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.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bully Pastors Put on the Gloves...

Just wanted to share with my readers some recent events that have occured that fit into the theme of this blog, that serve as another example of abusive, bully mega church pastors. Pastors who hit their critics first, then talk later (maybe).

Last month I received a letter from the lawyer of an SBC mega church pastor, an SWBTS graduate, who claims I defamed this mega church pastor on my blog in 2008. He accused me of "unlawful conduct" because of my blog post, demanded that I immediately take down the offending posts, else will face a lawsuit with massive damages and legal costs. Even said I would have to pay the mega church pastor's legal costs, which would be "substantial".

I will show restraint and not use this pastor's name here, but I'll use the tactic that many preachers use when referring to someone and trying to not get in trouble for using their name: "If I said this pastor's name, you would immediately recognize him." But I will confirm its not Mac Brunson.

The letter accused me of "defamation per se", and that I must immediately take three actions to avoid the wrath of this mega church pastor and his lawyer: 1. I must cease and desist any defamatory remarks about this pastor - which is hard to do since I never began or continued to make defamatory remarks; 2. I must remove the Internet posts on my blog that he doesn't like (which occured over a year ago), that he claims are defamatory; and 3. Enter into a written agreement that I will "refrain from further defamatory activity" against the mega church pastor.

And get this...his lawyer, unbelievably, claims in this letter that his letter is "copyrighted" - yes, the actual LETTER he sent me....and that I am not authorized to "publish this letter, in whole or in part, in any manner. Any unauthorized publication of this letter will potentially expose you to substantial damages for copyright infrigment." There, I just did. So I guess I will be sued for copyright infringement also.

Three words for this pastor and his lawyer: Fair Use Doctrine.

My first reaction was to post the letter and this pastor's name, and let my readers know of yet another attempt by a pastor to go after a guy who dares have a blog analyzing and offering opinion on events in the SBC. But I didn't. Not out of fear, but in restraint. I had our lawyer reply to this pastor's lawyer.

Needless to say I didn't comply with this attempt to bully and intimidate me into removing posts that I believe are truthful and based on other media reports. The response from my lawyer to this mega church pastor's lawyer denied that defamation has occured, and we sent copies of 4 news articles that confirm information contained on my blog. I have even talked to the editor and author of the previous news accounts that I used for my information, and he confirmed he has multiple sources and stands by everything he has written. He confirmed he has not been contacted by this pastor about defamation from his news articles - in fact he has had a standing offer to this pastor to respond to his writings in his publication, but the pastor has not taken advantage of these in the years since the articles appeared.

So the pastor doesn't go after the news media outlets who initially reported the story...but he DOES go after a blogger who dared to comment on his situation! Amazing.

What does this pastor want? I believe he just wants me to take down a post on my blog that seems to be a top hit when his name is Googled. That's fine. Perhaps he could have first tried to call me to kindly ask that I remove the post, since he had my name and address. I have absolutely nothing against this pastor and he has never been the focus of this blog. It would be nothing for me to remove a post if he nicely requested it instead of using the tactic FIRST of wrongly accusing me of illegal behavior and threatening me with a lawsuit and legal fees.

But this apparently is the new modus operandi for some megas against their critics...hit 'em hard first, talk later. Intimidate. Threaten legal action. It appears to me that Mac and his trustees decided it was best FIRST to hit me and my wife with trespass warnings - kick our butts out FIRST, then maybe talk later if its on their terms only. Not a phone call or a visit. This pastor, now...decides his best course of action is to first get his lawyer to make demands and threaten a costly lawsuit unless the demands are met - and throw in the special "my letter is copyrighted" twist to keep the letter off of the Internet. Seems to me that they want to bully, but boy, they don't want anybody to know about it.

What's next? I don't know, but I fully expect this mega church pastor to sue me. I certainly don't think such a threatening letter would be sent unless they intended to follow through with the threats. And if and when I'm sued, I'll defend myself and I'll keep my readers here abreast of events, and maybe even go ahead and post the letter for everyone to enjoy - along with the links to the articles that I used that show clearly I did not defame this pastor.


Anonymous said...

I'm praying for you WD. I know this must at the very least be a financial burden on you and your family. It is the true definition of bullying. To think we are dealing with supposed men of God.
God Bless you Tom and I will pray the bully does not sue, and if he does, may God make it end up good for you.
By the way .... I googled the person I thought you were talking about and sure enough, the watchdog post is in the top ten of the google search listing. Also, I think if you removed the post, it would still be listed in the search as a broken link.

Bible Believer said...

Yet they made to sure to put in the bylaws that the members give up the right to sue.

2 sets of rules, one for us and another for them.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, by now, whomever is in charge over at SWBTS needs to realize that the authoritative, bullying pastor method of leadership will no longer work in this internet, blogging age. Now, the little sheep without a shepherd can simply post their actions on the blog for the world to see and eventually, someday, somehow, their kingdoms and king making will began to face scrutiny and challenge. Manipulating young future pastors in chapel with hand picked chapel speakers and required readings, is only to make those SWBTS graduates poor choices to pastor churches by those on pastor search committees. Until these guys humble themselves and repent, no seach committee in their right mind should bring in one of those graduates. Brunson being the poster child for what I am talking about. Talented speakers who inherit already existing, lucrative pastorates, and abuse the sheep as has been documented here.

Anonymous said...

WD - I suspect this kind of bullying and intimidation has worked beautifully before. Most sheep would get scared to death after receiving such an intimidating letter from a lawyer of a mega pastor. Most would quickly remove the remarks or shut down the blog. And none of us would ever know what happened. Steve Gaines just hopped an "itty bitty fence" to intimidate dissent. Mac had trespass warnings delivered. This pastor sends vicious letters designed to inflict emotional distress. And yet the members of these guys congregation still believe them to be humble servants of God, "God's man" and their "called" leader. Called or recruited. You figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Dog - that pastor is probably saying "ooops" right about now. Looks like he may have just walked right into the middle of a national firestorm, from which he may never be able to extricate himself.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Clay is suing

Anonymous said...

Pride and arrogance. These men are just not used to "answering" to anyone. (except some who have domineering wives?) So no way they ever call you. In their minds you (and all other non-millionaire sheep) are of no importance and to call you would mean they would have to humble themselves. If you were an influential deacon, or politician, sure they would call you and have you over to the house. But as a lowly sheep in their empire, they will not, they can not, bring themselves to call you man to man to discuss anything with you. That would be beneath men of such great stature. Pride and arrogance.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Dr.Dog did I not state that it would get "WORSE and WORSE"?

I did not make up that reference,I got it from the Bible!

"But evil people and CHARLATANS will go from bad to worse,deceiving others and BEING DECEIVED THEMSELVES[2Tim.3:13]!!!

Many of these men are nothing more than greedy charlatans who have been deceived by money,power,prestige and noteriety.

All their so-called success has deceived these men into believing that they are ALWAYS right,and that no one can challenge them!!!!

Sometimes God's judgment comes by relegating these men into believing their success comes from Him!!!

Judgment "WILL" begin in God's house[1Pet.4:17]!!!

Anonymous said...

"And get this...his lawyer, unbelievably, claims in this letter that his letter is "copyrighted" - yes, the actual LETTER he sent me....and that I am not authorized to "publish this letter, in whole or in part, in any manner. Any unauthorized publication of this letter will potentially expose you to substantial damages for copyright infrigment." There, I just did. So I guess I will be sued for copyright infringement also."

Hmmm. Wonder if this is the same SBC lawyer that sent a similar letter to Ben Cole about his blogging on Paige Patterson. But Ben Cole put a pdf of the letter on the SBC Outpost. Seems they learned their lesson and are now 'copyrighting' such bullying legal correspondance.

Too bad the Outpost is defunct or I would link to the post with the letter. It was quite funny reading Ben's response.

Watch out, Tom. These folks fight dirty. There is NOTHING of Christ about them. Remember that. It is a business career.

Anonymous said...

They are sending a message, Tom. This is about piling on and supporting Mac. First, he is chosen to speak at the convention and now this. This is circling the wagons and sending a message to anyone who messes with the celebrities.

They lack Christ so they go for censorship to protect their carefully crafted public image.

It is easy to go after you. You are the little guy with no support in the SBC. They are simply bullies. I fear for the folks that follow them and listen to their teaching.

Anonymous said...

Tom: Make certain that whenever you are sued that the suit is brought in Duval County Flordia your city of refuge and domicile. We are praying for you friend.

Anonymous said...


Your butts never would have been kicked out if you had gone in and met with Mac before this all escalated to today's fiasco. The blame is upon you--not on Mac.

I have a feeling you had better take this letter seriously. Mega-church pastors have access to attorneys that you can't even begin to be able to afford.

It will be interesting watching how all your legal troubles unfold. Perhaps you will be reaping what you have sown.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Appreciate your concern and advice, Steve. Take care.

And yes, we are taking the letter very seriously.

Anonymous said...

Your butts never would have been kicked out if you had gone in and met with Mac before this all escalated to today's fiasco. The blame is upon you--not on Mac.

I have a feeling you had better take this letter seriously. Mega-church pastors have access to attorneys that you can't even begin to be able to afford.

It will be interesting watching how all your legal troubles unfold. Perhaps you will be reaping what you have sown.

July 8, 2009 3:08 PM

Is this the steve wilcox that posts over at Baptist life forums against you?

What an attitude. But he only represents what is coming out of FBCJax these days. This is really how they are taught to think.

Note how he is thrilled with the power of mega church pastors and wants you to fear them. How is that biblical? How was it biblical for the church leaders to insist on meeting with you alone...no witnesses? These are the kind of men he follows?

His hate for you is obvious in his words. I am so glad you do not return his vitriol. He has not had his heart of stone replaced. (Ez 36)

And he should work out his salvation with fear and trembling. He actually wants to see you hurt.

How would it benefit Steve if you are hurt? I wonder. Is it because he wants to save face for supporting Mac? Or perhaps he believes in a dominionist/darwinian view of Christianity? The big and powerful survive and squash dissent?

Anonymous said...

Ya know Tom, That letter would not have been written to you unless the blog was causing him a bit of grief. I figured out who it was and this guy has had some questionable practices and had to leave a church over it. But he found another mega church. They always do. Me thinks he is trying to censor you because his past is a bit embarassing.

Anonymous said...

Mac has undoubtedly put this person up to writing this. You'd better refile your suit and sue him directly -- not the state or government agencies.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't think FBCJ has anything to do with this guy.

Ramesh said...

Watchdog, I would encourage you to setup a Legal Defense Fund for Fbc Jax Watchdog. You may not need the money, but it would help you in the long run. Even if 100 people contribute about $1000- each, over one year period (folks can contribute small amounts over time), that would amount to $100,000-. Clearly lawyers rates are high, so the money you have and raise will probably burn quickly. So this will help. Also I feel this is an important fight for bloggers.

So let us know where to send you our checks or money orders.

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse.

EFF > Legal Guide for Bloggers.

EFF > Bloggers' Rights.

EFF > Free Speech.

Anonymous said...

""So the pastor doesn't go after the news media outlets who initially reported the story...but he DOES go after a blogger who dared to comment on his situation! Amazing."

I read the news accounts. They are online. How strange he goes after your blog but not the news stations.

Maybe he thinks more people read your blog than see the news?

Anonymous said...

Although I admire the willingness to give money to support Tom, I don't believe there is any need for Tom to start acting like a charlatan and trying to use this situation to solicit funds from the follower's of Jesus, even if it is for a good and noble cause. That is how "they" operate. Always using whatever situation they can as an excuse to get believers to give money. No, unlike those guys, Tom can trust the Lord. And the Lord will provide. And when Tom wins in court, the losing party may be ordered to pay Tom's attorneys' fees and costs.

So before we are too quick to write another check of our hard earned money for a "religious" cause, let's wait and see how this comes out. In the meantime, stop giving to these mega pastors and their "ministries" and give to homeless shelters, food banks, the poor and needy in our own families and in our neighborhoods. In other words, let's be Jesus to those he cares for and loves. Not to Tom's defense fund or to a mega church.

Watchdog 2 said...

They need to understand something here before making up such idle threats -

When you post the Truth, have witnesses, and can back up everything you post you fear NO ONE....

including and especially those scum lawyers paid by those within the "Baptist Mafia!"

I will pay the first $1000.00 if the even try to go after anyone.

The Internet, the Great Equalizer.

Christa Brown said...

These are men who are are literally infected by too many years of unchecked power. I wish I were surprised. But more and more, this sort of thing just winds up looking like Big Bad Baptist Business as usual.

Sadly, in connection with those who attempt to report clergy sex abuse, I see bullying and intimidation tactics, including lawsuit threats, not only in megachurches, but also in much smaller churches. Of course, in a small town, even a relatively small church can sometimes be a center of power, and some of those pastors who run smaller churches have learned under the leadership of... (well... we could fill in quite a few names here, couldn't we?) It is often very easy to bully and intimidate a clergy sex abuse victim back into silence. So most of the time, in this context, bullying tactics work pretty well for Baptist honchos.

One of the funniest - and saddest - things I ever saw was a letter from a prominent lawyer who represents a lot of Southern Baptist churches and Southern Baptist entities. It was written to another blogger (not me and not Watchdog), and the lawyer was threatening to sue. It was just a flat-out bald bullying threat. And at the end, he signed it "In His name."

Don't that beat all? A lawyer representing a Southern Baptist entity writes a letter threatening to sue and he expressly makes that threat "In His name."

Richard said...

Judge orders payment of attorney fees after finding column wasn't defamatory

Arce said...


You have every right to post links to the news reports about said pastor. That is not actionable.

Second, they will have to sue you where you live.

Third, you can counter sue for damages to you, including attorney fees, etc., if they bring a frivolous case, which this would be, since all you did was cite or quote published sources. Defamation requires first that the published material is false and second that it was published knowing it was false or with reckless disregard for whether it was true. Pray that they file. Then the letter becomes part of your answer AND a public record that you will then have the right to publish.

Take them on. Post links to the stories about said pastor again here so we can all go read about him.

BTW, i am an attorney, but the above is not legal advice, just plain old common sense from someone with a legal education.

Anonymous said...

Church is OVER. If this stuff doesn't prove what these megas are about nothing will. People that continue to attend and support these institutions are delusional, in my opinion of course. Am I still allowed to have an opinion and voice it today? I haven't checked to see if Congress took that feedom away today.

Anonymous said...

Don't that beat all? A lawyer representing a Southern Baptist entity writes a letter threatening to sue and he expressly makes that threat "In His name."

July 8, 2009 5:26 PM

His Name is so Holy that it makes me tremble for this man that he used it in this way. It was bad enough to write the threatening letter but to do it in His Name?

Is there no fear of God

Anonymous said...

To see what kind of "fame" Mac has brought on himself, and how he has ruined the once great reputation of the FBC Jacksonville, check out this Biblical Reporter article about Mac Brunson being elected to preach at next year's SBC. They say he is the pastor at FBC Jacksonville, then they give a brief description of the church. NOT the flagship church, or the great FBC Jax, or a model church, or a church that loves Jesus, not the Miracle of Downtown Jacksonville. No, he preaches at the church that "

Read it for yourself here:

Mac Brunson Preaching 2010 Conference

Nice job Mac and Soud and Blount!

Anonymous said...

Good article. Here is the key language for those that don't want to read the short article or look at Mac's picture of him in a robe:

"Brunson served as BSC president in 1998 while he was pastor at Green Street Baptist Church in High Point. He left North Carolina in 1999 to become pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. He moved to Jacksonville in 2006.

The Jacksonville church received media attention earlier this year when an anonymous blogger took issue with Brunson and some church policies. A police investigation revealed the blogger's identity, prompting the church to issue him no trespassing warnings. The blogger has moved his membership to another church and is suing the local sheriff’s office for revealing his name."

The blogger never brought this attention on the church. Team Brunson and A.C. Soud's and John Blount's poor handling of the matter is what brought national attention. Now, FBC Jax is the church that used the JSO to out a blogger. 100 years of ministry and it takes Mac only 3 years to change the entire reputation and notoriety of the church.

Mac must go! Before this gets even worse for the church. I am surprised they didn't add: "Dr. Brunson is the preacher who called a former member a sociopath on the front page of the local newspaper."

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, with each new revelation it only becomes clearer how necessary your actions were. How sad that your former church home has fallen to where it is today. Many of us here keep you and your family in prayer and say thank you for doing what needed to be done, despite what it has cost you. God bless you and your family and know that many fellow Christians stand with you. Blog on!


Anonymous said...

So if Mac thinks Church Discipline is an act of compassion and that he believes it make people miss church fellowship... I have a question for MAC and his kool aid cup fillers based on his "act of disciple statements".

What would happen if Mr Rich just showed up one day for one of these " Church Fellowships"?

I wonder if he would be "welcome"?

Anonymous said...

I would advise you to contact Ken Sande of Peacemakers.

Anonymous said...

I would advise you to contact Ken Sande of Peacemakers.

July 9, 2009 12:46 AM

NO WAY!!! Do not bother. Ken Sande has proven he sides with the churches and big donors who support him. He is anything but fair.

check out this letter he sent out of the blue to the blogger of SGM Survivors (those who are coming out of the CJ Mahaney cult of SGM)

You will notice what he was trying to do to protect SGM (they did not handle a molestation of a 3 year old girl by a 16 year old teen who worked in the nursery well at all. They insisted the parents of the 3 year old had an opportunity to forgive the pervert...instead of calling the police!!!!!!!!!!!!)

So, the blogging is hurting and Sande tries to intervene. He is chums with CJ.

I have other sources who tried with him and he always sided with the rich and powerful. HOw do you think he keeps his ministry afloat?

He is also very hierarchical in his thinking. The authority is right.

Stay away from Peacemakers. They are a sham. Victims come away revictimized.

Anonymous said...


The letter from Sande to the blogger. REad through this and all comments before you contact Sande. The comments are enlightening from others who have witnessed the problems with 'peacemakers'.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Peacemakers is on my list of reconcilers in this mess...right after I call Steve Gaines and Paige Patterson for help....

Former FBC Insider said...

Anons who have this pastor's name figured out,

If WD can't/won't post this guy's name or the links, can't you?

I hate puzzles.

Anonymous said...

Dr's. Lindsay Jr.& Sr., would not believe what has been done to FBCJ by PREACHERS and leadership. Luke 20:46: (Jesus said) "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the rooms at feasts;" Replace synagogues with churches and you've got it. They just love the praise here on earth, but Jesus says in vs. 47, "the same shall receive greater damnation."

Anonymous said...

I do not know the preacher this refers to and am not sure that I have read the posts (I will probably not go back and read them - no offense, I just probably won't).

I have no idea what you said, but my initial reaction is what Arce said.

If all you did was quote newspapers and other published sources and you had no reason to believe that they were false and defamatory, I don't believe there is a case.

Also, truth is a defense as to any facts that you stated. Opinions are not defamatory, e.g. "Preacher X can't preach himself out of a wet paper bag and is a terrible administrator."

It is clever to claim that one's own demand letter is copywritten. I have got to remember that one.

Again, I am guessing here because I have so little information about the pastor, what was said, what the lawyer wrote etc.


Ramesh said...

Anons who have this pastor's name figured out,

If WD can't/won't post this guy's name or the links, can't you?

I hate puzzles

Sometimes, if you are lucky, you will find answers in the FeedJit Watch It In Realtime.

Anonymous said...

Listen to this...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Thy Peace.....

Anonymous said...

I check this blog every day when I get home but its just the same song and another verse. At least now you have a new pastor to crucify.

Keep posting--at least it keeps me from being totally bored.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:26. Why don't you go read the funny papers?

No One Special said...

Thy Peace, you are the bomb.

Anonymous said...

Seeing as how the WD likes to change / delete / cover up his past blogs, I have no doubt there is validity to whatever pastor sent him the letter. I hope they printed out the content in question so they can prove their allegations.

Anonymous said...

"It is clever to claim that one's own demand letter is copywritten. I have got to remember that one.

Would that stand up in court, Louis?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

100% incorrect, anon, but nice try.

Everything that this pastor has claimed in his letter which was defamatory about him, which was a list of statements made by me, are still on my blog, and have always been on my blog. He has given me a list of specific statements that are, according to his lawyer, "utterly false". These statements can be found on the post from 2008 still today - but I stand by my post, and have not deleted it.

Unlike the folks at FBC Jax, namely Jim Smyrl, I do not post articles and then take them down.

But nice try.

TomRichPaparazzi said...

THANK GOD for this pastor who is suing you Mr. Rich.

I thought the day would never come...

Let's discuss this Legal Defense Fund idea of yours. Are you telling me you would give your money to Mr. Rich, someone you've never met before?
That doesn't make sense. After all, you have always urged people to be careful with their money and tithes and not give to greedy charlatan preachers.
At least those folks who give to those preachers know who they're giving too......

Another matter,

Mr. Rich,
I would like to say thank you on behalf of the Souds and others alike.
Your lawsuits are keeping them in business. And since the Souds are members of FBC Jax, that only means more money to the church, and the pastor.
So, in essence, you are funding FBC Jax and the pastors salary for the incredible ministry that you so obsessively criticize.

So Thank You for your contributions Mr. Rich. They are warmly and tenderheartedly appreciated.

My answers are coming soon enough.
You people have given me a dissertation to do, it's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...


How is this helping the Souds and FBC Jax? This makes no sense at all. How does this get more money for the church and PASTOR? When I read this blog them more some people speak the more they stick their foot in their mouth.

TomRichPaparazzi said...


See March 2008 under blog post directory.

Anonymous said...

I wonder where Robert Lemuel Peoples has been for so long. I sure do miss his posts. Maybe TomRichPaparazzi can fill the void left by Robert Peoples, the Conservative Congregant. He has so much wisdom. What would we talk about without these trolls and them stirring up and making us rehash everything again for our newer readers.

Has anyone seen TRPaparazzi and Peoples in the same room together. Hmmmm.

Ramesh said...

Let's discuss this Legal Defense Fund idea of yours. Are you telling me you would give your money to Mr. Rich, someone you've never met before?.

Yes. I would like to contribute to a Legal Defense Fund for Fbc Jax Watchdog, whom I never met.

That doesn't make sense.

It makes perfect sense to me.

After all, you have always urged people to be careful with their money and tithes and not give to greedy charlatan preachers.

I have not urged people to be careful with their money or giving to greedy charlatan preachers. You are putting words in my mouth.

All I said is for the preaching to be based on Giving and not as a Requirement. It is always good to motivate people to give than to beat them with a guilt trip.

At least those folks who give to those preachers know who they're giving too.......

I honestly do not think lot of people have met Mac. Maybe you have. Watchdog has never met Mac. Sheri Klouda has never met Mac or at least Mac did not counsel Sheri Klouda when she went through her difficulties.

Yes, I know it's a LAAAAARGE Church.

Finally about the Legal Defense Fund, if Watchdog ever sets it up ... It normally is run by a third party who in this case could be run by an attorney. The money is never drawn by Watchdog say for his personal expenses or to hire his buddies with those funds.

And the big difference, you will not be hearing sermons from Watchdog about people who do not contribute. This is voluntary. You can contribute 1 cent up to whatever is acceptable to Watchdog and the terms he sets up for his Legal Defense Fund (if it materializes).

The issues being argued in the courts are important for blogger rights in general and other important legal matters that pertain to right to privacy, due process, disclosure of personal information and other rights.

Junkster said...

I found Watchdog’s post about this mega church pastor, and it is clearly just some links to new articles and some of Watchdog’s opinions about the situation – there’s nothing he said that was untrue or “unlawful” The pastor and his lawyer probably thought they could intimidate WD into taking the article off his site, but all this pastor is doing is bringing himself into the middle of a firestorm.

And what's with this "copyrighted letter" business? I can just imagine Paul telling the Corinthians not to publish one of his letters! Do these guys have any sense of Christian decency?

I hope WD's suits against the folks in Jax are so successful he shuts down some of this nonsense. Nothing will get the attention of these mega churches and SBC big wigs like one of their own having to lay out some serious cash.

Though it’s a different issue, I'd also like to see a suit sometime from a victim of sexual abuse by a Baptist minister against the SBC for negligence, as their refusal to do anything to prevent abuse is well documented over and over on Christa Brown’s blog. The SBC is practically begging for a multi-million dollar civil suit over that issue, and I believe it is coming.

To Watchdog I say, to be frank, harber no ill will against these men, as the truth will come out soon enough. Your entrance through the champion’s gate is assured!

Mark in Orlando - former home of Jim and Tammy Baker and Benny Hinn! said...

You religious types are always good for a laugh. Sorry Watchdog, but it's true. But, in any case, I totally support what Watchdog is doing and find what he is doing to be very brave. I can't send a whole lot of money, but if a legal defense fund is set up, I'll send a few bucks. You know, I think back when I was young and even then, I knew that this church business was a big joke. As I grew older and watched the likes of Jerry (Falwell), Jimmy (Swaggart) and Jim and Tammy (Baker) and all the rest, what I knew as a child was just confirmed. I support each and every one of you religious types to worship as you choose and attend your churches. I really do, but keep doing us "heathens" the favor of messing around on your wives, stealing from your collection plates and molesting your altar boys. It's always a lot of fun watching the "holier than thou" types pass their judgement on right and wrong and then sit back and wait and see what they do next to the churches, communities and families. You guys are great!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Junkster - true...it was a blatant attempt to intimidate me. This is how manyof these mega church pastors think...especialy those who have come up through the seminaries under the influence of certain CR mentors.

Its actually very sad. This pastor is trying to get a new start, at a new church, and I assume he didn't like my article being hit when his name was Googled. Fair enough. But instead of calling and asking to have it removed, they decided to intimidate.

If he sues, we're ready. But if he does, it will be counter-productive to what his goal was in the first place - to get a fresh start at a new church and put his past behind him.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help with with this? I hear a lot of praise for Dr. Vines and I'm sure he deserves it. I also read a lot about his possibly knowing how Pastor Gilyard was and didn't do anything about it. Knowing Pastor Gilyards past and his ability to get more opportunities to Pastor, blows my mind. Is this right or was Dr. Vines not wrong for helping Gilyard? Also, I'm really trying to learn here, I'm just trying to get the truth. Thx

Provender said...

Claiming copywrite protection on a threatening letter? I should publish my former pastor's threatening letter on my blog just to see if he comes up with that one! I caved to the threats in the letter and took down the disputed former site. I caved. I'm glad you didn't.

Anonymous said...

I believe any work of art, music, poetry, whatever has to be sent to the U.S. Patent Office and registered before anyone can claim misuse of a copyright. Otherwise the "letter" or any other document is just that a letter or document. You might want to review with a Patent Attorney but thats my memory of a good business law school.

Anonymous said...


You asked for my opinion on whether the attempt to copyright the demand letter would stand up in court.

I don't know. I am not an intellectual property lawyer.

My initial reaction is that if posting the letter was for some commercial or semi-commercial purpose (e.g. getting more people to read your blog), it might hold up. I am sure that WD and his lawyer have talked about it, and I guess there was enough of a belief that it might hold up that they decided not to post the letter.

But the truth is, I am just guessing.

Now, if the letter were attached to a complaint, answer or some other pleading and filed with a court, it would become a public document. And I don't think that would be a copyright violation.

That's my best guess on this.


Former FBC Insider said...

Thanks for the help Thy Peace!
I remember this guy now.

The paralells to Mac are errily similar:

-Receiving a Land Gift, although his was a tad shadier than Mac's, it still smells...

-Arrogance from the pulpit, "didn't care what people were saying, that he wasn't going anywhere"

-The church began to morph into the personality of the preacher

-The church began to be packaged in slick marketing materials

-Theme sermons with a series of messages that were coordinated with sophisticated marketing

-He moved his offices from the current church location

-Brought on hired guns to run his PR and provide legal interference

-When a vote of members went against him, he oversaw a quick change of the by-laws providing him with greatly expanded power and authority

-The new by-laws did away with the Board of Trustees and replaced it with a "Leadership Board" of the preacher and six hand picked members

-A power grab designed to replace the authority of the congregation with the pastor as the unquestioned ruler of the church.

-He became more disconnected from reality as by-laws were changed in a scam of a vote by members and surrounded himself with individuals dedicated to protecting the "Imperial Ministry of The Preacher."

-Four members of the congregation were divisive because of their stated positions opposing the preacher. Their membership at the church was revoked.

It all sounds like the legacy of Mac B.

WD, don't let this guy intimidate you.
Use it as fuel for the fire!

I'm just wondering about his timing.
Why now?
Smells like a show of support for Mac, but does Mac need THIS guy's support? His smell is just as sour.

Christa Brown said...

"Do these guys have any sense of Christian decency?"

No. None. Nada.

They don't have any sense of non-Christian decency either. They don't have any sense of decency - period. To the contrary, they use the "Christian" label as their excuse for indecency. It's totally twisted.

(I realize your question was likely rhetorical, junkster, but I just had to answer anyway.)

Ramesh said...

Here is a hilarious video:

SBC's Site > Troublemakers in the Church... or How to Throw a Tantrum!.
Steve Gaines lashes out against the "troublemakers" again, this time taking some cues from a 3-year-old expert.

Source: New BBC Open Forum > Troublemakers in the Church... or How to Throw a Tantrum!

New BBC Open Forum said...

To Watchdog I say, to be frank, harber no ill will against these men, as the truth will come out soon enough.

LOL! FFBCI, does that answer your question?

Anonymous said...

JOHNNY HUNT agrees with the Watchdog and this blog! Praise the Lord. Now we know where the great Johnny Hunt stands on this.

Check out this article (Thy Link: please put a link to this Florida Baptist Witness article.)


Johnny states he believes believes Morris Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee, should be "more forthcoming" about the reasons for the resignation of former EC vice president Clark Logan. IN OTHER WORDS - he has some questions and concerns about something he saw! Just like the Watchdog had some questions and concerns! Then, and this is the best part...when Johnny didn't get answers from Morris Chapman...he...wait for it....
took it to the internet! Why? Let him tell you in his own words:

"Twitter is serving well as a place to hear the concerns of SBC friends all across the country as well as an opportunity to let them know that what concerns them concerns me as well. When we show a lack of concern for their honest questions, it serves as our way of showing our lack of concern for them."

And then he adds: "I do believe Dr. Chapman should be more forthcoming than he has thus far concerning the resignation of Clark Logan. Many of these that are asking the questions are Southern Baptists in good standing and I personally feel Dr. Chapman or someone from the EC should answer with clarity," Hunt said.

More forthcoming. Amen! Mac needs to be more forthcoming about land gifts, ads played during his sunday a.m. service, nepotism, by-law changes, not following his own Pastor's guidebook, etc.

Yep. Like Johnny says, the internet is a place to hear the concerns. Exactly what the WD said two years ago and has been doing ever since.

So, Dr. Hunt, please join us in our efforts to get some answers to actions taken by Mac Brunson over the last 3+ years, or at least, have him and his supporters stop complaining about bloggers.

Most of the leadership in the SBC now have blogs and twitters to discuss "concerns." Too bad they called the WD a sociopath for blogging his concerns. And too bad they used the JSO and SAO to try and "shut em down."

And finally, Johnny even calls for those on the "inside" to talk to the media!!! That is like the WD asking deacons and staff to talk to the media about the concerns at FBC Jax. Here is what Johnny said: "Hunt said he believes EC trustees "who were part of the decision to dismiss Logan should feel at liberty to give clarity" to Baptist news media."

How does it feel to have your questions and concerns ignored Johnny? Maybe Chapman will call you a sociopath if you keep blogging/twittering about this? Maybe he will perceive you to be a threat and issue trespass warnings against you AND YOUR WIFE! No, forget that possibility, no one is that cold and spiteful, except Mac and A.C. Soud and John Blount and Kevin King.

And Johnny hits the nail on the head with this observation: "When we show a lack of concern for their honest questions, it serves as our way of showing our lack of concern for them."

Amen and Amen! There is hope for our convention yet. -

Anonymous said...

Definition of a church troublemaker: An individual who reads their Bible and learns from God the true meaning of life and its expectations. One who does not follow the crowd but rather the Lord. One who gives no allegiance to man but only to the Lord. One who will not be bought or compromise their principles for whatever glory man thinks he can obtain in exchange for said principles. When confronting evil he/she will defend their actions by the Bible and that alone as their testimony. One who recognizes the righteousness of the Lord within oneself and certainly not inside some building. One who has no favorites or pretends. One who worships the Lord seven days a week and not just on Sunday. Not a fence sitter.

Anonymous said...


"I will show restraint and not use this pastor's name here, but I'll use the tactic that many preachers use when referring to someone and trying to not get in trouble for using their name: "If I said this pastor's name, you would immediately recognize him."

As a member of FBCJAX I have sat in Bible classes where the teachers were quite comfortable throwing out the NAME OF INDIVIDUAL's they did not agree with. Likewise I have sat in the audience and heard Pastor's at the conference's come and throw out NAMES OF INDIVIDUAL's they did not agree with. Likewise I have listen to FBCJ pulpit preacher's toss out NAMES OF INDIVIDUAL's . . .as I stated Mr. Rich's statement is priceless.

I was just thinking today, I'd love to have Mrs. Rich whom I don't know "meet me at the cross" and go with me as "MY GUEST" to my church . . .be assured, that was just a moment of thought and be very assured my face would be most recognizable. SMILE!

Mr. Rich, I think it's time to move on to new subject - turn your lawyer loose on this one.

Anonymous said...

So, how is Westside Baptist welcoming you Mr Rich?

Gram said...

we teach our children "sticks and stones can break our bones but words can never hurt me". what are they so afraid of? i also tell young school children "if someone calls you a name, ask yourself if that is what/who you are. if not, forget about it." what are they so afraid of?

Ramesh said...

Florida Baptist Witness > SBC president weighs in on Logan controversy:
Johnny Hunt says Morris Chapman should be 'more forthcoming'

Ramesh said...

How to Put a Link in a Comment.

Thanks to New BBC Open Forum.

Anonymous said...

It would be great to think anyone in the SBC heirarchy cared about others, past what someone can "do" for them. J. Hunt has shown the first sign of compassion toward others by leadership in many, many years. It would be quite an accomplishment if he could put the emphasis on "Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you". Instead of just do unto others!! Now that Hunt has made these statements of transparency, can we dare hope questions can be answered from the rest of us? After all this is supposed to be an organization focused on expounding the Saving Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. And not a business run for the furtherance of men, and their "careers".

Former FBC Insider said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
To Watchdog I say, to be frank, harber no ill will against these men, as the truth will come out soon enough.

LOL! FFBCI, does that answer your question?

July 10, 2009 1:12 PM

I know, right?
I've been trying to think of other ways to bring that up so that it will be all over this site even though, and especially since he didn't want it to be so...

FBCJ used to be seen as FRANKly, a HARBER in the downtown area due to that huge lighthouse, but now it is only a beacon reminding the city that they HARBER a mess, quite FRANKly.

Join me if you will.
I love it when an evil plan backfires!

Anonymous said...

To be Frank, I have to say I Harber ill feelings when I can't find a SHADY place to park my car in the morning. All of our parking lot LAND owners must have made a DEAL to remove all the trees.

New BBC Open Forum said...


FRANKly, I am growing weary of the raunchy ads on VEOH, so I'm in the process of moving all but the longer ones to a safe HARBER here.

Thy Peace,

Thanks for the plug. The first link in your July 10th 11:12 a.m. comment is here now.

Anonymous said...

I saw where you will no longer be posting on Baptist Life. Care to explain why you lied about your identity for so long?

Lydia said...


Well, as one who has tried to sign up for Baptist Life Forum several times, I can tell you it is no easy process. One time I was rejected and another time just ignored.

But then I was never sure if the process was working. I got one response by e-mail saying my app was rejected. I could not tell if it was an error or not.

My policy is if it is that cumberson and time consuming to let it be. Personally, I find William Thornton so arrogant, it is best I cannot comment there. He is just another typical arrogant pastor.

Anonymous said...

At-will employment laws in most states in the U.S. Employees--including senior pastors--can be terminated for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all; if no contract states anything to the contrary, a congregation (or its hiring body) may fire a pastor as it chooses and for any reason.

Pastors, beware.

Anonymous said...

I posted this on a totally different blog regarding a totally different subject, yet it is certainly appropriate here:

"If they're bucking for a fight to squelch what is essentially free speech then they have seriously miscalculated the volume and tenacity of their opponents – they're going to have to fight ALL of us. ALL of us. They can’t shut everyone up."

Good luck and Godspeed. Let us know where and how to donate if you need to.

Former FBC Insider said...

They didn't like my name.

" "FormerFBCInsider" is precisely the sort of name that we discountenance."

Leland was kind enough about it, but like you said, if it's that much trouble getting in, it's just not that worth it to me.

Poor in Jax said...

First off let me be Frank, I harber no love for FBCJax. It was the land gift that was the last straw for me.

Former FBC Insider said...

BBCOF, You have inspired me:

Find the riddle here,
Read this post carefully,
And don't forget to look for clues,
None are hard to find,
Know that you are warm,

Hang on you're almost done,
About to be complete,
Read a few more lines,
But read between them too,
Every line begins with importance,
Realize the subject of this post.

Richard said...

Slightly off topic …

Pastor accused of identity fraud in car purchase

Now don’t forget to send your credit card info to that dude in Texas with a cell phone if you want to go on the Danube River Cruise ….

Ramesh said...

Well everyone knows by now that SLyon is Watchdog, for Watchdog revealed here,in Baptist Life Forums. Also this post.

I am convinced this outing (self-outing) was not accidental. I am sure lot of people sympathize with Watchdog here, for his tireless efforts to defend himself and turn the arguments more on Fbc Jax and Mac Brunson, rather than on him. Also it is very hard to maintain pseudonyms or remain anonymous with lot of writings of posts and comments.
Off Topic:

The Baseline Scenario > Who Is Upton Sinclair?.
Then Upton Sinclair published The Jungle. No one could look at meat packing or its products in the same way again, and this directly and immediately helped produce stronger federal legislation regulating the industry.

So who is our Upton Sinclair and when will they write the definitive piece that captures imaginations and changes the terms of the debate? Is it about how consumers were mistreated, politicians captured, or the public treasury ransacked? Will it be a novel or nonfiction?

The Baseline Scenario > How to Win Friends and Influence People.
An old friend of mine asked me for some advice about how to increase readership for his blog. I was going to write him a long email, but I thought if I put it here other people can chime in as well.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

It was no accident that I revealed at BL that slyons is the watchdog. Wilcox sent me a private msg leading me to believe he would out me. Frankly (popular word these days) I am surprised it wasn't disclosed earlier since I did not attempt to conceal slyons was subpoened by the sherrifs office. Lately my posts at BL as Slyons were to defend myself against the accusations and false statements posted by wilcox. More on this later...I will continue to post at BL using My real name as soon as they activate my acct.

Anonymous said...

Mannnn....what is IT with pastors these days? Used to be pastors were Men of God and politicians were Noble Statesmen. Now it's one dirty scandle after the other. When you can't trust the government or the church, who can you trust in the public. Just makes me want to wash my hands of the whole mess.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Well everyone knows by now that SLyon is Watchdog...

I've been wondering why no one seems to have figured that out before now. It's been right under your noses the whole time, at least since April 9th.

Did anyone read the subpoenas from the JSO to Google? Watchdog posted those on March 28th. Hint: Read the second one.

For some inexplicable reason they put the SLyons e-mail address and the NBBCOF on the same inexplicable subpoena. Still scratching my head over that one.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever wondered why the Great Shepherd was a good shepherd. Think about it.

He was the one looking after the sheep. He protected the sheep. He told them where to find a meal, where to locate a coin, where to find an inn, a colt, a place to find water. He prepared them a meal. He went without so that they would not. He prayed for them. He showed them the way. He cried for them. He looked turned the other cheek. He never threw a stone, told a lie, or compromised. He healed their sick relatives and friends. He raised the dead. He never embarrassed anyone at anytime. He shed his own blood not theirs. He died for them. You won't find much of anything of consequence that they did for him.

Why can't pastors pick up on this attribute of the Father and the Son and be a blessing to their flock rather than a stumbling block? Such a pity to have all of the above and many more facts about the Lord, and have pastors ignore it as though it never happened. And they opt for having praises given to them. So narrow minded. So unloving. So unkind. Nothing like the Son.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for openness, honesty, and transparency! Its great to see that you are now telling your real name on Baptist Life.

Just think of how refreshing that might have been had you revealed your real name when you started this blog. People might have actually found you believable.

Anonymous said...

I find Tom, and this blog, very believable since it pointed out the land gift that I later confirmed by a public records deed. He spoke of a commercial for Collins Builders, which was confirmed by those in attendance. He spoke of by-law changes and how that was handled which was confirmed by deacons and other members. He pointed out nepotism, which is truth for all to see. He pointed out the pastor living on Amelia Island in a million dollar ocean front condo, which again, was not refuted. He pointed out what the pastor wrote in his guidebook while doing exactly what he counseled others not to do. So what part would have been more "believable" had he put his name on the blog?

And once he DID "put his name on it", he was called a sociopath by the pastor on the front page of the largest newspaper in north Florida.

And HIS believability is an issue for some of you blind, gullible, kool-aid drinkers? Give us a break.

Anonymous said...

It was very hot today. I am glad I found a SHADY piece of LAND to get out of the sun. Free shade, what a DEAL!

Anonymous said...

I was speaking to my wife about mega-churches last night and weddings. One thing about the old stye of church buildings is that they worked very well in conducting weddings. Mega-church auditorium styles make everything feel distant. The personal approach seems to be disapearing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:37 You are very astute. Back when John and Charles Wesley preached they started at Sun up and quit at Sun down in open fields with crowds of a few thousand to twenty thousand all over England. Times have changed and unfortunately a lot of these large buildings are just that "large buildings" where nothing spiritual happens anymore.

Anonymous said...

Just think of how refreshing that might have been had you revealed your real name when you started this blog. People might have actually found you believable.

July 12, 2009 7:52 PM

Well,since we know what snake in the grass strategies they used to GET his name, we can only imagine what they would have done. It would not be pretty and Tom probably would have been hurt worse. I have witnessed what these guys do with dissenters. It ain't pretty. I know in one case where rumors were started on a dissenter that he was a homosexuals. By a mega church pastor protecting his turf! This same type rumor was also started on someone who dared disagree with another SBC entity. Someday, you all will learn first hand how dirty these guys fight.

Since they have proven what type of people they are, leaders who ignore scripture and will stoop pretty low to protect their turf...just remember, you have been warned. But as long as you always agree and hand over your money, you should be ok.

Anonymous said...

" Someday, you all will learn first hand how dirty these guys fight."

Members know the "staff players" and their "select chosen" . . .members who are on the books but no longer attend and have stopped giving to the Bank of FBC . .

Sad that this one top church in the nation has become to be just "mediocre".

The Mayor of Jacksonville appointed individuals to be a part of a group to be a "watchgroup" to help with the "crime" in our city.

Florida Times Union printed article with attendance of the community leaders - the appointed FBC representive attended one (1) time throughout the year (as best my memory recalls) and was on the bottom for his attendance.

Look around FBC defenders and critics of this blog - it is reality that we at FBC have become a "Mediocre Church" and no longer recognized as top dog in the city of Jacksonville.

We members of FBC are not "bullies" or "trouble makers" and have never been - we are the very people who made this church to be ranked as one of the top in the nation.

Anonymous said...

I would say, in my opinion, that FBCJ would have to climb several steps upward just to become mediocre. Most of the people that through the years helped make this church great (if still living) have had the forsight to LEAVE. Taking their spiritual wisdom and service with them. Those that have stayed with the "spiritually sinking ship", NOW have the church they want and deserve. What a sad end to what was a strong fortress for the Lord. The MAIN theme for FBCJ in the past was getting people saved and growing them and other members in Grace and knowledge of the SAVIOR! It is now a political business existing for the benefit of the "ruling class". Very, very sad! And NO everyone is NOT welcome!!!

Anonymous said...

Good observations anons. The most surprising thing to me is how quickly Mac and Maurilio were able to kill it. I thought it would take longer since they inherited a church that was taught to love Jesus and was taught to tithe obediently. And a church that had the Bible preached via Lindsey and Vines for decades. No shallow, lukewarm Christians here, but as Vines and Lindsey used to tell us, the cream of the crop. And M & M were still able to tear it down in under 3 years.

Not that big a deal really, in the eternal view of things. The only thing that really bothers me is that this guy (both guys) are leading and influencing the next generation of pastors with their marketing and branding.

Anonymous said...

Funny how no one was caring what Mac and Maurilio had to say before they inherited FBC Dallas, and then moved on to FBC Jax. It is their positions they now hold that gives them any credibility with the next generation. Yet, ironically, Mac has never built or started or grown anything. And then, he still hasn't shown he can take something already existing, to the next level, as Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley, Ed Young, Jr. were able to do. Mac has done nothing but take, criticize, promote himself, and then leave for the next job.

The emperor has no clothes!

Anonymous said...

Anyone that was in this church prior to the "Locust Invasion" knows that Jesus was the reason for success. Lindsay made sure that Jesus was THE preeminent focus as HE should be. The failure to do this is the real cause for this churchs (any church) failure. Any preacher can give a lukewarm performance in the pulpit. Sayng semi-spiritual things, tipping the spiritual hat to the SAVIOR. But someone like Lindsay who really knew the Lord and who really lived to preach "JESUS" to the lost and to grow the church in the knowledge of the Word. that man would succeed behind a pulpit because Jesus was his reason for being there. We don't see these men anymore.

But please Osteen, Stanley Jr., and Young Jr., are a worse thought to contemplate for a sick church than we currently have, if you are looking for a spiritual Christ centerd church where SALVATION is the focus.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the way you are being treated, especially with the letter threatening you with a lawsuit, is similar to the way that the Church of Scientology treats those former members that dare to speak out against their church. I guess all cults are pretty much the same.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick late comment from a barrack-room lawyer - there is no way that copyright law applies to a threatening letter from an attourney, period. The concept is just a joke. Any judge would throw such a case out without even considering fair use.

Personally, I'd go ahead and publish the letter.

The only thing you have to bear in mind is confidentiality. In some circumstances breach of confidentiality is actionable. But even if he put "confidential" on the letter, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have a duty of confidentiality towards him. I'm not really an expert on this (copyright is more my thing), but it would be hard to argue that you owe him a duty of confidentiality in the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

By the way (and I'm sure you know this), material that is true cannot be defamatory. So go ahead and tell the truth!

Dee said...

As Deb and I research these incidents all over the country, we are impressed that all of these churches use a type of "playbook" in response to issues being raise. Instead of responding in love and compassion like our Lord, they respond with the ways of the world. Humility has given way to narcissistic power. I must admit that I struggle to see how guys like Brunson are behaving Christianly.

Hang in there. All of the heroes mentioned in hebrews 11 had hard lives. Out of pain is born real faith, one not dependent on men but faith dependent on the source. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you who struggle. We will be publishing your situation in the coming month on our blog.(The Wartburg Watch).


Anonymous said...

Is the following true straight quote made by Mac?:

"those who might disagree with him that the Christians are obligated to tithe and that the Old Testament "storehouse" refers to the New Testament church, are "doing the work of Satan"

This is a heretical statement and slanderous.... the leaders should repremand him for such a foolish statemen...his book is posted in a leadership class at SWBTS. Dr. Russell Kelley has a well documented thesis on this issue where baptist never took any such postition until after the turn of the 20th century. Good grief!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Doing the work of Satan.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing new,it was mentioned in the Bible,The Pharisees still exist,in the form of hypocracy,in our churches today.The Word sais'You shall know them ny their fruits'It is impossible for Christian love to be falsely imitated,and unfortunately,some are in Church leadership for their own gain,be that fanacial and/or power.I myself have been victim of power yielding and malicious people in the church,and to forgive them has been a major struggle for me.