"...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

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pastor Kills Church Member Who Became Concerned Over Financial Shenanigans at Church

I've been writing here on this blog recently about the theological shenanigans taking place in Baptist pulpits to get people to give. Men in the pulpit threatening church members with God's judgement - and financial calamity - unless they fork over 10% of their income to the pastor's church.

Now comes a story that I became aware of from Christa Brown's blog, where the "judgement" comes not from God, but from the pastor who shoots one of his church members who was complaining about financial improprieties in the church.

The pastor is David Love, former pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri. Allegedly Pastor Love shot Randy Stone in his insurance agency office last March. The story gets even nastier, as apparently Pastor Love was having an affair with Stone's wife as well for about 10 years.

But apparently it was church finances that caused Love to knock off Stone. Says the LA Times:

"[Stone's friend is] not sure what motivated the killing, but says that he heard rumors that Stone was the treasurer at New Hope Baptist Church and may have been about to blow the lid on financial shenanigans at the church."

Oh, and what did Pastor Love do after he shot Stone - who was said to have greatly admired Love and very active in his church - in cold blood? Well, he did what any loving Baptist pastor would do - he delivered the eulogy.

Yes, the murderer delivered the eulogy of the man he killed because he was complaining about finances at the church.

So think twice, you complaining church members, before you go popping off about finances in the church. You just might run into a Pastor Love who you think is coming to pray with you, and just as you bow to pray he puts a bullet in your head.

Gee, my trespass papers from the discipline committee, and the pastor and the judge calling me names in the newspaper don't seem so bad now, do they?

I can't help but wonder: perhaps Mr. Stone's concerns over finances caused him to stop tithing - and maybe Pastor Love thought he was just delivering God's Old Testament judgement to the recalcitrant who dared to ask financial questions and who had stopped giving the "sacred portion" to the church. We're being told from the pulpits that bad things happen to those who don't tithe, right?

Crazy days to be a Baptist.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many Christians will turn out to tell the judge what a great Christian he is and to be lenient in sentencing. Usually there are a ton.

Anonymous said...

God's hit man. Love is simply enforcing God's OT tithe. The only problem is that he should have used a stone instead of a gun.

Anonymous said...

This is from their website-------"New Hope Baptist Church is an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church"

WD, I think it is important to be a little more transparent in your postings. This is NOT a Southern Baptist church and I think it would help readers to know that IFB is way different than SBC.

I do not think it helps the debate be very transparent when this type of information is not disclosed.

Anonymous said...

"[Stone's friend is] not sure what motivated the killing, but says that he heard rumors"

Rumors are not admissible in court, but in some states killing the man having an affair with your wife, if caught in the act, is a legal defense.

If the rumor mill was all about the money, then what does it say about the guy and his relationship with his wife if that rumor turns out to be true. Sounds like a mighty sorry marriage to me.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'm sorry, I must have missed where I called them a Southern Baptist church. :)

They are a "Baptist" church...yes, independent, but anyone that knows about independent and Southern baptist churches these days knows there is little difference.

But thanks for pointing it out. This murdering pastor was not Southern Baptist. Whew, we're all safe now.

Anonymous said...

Actually WD,
There is a HUGE difference between independent fundamental bpatists and SBCers. The IFB's would have called Lindsay, JR, Vines, Rogers and a host of others heretics. They are a branch all their own. THey believe that the only real Bible is the 1611 KJV all others are just books or as some call it "false bibles". Women whould not wear pants, men's hair should be cut with a white rim around their ears. Coats and ties, though not required at church, are STRONGLY recommended. They have a very, very low view of women. And so on and so on. I know this because I once was one.
Yes, it is true that there are very good people in the IFB group. Most of the members would give you the shirt off their back. But there can be some very strange...STRANGE thoughts and ideas!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The IFB is not a denomination. And what proof do you have that this church is one of those you describe of having a low view of women and 1611 KJV only? You seem to be making a big leap in an effort to paint this church as a bunch of nuts.

My guess this church is like any other "baptist" church these days. Same doctrine, same church governance.

And just a guess: they probably preach the tithe just as hard as FBC Jax, Ed Young, and Steve Gaines.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:30

The typical SBC Church is much more like an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church than most want to admit

Anonymous said...

Hey, you've gotta be balanced. Tell the story of the blogger in Tennessee last year who created such hate for his subject (a teacher!) that the crazies who read the blog fired shots into her house.

I think truth is good Watchdog, but remember you could be stirring up trouble for those you ridicule when unstable minds read your diatribes. It is why Jesus gives us Matthew 18 as the guidelines, and it's not a world wide arena.

Just my thoughts, perhaps you have considered that cost before you built a blog, but then again maybe you didn't.

Jake

Anonymous said...

SBC Pastor as God's Enforcer.

NICE!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"I think truth is good Watchdog, but remember you could be stirring up trouble for those you ridicule when unstable minds read your diatribes."

Interesting Jake. Sort of like very powerful and influential people like megachurch pastors and judges should be careful when they throw terms around in the newspaper like "sociopath" and "mentally unstable", and "coward", and read deacons resolutions....because the crazies who read their false statements might become incensed at a troublemaker blogger and want to do them harm. Yep, good point.

WishIhadknown said...

Can we just say right now that none of us are advocating violence in any way, form or fashion. If you are considering using violence please call 911 immediately and get the help you so desperately need.

Lynn said...

I grew up IFB. We thot the SBC were too liberal. Yet, I think the basic mindset is the same. The pastor is the boss. He's got the power. Answers to no one.

If that's different in the SBC, please correct me.

Anonymous said...

Lynn

you are 100% correct which is why I said tht most are like IFB which is why Churches need elders IE they keep each other in check in regards to power and hold each other acountable as co-equals

Anonymous said...

1 John 3:15 says "Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him."

Wd,
Seems from your writing that you are guilty of the very thing that this verse speaks of. You would be wise to tame your tongue and practice love of others, even pastors, as opposed to the hate you write upon this blog. To try and tie this gentleman's actions to what is being preached by certain pastors on tithing is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

You never disappoint me WD.

Just when I think you could stoop no lower, you come up with a story like this.



Congratulations!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Nice try guys.

This is an absolutely disgusting, disturbing story. But the story is the story. A Baptist preacher shot in cold blood one of his own parishioners. I didn't make the story up.

And it seems that money and finances at the church were a motive - that he may have shot a church member who was critical about financial matters at the church.

And we have Baptist preachers in the SBC that are telling their people that bad things will happen to them if they don't tithe. Ed Young tried to scare his people by telling them that he knows stories of terrible outcomes from people not tithing. Steve Gaines looks right in the camera and tells his people that they are thieves, common criminals if they don't give 10%. The message is clear: tithe or else. Tithe or you're a criminal. Tithe if you want to avoid calamity.

I've said it before, what a wretched existence it must be to be a pastor and realize that 95%+ of your church members are greedy thieves. If all preachers view their congregations as God robbers, eventually some nut-job preacher will think he is doing God's will by knocking off some recalcitrant who doesn't tithe, or who makes waves over finances.

Anonymous said...

WD,

I think you started this blog with sincere motives, but now you're just grasping at straws. This guy is a nut and deserves to be in jail for killing this man. It's a big leap in logic, even if it's tongue in cheek, to make a correlation to preachers teaching a doctrine you don't believe in and someone committing murder.

It's kind of sad really. You are quick to quote scripture about your views on tithing. What about the one's about grace and forgiveness and loving and seeing people as Christ loves and sees them?

That's the thing about slinging mud when you're standing in it, there's no solid ground.

Wade Burelson knew when to call it quits. You should do the same. You aren't saying anything new and you obviously aren't acting like a Christian.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry, I won't be shutting down the blog anytime soon as much as you might like. I would recommend that you stop reading it if it is of no interest, and there is nothing new, or if it disgusts you. Stop hitting the site and go away.

I think this story is so very relevant to what I've been blogging about and others have as well. This is not just some nut that we can read about and dismiss. This was a baptist pastor who was able to operate under the radar at his church. Apparently he was having an affair, and yet he went undetected for 10+ years. Ultimately his undetected sin led him to commit murder of a friend and a church member.

Go ahead, write it off. Just a nut. Oh, he's from that group that is so different from us Southern Baptists. THOSE Christians are nuts, but we have the right doctrine so he is not one of us. He is one of those IFB'ers, and we know what THEY are, don't we, wink, wink.

No, this is part of the larger story of abusive pastors who operate with little accountability in church systems similar most SBC churches. He is not the first. Did you hear of Matt Baker in Texas that Christa Brown has written about and who was exposed on 20/20? This Baptist pastor, Pastor Love, probably could have been stopped before he murdered. Why wasn't he? His church didn't know he was an adulterer? Did they know there were financial shenanigans going on?

This is just the tip of the iceberg to this story, and you can bet I'll be following it and will write much more about it as more facts come out.

So no, not only will I not be closing this blog down, but I will write more on this story as more comes out.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it odd that a lot of SBC pastors when quoting scripture use the KJV? Especially the older ones like Stanley, Vines, Criswell, Henley, Matinez, and both Lindsays. Its been around for 400 years and prooved its worth. I wouldn't knock it or even believe to doubt that it is not perfect just because some modern versions are all over the place. Up until 1900 that was the only Bible most/all protestant denominations used. This included all the SBC seminaries as well as Bob Jones and other independent bible colleges.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:19 said: Just when I think you could stoop no lower, you come up with a story like this.

More preacher worship from the pewsters. This story is relevant and germaine to the discussion about abusive pastors.

We can see difference between this murderous adulterer preacher
and a money focused 'main of gawd' in the person of Mac Brunson.

No one is making a direct correlation, except maybe you. WD, keep posting about heresy and abuses from pastors.

BTW, I cannot think Mac can be much longer at FBCJ after this libel/slander case comes to light. Couple that thorn in the side, with his other actions. People vote with their feet and their checkbooks.

Repent Mac, come on, you can clear this whole thing up. Back to basics of straight up teaching, no anecdotal stories. Just preach Christ Jesus, lifted up. Men will come to Him when he is exalted with integrity and truth.

Garlando

New BBC Open Forum said...

What did the English-speaking world use before 1611?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I think it was the NIV-1492.

Anonymous said...

Before 1611, people used the Geneva Bible. Contrary to popular opinion, the KJV was not well in vogue until late in the 18th century (IIRC). If you recall your history, the KJV was printed ONLY IN ENGLAND and then there was a TAX on it when it was shipped to the colonies. There was this little skirmish (as the English called it) in which the colonies did not like their stuff being taxed, so basically the KJV was rejected by the same (the Colonies). Then again in the early 1800', there was a 2nd revolution against England which also made the KJV a very unpoular translation; I am thinking here that the Episcopalians did much to make it the translation of the Northeastern part of the U.S., and it spread from there.

Anyways, The Geneva Bible was really the Bible that settled the good ole U.S.A. NOT the KJV. something that KJV ONLY advocates would never admit.

Grace to All

pastorbill

Romans 5:1

Anonymous said...

For more info, please feel free to goggle Geneva Bible

pastorbill

Romans 6:23

John H said...

The English speaking world used a variety of translations from the early 1500s, starting with Tyndales, and finishing with the Geneva Bible.

King James wanted to end translation debates, so he sponsored a new translation. Earliest English Colonists, Jamestown and Plymouth, would have used the Geneva Bible.

Prior to Tyndale, there was Wycliffe's Bible from the 1300s and some other translations, but everyone was Catholic, and the official version was Latin.

One of the keys to the Protestant Reformation was the possession of Scripture in the heart language of people. Historically, when people have and read the Bible in their own language, they either become more committed to Christ or they decide not to bother at all, but it helps clean out the church. You end up with neither fluff-preachers nor preachers that are inappropriate dictators.

Moral of the story? Read your Bible. Do what it says.

Anonymous said...

I know that you are tired of me posting on the subject, but hopefully this will be it for the Geneva Bible.

Think of the Geneva Bible as the 1st true English study Bible with a reliable text--especially OT.

There is also now a "New Geneva Study Bible" which is also excellent; it is available from Ligioner.org and is the work of R C Sproul and several others.

For a True Study Bible it is probably unsurpassed. The only one that comes close is the MacArthur Study Bible (that I can think of). Basically, between the 2 bible, you are choosing between paedobaptism and dispensationalism although MacArthur is a dispensationalist only in eschatology. BTW, it would do most baptists very well to read some good Reformed Works and the notes from Sproul's work are very very good.

If you have both translations, you are probably as well equipped as one could be in English Translation of the Scriptures.

Grace to all

pastorbill

Romans 12:1-2

Anonymous said...

'One of the keys to the Protestant Reformation was the possession of Scripture in the heart language of people. Historically, when people have and read the Bible in their own language, they either become more committed to Christ or they decide not to bother at all, but it helps clean out the church. You end up with neither fluff-preachers nor preachers that are inappropriate dictators."

Even in "Reformed" Europe, church membership was mandatory. So it hardly mattered. The unregenerate were in church anyway so they would not be punished.

It did help because the "bible readers" realized how hypocritical the Reformers were.

Anonymous said...

Moral to this story: Many pastors might not really be saved...yet you sit there and listen to them week after week, paying them and enabling their secret sin.

We were never meant to listen to one guy week after week. Here is a better idea:

29 Let two or three people prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. 30 But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. 31 In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. 32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.[g]


And it is FREE to do it this way!

Anonymous said...

"BTW, it would do most baptists very well to read some good Reformed Works and the notes from Sproul's work are very very good."

You must not be familiar with Sproul's Ligoneir financial shenanigans. Nor that fact, he sued a Christian blogger despite his own notes in his study bible. It was quite the scandal in reformed circles. And most found out for the first time his church was never associated with the Presbyterians so there was no way to "discipline" him. Never mind about his son who was defrocked by the Presbyterians for spiriutal abuse and tax number fraud.

Of course, daddy had him speaking on his conference stages right after. After all, paid ministry is all these guys know.

Elevate Christ. Not man

Anonymous said...

I Thess 1:9 "For ye remember, brethren our labor and travail; for laboring night and day because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we reached unto you the gospel of God". If Paul Silas, and Timothy could work and pay their own way, why do pastors today require others to pay their way?

Since the Bible clearly shows that all are pastors there SHOULD NOT BE PAID EMPLOYEES OF THE CHURCH. Once the church of men went down this path it was hard to turn back. Study the book of Thess as it is our pattern particularly starting in chapter 1 vs 1. "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy unto the church of the Thessalonians which IS IN GOD THE FATHER AND IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST:" Observe the words in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sad that a lot of churches are in "MEN", Programs, Events, whatever but never seem to be "IN" at the point of partaking of God and Jesus Christ. I'm afraid that too many churches are built around the premise that prefer pleasing men rather than God. They fail miserably in obtaining the favor of God. Possibly the meaning of Jesus advising those that "I never knew you". Man at his best is but filthy rags...when will they get it? That's the question they should be answering.

Anonymous said...

Just read through the comments on this thread. Amazing! The inclination to support "God's Man" and worship the preacher (no matter what) is so strong that some defend this guy (and attack you) even when he commits adultery and murder. Thanks for posting this story. It helps to underscore just how unbiblical the average pew sitter has become.

Josh from FL said...

I smell Summer blockbuster!

Anonymous said...

Well, at least it was an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and not a church in the SBC!

What a story.

Louis

Anonymous said...

You would be wise to tame your tongue and practice love of others, even pastors, as opposed to the hate you write upon this blog.
___________________________________

Why must it always be categorized as "hate" when preachers are questioned?

Anonymous said...

Well, at least it was an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and not a church in the SBC!

What a story.

Louis

///////////////

Dose it really make any difference with the state of corporate american church today.

Lynn said...

Anon 8:22 a.m.-

I think you make a good point. I know there are denoms that don't have paid pastors. Everybody should go to a Quaker service, just for the experience. You all introduce yourselves, then sit in silence. You don't listen to others praying or preaching or singing. You're all there together, but you're praying silently or just thinking or just enjoying the stillness and being thankful for that.

Then after that, if someone wants to get up and say something, they can. It's much more equal-feeling.

You should try it just for the experience. And you still get the enjoyable fellowshipping at the end of the service.

Anonymous said...

You would be wise to tame your tongue and practice love of others, even pastors, as opposed to the hate you write upon this blog.


you should teach this to your man followers.

Anonymous said...

Why must it always be categorized as "hate" when preachers are questioned?

It's called pragmatism. Christians watch liberals use this tactic successfully against conservatives and think it will help them win when the facts are not on their side.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:38. You do know that there are some pretty smart ladies that post here?

Anonymous said...

LA Times says @ 2:37 pm "But apparently it was church finances that caused Love to knock off Stone"

LA Times then said @ 2:41 PM it was the affair that caused the shooting.

Come on WD. Just the facts. Stop spinning the story to suit your fancy and agenda. Don't stoop low like that. Just stick to the facts.

It was David Love who said the first statement four minutes earlier than the story released by the Times that the family said it was the affair.

It was the getting caught in the affair and not the money that caused the murder. At the end of the day it was sin that caused the murder, which whether we like it or not is covered by the Blood.

Anonymous said...

Why do some of you "pick on" WD? He reports a story that really happened, showing the depravity of a man that happens to have been a so called preacher, and then some of you jump all over WD. Exactly who is spewing the hate here? Unfortunately all things are not lovely in the garden.

Thanks WD for shinning the light, and trying to keep em honest.

Anonymous said...

The Times Union has been very interesting for the last couple of days.

Lynn said...

Obviously there are those preachers who preach each Sunday while at the same time are busy with affairs or worse.

I've read recently about embezzled money at churches.

The point seems to be that there is lax oversight at many churches. So lax that you can steal thousands from the church, have longterm affairs, etc., and either people don't know what you're doing OR they do know and are afraid to reveal it OR there's no one to reveal it to.

It seems there should be more checks and balances in churches vs. assuming everybody is a wonderful Christian and would never dream of doing wrong.

And if there is not openness and close supervision of the finances, why would you want to give your money to the church?

Anonymous said...

"The point seems to be that there is lax oversight at many churches. So lax that you can steal thousands from the church, have longterm affairs, etc., and either people don't know what you're doing OR they do know and are afraid to reveal it OR there's no one to reveal it to."

Lynn this kind of stuff has been going on for centuries, Nothing new or surprising here.

Same devil, same temptations, same opportunities, same players, same original sin.

Anonymous said...

WD,

So if I don't like your blog, I should just leave? Isn't that what Brunson and FBC Jax told you about your concerns about the church and your blogging?

And this pastor that killed a guy is obviously an isolated case as far as we know. If he was a Southern Baptist, which he's not, Yhe would be one of 45,000 pastors. That has to be an incredibly small percentage.
If it's not an isolated case, show some other evidence of pastors killing church members. I bet you won't find many.

You are obsessed with Brunson. We know you don't like him. You have proved your point about your beliefs about storehouse tithing. Move on, but I bet you can't. You've identified yourself as the "Watchdog" instead of identifying with Christ.

Jesus was crucified and didn't do anything to prevent it. Nothing even close to that was done to you and you just can't let it go.

Lynn said...

"Lynn this kind of stuff has been going on for centuries, Nothing new or surprising here."

I'm sure that's true, but do you think any changes could be made that would help prevent such?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I don't think you can just "leave" a blog. You are free to read it, or not read it, or post or not post. You are free to keep reading, stop reading, or post comments.

I don't think the guy that was killed cares whether the guy was SBC IBF or xyz or whatever. All he knows and his kids know is that his Baptist pastor shot him in the head. Rare, yes. Not unprecedented in the realm of pastors abusing congregants.

Blogging as the "Watchdog" doesn't exclude me from also being called a "Christian".

Glad you're still reading.

Anonymous said...

FWIW

On the idea of "paid" clergy

The NT does indeed speak of a "paid" clergy. Paul often commends churches for taking up offerings for him in order to supply his needs. There is also a passage which speaks of some pastors being worth double their wages--for those who are faithful.

I am sure that you are familiar with the passaages.

Anonymous said...

"So if I don't like your blog, I should just leave? Isn't that what Brunson and FBC Jax told you about your concerns about the church and your blogging?"

Gee Whiz, Is this what passes for deep thinking?

Let's compare:

Your church, that you have supported financially whether alot or not, for many years, taught, served and your children are deeply involved. That is supposed to be one Body many parts and each part is needed. See 1 Corinthians.

Blog, where you can only read and comment. You do not even know the commenters personally. You have not financially supported the blog or blogger......and on and on

I do worry that many who sit under these pastors have simply stopped thinking deeply. Or perhaps they never did learn critical thinking skills. They are simply told what to believe.

It is scary.

Anonymous said...

Jesus was crucified and didn't do anything to prevent it. Nothing even close to that was done to you and you just can't let it go.

November 16, 2010 8:19 PM

One should NEVER ignore wolves, hirlings and/or false teachers.

A true Christian leader would have NEVER done to Tom what Brunson did. It amazes me that more believers do not know this. It shows how ignorant the average pew sitter really is concerning the Word. Brunson and many other pastors know this and why they can twist the Word to their benefit.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"A true Christian leader would have NEVER done to Tom what Brunson did. It amazes me that more believers do not know this"

Just so that you know...in depositions, the Brunsons said very clearly: we had nothing to do with what happened to the Riches. Even the letter that was delivered to our house with the list of 16 sins and trespass papers signed by the six heavies include the judge: my lawyer slid it across the table and asked Mac Brunson if he had ever seen that, and Brunson replied that he had never seen that letter. Brunson also testified that when the discipline committee asked him what should they do about Rich, he told the discipline committee to "leave him alone", but they did what they did without his consent.

Lynn said...

"but they did what they did without his consent."

Wow. Sounds like Watergate or something.

Anonymous said...

Just so that you know...in depositions, the Brunsons said very clearly: we had nothing to do with what happened to the Riches. Even the letter that was delivered to our house with the list of 16 sins and trespass papers signed by the six heavies include the judge: my lawyer slid it across the table and asked Mac Brunson if he had ever seen that, and Brunson replied that he had never seen that letter. Brunson also testified that when the discipline committee asked him what should they do about Rich, he told the discipline committee to "leave him alone", but they did what they did without his consent.

November 17, 2010 8:25 AM


So the "discipline committee" directed Hinson to do what he did about subpeonas? He took his orders from that committee. Is that how we should understand this?

Did they also ask Hinson to get Subpeona's for Tiffany Croft and BBCOpen forum blogs? Why would the "Discipline committee" want those?

Anonymous said...

"There is also a passage which speaks of some pastors being worth double their wages--for those who are faithful."

No, it is DOUBLE HONOR. The 'wages" are metaphorical concerning respect and honor.

The only people who receieved money from the body are those who were "sent out" to help other churches, plant churches, etc. But even Paul refused to take money from most. So he made tents. Others who receieved money were the persecuted believers (such as the Jerusalem church), widows, orphans, etc in the Body.

Elders are not paid. They are to be honored (double honor) if they are true elders. (See Matthew 5 to see what a true elder would look like)

of course, those in paid ministry declare that passage is about paying them. Why wouldn't they teach it like that? Which only means you must be a Berean. That is FREE! (wink)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'm speaking of after the committee had my name. After the detective found my name, there was a discipline committee meeting, as the detective was a member of the discipline committee.

Brunson was at one of the early meetings, and they asked him what they should do about Rich, if my "sin" rose to the level of requiring church discipline. Brunson said it did but Brunson testified that he told them to "leave him alone". But the committee said they couldn't do that, and Brunson left the meeting and they did what they had to do, without any knowledge of Brunson. And even up until June of 2010, more than a year after the story broke in the papers, Brunson still had not even seen the letter of 16 sins and trespass papers, until my lawyer slid it across the table at deposition.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The testimony was that the investigation started after a "chance" meeting between the church administrator and the detective. The testimony was not that the committee directed the detective to do anything. It was supposedly between those two men, and when the detective delivered my name to the administrator, they then took it to the discipline commitee, and the committee by bylaws is required to ask the pastor if the offense rises to the level of requiring church discipline. The pastor said it did, but to leave me alone.

I'm saying this in response to posters who say "Brunson did this or that"...just want you to know that is not was testifed to under oath during depositions.

Anonymous said...

This pastor was obviously disturbed and your warning that any church member who questions finances might get a "bullet in the head" was childish, irresponsible, and vindictive.

Johnny

Josh from FL said...

Are these depositions public domain?

If not, how much longer do we have to wait before we hear the rest of this?

Plausible deniability? Really?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Josh - I don't think depos are necessarily public documents, unless portions of them are submitted to the court as part of motions or testimony. I could be wrong on that, I don't really know. I do have copies of most depositions that were given.

I know that we filed a motion for summary judgement a few days prior to our scheduled mediation at which a settlement was reached, and I'm sure that this is a public document, and it contains parts of different depositions to craft our case for the judge to rule in our favor on summary judgment. I have a copy of this as well, and it is interesting reading for sure and crafts our side of the story based on undisputed facts from the discovery that took the entire summer of 2010.

Anonymous said...

Lynn said: "I'm sure that's true, but do you think any changes could be made that would help prevent such?"

Lynn as far as affairs go, there is no way that these type of things can be policed unless there are credible witnesses or someone gets caught in the act. Knowing the human condition and that all are capable of this egregious sin one thing we can do is pray.

As far as financial shenanigans, as I understand Independent Baptist churches the pastor pretty much has absolute authority over the finances. In the SBC churches that I have been a member of there is always at a minimum a financial committee, sometimes there is a financial officer that is part of the committee and in more modern times there are the Board of Trustees.

The Scripture seems to be clear to me that once the money leaves my hand I have fulfilled my responsibility and that the responsibility is passed on to others at that point. Not saying that this may be the best system, but that is how I see it.

At the end of the day, there is always a certain amount of trust involved.

Anonymous said...

WD says; "Rare, yes. Not unprecedented in the realm of pastors abusing congregants."

I think trying to spin cold blooded murder as an example of "pastors abusing congregants" is missing the mark!

Murder is MURDER!!!

I guess it would be important for you to confirm the list of all the "abuse" definitions such as:

1. Beating the sheep into tithing.
2. Accepting land gifts from a sheep
3. Going on cruises
4. Taking trips to the Holy Land
5. Demanding certain salary and perks
6. Converting space for an office
7. Hiring family members
8. Living in a gated community
9. Driving a luxury car as defined by you. To me a luxury car is Bentley and Rolls, etc. not a Lexus of Jaguar, both of which are garbage automobiles.
10. Wearing cuff links and monogrammed shirts
11. Wearing what you perceive are designer dresses.
12. Letting other preach from the pulpit, even though the preacher is in attendance at the service
13. Wife having a Facebook Page
14. Listing cruises and trips on the churches website
15. Using a police officer to out an unnamed blogger who may or may not be a security concern. I guarantee if a blogger making acquisitions against the President of the United States that if it cane to the attention of the Justice Department it would at a minimum be investigated.
16. Letting the church discipline committee, with or without his knowledge, eject a member from the congregation

Did I miss any?

I certainly do not see any of these "sins" rise to the level of MURDER or ADULTERY! What do you think, are these allegedly sins equal to MURDER and ADULTERY? I THINK NOT!!!! So please lets not throw these two sins in amongst the list.

Anonymous said...

Dog:

Wow! I still haven't read the MSJ, but hope to get to that someday.

Brunson said that he told the committee to just leave you alone, and then Brunson never learned by follow up what the committee did? Or is it just a formality that he never saw the paper?

How does any of this square with "pastoral authority"?

I thought in a mega church like this that if the pastor says, "leave him alone", then the committee does that.

I am more confused about the polity of FBC Jax than ever. (Not that I have cared enought to ever read any of their stuff etc.)

One of two things is true. Dr. Brunson really wanted the committee to deal with it, but wanted to wash away any trace of his dealing with it, so he officially said "leave them alone", knowing that they would still act, OR, Hinson and the others acted on kind of a rogue mission, taking more of an offense at all of this than Brunson ever did.

Of course, the other option is that Dr. Brunson flat out lied. He had been involved, had seen the letter, and when it all got twisted up, he had to change the story.

Btw, unless you agreed to not publish the depos or say anything else about the case at the mediation, you could simply post the depos on your site as links so people could read them. Having read hundreds (maybe thousands) of those over the years, however, I am sure that most of the testimony is boring. The MSJ could be posted, too. I have a pacer number and read it, but most of the folks on here don't have that kind of access.

Louis

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Louis - you do or don't have the MSJ? You said in first paragraph you didn't, but implied you did read it in PACER.

Contact me via email, and I'll forward a copy of it to you.

You are right, depos are mostly boring, boring. Mine was about 8 hours. Video taped. Hinson's was the same length, not video taped. But you're talking hundreds of hundreds of pages. The Brunson's depos were quite short, maybe 1.5 hours each.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

But good points Louis. It is alarming to thing that not only did he not ok the letter and the trespass warnings, but more than a year after the story broke in the newspaper he STILL had not gone back and read the 8 page letter from his discipline committee to see what the heck it was all about.

What is funny, is someone here compared ME to Nixon. :)

Thy Peace said...

I find it very, very hard to believe Mac Brunson was out of the loop.

My impressions were that people at FBC Jax were monitoring the comments being posted on this blog and were being conveyed to Mac Brunson. Hence the overflow of his off hand comments and railing against bloggers in most of his sermons. Mac clearly whipped up the sentiments of his congregation against the blogger.

At the end he may not have pulled the trigger, but he definitely was the cause of this angst. His supporters clearly read the signs from his comments in his sermons and acted as a result.

Anonymous said...

I certainly do not see any of these "sins" rise to the level of MURDER or ADULTERY! What do you think, are these allegedly sins equal to MURDER and ADULTERY? I THINK NOT!!!! So please lets not throw these two sins in amongst the list.

November 17, 2010 11:11 AM

Jesus said if you hate you have committed murder.

Questioning pastors or even disagreeing with them is not hate. even discussing whether their sermons are biblical is NOT hate because Paul suggests we should do exactly that with ALL teaching.

But what was done to Tom and his family was pure hate. They did not even have the integrity to contact him personally when they found out his name. Great role models you have at FBCJax.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that Brunson was not informed (and in control of)at each and every step of the process against Tom Rich Please donate $5.00 directly to the missionary of your choice.

Anonymous said...

Dog:

I couldn't resist. I went to PACER and read the MSJ.

It's pretty clear what happened here, and really surprising.

Blount got angry at the Watchdog and got Hinson to do an investigation. Hinson was probably upset, too, already.

Hinson admitted that there was no basis for having the subpoena issued, other than his "hunch". This was not even a criminal investigation (because there was no crime or criminal activity).

It's o.k. for investigators to have hunches, but they must be based on something if subpoenas are going to be issued.

I was surprised to learn that the mail theft and the stalking had no basis whatsoever for the subpoena issuance. They did not even try to allege that. I suspected early on that they would, but that was apparently just an unrelated fact.

Subpoenas should have some objective basis or probable cause for their issuance.

Seigel (the State Attorney) apparently just rubber stamped the subpoena request because it came from Hinson. We don't have the benefit of looking at whatever Hinson submitted to Seigel to justify the issuance of the subpoena because Hinson destroyed it. I tend to believe Seigel - that he doesn't remember the request. He probably signs bunches of these, whenever officers request them.

... continued

Louis

Anonymous said...

...continued

My observations with regard to these defendants are:

1. A Sheriff's deputy should know better. I am sure he does now. He should know first that he should weigh requests when pastors, friends or whomever ask him to do an investigation. And he should stick to information that is publicly available, and not resort to the subpoena power without any basis. This is a real black mark on his career, in my opinion. He let his desire to help and his own suspicions rule over his better judgment. No officer should allow himself to be put in a situation like this. Blount did not ask him to get the subpoena apparenlty, only to do an investigation. But Hinson should know what he can and cannot do. He used VERY bad judgment here.

2. Blount and the church committee acted in a real amatuer fashion. If Brunson truly told them to "leave him alone", he should be congratulated. You would think that anyone who had spent a day at FBC Dallas while Mrs. Criswell was living would learn the skill of dealing with what one can change, and letting the other stuff go.

But why would Blount and the others engage in such behavior? If a committee really has a concern, it should contact an independent investigator. To use a church member on the committee like Hinson puts the entire operation "in-house" and exposes the church to liablity for privacy violations and abuse of process, in my opinion.

If they had a real concern, they should have retained an outside firm to make recommendations etc., and let that firm perform whatever tasks it could legally do.

To get individual church members like police officers to use their connections to get information that would not be publicly available is not only wrong, it is so unprofessional I cannot believe it.

If I were on the personnel committee at FBC Jax, or an elder there, Blount would probably be fired, and Hinson would be removed as a Deacon. I would also remove the Discipline Committee or at least get them some orientation.

But nobody is asking me.

I had believed given the size and sophistication of FBC Jax and some of the people involved (a former judge?), that an appropriate level of sophistication and due care would have been used in this case, such that, even if the unmasking attempts were nefarious, they would have a cloak of justification legally.

But here, there was no basis at all. And to their credit and shame, they simply admitted what happened.

It looks like the Dukes of Hazard or something like it.

It really turned out to be very simple in the end.

And if there was no justification for getting your private info, there was certainly no justification for snooping into Christa Brown and the New BBC guy.

The bigger issue for me is that the church has administrative personnel and committees who behave in this way. It is really sad.

Louis

Anonymous said...

The Untouchables

Are God's "Anointed" Beyond Criticism?

http://www.equip.org/articles/the-untouchables

Anonymous said...

Anon says: "But what was done to Tom and his family was pure hate. They did not even have the integrity to contact him personally when they found out his name."

I do not disagree anon, but the reverse could also be interpreted based on everything that I have read since this blogs inception.

At the end of the day, someone will be more at fault, but there were and are errors on both sides.

Unfortunately, the State Attorney and Sheriff chose to settle as opposed to go "all the way". Settlements for the most part are business decisions based on the time and money required to go to court. I have been involved in numerous cases as an expert witness only to have one side or the other chose to settle ilo going to trial without admitting guilt, etc.

Two of the cases I was involved with the client said that it was not worth their time and it would cost more money and time that they were unwilling to invest, even though they had ironclad cases, for justice than to reach a settlement agreement.

Thy Peace said...

If they had a real concern, they should have retained an outside firm to make recommendations etc., and let that firm perform whatever tasks it could legally do.

As in Wiki > Hewlett-Packard spying scandal?

But why would Blount and the others engage in such behavior?

One would have to listen to Mac's sermons in the period of 2007 to 2008.

Anonymous said...

...continued

My observations with regard to these defendants are:

1. A Sheriff's deputy should know better. I am sure he does now. He should know first that he should weigh requests when pastors, friends or whomever ask him to do an investigation. And he should stick to information that is publicly available, and not resort to the subpoena power without any basis. This is a real black mark on his career, in my opinion. He let his desire to help and his own suspicions rule over his better judgment. No officer should allow himself to be put in a situation like this. Blount did not ask him to get the subpoena apparenlty, only to do an investigation. But Hinson should know what he can and cannot do. He used VERY bad judgment here.

2. Blount and the church committee acted in a real amatuer fashion. If Brunson truly told them to "leave him alone", he should be congratulated. You would think that anyone who had spent a day at FBC Dallas while Mrs. Criswell was living would learn the skill of dealing with what one can change, and letting the other stuff go.

But why would Blount and the others engage in such behavior? If a committee really has a concern, it should contact an independent investigator. To use a church member on the committee like Hinson puts the entire operation "in-house" and exposes the church to liablity for privacy violations and abuse of process, in my opinion.

If they had a real concern, they should have retained an outside firm to make recommendations etc., and let that firm perform whatever tasks it could legally do.

To get individual church members like police officers to use their connections to get information that would not be publicly available is not only wrong, it is so unprofessional I cannot believe it.

If I were on the personnel committee at FBC Jax, or an elder there, Blount would probably be fired, and Hinson would be removed as a Deacon. I would also remove the Discipline Committee or at least get them some orientation.

But nobody is asking me.

I had believed given the size and sophistication of FBC Jax and some of the people involved (a former judge?), that an appropriate level of sophistication and due care would have been used in this case, such that, even if the unmasking attempts were nefarious, they would have a cloak of justification legally.

But here, there was no basis at all. And to their credit and shame, they simply admitted what happened.

It looks like the Dukes of Hazard or something like it.

It really turned out to be very simple in the end.

And if there was no justification for getting your private info, there was certainly no justification for snooping into Christa Brown and the New BBC guy.

The bigger issue for me is that the church has administrative personnel and committees who behave in this way. It is really sad.

Louis

Anonymous said...

No church, regardless of its size, should ever allow this type of activity proceed without the approval of the lead pastor. Its his responsibility to keep the integrity of the church intact and prevent embarrasments like this from occuring. It sure does appear adolescent.

Anonymous said...

"Blount got angry at the Watchdog and got Hinson to do an investigation. "

Expect to see Hinson full time at FBCJax as soon as he "retires" early.

Anonymous said...

Anon says: "But what was done to Tom and his family was pure hate. They did not even have the integrity to contact him personally when they found out his name."

I do not disagree anon, but the reverse could also be interpreted based on everything that I have read since this blogs inception.

At the end of the day, someone will be more at fault, but there were and are errors on both sides.

Unfortunately, the State Attorney and Sheriff chose to settle as opposed to go "all the way". Settlements for the most part are business decisions based on the time and money required to go to court. I have been involved in numerous cases as an expert witness only to have one side or the other chose to settle ilo going to trial without admitting guilt, etc.

Two of the cases I was involved with the client said that it was not worth their time and it would cost more money and time that they were unwilling to invest, even though they had ironclad cases, for justice than to reach a settlement agreement.

November 17, 2010 2:03 PM

Anon, I have no idea what you are trying to communicate here or why it even relates. Analyzing sermons and discussing negative truths in churches is now hate? You guys get more liberal by the day.

Anonymous said...

Louis,

Based upon your analysis, it sounds like many are going to lots of trouble to protect Mac. Evidently, he knew very little and was urging everyone involved to do nothing. (wink)

Somehow that does not fit his public persona. But I have witnessed many fall on their swords for the celebrity mega pastor.

Anonymous said...

"And if there was no justification for getting your private info, there was certainly no justification for snooping into Christa Brown and the New BBC guy."

Has this even been brought up? Was Hinson, through Mac, doing others a favor here....such as his buddy Gaines?

Anonymous said...

So "shut em down" was just a suggestion and Mac certainly didn't intend for anyone in his congregation to actually shut someone down? Wow...was an impotent little man Mac tries to portray when he is questioned....

Anonymous said...

The bigger issue for me is that the church has administrative personnel and committees who behave in this way. It is really sad.

Louis
_________________________________

To learn more about the kind of guy one committee member is and how he regularly behaves, look no further than Judge A.C.Soud. Check out the Rolling Stone article on the rocket docket. Judge Soud bullies a lady being foreclosed on and threatens contempt of court on a Legal Aid lawyer who brought the reporter, even though the hearings are open to the public. A.C. Soud. Bully that he is.

Anonymous said...

hearings are open to the public. A.C. Soud. Bully that he is.


Sounds like Soud is an unforgiven sinner!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"To learn more about the kind of guy one committee member is and how he regularly behaves, look no further than Judge A.C.Soud.

Judge Soud bullies a lady being foreclosed on and threatens contempt of court on a Legal Aid lawyer who brought the reporter, even though the hearings are open to the public. A.C. Soud. Bully that he is."


(Judge A.C. Soud)courts-helping-banks-screw-over-homeowners

"I follow her out of the court, hoping to ask her about her case. But the sight of a journalist getting up to talk to a defendant in his kangaroo court clearly puts a charge into His Honor, and he immediately calls Cooper back into the conference room. Then, to the amazement of everyone present, he issues the following speech:

"This young man," he says, pointing at me, "is a reporter for Rolling Stone. It is your privilege to talk to him if you want." He pauses. "It is also your privilege to not talk to him if you want."

I stare at the judge, open-mouthed. Here's a woman who still has to come back to this guy's court to find out if she can keep her home, and the judge's admonition suggests that she may run the risk of pissing him off if she talks to a reporter.

Worse, about an hour later, April Charney, the lawyer who accompanied me to court, receives an e-mail from the judge actually threatening her with contempt for bringing a stranger to his court. Noting that "we ask that anyone other than a lawyer remain in the lobby," Judge Soud admonishes Charney that "your unprofessional conduct and apparent authorization that the reporter could pursue a property owner immediately out of Chambers into the hallway for an interview, may very well be sited [sic] for possible contempt in the future.""

Full Story Here
http://www.care2.com/news/member/451276626/2627750

Commented
version



Another Comments


The judges, in fact, openly admit that their primary mission is not justice but speed.

One Jacksonville judge, the Honorable A.C. Soud, even told a local newspaper that his goal is to resolve 25 cases per hour.

Given the way the system is rigged, that means His Honor could well be throwing one ass on the street every 2.4 minutes

.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Damage control?

New BBC Open Forum said...

... the Honorable A.C. Soud...

An oxymoron if there ever was one.

Anonymous said...

SOUD Should Step Down

as any kind of leader or internal affairs at FBCJ. The lowering numbers of faithfull should demand this appropriate action.

Anonymous said...

If you can stand this

http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/072108/met_306975540.shtml


"Would-be judges raised on service"

"They all are children of parents whose names are easily recognized."


Monday, July 21, 2008

ERIC BRADNER


"Four candidates for the two contested Circuit Court judgeships in Jacksonville can't help carrying their natural-born coattails onto the ballot with them.

Prominent family names precede the candidates - two for the Group 11 seat and two for the Group 28 seat of the state's 4th Circuit - who would be newcomers to the bench.

Adrian Soud and Rick Buttner have fathers who were Circuit Court judges, and Soud's mother served on the Jacksonville City Council. Mark Hulsey III's father was a high-profile Jacksonville lawyer. Virginia Norton's father was a well-known banker.

While none of them disavow their family's service, each has until November to show voters that there's more to than what's in their name.

Soud's father, A.C., was a Circuit Court judge for 26 years. His mother, Ginger, spent nine years on the City Council. But the elder Soud said a spot on the bench is no hand-me-down.

"Forget politics," the retired judge said. "No one should assume they're going to get a position on the Circuit Court bench as a matter of entitlement or legacy. It's just simply too important."

Adrian Soud, 34, moved into a posh Riverplace Tower suite office last month along with his brother, Jeff, who is his partner at The Soud Law Firm. His 24th-floor office overlooking the St. Johns River comes with one of the best views in Jacksonville. But he's willing to give it up for a spot on the bench.

"There's more for me," he said. "There's more to getting up out of bed in the morning than making a great sum of money and having a nice view."

He said he didn't feel any need to escape his father's shadow. He's worked at a larger firm before, and he's successfully established a smaller firm with his brother. It's his experience as a lawyer, he said, that's shown him why

good judges are key.

"I understand the importance of making sure the floor of that courtroom is always level," Soud said.

If voters judge his experience on its own, he said, "I think I'll hold up just fine." "

Anonymous said...

Rocket Docket = Monkey Business judge's

"If they find for the defendant, the plaintiffs [usually lenders] just refile," he said. "The only way to reduce [the case load] is to give it to the plaintiff. It's designed with a result in mind, and that's not how justice is supposed to work."

http://jacksonville.com/business/real-estate/2010-10-10/story/rocket-docket-rushing-foreclosures-lawyers-say

Anonymous said...

WD, I think it is important to be a little more transparent in your postings. This is NOT a Southern Baptist church and I think it would help readers to know that IFB is way different than SBC.



Great point!!!! This is absolutely no reflection on other churches. This man is obviously a quack. Very disturbing that you would try to draw a comparison to what you feel is wrong in other churches. Apples and Oranges pal. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

They are a "Baptist" church...yes, independent, but anyone that knows about independent and Southern baptist churches these days knows there is little difference.


WD, VERY WRONG!!!!!!! There is a huge difference between the IFB and the typical Southern Baptist. You do not know what you are talking about. You are posting this story to try to scare people that if their pastor preaches on giving, that if you don't give he may kill you. Stupid!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually WD,
There is a HUGE difference between independent fundamental bpatists and SBCers.


Great post, Anon. You obviously DO know what you are talking about. I used to be an IFB myself. They are very different.

Anonymous said...

Good to see that there are a few out there that are starting to see the real WD. Bitter, hateful, and vengeful. He will stop at nothing. However, one day, he will be stopped!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yes, get out the pitchforks - away with the Watchdog! He must be stopped!

:)

Anonymous said...

I for one am sick and tired of hearing about baptist this and baptist that.Baptist do it this way and BAPTIST,BAPTIST,BAPTIST,BAPTIST do it that way!

Last time I checked the Scriptures it states that they were first called "CHISTIANS"!!!!!!

Enough already with this nonsense!

Anonymous said...

"There is a huge difference between the IFB and the typical Southern Baptist. You do not know what you are talking about. You are posting this story to try to scare people that if their pastor preaches on giving, that if you don't give he may kill you. "

That was true 20 years ago but NOT NOW. We have moved within hairs to their authoritarian legalistic structure.

I can hear it listening to Mac. I can see it in Patterson's behavior. I KNOW Mohler is a tyrant...it is all around us..just look at the Ga state convention! Thugs! the "specially anointed" SBC leader or pastor we are now taught. No difference than what the IBC has been teaching for years. It is all about following humans instead of Christ.

We are not that different at all anymore. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

That was true 20 years ago but NOT NOW. We have moved within hairs to their authoritarian legalistic structure.


Not true at all. Absolutely no evidence, just a bitter hatred to MB.

Anonymous said...

That was true 20 years ago but NOT NOW. We have moved within hairs to their authoritarian legalistic structure.


Not true at all. Absolutely no evidence, just a bitter hatred to MB.

November 21, 2010 2:53 PM

Bitter hatred? Surely you can do better than that?

I can only judge Mac through his teaching and behavior. Those 2 things do not bode well for him. I just wish FBCJax people were not so biblically ignorant and into cult of personality.

Anonymous said...

Mac is the one who sounds bitter when he beats the sheep about the tithe. He is bitter because he wants more money out of the sheep. Very bitter man.

Anonymous said...

You have shocked me with saying Dr. Brunson says he knew nothing about the letter to give you the boot out the church. Do I believe that? Wow. I hope its true, but that makes this story a WHOLE lot more confusing.