2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

Matthew 7:15 - “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11 - “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Does Mac Follow the Holy Spirit or the A-Group?

While Team Brunson is out on their 2-week Mediterranean vacation, let's talk about the A-Group.

Church, as I've reported here numerous times, and as was reported in the previous FBC Jax blog in early 2007, one of Mac's very first moves as pastor of our church was to hand over the church "marketing", including the design and management of our website, to a man named Maurilio Amorim and his so called "church marketing" firm "The A Group" (Click here to visit their website). It has been reported by several posters here and on the previous blog that The A Group was used by Mac both in Dallas and in Jacksonville to do staffing studies and determine what positions needed to be "re-staffed", or done away with completely. Since we voted for Mac to be our pastor, Maurillio's company has been responsible for our website that we all know is so far behind any other mega church website in its function and usefulness that its pathetic.

I would like for you to take a minute and browse The A Group's website. What you will see will either make you sick, or make you cry, perhaps both.There you will see beautiful, fit and trim, tanned Marillio Amorim using our church materials in his "portfolio" to further market himself to other churches to do their promos and marketing and websites for them. Certainly if he has done such great work for the influential FBC Jax, other pastors would want to purchase his services, right? Much of the artwork in his portfolio will look familiar to you...your tithes and offerings were used to pay Maurillio's firm to to do that awfully hard Christian work that only a Nashville marketing firm can do, that is design artwork and come up with catchy slogans for preacher sermon series and special events. Thank God for the A-Group, what WOULD we have done without them the last two years? Church how low have we sunk that we have to pay some out of town marketing group in Nashville that is totally unfamiliar with our church, our city and its needs, to do all of our artwork and concepts rather than using our own staff and maybe even our own church members, or perhaps local companies that likely would charge much less and are familiar with our city and its needs? I for one know plenty of talented, artistic people who could do this work in our church. Would someone on the finance committee please post here anonymously and tell us how much of our tithes and offerings are going to this marketing firm?

And when you go to their web site, you'll see something else that sickens you. Along side the FBC Jax pieces of his "portfolio" is the work that Maurillio does for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama...so Mac has joined our church with a marketing firm that also does work for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama! Does this surprise you? Visit the Tommy Bahama website managed by our consultant Maurillio if you ever need to buy a "beer pilsner set" for $49, or a "Wine Away" bottle for your favorite wine for $10, or maybe your home bar needs a "tropical shot glass set" for $39. I myself have purchased the "Embossed 5 oz flask" so I can carry around my Jack Daniels in my bible pouch along with my Christian tracts for those late night Tuesday visitations....and of course no home is complete without their "brown leather cigar and flask set" for $98. Maurillio - are you a church marketing firm or are you a commercial marketing firm helping to peddle alcohol and tobacco paraphernalia? You don't seem to be such a smart marketer after all, since you seem to be diluting your brand of Christian marketing by doing work in the secular arena possibly confusing your clientelle of your company's position in the market.

Hey Mac and Trey, I'm sure you'll be reading this while your family is on their 2-week Mediterranean vacation (by the way, too bad the start of your vacation interfered this morning with your ability to meet our visitors on the one day that we arguably have the largest numbers of visitors - we definitely see where your priorities lie when you cancel the visitor's reception on such an important day so you can get that early head start to Europe!) you said if Homer came back he'd want to know why you only got 50 men to pray with you. Something tells me that if he came back he'd have just a few questions for YOU dear sir about how you dole out God's money to marketing firms.

Have a great vacation Team Brunson, we'll hold the fort down for you until you get back. Maurillio is hard at work designing the logos for your next sermon series, and I'm sure those proofs will be on your desk when you get back.

Maurillio - since your Mac's marketing consultant...can you please explain to him the power of a "personal touch"....that on the one single day of the year when we have the most visitors in our church that he should absolutely make time to get to the visitor's reception? If I was a visitor today on Easter and wanted to meet the pastor but heard him tell me he and his family were headed on vacation to Europe and didn't have time to shake my hand at the reception...well, that would probably confirm many of the things I had been reading on this blog and hoped weren't true.


Anonymous said...

Question: If we are relying on (and paying) the A-Group so much, why do we need the "leadership" of Mac Brunson. And why must be pay him and his family so much that they can afford a million dollar home and trips to the Med. Sea? Sure he is a good preacher. But good preachers are a dime a dozen. Some are even called by God to minister to and build up a congregation.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain to those of us who do not attend FBC Jax what the A group is? Are they an internet marketing firm, a church website organization, or something else? Also, is "A group" the name of these people or a name given to them by those on this blog?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Paul - they are a church marketing firm.

Don't mean to be rude:


Anonymous said...

Relax, I re-read it before you posted this and noticed I missed the link. I did click on it. And came back here to type as much, but unfortunately you already read it.

Now my next question, how does a group that works for churches and not for profit organizations work for Calvin Klein? Since when are they non-profit?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You tell me...I have no idea.

Like I said, Maurillio must not be as good a marketer as I thought, if he is confusing his clientelle by featuring wordly for-profit work in his portfolio mixed with Christian clients' work.

Paul - I highly recommend the Tommy Bahama ashtray set...would be a great feature your home bar.

Anonymous said...

NOW I understand the whole marketing thing some of you have been talking about. When you were all talking about the A Group, I thought you were talking about some Kangaroo court Mac Brunson had put together of leaders in the church. Until today, I never realized they were a so called Church marketing firm.

For what it's worth, I think this is VERY dangerous. I have no problem with churches looking at what other churches are doing to reach people and change lives (like Willowcreek, like Northpoint, or Northland in Orlando), but a MARKETING FIRM FOR CHURCHES TO GET THEIR BRAND OUT??!!! Who is this guy to tell anyone how to market their church? The church/pastor/leaders has to decide what works within their community, and then if they see something other churches do that's successful, they need to tailor it to the people of that community/church. For an example, what works in Orlando will not necessarily work here. It's not right or wrong, it's just the culture that exists in those cities. Why does this Mario guy think he knows what works everywhere? This ranks right up there with the most ridiculous "ministries" I have ever heard of.

Watchdog, you said reading that site would make me sick. Yeah, you are right but not for the reasons you mentioned. I don't have a hatred for drinking alcohol if it is in moderation and someone's not an idiot who goes driving after. It makes me sick to think ANY CHURCH, ANYWHERE would turn it's marketing and direction to any consultant group ANYWHERE! Why not just change the name of the place to "A Group Baptist Church: Downtown Jacksonville?!"

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Couldn't have said it better myself Paul.

And what you said my friend is what Dr. Homer Lindsay said many times...he knew the trend was toward these so called "Christian marketing firms" and he wholeheartedly rejected them and ridiculed them on several occasions as did Dr. Vines.

Paige Patterson and SWBTS - is this what you teach your students studying to be pastors? That when they get to a church find a "church marketing firm" to help make branding decisions and design all the artwork and slogans? Are you all proud of your alum Mac Brunson and how he uses the A Group?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Let's do what Mac does to us....let's hold an unannounced business meeting and vote to withhold any more funds to be paid to out of town marketing firms. We'll do it while he's out of town.

Come on Dave Bristowe and Trustees, its in your power to hold a special business meeting, let's do it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks watchdog for alerting us to this. Some of us are finally coming around.

What amazes me is the absolute poor judgement in this - it would be one thing to use a marketing firm to help our church with our artwork or some other aspect of our ministry strategy. But to allow that marketing firm then to splash our artwork all over their website for their own promotion is unconscionable. If Mac had one ounce of sense he would tell this Maurio fellow that we don't want to broadcast to the world that we are using a church marketing firm so please don't use our promotional pieces on your website for your own marketing efforts.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. I'm just thinking out loud here. Maybe, just maybe, we're short on our media ministry budget which includes advertising on TV and radio - which the first $100k of today's special offering was for - because we're paying a high priced church marketing expert in Tennessee! I get it! I get it! We've likely spent so much on having AGroup do all this artwork and media design that we don't have any money left for advertising.

Anonymous said...

My pastor embarrassed me today.

I brought a guest, and told the guest after Rev. Whitmire announced that we would have a guest reception to meet the pastor that I would take he and his wife to meet the pastor.

Then when the pastor said he needed to leave to go on his vacation to the Med Sea or wherever and couldn't make it to the reception, I was flabergasted if that is spelled right. Maybe downright hurt is the word to use. I bring a guest, a guest comes to our church, and the pastor can't make time for him because he needed to get off on his 2 week vacation. Oh well I thought it must be nice to be able to leave on a 2 week vacation let alone just skip your pastoral duty to greet those who came to our church on such an important day.

Anonymous said...

just want to point out that the - You Belong @ First - slogan is used also at FBC Dallas, courtesy of the A group...not an original 'branding' nor a unique 'branding' for either church; and not too time consuming for the A group either.

Anonymous said...

We should have known that he had something better to do when he canceled the evening service. I think that he has canceled more Wed and Sun evening services in two years than the previous 25 years that Ive been attending.

concernedSBCer said...

Just a reply to Paul Z....you will want to take a good look at churches like Willowcreek before following what they are doing. Probably the best way to get people into your church is to do what Matthew 28:19 says: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

It says nothing about bringing them in....it says GO.

Willowcreek and seeker churches like it tend to teach only half of God's character. To teach the other half might offend someone. Check it out for yourself and compare their approach to scripture.

IMHO, we need to get away from thinking about "nickels and noses" and strive instead to "Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"

Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

You remind me of the conspiracy theorists who see evil intent in every decision by any leader. We need the services of a professional marketing firm for our artwork and website design - very few churches anywhere design and maintain their own websites. Why not stop looking for a devil under every single rock. We had a great service yesterday and an awesome sermon delivered by our pastor - can't you rejoice in that?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:51am:::

How did the church get to be a "Mega Church" for the past 65 years without a marketing firm? I might add we saw a lot more people "saved" and higher attendance than we have now. The Holy Spirit is much better at leading a church than a marketing firm or anything man can imagine.

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theorist, not me. I just see so many things that stink of bad judgement on the part of the Team B. And I for one think that our Pastor should think these decisions he is making (or is allowing to be made by the poor choices of the people he lets guide him) through. A leader should be above reproach.

It appears that the intent of Dr Brunson was to GIVE (on a silver platter I might add add) a big boost to the fledgling A Group so that Maurillio could get his branding group off to a good start. Please correct me if I am wrong on this. But with a new book of business from FBC Jax that would help an insider friend of the Brunson family get back on their feet. (and another thought on that at the end of this post).

If a person owns their own personal business you can hire anyone and everyone that you want ,family included for what ever price you want to give to your friend or family. And even if they have no experience they are on the job at a high salary. And they can be your cocoon and say yes and jump as high as you like.

On the other hand, being a prudent responsible business owner you can hire the right person with experience and at a reasonable price after looking at all the options.

Especially with marketing, just look at what we (as a church) are getting. Has been logos....You belong @ (add First Dallas, First Baptist Jacksonville...and who knows what other church or company). We're getting tired old website design. We got someone who does not even know (or care) for our city. We got someone who came in and made the decision to systematically dismantle and set aside (in mothballs I am sure) the technically advanced TV production system and go back to the old, easy and convienient way of broadcasting. No high definition live broadcast to the citizens of Jacksonville. On both counts marketing either of thee points are GREAT marketing tools. People would rather see live and with the number of high definition televison sets sold in the past two years marketing those points properly would cause people to tune into our service, sample and feel comfortable coming to a service or demonitation that they would never have come too. People like local high definition programming. High definition makes you feel like you are there...that's why they do so much travel and wild life and must I say football.

No live service and no high definition taping so everything that went out could be cut down to the right size for the Branding of the pastor..(.and I do think that is what Dr Vines was doing too.)Intellectual property yes, but it is really just building Mega Pastors portfolios (with no church information) to line their pockets and as a retirement money maker. This is why we are not live and dont use cutting ege technology, because all the product going out cannot be done on the high definition equipment the church owns....this technology can't be useful to produce Pastor branding materials sold for their personal profit.

(I'm sure this is one of the marketing companies recommendation to the Pastor). My thought again, the marketing company was hired to promote the Pastor so that his packaged sermons look good to sell now and in the future to keep the money rolling in for personal gain...again think of In Light, a personally owned company a future profit center for Team B. And church...we are paying big bucks for it all.

If the church were really the "product" being marketed, why not put the job out for bid. (Of course it is less tacky to put the marketing with a personal family friend, they would understand your true peronal money motives.) Pick a firm that does church marketing, have 3 or 4 good companies that have been throughly screened bid for the business, show their success and have the people working on the FBC Jax project give their testimony and of course check what you are getting for the money that will be doiled out.

I don't know what staff member could even suggest that method. It's much to risky. Maurilo would be called in.... and let the staff member know that the Lord was calling them somewhere else. Of course if they kept their mouth shut and didn't say otherwise they could keep the severance package that would keep their family housed and feed until they were called elsewere. If they talked no help....just out on the street I'm guessing.

As I promised just another thought to consider and watch for.

---The school start up is underway.

Just a few questions.

The Team Brunson son in law is graduating from seminary in a few months. Do you think the team will need him on the Church Staff or on the School Staff.

Will the Team B daughter just maybe have the credentials to be a teacher.

The Team B grandbaby will be old enough for Pre K in a few years. (I have this feeling, at The Dallas First Baptist School I bet the Team B children went tuition free).....I'll bet the grandbaby won't even have to pay for the Team B T-Shirt. (Church...remember your starting tuition will be at least $7,000 to start and within a few years tuition will be up to $9,000.00 and that does not include books, class fees, uniforms, sports fees ( OH, I forgot..the downtown site does not have any sports facility or room for it and the state will require it for acreditation, maybe that, my friends will be next Easter's special offering), science fees, etc. And yes, if your child gets the Team B T-Shirt in the Orentation Package you will have paid for that too.)

I'm thinking the school is a big part of the Team B Plan. When the son in law is called to be on the staff that don't think that is not coming soon. Daughter might just be one of the teachers, baby on campus, who's to say that Trey's wife might end up as one of the teachers. Her My space website indicates that she is trying to find herself....she just might be finding herself with a job at the school. I just would not be suprised at it all....remember, even the Brunson dogs go to work with them everyday. (For those who think I meant this in an ugly way, I did not...I just wanted to point out that if you are an insider on the team you all work where the team works.) And collect your salary from FBC Jax.

I have a big burden on my heart for the direction that Team B is taking our church. No conspiracy, I've been a member since the early 70's and my heart is broken in the direction I see things going. I'm all for change but the changes I have been witnessing....well for one Watchdog should be thanked for having the conviction and following through with the professional forum he or she has provided.

Anonymous said...

As sad as I am over these developments with our pastor the land deal, the free commercial last week, how he yells at us when he doesn't get his way, the school funds taken on a Wed night sham vote, bylaws, etc.

As bad as that is I can say yesterday was a great day. It goes to show you that our church is NOT defined by our pastor. We are so much more than his poor decisions and his bad attitudes and his nepotistic tendencies. I'm praying for the day when we can move on and get beyond Team Brunson and return to a pastor who loves us, loves expository preaching and not flowerly oratory, and follows and consults the Lord not a marketing guru in Memphis. That day will come church, and the sooner the better.

Anonymous said...

I checked the departure info: You fly to Rome then take Carnival Cruise Lines to the Med. How many of you who gave sacrifically, like Mac asked you to, are going to enjoy a vacation like that? What is he sacrificing? Not much I would say. Congratulations upon keeping your pastor " IN STYLE". How about you staff? What kind of vacations and perks do you get? Oh thats right.......you're just trying to keep your job.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mac will bring back some slides of his vacation, blown up on the I-Mags to show us poor people sitting in the pews with our mouths open marveling at the pictures of a vacation WE paid for. This is cutting edge.

Anonymous said...

what does your chairman of deacons say about all these grievances? Surely you've met with him with concerns this great, instead of just spewing online.

Is some type of (healthy, direct) action being discussed to address these issues? As much entertainment as this blog provides, it sounds like the time for decisive action is long passed.

Anonymous said...

In response to what concernedsbcer said...

If you do a little reading you will see that in Luke 14:23 it says, "...go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Guess you were too busy to look a little further.

Anonymous said...

Hey watchdog, it is interesting how you like to stir the pot on what you think will get people all upset. You have definitely done some homework on the A Group and it makes you mad that our church is featured on their website along with Tommy Bahama who sells items that promote the use of alcohol and such. Thanks for brining that to my attention. Just one question then, could your recommend a grocery store I could start buying my groceries at, since I am sure you don't shop at Winn Dixie or Publix (did you know they SELL alcohol?).

By the way, when are you going to answer the question as to who you are? Every time I read a question regarding this, you fail to answer. Are you in politics? Seems you follow in suit with the way many politicians like to do things. Either that or you are afraid of what the outcome might be for yourself if you are revealed. Of course you won't say who you are, so I'll just play along! Boy this is a fun game, but not biblical.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 12:31 - Chairman of deacons doesn't see these as grievances. The only "problems" are the bloggers. Why call this "entertainment"?

Anon 1:53 - your analogy doesn't apply, because if you spend your money at Publix knowing they sell alcohol, what business is that of mine? I certainly don't care where YOU spend YOUR money. A better analogy that applies to the A-Group and FBC Jax is this: you come to me asking me for money to buy bibles for a mission trip you're taking to Europe. I give you money thinking I'm giving it directly to God's work in buying bibles. Then later I find that you took the money I gave to the Lord's work and used it for something entirely different and frivolous. I would be upset. I would say, "hey, I gave you that money to do God's work, why did you spend in on [fill in the blank]?" People are giving money to the Lord's work, and large chunks are going to the A-Group to do our "church marketing" when we really don't need that. Its frivolous spending - just my opinion. And its an opinion that is shared by many, except those on Team Brunson and the A-Group.

Anonymous said...

Again, "watchdog" ignores your question regarding who he is. His slander is only fueled by the fact that he doesn't have to stand behind his "facts". His lies are many, and I am glad most realize how useless this blog is.

And no, "watchdog", I will not answer your questions until you back up your slander with who you are. And we all know that will never happen. You're scared....of disciplinary action? After all the shots you take at our pastor? Come on.

concernedSBCer said...

Anon 1:41: No, I read that. :-) You overlooked my point however. In the seeker churches, usually crosses are not used, neither are pulpits. Hell is not spoken of, nor is the characteristic of God as a judge discussed. While we OF COURSE want our churches to be filled, I would think that the integrity of how and whom they are being filled is critical. We owe it to those coming to tell them the entire truth and to disciple them.

(I think good discussion can be accomplished by mature believers without resorting to snide comments. It's an "iron sharpening iron" kind of thing. I certainly do not know everything but I do have some thoughts to share on those that are putting on circuses to get people into the church, then those who are already there many times never get past milk to get to the meat. We must guard against that. If you don't believe that now, you will in the future.)

I am praying for FBC Jax.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 3:23 - you are truly amazing. I know you want to defend the pastor, but you are so weak that it would be better to say nothing if this is as good as you can do.

Why continually ask ME who I am, while you yourself remain nameless. Let us know who is offering such a weak defense of that which is indefensible. What are YOU afraid of? Tell us who YOU are, or are YOU afraid of being accused of drinking the Kool Aid? Are you afraid of putting your name on the line?

I'm sorry, I missed that explanation of what is "slander" and what are "lies". Go ahead and tell us a few of the lies by telling us what is true since you are the one who knows truth and falsehood.

So what was your name again?

Let's start with some truth: What is the story behind the $300k land? Do you know if it was an outright gift given to the pastor by one of the donors, or is there some sort of explanation for that?

You won't answer that, you'll just claim that asking the question is slander.

Anonymous said...

Concernedsbcer, I stated those three churches because they were the first three that came to mind as having some influence and being more modern in their approach.

As I asked about something else earlier, are you familiar with churches in this environment? Or are you assuming something based on what you have heard? I have attended what is considered seeker friendly churches and that is all I plan to ever attend from now on. Not because I don't want to be challenged in my spirituality, but because I have found they do not get caught up on a lot of things that really doesn't matter. The style of music, whether there is a Sunday night service, what someone wears in the service, etc. In the "seeker friendly" church, these things are usually not issues, and nowhere in the bible will you see commandments stating any of these. You mentioned the pulpit. Actually, most of the places I have attended bring the pulpit/stand up when the pastor preaches, but so what if there isn't one? They have churches on different times and days than would be considered traditional. Do you consider that a problem? While yes, the leaders tend to preach a more positive message about Christ and Christianity, the idea is not to hide God as the righteous judge. It is to get people interested in a relationship with Christ, at which point they begin to have a life changing experience with the Lord, begin being discipled in small groups, other classes, christian music, and in READING THE BIBLE. When they read it, they see God for who he fully is.

I don't mean to come off in any way condescending when I type this next part. I know more knowledgeable Christians from so called seeker friendly churches who also show compassion, love for others, and live the life a Christian is supposed to than I ever did from First Baptist Jacksonville. That is not to say people at FBC Jax aren't very biblically knowledgeable, they are. The church teaches bible and doctrine from birth to death, and it rubs off. I learned more bible there in the years I regularly went there then anywhere else up to that point ever. But many in the church play that same religious game I have seen in smaller churches. They try to one up each other in terms of being spiritual, try to browbeat you into participating in sunday school activities, volunteering, being there every time the door is open, living your life the same way they do, or you are in many ways an outcast. I had a guy tell me one time he and his wife were shunned in their Sunday School class because she worked! I am not saying everyone there is this way, there are many wonderful people there as well. This was not an attack of FBC, just my observation based on places I have been and seen.

Anon 7:51; unless I am crazy I don't see anyone complaining because these people are used for creating a website or printing materials. If there are people complaining, I didn't really notice it. Where I draw the line is this group MARKETING THE CHURCH AND APPARENTLY HELPING MAKE DECISIONS AS TO THE DIRECTION IT GOES!

concernedSBCer said...

Paul: I appreciate your candid and kind comment. The churches in your area must be very different than in mine. I am so glad you have found a place to serve and grow. Most (not all) of the seeker churches (and members from them) I have followed and had contact with are very superficial in their Biblical teaching. There is a "Come just as you are and you never have to change" mentality. I believe once we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit begins working on us to help us to become more like Jesus, to have the mind of Christ. I have been personally hurt in situations you referenced, where I was an outcast for one reason or another. I agree we need to be welcoming to all, but I also think we need to love them enough to challenge them in their walk. I'm glad you have found a church that does that. Not all do.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider of your church, but living in Jacksonville, it would not surprise me to see the next Mega Church pastor in front of the US Congress coming form FBC-Jax.

I find it interesting that while many churches struggle to make ends meet, your church has the ability to meet all of it stated obligations on a reducing membership roll.

I was approached my members of you church a few years ago, and I attended a couple of times and my kids have been visitors with neighbors who are members. I personally found the church too big and somewhat in-personal due to it size. Seems I made the right choice.

Anonymous said...

Here's another view of satellite churches.....As far as I can see the "Host" churches arn't doing so well themselves. Certainly, not at FBC. Why satellite failure or at least the same arrogance apparent at FBC. As to satellite and seeker friendly churches in general....if you want a "Rick Warren" type of church, seeker friendly is your style. Otherwise, keep seeking until you find a Christ centered church that teaches you to become more like Jesus. The church may be small but who cares. What are you there for?

If Mac wanted a satellite church....why didn't he keep Calvin and Bobby to run them? You could trust them as they were at FBC over 30 years and were tried and true Godly men. But then it wouldn't be all about Mac. I hope we didn't use their salaries to pay the A Group. As an interesting read go to....www.oldtruth.com check the comment " Did Bill Hybels repent of seeker sensitive"? Of course you know Hybels and Warren are the gurus of seeker sensitive and satellite churches. To mention everything wrong with seeker sensitive and satellite churches would take up too much time and space here.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain to me why you keep saying there is a declining attendance/membership when there were 30 people baptized on Sunday?

If the Pastor has asked for money to be given towards a certain ministry then you can be certain the money is definitely going toward that. I'm sorry you have been led to believe otherwise. What specifically led you to believe that?

At this point if the Pastor is doing something immoral or illegal then you need to contact the police or someone who could check into it. Otherwise, leave.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I want to chime in here...just because Mac might be an advocate of satellites doesn't mean he's "seeker sensitive" or that he preaches easy believism like Hybels has for all these years. For the faults Mac has, he is not from the Hybels mold or even the Rick Warren mold. So we have to be careful to separate that. The grievances here that this blog is about are the abuses of power - which might be found in any pastor whether they be televangelist, or conservative southern baptist, independent fundamental, etc.

Abuses such as accepting large gifts from donors, granting jobs to family members, creating a work environment that causes long time staffers to bolt, trustees approving huge salaries allowing pastor to build million dollar homes, holding unannounced business meetings to move 1/2 million in dollars to an outside ministry, or just plain ole arrogance and intimidation from the pulpit to push a personal agenda. These abuses cross all kinds of doctrinal lines and preaching styles and ministry methods.

oc said...

Anon 1:41 said:

"In response to what concernedsbcer said...

If you do a little reading you will see that in Luke 14:23 it says, "...go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Guess you were too busy to look a little further."

With pompous attitudes like this, it is no wonder why they run away from His house rather than to it. Nice job of compelling.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

No I'm not leaving. I love my church and I don't want to go anywhere. If you don't like me at your church because you don't like this blog, then you leave. Or, don't force yourself to come and read this blog.

About calling the police if something "illegal or immoral" is occuring...last I checked the police don't come out to settle moral issues.

And no one is claiming Mac is doing something "illegal"

Can't you just pick one...pick one specific complaint here and defend it. I know there are a bunch, but just pick one, and give a vigorous defense. Take the land deal. The $300,000 land gift given to him by J.D. Collins 2 weeks after he arrived. Was that a gift? How could it be for "love and affection"? Did J.D. Collins know Mac Brunson and have a personal friendship that would cause him to give such a gift? Or were there other reasons? Just defend that. Nothing slanderous there...just observing some facts and asking questions.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - defend this...

Can you explain how Mac is comingling funds between our church and his 501(c)3? Why would he want to have the "Mac Brunson Podcast" as a separate ministry from our church, want the church to pay for the website development, while keeping our church from providing any sermon or service resources on our own website? What is the explanation that a person coming to one of the flagship SBC churchs' websites to get some online service or sermon resources only to find there are none, but you can join the "Mac Brunson" podcast. Why is that? What possible explanation is there for that? If he has his own 501(c)3 organization, doesn't put our church logo on his website and it features his mug as THE podcast Logo, why would he want us to pay for it? And if he wants his sermons to be broadcast on TV like Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanely, why would he collect money from our church for that and present it to us as though its "our ministry" when it is his 501(c)3 preaching ministry that will be doing the broadcast?

It makes no sense. When Mac leaves, he will take his Inlight "Mac Brunson Podcast" or his "Mac Brunson TV Broadcast" to wherever he goes, and we will have wasted however many years of building our own online ministry so it could all be focused on Mac. If he is to hold out his hand and have poor Jim Whitmire stand up there and proclaim "this is some of the best preaching I've heard in my life" asking for money for a TV broadcast, it had better darn well be a "FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF JACKSONVILLE BROADCAST featuring our church and our music and our ministries. If its not, then TELL US and don't make us think it is when it will not be.

Can't you just focus on one thing Anon and defend it or explain it?

Anonymous said...

I think you misread my comment regarding seeker sensitive churches. It was an answer to Paul's positive view of them. I find these churches definitely not a positive as I am a traditionalist. I did not say Mac was seeker sensitive. A commenter before me said the bible teaching in these churches were superficial (6:59pm). I find that an accurate statement. But, I do agree with Paul concerning these marketing firms that are in the churches today are totally inappropiate.I do not accuse Mac of anything illegal as well.

Anonymous said...

I have a positive view of them because I have attended them and know what I have seen there. I am not quite sure how else to say that.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - thanks, I do understand your point. I just know that there are literally hundreds of new visitors to this site every week and I want to make sure that they understand - Mac is not facing heat primarily because people are opposing his ideas, or that some church members are stuck in the past and don't want to follow Mac. That I believe is what Mac believes and what Jim Smyrl might even believe...but it ain't so. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the most important thing that Homer and Jerry Vines did for the next pastor is leave a group of believers that knew the joy of following the godly leadership of their pastor. There were some who perhaps didn't like Brunson when he came because they viewed him as of the "seeker friendly" persuasion (which I don't believe he is), but overwhelmingly, 99% I'd say in our congregation threw their full support behind him, including this writer. I was for Mac, I even shed a few tears when we voted for him I was so happy to have our new pastor. But the trust we placed in him was eroded over time during his first year as chronicled many times on this blog. Now his support has waned, giving is down, and he views himself a victim of a backwards looking congregation who is stuck in the 70s and its not true. If Trey and the other Team Brunson staffers and the Trustees were honest with Mac they would help him see that its him and not his congregation.

Anonymous said...

"watchdog", your accusation of weak was weak, indeed. In fact, I've given you my name before in previous threads. You've been offered face-to-face meetings. You rejected every one of them because you hide. Again, instead of changing the subject, as you always do, have the guts to say who you are. I already know you won't because of your fear.

"WD" I'm sorry, I missed that explanation of what is "slander" and what are "lies".

I've already done that. Check a dictionary (again) and look up the scriptures.

"WD" Let's start with some truth: What is the story behind the $300k land?

Well, the truth is is that it was a gift. But you really don't want to believe that one do you? That would mean that blessed individuals (there are some) wanted to give of their abundance. Imagine that!

Your turn! But of course, you won't play and take off that mask of yours.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, I know that it might be very difficult for you to understand that the gift of land was...a gift. It doesn't matter how much the gift is, when God lays it on the heart of someone to give to someone else, why not give it? You said that it's bad stewardship for Dr. Brunson to have accepted it and not given it to the Church or the future Jax Academy - but I argue that it would have been poor stewardship for him NOT to have accepted it. He would have had to spend more money on his home - I know for a fact that the Brunsons give thousands of dollars away to people every year. They give their own personal money to missions, missionaries, seminary students, the Church, etc. I have been a recipient of their giving, so yes I can say this for a fact. Maybe God provided land for them so that He could use their money in other ways.

I know you're going to respond with "but the amount of the gift was ridiculous...blah, blah" but I see it as God blessing someone with land/money, etc and that person gifting it to our Pastor. God has blessed my spouse and I in so many various ways as well, I don't look at the amount of the gift but rather the heart of the person who gives it in response to God's urging.

I also want to mention that I cannot believe you walked away from Easter Sunday morning and the first thing you did was blog about the Pastor. On a day in which Christians around the world celebrate the risen Savior you completely put the attention back on yourself by blogging.

Anonymous said...


In answer to the topic, I believe Pastor Brunson follows the Holy Spirit. To think that he would seek counsel for every decision from the A-group rather than the Holy Spirit is highly unlikely. We may use the A-group for marketing purposes but that's it. Pastor Mac was called to be a preacher not a website designer. And he does a fine job when he preaches. He is worth the salary we pay him in my opinion.

This question is for the Watchdog: Who are you, what is your name?

Also, why do you say you love the church? I'm asking because it seems like you dislike the church. You criticize staffers and the pastor behind anonymity. This blog bears no fruits showing a love for the church. I only read harsh criticism about the pastor and his decisions.

Now, I must say this. It suprised me that the pastor decided to not have church on Sunday night. That did grab my attention...

Many on this blog say that the Watchdog blogs anonymously in fear of the discipline committee. Quite frankly, the discipline committee should be the last of your worries. One day we will all have to answer to God above. And he already knows who we are and sees what we do (even if it's behind a computer screen). Interferring with the Lord's work and trying to prevent it is a dangerous thing to do. And one day the Watchdog will have to answer to that...not to the D-Committee but to God.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 8:43 - maybe I missed something along the way, but I don't know your name at least I don't think so, and I haven't been offered face to face meetings. If you want to correspond privately with me, you have my email address given here at this site in the Watchdog profile.

About the land being a gift - I have figured all along that it was a "gift", although some posting here have used the word "exchange" or "transfer". I'll take your word for it, its a gift. Thanks.

Sorry you're so infatuated with wanting to "unmask" the Watchdog. I can only assume why you are so infatuated with that - either you want to know so you can lovingly come to my home and try to persuade me of the errors of my way and maybe so you can more specifically pray for me by name - or perhas you've been told to confirm who I am so others can try to apply pressure. Either way I don't care, but many of the people that are reading this blog don't much care who I am, they are reading this blog and what is discussed at some level resonates with what their observations are at our church, and many are glad someone is speaking up. I'm sorry that bothers you that people are posting here anonymously, but you really have to just accept it and quit complaining about it and trying to make that the issue. Quit living in the past, blogs are here and anonymous blogging and posting will continue.

Ghost said...

I have a couple of comments...

First to the anonymous poster that said you were embarrassed that Mac was not there after the service for a visitor's reception...I understand your point and would say that he absolutely should have stayed and delayed his two week vacation for a mere 30 minutes to greet the visitors, BUT since we are talking about Mac, you are probably better off that he left. The last visitor I brought commented to me as to how rude Mac was after they met him....that is even more embarrassing than a guest not getting to meet him.

I also find it humorous how all these people on here drinking the Brunson Kool-Aid keep insisting that Watchdog's identity be revealed. You people are proving Watchdog's point as to the abuses of this pastor and those who support him. You are dying to know who Watchdog is so you can then intimidate him/her into shutting down this blog because there are no reasonable explanations as to the abuses that Watchdog has pointed out. As a result, since you cant combat Watchdog's words,you want to silence this blog. I have heard Mac say how much he likes history, but apparently Mac and his followers have read about Stalinistic tactics a little too much.

Also to the poster that said Mac's family will be employed by the school...you hit the nail right on the head. I guarantee before it's all said and done Mac's whole family will be employed by both the church and the school.

Thanks Watchdog for this post on the A-Group. I can't wait until someone reveals how much of our church's money is going to this ridiculous advertisement group. This perfectly explains why we have no money for our media, and is another of many reasons why I won't give our church one single dime until there is some sort of accountability.

Anonymous said...

Churches have long been into marketing. There is much info on the internet if one is willing to spend the time researching.There are several hundred church marketing groups doing just that. Look up www.churchmarketing/www.Jesus Central/www.churchproductionresources.com/www.theocentric.com; also look up in the search space "Jesus The Marketing genius". This stuff will make you sick and show you where churches are going today. It goes on and on. Folks I am sorry,but we have gone to sleep and lost the church....Thats why Jesus is on the outside knocking to get in...Its a business now...How sad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ghost at 1:04, for your comments. You said exactly what I feel. I too would love to know how much money has been wasted down there in every area and by whom. Just put in church marketing and you will find a lot.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 11:28 - I commend you for defending "the gift" of the land. I don't disagree with all of what you said, and I do understand your logic. There are some major flaws with what you are saying that many, many sincere Christians will disagree with. You very likely are someone who is very young and doesn't know any better, and perhaps have spent your life in the area of "Christian ministry" and so your view of gifts is slightly skewed.

You first must acknowledge that there are some "gifts" that should not be accepted - not because there is something sinister about the gift or the motives of those involved, but because of the "appearance" of impropriety. Those of us in the secular business area know this all too well, and in our corporations and organizations we have strict rules about what gifts are and are not allowed to be accepted - both related to the value of the gift, and the relationship between giver and receiver. So if you can get your arms around this: SOME GIFTS NEED TO BE REFUSED, EVEN THOUGH THE GIVER AND RECEIVER BELIEVE THEIR MOTIVES ARE PURE. That is the starting point. If you can't understand that there are some very well meaning, non-sinister gifts that need to be refused, don't read any further because the rest won't make any sense.

I've never, ever said its bad stewardship for the Brunsons to accept a $300,000 gift, at least I don't think so. My main argument is that it demonstrates incredibly poor judgement. This is not about "stewardship", its about "appearance of impropriety". The starting point of this appearance is the deed which says "for love and affection". I don't know many non-familial relationships where there is so much "love and affection" that it culminates in a $300,000 land gift. That is certainly something Mac will have to give an answer for...not to God, but first to the Florida Times Union, the Baptist Press, and maybe also to the IRS.

After reading your post several times, I really am saddened if you are one of the Brunson family members or close friends, because it confirms many of my concerns about the over-inflated view you have of yourselves and the depths that you've sunk to rationalize incredibly poor judgement that now is in the process of very adversely affecting your church. This poor judgement that you tried to defend will likely make its way into the media some day, and will cast an incredibly poor light on the believers of FBC Jax. Can you grasp the magnitude of this? If, IF this story hits the press about how one of our donors gave directly to the pastor and not the church to the tune of a quarter million dollars (which is the type of activity Senator Grassley is investigating in the big 5 TV evangelists - gifts going directly to the pocket of the leader and not the non-profit org), and we are all dragged through the mud, and the good church name that Lindsay and Vines labored so hard to maintain is tarnished, will the $300,000 land gift have been worth it? Can you answer that?

Some of your statements I'll address directly:

"...but I argue that it would have been poor stewardship for him NOT to have accepted it. He would have had to spend more money on his home - I know for a fact that the Brunsons give thousands of dollars away to people every year."

Again, stewardship is not the issue. You're implying that Mac had no option, that to be a good steward he HAD TO accept it. That thinking is so warped I'm not sure how to address it (although it fits the "Brunson is a victim" mantra - "What did you expect me to do? I give so much money to others I HAD to accept it!"). He would have had to spend "more money on his home"? ARE YOU SERIOUS? I can see my bosses face when he asks me why I accepted a quarter million dollar gift from one of our customers - "Why boss, if I didn't accept that gift, how was I going to buy my house? I would have had to spend even more money than I already am to build by 6 BR and 4.5 bath house! So Mac might have had to buy a $400,000 home instead of a $700,000 home? You can't possibly be serious. Also, the fact that they give "thousands" every year is totally irrelevant. CSX CEO Michael Ward just gave a million dollars to Edward Waters College - just that justify him now accepting gifts from certain CSX customers that might be viewed as improper?

- "...I know for a fact that the Brunsons give thousands of dollars away to people every year. They give their own personal money to missions, missionaries, seminary students, the Church, etc. I have been a recipient of their giving, so yes I can say this for a fact. Maybe God provided land for them so that He could use their money in other ways."

Again, totally irrelevant. You said the Brunson's give "their money"...may I remind you that "their money" is actually "God's money" given by "God's people."? This is like the federal government saying they are going to give us some of their money in a tax rebate - it actually was not theirs to begin with, so the IRS doesn't brag about how much of "their money" they give back to us. Maybe God provided land for them so he could use his money in other ways...yes, that is possible. But its not for certain, there are other possibilities too that curioius people like me and others know are possible. Not because we're naysayers or unspiritual - but because WE'VE SEEN ABUSES LIKE THIS BEFORE, AND THIS LOOKS EERILY SIMILAR TO OTHER SITUATIONS WHERE THERE WAS ABUSE. Do you understand that, and would you not be concerned that to the casual observer this land gift looks to be improper? Perhaps the giver wanted to buy influence with the Brunsons. Or perhaps the search committee had to "find a donor" to entice the Brunsons to come. Perhaps this donor was going to give it the church but was approached by an influential deacon or trustee and told to just give it directly to Mac. I'm not accusing - I'm simply telling you that these sorts of abuses happen every day and this land deal LOOKS like it might be one of those. Doesn't Mac have the wisdom to avoid even the appearance of such impropriety? This is why gifts of this size demonstrate poor judgement - because the have THE APPEARANCE of possibly being in appropriate. Especially in this case when the son of the donor gets a 5-minute video of his business broadcast in church and on TV-12. When a gift of this size is accepted, then people tend to examine other decisions by the receiver for evidence that the gift was part of a quid-pro-quo, stated or inferred.

..."I also want to mention that I cannot believe you walked away from Easter Sunday morning and the first thing you did was blog about the Pastor. On a day in which Christians around the world celebrate the risen Savior you completely put the attention back on yourself by blogging."

I agree, its pretty sad, I take no joy in writing this blog in spite of you thinking that I do. But I too think its sad that on a day we are celebrating the Resurrection that Mac is holding his hand out to gather money from our church and the many visitors for not a church ministry but his own private preaching ministry. Its also sad that on the one single day when we have the largest number of visitors (the place was packed out, even moreso than during PC) the pastor announces he is going to the Med right after the service and can't greet our visitors. That is absolutely shameful. There is not one other staff member that would dare to do such a thing...imagine Dan Elkins or Calvin Carr cutting out on High Attendance Day and not staying back to mingle with the visitors because he and his wife are heading off to the Med? I would imagine Dan would be told in no uncertain terms that he is to be there and put off his vacation a few hours. Sadly, there is no one in Mac's circle to tell him how the same.

I hope I've made myself clear. Despite the many posters here saying we're just "jealous" by wanting answers about the land deal this is not about jealousy (although I think I AM jealous now that I can't take my family to a 2-week Mediterranean vacation)....its about the appearance of some very wrong activities in our church that in time will serve to hurt our ministry very badly.

Anonymous said...

Don't let "the dog" get you down R. Peeples. He always has to slice down (assuming your age and maturity level)anybody who opposes his views. Ironic how he views that as one of Pastor Brunson's flaws. But, its hard to see the beam in one's own eye.


Why do you spend so much time defending your view in light of the truth? Could it just be that you are plain wrong? Would you admit it if you were?


No one obsesses about who you are. We just want you to be man enough to back up your "facts" with who you are.

And yes, I've told you who I am. I think about e-mailing you privately. But fact is, this is a colossal waste of time.

If I thought, for a second, that you would listen to the truth and be willing to admit fault I would tell you everything I know. But I've already done that. This really is a silly game you play "WD".

Get to work. We gave God our hearts and lives. Didn't we?
I don't think this type of activity is anywhere in the Bible.

There are far more constructive things to do. I could even give you some.

Anonymous said...

Nothing has really changed since the existence of this blog. For example, there was a strong movement on this blog to oppose and prevent the addition of a school to our church. That vote passed very easily. The only opposing "no" that I heard was from an old lady sitting behind me. And on that note, let me say this: Many on this blog have criticized the way FBC conducts their business meetings on Wednesday nights. Bloggers say that there is no time given to oppose the vote and argue their case. Let's say that the pastor says "all in favor let it be known by saying I" (congregation says I) and then he says "any oppose no" and he stands there for five minutes giving time for someone to state their reason for opposing the vote on whatever issue. If he gave you time to explain your "no" vote, you wouldn't. You would not have the backbone to stand up in front of a few thousand people and voice your opinion. That's why you come on here and blog anonymously because you know on here it does not require character to voice your thoughts and opinions which are mostly inaccurate and pointless to begin with. So why complain about not being able to vote no and back that vote up if you would not even do it in the first place. Back to the main discussion...

This blog is all bark and no bite, if you will. If I remember correctly, probably about a month ago maybe longer there was a service in which Pastor Mac just talked to the church. He asked the congregation what they wanted to know in regards to issues in the church. After listening to the podcast the only issue brought up from someone in the congregation was about the renovations. Pastor Mac said that plans were still in the making and they were preparing everything to bring in front of the church. The Pastor also said that the money given towards the senior adult project was in a bank account earning interest. No one brought up any issues discussed here on this blog. Why is that?

I have heard that sin is very blinding. Maybe that is why this blog is what it is. Many people struggle with different things and are tempted differently. I certainly would not blog about the church and the pastor the way W does but there are things I'm sure that W would not do that I may do. Everyone struggles, no doubt. However, we must not question what the Lord is doing and how he is working. Nor should we question a man who has been appointed by God to lead a church. That is just not a battle for us to fight.

Bloggers have said that Mac was rude. In what way? Now, I do disagree with cancelling a visitor's reception on Easter. I think with as many visitors as there were it would have been nice to meet the pastor. But in no way should we degrade the man and slander the pastor because of a cancelled reception.

I just don't think this blog has had a real impact on the decisions made at the church. And if you take no joy in writing this blog, then why do you? You know doing the Lord's work is joyful...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anon 4:48. It does seem like Watchdog accuses the Pastor of slicing down his congregants and yet acts the same way towards the bloggers who disagree with him. Very ironic...

I also agree with you that we are not obsessive over who the Watchdog is, we just want to see a name with the "facts".

One thing though Anon, Watchdog is going to say "well if it is a colossal waste of time, why are you even participating on this blog?"

It makes me wonder though...what if W took all this effort and applied it to doing something worthwhile for the church?
And I also question the Watchdog on why he doesn't give a name to his brilliant ideas. It's like he has become a financial expert and a theologian all at the same time. Maybe we should have voted the Watchdog to be our pastor....yeah right.

Anonymous said...

The Big Dog wrote:

Watchdog - I will answer all your questions just to show you how easy it would be IF I cared to answer your pathetic "questions":

Yes, I put my family above YOU and above my job (the FBC of JAX) and above anything else. So, get used to it. If I can employ my kids and inlaws, I will. So would you.

Next, I would tell you, that I understand your concerns, they are certainly valid, and they deserve an open discussion. Trying to ignore them based on them being raised anonymously is really just inmature cry-baby whining on my part and was probably the only real studid mistake I have made since I came here. I asked for this non-stop blogging by refusing to dialogue privately by email. But I have dug in and now there is no turning back so we will just have to co-exist. I should never have whined like a little girl when I unilaterally and arbitrarily decided that if you wanted any concerns addressed by me, you must "put your name on it." As for whining like a little girl to Dr. Vines and Dr. Patterson, you are right, I should not have done that. I was just feeling so sorry for myself while I lived at the Condo and my house was being built on the free land. I thought if you have no respect for me, at least you might listen to these real men of God. That really turned out to be stupid. I promise not to try that tactic again.

Then, I would lovingly explain to my congregation that "some have voiced some concerns about my salary." I can understand this since you probably read about some pastors fleecing their flocks, and since I am brand new, you are just being concerned. In the first year alone I remodeled the Kids' conference room for my luxury offices, hired my wife and son, admitted I was leaving the pulpit often to preach elsewhere and to finish a book deal. No problem. I get it now. Even though I don't have to reveal it, under the circumstances of my grand entrance, I will do so gladly so that we can all be cheerful givers and more importantly, I don't want to let some evil bloggers or malcontents make this a stumbling block. I make $3000,000 per year, which is in line with other pastors of churches this size. You are a very generous congregation and I will work hard to let you know I am earning every penny of it. Now, lets move on!

Yes, I also have my wife on staff, her position is my personal assistant that keeps me out of trouble and I really rely on her. She makes $100,000 per year based on her experience. She works hard and is here every day just like the rest of the staff.

My son is gaining experience, and what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in trust and effort. I trust him. That is more important than anything else at a new church. He makes about $45,000 per year plus benefits. Frankly, I wouldn't be here without him. If he goes, I go. I am sure you all understand that. Please let that issue go.

Regarding those Holy Land trips. Yes, I pocketed money based on how many of you went with me, but again, this is common practice. Since some have raised concerns about it, you will notice I stopped using church resources to advertise these trips. These supplement my income and I plan to unapologetically continue this.

Regarding the free gift of land. It was very difficult to leave my ministry and Dallas. The use of the free condo on the beach helped my wife get over the hump. But the offer of a free piece of land in a beautiful neighborhood closed the deal. I took it as confirmation from the Lord that this is where he wanted us to move. I didn't know J.D. Collins from Adam, but felt the Lord led him to offer that land. He put for "love and affection" on the deed for legal and tax reasons. Plus, I didn't pay a dime for it, so it was true. Did you expect me to lie about paying for it when I didn't? Again, it was the deal closer for my wife. So I thank Mr. Collins for it and receive it as from the Lord. I am not so naive to expect that some might think that my accepting such a gift would make me "in debt" to Mr. Collins. Not at all. We mega preachers get gifts and money and respect thrown at us all the time. I thought I would be kind and give his boys a free plug in the church service last week to show my appreciation. I trust the Lord will bless their ministry and they will earn back that land and more in new business. Its called quid pro quo, get used to it. I don't apologize for it and plan to continue this during the start-up of the school.

And yes, I am often stubborn and hard headed and arrogant and angry as hell as you put it. But really, if you don't like me, don't criticize me. You are kind of stuck with me if you don't want to leave. I am not going to change. The deacons and lay leaders seem to love it, so I plan on being here a long time.

And the reason I changed the by-laws and pushed my agenda through is because this is not a democracy. I am here to lead, and like you point out, I get paid a lot to do so. I will never take a vote on what God is leading me to do and will certainly NEVER do anything in response to a blog.

I hope that answers your questions.


The Big Dog (get it: you are the Watchdog, I am the Big Dog!)

I will be glad to answer any other questions you have.

Anonymous said...

If a pastor, business leader or political figure receives a gift, especially a large one there are always questions raised if they ever do anything for the gift giver or for one of the givers family members. .

I've read in the blog certain references to the term used (for love and affection) in connection to the land transfer to Dr. Brunson.

There are certain important and necessary sections in the recorded Deed of Sale Instrument recorded in the county records that must be indicated. Some of the sections that must be indicated are parties in the transfer,the time and place of the transfer, the location of the property being transfered and the consideration given to the seller for the transfer of title to the property.

Most properties are purchased, therefor, the consideration is monetary. On the consideration line the amount paid in dollars is noted.

In the case of a gift, it is not legal to put n/a or nill on that line. In most states the legal term used is "for love and affection". Through time, property transfer without monetary or other exchange of tangible belongings (example cattle or jewels) was rare. Usually close family members only gave property to family members, therefor the use of the term "for love and affection". In most states you will find that term used with an amount of money, usually $10.00 added to the statement of the amount of consideration for the transfer. In land transfers any amount of money $10.00 or less is not usually exchanged and the collection is not deemed inforceable by the state.

You see more deeds (these days) stating for love and affection because of transfer of land for tax and estate planning.

But again, the love and affection, statement is just a legal way of saying the land transfer was without money being exchanged, not that there was love and affection prior to the transfer. But if you are like most people...if someone gave you a $300,000.00 gift there would be a lot of love and affection after that.

When a gift is given to a polititian, CEO or other leader the intentions of the giver and the receiver are highly scrutinized. Giving flowers, a candy bar or something small is looked at as a token a large gift is seen by most onlookers to have other reasons.

I am not saying that there is any impropriety I am saying that leaders have to be very careful of the appearance and perception in accepting large gifts.

Anonymous said...

anon 3/25 at 9:28 - large gifts call into question the motives of the actions of the recipient. For example, I take a woman to an expensive dinner only so I can have her "favors" later, that is sick. Or if I come and pray for you at the hospital, and then you find out your mother paid me $100 to stop by, my visit has lost any meaning. Or during a recession where your investments and home equity has dropped and gas and health care and groceries are high, yet I ask you to give sacrificially while I get lavish gifts, take exotic vacations, build new mansions, employ my family, and increase my brand and personal wealth.

Not only does the motives of the man's ministry get called into question (even if his heart and motives are indeed pure, but he also loses any ability to lead. Leaders get involved on the front lines of their people. An inability to relate to the people by living in an ivory tower effects the ability of the donee to provide leadership. For example, if I plan to ask my congregation to give sacrificially, they need to see me also sacrificing. When I am the recipient of large sums of money, I lose any of the "were in this together" mentality. Also, for pastors, how can they ask members to give a tithe to the Lord when the pastor himself is giving nothing more than a small percentage of what someone already gifted to him while living in relative luxury and ease? In other words, if the pastor makes $300K per year, his tithe would be $30K. It would take him almost 11 years giving his tithe before he "broke even" on a gift of land worth $307K and in reality he has not actually given one cent above what was already given to him.

When a man (no matter how good a preacher or how pure his motives might actually be) comes in and within two weeks has already procured jobs for his family, the free use of a million dollar plus oceanfront condo and a land gift of $307K, on top of a presumed generous salary...well, he must understand his motives will be questioned. AND, his ability to lead will never be what it could have been and should have been.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much was raised for the "media ministry" on Easter Sunday?

And does anyone know if in fact all that will happen is whatever was in the media budget will now be taken out and used elsewhere (salaries?) since there will be designated gifts for the media budget now? In other words, I have $50 I could use to fill my tank up. I instead dine in luxury and blow the $50. You ate at home to save the money. Now I tell you, honestly and truthfully, that I need $50.00 to fill my tank and ask you for the money. You give it for a "worthy" cause. But wouldn't you even ask what happened to my $50 before you bought my gas? Why didn't I use the $50 for a budgeted, important item instead of spending it elsewhere and then coming to you with my handout? That my friend is how it works at FBC Jax now. Millions are given and budgeted, yet this pastor keeps talking about loans and special offerings from the congregation to pay for worthwhile ministries.

Anonymous said...

Members of FBC JAX - I propose that we follow our pastor's example. AFTER we vacation in the Mediterranean Sea for a couple of weeks, and after we build huge new houses and after we buy luxury cars, lets give sacrificially to the Lord. Or, maybe the ONLY way you can give to fund the pastor's projects is if you and your family forego those nice things and give "to Jesus" so Jesus can pay the pastor's salary and benefits so that HE can do those things. Won't Jesus be proud when Mac and FBC Jax give an accounting of how they used HIS money! Jesus will probably be really impressed with Mac's office suite and his house. All obtained "in HIS name" for doing his work.

And woe to those who would question this "robbing of God" by the priests?

Anonymous said...

Before anybody can go around assuming how money is spent (and therefore draw conclusions of poor stewardship) they should do a few things first.
1) Go to the finance committee. (the Biblical first step to do if you have a problem with someone).
2) Ask if they themselves would be willing to sell all they had to give to the poor.
3) If the answer is no to number 2, then what right do you have to point a finger at another brother (our Pastor)?

And maybe this one should be done first. Ask yourself, "What is the Biblical basis for accusing a Pastor of shady business dealings, nepotism, ect?"
If you can't honestly answer these questions, just stop with these foolish attacks.

Anonymous said...

The question is not whether there is anything ILLEGAL that has been done @FBC by Doc Brunson. The questioning in a lot of folks minds is that everything done in a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church should be done so that it is honorable before God and ALSO honorable before men.

There apparently is nothing illegal in the acceptance of the land, axing the staff, hiring family and friends, lavishly remodeling his offices or the "missions" trips. But how honorable is it before God and man?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 11:07 am:

You're new here, aren't you? If you had read all the posts going back to the beginning, you would see that around these here parts you get black-listed for asking the wrong questions. That holds true whether the questions are asked directly or by e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Shut up ya'll!!! (geez louise)

Anonymous said...

To Big Dog 8:51 pm: (or anyone else in the know)

I really enjoyed your entry and of course I know it was written in fun -- but as to salaries, does Doc Brunson make $300,000, Debbie, $100,000 and Trey $45,000? I guess I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the salaries were not a part of your joke.

Anonymous said...


I am trying to figure out what you are wanting to accomplish on this blog. If all I have read is accurate, you don't expect anyone on Team B to "do the right thing". All I see is a lot of grumbling being done.

As far as your identity goes, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask. Why? Show me where in the bible God would approve of a slanderous blog by an anonymous writer. Seriously, if you really feel like God has led you to question what is going on, then fine. Just do it in the right way. Would it matter if you were "black listed"; with all the support you have here on this blog, surely you could find at least 2 brothers who would stand with you.

As far as "drinking the Kool Aid", I came from a church where this was the case, and I didn't do it there. Guess I support my preacher because I have watched my family grow spiritually and my children desire to know more since I have been here. I am familiar with both Pastor Lindsay and Pastor Vines legacy at FBC and without sounding disrespectful, there were votes taken and I have heard it said, "The deacons always went along with what the preacher wanted." I am not saying that what they were deciding on was good or bad, but doesn't seem much different. One case in point was when the Light house was built, not everyone agreed on the spending of this money, but it was still built. Again, I am not trying to stir up strife, but only show that I guess there could have been a blog over the years every time someone didn't agree with the pastor.

So again I ask, what is your purpose here? If it is to inform, then you have been successful. What next? Like it was said, this blog did not stop people from giving last week, or voting for the school. If we are really being duped by Team B, don't you think God would honor your actions if done biblically?

Anonymous said...

To March 26, 2008 11:20 AM

I think you mean by asking the church, right? Because I have asked every single question on this blog. I go to the source.
But if you meant being blacklisted by "WD", you are correct. His direct responses to most of my postings begin with some sort of personal stab. No biggie, as I expect it every time! I'm sure he is preparing for yet another stab at our Pastor, and in effect, our church.

And if we are worried about honor, I would like to see "WD" display enough honor to back his "facts" up with his name. Don't worry, I've done it for him already.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I know it's probably not ever gonna happen, but every time Doc Brunson ends a service I am hoping he's going to say something like this: Members, please be seated, I want to talk to you. I know I've been a big disappointment to many of you and I just want to say how very sorry I am. I want this church to do big things for God and I guess I just let my wants take over where it should have been what God wanted me to do. If you will give me another chance I promise you that I will do my best to gain your trust and start doing things as the Holy Spirit leads me and not as I have been doing so far in my time here at FBC Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. March 26 12:50 pm:

I meant exactly what I posted. Questions are not allowed if they are not of the approved variety. When you do ask a question that isn't of the approved variety, you are black-listed.

As to your suggestion of the Watchdog's lack of honor, we can also plainly see that you are listed as anonymous.

I'm not sure why you visit this site because you seem unhappy with its existence. If I was you I would just not come back to the site, rather than torture myself.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Goals for this blog:

1. Make more FBC believers aware of the abuses of Mac Brunson, so that eventually those who are in direct influence with the pastor will hold him accountable for poor decisions in the past which will eventually cause our church great harm, and to help hold him accountable to not repeat these offenses in the future.

2. That as the result of more people in direct influence of Mac Brunson holding him accountable and giving him an honest assessment of his behavior as pastor, some day Mac Brunson will start leading our church with a humble spirit and not out of arrogance and greed and nepotism.

3. That Mac Brunson will answer directly questions that many people have on their minds about what he has done and why - its not just a few recalcitrants that have these questions, its a growing number of members.

4. That Mac Brunson will begin to realize that the opposition he is sensing from his congregation is not people who are opposed to him personally, or the things he wants to accomplish, or people living in the past who just don't like him because he's not Lindsay or Vines...but that the opposition is to his poor leadership demonstrated from day 1 in how he has treated his congregation, including enriching himself and his family. That is what people are mostly upset about, and it will only get worse the more he ignores it.

- That Mac will publicly explain the land gift and how it is not an abuse, how it is not very poor judgement, and that he do this before Senator Grassley sends a letter of inquiry on why a donor to our church gave a $300,000 land gift DIRECTLY TO the pastor for "love and affection" after the pastor had been here two weeks.

Those are some of my goals of this blog. Maybe more, but that's a start.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

to Anon March 26 12:50 pm:

If you have asked "the source" all the questions asked on this blog, then why haven't you posted the answers so we can all shut down our blogging and call it a day? Seriously! Tell us the answers to all of our questions.

Anonymous said...

To: March 26, 2008 1:22 PM
1)Again, I've asked every question. All answered.
2) I've given my name and number to "WD" before. Didn't matter then. If you want to know who I am, that can be arranged pretty easily.
3) I'm visiting because this is supposed to be a site where all views are given. Mine is quite contrary to "WD".

To March 26, 2008 1:45 PM

I wish answers and the truth actually did what you propose, the end of all this blogging. It saddens me because I can only imagine what would happen if we all went and did what the Lord called us to do, Biblically. I do on occassion flat stop looking here. My point now is to simply state that "WD" is wrong. If you want facts and sincerely have questions ask the staff, deacons, committees, ect. This blog owner is not dedicated to the truth. I've actually given answers point by point on previous blog posts and he simply discredited them. Honestly? It sounds like you want answers. Don't go to me and certainly don't come here. Your best bet, really, is to go to our church leaders. They are a great bunch of people. I personally care for and love several of them.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 5:13 - Sorry, I have no names or numbers ever given to me, so I don't know what you're talking about. If you want to talk to me privately you have my email here at this site.

Your answer about the land: it was a gift. Got that.

Response: what incredibly poor judgement for our pastor to accept such a gift from one of the church donors. I'm afraid our church will regret that this gift was ever accepted.

So many questions remain unanswered, and the longer Mac is silent, and more he lashes out at his congregation, the more harm that will be done.

Anonymous said...

WD: I agree with your goals stated at 1:25...The problem with most repeat most (not all), Mega Church pastors is that they don't care what anyone thinks. Many have regal attitudes. They actually believe they answer to no one, they are THE AUTHORITY. They are never to be questioned about any of their decisions, and certainly will not give an answer to things they deem beneath them. Whatever it is, I hope the churches will wise up and hold them accountable as it is very wearing to those of us in the pews. Most Mega Church pastors have two things in common: a lot of money and mega pastor egos.

I find these type of personalities in all areas of society. Doctors, lawyers, politicians, educators in colleges, etc. Many of this personality type can be found in a leadership role of some sort. They have elitest attitudes that create problems for themselves and for those that deal with them, and certainly for those that don't accept their controlling manner. But, society is different from the church. This type of personality is totally unacceptable in a pastoral role where the very nature of a pastor is to give and have a servants heart. Here is where we look to Jesus as the example of a servants heart.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - it appears one of your anonymous bloggers has you confused with one of the original "Concerned Members" or with "FBC Questions." It seems they intimidated one of the former to stop blogging and now that you are continuing they are completely lost and hoping and praying you are one and the same. It would make life so much easier for them. Keep up your good work. And be not afraid. They are all good guys and would not harm you, even if they knew who you were. Which obviously, none of them even have a clue.

Anonymous said...

No, this blogger is not confused with "Jax Questions". I gave this guy my name and number. He'd never admit it at this point.

"Questions" never was intimidated. As a matter of fact, his questions were answered. He stated that he was satisfied and that his blog no longer served a purpose.

I'm done here.

One more time, "WD". If you want, I'll even buy you lunch. Just say the word. But if the truth proves your bloggin wrong, you better be willing to admit it. Otherwise, I'm not wasting my lunch money!

Anonymous said...

to Anon. March 26 5:13pm:

You have not given any answers, (let alone REAL answers) to any of the questions and serious concerns posted in this blog.

I am telling you that since I had the nerve to pose a question (to someone in the upper echelon) I have been black-listed - lies have been told and repeated about me. There are other bloggers here who have been treated the same. You better start looking around you and see the truth.

There are those who think their position is one of being next to "God's Man" and it's worth whatever they have to do to maintain their position of importance. I've heard it called the good ol' boys network.

Why won't you stop patting us on the head all the while saying "I've asked all the questions and got all the answers" and just tell us.

I'm thinking the reason you don't tell us is because you are one of the "upper echelon" and you think just because Doc Brunson says this or that is the way it's gonna be then we should just accept it and close down the blog.

I would be willing to accept the truth but I don't think the whole truth has been given to us from the pulpit. We've been screamed at from the pulpit every time someone does ask a question Doc Brunson doesn't like. He is haughty and condescending in the pulpit - which someone mentioned is an attitude common among mega church pastors. Can you imagine how visitors must have felt when they heard him say to the drummer something about "you got any problem with a discipline committee?" What an immature thing to say! And I believe it was said on Sunday am. He stamps around just like a little child would do and expects a good response? Why? We don't honor a child's tantrums, do we?

I have asked unpopular questions of our previous pastors and staff and I was given REAL answers. Not bad attitude.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 9:56 - I agree, this person who is likely "upper echelon" as you call it, is just typical of what we see under the Brunson regime. In Mac's "Homer would want to know why I have only 50 men praying for me" sermon he showed his arrogance by saying "our job is to listen" to the pastor...Mac preaches God's word, and we are to listen....this is the same arrogant attitude of this anonymous blogger representing Team Brunson. If this person had a genuine concern over our concerns and getting the truth out, they would indeed give answers instead of just saying "sorry, already did give answers."

Not only won't they give answers, they won't even bother to point out the "lies" and "slander" of which they accuse the bloggers of spreading. I hope this anon is not who I think it is, but sadly it probably is. I can only imagine that he has been programmed to believe that to question the pastor, or to point out his questionable statements and extremely poor judgement and call for accountability is in itself "slander" and by default "lies".

Oh well...at least we're likely to get a good Bible sermon with no personal agendas this Sunday in Jim Smyrl. He preached a whale of a sermon last night - it is so refreshing to hear a called preacher stand up, open the Bible, and preach a well-studied, truthful, hard-hitting sermon - one that challenges and motivates, instead of one that bashes and denegrates like we're used to from Mac Brunson. Thanks Jim Smyrl for a great sermon on evangelism that we all needed to hear.

Anonymous said...

"I'm thinking the reason you don't tell us is because you are one of the "upper echelon"."

There is no upper echelon. My conversation is with WD, and I'll do it face to face.
(wow, I just noticed "WD" thinks I'm upper echelon, too. Pretty funny if you knew the truth. Which is, by the way, for us all to be servants. But I digress to the Bible again!).

Once again "WD" I've given answers point by point on previous threads (not arrogance, it's the truth). You just didn't like the answers and you are STILL unwilling to meet face to face.

Guys, I'm really tired of this. So I really need to go. If you want to gear up for another shot at Dr. Brunson, go ahead, he'll keep doing his amazing job. I've seen you have already (Smyrl's "no agenda" sermon).

I'll leave with the one thing you guys need to get through your heads. Our staff, our leaders are here for us. I've not met one who was not willing to walk along side of you for friendship or mentorship. This holds true under Pastor Brunson more than ever (it's shocking to me that you complain now about answers, it was near impossible to get a meeting with a staff member under our previous leadership).
This blog is going nowhere fast. If you want answers go to our staff, leaders or committee members. Plain and simple.
Beating your heads here is a waste of time and energy, unless you are fueled by anger. It is almost insane (doing the same things, expecting different results).

Come on guys, Jesus called us to be "one, as the Father and I are one". This is so far removed from that, it is shocking.

Are you even willing to hear the truth? Not on a blog. In person.
This is not way to interact in the Body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:38 - The truth is a $307K piece of land was given to the pastor for "love and affection" only two weeks after he arrived. Later, the family of the donee gets a free video promoting their business played in church services live, and then again on tape delay on Easter sunday morning. And the land gift still has not been explained. So no need to meet with you, sir. You are useless when it comes to getting any answers. But keep reading the blog...you just keep reinforcing what we have been saying all along.

And I can guarantee you that "WD" does not know who you are from your anon postings and you have NEVER offered to buy his lunch, and certainly have never said so much as one word to him "in person" because you have no clue as to who he is. You are living in the past. So it looks like you are the one trying to spread lies and slander. You remind me of the Clinton supporters. When pressed to explain their misstatements and lies, ultimately, they will just end up saying "I love the Clintons, and you are just trying to hurt them." Pathetic! (Unless of course, you are one of the Clintons, or one of the Brunsons, then in that case, we can't really blame you for your views.)

Anonymous said...

anon 3/27 at 2:38 - yes, I am willing to hear the truth, in person. I am waiting for the pastor to do so...in person. Somewhere, sometime...before he is forced to do so by Senator Grassley or the local media or some national Baptist publications. He can start with the sweet Land Deal. Not by telling us it was a gift. We know that. But the circumstances around the gift, please. But just like O.J. did not want to take the stand in his own defense, Mac apparently does not want to try and talk about accusations of it being poor judgment either. And just like O.J. got away with it based on a jury who loved him, so will Mac get away with it due to lay leaders who love him and are blinded to his deeds. Shame on you yes men, or in the KJV "Woe be unto thou men of affirmation."

Ghost said...

Dear Mr. "I have all the Answers But I'm not Going to Post any of them",

I must say I am quite sick of you coming on this blog with your arrogant condescending attitude talking about how you have all the answers. I have read your posts and every other post on here and there have been no answers given as to any of the issues raised by Watchdog. Please sir, tell me what the explanation is for a Pastor accepting a $300,000 land gift? There is no reasonable explanation for this! It's amazing that you or anyone else cannot see that this is a gift that is inappropriate for a Pastor to accept....I guess your vision is a little blurred from having your head stuffed up Brunson's behind!

I also find your constant requests to have lunch with Watchdog amusing. I don't think it's your job to be giving explanations for Brunson, especially in little one on one meetings designed to silence and intimidate people. What are you...the appointed recalcitrant blogger silencer? Perhaps Mac can create a six figure position for you with the church to do that job. I mean that would obviously be money well spent...how is Mac supposed to steamroll his will through the congregation with no accountability if these pesky bloggers are around?...Give Mac a call so he can create that position to do some damage control...perhaps we can have another special "media offering" to pay for your salary.

Your efforts to trivialize this blog do nothing but help confirm the validity of the issues raised. You act as if Watchdog is some lone blogger who is out to stir up trouble and if you can someohow convince him/her to stop blogging this will all go away. Mac Brunson-not you-owes an explanation to his whole Congregation-not just Watchdog-as to the abuses of power, poor judgement, nepotism, and other problems that have occurred since his revival.
Watchdog is expressing the view that hundreds of people in the church have, and even if you somehow managed to silence Watchdog this would not go away. As much as I appreciate Watchdog's efforts if you were somehow to intimidate the Watchdog into shutting down this blog forever, and these abuses would continue someone else would rise up and continue shining light on them. These abuses cannot and will not be swept under the rug by Team Brunson no matter how hard you try to silence them.

Also, I am amazed how offended you are of criticism's of Brunson, and you speak of how that is not edifying to God for us to be criticizing our pastor, but yet you inject cheap shots in at Dr. Vines in your post. You say that under the "previous leadership" it was impossible to get meetings. Every time a Team Brunson member speaks in defense of Brunson they absolutely ooze with contempt for Jerry Vines and the other members of our staff(the ones Brunson ran out the door) that served this church for several years. Jerry Vines and other staff member(Carr, Pigg, Barton, Brooks etc...) loved this congregation and did everything they could to try and follow God's will as they lead this church. Sure, they may not be perfect...noone is, but if you combine all of those staff members mistakes through the last 20 years they don't even come close to being as bad as the mistakes Mac Brunson has made by himself in just two years. So sir/maam, I would appreciate it if while you are defending your arrogant dictator preacher, if you would not insult the loving man that I was proud to call my Pastor for several years.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Preach it Ghost!

Anonymous said...

to Ghost March 27, 10:08 pm:

Let's face it, Mr. I have all the answers but I'm not going to tell them to you is a Jim Jones follower type church member.

The way you become a Jim Jones follower is you just keep BLINDLY defending whoever is up at the top - no matter what they do! You never ever ask any "inappropriate" questions and you just keep your mouth shut and follow along behind in the parade - just so, no matter the cost, you can be included in the group. Don't forget to stick your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes too! It would probably be really helpful if you also recited the following: Na na na na na na na na na I can't hear you..."

Mr. I have all the answers probably did ask some questions. "Hi, how's it going? Can you believe those stupid bloggers are still asking questions and think they're going to get answers?" Yes, we know all about the kinds of questions you have asked your friends...

Anonymous said...

So now you guys want to attack someone you don't even know. And you wonder why you don't get answers to your questions?

Good luck. This blog does no good. I'm only suprised at the level of hate you guys are displaying. So now not only is our Pastor arrogant, but so am I. Maybe the beam should be pulled from your own eye.

I know this is falling on deaf ears.

liz09 said...

Question watchdog, lets be honest do you seriously just sit in the church services every week just to blog bad about our pastor? If so, you really need to grow up and get a life.
Pastor Brunson is a wonderful pastor and if you think other wise your head must be screwed on wrong.
I just don't get the point why you would even waste your time coming to the church if you like nothing about it. Seems to me as though you only can find the (-) things in life.... from what I have seen and heard.

Thank You

Thats all for now from me


liz09 said...

Question Watchdog, lets be honest here.
Do you really just come sit in the services at FBC every single week just to blog bad about our Pastor?

Pastor Brunson is a wonderful man and has taught every person at FBC something, which you could never do.

For some reason I just don't see the thrill you get in coming every week to FBC when honestly you dont even like the church or the people in the church. Seems to me the only thing you look for is the (-) things in life and in others.

Have you every searched yourself(heart wise) to see if you find as much (-) in yourself seriously?

Also i don;t think your head is screwed on right with all this junk i have seen and heard from your blogging.

Well thats all I have to say for now until you start barking off more junk :)