom Rich is no longer a member a FBC Jax but I truly believe he is a born again believer and that makes him a member of the true Church. He is my brother in Christ and that means even though he does not attend my church any longer, I still am obligated to love him as a fellow believer should. And it is my intention to do so.

While I have encouraged Mr. Rich to seek out the heart of Christ in whatever actions he takes with the JSO during the aftermath of this whole saga, I cannot say he is wrong to question the idea that free speech can't be anonymous. But I have always discouraged anonymity as it reflects a lack of credibility on the individual.

In closing, I would encourage Mr. Rich and others, including Brunson supporters, to forgive and forget. It's time to move on and pursue the will of God in our current lives. Mr. Rich is at a new church, and as a Brunson supporter I sincerely hope he grows and becomes an effective servant and leader among his new congregation.
The past is the past and our present is the present. So let's make the most of it for God's kingdom.

Arce said...

Dear Mr. Peeples:

Forgiveness can only follow repentance. Repentance by Mac Brunson and the leadership of FBC is needed with respect to the following:

1. Acting to change the governance of the church, its bylaws, without allowing the congregation to review the changes.

2. Raising false accusations against Mr. Rich to obtain warrants to get his identity.

3. Issuing trespass warnings against longstandinr members of the church who were not disruptive at services, and denying a mother the opportunity to see her children in programs at the church.

4. Denying Mr. Rich anything resembling a fair process in defending himself against false charges.

5. Slandering Mr. Rich to the deacons, the JSO, the SAO, at least one judge, the internet service provider, etc.

6. Slandering Mr. Rich in the newspaper.

7. Practicing psychiatry or psychology without a license.

If Mac Brunson would like Mr. Rich to forgive and forget, he should start by confessing, repenting, admitting his error, apologizing, and asking forgiveness, in public, from the pulpit and in the same newspaper in which the slander occured.

The church needs to retract its resolution against Mr. Rich and apologize and repent as well, as must the deacons, etc.

After all of the above, then Mr. Rich may be asked, even expected, to forgive.

Mr. Rich did nothing to apologize or repent.

As an attorney-mediator, were I advising the church, which I am not, I would suggest that the above might result in a suit being avoided or withdrawn and would be reasonable, given the likely outcome of litigation.

RC



6. Slandering Mr.

Anonymous said...

To those who are looking for a new church, we have also been looking. There is one up on the north side where we have been experiencing Spirit-filled worship.

And by the way, the youth don't have to worry about needing $800.00for one cotton-pickin' trip. This way the kids aren't divided into those who can afford it and those who can't, making the teen group into a rich kids club @FBC.

Brunsonites are running around saying it's only the disgruntled who are leaving and they seem so happy about it! But guess what? When it's all said and done, there will be a whole lot more people gone from FBC than what they were predicting. And it will include people like us who have been at FBC for 20 plus years.

It's just sad that Brunson can't see that he is the root cause of it all. He thinks it's all just going to blow over. It ain't.

Anonymous said...

The past is the past and our present is the present. So let's make the most of it for God's kingdom.

April 26, 2009 4:02 PM

What a dangerous thought when applying it to the Body of Christ.

How can the Body 'move on' without dealing with the evil in its midst? What 'witness' does FBCJax have for the Kingdom right now?

None. Absolutely none. So many churches put their 'ministry' above those in the Body. As if a bit of roadkill along the way to huge numbers for 'ministry' is accepted in the Kingdom that dwells within us.

That is NOT how a true Body operates as we see in scripture.

Do we see Grace? Repentance? (True repentence..not just words) Even confession? No.

I have seen this so many times. Evil perpetuated and then the non chalant attitude toward it because we are 'doing great things for God' here.

Don't you believe it for one minute.

You mock God with this ends justify the means business.

When Jesus comes back, He will take His Bride with Him. She will be pure, spotless because she is Holy. Not perfect. But sanctified.

Jesus' first sermon was 'Repent' and believe. We do not just repent one time IF we are regenerated. It is continual as we grow in Holiness. We do not move past our sins by ignoring them and saying 'lets move on', no big deal.

I fear for people who believe this way. I really do. Christianity has become a cultural label. We cannot even agree on what is sin. If what this church has done is not considered sin, we are in bigger trouble than we can imagine.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Brunsonites are running around saying it's only the disgruntled who are leaving and they seem so happy about it!"

Don't be shocked. They all do this. This is lesson #1 from "transitioning a church". They WANT you to leave. And the lesson is to paint you as not of us, disgruntled, shallow and bitter 'because you did not get your way'. They will paint it as a positive thing that you all are leaving. There are more out there where you came from. Just wait, more programs and activities will be forthcoming and folks there will say, see! we are growing so God is blessing us.

This is a tactic they have all learned from Rick Warren and Don Southerland from years back.

http://www.amazon.com/Transitioning-Dan-Southerland/dp/0310242681

It works. But sadly, has nothing to do with the true Body of Christ.

Matt

Anonymous said...

To All - IF I were making over $300,000 per year, had my wife and son on salary/benefits, received a $307K land gift, used my body guard to out the one voice of dissent that was persistent in asking for accountability, had called the man a sociopath for questioning some things, wrote books advising one thing while I did another, hand picked trustees and changed by-laws to consolidate power in myself, well THEN, I would be asking everyone to just move on now.

Not so fast...

Before I move on (not speaking for the WD) I want to see the land gift paid for by donation to the church in the amount of $307K, the by-law changes discussed as openly as the "resolution" was, the wife and son's job duties and salary/benefits explained to the church, a resolution from Judge Soud apologizing for, and retracting the earlier resolution, and the formation of a personnel committee and finance committee made up of folks that have never served on those committees before. An an explanation of why of the thousands of businesses in our church that honor God, Collins Builders was the ONE and ONLY to ever have their business promoted during a sermon.

Then, I would demand a specific apology from the Pastor and his wife for whatever involvement they had in getting the JSO to do their dirty work. And then, an apology to Mr. Rich for calling him a sociopath, and an apology to Mrs. Rich for banning her, and an apology to her daughter for making her sing while her mother was made to wait outside.

Then, we could begin to talk about settling the lawsuit for one thing that will get these guys' attention. Cold hard cash. And lots and lots of it.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Ah, yes. They call them "blessed subtractions."

Thy Peace said...

God bless you Watchdog. Persistence is the key.
-------------------------------------
Baptist Life Forums > FBC Jax & Sheriff's Dept: 'Troubling Issues'.

So opined the Jacksonville Times Union yesterday in a staff editorial:

JSO and First Baptist: Troubling issues.

"First, there is a perception that one of Jacksonville's most influential institutions used its influence with the Sheriff's Office against a man who had been criticizing it. This raises free speech issues.

"Second, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has ethics rules that allows an investigator who works on the security detail of the church he attends to conduct the investigation.

"The goal should be to avoid perceptions of favoritism. This case certainly fostered that perception.

This isn't brain surgery...the action of the church and sheriff's department were highly questionable and discussions of the blogger/church matter have long since moved beyond questions of whether or not it is proper for some disgruntled church member to anonymously blog about his dislikes of his church. Such actions may be unwelcome, counterproductive, and/or ethically questionable, but they are not illegal.

Black eyes for FBCJax, its pastor, and the sheriff's department here... all self inflicted
.
-----------------------------------
Re: FBC Jax & Sheriff's Dept: 'Troubling Issues'
by Wade Burleson » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:36 pm
.

Steve Wilcox said, 'William if you think the JSO is deserving of a "black eye" it is only because you do not understand police and legal interal workings, procedures and the law."

"Our detectives routinely share what they learn in the course of the investigation with the victim or complainant" - statement by Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford.

Steve,

I find the the Sheriff's statement bordering on bizarre. If he cannot comprehend the ethical breach by his department, not to mention the possible violation of state and federal law, when his detective shared the "personal information" of Tom Rich to FBC Jacksonville administrators, information the detective gleaned in his investigation, then he ought to be fired. Let me illustrate the seriousness of such unethical police conduct with an illustration independent of FBC Jacksonville.

A beautiful, young divorced woman began to date a police officer of a major metropolitan police force. This woman's relationship with her former husband had gone south a couple of years earlier. It seems that now her ex-husband was saying things about her to others, things that harmed her reputation. He was saying that she was only interested in money, and once she married someone, she would be uninterested in him and constantly looking for "greener" pastures. The ex-husband had found out about every single relationship this woman attempted to enter, and he was somehow getting word to her new love interests that she was not a good person to be involved with in terms of a relationship. She was furious that at least two men had backed out of a relationship with her because of her husband's words. Unfortunately, the divorced woman did not know where her ex-husband lived anymore. There were no children, so there was no need for contact. Her ex also had an unlisted home number. She knew he had moved somewhere in the inner city, where he was self-employed and staying in a riverside apartment - but again, she had no idea where. She felt she had lost control of her life and she was frantic to shut down her ex-husband's talk. She told anyone who would listen that what her ex-husband was saying was "not true," buts she wished to confront him personally to threaten him. She didn't know how to reach him. She was fed up with losing relationships because of what her ex was saying about her. She did not wish to lose the relationship she was developing with her new boyfriend - the police officer. Enough was enough! So, an idea came to her for a possible solution.

She lies to the police officer. She tells him that "somebody" is stealing her mail, stalking her and possibly tapping her phone conversations. She does not know "who" it is, and has no "solid" proof that it is her ex-husband, but with the way her "ex" has made her life miserable by saying unkind and untrue things about her, she has no doubt it is him. Then, she goes further. She alleges that her ex-husband has made multiple enemies because of his unethical business dealings and pyschotic and sociopathic personality. She believes he is very, very dangerous, and she needs her friend's (the police officer) help.

She files a "complaint" with the police department. The officer, a solid detective in the metropolitan police force, neglects to identify any personal relationship with the complainant, and is assigned the case by his supervisor - within the normal course of the department's policies and procedures. The police officer runs a record check through NCIS (it comes up empty), requests of the state's attorney a couple of minor supboenas in order to find the "location" of this potentially dangerous sociopath. Then, the police officer, actually believing the story of his new girl friend, and wanting to protect the woman that he really cares about - shares all the information with her about her ex-husband . The detective tells her where he now lives, his work patterns, and who he is associating with on a daily basis - all without ever letting the ex-husband know he is being investigated.

The investigation leads nowhere. There is no evidence the man has done anything criminal, but the detective is content that he is protecting the woman he loves, and closes the case after handing over to his girl friend all the "information" routinely gleaned form the investigation. The police officer let's his new love interest know everything will be fine - this man will not be allowed to bother her. Important people now have their eye on him.

Then an amazing thing happens. The ex-husband is murdered in his house. After a lengthy investigation, it is discovered that the man's ex-wife, angry at what her ex-husband had been saying about her, murdered him while he was sleeping. It seems she was familiar with her ex-husband's habit of hiding the key to his house in a particular place, and drove over the his apartment, obtained the key from a magnetic case attached to the underside of the casing of the wheel, slips into the apartment and kills her ex-husband. In the civil lawsuits that followed, the police officer was found negligable for "routinely" sharing information with the "complainant." Though the illustration above is not from FBC Jacksonville, the similarities are evident.

UNLESS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY is UCOVERED, police officers are compelled, by the law, to keep the private information of citizens private. I would be very interested, Steve, as to whether or not you believe the detective and the police department in the illustration above, acted ethically and legally. If not, I would like to know how the situation in Jacksonville is different.

Wade
.
-----------------------------------
Baptist Life Forums > The famous and the obscure comment on FBCJax/FBCJax Watchdog.

I stopped checking the Bellevue Baptist Church blog critic, New BBC Open Forum, a year or so ago, but notice that the blog is acting as an ally to the FBCJax Watchdog blog. They share similar circumstances, I suppose, with their respective churches and pastors.

The NBBCOF blog article for today, FBC Jax Watchdog: Who's talking?, contains over FIFTY links to newspapers and other media, numerous blogs, forums (BaptistLife), etc commenting on the FBCJax squabble with the formerly anonymous FBCJax Watchdog. Seems that the key item in reaching the critical mass necessary for this church thing to explode beyond church-related sites and individuals was the outing of the blogger by the sheriff's dept. detective who was on the FBCJax pastor's private security detail.

One noteworthy comment was from Jonathan Turley, a law prof/expert often seen on major media outlets. He says:

"So [Sheriff's Dept. Undersheriff] Machesy seems to believe that it is the job of the police to identify and reveal critics of churches. He seems utterly unconcerned about the free speech issues raised by Hinson’s act or the use of a government office for sectarian interests.


The matter found its way to Business Week and The Daily Kos among the many other outlets.

Perhaps other megachurches might learn from this
.
-----------------------------------

Anonymous said...

John Blount even admitted that he contacted the JSO (aka his long time personal friend Robert Hinson) only after "increased vitriol" on the blog. (ie: posts saying not to give to Chest of Joash offering until more transparency was shown). He wanted to see where "this" (the vitriol) was coming from. Nothing about stalking or pictures or mail. No threats. Just increased vitriol from the blog. Why? So they could find out who he was, intimidate and harass and hurt the man and his family, and "shut em down" like Mac had just recently preached.

Just how stupid do they think ALL the sheep are that we can't see this? More importantly, how stupid do they think a jury will be when they see the timeline of events and are played video of Mac's sermon where he directly commands to his congregation that if anyone raises questions churchmen and churchwomen are to "shut em down." That sermon alone will meet the preponderance of the evidence burden of proof as to why any so called "investigation" was opened by the JSO.

They would have gotten away with it but for a few things:

1.) Some of the deacons at the meeting, and their wives, (even though they had to sign an attendance sheet to intimidate them into silence) had the courage to call Tom and tell him about subpoenas and state attorney involvement. (not just an ecclesiastical matter after all, huh "Reverend" John Blount and your Discipline Committee?)

2. Tom had to get his hands on the criminal investigation report and the subpoenas. The JSO thought those had been destroyed and since Tom's name was not on ANY of those documents, that he could never find them.

3. Mr. Rich actually had conviction and was not going to quietly go away like the rest of us. He decided to take the abuse and risks and pay whatever price it took to continue to blog his concerns until someone at the church finally demanded some transparency on these issues.

4.) The arrogance of Judge Soud and that troublesome resolution that is clear evidence of what their motives were all along. (Proudly displayed with a prominent link on their website until they realized Hinson had been found out!)

Now, the whole world will be watching their desperate and pathetic and un-Christlike attempts to cover themselves at all costs. Even their efforts at making up some valid reason for obtaining subpoenas only gets them in further trouble. I wonder if they ever considered confession and repentance like the Bible says? No way. You will see in their defense just how much these folks actually believe the Bible is relevant to them.

The emperor has no clothes...and it just made front page news.

Mac Must Resign Now said...

Whatever your opinion is on these matters, one fact remains undisputed. Team Brunson (and the A-Group/Maurilio Amorim) have lost their ability to lead this congregation in this city. For the good of all and for the sake of the Lord Jesus whom they claim to love, they need to resign and move on. Please Team Brunson. Don't leave this up to the WD to do the right thing. YOU move on. Now. Or would you rather wait until all depositions are taken and even more garbage is uncovered about FBC JAX before you take the money and run? Please leave now. Counting the land gift and book deals, you will leave town with hundreds of thousands in profits and might still even be able to find another congregation. Please leave now without causing further harm. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Counting the land gift and book deals, you will leave town with hundreds of thousands in profits and might still even be able to find another congregation."

Don't think for one minute he did not negotiate a nice golden parachute when he came. They all do now. They all learned from Joel Gregory.

So FBCJAX tithe dollars will pay for a golden parachute of such a man and for his lawyers. Just keep forking it over and all will be ok.

Anonymous said...

You people are absolutely amazing. Now you talk about everything FBC, Jax does as being un-Christian. Where were you voices when Tom Rich was posting his hate filled posts.

There will never be a trial and you folks need to wake up and smell the roses. Tom Rich is fixing to get his hind end handed to him on a platter.

And rightly so. This blog was, is, and continues to be a disgrace to the Kingdom of God.

Anonymous said...

Can you say "criminal overtones"?

Someone call Detective Hinson.

Need a subpoena for this anon poster.

Anonymous said...

To April 26, 2009 7:06 PM -

If this blog is such "a disgrace to the Kingdom of God" then why are you here reading it and posting to it?

D

Jeri said...

Boy after reading all of this stuff, I have a hard time believing that the SBC will let this get to a court case, should you choose to take it that far (and I hope you do). Let's see how the "sorry, we believe in autonomy" boys club handles it when one of their own gets a whipping in public.

Anonymous said...

I recently had a good friend in the choir at FBC Jax tell me that my input was requested on this blog.

Where?

Anonymous said...

I am a new member at FBCJ.This is all tearing my nerves slap up. Pastor has always been nice to me.Yes, he screams and yells and seems to have an anger management problem.Yes,he is making a lot of money but so what, somebody has too.

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

Dr.Dog I am 100% behind you and your efforts to find and reveal the truth!!!.God uses those with the courage to stand for the truth to effect Change...The reputation of FBC Jax as an institution that stood for Christ and against vice in Jax is now history under Mac!!!What God is doing thru you is separating those who see right from wrong,the wheat from the chaff,the weak from the strong,the discerning from the blind followers!!!.If people like Peeple's(no pun)can't see that Mac has serious personal and leadership issues,and that an indiscretion was committed by FBCJ,then this blog nor you Tom,NOR ANYONE OR ANYTHING ELSE will convince them!!!.But God is now dealing with Mac and the FBCJ leadership by using you as His instrument of accountability!!!.Peter wrote "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the "HOUSE OF GOD";and is it begins with "us"first,what will be the end of those who do not obet the Gospel of God".[1Pet.5:17]...Well I believe this prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Mac: We want to minister to everybody... everybody [except those who ask questions we don't want to answer]. No matter what the issue or the problem is... we want to minister to 'em [or shut 'em down]. Amen? Good. All right. Well, let's get some chicken.

Video

Jeri said...

Brother?Pastor Rod said "The reputation of FBC Jax as an institution that stood for Christ and against vice in Jax is now history under Mac!!!"

It was actually history under Jerry Vines, but he was a lot more subtle and a lot less paranoid.

Anonymous said...

The only part of FBC, Jax's reputation that I respect is that they dealt with an anonymous blogger that was trying to rip the church apart.

They are to be commended for getting rid of him.

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

Anon..."The only part of FBC, Jax's reputation that I respect is that they dealt with an anonymous blogger that was trying to rip the church apart.

They are to be commended for getting rid of him.

April 27, 2009 8:16 AM:" Sorry Anon.but Mac has done a pretty good job of tearing the Church apart all by himself!!!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Blogs were created for the purpose of letting people express their thoughts, ideas and opinions in a legal setting. But Mac thinks the law doesn't apply to him and just because he has sheriffs and lawyers in his congregation that he can snap his fingers and have them do anything he wants. You know, there can only be one answer to why he stays there. GREED. He wants to ride that gravy train as long as he can! The big salary, the big house, the fancy cars and clothes, and paychecks for his family are tough to give up. I used to wonder why he had a full time body guard when he was in Dallas (as I'm sure he does in Jacksonville) and now I know why.

Anonymous said...

GO GET 'EM DOG!!!!!

The truth is on your side and so are we.

FCDJ is highly disliked, nay despised by many, many people. I think most people of J'ville have had enough of the chuch's hijacking of the city. Enough is Enough!

Anonymous said...

If he's tearing the church apart, how come its full all the time?

Anonymous said...

"If he's tearing the church apart, how come its full all the time?"

April 27, 2009 10:29 AM

Anon are you sure about that statement?.And if it is,Ever heard of the wide road?

Anonymous said...

As so I assume that you think you are on the narrow road? Not hardly.

Just because someone doesn't agree with you it doesn't mean they are lost.

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Chicken? Lets get some chicken?

New BBC Open Forum said...

New and improved version of the video. Note how the hand gestures are identical throughout.

Anonymous said...

"As so I assume that you think you are on the narrow road? Not hardly.

Just because someone doesn't agree with you it doesn't mean they are lost.

Grow up."

April 27, 2009 11:44 AM

And just because you have a crowd means absolutely nothing; Therefore my wide-road analogy!Did you know that in the last days Christ stated that the majority(many)of people would be religiously decieved?[Matt 24].And based on what we see happening all over the world and especially in Christianity we are in the last time!

Anonymous said...

"As so I assume that you think you are on the narrow road? Not hardly."
No I don't assume I'm on the "narrow way",I "KNOW" I'm on "narrow way"!

Anonymous said...

http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/2009/04/will-there-be-more-people-in-heaven.html

Wade Burleson thinks more people will go to heaven than hell.

Anonymous said...

I am quite aware of the Biblical teaching on the narrow road and it has nothing to do with the size of the crowds or how FBC, Jax chooses to rid themselves of a dissident member.

The saddest part of this blog is that the minute someone disagrees or even questions your posts then you start assuming or saying that person isn't saved.

But then, Wade Burleson is already counting noses in Heaven and Hell--as if he could.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Shannon Smith - I did post your comment, but you posted it on an older post, back in the "I am Not Infallible" post.

If you want others to read it, you might want to repost it here.

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

"Wade Burleson thinks more people will go to heaven than hell."

April 27, 2009 2:48 PM
I respectfully disagree with Wade.Jeus said many are called few are chosen;The road to destruction is wide and the many are on it;Only Noah and seven others survives the flood;Only Lot and two others escaped from Sodom and Gomorrah;Only two of the spies came back with a favorable report;Elijah believed that he was to only one who had not bow the knee to Baal.God said that seven-thousand hadn't bowed the knee to Baal,but out of how many millions?Jeremiah appeared to have no converts;The three Hebrews in the book of Daniel were the only three thrown into the lions den,out of how many others who bowed.In John 6 John writes that the many turned from following Jesus because they couldn't tolerate the truth.At the crucifiction of Christ the majority of the people rejected Him;Peter stated that the false religious teacher of the last days will deceive the majority(many).The Bible is apparently clear from Genesis to Revelation that the majority of people that have ever live will perish into a Christ-less existence!Of the 6 plus billion people living today do you think the majority are saved?1 billion are Hindu's;1 billion are Muslims;and how many other billions are atheist,agnostics,in cults,and other major and minor false religions? No I again respectfully disagree with Wade the evidence both Biblical and secular are clear the majority of people who have ever lived will perish to an eternal Godless eternity!

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

"The three Hebrews in the book of Daniel were the only three thrown into the lions den," Correction that the firey furnace.excuse me.

Anonymous said...

WD - here is an idea: the reason the identities of the tiffany croft and newbbcopen forum cites were subpoenad after yours was because talk on your blog around that time was that if you were shut down, others would continue to blog and that you had even backed up your blog on the internet. So the church, realizing they had your name and were about to intimidate you into silence, decided they better get those other bloggers names confirmed so they could go after them if they continued to blog after you were taken care of.

This explanation makes much more sense than any of the weak excuses given by the JSO or Detective Hinson as to why those blogs were also targeted. What do you think? More proof that there was never any criminal perceived threat, but it was, is and always has been about silencing persistent bloggers who blog "unjust criticism." Like Judge Soud said in the resolution, they were "aggressively confronting" unjust criticism.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 4:40,

You have an excellent grasp of the obvious! Their goal is to "shut 'em down"! However, I don't think for one second they believed Tiffany Croft's blog was written by the Watchdog. That doesn't pass the smell test.

Arce said...

Re: FBCJ and "unjust criticism".

To them, could there have been any "just criticism"? I doubt it. The WD's questions seem rather on point, reasonable, and factually based, therefore as "just" as any thing could be. No questioning of what a mega does would be considered "just".

Jeri said...

Anonymous wrote, "This explanation makes much more sense than any of the weak excuses given by the JSO or Detective Hinson as to why those blogs were also targeted."

Weak excuses? Weak excuses? Try outright lies. It was a fishing expedition plain and simple, as they tried to gather and retrieve personal info at Brunson's request: his own private investigation service, the JSO Detectives!

Thy Peace said...

Jacksonville Times-Union > Blogger sues after Jacksonville cops out him to First Baptist.

A Jacksonville blogger filed a lawsuit Monday claiming police and state prosecutors violated his constitutional rights to anonymity and free speech in a 2008 criminal case “fabricated” solely to uncover his identity for First Baptist Church.

The lawsuit also claims the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney’s Office violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause by disclosing the blogger’s name to the downtown megachurch. Doing so amounted to taking sides in a religious dispute between the blogger, Thomas Rich, and the church, according the suit.

The suit does not name First Baptist as a defendant because only government agencies can be held accountable for the violation of citizens’ free speech rights, said Rich’s attorney, Michael Roberts.

The suit seeks damages of at least $15,000 — the minimum required to file a case in Duval County — for what it describes as the ongoing “emotional anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life” as a result of Rich and his wife being barred from the church they had attended for 20 years. The couple joined another Southern Baptist church as a result.

Rich launched his blog in August 2007. In it, Rich chastised Pastor Mac Brunson and other First Baptist Church leaders on everything from salary and housing to fundraising priorities and ministry objectives.

Rich said Monday he wanted to remain anonymous partly to keep the focus on the issues and he feared retribution.
The suit rejects police’s assertion the investigation was meant to protect the congregation’s safety.

“The criminal investigation was fabricated to create the illusion of legitimacy but was, in fact, a mere pretext for the disclosure” of Rich’s identity to the church, the lawsuit says.

Church officials could not be reached Monday. But its top administrator, the Rev. John Blount, has told the Times-Union he called Detective Robert Hinson last fall to report increasing vitriol on Rich’s then-anonymous blog, FBCJaxWatchdog.blogspot.com.

Blount said he also told Hinson, a church member, that mail had been stolen from Brunson’s home and that a stalker had taken photos of Brunson’s wife. Although police reports were never filed on those incidents, the church wanted to know if the blog, letters and photographs were connected, Blount said.

The investigation, which lasted from Sept. 29 to Nov. 13, ended with no criminal findings
.

My thanks to Nass (New BBC Open Forum):
New BBC Open Forum > We want to minister to everybody...
... except those who ask questions we don't want to answer
.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Thomas Rich,

Since you are not anonymous anymore, you ain't the watchdog . . . you are busted Thomas Rich. Maybe Wade will take up an offering for you to cover your legal costs?

Anonymous said...

Are you going to post a copy of the complaint?

Anonymous said...

WD,

As a service to your readers and the public, please scan in and post copies of all filings and court documents throughout the case.

If you know the answers to any of these questions and don't mind sharing them, please answer:

Why did you and your attorneys decide to file this in state court rather than federal court? Are you and your attorneys confident that the state courts will provide a fair forum for adjudicating a lawsuit against other state entities?

Does this mean that you are not suing Detective Hinson individually? Why not?

Doest this mean that you are not suing Mac Brunson (individually) and FBC Jax Inc. (as Brunson's employer) for defamation? Why not?

Thanks for all you're doing to stand up for what's right. All of us here in the dog pound are with you. We'll keep praying.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich,

Why not ask your new pastor what he thinks of your lawsuit?

Thy Peace said...

Stop Baptist Predators > Go Dog Go!

Anonymous said...

Let's get some chicken? WTF???

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Rich,

Why not ask your new pastor what he thinks of your lawsuit?

April 27, 2009 10:48 PM" These are the comments of one who is in the final throws of kool-aid poisoning!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Yes, anon. I'm sure Mac "wants that fried."

Anonymous said...

"emotional anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life"

Come on mutt seriously? Man that made me chuckle. You that weak that your little episode has ruined your life? You curled up in a dark corner of your house and afraid to go outside?

Such a pathetic explanation for your suit but correct it is the quickest way to the money! Nice job but I sure hope you do not go through all this for just 15,000 dollars. With a 60 / 40 split that ain't much for you after your attorney retains his fees . . . shoot high brother!

Mark said...

1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

New BBC Open Forum said...

So Mark,

I suppose no one should sue Darrell Gilyard. After all, he's supposedly a believer, too, right? Better to just sweep it under the rug.

Anonymous said...

It's not that difficult to figure why the other two blogs were checked. Obviously, the Bellevue blog was critical of S.G. and Tiffany's blog had comments at times that were critical of J.V. and the great P.P. (with regard to their handling of Darrell Gilyard) So, while they had willing accomplices why not go for the whole enchilada?

Jeri said...

Hey FBC supporters, it was Brunson who resorted to the Law, and he went to the criminal investigators. He tried hardball, and now he finds he has to finish the game. I already watched his lame, deceptive attempt at justifying his tactics on the video at BBC Open Forum's site. Amazing how a man can be a tyrant and a jellyfish at the same time. The SBC has chosen to hold their ministers above accountability, and this is what comes of it.

Truth Purveyor said...

Mark, I, as a current FBCJ insider, says your use of scripture chastising Mr. Rich suing the JSO & the State Attorney's offices is a missapplication of this important biblical principle! Although he and I disagree on almost everything he is not violating scripture here!

Sincerely,


T

Anonymous said...

Since Wade Burleson has told us how spiritual you are, I am sure you will give all of the $15,000 you hope to gain to missions.

If not, I do hope you at least tithe off of the whole amount and not just your share. Remember your spiritual lawyers will get their cut.

Anonymous said...

The lawsuit is not for $15,000.

That is the minimum that is required to bring suit in state court.

The story says the suit is for at least $15,000.

Thy Peace said...

Wade's blog > A Southern Baptist Religious "State of Play".

Doug Pittman, a former member of Prays Mill Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist Church just west of Atlanta, Georgia, called me at the office yesterday to thank me for my blog, which he said had been a source of encouragement to him. It seems that Doug, a man in his late forties, had been a member of Prays Mill Baptist Church his entire life. Yet in early 2007 PMBC church leaders, led by Pastor Mike Everson, forcibly removed Doug from membership. Doug and his family had been attending another SBC church prior to the disciplinary action, and Doug himself had personally informed Pastor Everson weeks earlier that he and his family would be joining a sister church. Nobody from Prays Mill Baptist Church had informed Doug that he was "under discipline," and Doug discovered that he had been forcibly "removed" from membership when PMBC members called to tell him after the business meeting where the action had occurred.
...
Doug believes that the surprise move against him was intended to punish him for daring to speak out against church leaders. It was only after he was informed, after the fact, that he had been removed from the membership at PMBC that Doug began, on May 4, 2007, his blog. Doug told the reasons, in full detail, that led to his decision to leave the church and his shock that he was being "disciplined" for simply following his conscience and speaking out against what he believed to be intentional deception by church leaders. As stated above, Doug had intended to simply leave the church, but the blog was necessary to reveal what he believed to be an ecclesiastical abuse of authority, several acts of deception by church leadership, and a blatant attempt to ruin Doug's reputation for speaking out in opposition to church leadership actions.
...
Pastor Everson resigned his church leadership position in December 2007. Doug Pittman also shut down his blog. The hurt, however, continues. Doug told me yesterday that he has no desire for he or his family to ever again be associated with anything Southern Baptist. I encouraged Doug to realize that there are a great many Southern Baptists just like him. People who know that truth and transparency is always best, and we will not be snowed by any religious "state of play." In short, when any outside agency is used by a local Southern Baptist church to strike back at someone who is attempting to present the truth, then we Southern Baptists have an obligation to not just assume that the church leadership is always acting with integrity
.

Anonymous said...

This excellent comment from Wade's blog today. I hope all members of SBC churches will read it and "take note":

Tue Apr 28, 09:14:00 AM 2009
- "maybe Tom Rich should take note." I am sure he IS taking note. He sees that even IF a man puts his name on the blog, they still go after him. So Rich was actually correct and vindicated in his reasons for wanting to stay anonymous. He would have been foolish not to have stayed anonymous. And yet, the church still used subpoena power, and church discipline, to "shut em down" and expose him and discredit him. Unfortunately for them, he proved not to be the coward they called him, he is not shut down, and they will be held accountable in the press and in the courtroom.

Maybe future bloggers will know to follow Tom Rich's strategy and NOT attempt to do it the way Doug (or Wade) do it. Those guys were and are easy targets of "hardball."

And doesn't Wade's and Doug's experiences of "manning up and going to talk with person" actually PROVE that method does NOT work? Both Wade and Doug were not "cowards", they confronted people openly, and both have been removed from their leadership positions. And Rich, once discovered, was removed from the church. So please, let's stop the nonsense about Tom "taking note." I hope all SBC members "take note" that the only way to get a response from these leaders is to blog, blog, blog. And do it anonymously unless you wish to be removed from your church.

Go Tom! We NEED a FBC Jax Watchdog now more than ever! :)

Anonymous said...

April 28, 2009 8:17 AM - I know you were being sarcastic, but please tell us - where does it say in the Bible that Mr. Rich should "tithe" on any money he gains from this lawsuit? And please don't refer me to the priests who were robbing God of food back in the day of temple storehouses of food. Thanks.

If Mr. Rich really wants to follow New Testament giving, he will give the entire $15,000. Not just a cheap, legalistic, prideful 10th. And certainly not an additional "tithe on the tithe" like some arrogant people so proudly proclaim.

Anonymous said...

Man, I have to hand it to your lawyer. Masterful.

This is a suit against the police and the state attorney's, NOT against First Baptist.

So First Baptist can't move to dismiss over church/state issues.

Yet guess who the primary witnesses will be in your case who will have to give depositions?

Let's list them: Mac Brunson, Debbie Brunson, A.C. Soud, John Blount, Kevin King, all trustees, 100 or so deacons, Robbie Hinson, staff members present at the 9/28 morning staff meeting, deacons wives.

This is a perfect case study of how not to handle one dissenter. The danger of bringing the police and state attorneys into your church business is you open yourself to major embarrassments should there be a lawsuit involving the govts involvement in the matter.

I will definitely be wanting to get the popcorn out to watch this.

Dawg, please use your blog to post the complaint, and either video or transcripts of the depositions. Get your lawyer to take VIDEO depositions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:17 you forget! He does not believe in the concept of tithing, although it was taught at FBC before he joined and during the time he attended!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dog, Just want to let you know how much support you have in and out of the "church". Sooo many of right mind stand behind you. Thank you for standing for the truth.

These people that call you mutt and those that bastardize scripture by misapplying it in the grossest way really sicken me. In fact, the mutt-caller strangely reminds me of a Brunson family member.

Face it Brunsonites, you have no defense. And you REALLY need to be accusing Dog of "the quickest way to the money". You grifters really need to talk. Mac is the maestro of the get-rich-quick scheme. You know, guilt-trip the sheep with a diabolical use of scipture for personal aggrandizement!

Anonymous said...

"you are busted"

The only busted one is Mac. He is the one that has been exposed. And you JUST HATE THAT, don't you?!!

Anonymous said...

April 28, 2009 9:58 AM - I don't think the WD has said he doesn't "believe" in tithing. I believe he was just pointing out that telling members they are "obligated to tithe" is not scriptural. Tithing, like the Chest of Joash offering, were effective Old Testament methods that had indeed been used lovingly and wonderfully by previous pastors at FBC Jax to fund the Lord's work. But Mac, Smyrl and Maurilio (in his PC seminar) have prostituted these methods in my opinion as "fundraising gimmicks" and have been UNABLE to provide any verse by verse expository exegesis of ANY scripture, Old Testament or New, that actually teaches we are to give any percentage of our money to the local church budget. I am waiting for these "highly learned doctors of theology" to show us from The Book, where it is. Don't tell me you have the tapes of Dr. Lindsay, or that "its in da book, brutha" or that "well you know it now" or that your daddy did it and he taught you to do it.

Preach the word about giving. I am waiting...still.

Friend of Thomas said...

Benjamin Franklin
to Thomas Paine

"If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?"

Think about this Mac and First Baptist.

- as a matter of fact all those within the "Baptist Mafia" should think about this too.

Truth Purveyor said...

All of Mr. Rich's supporters should sit back and see what happens and stop sitting back gleefully, and sinfully I might add convicting FBC and it's staff in the court of public opinion.

I for one am glad to see this in the courts. Although I do not like it nor think that it is beneficial to the cause of Christ, this is the only way for the facts to come out either pro or con for either side.

Again, I applaud Mr. Rich for doing the scriptural thing and not bringing suit against a brother in direct violation of the Word. I support his right to sue the JSO and the State Attorney.

As far as those who try to bring Gilyard up as a defense. Forget it. There is a massive difference between the heinous crimes that Gilyard will ultimately be convicted of and the discourse, which is a matter of ones perspective and bias, between Mr. Rich, the FBC Staff and deacon body.

Tiffany Croft, you are to be commended on your blog. You are also to be commended on your work to give other who have been sexually violated from Gilyard a voice.

Christ Brown, I also commend you on standing up for sexual abuse, but I do not support your attempts to lump Brunson and others on your website and trying to put what you consider as abuses the same as sexual misconduct. That really dilutes your message and as a victim of sexual abuse, frankly, I am very offended.

Arce, perhaps you should go back to law school. Whatever happened to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Dust them off and read them again. And all of those in the dog pound that are going to try to cut and paste this, forget about it until you too have read these documents in detail. Your opinion has no basis in law. And you as well as I know that until all discovery is complete and everything is adjudicated in the courts, Mr. Rich is merely bringing a suit that the JSO and the State Attorney must now defend.

It will be up to the courts to decide the merit of the facts as they are obtained under oath.

Anonymous said...

It says in Malachi 3:8-10:
"Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. You ask 'How have we robbed you?' The tithe and the offering, that's how! And now you're under a curse-the whole lot of you-because you're robbing me! Bring your full tithe to the temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don't open up Heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams."

That comes from God's word, himself. Obviously you don't read your Bible very much, or you don't go to a church where the preacher CONVICTS the congregation of tithing. God said if you don't tithe you are robbing him. Those aren't my words, they are his. So I'm sorry if someone doesn't like that, but its the truth. God is our supplier and we owe it to him to give 10% back.

Anonymous said...

"Tom" read the newspaper article written by Jeff Brumley..This whole senerio a two year old could figure out!Mac and John Blount are nothing but pathological liars.
This whole thing was conceived to find out who you were,"plains and simple",and the only people that believe anything that the B-B Boys(Brunson and Blount)have said are definetly intoxicated on fruit flavored kool-aid! It truly angers me that these so-called Rev's would stoop to this childish level of stupidty. Angela C., J.Rutherford please come correct on this issue.You can spin all you like but anyone with part a brain see's right thru this charade. Rutherford you know good and well that this witch hunt was a favor for your buddies,nothing more and nothing less. rev.(small r)Mac you don't deserve to be ref.to as a Rev.!How about packing your bags and leaving town now to save yourself and FBCJ further embarrassment! PF.Angela I voted for you because I felt you were a woman of integrity.Please don't let these corrupt B & B Boys tarnish your good name and reputation!

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

". But Mac, Smyrl and Maurilio (in his PC seminar) have prostituted these methods in my opinion as "fundraising gimmicks" and have been UNABLE to provide any verse by verse expository exegesis of ANY scripture, Old Testament or New, that actually teaches we are to give any percentage of our money to the local church budget. I am waiting for these "highly learned doctors of theology" to show us from The Book, where it is. Don't tell me you have the tapes of Dr. Lindsay, or that "its in da book, brutha" or that "well you know it now" or that your daddy did it and he taught you to do it.

Preach the word about giving. I am waiting...still."

April 28, 2009 11:45 AM"

"Anon" I concur with you 100 percent. There's is not one command in the O.T or N.T. that commands the "CHURCH" to tithe: "NOT ONE"!

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

"That comes from God's word, himself. Obviously you don't read your Bible very much, or you don't go to a church where the preacher CONVICTS the congregation of tithing. God said if you don't tithe you are robbing him. Those aren't my words, they are his. So I'm sorry if someone doesn't like that, but its the truth. God is our supplier and we owe it to him to give 10% back."

April 28, 2009 12:28 PM"

Anon just a few simple questions. (1)To whom was Malachi 3:8-10 written to:the Church or the nation of Israel? (2)Where was the "Church" when these words were written? (3)Where are the commands in the N.T.that command the "Church" to tithe? (4)In the N.T. is the "Church" given any instructions on giving?. (5)How many tithes in the O.T.were the Hebrews required to give? (6)Was there a freewill offering in the O.T. and what were the requirementS? (7)If you cannot answer these question,"Then read your Bible"!

Anonymous said...

Truth Purveyor: You apparently still don't know what the whole story is. I'm sorry for you because you post based on what you have been probably told by supposedly honorable people.

There is at least one person who is doing lethal damage to the preacher & FBC by not coming out and telling the truth about what did NOT happen or what was given as truth but was in actuality only half truth.

The longer this person allows the story to continue to be told as fact, the more difficult it is going to be to undo the damage, if that's even possible anymore.

At the very least, when the truth is revealed publicly, it's going to be an exceeding embarrassment to the people of FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

wow after seeing your pic on tv watch dog you look gay as hell is that why you got kicked out of FBC

Anonymous said...

April 28, 2009 12:28 PM - I am well aware of Malachi 3:10. I even asked you not to use that as your response. But you can't help spit out what has been brainwashed into you. First, please explain to me WHO was told they were "robbing God?" (Hint: not the people bringing the tithes, but the priests who received it from the people. They hoarded it (like mega churches) and not ALL of it made it into God's house. Is not Malachi written regarding the priests and their abuses?) Please read the verse in its context.

Second, how do you make the jump from Malachi 3:10 regarding the ancient Hebrews bringing "meat" into the temple storehouse, (clearly and explicitly explained within the text for the purpose of there being "food" in my house), to modern charlatans like Mac telling us we are "obligated" to give FBC Jax 10% of our income once we become members? So you see, it is not that I don't read my Bible, but it is just that I am not so naive to let some preacher take that ancient text out of context to tell me I am obligated to give 10% of my earned wages to him so he can live like a king.

No, you should apologize to me for accusing me of not reading my Bible. That really hurts and is not true. Why accuse me of such a thing, because I know more about the context of Malachi and more about NT giving than you?

And also, you are right, I am glad I DON'T go to a church where the PREACHER "convicts" me to tithe. I let the Holy Spirit convict me.

And finally, why hasn't Mac or Jim used their PhD and preaching skills and historical acumen to preach through Malachi to explain what "the Book" says and what it means to us? Think about it. They play tapes of Dr. Lindsay and tell you stories about their daddy and give testimonies of people who gave and God took care of them.

Please do an honest study on this and for your own benefit, see what the Bible really says about giving. (hint: you might want to start in the new testament.)

And I do agree that God is our supplier and we "owe" everything to him. (But again, I don't see from scripture how mac and honey get the benefit of that truth.) But thinking you are pleasing him by giving a legalistic amount of only 10% of your wealth is very immature, weak and shows superficial Christianity. You seem to be "proud" of your "works" by complying with the law. This is like the pharisees did.

And do you really believe as born-again believers we are "under a curse" if we do not give 10% of our income? Really? It's in the book, right? What other Old Testament law are we breaking? There are not just 10 commandments in there, you are aware of that aren't you, but literally hundreds of such practices and laws.

Another thing. What about people making just enough to put food on their table, or those that can't even do that? 10% for them means going without a meal for their family, or not being able to repair the car, while 10% to mac brunson means only that he still has about $30,000 left over every month. (By the way, his house, clothes, cars, health insurance, life insurance, home furnishings, travel, etc. are all paid for so he could even give much more than a measly old, cheap, legalistic OT 10%.) Please, think logically about what you believe and why you believe it. Jesus came to set you free. Trust him. Give generously and out of thanksgiving, cheerfully, NOT UNDER COMPULSION and you may find yourself giving much more than a tenth. :)

Anonymous said...

Truth Purveyor wrote "Again, I applaud Mr. Rich for doing the scriptural thing and not bringing suit against a brother in direct violation of the Word."

Sir, please explain from scripture where bringing suit against a brother is in violation of Romans. If a "brother" runs a red light and injures you, does the Bible forbid a suit for damages if the person refuses to compensate you fairly? And if so, please ask members Adrian Soud and Jeffrey Soud how they made their livings all of these years? I believe it is suing people, Christian and non, who have caused injury and loss to another.

And if your child is abused by a "brother" would you not seek justice? Would this not be a greater sin to not stand up for the abused person using the powers that God has put into place?

And "Truth" purveyor? really? YOU are purveyor of TRUTH? Your screen name makes you arrogant and lacking in credibility before I even read your post. Thy word is Truth. Jesus is Truth. You sir, are an imperfect sinner. How a man, any man, believes he speaks for God, or is a purveyor of "truth" is really frightening and is how we got into this mess anyway.

Respectfully,

Fruit Inspector

Anonymous said...

April 28, 2009 12:35 PM - I agree with you 100%. It is clear what happened here. The church is now trying to say "yeah, but what if..." And the JSO and SAO are saying "yes, but what if..." The problem is the facts won't show there was ever any "what if..." that could justify their actions. I will go as far as to say even IF the WD HAD stolen mail and had taken pictures of every Brunson on the planet (which now NO ONE is saying he did), there still would have been NO basis to obtain the IP address of the anonymous watchdog blogger. Period.

And I still can't figure out why Hinson never interviewed the blogger during his "investigation" unless his only objective was to give the name to the church. Which he did and then closed his file. And then 91 days later, the church took action against Mr. Rich. This case is as obvious as the emperor having no clothes.

Anonymous said...

Readers - didn't Judge Soud's deacon resolution expressly state that anyone who brings "unjust criticism" will be aggressively confronted? Didn't John Blount admit to Jeff Brumley that "increased vitriol" on the blog was the basis for opening an investigation? Didn't Mac preach that he does things "to put the fear of God in YOU." Didn't Mac forcefully preach "shut em down!" So why are we still speculating about why the subpoenas were obtained? Seems like the leaders at the church already told us over and over again, consistently. They are sending a clear message. Are they claiming something different now that their actions have been uncovered? Or are we just misunderstanding what we are hearing.

A.C, John, and Mac - Men of integrity? What? Talk about cowards. Man up and admit what you did and why you did it when you did and let the chips fall where they may. Your past words speak for themselves anyway and you only make yourselves look like liars and cowards now.

Anonymous said...

My suggested theme for the upcoming lawsuit: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, citizens of Duval county, this case is not about public safety. It is about "shutting down" and "aggressively confronting" and "putting the fear of God into" those that bring "unjust criticism" against a mega church pastor and its leaders, by any means necessary. YOU must hold them accountable. You must let them know they can't get away with it any longer." :)

Jeri said...

"Truth Purveyor" wrote this: All of Mr. Rich's supporters should sit back and see what happens and stop sitting back gleefully, and sinfully I might add convicting FBC and it's staff in the court of public opinion.

Actually, I think everybody who finds Brunson's Nazi tactics repulsive would be delighted if he would just step up and openly explain himself. The means to stop "the court of public opinion" lies with Brunson. All he has to do is choose accountability and openly declare why he did what he did and allow frank and open questions.

Brunson is the one hiding behind the court of public opinion and seeking to get it to go his way. Just because he's losing doesn't mean he hasn't tried to use the weapon. The last thing he wants is to be candid about his actions.

Anonymous said...

WD, Frankly I am disgusted by the entire thing...though not in your favor....As a member of FBC Jax I am highly appalled by the whole situation...Really, really, is all this neccessary...absolutley not..and I do not agree with those others who believe you should stick with this blog...As one of those "brain washed" by Brunson..I think it is immature and ridiculous...If you didn't like what the church was doing ..why remain a member...What good did you do wasting time blogging about topics such as salaries, and such that you didn't like. How many people did you witness to in that time period..How does this glorify God...in my eyes this didn't ...in fact it probably did the opposite...congratulations on continuing to distort the world's view of the church and its members... As a student at a baptist college I have learned that issues such as the ones you complain about are minimal in what we are called to do. Matt. 28:18-20 calls us to go int the world and make disciple...how can you do that when you are wasting time complaining? I have to say that when I heard the news I was strongly disappointed in your charater..like I said I am a long time member of FBC Jax and I know you and your family...nevertheless I am disappointed..I feel that all of this was a waste of time..that you could have in a wiser way...If you had so many issues with FBC Jax..why didn't you just leave as so many other Christians do when ever things don't agree with their opinions?

Anonymous said...

This whole blog angers me...All it has become is a hate place for Mac Brunson, John Blount, FBC Jax and even the Southern Baptist Convention...good job...not...you are certaintly not glorifying Christ with this..if i was a lost person reading this I would not want to have anything to do with Christ because your blog points out all man's flaws in a church and exploits them...If I wasn't a Christian this would definitely turn me off because you make it seem as if there is credibility in church today...you have painted the church as a corrupt place ...and that is not what it is...good job...not!

Christa Brown said...

Jeri said: "The SBC has chosen to hold their ministers above accountability, and this is what comes of it."

Absolutely true. We see the same pattern of unaccountability in Southern Baptist churches all over the country and in a wide range of contexts. Power without accountability corrupts. it's a lesson as old as time... but Southern Baptists haven't yet learned it.

Arce said...

to UnTruth Purveyor:

Mr. Rich has a claim for violation of privacy rights in federal law against the JSO and SAO, and may have a contractual cause of action against Blogger; perhaps against his ISP.

Mr. Rich also has a defamation claim against Mac Bruson, who was the person who put this out of the church-state realm and into the civil and possibly criminal realm by involving the JSO and by what appear to have been false statements made by him or by those under his supervision to the JSO. Calling Mr. Rich a sinner, regardless of where and when, would likely be protected by the constitutional guarantees in the First Amendment. Calling him a sociopath and obsessive-compulsive to a newspaper reporter is not likely to be found within that protection, and is a slander.

I read the Constitution of the United States of America, including the amendments thereto, rather regularly, and have a copy of the Bill of Rights that I sometimes post on the office wall next to my law license, law degree, and my baccaulaureate, masters, and Ph.D. degrees.

Lydia said...

Well, I knew 1 Corin 6 would somehow find it's way here. But Jeri has it right:

"Hey FBC supporters, it was Brunson who resorted to the Law, and he went to the criminal investigators. He tried hardball, and now he finds he has to finish the game. I already watched his lame, deceptive attempt at justifying his tactics on the video at BBC Open Forum's site. Amazing how a man can be a tyrant and a jellyfish at the same time. The SBC has chosen to hold their ministers above accountability, and this is what comes of it."

She is right. Brunson brought in Caesar to do some dirty work for him. And it looks like they might have violated some civil rights in the process.

They always bring up 1 Corin 6 to protect them

Truth Purveyor said...

Arce, relax counselor and take a deep breath! I do not disagree with most of your last post and was not out to attack you per se.

I do not disagree about the potential for a deformation claim with the comments to the newspaper. I was not pleased with calling Mr. Rich a sociopath and obsessive-compulsive. Although I do not defend this type of name calling, from either side, it would not be the first time a preacher or anyone else engaged their mouth before their brain.

As far as calling me the "UnTruth Purveyor" that is just plain silly. I call things as "I" see them no matter which side that it benefits. Just because you or anyone else disagrees does not offend me nor does it nullify my opinion, or yours.

As far as not knowing all of the "facts", I think I "know" like everyone who supports Mr. Rich "know"; what they have been told by others. Until what everyone has been told under oath and settle in the courts neither side can truly say what is truth.

And last, this suit against the JSO and the State Attorney should settle the issue of violation of privacy which seems to be the genesis of the suit. Let everyone have their day in court and the chips fall where they may.
That is the beauty of America and what makes this nation unique in the world.

Jeri said...

Christa wrote, "We see the same pattern of unaccountability in Southern Baptist churches all over the country and in a wide range of contexts. Power without accountability corrupts. it's a lesson as old as time... but Southern Baptists haven't yet learned it."

And this situation *IS* the inevitable outcome of men who resist Biblical accountability. It all happened in Corinth: The church was divided and some were using the occasion of a badly taught young man to be boastful about themselves. He was committing gross fornication, and he was not beign held accountable. The entire leadership was abdicating its duty.

And so what did the members do? They carried the matter around and discussed it, and it reached Paul, so that he wrote, "It is commonly reported that there is fornication among you, etc."

But Paul didn't rebuke anybody for discussing the gross sin and taking the matter out of local church boundaries. Rather, he rebukes the church for failing to enact proper discipline. And then he over rides the eldership and commands the young man's excommunication.

FBC Jax does need to repent and amend its ways. And it is the business of Christendom. And no, we are not wrong for writing about it, blogging about, and discussing it. Secrecy is for apostates. Transparency is for Christianity.

Anonymous said...

Lydia said...."Amazing how a man can be a tyrant and a jellyfish at the same time."




Lydia your comment is the defintion of a "bully"!!!.Bullies seek out power and enablers to help them hold on to it...As long as they have lackies too protect them they abuse and speak arrogantly..That's why Mini Mac pontificates and responds to Dr.Dog with qoutes such as calling him a "homosexual","obessive compulsive" and "sociopath"!These are the words not of a true Pastor,but a power hungry,protected "coward"! When the authority,power and protection are removed you probably couldn't hear Mini Mac if he yelled at the top of his voice!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:49 p.m.

You did a good job of identifying the legal/factual issues that appear to be central to this matter.

I have not read the complaint, but would be interested in doing so.

It is very presumptous to predict what will or will not happen in a lawsuit, especially when all of the facts are not known.

Based on what has been posted on this site before, it may be that the JSO and the SAO will file motions to dismiss. I, obviously, do not know.

The law gives police officers and state's attorneys pretty broad rights so long as they have some reasonable basis for what they did.

The court will not weigh what they did or try to guess at their true motives.

I believe it will ask, based on the facts reported to the JSO and SAO, whether these state actors were entitled to have the subpoenas issued, and then to share the information obtained by the subpoenas with the complaintant.

I don't know the answer to that legal question.

It may be that Hinson and others in the JSO will file affidavits stating what information they obtained, from whom, and then confirm what actions they took.

If it is a violation of the law to do what they did based on the information they had, then they will be in trouble. If not, they will not be in trouble.

The more complex question is whether the facts will shift in this case. It appears that the JSO and SAO have a set of facts they were given and that what they did is a matter of public record.

If it becomes a factual issue as to whether JSO and SAO were given the facts as they have stated, then there will be a factual issue for trial.

So, the issue as it relates to the JSO and the SAO is not really what happened. But what they were told happened.

If people from the church confirm that they told Hinson what he has claimed he was told, the only questions remaining are questions of law, I believe.

Some have tried to make something out of the destruction of the investigation file after 90days. If that is permitted by law and police procedure, then absent some other facts, that alone, will not mean anything. The court will probably not conjure up what might have been in the paperwork, one way or the other. Again, if there were other facts to go along with the file destruction, this could change.

One law professor quoted on this blog mentioned a Federal Statute related to privacy. That may outline what can and what cannot be done in this arena, but I haven't read that statute.

Of course, law enforcement officials have privileges to violate the law (e.g. speed) in the reasonable exercise of their duties.

So, if Hinson and the JSO are told certain things (and they in turn tell these things to the SAO), it should just be a question of law for the court to sort out.

If the facts were concoted, as many people here suspect, that may not blow back on the JSO or the ASO, unless they were fully aware that the matters were concoted.

There could be problems for those who concocted the stories that were told to the JSO and SAO, but that is another lawsuit that has not yet been filed against different defendants.

Also, of all the things that appear to have been done about which there is no factual dispute, is Dr. Brunson calling WD obsessive complusive and a sociopath.

I still do not know a thing about Florida defamation law, but those statements could have opened up an avenue of complaint that otherwise would not have been available.

That, too, is another lawsuit which has not yet been filed.

This entire thing is sad.

I hope it works out as best as it can.

At least there is a neutral party involved. I have no reason to suspect that the Florida state courts cannot sort this out in accordance with the law.

There have been some wreckless statements made by some to the extent that the courts can be influenced by FBC Jax. My experience in other towns of similar size and culture is that the courts and judges are independent and will not be improperly influenced.

I would caution us all to avoid such statements, even if the courts rule in a way that disappoints us.

Without some real proof that the courts are operating in an unjust fashion, it is very unbecoming for Christians to talk that way about civil magistrates.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Sounds like "Mr. Rich" is trying to "Get Rich" off this deal.

I can understand why you have your feelings hurt to be "outed" you have plenty to be ashamed of.

Anonymous said...

I think in the current state of our city, state, and country this has gone far enough. You were wronged. FBC did you wrong and did not show you the love of Christ. Now you have the opportunity to turn the other cheek as Christ commanded. Show the community the true love of Christ and forgive as he has forgiven. The community is hurting and people are being killed daily. The last thing the community needs is a lawsuit taking funds away from the only institution working to keep us safe, not to mention at the cost of the tax payers. Be the bigger man and let it go. Do you remember the bracelets WWJD? I leave you with this "What would Jesus do?" This spectacle is not helping the cause of Christ, only turning people away. I pray for peace and healing for you and your family.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You assume there is no value to the community in knowing the truth.

If I was wronged as you say, by the JSO and the State Attorney, it should be determined so in a court of law - not just so they can be held accountable, but more importantly so this is not repeated in the future.

We don't need the JSO and State Attorney to be involved in investigating people who are exercising their constitutional rights to free speech.

If they did wrong and get away with it this time, they will certainly do it again in the future.

So I believe whatever resources are spent litigating this case, it will be money well spent.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, you have fleas! Our pastor would never lie to us or mistreat us. I would vote for him to get a raise, you are just jealous. He can preach the paint off the walls, that man is amazing! When he comes back from that cruise with a good tan, watch out Devil!

Lydia said...

"here have been some wreckless statements made by some to the extent that the courts can be influenced by FBC Jax. My experience in other towns of similar size and culture is that the courts and judges are independent and will not be improperly influenced."

You don't know any judges that run for election?

"ithout some real proof that the courts are operating in an unjust fashion, it is very unbecoming for Christians to talk that way about civil magistrates."


Oh Please. One of the big FBC players in this drama is a former judge.

I know quite a few judgess, too. Went to college with several I keep in contact with today. If there is leeway they can take, they do. There is one circut court judge in our town that has a 'keep abortion legal' bumper sticker on his car. Sure he is neutral.

Anonymous said...

It says in Malachi 3:8-10:
"Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. You ask 'How have we robbed you?' The tithe and the offering, that's how! And now you're under a curse-the whole lot of you-because you're robbing me! Bring your full tithe to the temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don't open up Heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams."

That comes from God's word, himself. Obviously you don't read your Bible very much, or you don't go to a church where the preacher CONVICTS the congregation of tithing. God said if you don't tithe you are robbing him. Those aren't my words, they are his. So I'm sorry if someone doesn't like that, but its the truth. God is our supplier and we owe it to him to give 10% back.

April 28, 2009 12:28 PM

Where is our 'temple' in the NC?

Matt

Lydia said...

"Lydia said...."Amazing how a man can be a tyrant and a jellyfish at the same time."

I was only quoting Jeri who got it right.

Anonymous said...

"Watchdog, you have fleas! Our pastor would never lie to us or mistreat us. I would vote for him to get a raise, you are just jealous. He can preach the paint off the walls, that man is amazing! When he comes back from that cruise with a good tan, watch out Devil!"

April 28, 2009 9:17 PM



Anon how old are you?.Let' dissect your clueless statement.(1)Your Pastor would not lie? You can't be serious? Mini Mac lied about Sherri Klouda and he continues to lie!(2)He doesn't mistreat you,but what about everybody else? (3)Give him a raise? Hell he already makes almost as much as the President of the United States?(4)WD jealous!Jealous of What? Being an abusive,dictatorial,greedy,sneaky,foul mouth,plotting,charlatan!(5)Preach!As loud as he rants maybe he screams the paint of the walls. If you think Mini Mac can preach you must be new to this planet? (6)Well I see he spending more of the sheeple's money.(7)Well at least one of your incoherant statements is correct! When Mac returns the Devil will be Back!

Anonymous said...

The Devil IS back, but in the form of Mr. Watchdog himself!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 10:01,

I think Anon 9:17's comment was an example of "sarcasm" or "satire." At least I hope it was!

gmommy said...

WD,
I read the comment telling you to turn the other cheek and forgive the Mac machine for how they have wronged you....
I'm curious...have you received a full confession and a formal apology from Mac and his team machine???

It would be wrong to jump in and deny them the opportunity to repent.
You know how much support you have. Now the team machine is getting a little nervous.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

gmommy - no apologies. I'm not asking for any apologies. Probably too late in the game for that anyways.

Jeri said...

I think a pastor who claims a 300K salary is robbing God.

Anonymous said...

I just happened to check out FBC, Jax's website and see that you can now give online. How modern and contemporary!

Perhaps Tom will choose to give back his settlement online and then become a "hero of the faith" and have his name enshrined with all the other saints of days past.

Anonymous said...

If all you brave politicians and legal experts would go to the FBC, Jax website you will find that you can email Mac Brunson directly. Of course you will need to sign your name and give your email address (if you want a response).

Perhaps if Tom Rich had at least done this and signed his name and given his email address in the beginning he would have received the answers he wanted. Methinks the issue is not that he didn't get answers but that he didn't get his way and the answers he thought were right.

Thy Peace said...

WD, I would encourage you to add this link to your site's favorites:

New BBC Open Forum > FBC Jax Watchdog: Who's talking?.

Nass is updating this post as the links are being added. Thanks Nass.

Anonymous said...

And to think, this entire thing could have been avoided by the senior pastor of FBCJ simply answering questions posed to him by a fellow-member (who happened to help pay his salary). The pastor, biblically speaking, had that responsibility; the church member had the responsibility to ask. The senior pastor--who does not have the authority he apparently believes he does, based on Scripture--failing to reply, the member took the matter to the church (albeit anonymously, and via a blogsite--the blogsite approach not necessarily being a violation of Scripture, except for its public-too-soon nature possibly). Again, the senior pastor could have then acted in reply to the church member's questions; arrogance or fear, or both, may have prevented the pastor's reply.

FBCJ's administrators may be wondering, "What do we do now?" Go back to the start, be responsible for your part in the matter, apologize and forgive and reconcile--and provide the answers that all the members of the church are entitled to as tithe-paying members. How difficult is that (if you consider it difficult or unnecessary, you obviously do not deserve the positions in which you serve--and it would be astonishing that the average member of FBC would believe otherwise)?

Associate staff members reading here: what do you do now? Keep your heads down, your rears high, and stay faithful to your ministry tasks. When the whole thing finally blows over, someone remaining on-staff will be needed to tend to the day-to-day matters of the congregation. If the senior pastor and current administrators weather the storm and remain, their leadership will be limited by members' perspectives of them for some time (if those members are thinking people; e.g., want the present senior pastor to officiate at your daughters' weddings or grandmothers' funerals?).

The Bible we preach on Sundays should be the Bible we all practice on Mondays--especially if we're writing/promoting the sell of books about what the Bible says about church administration on those Mondays. Sad, sad situation all the way around.

Mr. Rich: please proceed with your current course so that this part of church administration will be clarified and discussed at some length in seminaries and Bible colleges, and by pastors standing around in small discussion groups at Baptist annual meetings. Future ministers need to know: do what the Bible says you should do when church members ask honest questions, and keep on loving them even if they ask questions (how hard is that?).

Anonymous said...

"The Devil IS back, but in the form of Mr. Watchdog himself!

April 28, 2009 10:32 PM"


Let me get this right Anon. Has WD slandered Dr.Klouda? Has WD secretly changed the church by-laws? Has WD taken 100,000 dollars of church money to refurbish a room in his house for him,his wife and their dogs? Has WD negotiated a huge salary of 300,000 + dollars for himself from church funds? Has WD put his wife and children on the payroll with no job title's further plundering members money's? Has WD in church meeting,on church property call Mac a "homosexual"? Has WD told a reporter that Mac was a "compulsive obsessive" or "socipath"? Has WD screamed and talked down to the FBCJ congregation at anytime? Has WD attempted to fleece the FBCJ members with a trip to Israel? Has WD preaching circuit to further pad his pockets with other Christians money? Has WD written a book on how to Pastor and then act contrary to his on book? Has WD use the civil authorities to out anything about Mac? Is WD spending FBCJ into massive debt with a church school for the rich and satellite churches? "I DIDN'T THINK SO"! Just as I said previously when Mac gets back the Devil "will" most definetly be back; "plain an simple"!

Former FBC Insider said...

April 28, 2009 3:18 PM
&
April 28, 2009 3:22 PM

Thanks for the reminder that "The Church Of The Open Door" really means "don't let it hit you on the way OUT." I'm getting the warm and fuzzies just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Former FBC Insider, what makes you an FBC insider?

Being a paid staff member? i.e. Doug, Bobby, and the like?

Being a secretary on staff?

Being a deacon?

Being a Sunday School teacher?

Or what?

Help us dog lovers out.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

The trial judge in this case will apply the statutory and case law that applies to the facts of the case. If there are facts in dispute, those facts will be decided by a jury (if one has been asked for). If the facts (not suspected motives or unproven facts) are not in dispute, then the judge will simply apply the law to the facts (like the Klouda case).

In this case, this trial judge will not be making new case law or deciding new legal principles. Only the Florida Supreme Court can do that. And the statutes are passed by the legislature. So, the judge here cannot make any new law. The appellate courts and the legislature have already made the law and interpretation of that law for this trial judge.

If the trial judge acts inappropriately, his decision is subject to review and being overturned - at two different levels - the Florida Court of Appeals and the Florida Supreme Court.

So, there's very little a trial judge can do to throw a case etc.

Where trial judges do have the largest impact is in the area of NOT granting summary judgment or dismissal. There are often cases that ought to be dismissed, but some judges are very cautious about that, which means that the case has to be tried and then appealed before an appellate court can decide if summary judgment should have been granted. The exception to that is if an interlocutory appeal is granted, but courts do not typically like to grant those.

The other area where the trial judge could have an impact is on the admission of evidence. Without going into the Rules of Evidence in detail, there is a lot of leeway here. However, if evidence was excluded or included that was improper, and it affected the outcome of the trial, the case can be overturned. Most judges side with letting more in than keeping evidence out.

Finally, judges, like all people (maybe more than the average person), have policy preferences and ideological beliefs. But those have very little impact outside of the policy making arena. And only the US Supremes and the Florida Supremes make policy.

In this case the target defendants are not the church. The defendants are the JSO and the SAO. The laws are pretty heavily stacked in favor of the agencies using their discretion, so this case could be an uphill slog. I just don't know anything about Florida law. And, as I said, there could be some facts that will pop out and change the dynamics of this case.

It has been my experience and it is my feeling that judges try to do the right thing, and I don't want to start accusing this judge or insinuating that he (or she) is not going to be fair.

Louis

Anonymous said...

" New BBC Open Forum said...
Anon 10:01,

I think Anon 9:17's comment was an example of "sarcasm" or "satire." At least I hope it was!

April 28, 2009 10:34 PM"




Thanks BBC!I think your right! "MY BAD"!

Kevin said...

I say "go get 'em"! This release of your personal information to the church after the investigation found no wrongdoing to be shocking! The church had no right to that information and the Editorial was correct - the ethics involved here need to be looked at.

Bloggers everywhere are watching this so keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

Good for you... from a Catholic!
JSO is always out of control... and
their mistakes are always followed
by excuses. I applaud you!

gmommy said...

Even if the courts throw this case out for whatever reason....so many people have and will see what the Mac machine and team are all about.

Those who follow blindly now will continue to do so. If WD doesn't "win" they will slander him even more because that's what they do.

The actions of the Mac team are so far away from honest, good, or godly. It's very clear for most thinking people to see.
They can get rid of whatever they choose... but the internet never goes away.
The good ol boys are going to learn from this. They will have to hire better than a Maurio in the future.

Anonymous said...

Focus everyone: Each and every defense of Detective Hinson by the sheriff, or general counsel, or state attorney all begin with "if during an investigation..." or "while conducting an investigation..." Mr. Rich's lawsuit says there was NO investigation. So in effect, these supporters of Hinson are actually agreeing that IF there were NO investigation, he acted illegally. So...was there an actual investigation or not, that is the issue? Hinson himself said there was no criminal activity on the blog and closed his file. Blount said he only asked Hinson to get involved due to "increased vitriol", nothing criminal. Mr. Rich was never contacted by JSO, Judge Soud said they would "aggressively confront unjust criticism" and Mac said to "shut em down." So it sure looks like their was no investigation, just use of the JSO and SAO to obtain Mr. Rich's indentity so he could be "confronted aggressively" (trespass warnings) and "shut down". So many facts still to come out. Oh what a tangled web we weave...

Janice said...

don't ever regret standing up for what's right. i was a member years ago and i have heard many stories over the years of mistreatment by the leaders in the church. many prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

"First Baptist released a statement on Tuesday, saying, "First Baptist Church of Jacksonville appreciates the difficult responsibilities of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office as they diligently keep the people of public and private institutions in Jacksonville safe from serious and potential harm. Officer Robert Hinson, who serves on our security detail that is responsible for the safety of 8000 people each week, is a man of great character, integrity and ability. We continue, as always, to strongly support each of them."

This statement/release (obtained from First4News website) just shows how FBC Jax has no defense to their involvement, which will and must come out during this lawsuit. They can't even address the specifics. Of course they support the JSO, SAO and Hinson. They used all of them for their own purposes to out a blogger. And Sure, we all appreciate our JSO and SAO keeping us all safe. But no one's safety was ever an issue related to the blog, right? And sure, Detective Hinson may be a man of integrity. So what? Does that mean he gets a pass on this? They used him. And their statement of support for him tells me he is going to need it, and they know it. He has the ability to "out" all of them, and they are probably standing by hoping and praying he puts Mac and Team Brunson's interests above his own career and his own family's interest. We WILL see just how much INTEGRITY Robby has when he is deposed. Tell the truth Robby, be the man of integrity your wife and kids believe you to be. Then let the chips fall where they may. Integrity. Does anyone have any of that anymore?

Anonymous said...

"...as they diligently keep the people of public and private institutions in Jacksonville safe from serious and potential harm."

Hey what about Mr. Rich and his family's safety? Are they diligently keeping them safe? Or did they actually endanger them by giving their names to a bunch of zealots and religious fanatics? Which is more common in our society, so called Christians harming others in the name of God, or people harming Christians because of their faith.

Mr. Rich is the one needing JSO and SAO protection, but they chose to expose him to danger as a favor to the big church and its powerful members. Disgusting.

Bennett Willis said...

One thing that I have observed in years spent doing trouble shooting in chemical plants--when you have the truth, all the data make sense. Until that time there will be explanations that cover most of the information but there are still some things going on that don't have anywhere to fit.

I think that if you go through Mr. Rich's information, along with various time lines and possible explanations for various events that you could come up with a scenario that covers the whole thing with nothing left over. And all the "irrational" things that JSO, Hinson, etc have done would have a neat spot to fit as part of the whole picture.

To me, the timing of the trespass warrants is a critical and revealing part of the whole. No one was ever supposed to really let it out as to how Mr. Rich's identity was uncovered--and there were to be no records that would pop up. Fortunately, there are lots of records that can be tied together to make a pattern--and if more than one person knows something it is not a secret.

Of course some information taken under oath will really solidify whole sections of the truth. :)

Bennett Willis

Anonymous said...

The good reverend has said that Rich exhibits an “obsessive compulsive problem” and is “not very stable at all . . . What you’re dealing with is a sociopath.” That last part could be the basis of a possible defamation against Brunson.

Rich has so interesting options ranging from lawsuits against the police, church, and Brunson himself. At a minimum, such a lawsuit might have a laudable effect of instilling a degree of caution and circumspection in this department. Even if the investigation was justified (which seems highly debatable), it is astonishing that the police would use a subpoena to deny a blogger anonymity and then turn over that information to a church for his ridicule and banishment within a church.

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/04/13/baptist-ministry-accused-of-using-florida-detective-to-uncover-and-identify-critical-blogger/

Former FBC Insider said...

Anonymous said...
Former FBC Insider, what makes you an FBC insider?

Being a paid staff member? i.e. Doug, Bobby, and the like?

Being a secretary on staff?

Being a deacon?

Being a Sunday School teacher?

Or what?

Help us dog lovers out.

April 29, 2009 8:43 AM


The word "FORMER" is my favorite part of my handle. And you need to know that I'm such a Dawg fan. I know Tom. Didn't until it "came out", but very proud to know it's him. I was deep into the "bowels" of the administration of FBC. First Out Reach Leader, then SS Teacher, then Director for over 10 years, comittee leader, deacon's wife, (no longer) etc.. etc...

Yes, under Bobby for over ten years, Lewis for more than that, and Doug was also an ali... my commrades left quickly under Mac... I tried to make it work under the advise of a mentor and friend, who bacame the first to be fired. If you know that one, you know who.

I'm a Dawg lover too. He and his family are nothing but crusaders of the truth. Let the FBC fans continue to show their true colors. I can just picture all of them sitting on those pews that they call "theirs"... oh so sad and oh so unGodly. I'm sure I'm already outed, don't care, come and get me.

Anonymous said...

WOW is all I can say.. As a long standing member of FBC, I have to admit that this is exactly what is needed. The truth needs to come out. There are so many hypocrites that attend that church including the staff. While Brunson is preaching one thing his staff does another.. including Whitmire, Smyrl, Whit, etc.

Its amazing that as more and more people file out of the back door, no one seems to care?

They continue to run down those that are trying to make committments to Christ.

Tom I applaud you for bringing this to light! I pray God will bless you were you are now!

Keep up the good fight!

Anonymous said...

Former FBC Insider, thanks for the enlightenment. Hopefully (no longer) means that you are just not any of the positions you mentioned, but that you are still married to a "former" deacon. It was a little unclear for those of us in the pound.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:19 You would also be included in the group of hypocrites if you were honest with yourself! Like Dr. Lindsay would say "come on in there is always room for one more hypocrite"! That includes you and me who is also a very long standing member!

Anonymous said...

the way, I see no way the church can enforce this trespassing warning against Rich. The church is open to the public for worship services and other events, so under the law, Rich has every right to be there. Under those conditions, he becomes a trespasser only if he is causing a disturbance

Lydia said...

"The other area where the trial judge could have an impact is on the admission of evidence. Without going into the Rules of Evidence in detail, there is a lot of leeway here."

Louis, Thanks for the law lesson. YOur above comment is what I had in mind and I am not fool enough to think they do not use it to the fullest.

My cousin has an old friend that clerked for the SC back in the 80's and I was amazed at some of the shenanigans that went on there! Don't even try to fool me that ideology and alliances don't play a part. They do at all levels.

Lydia said...

Is Hinson also paid by the church for his security 'work'?

Anonymous said...

Mark Woods' article calls this "Blogger-gate." I like that name since it does have similarities to Watergate. The powerful but paranoid leader, uses others to get information through illegal means, the leader never thinks a "leak" will occur and his deeds will be exposed, then once the deeds are uncovered all efforts are made to protect the leader, others take the fall for the leader, and eventually, due to public opinion on the unacceptable actions, the once respected leader resigns in disgrace, and after that the leader's closest supporters still love and revere him and blame others for bringing him down. Blogger-gate it is!

Anonymous said...

The church is not "open to the public" so they can well enforce the no tresspass orders against Tom and his family. The church has the right to determine who they will permit into their facilities.

Anonymous said...

The church is not "open to the public" so they can well enforce the no tresspass orders against Tom and his family. The church has the right to determine who they will permit into their facilities.

April 29, 2009 5:19 PM

Now that is a classic statement about a 'mega church' that does everything but give away door prizes to get 'the public' in. As a matter of fact, some do.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Well, as I said, I am not denying the existence of bias in humans, or judges, but just pointing out the difficulty of a trail judge in exercising that.

As an example, in a town in our state some time ago, some members sued their local church trying to oust the pastor and others and get damages for various things.

The church was very conservative by reputation.

The judge that drew the case was very liberal and not at all aligned with the congregation or its views.

But the judge had to follow the law.

So, again, I don't want to doom this lawsuit to failure from the get-go because of unproven conceptions of a judge whom we don't even know.

Your wise observations about humanity, notwithstanding.

Louis

Lydia said...

Louis, Of course the liberal judge threw it out. It is almost impossible to sue a "church". They are exempt from so much.

In my experience with mega's they are not so worried about losing a lawsuit as they are of discovery and the press!

But here we have a suit against a government entity which is almost as hard. But, we also have alliances between the church and the entity that has been charged. Alliances not only with the JSO but also with a former well known judge. These are folks who should have known better. OR, they know something we don't as in they are assured of protecting one another.

Louis, do you think that if Hinson is paid by the church for his security work that will effect the process. I am speaking only legalities.

From a spiritual standpoint it certainly seems like he is trying to serve 2 masters.

I also think the 'timing' in destroying the documents is relative because of the ACTIONS taken immediately after were destroyed.

Let's face it, discovery will be interesting. IF it gets that far.

Lydia said...

"As an example, in a town in our state some time ago, some members sued their local church trying to oust the pastor and others and get damages for various things.

The church was very conservative by reputation.

The judge that drew the case was very liberal and not at all aligned with the congregation or its views.

But the judge had to follow the law."

Louis, Two Rivers? If so, this is not the WHOLE sordid story. Including finding documents in the dumpster they had requested.

I saw recently that Sutton, the pastor at Two Rivers during that time, signed the document that supported Bob Reccord at NAMB. Sutton ended up resigning after all this, right?

Conservative how? Ethically?

Anonymous said...

Once again, I'm amazed how stupid and ignorant you people are. How would YOU know who FBC lets into the church? Hmm you wouldn't because obviously you don't go there, thus, know nothing about the situation. You are just going off this WD and what he says and don't want to listen to the other side. FBC lets in anybody. Because its downtown, homeless people go in all the time and they have the freedom to come if they want. People from nursing homes are transported in and come to the services, even though they can't walk well. Poor people, middle class, and rich people go there. So what? That is just like every other church. So if you don't know what you're talking about, just keep your mouth shut. You're just making yourself look like a fool.

Anonymous said...

The church IS "open to the public," although the property is private property. For example, federal and state ADA codes apply to the property; a person identified as a trespasser might be a RAS inspector who parks his car in a non-ADA compliant parking space and--who knows in these days and times!--makes a case out of the matter and the congregation loses out. Law enforcement officers, without invitations to do so, can give tickets to drivers who park illegally in spaces marked as "handicap parking" on the church's property. The church's elevators and boilers, if it has any, must be inspected and certified by the state as safe.

Anonymous said...

Peeble's Peep:

"In closing, I would encourage Mr. Rich and others, including Brunson supporters, to forgive and forget. It's time to move on and pursue the will of God in our current lives. Mr. Rich is at a new church, and as a Brunson supporter I sincerely hope he grows and becomes an effective servant and leader among his new congregation.
The past is the past and our present is the present. So let's make the most of it for God's kingdom."


Okay, Dog. You've got these jerks running scared. Hang in there, and fight so that no one else's family in the SBC ever has to suffer like your own.

If Mac, Mohler, and PP can 'circle the wagons' for their own 'protection', let 'em.

But don't give up.
Hold Mac accountable.
His treatment of you and your family was vicious and unlawful.

Dog. Go for it. And don't drop the ball.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:52 is absolutely correct. Don't you realize that there are certain people that have been told not to enter a church and if they do they will be arrested or removed from the facility. This happens in a lot of churches to prevent the disturbances that could occur. Their names are known by the usher chairmen and the security forces. You have to know that certain people could disrupt the service just by showing up and confronting anyone they were told to avoid.

Anon.8:51: Some of your stated information as to others that attend are also inncorrect.

No one needs to be told they are ignorant or a fool in this regard. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

ATTN: Former Insider 2:33: You were evidently "deep in the bowels" of the administration when I got the shaft. I wish I knew who you are, maybe you could shed some light on my ordeal. Thanks for sharing.

Former FBC Insider said...

Anonymous said...
ATTN: Former Insider 2:33: You were evidently "deep in the bowels" of the administration when I got the shaft. I wish I knew who you are, maybe you could shed some light on my ordeal. Thanks for sharing.

April 29, 2009 11:20 PM


If you were on the payroll, I'm sure we've met. What was the timeline of your shafted departure? Before Mad Mac or after?

Anonymous said...

Remember, this did not start over the pastor's salary or housing or direction he was leading. It was always about one thing: accountability. The man was accepting a $307K land gift only three weeks after he came and no one felt he needed to either thank God publicly for it or at least explain since it went against his own instructions in his Pastor's guidebook. When asked about it, he attacked the questioner. Than adding both his wife and his son on staff with no explanation of what they do, what they make, whe they report to, etc. and again, not answering any concerns raised about this. Then he had the by-laws changed to give himself more power and eliminated some committees to consolidate all power in himself and his hand picked yes men, then he let A.C. Soud and Ginger Soud host a fundraiser for an Israeli hospital that performs state funded abortions and is a client of some large bio-medical investors, then he played a commercial for Collins builders in the middle of the service, then he told us to "give a million dollars...in two weeks", then he whined and complained to not having a honeymoon to Paige Patterson, criticized us as a "hotbed of legalism" to a group of North Carolina pastors, not to mention paying big money to the creepy Maurilio Amorim to market our church and help him prepare sermons. His living on Amelia Island his first year, working on book deals, remodeling the children's conference room for his own luxury office suites, promoting his son's wedding reception, promoting Holy Land trips he "hosts", selling time on the podium during the pastor's conference and other issues were questioned and never responded to.

Please, don't let the press summarize this as being about his salary. It is all of these other things, in addition to his generous salary, that raised some questions. Not to mention how abusive his style is in the pulpit ("shut em down") and the fact that he is arrogant, stubborn and proud in not responding with love and kindness to his critics. And he did call Mr. Rich an unbalanced sociopath.

Those are the issues. And by the way, there is a little separate matter going on right now involving his using the JSO and SAO to out the blogger.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Exactly!

The judge had to throw the suit out because of the law. The judge's bias against the church could not change the law.

That is exactly what I am saying.

I am saying that we should start with the premise that the law will govern this suit, not the personal prejudices of the court.

We look like reactionary cranks if we start impugning the judiciary. It's the equivalent of walking around with an "Impeach Earl Warren" sign.

I don't even know who the judge is, and I do not know anything about the judge. Why would I want to impugn the justice system with absolutely no facts to support me? Why would anyone?

Hinson's being paid by the church will probably have no bearing. It does not appear to be a material fact at this point, at least based on what I know.

Hinson's actions that are complained of in this case were the use of his office and power to obtain a subpoena improperly and then to share the name of the dog with the church (again, I haven't read the complaint, but that seems to be the nuts and bolts of this).

The defense will probably be that based on the information that was provided to Hinson that he was authorized as a law enforcement officer to do what he did.

The part time security arrangement could become relevant if it violates the law or department rules. But otherwise, it doesn't have any legal bearing.

I realize that Hinson's membership at the church and the payments create a personal interest that translates into suspicion of Hinson's motives for many people. And that is not illogical.

However, I do not think that this case will turn on the court's examination of or determination about Hinson's motives, that is, "Why did he really do what he did?"

The court could care less. The court doesn't get into that kind of speculation. Though let me say that if the case goes to a jury, that is exactly the kind of thing that the jury may focus on.

But for the case to go to the jury there have to be facts in dispute for the jury to decide.

If everyone agrees on the material facts, the court will just apply the law to those material fact. Obtaining subpoena and sharing the name will either fall within the duties that a law enforcement officer can exercise with discretion, or they won't.

But, again, I will be the first to say that I don't know all of the facts here. So, it's never good to predict the outcome of a court case. A lot can be going on that none of us know about.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

I wasn't speaking of Two Rivers.

I was speaking of an African American congregation, which was in a different city.

I did follow some of the Two Rivers matter on the internet, and read the judge's opinion, which Two Rivers apparently posted for a while on their website.

That case was thrown out, too.

From what I could gather, some dissident members who did not like the way a congregational vote (or series of votes) went, filed suit to get control of the church. The court did not let that happen, which is no surprise.

The court's opinion did allow the members to get some financial records. I seem to recall that there was some claim that some records were thrown away during the process and that the parties were wrangling about that. But I don't know which records or what, if anything, the court did about that.

If the court found that the parties intentionally did something in violation of its order or that would affect the merits of the suit, that is a serious matter. The court would order sanctions and hold people in contempt.

On the other hand, there are often numerous allegations in hotly contested lawsuits that the court sorts through and finds are not really a big deal.

I don't know what happened in the records destruction allegation. Do you? Was anyone cited with contempt, or was it much ado about nothing? If you or anyone out there knows, send me the link so that I can read about it. I have heard someone on another blog mention this, but they weren't sure if the court thought it was not big deal, either.

Let me know if you have any info on that and where you found it. I would be interested in reading about it.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Louis - it is not hard to predict that THIS case will get all the way to a jury. Hinson's motives for outing this blogger is the key issue and that is a matter of fact, not of law. If a jury finds his motive was only to out the blogger to the church, the WD wins. If the jury is convinced the detective had no interest other than to protect the pastor from mail stealing and stalking, well than, Hinson will win. So lets get on with full discovery and get the evidence presented to the jury so they can decide. I am sure a Detective with all the years and experience he has, and who is supposedly a man of character and integrity, will have no problem documenting and defending his actions, right? If not, and there are only closed files and destroyed documents and nothing to support his defense, he will be in big troule with that jury. He need only prove two things: (1) that mail stealing and stalking did in fact happen AND (2) there was a reasonable nexus between those activities and a website that was expressing "unjust criticism" against the pastor.

If not, the JSO might as well go ahead and get all of your background checked out, get your IP addresses, websites you have visited, etc since you posted here on the blog. Well, you say, how would that be related? Exactly my point. It's not and they need to be held accountable if they did such a thing, which they did to Mr. Rich.

Lots of issues will be raised by the defense team I am sure, but not really so complicated when you get down to it.

Anonymous said...

Hint: Many current and former staff members (like me) know what really happened in regard to A.C. Soud's involvement and Detective Hinson's orders and involvement and trust me, more than ONE of them is just chomping at the bit to tell the whole story under oath at deposition.

So, this case will only avoid a jury if the CHURCH admits their wrongdoing now, saves the JSO and SAO the grief of trying to defend their actions, and this case gets tried on damages only. But to do this, some key leaders at the church will have to swallow their pride and admit wrongdoing. It looks like they won't until it appears they have no other choice. Until then they will defend, deny and delay the litigation for months and years. During which time I hope members of the congregation and the community find someplace else to worship and serve the Lord.

Anonymous said...

All you junior detectives and attorneys are a joke. None of you know what you're talking about but I guess it makes you think you're smart when you post on here. Tom Rich is going to be eaten alive in the courtroom and sent out the door packing. Trust me, the judges and attorneys in FBC, Jax know exactly what they are doing. Tom is in water way over his head.

The bottom line is that there are a bunch of people who are not leaders or committee members in any church and are jealous of those who are. Just read your posts. You whine about a bunch of junk and then gripe because you're not the one that someone is accountable to. And you actually wonder why and that makes it even more pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Anon:

Good thoughts.

The only qualifications I would add are that motive is not usually a dispositive issue.

It is in a hate crime case, but not in cases like this. The reason is that it is purely speculative and not germane to the whether it is improper for the officer to do what he did. At least that's what I think, only from a legal standpoint.

Also, the officer does not have to prove that mail was stolen or that stalking occurred. Only that that was reported.

If I see a policeman on the street and tell him that I was just threatened by a man who walked up the street, and the officer followed and picked up a guy based on the description I gave, if it turns out that I lied, it does not matter as far as the officer's liability is concerned. He is entitled to rely on my report, true or not.

Now, if I told the officer, "I was not really robbed, but let me just say I was so you can go harrass that guy down there", then the officer would not be protected.

That would be the kind of issue of fact that might pop up here that would help this lawsuit.

But if the officer is told A, B, and C, and the officer investigates, it is no mark on the officer if A, B and C are found to be untrue later. It is a problem if there is proof the officer knew that they were untrue.

And, again, the officer's motive (whether he acted because he is friends with the complaintant or whether he just wants to be a good cop) is not really germane, so long as whether what he did is within his discretionary power to begin with.

A good comparison is this - I have seen cops pull young attractive women over on late night stops just to strike up a conversation and meet the driver. Sounds terrible, but it happens. However, if the cop has some probable cause (busted tail light, speed, failure to come to a complete stop - even though it's 2:00 a.m. and no one else is on the road, or the ever present "lane violation" - "I saw you cross over the line slightly back there and wanted to pull you over etc.) the cop is entitled to stop the person. The courts are not going to get into the cop's true motive and show that he's single, lives with his parents, likes women who look like the driver etc.

The only question the court will involve itself with is "Did this cop have enough cause under the law to pull this woman over?"

Similary, in this case, the cop is apparently going to say, "I was told that mail was stolen from the Brunson home and Mrs. Brunson reported that she was being stalked." I don't know how a cop would prove or not prove either of those.

Whether those things can logically be connected to a blog etc. probably fits within the scope of a policeman's investigatory discretion. There is probably a Florida statute or case on that, or department policy.

I think that the court will focus on that and will not try to get in the cop's head.

Unless of course, there is a fact such as I have suggested above. That could change things considerably.

But you make good points.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon:

Thanks for the Hint.

That is the kind of fact, should it develop, that would change the landscape in this case.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"Moving to a New Phase"...why don't you just move on...please...none of this is necessary of helpful...This blog was only recently brought to my attention due to media attentions and stories from friends and church members back home...I decided to spend some time today reading past posts and trying to understand your side of the story...well I only got as far as November before I was frustrated, mad, and frankly sad about this mess...I feel as if all you have done that has led to this point was complain about the money or any money with the church...any offering ministry or outreach if viewed in your eyes as the pastor stealing our money...It is things like this that give mega churches and churches period a hard time ... with this attitude you may it seem that all being a member of a church is ...is giving away your money...this needs to end...move on ..let go...I am trying to understand this...If you hate the church so much...why are you putting so much effort and time in to complaining about and fighting it. What good is this doing except to anger God's people...give non-believers terrible perceptions of the church and destroy people's name...let it go..Move on...get over it..I am a college student and even I can see this has gone on long enough....so please stop trying to destroy my home church...and MOVE ON!!!

Brother/Pastor Rod said...

"The bottom line is that there are a bunch of people who are not leaders or committee members in any church and are jealous of those who are. Just read your posts. You whine about a bunch of junk and then gripe because you're not the one that someone is accountable to. And you actually wonder why and that makes it even more pathetic."

April 30, 2009 11:24 AM



This comment sounds like the type that were made by people trying to defend Darrell Gilyard! In their minds they really believe that pro-WD people are jealous over some positions at FBCJ! The type of people who make these kinds of comments that the above Anon made,seem to be devoid of any preception of right and wrong.It just never seems to matter! Not one attempt was made to possibly explain Mac's actions,just a blanket statement that we are all jealous over not being in some leadership position at FBCJ!

Anonymous said...

April 29, 2009 8:51 PM & April 30, 2009 11:24 AM: The same wonderful God-loving person wrote both posts.

In your April 29, 2009 8:51 pm post, your final statement tells me that you have the lion's share of the "fool" market.

Methinks the insiders are pacing and gritting their teeth since the law suit was filed and this is the best they can come up with. The evil in the heart is coming out of the mouth...

Anonymous said...

April 30, 2009 11:35 AM

Ignoring corruption will not make it go away and though I'm sure you're sincere, sticking our heads in the sand is not pleasing to God.

If nothing is done concerning the corruption inside those walls at FBC then it will self-destruct from the inside out.

gmommy said...

"Forgive and forget" is always used and distorted by dysfunctional people who don't want real issues dealt with or accountability for anyone except the ones wronged.
That term has been so misused by those trying to manipulate way too long.

I took a class at BBC in the 90's that taught how twisted people use that against you for their own gain.
I still have an article that Dr Rogers wrote (I am not saying he knew it all or was perfect)about forgiveness and how it never means we are to just blow things off and not hold people accountable.

Whatever steps forward the SBC ever made this crop of good ol boys brought them backwards at least 40 years. The way they twist the truth in general and the Bible is really borderline personality disorder....or much worse. (I don't want to stoop as low as Mac did on name calling )

BTW...what kind of PASTOR (or man)publicly calls someone what Mac called WD?????....Maurio needs to be fired...he failed!!!!

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Louis,
This is exactly how I see it, and why I have chosen to question Hinson and the department as to what they were told - the problem for me is what information was given by the church and what was known about the "information" - because even the dept. backs up your speculation here, they have a duty to act on information given to them and prove it during the investigation, whether it was bogus info is yet to be determined.

Excellent points Louis, "right on the money".

I am sad to say it, but somethings just don't add up, and that is where I have a problem.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I don't believe Louis is an attorney, at least not a practicing one. I'm convinced he's a politician because only in the political arena have I seen someone who uses so many words to say so little. It's time for the defense (of the powers that be) to rest, Louis (or whatever your name is).

New BBC Open Forum said...

Dr. Phil is back.

Anonymous said...

Tiffany:

Thanks.

I wish you the best. And I hope the facts come out so that there is a truthful and clear story to all of this - for everyone's concern.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:25. "This did not start over pastors salary". Your summation is right on. This is about abuse of power, abuse of office and sheer arrogance.

Former FBC Insider said...

OMG... you've got to see the irony in what I just saw on Mad Mac's home page at

http://www.inlight.org/

The quote that made my mouth drop open was,

"Through the transparency of his servant's heart, he calls viewers to prayer and unity so that above all, the name of Jesus Christ is glorified."

Get it? Transparency?
I wonder how Mac thinks Christ was glorified when he called one of His own a sociopath... hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Transparency!!! Are you kidding????

Anonymous said...

April 30, 2009 11:35 AM - how is Gainesville? I am glad you found this blog, since as a college student, you are the age where you probably have realized by now that there are men who call themselves "men of God" to use that position of power and fame and influence to enrich themselves and their families. The Bible says they are out there and that we are to look out for them. Dr. Lindsay said we are to be fruit inspectors.

This situation must be hard for you to believe if FBC Jax is your home church, because you saw true, dedicated leaders like Homer Lindsay, Jr, Dr. Vines, and Calvin Carr. But when you see and read about the past actions of this new breed of mega preacher, once the anger and frustration you feel subsides, I hope you will go back and prayerfully reflect on the list of things done by Mac Brunson since he arrived and ask the Spirit to give you discernment and wisdom. Don't be afraid to consider that he has acted in contradiction to his own Pastor's guidebook, and in contradiction to the word of God. That he accepted a land gift of $307K only three weeks after he arrived and then played a commercial for the sons of the donee during the service. Consider the dangers of nepotism, the hiring of Maurilio Amorim, the changing of the bylaws to give him more power and less accountability, the treatment of Bob B, Doug P, Lewis H, and other men you knew and loved.

For me, this has always been simply about a lack of accountability and transparency. Anyone who asked any questions was quickly labeled "divisive" and as "attacking the pastor." This should not be so. Someday, if and when you ever have any legitimate questions of an authority (teacher, police, pastor, etc.) and you are attacked just for asking questions, and then ignored, then slandered, then banned from the church, you might better understand. Until then, I hope you and your friends and family might learn something from all this. Blessings to you all. :)

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