Too bad, as FBC Jax was one of the few Baptist churches who was an ECFA member. The Watchdog recommended that FBC Jax become an ECFA member way back in September 2007, and they did join the ECFA sometime in 2008.
No reason is given by the ECFA for the FBC Jax resignation - it could be FBC Jax is cutting back and didn't want to pay the $4500 annual fee a church their size would is required to pay, or perhaps the financial statements for last year were not good and they didn't want to submit them for posting on the ECFA website.
But no doubt the timing of the FBC Jax resignation is not good. It was just a few weeks ago that Senator Grassley charged the ECFA to spearhead the effort to work for financial reform in the religious community. Grassley's staff prepared a 60 page memo summarizing the problems of excessive compensation, lavish lifestyles of pastors who fly in private jets, live in million dollar homes, and use the ministries to provide employment for family members.
While it is commendable that FBC Jax was an ECFA member when the vast majority of churches were not - it doesn't look good when they do resign after a tough financial year, just two weeks after a U.S. Senator is looking to the ECFA to spearhead self-reform in the area of financial transparency and accountability. One of ECFA's largest church members is now "gawn" - "GAWN". :). So much for hoping the Southern Baptists will be part of the ECFA solution.
And on an unrelated note: it was confirmed last night that the FBC Jax high school pastor of 3 years, Rev. Chris Eppling, is leaving FBC Jax. We were at FBC Jax for only a short time after Chris was hired, but everything we have heard is that he is a wonderful youth pastor and we wish him well in his next area of service.