Thanks to Christa Brown's latest post at her blog "Stop Baptist Predators", I have found a completely new wrinkle to the Gilyard story that most people have overlooked, and it absolutely stinks.
It turns out that Darrell Gilyard is BACK in the pulpit of a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. It is true, the church that has hired a pedophile preacher and kicked the kids out of the church to do so, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, is shown to be affiliated with and listed on the websites of the national, state, and local Southern Baptist organizations.
But none of these organizations to date have taken action against this church, or have sought to have them removed from their respective association - or even made so much as a statement of condemnation.
Here is how Gilyard's church shows up on the websites of the national, state, and local SBC organizations:
The Southern Baptist Convention: if you visit the SBC website church search function, the instructions say "Search for a Southern Baptist Church anywhere in the United States." So one may assume that the database will return only churches that meet the standards of calling itself an SBC church. But if some poor soul enters the zip code "32209" looking for an SBC church in the northside of Jacksonville, guess which church is at the top of the list? Yep, Darrel Gilyard's church. The SBC website even allows you to put in YOUR address, and the site will give you directions on how you can go listen to a convicted pedophile preach the gospel, minus your kids of course. Click here to see for yourself.
The Florida Baptist Convention: click here, and you can see the entry for this church at the Florida Baptist Convention website. If an unsuspecting person on the northside of Jacksonville performs a search for a Southern Baptist Church with zip code "32209", they will get two hits: one of which is Gilyard's church.
The Jacksonville Baptist Association: this is a network of baptist churches, which according to their website, exists to "...stimulate church health, develop leaders, and multiply ministry..." in Jacksonville. On the JBA website, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church is listed as being a part of their "network". You can even click "Recommend" to sent information about the church to a friend, or click on "Map" and a Google map will show you how to get to the pedophile's church. The JBA is listed on the SBC web site as being a local SBC association for this area.
So the national, state, and local baptist associations of the Southern Baptist Convention are STILL, as of this morning, showing the church who hired a pedophile preacher as being part of their network of churches. Unsuspecting citizens of Jacksonville actually may be directed to Gilyard's site by all three of their respective websites.
You say, "so what"...just a little podunk church, and besides, the SBC is known for "church autonomy" and they don't have the power or authority to take action, right? The SBC or local or state SBC organizations can't take action against a church for pastoral hiring practices, right? At least that is what the SBC wants you to believe, as Roger Oldham was quoted as saying in the Guardian recently.
But let me give you three examples of when the national, and a state, and a local SBC organization HAVE taken action against churches:
Southern Baptist Convention: Broadway Baptist Church in Texas was given the right-boot of fellowship by the SBC for their perceived toleration of gay members.
Georgia Baptist (State) Convention: Georgia Baptists kicked out the First Baptist Church of Decatur and the Druid Hills Baptist Church for hiring female pastors.
Surry Baptist, NC (Local) Association: The local association of SBC'ers in North Carolina gave the right boot of fellowship to Flat Rock Baptist Church because they called a female to be their pastor. How long did it take for the Surry Association to get their pitchforks out? Only two weeks!! Within two weeks they had voted to kick out the church for hiring a female minister.
There you have it, folks. The Southern Baptist Convention views a female standing up and preaching the gospel to sinners as more dangerous than having a known, convicted, long-time serial predator, pedophile who woos women with his smile and charm, in the pulpit.
It has now been a month since Gilyard started preaching at Christ Tabernacle here in Jax, and our national, state, and local associations all are still pointing people at their websites to hear the pedophile preacher.
And isn't this just ironic, really? Gilyard gained a foothold in the SBC by duping Jerry Vines and all of us (myself included!) at FBC Jax back in the late 1980s with his phony-baloney story of growing up homeless living under a bridge. He earned the trust of Southern Baptist giants such as Vines, Patterson, and Falwell with his theatrical preaching. After they promoted this monster to national prominence, he was found to be a serial adulterer, using his position as "man of God" to seduce young women at his churches in Texas and Oklahoma. Minus any blogsites to report his offenses back in the early 1990s, Gilyard came to Jacksonville to pastor Shiloh Baptist where he had more unsuspecting victims.
And now Gilyard has come full circle, back to a church associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Jax Baptist Association. Right back where he got his start under the tutelage of Jerry Vines.
So we can have men who are pedophiles in the pulpit in the SBC. We can have serial liars in the pulpit in the SBC. But let a woman stand in the pulpit, and the national, state, and local SBC'ers will come out in full force to condemn the heretics. How ironic that while the SBC is silent about Gilyard, the New Black Panther Party is protesting outside Gilyard's church.
Only question I have: how long will it take, how big does Gilyard have to grow this church, before Jerry Vines and Mac Brunson will go to preach there?