From the article yesterday:
"Brunson said he doesn't make anywhere near the $300,000 annual salary the blogger claims..."
Interesting. The term used is "annual salary". Anyone that knows anything about clergy compensation packages knows that for IRS tax reasons, a pastor's compensation package is broken out by annual salary and a myriad of other expense "allowances", such as housing allowances (in which a pastor's house payments can be lumped - Mac owns a million dollar home), car, travel, clothing, benefits, retirement, continuing education, other professional expenses, etc. For a pastor of Mac's stature, these "allowances" can be a very signifcant part of his compensation.
And given that Mac's wife is reportedly on staff and earns a salary without a formal job title and ministry responsibilities that are unknown to most members...while former pastors' wives served at the church without pay...then it would also stand to reason that her salary and her allowances should be considered in the number that Mac quotes us.
So now that Mac says his "annual salary" is not even close to $300,000, perhaps he can share the answer to this question:
"Is your total compensation package, inclusive of all your housing, car, travel, and other allowances, along with your wife's salary and allowances...is THAT amount less than $300,00? Is it less than $400,000? Less than $500,000?
If his total compensation package is NOT far below $300,000, then Mac is disingenous at best, and a bald-faced LIAR at worse. Mac doesn't want to give out his total compensation, but does want to give just enough partial information to be able to claim that the blogger that has been "dogging" him is lying - over the technicality that one portion of his compensation is below $300,000. Right. And his weight is probably below 180 lbs....from the waist up that is.
At least now the people at our church who do know his total compensation package know that Mac is a deceiver. He deceived the Times Union reporter over the issue of compensation to deceive his church members about how much he REALLY makes every year from our church, because if he disclosed what he and his wife's take is from the church it would be too embarrassing, and giving would suffer. But lay leaders keep this in mind: if Mac is willing to deceive a Times Union reporter about something, don't be surprised in the future when you go to Mac for some information if he decides to deceive you by giving you only part of the story.
So tell us Mac: what is your TOTAL annual compensation? You must want us to know else you wouldn't have brought it up with the newspaper, so please, give us the whole story. We're waiting. As someone said recently: "Trust God, and Tell the People".
Its one thing to be silent about one's total compensation package.
That is at least defensible.
But to try to deceive people, and make them think you earn something less than you do by referring to "annual salary" when there are many other substantial parts of the compensation package - that is deception as you called it.
The main lie was that this blog was about his salary. That was NEVER an issue here. We all assumed he was deserving of, and in fact negotiated and received, a very generous salary to relocate from a great job at FBC Dallas. It was the free use of a condo on Amelia Island, and the $307K land gift, and the being out of the pulpit to work on his book deal, and his adding wife and son on salary, and promoting his Holy Land trips, and on and on, that raised the concerns. I defy him or his supporters to find one blog article where anyone complains about his salary.
So either Mac intentionally misled the T-U report, again. OR, more likely, Mac does not read the blog and only gets summaries and updates from his wife or Trey and THEY have lied to him about what the blog is all about. Perhaps if Mac knew what we really were concerned about, he might change for the better and be less hostile.
But if he is only getting lies from his trusted family, then we can't blame him when he thinks we only blog about his salary. I agree with him that is a pretty ridiculous topic to be so concerned about if that was the only issue.
And again, it is not that we are opposed to a downtown Christian school for the rich. But all we asked is that he be transparent about WHY we NEED one and why NOW, and how is it to be funded?
The man is a deceiver and intentionally misleads people. But he knows we are all so gullible and see him as "God's man."
In his own book, Mac has said that a pastor's salary does not include housing allowance, automobile allowance, book allowance, retirement benefit, insurance benefits, and conference expenses.
See page 267 here.
The Dog is right that Mac's comment was very misleading unless his total compensation package (including the total compensation paid to Debbie and Trey) is far below $300,000.
I am shocked and saddened that my pastor is not "making anywhere near $300K per year." Other much smaller churches with much less prominent pastors pay their pastor much more than that. Why are we shortchanging this great man of God? He has a wife to support and he left a very high paying job in Dallas and uprooted his family to come here.
Trustees and Finance committee, please give our pastor a very generous "bonus envelope" for Christmas this year to make up for how you are not paying him a fair salary. And shame on you that brought him here for not paying the man adequately.
God bless you, pastor. Thank you for your humility in not disclosing this poor treatment of you until now. Please forgive all of us for not paying you fairly.
Thanks Jeff Brumley for bringing this mistreatment and underpayment of our loving pastor to the city of Jax in your article. I am sure we have room in the budget to give him a very substantial raise next year.
Jesus to the woman caught in adultry. "Woman, where are thine accusers? Go and sin no more".
Jesus is the only judge who gives perfect justice. When men appear to be doing God a favor they will always FAIL!!!!
Regardless of what they are paying him, its too much.
It depends on the definition of what Annual means.
Dr.Dog....If Brunson's salary package is 300,000 or whatever it is IT IS TO MUCH!!!!..This guy is a disgrace to the TRUE MEN called of God to preach....I've listen to Brunson preach and in my humble opinion::HE'S A SCRUB....When you have listen to the great men of God preaching today Mac falls woefully short....Mac would have to pay me sit and listen to him....The fact that this Guy is getting paid ANYTHING is a miracle in itself....Hey Mac remember the warning of Scripture while you cowardly thru your lackeys kick out accused members without proof...."BE NOT DECIEVE;GOD IS NOT MOCKED;FOR WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWS,THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP[Gal.6:7....Enjoy your little reign of terror....But remember God sits high and looks low and when he pays you back for the Sherri Klouda's,falsely accused families,your thievery,your lies,your continue abuse of His sheep,your religious compromising....IT IS NOT GOING TO BE PRETTY....REPENT WHILE YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE.
I recommend the DC be disbanded. It has served its purpose and found wanting.
The initial DC was established to prevent teenagers from lingering in the halls and buildings and garages. Also, to prevent street people from taking property and making sure all access to buildings during the church hours were maintained. I think that was a good plan and should be again put in place.
The best way for Mac to disprove that the makes less than $300K- per year is to show his tax statement (showing all his deductions). That will clear up how much he gets paid by fbcjax.
WD and Readers: I have bad news for you. You already know this. From my reading of this blog and carefully reading of Mac's supporters comments, I have come to the conclusion that Mac has already written you ALL OFF long time ago. They have decided to cut you off. So now they are going to kick anybody off the church they get their hands on. They are not interested in mediation, not interested in settling disputes, not interested in Matthew 18 and so on.
There will be more of the trespass notices and being hauled before the discipline committee.
So what should you do? Is all hope lost? How can you affect change?
For now the only way is for ALL of you who are affected and who might be affected to start blogging. All your interactions with fbcjax, please document it, so there is a document trail. When you get hauled before disciplinary committee, start blogging what you have observed.
Most abusers (if Mac is one and others here too), do not like light to shine on their activities. The more you blog, the more noise you make. More people will read this blog and they will put pressure.
I honestly do not know how all this will end. We have already seen what happened with Bellevue (BBC).
Be wise. At this point it is foolish to directly approach the fbcjax leadership. They are past listening, for they never listened to begin with.
The other unknown factor in all this is the state of economy. Maybe that will also put pressure.
Even if you can not do any of the above, please pray and be of calm mind and spirit. This will help you and throw your abusers off. Let God fight your battles.
Please check this post of Christa Brown:
Spending God's Money
Very apt for fbcjax.
To Anon wanting to send WD email: email is now visible in profile. If you wish to email me anonymously, obtain email from Yahoo or Gmail.
The latest events are getting quite an airing around the country in the blogosphere and in various discussion groups.
Here are a few...one of interest is a "multi-blog" called BaptistPlanet that says the following:
"Noncommercial blogs like FBC Jax Watchdog may be our best, current substitutes for aggressive, local, weekly newspapers, the best of which in their time held community institutions accountable to the communities they served."
Here's another that discusses the anonymity issue, and as the previous multi-blog does takes the newspaper to task for allowing Mac Brunson to refute the salary number, but the newspaper offers no verifiable data, but refuses to publish the blog website to let its readers make up their minds as to who is more believable.
Readers: sometimes things are so obvious that they can smack you in the face and you miss them:
"Brunson said he doesn't make anywhere near the $300,000 annual salary the blogger claims..."
It doesn't say he makes LESS than that.
If he earned, oh, say $450,000 in total compensation, that would NOT be a lie...since $450,000 is not "anywhere near" $300,000.
As I said, one "sly devil" is he!
It IMPLIES less, and IMPLIES that "annual salary" means "total compensation"...but its completely factual either way you interpret it because if he's way over $300,000 it ain't anywhere near.
Everyone please stand and applaud the Clintonian nature of the use of the words "not anywhere near" quote! Bravo, Mac, Bravo!!!
His wife salary is NOT his. Also his sons salary is NOT his. Get real people lots of companies hire family.
His wife's salary and his son's salary can functionally be treated as additional compensation paid to Mac if they do not have the resumes to be qualified for their respective jobs apart from their relationship with Mac.
There's nothing wrong with hiring family members who are genuinely qualified for their jobs. My impression from the Dog is that that's not the case at FBC Jax.
Anon 8:21pm.....EXCUSE ME!!!THE CHURCH IS NOT A BUSINESS::All the money being paid to his family member comes off the backs of working members giving,not selling to the general public some type of material products...That why Jesus twice cleared the temple out because of thinking like yours...And there is no excuse you can use to defend this man's dastardly deeds.
Anon 8?21, you need to think just a bit more deeper on this.
Companies that are privately owned by families or individuals, sure, they can hire whoever they want. Family is a good choice when its a relatively small, family-owned business.
But most large company, certainly any large publically owned or non-profit organization does not allow ANY hiring of family members of leadership. Most (even many large churches) have "nepotism policies" that define clearly how family members can be hired and in what circumstances.
Usually family members cannot be involved in the hiring decisions, or in the performance evaulation of other family members (obvious reasons). Usually family members cannot manage or have in a direct line of supervision other family members.
Probably one of the grossest forms of nepotism is when a new guy comes to an organizaiton, and two new jobs are created immediately, and guess who is the most qualified people for those two new positions? HIS WIFE AND SON. What a strange coincidence! That is nepotism of perhaps the highest order. Our church should have a nepotism policy that prevents such shenanigans. Trey is a great guy, but whatever role is is playing in our church, the pastor and personnel committee owe it to the church to create a position if needed, then interview to find the best qualified person for that job. Not just let the pastor hire his 22 year old son for a director's job in our church. The FBC Jax was not created and does not exist for Mac Brunson to provide employment for his family, or for him to fulfill his longheld desire of working with his son in the ministry.
Good topic for another time.
Not in any companies I have worked for nor know about, except baptist churches.
The salary and perks is closer to a million. Yes, I said a million. These mega guys get $5,000 to $15,000 just to speak somewhere. One said last year he preached 14 times in 7 days all over the place. That one week netted him $70,000 to $210,000. Plus they are getting paid by their church at the same time. Figure another $100,000-$300,000 on the cruises or trips to wherever depending on how many they sign up. But this is what they do. Make it now, because when they get older and not in a local church the gigs are not quite as often. When they retire they get their church pension $30,000 to $60,000; SS $35,000 to $50,000 if wife worked as well, 401K probably $250,000 to $600,000 if they invested properly. And do not forget about those conferences which they sponsor, the sky is the limit again depending on how many attend at $100-$250 per head.I almost forgot, the books, aaaahh maybe another $100,000 to $2 million depending on who they are. Do the math. Need I say more.
I loved the pun by Jeff Brumley: he said a local blog has been "dogging" Mac Brunson since his arrival. Get it..."dogging" Very funny. Go Dog, keep Dogging him.
"he said a local blog has been "dogging" Mac Brunson since his arrival."
WD, started his blog on August 30th 2007.
WD's First Post
WD's First Anniversary
I believe Mac came in March-April 2006.
Very good point TP.
A factual error in the article.
But this is also what Mac told Paige Patterson, in Paige's statement about how Mac got no Honeymoon!
In Mac's twisted view of his own tenure at FBC Jax, he was attacked since he got here....the fact is he had full support (as much as could be had in a group of 10,000+ people)...he did have some people concerned early on with his use of NASB...but the man had nearly universal support.
Sorry C - I won't reply to your email for a number of reasons...but if you have something for me, you can scan it into any format, and email it to me at
What percentage of the active membership knows what you're blogging about, and what percentage would you guess is in agreement with you about it all?
Pastors' taxable salaries don't include benefits such as insurance and retirement paid on their behalves, or business-related expenses of the accountable reimbursement type; their taxable salaries do include housing (Social Security portion only) and salary after housing (for both personal income tax and Social Security). Also, congregations own all the work (e.g. sermons, books, Bible studies, etc.) produced by their senior pastors and other ministers on church time unless an agreement is signed by both parties to the contrary (work made for hire regulations).
I personally think that $200,000 isn't anywhere near $300,000--and that $200,000 still is a salary that God made no senior pastor anywhere capable of earning, especially the senior pastor of a megachurch--who does far less than pastors of smaller churches.
From Mac's book, "The New Guidebook for Pastors", page 267, Mac says:
Before accepting the call to a church, the pastor should get in writing [book has 'in writing' emphasized with italics] a church approved salary and benefits schedule. There should be a base salary, a housing allowance, an authombile allowance, a book allowance [presumably to purchase the pastor's study materials], a retirement benefit, and insurance benefits. If the pastor is covered under Social Security, many churches add onto the salary a figure equal to one-half of the pastor's self employment tax. This agreement should spell out annual vacation, sick days, and church-sponsored attendance at denominational meetings for both the pator and his wife. In addition, it wouldbe helpful if the church could provide one personal developmental confernece for the pastor each year"
I wonder if the newspaper quoted this to Mac and ask "Does the 'nowhere near $300,000' claim include these other forms of compensation, or is it just base salary?
Another quote from Mac's book (which by the way is required reading in several SBC seminaries and Liberty University, I'm told):
"If a church member stops attending or even joins another church, the pastor should call on him and find out why. Sometimes this is a painful thing to do. Washing another person's feet is not pleasant, but Jesus didit. He admonished us to serve others with basin and towel.
Sometimes people stop coming to church because of fellowship problems with others in the congregation. Sometimes the pastor has failed them in some way. The pastor may not be able to get other members to apologize to the offended member, but he can and should apologize for his own failures. If he is humble enough to admit his frailty and failures, usually he can stay at a church as long as he wants. People appeciate honesty and humility.
If a pastor wants to stay at a church, he should learn to paractice servant leadership rather than raw pastoral authority, in spite of what many church growth publications suggest. The pastor who leads as a servant will gradually be given pastoral authority and is likely to stay a long time as pastor. The longer he stays, the more authority he will have. The pastor who insists on pastoral authority may never be granted it by his people" p. 66-67.
One more quote:
"It is unethical to use the pulpit to attack those who disagree with the way you are leading the church, even if you do not use their names. The president of the United States is said to have a 'bully pulpit'. The pastor should remember the implications of servant leadership and refuse to become a bully in the pulpit. The pulpit is where the Bible should be preached and where the people of God should be encouraged; it is not a place where attacks are launched against others." p. 186
Ouch. That part must have been written by Mac's co-author.
WD, thanks for the excerpts from Mac's book.
I humbly entreat Mac to re-read his own book (the one he wrote with some help) and also to listen to his own sermons (the sermons he himself wrote or created, maybe some with Maurilio's help). And please make an attempt to follow at least a small portion of what you preach.
Also one day you can preach one Wednesday night with a T-Shirt (following Jim Smyrl's foot steps) endorsing The Disciplinary Committee of FbcJax. If you do not wish to wear T-Shirts, maybe a hat that says the same will do.
God bless you Sir.
Dr.Dog...After reading all of those quotes from Mac's book....This Guy could not have written it....It was either written by a ghost writer or Mac plagiarized it....But it's hard to believe that he wrote it.
Whether Mac wrote that book or not, it is clear his yes men have not read it. Or if they did, they quickly realized it was fiction. Or they simply refused to question why they see their pastor doing the opposite of what he wrote. Maybe they all just understand that Mac is not a pastor so the book does not apply to him. He is a CEO, millionaire businessman that is a good speaker. Now, if he were a pastor, then the book might apply. Like his sermons, they only apply to "other" people. Never to him.
The part that has the most applicable truth to Mac and his discipline committee: "The pastor who insists on pastoral authority may NEVER be granted it by his people" p. 66-67.
WD Third paragraph of your 8:21 a.m. this date: My family and I are waiting on the pastor who failed us to come to our house. Yes, and it has been an extended length of time. He knows who he is. Where or where are you pastor. There can't be that many that you have failed, or can there be?
Mega churches are in the business of "creating a culture". This culture has to do with eliminating the PAST. Joel Osteen said it last night on Larry King....what churches did 50 years ago aren't doing what he's doing. Growing. He has 52,000 members. Asked by King what he wants to be remembered by, Osteen said; "He wants to be known for his high integrity". For many believers, "it's too late Joel". I wonder how many of these 52,000 know anything about the Saving Grace of Jesus, and how many are in these types of "meetings" to make themselves "feel Good". Do they think this absolves them of sin. Is it conscious pacificer, making it easier to live with themselves, and their sin.
This is where "the church", as a whole, is today. We are in a "feel good" society, where no one accepts responsibility for their actions. No one recognizes sin as sin, and that which God hates. Most in todays society, don't even believe there is a God. The situation ethics, talked about by the old preachers, is here, alive and well. It is most evident in churchs, TV and local, today. Take the recent case of issuing a "No Trespass" notice to a SUSPECTED blogger at FBCJ for instance. This action would really make a prospective new member, want to join FBCJ. NOT! Where are the AD men on this one. Not exactly an appealing recommendation for a church. I don't think this policy and the Dis. Comm., are good "selling" points for the church. Church should not be a CLUB,it should not be an entertainment organization, it should not operate under business principles. The church is to edify the Lord Jesus Christ, which is it's HEAD. The main function is to preach the Word, and lead the lost to saving Grace through the acceptance of the shed Blood of Jesus, in payment of the sins of each person. The second function is to help the saved person to grow in Grace and knowledge of the Word and our Savior. Next comes ministry, to saved and lost people ALL to be done in the name of Jesus. These churchs, like Osteens and others, even FBCJ have gotten away from all of this. Thus, we have currently, the church of Laodicea spoken of as the church of the end times. We have lost our first love.
As for me, I liked the old things that happened 50 years ago. Better sermons, better music, and above all better preachers
Dr. Lindsay Jr. many times previously, preached on absolutes, especially to the graduating seniors, prior to their leaving for college. The world does not believe in absolutes. Unfortunately, a lot of churches are following this trend. In a few more years the world will have taken over all the churches. It's a lot closer than we think. Then we, as Christians, will leave this old world. Goodbye, goodbye world. Think about it.
Mac's salary and compensation package is second to his reputation now in question for all the world to question.
Does Mac have a ten or fifteen year contract. Most pastors over 50 stay where they are especially if their wife and son are on the payroll. Hard to get these positions at a lot of places.
Macs Property Tax Record
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Macs house that is recorded on public record. Here's the link....FYI
Macs Property Taxes
$15,653.75 paid this year.
There is a post on Wade's blog, whose writer has requested Anonymity. Can you believe the gall of this person to be Anonymous. :-)
Anyway, the post created a big ruckus, not because it was by Anonymous, but of the substance:
Grace and Truth to You: Baptist Identity Movement Is "Neo-Landmarkist"
I received an insightful, concise email from a respected Southern Baptist Convention leader regarding the new Baptist Identity Movement in the SBC. With permission, and on the condition of anonymity, I share the email with you below.
It's very hard to believe lot of those blog commenters [commentators] are Pastors. Lot of times, WD's blog looks like a cake walk compared to what happens there.
It IS very hard to believe what passes for Christian leadership today.
I have no expectations anymore. In fact, I am probably suspicious first of those who pridefully present themselves as one in a "position" of Christian leadership.It is sad and shameful.
You made the statement earlier that so many from this church have already been written off. You are right. That Mac would go even further by sending his men to someone's home to issue papers demanding they meet... on their terms and their domain is just arrogance on steroids!
The lengths these men will go to just to protect their personal kingdom boggles the mind!!
I'm sorry for all those who will be confused by all this. For those who will never return to church again...or never visit for the first time.
The lack of humility by these men, their love of power and money is so very far from the example Jesus lived.
Gmommy...Again we should not be surprised by men like Mac...The Bible is clear in it prophecies that in the final days before the return of Christ men(leaders)will first become lovers of themselves[2Tim.3:1-2]...Secondly Gmommy because their self-absorbed they are covetous and greedy for money,power and material things(v2)....Thirdly because they have just a form of piety and religion they treat people with contempt and are condesending,abusive,etc....I personally believe that Brunson displays many of the character traits of what I call the LAST DAY MAN so clearly desrcibed in 2Tim.3:1-5,thus giving us the reason he acts as he does....I could go on an on but suffice it to say this is the reason I continue to say to Dr.Dog that it is going to get WORSE and WORSE!!!!The Scriptures are always true...
Gmommy: Thanks for your comments. From my reading of Mac and other pastors is, they are only human. They are no different than me or you. They are subject to the same idiocy and same sins.
But the differences come, when there is hypocrisy. It's one thing to preach what Our Lord Jesus Christ said and commands. It's another to whip people into believing as they say, but not as they do. When we fail to do it, to imply we are heading to hell (which we probably are. I am sure lot of us have doubts when we sin and such).
I would only encourage them to practice what they preach. I am not asking them to be perfect, but to lead us by attempting to live a Christian Life.
Now some humility and acceptance of other Christians as brothers and sisters ALWAYS helps. I am not saying Mac does not do all this to some extent. Maybe he needs to do some more. And I need to do some more.
There is an excellent [current] post here in Wade's blog, that [to me] attempts to explain the differences in the baptist beliefs and struggles. I believe this applies to fbcjax too. And here are some similarities between Catholics and Baptists (BI - Baptist Identity). Is this what is happening at fbcjax too?
Let me briefly mention the points:
- In neo-Landmark theology, the only people with "authority" to baptize, serve the Lord's Supper, teach, etc . . . are men who hold an "office" that bestows authority. In other words, authority flows from "the church" and not Jesus Christ directly.
English Baptists, however, believed that the Christian's authority came directly from Christ, not the church, and that the fulfillment of Christ's commands was the duty of all Christians.
- In a neo-Landmark church, communion is "closed," meaning that nobody else but "local church members" can partake. The idea that a Christian who has not been "properly" baptized could partake in communion with Southern Baptists is almost deemed "heresy" by neo-Landmarkers.
- Cooperation with evangelicals is a very, very low priority to a neo-Landmarker. In a neo-Landmarker's mind, it is more important for there to be "doctrinal" conformity and purity before there is any evangelical cooperation and unity. All doctrines to the neo-Landmarkers are important.
I would not ascribe any labels to anyone at fbcjax. But I am questioning the beliefs and practices as is being done in that post. Also examine the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and some of the southern baptist churches.
It's always good to question and seek answers. And it's very good when done in a Christian Way. It's edifying to both the person asking and seeking and the one giving answers.
The allowances Brunson mentions in his book: normal ministry-related expenses usually reimbursed to pastors as "accountable reimbursements" by their churches (the thoughtful ones; otherwise, by the IRS as business-related expenses IF pastors can itemize when they file their annual personal income taxes--but usually lost to them). The SECA offset he mentions (1/2 of self-employment tax provided back to him by his employer): NOT a common practice among Baptists, but fairly common among Presbyterians, Catholics, and others with similar governance--and is additional taxable wages for ministers it is provided to (so, from a tax perspective, what's the point of it?--a similar amount provided in a non-taxable way is a better idea).
There are more useful books dealing with church administration. What happened to the good old days when congregations made every ethical effort as employers to take good care of their ministers (all of them, not just the senior pastor) without the ministers having to make certain they get it in writing beforehand? Churches and ministers always should do as well as they can with Jesus' help (and be forgiving when either fails; but don't fail).
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