- In response to a question why so many churches are in decline, Johnny said: "...about 60% of the cause (of declining churches) is the pastor....one of the greatest needs (in a pastor's life) is moral purity, financial integrity, and God honors that. I believe the power of God rests upon those that make much of that."
- "A pastor has to make his mind up if he's going to be a CEO or a shepard...we need to love our people, and believe in our people, and trust our people, and lead our people, and I think when that happens, people respond to us and they see that we genuinely care."
To listen to the interview, visit this blog page:
push the play button, and slide the viewer bar about 15% of the way down to get to Johnny.
I listened to Johnny and my eyes filled with tears when he shared his testimony toward the end of the interview. I had heard it several times before, but it still is very moving. He is a man with a tender heart, a fire for the Lord, and a real desire to reach the lost. I could follow him anywhere. Thanks for posting the link, I was beginning to think it was my heart that had grown cold in all of this mess at FBC but listening to Johnny I am more convinced than ever that the problem at FBC Jax is the new CEO. SINCE WE HAD THE REAL THING AT FBC JAX ALL OF OUR LIVES, IT IS NOW SO EASY FOR US TO RECOGNIZE THE COUNTERFEIT. I will join others on this blog now and ask that you please resign CEO Brunson, and allow God to bring us a pastor/shepard that loves US, loves the people of JACKSONVILLE and can lead this congregation into the future. Thanks.
The comments that our pastor is a CEO are false. The idea that he cannot be reached is also false. I have met several times with him and prayed with and for him within the church. Our staff is the most open door group I have known in years. You can walk up to the second floor of the admin building and meet any of our staff. I know because I do this regularlly. And this was not the case prior to Pastor Brunson's arrival.
I have addressed almost every question posted on this blog with staff members and recieved open, honest and clarifying information.
Watchdog, Matt Steel was right about this blog and he was not being self righteous. In fact, he is one of the first to have quoted scripture as a basis for his arguments.
Yes, I agree with Anon. The accusations of our pastor being a greedy CEO is just ridiculous. Secondly, to say our pastor does not care about us or the people of Jacksonville is also way out there. Our pastor is one of the most loving pastors in the country. He is certainly more people friendly than our last pastor to say the least. Our pastor loves us deeply. That's why he comes down and waits for you to come and talk to him during the invitation. He is open and wants to minister unto the people of the church and to the city of Jacksonville.
I will also testify to what Anon has said about our staff and our pastor. I have spoke with the staff of our church numerous times and have had meetings with them as well. If your not happy with the staff or our pastor and if your not happy with what God is doing in our church of if you don't agree with it, then leave.
Anon - that is great that you got "clarifying" answers. Any you care to share here (or should we all make individual appointments?) Did they answer the question of why the Brunsons accepted the 300,000 land gift two weeks after they arrived? Did he answer why he chose to host the Israeli fund raiser but not explain it to the congregation but for just days before hand? How about the bylaws, why they have treated them as top secret classified documents and voted on significant changes with absolutely no explanation from the pastor? Should all the people concerned go to the 2nd floor of the admin to get answers to those? Next time you're over on the 2nd floor can you find out about why door to door evangelism is dead? Maybe why a school is absolutely necessary to reach the lost of Jacksonville (and not just a pet project of Mac?)
When you say that there was not an open door policy in the past, are you speaking specifically of Dr. Vines, Dr. Lindsay, or the previous staff? Want to clarify that? I have always found our staff to have an open door policy, so not sure what you mean there...and Dr. Vines and Dr. Lindsay were accessible by appointment.
About "CEO"....walt can speak for himself, but you might be right, CEO's aren't granted as much power power as Mac was, and CEO's are held to corporate nepotism policies, and CEO's are accountable to a board that they did not appoint to make sure they don't abuse their powers. But on the other hand, many CEO's do get HUGE salaries, get a huge personal office suite lavishly decorated, many of them do live in HUGE houses, and many times they get HUGE signing bonuses for coming on board, and many CEO's and their wives drive very expensive cars...the way Mac speaks about his congregation in the pulpit (this past Sunday accusing the people in his congregation that don't agree with him are living in sin) and how he speaks about us to others in the convention - makes us feel that he less of a loving, humble pastor/servant and more of a rich, "my way or highway" CEO.
Maybe you should listen to what God says and get in his word. Not some hollywood lunatick. And if you would follow Johnny anywhere, then move to Georgia and join his church and quit fussing about ours. Criticizing our pastor who has a heart for the lost is not showing you have a heart for the lost.
I can give the reason for door to door evanglism being dead.
The reason door to door evangelism is dead is because people like you won't go out and witness door to door. People like you are too busy hiding behind computer screens and griping and whining, not focusing on reaching the lost when you say our pastor does not have a heart for the lost. No church is perfect, maybe you guys haven't realized that. And I don't think Pastor Brunson accused those people who do not agree with him in his congregation of living in sin. That is a bit of a stretch.
FBCW, you gave me 8 questions to answer, all of them the exact same you have asked before. I'll answer then to your first, no. I will not address your questions to the pastor/staff here. If you have questions, go to the source and don't deal with second hand information. That leads to gossip.
As to the paragraph following your questions, you simply made more accusations. Our pastor, like any other church is our authority and that may very well be your personal problem. I personally think he should have all the power the Bible affords a pastor to his congregation. But ultimately, I'll tell you this, he is a pastor with a Sheppard’s heart. And no, I'm not being fleeced. Again, to every question you have raised, I have posed and received excellent answers.
As to nepotism, I'll just say Homer Lindsay, Jr. was a co-pastor of FBC with his father and leave it at that.
As to his salary (and I will stop here and go back to work) I will say this. I stood in our congregation and voted for our pulpit committee. I voted in the unanimous decision to vote him in and I stand by my vote.
Our financial committee is composed of men our church has trusted. They see every financial item you question. I trust these men to do their God-given jobs.
You raise questions and make allegations. I have gone to the people you question in cyber-space and get answers in person.
Bob - yes, he did quite clearly explain that those who oppose him are comfortable in their sin. He said it. He doesn't want to lovingly bring people with him in the vision he thinks God has given him. He seems to want to bully people. As soon as they post his sermon from last Sunday you can hear it yourself. Maybe his warning to us that "Chapter 16 is coming" includes his new "discipline committee".
Daniel - with all due respect brother, I don't believe for one second you have gotten answers to any of your questions. Why? Because many of us have also gone "straight" to the sources and were not given any answers. We were told they didn't know, or told to "make an appointment with the pastor" if you have questions, or most often told, it is none of your business, and like some new readers of this blog who seem to have never read any of the previous posts or discussions before today, we have simply been told "follow him without question or leave and go someplace else. I am not going to rehash the questions here again, but if you could provide EVEN ONE answer to the questions being asked on this blog over the past months, you might gain some credibility on these subjects.
Until then, know that you are loved in the Lord and appreciated and your saxophone playing is truly a blessing. I encourage you and your wife to keep up the good ministry you do. And brother, IF you can get any answers, please provide them to us here. Don't come on and attack us. I promise we will consider your responses and move on.
FBCJW - It looks like young fellows have decided to jump on and say the same things that have been said numerous times over the past several months. Nothing new from them, just more of the same "group think" ideas. I wouldn't waste your time publishing their comments unless they have some answers to the issues.
On September 20th you, Watchdog, posted the following concerning Dr. Hunt "That was the most self-serving, egotistical, absolutely disgusting sermon I've ever heard." - my question is...why in the world are you now praising him? How can one man be so "self-serving and egotistical" and then all of the sudden be so spiritual and awe-inspiring? My guess is that Dr. Hunt is not two-faced as you have indicated...but I'm thinking that you are. It's a shame when the younger folks in the congregation have more spiritual maturity than you do.
And not that you really care to check into facts...but I would double check where Mrs. Brunson bought her car. It might have been that she's had it for years...which means she bought it in Dallas way before they ever moved to Jax.
Yes, that Johnny Hunt sermon this summer was very sad. Not sure what your point is.
Any answers you want to offer yet?
Regarding "College and Career" ... our Pastors have all been very loving, kind. Your age bracket shows immaturity on your part of you not knowing what you are talking about. Be kind in comments young one.
Actually, Walt I'm not attacking you. However, the fact remains that I have every question raised here addressed. It's really that simple. This blog, including your comments, honestly bothered me. But, time after time, I had questions answered. You know, probably the only difference between you and I (including watchdog) is that I have developed relationships with the staff of my church. I can honestly say that I love them. And, because of that basis, I get answers.
Walt, obviosly Watchdog gave you my name. I could care less. But until the two of you begin to be open about who you are, credibillity will not be yours. All you have are allegations.
I tend to side with you. People should check their facts before making assumptions. And how come someone flip flop back in forth on issues. This blog is starting to sound like a democratic debate. As to Walt's problem with answers.......why don't you go and try and get some answers for yourself. Quit relying on someone with backbone to do it for you. Our pastor is pretty socialable and anybody is free to talk with him before and after the service when he greets people. That is going straight to the source for what your looking for. And it is pretty sad when you have young people in the church speaking out with more character and spiritual maturity than you yourself Mr. Watchdog.
Regarding jaguar: in Dallas, the issue was a red 2-seater sports car that I believe was a BMW. In my opinion, determining if it was a gift, is irrelevant. It just doesn't seem to represent the stewardship to which I am attempting to strive in our overly materialistic soceity.
This blog is an embarrassment to the body of Christ.
There are so many enraging comments on here today I don't even know where to start.
First I'll reply to anon 8:34...
You say that the pastor is open and accessible. I have tried to approach him on a couple of instances and have been brushed off and told to go speak to another pastor about the issue I was concerned about in a very rude manner. Now I understand that we have a very large church and Dr. Brunson cannot personally adress every issue of every member, and I expect to be directed to another pastor, but I would expect that that direction would be in a loving and respectful manner coming from a pastor.
You also say that the staff(the staff that headed for the hills after the Brunson regime arrived and took over) was not accessible. Are you crazy? Calvin Carr was not open? Rodney Brooks? Rev. Pigg? Rev. Barton? Rev. Howard? To say such things is an insult to all of these Godly men who served this church for years and were always open and loving to everyone who approached them. I find your comments downright disrespectful and you should learn your facts before you make ignorant posts.
And also you say that Dr. Brunson explained every issue brought up on this blog to you. There is NO ACCEPTABLE EXPLANATION for a Pastor accepting a $300,000 piece of land upon arrival here, and there is no explanation for a Pastor trying to change the bylaws to give himself more power and making efforts to hide them from his congregation. If there is an explanation, myself and many other would love to hear them.
Next I would like to comment on College and Career student....
Dr. Brunson is more people friendly than Dr. Vines? You can't be serious....Dr. Vines went throughout different parts of the church shaking hands and greeting people in different parts of the church EVERY Sunday. He also frequently popped in to visit Sunday school classes and tried as frequently as possible to interact with the members of the church. How often has Dr. Brunson walked around the church shaking the hands of the members? It hasn't happened one single time!
The only time I have ever had interaction with Dr. Brunson were the two times I just mentioned where he was very rude, and also two times when I brought a guest through the visitors reception, and one of my guests even commented on how rude he was. This was so embarassing for me to invite someone to our church, take them to meet our pastor, only for my guest to tell me that our pastor is rude. This is disgraceful. And yes, us recalcitrants do bring guests to church, or at least I did until I realized we had a CEO/dictator as pastor. Now I won't bring another guest until the Pastor's conference when they can actually come and hear some loving pastor such as an Ergun Caner, Jerry Vines, or someone else.
And no College and Career I will not just leave if I don't like it. I have been in this church most of my life and I have no desire to allow Mac Brunson to run me out of it. I am going to stay and wait out Dr. Brunson and continue to fight. I will not just leave and go on my merry way and allow a great ministry in this city established by the Lindsay family and then continued by Dr. Vines to be destroyed by this man. Dr. Brunson should resign and take people like you with him.
And finally to Anon 1132....
There is no way Mrs. Brunson has had her Jaguar for several years because it is not several years old. If you all would like to drive by and have a peek at it, Dr. and Mrs. Brunson park their Lexus and Jaguar in two of the front spots in the visitor's parking lot, so go by and take a look at the humble cars your pastor and his wife drive. Sure it's possible the Jaguar was bought in Dallas, but that's not the point. The point is how overpaid the family is, and also the primary point is the image it portrays having a Pastor's wife driving a car like that around.
Some of you people are really drinking the Kool Aid, but thankfully this blog is here to continue to expose the things this pastor is doing and some of the errors in fact that you people present to defend him.
Its been quite interesting to see members of FBC Jax come to the blog and defend their pastor not by giving answers to the questions that have been discussed on the blog for months, but instead by attacking the bloggers - questioning their spiritual maturity, telling them to leave if they have questions and issues with the church and wish to express them, pulling out the old "Homer Jr was Homer Sr's son" card in response to the blatant nepotism at our church - and even stooping so low as to cutting down previous ministers and pastors who have served. Given this sort of attitude towards those who dare express serious concerns about the church, and given the pastor forming a discipline committee in the bylaws with absolutely no explanation to the congregation, is it any reason why bloggers here choose to be anonymous?
By the way anon who said Mac Brunson did not say that his critics were comfortable in their sin, go back sir and listen to the Sunday sermon archived on Brunson's website. You'll see he did INDEED stoop so low as to attack his congregation in saying two things:
1. Wherever he goes and does something great for God, he faces not opposition from the world, but from complacent Christians inside the congregation - its another one of his "I'm the victim" moments....poor Mac, every church he goes to he faces intense opposition (presumably this time about his plan for a school). News flash: not everyone who raises questions, demands answers, or expects more thoughtful explanations than "door to door is dead" and "Christian education is good" are your opposition! Mac, despite what you believe, those who attempt to hold you accountable by asking questions are NOT your "opposition"! Can't you accept that perhaps the problem might be at least in part your leadership?
2. He crossed the line to express on Sunday that those who have dared express concern over staff changes, music changes, proposed new ministries - are people in the church who are "comfortable in their sin and complacency". This is nothing that a loving pastor would ever say to his congregation. It used to be that our pastors did make people in our church feel uncomfortable about sin...now we have a man who likes to tell the world how those in his church who don't fall in lock-step with his plans are in sin. Scary stuff, if you ask me. And this is the man who just ramrodded a "discipline committee" into the bylaws.
If you don't believe what I'm saying, please go to www.inlight.org and listen to Mac's sermon again from past Sunday.
Mac is an angry man, angry at his congregation, and he's lashing out at them.
Daniel - Didn't you post a P.S. and put your name at the bottom? I could have sworn I saw it on the blog and responded to it. Maybe Watchdog decided to take that post down. He did not give your name to me. I don't even know who the watchdog and is, and I don't care. We need him more than ever now.
I have been reading this blog for some time now and I just can't believe the things that are said about the Pastor and the things that are occurring in the church. My grandmother has been a member of FBC for almost 30 years now and even she thinks that Dr. Brunson is more people friendly than Dr. Vines. Yes, Dr. Brunson has popped into Sunday School classes and Mrs. Brunson sits with the babies during Sunday School. She is one of my son's teachers. He does walk around and shake hands with the members but if you have forgotten this is a large church that covers over 11 city blocks and that includes 8 buildings that have classrooms in them. If you can make it to all 8 buildings and shake hands in less than an hour please let me know. As for the staff that has left - they have all left on their own accounts and have NOT been pushed out by Dr. Brunson. One reason I believe door to door evangelism is dead is that we live in the murder capital of Florida. It is not safe to go out throughout this town knocking on doors without putting your life on the line every time you do it. Many of the young people in the church are not as immature as some of you make them out to be. Many of them just sit back and take things in - you must remember that those young people you are calling immature are the future of this church and of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. I love this church and all of the changes that are happening. It is time for some changes and I believe that Dr. Brunson is a breath of fresh air in the church and it has scared people so much that they will find anything to turn into a stone to throw at him.
Anon - I am very glad you are enjoying the church and are being blessed by Mac Brunson. Thank you for posting your thoughts on these topics.
I myself am not concerned about the "people friendliness" of Mac Brunson or Jerry Vines or Homer Lindsay. Homer was probably the least people friendly - not that he was mean or ugly - his was shy and a bit aloof in public settings...but that has very little to do with his character, his leadership, his trustworthiness. In fact, when the first thing people tell me about a leader is "they are so friendly, they are so charming and charasmatic" I get nervous - ala Bill Clinton - the most charming and personable person around some would say.
Like some have posted in this thread how "approachable" Mac is...people posting that they've sat in his office, they've prayed with him...that's great, but I'm not saying he is or is not approachable.
What I have been trying to point out here are some very troubling, disturbing decisions that Mac has made, which call into question his ability to lead. I have also commented here about how he reacts in the face of difficulty, in the face of opposition. Many times we can tell much about a leader by observing how they react when they are criticized. Truly great leaders know they will face opposition, even in their own ranks, in attempting anything great - but they know enough not to attack their detractors publicly, the very people they are trying to lead. Mac has shown himself numerous times in the past 2 years to make himself out to be the victim when things don't go his way, and as we saw this past Sunday he loves to attack those who dare speak about his decisions. It started actually from day one when he complained that the announcement about his leaving Dallas came out earlier than he wanted - he made disparaging remarks about two men in our church who talked to the press about his coming to Jacksonville. I have chronicled numerous times he has made himself to be the victim before, and how he has complained to others in the convention who have spoken in his defense.
Despite how he characterized his opposition last Sunday as those who are concerned about music, Sunday School, and staff changes - and saying these people who speak out about their concerns as being "comfortable in their sin and compromise" - his primary detractors ARE NOT concerned about music changes, not concerned about colors of carpets or what time Sunday School starts...we are concerned about how he attacks his congregation as being "in sin" when not in lock step with him, how he accepted a $300,000 gift 2 weeks after arriving, nepotism, the bylaw changes and formation of a discipline committee, and others.
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