"...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

Sunday, April 1, 2012

FBC Jax Case Settled, Reverend Mac Brunson Issues Apology to Mr. Tom Rich and Family, and to FBC Jax

The case has been settled under confidential terms. Here is Reverend Mac Brunson's statement:

"In April of 2009, I was quoted in a Times Union article regarding an Internet blog which concerned this Church.

The article stated that I had labeled the author of the blog "obsessive compulsive" and a "sociopath". I did use those words and those conditions to describe Mr. Tom Rich, the author of the blog. These are serious and debilitating conditions.

These statements have resulted in protracted litigation for myself and this Church.

Mr. Rich and his family were longtime members of this Church. Mr. Rich is not obsessive compulsive and is not a sociopath. I regret making those statements. I want to apologize to Mr. Rich and his family. I also want to apologize to you and the Church." Mac Brunson

153 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Is this real? I am hoping this is not a April Fool's Day spoof. If it is real, I am glad Mac Brunson saw the light.

Anonymous said...

WD:

It is about time. What took him soooo long? As a church pastor he should have apologized YEARS ago!

I still cannot respect him even after this long overdue apology.

God bless Dog!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Dog!

He finally saw the light and apologized.......Why did this take him so long? Are you invited back to FBCJ or is he apologizing only to save face? Or because he HAS to?

Anonymous said...

WD:

Apology not good enough! This so-called apology took way too long and is not believable. Way to overdue!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Keep up the good and valuable work you are doing exposing these people.

Anonymous said...

People, the only light Mac Brunson saw was the legal light. Mac Brunson is always preaching about how we are to treat people but it took the legal system, not God convicting him to issue an apology to Tom. I bet Mrs. Mac was squirming in her seat during the "apology".

Moses Model said...

WD,

You are generally responsible enough to cite your sources (at least when they are not anonymous). This must be April Fools.

Anonymous said...

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free .

Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th century German philosopher, was quoted as saying: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

Dawg congratulations, continue to speak the truth with, and in the love of Christ.
Grace & Peace - Elder gab

Anonymous said...

Dr Brunson did actually read this statement from the pulpit at the end of the morning service at the downtown campus today. I was there and heard it for myself.

Thy Peace said...

WD, can you tell us if the trespass warnings have been lifted?

Anonymous said...

WOW. And I was already about to purchase you free therapy for your DSM-IV diagnoses, one being an Axis I and the other being an Axis II diagnosis.

WD, I am saddened that all this has taken place. And yes we all know that the apology comes under legal pressure. However, He could have stood his ground and NOT followed through with the apology. He chose to do so and that takes humility to do. I am proud of him for not allowing this to move further in court. I am also glad that this statement puts to rest the issue of you and your character.

As we close the FBCJ chapter, I do look forward to you further standing watch for the rest of us on the abuses and misuses of the clergy on their sheep.

Cindy said...

Every dog has his day, and I'm so glad that concerning this matter, that you're getting yours!

Hooray!!!

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Tom, did you win?

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Yeah, I see Brunson apologized, but did you win?

Anonymous said...

I just read it in the Jacksonville Times union this morning(Jax.com) It was a win for the blogger and his family. I am sure the trespass warnings were lifted, but doubt very much that this family would want to step foot again at FBC. Blogger said that they all reached "an amicable" solution.Your perseverance is admired! God bless your family !

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Congrats Dr.Dog!

Way to fight for that which is right.
Enjoyed and learned a lot of what's happening in Christendom thru your blog.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rich, my husband and I became aware of your blog approximately a year and a half ago. We were searching online for the proper way of alerting those in church authority to a deceptive preacher. Let's just say it went badly for us and ultimately the congregation that we left. We were not believed even though we had facts and evidence. The deacons refused to listen to us and investigate our claims. We left as we were advised by a former pastor to shake the dust off our feet and move on. Since then, the church has split, the church is financially drained, and the deacons finally asked the preacher to leave. Sadly, the seeds of deception that he planted have germinated and grown like a weed. The deacons are still arrogant and refuse to believe they were manipulated by this man and refuse to be transparent with the congregation that is left. It's become a pathetic mockery of what happens when man tries to play God.
Wonderfully God directed us to a new church home where we are serving, blessing others, and being blessed. There is truth in the pulpit, transparency in leadership, and humility. And most of all there is love. Of course, it's not perfect, but the church won't be until we're called home!
I pray the Lord heals the spiritual wounds that were inflicted upon you and your family.
Onward & Upward!
Julie

Thy Peace said...

Jax Times Union > First Baptist Pastor Mac Brunson makes apology to blogger

Thy Peace said...

Congratulates WD and Yvette. Since WD is reticent due to settlement terms, I am hoping maybe Wade Burleson will write a post on his blog to put all this in perspective.

Anonymous said...

You members of First Baptist should think about this case every time the offering plate is passed because it's likely the terms of the agreement included a sizable monetary settlement which I can assure you did not come out of Mac's pocket but yours.

Anonymous said...

"You members of First Baptist should think about this case every time the offering plate is passed because it's likely the terms of the agreement included a sizable monetary settlement which I can assure you did not come out of Mac's pocket but yours."

You obviously do not know how these things work. All large churches carry plenty of insurance for lawsuits that happen each year for many reasons. Settlement funds come from this source which is why prudent folks carry such insurance.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, I see Brunson apologized, but did you win?"

I would say that an apology and a confidential settlement is a WIN!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your family, WD! God was on your side, not the church's, in this ordeal. For the skeptics out there, you can bet no apology would have been rendered if there wasn't enough credible evidence to force it. Truth won!!!

Free said...

Congratulations, Tom. I was informed of your case not too long ago as I am currently going through a lawsuit by my former pastor because of things I posted in Google reviews about spiritual abuse in the church I attended. Thank you for fighting this cause not only for you, but for others like me. It gives me hope.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, I see Brunson apologized, but did you win?"

BIG WIN!!!

Don't be bitter just because the person you have been backing lost.

Anonymous said...

"All large churches carry plenty of insurance for lawsuits that happen each year for many reasons. Settlement funds come from this source which is why prudent folks carry such insurance."

And who has been paying for the insurance all these years?

Anonymous said...

Where are you TROLL?

How does it feel to have your hero apologize to WD from the pulpit?

Was Brunson wrong when he first made that statement or when he apologized later?

What does it say about your man's character when he bends to legal pressure like he did?

Anonymous said...

The one who loses in this whole mess is Jesus and the testimony of His church.

Mac was wrong in the way he handled this from the beginning.

Tom was wrong in the way he handled this from the beginning.

The discussion on the blogs and from pulpits often showed the heart of man instead of the heart of Christ.

That a preacher would defame anyone is sin. That a Christian would seek financial reward for having their feelings hurt is sin.

Tom, you know who you are in Christ. Jesus was called Satan and He did not sue. Was the lawsuit necessary for being labeled something you know you are not?

I can not figure out why you felt it needed to go this far. The same will be asked of Mac.

Anonymous said...

A normal apology starts "I'm sorry, I was wrong for" fill in the blank and ends in "please forgive me." Typical arrogant mega-church preacher.

Anonymous said...

wow, what a perfect time to end this blog. and i can't even believe, as a long time reader, that this ended on april fools day. satan had a big laugh about that i bet. sick.

Anonymous said...

"Mac was wrong in the way he handled this from the beginning."

He was also wrong for how he handled it in the end.

A forced apology is never a sincere one.

"That a Christian would seek financial reward for having their feelings hurt is sin."

It's called defamation and slander and they are punishable by our government which is backed by scripture.

Isn't it sad when the pastor of a mega-church has to be forced to do the right thing by threat of law?

Some people have to learn their lessons the hard way.

Don't be bitter TROLL just because you lost.

Anonymous said...

"wow, what a perfect time to end this blog. and i can't even believe, as a long time reader, that this ended on april fools day. satan had a big laugh about that i bet. sick."

Keep dreaming TROLL!

Why would you quit after a HUGE victory?

We're winning.

You are losing.

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Certainly God taken Mac Brunson to task for not curbing his tongue. Now I'm not particularly good at that either but I'm pretty much a nobody; my paper is not interested in my many foibles.

But I'm not sure Tom won. Mac Brunson remains the pastor of FBC and he still teaches tithing.

Tom may or may not be able to, technically, return to FBC but he well and truly burned that bridge. FBC won't be his church home.

If Tom made some money from the lawsuit against the church; I'm not sure God will let him enjoy it.

As usual, the lawyers won.

Moses Model said...

WD,

Wow, this happened on April Fools Day.

Congratulations for your success. May this success lead you to others. It is sad that it took this long to get a simple apology.

Anonymous said...

"Certainly God taken Mac Brunson to task for not curbing his tongue. Now I'm not particularly good at that either but I'm pretty much a nobody; my paper is not interested in my many foibles."

Are you saying that God used WD and the government to force Mac to do what he should have done years ago?

Most people have probably said or thought something that they regretted later.

But let me ask you this Seneca.

Have you ever said something on the level of calling someone insane because they criticized you to a newspaper reporter?

Have you ever been so obsessed with one of your critics that you had a police officer friend trump up charges to get his name from an Internet provider?

Have you ever written a book instructing young pastors to not accept large gifts from church members and then done that very same thing yourself?

No. That takes a special brand of arrogance and hypocrisy that most of us lay people just don't posses.

Anonymous said...

"He [Mac] was also wrong for how he handled it in the end.

That's up to the Lord to decide.

"A forced apology is never a sincere one."

That's up to the Lord to decide.

"It's called defamation and slander and they are punishable by our government which is backed by scripture."

Not everything the law allows needs to be followed. The law allows many things that are sinful. This does not mean we have to partake.

"Some people have to learn their lessons the hard way."

There was no lesson learned in any of this that honors God. None.

"Don't be bitter TROLL just because you lost."

Not a troll, not a defender of Mac or Tom, and as stated earlier, the only won who lost here was Jesus and the testimony of His church (individual or corporate). That you do not see that is extremely dark.

Anonymous said...

"But I'm not sure Tom won."

Sure you do Seneca. You know he won. You just can't admit it to yourself. Which is understandable. No one wants to admit he is wrong. Mac proved that yesterday.

The way you can easily tell is by what occurred after the decision.

Mac was forced to apologize from the pulpit - something I am positive he did not want to do - or he would have done it without a court order being issued.

He was probably also forced to give someone he labeled a "sociopath" some of his money. Again, something he didn't want to do.

If Mac had won, he wouldn't have been forced to do those things.

Now, see how simple that was?

Don't be a sore loser Seneca.

Anonymous said...

"That's up to the Lord to decide."

That is a really disenginous and hypocritical statement coming from you TROLL.

You constantly judge WD's motivations which you are not qualified to do, and then you try to spiritual your hero's short comings.

God gave you a brain. Turning a blind eye so that you don't have to admit defeat is self-serving.

Anonymous said...

"Mac Brunson remains the pastor of FBC and he still teaches tithing."

At what cost, Seneca? He is a laughing stock in the community.

And not because he is following Christ, but because everyone knows he isn't living up to the standard that he preaches to everyone else.

Exposing a critic's identity by unsavory means, serving him and family with trespass papers, and calling him a sociopath. Is that what Christ would do?

Jimmy Swaggart is still preaching and teaching tithing. Would you say he won?

You sound like a Clinton supporter circa 1996.

Anonymous said...

"Tom may or may not be able to, technically, return to FBC but he well and truly burned that bridge. FBC won't be his church home."

Why would he want to be a part of a church with a pastor who has acted so unChristlike?

Why would he want to continue to be abused?

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Mac has clearly been chastised at the hand of God.

But, what did Tom actually win?

It's early; God tends to move quite deliberately/inevitably.

We know God was not pleased with Mac Brunson.

You have to wonder if God was pleased with Tom?

It may or may not become clear. Seneca-in-absentia

Anonymous said...

"If Tom made some money from the lawsuit against the church; I'm not sure God will let him enjoy it."

Contradicts what you implied earlier that God was punishing Mac for his tongue.

The point is not what WD does with the money, but that your tithe is now going to him because of your pastor's lack of self-control.

"As usual, the lawyers won."

Since you don't know any of the details, how did you come to this conclusion?

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Anonymous said...

"There was no lesson learned in any of this that honors God. None."

Sure there is. Mac learned that if he uses the police inappropriately to get the name of a critic from an internet provider and then sends that critic and his family trespass papers and then calls him a sociopath to the newspaper that he will be sued, lose the case and have to pay that critic cash and then have to make an embarrassing apology in front of the entire church.

That is the lesson Mac learned.

It honors God when the pastor admits that he did wrong when he did do something wrong.

God doesn't worship your pastor the way you do.

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

"details?"

Did you read the article in the paper? It had lawyer-smell all over it?

Of course the lawyers won.

Anonymous said...

""That's up to the Lord to decide.""

"That is a really disenginous and hypocritical statement coming from you TROLL."

I am unsure why you are calling me a troll. It doesn't fit.

"You constantly judge WD's motivations which you are not qualified to do, and then you try to spiritual your hero's short comings.

Constantly? I have not posted here in a very long time. You may have me confused with someone else.

"God gave you a brain. Turning a blind eye so that you don't have to admit defeat is self-serving."

That's interesting coming from a LLORT.

Anonymous said...

"But, what did Tom actually win? "

Now Seneca, if you keep asking the same question over and over again after it has already been answered, I'm going to start thinking that you are not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Let me dumb it down for you:
An apology and cash.

Is that simple enough.

See, here's how it works.

If you are the plaintiff and you win the other guy has to do something that he doesn't want to do. You know, like apologize and give you money.

Let me know if you still aren't getting it.

I'm here to help.

Anonymous said...

"God doesn't worship your pastor the way you do.
"

God worships no man, including you LLORT.

Anonymous said...

"Did you read the article in the paper? It had lawyer-smell all over it?"

You know none of the details Seneca.

You are only showing your bitterness by trying to make a conclusion on a subject that you are completely ignorant about.

What we do know is that WD won and Mac lost.

Admit it to yourself Seneca and move one.

You'll live longer.

The only person you hurt by being bitter is yourself.

Anonymous said...

"God worships no man, including you LLORT.

No kidding dummy.

The problem is that you worship your pastor. That's why you can't admit it when he is wrong. Even though he admitted it publicly - TROLL.

Anonymous said...

"Of course the lawyers won."

The lawyers got paid.
WD got paid.

Mac made the payments.
Also apologized.

That makes him a loser Seneca.

Anonymous said...

"You have to wonder if God was pleased with Tom?"

I'm sure that many people thought the same thing when Martin Luther stood up to the pope for his teaching on indulgences.

Standing up against wrong is virtuous.

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

"Cash," especially the un-earned variety, is rarely a pure blessing.

IF God is not pleased with Mr. Rich's part in the whole imbroglio, the cash will probably not be a blessing.

My lawyer friend told me that, among other things he's told me.

Anonymous said...

"Not everything the law allows needs to be followed. The law allows many things that are sinful. This does not mean we have to partake."

Although what you say is true, it doesn't apply in this case. WD stood up against wrongs done to him by the pastor of the church.

Mac learned his lesson.
I'll bet he doesn't do it again.

Mission accomplished.

Anonymous said...

"Cash," especially the un-earned variety, is rarely a pure blessing.

So, now you are changing the subject.

That's generally known as a cult tactic. You ask a rhetorical question, don't get the answer you like, so you quickly change the subject so you can continue your argument without admitting defeat.

Your original question was "What did WD win?"

So, before we continue, you are now admitting that WD and Mac lost?

Just wanted to establish the last point before we moved on to the next one.

Anonymous said...

"Constantly? I have not posted here in a very long time. You may have me confused with someone else."

Yeah, I have you confused with someone with a brain.

Anonymous said...

"IF God is not pleased with Mr. Rich's part in the whole imbroglio, the cash will probably not be a blessing."

And how does that affect you?

Anonymous said...

"Cash," especially the un-earned variety, is rarely a pure blessing.

That's not what I'm hearing from the pulpit at FBC Jax.

They are begging, manipulating and threatening for that "un-earned" cash almost every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, I have you confused with someone with a brain."

Witty but pure stupidity. I expect nothing less.

Anonymous said...

When Mac left Dallas, a very well respected DTS professor said that Mac was accountable to no one. I guess that changed in Florida.

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

The Lord chastise those he loves. He must love Mac Brunson.

This could actually be a very good thing for Mac. Hopefully he's much humbled by God's exposure of his tongue issue.

It's never fun to be humbled by the Lord; it is, however, always in our best interest.

As for the "cash," it's quite instructive to read about the lives of the lottery winners. It's not good.

Anonymous said...

Tom Rich:

It sure appears to me that Mr. Brown is using diversionary tactics here. Bless his heart.

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Just presenting what is true; Hopefully Mac has learned a dear lesson and is an even greater preacher and minister because of it.

Anonymous said...

No, Mr. Brown, you are trying to change the subject. Your first comment was:"Tom, did you win?".

One word for you--diversionary.

James "Jimmy" Brown said...

Back to: What did Tom win?

a) Possibly he won a lawyer-crafted apology. I actually hope it was more than that but with lawyers, you never know.

b) Possibly some cash? How will that go? Kinda depends on God.

Arce said...

A settlement is compensation for harm done, not an unearned gift. The purpose is to make the victim "whole" or at least mitigate the pain and expense. The settlement reflects that Tom and family were harmed by the statements made.

Congratulations Tom and your attorney for a battle well fought. As an attorney and mediator, I can appreciate the difficulty in taking on the power that accrues to a pastor in a mega downtown church in the South.

This should be a lesson to the narcissists in the pulpit as well as their deacon boards and congregations. Supervise your pastor!!!! He works for you, not vice versa.

Johnny D. said...

Been waitin' on this post for years, Cousin Tom. It's good to hear.

Mac, good apology. You should have done that a long time ago. I hope everyone can now move on.

Steve W said...

Why is it Christians do not know how to apologize and ask for forgiveness? All it takes is "I am sorry for ______ will you please forgive me?" Also if restitution is required you offer it. By the way Tom where is you apology for all the insults to Dr. Brunson and other church members? You can't deny the history of your blog.

Anonymous said...

So you say Mac did this on Fool's day? What a joke....

A post from Florida Times Union

By circlingthecarcass | 04/02/12 - 09:37 am

"IF the terms of the settlement dictated the apology from the pulpit then I would question the veracity of the apology.
It appears Mr. Rich has made a liar out of Mac Brunson once again."

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on reaching a satisfactory settlement.

Louis

Provender said...

A hearty congratulations, Watchdog! A true pioneer in exposing spiritual abuse through blogging!

Anonymous said...

Rev. Brunson said:"Mr. Rich and his family were longtime members of this Church. Mr. Rich is not obsessive compulsive and is not a sociopath. I regret making those statements. I want to apologize to Mr. Rich and his family. I also want to apologize to you and the Church." Mac Brunson"

I just do not see any sincerity in this statement.

Arce said...

I have reviewed the WD blog from the beginning, focusing on the question of any tort or crime committed by the WD himself (and not by commenters -- those fall on the heads of the commenters, and not WD; there were some comments that were clearly over one or the other line!).

But as to the remarks of the WD, I have found nothing that was slanderous, false, criminal, etc. in the things he has written, whether in the post or in his responses to comments. As an attorney, I believe that he is one or more of: very careful, well advised by an attorney or the like, or just very smart.

Tom owes no one an apology, for he has done no moral, ethical, or legal harm by telling anything that was untrue or not carefully caveated. His actions were limited to writing opinion and facts. That he pointed out inconsistencies by the pastor at FBC Jax, over the top self-aggrandizement by the same pastor, etc., is nothing to be sorry for, unless you are that same pastor or his minions.

Anonymous said...

No sincerity? That's because he (Brunson) didn't do ANYTHING wrong. Tom Rich is an absolute jerk but the Lord will deal with him in his own time. The the pastor's family and the enitre congregation were completely embarrassed to death that he had to read that statement Sunday.

Anonymous said...

i have to say congrats on this and just wanted to let you know my grandfather worked at the church for 20 years the church offers life in on there workers and when my grandfather passed away we his family did not get the money we were told because he was not on full time he went to part time going to work sick but another man that worked there passed away before my grandfather and his family got the money and he had not been working there for awhile well something just does not add up

Anonymous said...

How did the court determine that you were not "obsessive compulsive" and a "sociopath"? Did that matter anyway?

The error was Mac was unqualified to say that from the FBC Jax's pulpit. Mac got off easy, he is the winner here! He got a slap on the wrist, a little embarrassed for pretending to be a psychiatrist. This embarrassment will be short lived and everything is back to normal. Mac won!

Winner said...
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Debbie Kaufman said...

A huge congratulations Tom. I am thrilled.

Anonymous said...

"The error was Mac was unqualified to say that from the FBC Jax's pulpit."

He did not say it from the pulpit but in an interview with the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

how will you spend the money? pay off credit cards, take a vacation, invest in stocks, pay off mortgage???

Anonymous said...

LOL I think I am "obsessive compulsive" and a "sociopath". Maybe i can make some money!

Dee said...

Tom and Yvette

I am so ecstatic this morning. The truth prevailed and only a curmudgeon like Jimmy cannot see it. My prayers for you have been answered. I pray that you can get some rest.

Dee said...

Free
This should strike fear into the heart of your former pastor. You have done nothing wrong. Make sure your attorneys see this outcome.

Just Curious said...

Seriuos question, and not to stir the pot. Is there something being missed here?

Why is it okay for Tom to say whatever he wants to about Mac, but it is wrong for Mac to say what he wants to about Tom?

Is there a legal difference between defamation and name-calling, or mudslinging? It appears that if Mac is guilty for defaming Tom, then what is the difference in Tom's actions toward Mac?

Anonymous said...

"how will you spend the money? pay off credit cards, take a vacation, invest in stocks, pay off mortgage???"

Don't you know? He's going to Disney World!

Anonymous said...

"Is there a legal difference between defamation and name-calling, or mudslinging? It appears that if Mac is guilty for defaming Tom, then what is the difference in Tom's actions toward Mac?"

As far as I can tell nothing Tom wrote was a lie. Some of the comments left by others don't count as they are responsible for what they wrote. Just because Mac doesn't like to hear the truth or want others to hear it doesn't make it defamation, name-calling, or mud-slinging.

Anonymous said...

Just curious... absolutely, I feel Brunson's comments were a bit loud (while they were true) but God is going to hve the last say in this and the man of God and his family will not suffer anymore than they have because of this. I look at WD not as a Luther but as a Sanhedrin. While there may be corruption in the SBC in some places, it is not his place to talk about it. It will be bad enough being me on judgement day.

Debbie Kaufman said...

The the pastor's family and the enitre congregation were completely embarrassed to death that he had to read that statement Sunday.

Good. They should be.

Debbie Kaufman said...

While there may be corruption in the SBC in some places, it is not his place to talk about it. It will be bad enough being me on judgement day.

I disagree strongly. As Christians we should want justice and churches held to a high standard. Christians should be held to a high standard, especially our leaders. I am sick and tired of ram rodding of authority, I am sick and tired of greed in leadership, and I am sick and tired of spiritual abuse in our churches. We should say something. Tom did. I am glad he did.

Anonymous said...

"Why is it okay for Tom to say whatever he wants to about Mac, but it is wrong for Mac to say what he wants to about Tom?"

Initially, Tom was not a public figure and Brunson was thus making Brunson comments having the potential for litigation.

Now after all of the hubbub Tom too is now a public figure and more than just a mere anonymous blogger and like Brunson will have to be careful to avoid slandering or liabling someone to avoid the potential of litigation.

Anonymous said...

"No sincerity? That's because he (Brunson) didn't do ANYTHING wrong. Tom Rich is an absolute jerk but the Lord will deal with him in his own time. The the pastor's family and the enitre congregation were completely embarrassed to death that he had to read that statement Sunday."

Sorry anon. You are wrong! As a long time member, over 3o years, and FBCJ insider Brunson was totally out of line and so was Soud not only in their comments but their actions. This was a long time coming and should have been dealt with in a much different manner.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of Tom and his comments and him being bitter water and not sweet water, but in America that is his first amendment right and I will vigorously support him in that regard.

If his family was embarrassed, frankly that is his business and not yours.

As a one in the congregation his statement did not embarrass me or anyone else for that matter as much as we were glad that he apologized for his actions.

In this new age we are living, social media does a lot of harm but it also does a lot of good. To some degree it does a better job than the so called unbiased media. The examples are too numerous to list but social media has done a lot to protect children from abuse and prosecute the abusers and many other serious crimes against innocents.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Mr. Rich on a battle well fought and a battle worth the fight. You stood against the arrogance and the egoism of a false prophet who seemed to think that his position as pastor of a mega church gave him the right to abuse you and your family. Please, do not stop exposing the audacities and insolences of men who, like Mac Brunson, bring shame to God’s name by their actions and attitudes.

Anonymous said...

"Witty but pure stupidity. I expect nothing less."

Cognitive disonance. I expect nothing less.

Anonymous said...

"The Lord chastise those he loves. He must love Mac Brunson."

So, if God used WD to chastise Mac, why are you criticizing him?

"This could actually be a very good thing for Mac. Hopefully he's much humbled by God's exposure of his tongue issue."

What did his tongue have to do with using the police improperly and issuing trespass warnings. Sounds like he has many issues to deal with.

"It's never fun to be humbled by the Lord; it is, however, always in our best interest."

So, what WD did was the Lord's work?

"As for the "cash," it's quite instructive to read about the lives of the lottery winners. It's not good."

Bad analogy. You have no idea how much if any money that WD received. You have no idea what he plans to do with it. And he was awarded something from the courts for damage done to him by your pastor. It didn't come from gambling.

Other than that, it's a perfect analogy.

Keep trying Seneca.

Anonymous said...

"Please, do not stop exposing the audacities and insolences of men who, like Mac Brunson, bring shame to God’s name by their actions and attitudes."

Pretty arrogant statement on your part. If you were a public figure like Brunson and thousands of others in the public arena I am sure that it would not be difficult to point out areas that you that:

"bring shame to God’s name by their (your) actions and attitudes."

I believe the scripture is very clear when it says take heed lest ye fall!!

Anonymous said...

"This embarrassment will be short lived and everything is back to normal. Mac won!"

If that's true then the devil won.

Anonymous said...

Back to: What did Tom win?

a) Possibly he won a lawyer-crafted apology. I actually hope it was more than that but with lawyers, you never know.

b) Possibly some cash? How will that go? Kinda depends on God.


So, he won.
That was my point.

Just Curious said...

To whoever answered my question,"Why is it okay for Tom to say whatever he wants to about Mac, but it is wrong for Mac to say what he wants to about Tom?"

You said, "Initially, Tom was not a public figure and Brunson was thus making Brunson comments having the potential for litigation.

Now after all of the hubbub Tom too is now a public figure and more than just a mere anonymous blogger and like Brunson will have to be careful to avoid slandering or liabling someone to avoid the potential of litigation."


Does that mean that Brunson has grounds to sue Tom for defamation, libel, and slander? Can Mac now turn around and demand an apology from Tom?

Anonymous said...

Most of you people have absolutely no idea who Mac Brunson really is. All you know is the lie that WD paints for you week in and week out. These things you say about Brunson, you say directly to God.

Anonymous said...

"Does that mean that Brunson has grounds to sue Tom for defamation, libel, and slander? Can Mac now turn around and demand an apology from Tom?"

You two know nothing about the law.

Anonymous said...

"Most of you people have absolutely no idea who Mac Brunson really is."

Matthew 7:16
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.

The way Mac acts is to tell a local paper that one is his critics has mental problems. To use police improperly to identify him and then serve him with trespass papers.

What else do we need to know?

"All you know is the lie that WD paints for you week in and week out."

I can understand how you would feel that way since most Mac worshipers think that his words bear equal weight with scripture. But no, we here believe in reason and accountability.

Mac's misdeeds are a part of the public record. Easily attained for those with discernment.

"These things you say about Brunson, you say directly to God."

Another in the line of man-worshiping statements.

Scripture contradicts your misplaced devotion.

Christ was one of the biggest of the Mega-church preacher critics of his day.

Christ called them "hypocrites" "blind leading the blind" and "white washed tombs clean on the outside but rotten on the inside"

Free said...

Just Curious: Look up defamation, slander, and libel. If someone is speaking the truth, it is not considered defamatory, slanderous or libelous in a court of law.

Dee: I posted about Tom's victory on Sunday and also informed my attorney of the case.

Tom: I see that you have been given a lot of negative comments - most likely from those who don't want to investigate themselves if what you say is true. I want to reiterate how thankful I am that you have fought this case in court. You have made a powerful statement for those like me who are fighting for the right to tell the truth and do not want to be bullied by those in church leadership. I'm so thrilled for you. Don't let the turkeys get you down.

Anonymous said...

"Does that mean that Brunson has grounds to sue Tom for defamation, libel, and slander? Can Mac now turn around and demand an apology from Tom?"

Of course not. They have a mutually agreed upon confidential settlement agreement.

An anon. perhaps you are not that smart, I really don't know, but you will notice that Tom has wisely received counsel as to protect himself when blogging and to potentially avoid litigation.

Anonymous said...

Jesus was not an adversary of the legal court system of his day. He spoke of it on more than one occasion. WD properly used the legal system available in our day, and more righteously than those in greater authority, who attempted to circumvent the system.
Grace & Peace - Elder gab

(KJV) Matthew 5:25
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

(KJV) Luke 12:14
And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

(This implies there was a legal system in place to address this case).

Thy Peace said...

Wade Burleson > Let Him Alone; God Hath Bidden Him to Speak: FBC Jax and the Consequences of Silencing Dissent.

Thank you, Wade.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:16PM Way to stick up for your Dad, Trey.

Anonymous said...

So , is there a video of this event?

Can we see it?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:16 Can you give the reference to your comment from the Bible?

Debbie Kaufman said...

These things you say about Brunson, you say directly to God.

That is bologna anonymous. Not only is it bologna but it is Biblically not true.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Tom got his apology on the issue of the public outburst. Mac should never have said those things and I am sure that he genuinely regrets those words. Who hasn't said things that they regret?

I think that Soud was correct in his assessment of Tom's cowardice. In the least he and your lawyer were too chicken to pick on someone a little more formidable.

There are other issues though.

There was no apology for kicking Tom out of our fellowship and banning him from the church property.

Tom's behavior and comments were unbecoming a church member. Tom failed to bring his grievances forth in a constructive manner. Instead, he chose to air things anonymously in a cowardly manner. What Tom did was the equivalent of someone saying things that harms their spouse. If you engage in that type of activity, you are begging for a divorce.

Most of what Tom wrote about was none of Tom's business. For example, Collins has the right to give away or sell his land to whomever and for whatever price he wants to. Mac is perfectly within his rights to accept any gift or pay any price he wants for land. There is no issue whatsoever.

As a long time member of FBC, I am proud that Tom is banned from our church. He is a trouble maker of the most grotesque kind.

The truth is finally coming out.


STT

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

STT...glad to see you back posting here after a year or two. Blessings to you brother. You've learned well over the last few years, apparently.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:16 Would you please post some of the lies you claim Tom has posted so we can verify. You paint with an empty brush if you fail to disclose any facts. You appear to worship rather than provide details. Most of us believe in facts rather than fiction.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Tom will tithe his 10%!!

Anonymous said...

It looks like Mac's minions/bystanders have come out to play.I know these type of people all to well. They don't care about the truth and will back their god at all cost.

Anonymous said...

All this talk about who won and who lost. The bottom line is God lost and Satan won. If Mac is who most of you people say he is, then the pulpit committee and the congregation are at fault for voting to bring Mac to FBC. I was at the service when the vote was taken, and I don not remember anyone voting Nay or standing up to voice their opinion. There are a lot of good God fearing people at FBC, and they are the real losers in all of this, but no one seems to care about them. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

"I think that Soud was correct in his assessment of Tom's cowardice."

Actually the cowards are the ones sitting in the pews doing nothing when they know that their pastor's actions are wrong.

Also the Yes men he has place in power that put prestiege and position above personal integrity.

It takes courage to stand up to a bully like Brunson. Good for you Tom. You taught him a lesson he will never forget.

Anonymous said...

"Mac should never have said those things and I am sure that he genuinely regrets those words."

If that is true, why did it take a lawsuit to get it?

Anonymous said...

"As a long time member of FBC, I am proud that Tom is banned from our church. He is a trouble maker of the most grotesque kind."

Your loving comments really make me want to become a member of your church. Where do I sign up?

Wendy said...

So glad to hear this news, Watchdog. It's great there was finally an apology and settlement. Thank you for sounding the alarm of false prophets and false teachings and keeping us aware.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 1:25

I was also at the service when the vote was taken to bring Brunson to FBCJ. I noticed several people throughout the assembly NOT standing to show their vote for him.

I approached some of these people and asked them personally why they did not support him. The most common answer was his rejection of the King James Bible and use of the NASB.

I guess the proof is in the pudding. He has used a watered down Bible version and the church has fallen a great deal from what Jerry Vines and Homer Lindsay built with the Authorized Version!

Anonymous said...

Tom and Yvette,
This is an amazing story. Glad to hear that you have been vindicated!

As I shared with a few colleagues: This is a distressing look at the lengths that spiritual abuse can go in the life of long term church members and a ‘fussy’ church leader.

It is obvious that some people still don't get it. That is to be expected.

I agree with Free. Look past the circus in the comments section.

It is a time now for you to reflect on all that has happened. It is an encouragement for others who face similar 'trials'.

You and others might be interested in my book: Spiritual Abuse Recovery.

Information about my book, spiritual abuse, and related topics can be found on my website: www.ChurchExiters.com.

You might be interested in the launch of a new website: Abuse Resource Network .com.

All the best as you continue to take a stand for things that are not right.

Barb Orlowski, D.Min.

Anonymous said...

Tom and Yvette,
This is an amazing story. Glad to hear that you have been vindicated!

As I shared with a few colleagues: This is a distressing look at the lengths that spiritual abuse can go in the life of long term church members and a ‘fussy’ church leader.

It is obvious that some people still don't get it. That is to be expected.
I agree with Provender. A true pioneer in exposing spiritual abuse through blogging!
I agree with Free. Look past the circus in the comments section.

It is a time now for you to reflect on all that has happened. It is an encouragement for others who face similar 'trials'.

You and others might be interested in my book: Spiritual Abuse Recovery.

Information about my book, spiritual abuse, and related topics can be found on my website: www.ChurchExiters.com.

You might be interested in the launch of a new website: Abuse Resource Network .com.

All the best as you continue to take a stand for things that are not right.

Barb Orlowski, D.Min.

Thy Peace said...

Wartburg Watch > The Saga of Tom Rich Versus Mac Brunson and First Baptist Church, Jacksonville

Anonymous said...

And the Title of Mac's Message was:

"Christ our Refuge"

So Mac felt he was under attack?

Persecution?

Martyr?

He ended his sermon with the story of Abner, whom "accidentally" killed Asahel, for bothering/persuing him, and who then was killed by Joab , who used trickery to revenge Asahel's death.

So who or what was Mac referring to by this story?

The Dog?

Doug said...

This settlement reminds all that even the Church is not above the "Law" or normal standards of decency and morality simply because they think they are doing "God's Work". The logic conclusion of that kind of thinking is planes flying into buildings!

Anonymous said...

From The Wartburg Watch:

Tom Rich won!!!

Anonymous said...

Somehow I got the impression that this was a "Public" apology?

I haven't seen it, has anyone else personally seen Mac apologize to Tom?

A few hundred people who happened to stay after the invitation,
saw it?, maybe?


Some "Public" apology.

Anonymous said...

"A few hundred people who happened to stay after the invitation,
saw it?, maybe?"

ANON that is the problem with folks like you who do not attend a local fellowship as FBCJAX. You were not there. I WAS and there were well over 6400 people. SO GET OVER IT! GROW UP!! AND MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!

Anonymous said...

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? "

Anonymous said...

FBCJAX seats 8800 people, and your saying 6400 stayed, hmmm

"...the problem with folks like you who do not attend a local fellowship as...(LIKE ME)"

Most maga's start emptying before the invitation and right after the invitation their really gone, so they can avoid the traffic congestion and be first in the chow line.

"MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!"

Didn't like seeing Mac groveling?

I think the rest of the world would like to see it for themselves.

Anonymous said...

More Mac and Cheese.

What a poor example he sets as a leader. Of anything.

Anonymous said...

Not a bads day pay to settle out of court. Be sure to tith your win! Second thought, you better not, God doesn't want dirty money!

Anonymous said...

Good times for all. You got your 50k and Brunson can finally move on. Who's next on your list for another payoff?
Of course you won't publish this one will you.
I don't go to FBC so I'm not a Baptist and glad I'm not as you seem to kill your own....you will have to answer for all those you turned against the church....I'll pray for you cause you will need it!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Good times for all. You got your 50k and Brunson can finally move on. Who's next on your list for another payoff?
Of course you won't publish this one will you.
I don't go to FBC so I'm not a Baptist and glad I'm not as you seem to kill your own....you will have to answer for all those you turned against the church....I'll pray for you cause you will need it!

April 7, 2012 8:28 PM


Wait, you sayin' WD has ill-gotten gains out of this? YOu don't know the specifics of this case or you wouldn't say this.

Wait, you might know the specifics after all, but you are a man worhipping pew sitter. Which is it?

Mac overstepped his bounds as a pastor and leader, why is it wrong to call him out on it.

Why didn't the leader of a big church step and show some grace and compassion. Nope he didn't and won't, except that the lawyers said to.

He takes his cues from Lawyers. He ignored the ones calls from scripture.

Use facts, not emotion, to figure this one. Otay Panky?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the size of the church. I recall it held 10,000 which included the choir and orchestra?

Anonymous said...

Well this Renovation site says

seating 8800?????

http://www.acousticdimensions.com/projects/worship/fbc_jacksonville.htm

Anonymous said...

"Who's next on your list for another payoff?"

Anon, are you saying that Tom is the Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton of the Christian Community?

Anonymous said...

"Tom is the Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton of the Christian Community?"

If he is...????

You only have to thank Mac Brunson for launching him in this new venture, but I'm sure he's still keeping his day job.

Anonymous said...

There's an orchestra?

Anonymous said...

"There's an orchestra?"

There is, that is until they get rid of Jim Whitmire

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"There's an orchestra?"

There is, that is until they get rid of Jim Whitmire

Hmm. I love beautiful music, but what has it got to do with what Christians are supposed to be about?

Anonymous said...

Why are there so many sore losers from FBC Jax? Heck take your lumps learn from it and behave more appropriately in the future.

Kevin said...

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the blog in quite some time, WD. I'm glad you got a settlement but I surely wouldn't call what Mac read to the congregation an apology to you. Several of you who have said that he apologized only because of what the lawyers told him he had to say are no doubt correct!

What Mac Brunson said publicly about Tom Rich was the straw that broke the camel's back and resulted in our decision to leave FBC.

Mac Brunson was and is the reason for the problems in the church since he arrived. He simply could not swallow his pride and admit that anyone has an opinion worth hearing.

Mac Brunson got really bad training/advice in how to react when he's criticized. If Mac would have set aside his pride right at the start he could have prevented any/all of the problems which occurred at FBC since his coronation.

What's really sad is that Mac Brunson hasn't changed at all and will continue to believe that he is the only man who can possibly know how to pastor FBC.

If it wasn't for the fact that our POTUS has this country in such a stranglehold and property values were better I believe Mac would have sold his house and left because doggone it, he got his feelings hurt by having to apologize to WD! I'm thinking he maybe had to go the dentist after reading his "apology" because he gritted his teeth so hard they had to be repaired! :-)

Anonymous said...

Why are Christians surprised at wickedness in the church when you have a church with this type of power, money and influence? Mr. Brunson should have been asked to leave as soon as he sought to use authorities to hound someone being critical of him. This shows a petty and mean spirited heart.

He should be ashamed of himself and his congregation should be ashamed of themselves for allowing a pastor to take that sort of wealth for himself and his family and use such power and influence for personal vendetta.


Also...his attempt at an apology appeared like more grandstanding to me.

LRH said...

If this Tom Rich guy is the FBC watchdog, get a therapist. Orca life. Or move on and get over hounding FBC. You're obsessed. All this endless attack on FBC, Brunson and the leadership is unhealthy and unChristian.

Anonymous said...

I seems like most of the posts are happy for YOUR victory. I am glad i am not you when you stand before GOD. I live in Georgia and not a member of this church, but any attack on the Church is mean spirited. You need help and prayers. I think something is wrong with you. Mmmm lost.

Anonymous said...

I seems like most of the posts are happy for YOUR victory. I am glad i am not you when you stand before GOD. I live in Georgia and not a member of this church, but any attack on the Church is mean spirited. You need help and prayers. I think something is wrong with you. Mmmm lost.