David Tarkington is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Orange Park (suburb of Jacksonville), and Rick Wheeler is the head of the JBA being appointed as the "Missional strategist/Director of Missions" last year. Prior to his JBA appointment he worked on staff at the Florida Baptist Convention.
I did contact Rick Wheeler Friday to confirm that the email posted on my blog was legitimate, and he did respond back that both the JBA and the Florida Baptist Convention had issued statements regarding the Gilyard matter and that they "...represent a great deal of hard work and sincere, prayerful leadership conversations." I have posted the JBA statement below exactly as Rick Wheeler sent it to me on Friday night. I will be posting the Florida Baptist Convention statement next week in a separate article.
This is good news. Although it seems the CTMBC has not been active in the JBA in any way for at least 9 years, it is important that the association take a public stand on the matter of Gilyard being allowed to stand in the pulpit of a church affiliated with the JBA. They are one of the largest local associations in the Florida Baptist Convention. They have a local, state, and international ministry, and I have been most impressed with their Haiti ministry through their orphanage and school in Cabaret, Haiti. It is right for the JBA to disassociate from a church that would put women and children in harm's way here in our city by putting a serial adulterer and registered sex offender in the pulpit. I commend the JBA for this action.
However, sadly, as of Sunday morning, Gilyard's church is still in all three of the SBC national, state, and local denominational church databases. Rick did not email me back Saturday when I asked him if and when Gilyard's church would be removed from the state and local databases.
I would have liked to see the JBA statement deal more directly with WHY they sought CTMBC's removal and condemn the hiring of Gilyard, rather than just referring to their objection over a "recent pastoral staffing decision." The Gilyard matter is much more serious than just a poor hire! CTMBC is putting a registered sex offender in a position of spiritual leadership where he can again build the trust of women and children and possibly abuse again. The JBA statement says we should all pray for "...the unity throughout the entire body of Christ in our region and for the purity of our faith and practice." I don't think at all the Gilyard matter has anything to do with unity in the body of Christ or purity of faith and practice - it has to do with the safety of women and children in our city who are purposely being exposed to a registered sex offender and serial abuser in a position of spiritual leadership who is scripturally unqualified, and the JBA statement should have explicitly said so.
Jacksonville Baptist Association (JBA) Statement Regarding Gilyard
Jacksonville Baptist Association (JBA) Statement Regarding Gilyard
Recently, the Jacksonville Baptist Association (JBA) became aware of an issue relating to one of our constituent member churches. The church in question is the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church (CTMBC) and the issue at hand relates to their recent pastoral staffing decision. While affirming the autonomy of member churches, and recognizing our role as an association in Baptist polity, the circumstances of CTMBC do concern us. Further, we are broken and saddened by the information shared regarding CTMBC in recent reports.
While the church is currently listed on our membership rolls, they have not contributed to the JBA since 2003 and have not provided statistical information to the association.
In addition to following the clear teachings of Scripture, the JBA has a by-law process in place for responding to such issues with related churches. With Christ Tabernacle, we have taken those steps by contacting CTMBC to communicate our concern. These conversations with church leadership produced the mutual understanding that it is necessary for CTMBC to leave the fellowship of the Jacksonville Baptist Association. They are currently forwarding a written confirmation of that understanding.
We ask that all church leaders and members of the Jacksonville Baptist Association continue to pray earnestly for the unity throughout the entire body of Christ in our region and for the purity of our faith and practice. We seek to honor the name of Jesus in all we do and in how we conduct ourselves in these matters.
Rick Wheeler, Lead Missional Strategist
David Tarkington, JBA Moderator
Kicking a Church out because of their choice of a Pastor?
That is what Obama is doing with Health Care....Big Brother telling us what to do.
This is a violation of Scripture and is against the autonomy of the local church.
Darrell is forgiven, he paid his price to society...the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.
David sinned, Moses sinned, Paul sinned, Peter sinned...
JBA is sinning too.
Nice try, troll.
I don't think at all the Gilyard matter has anything to do with unity in the body of Christ or purity of faith and practice - it has to do with the safety of women and children in our city who are purposely being exposed to a registered sex offender and serial abuser in a position of spiritual leadership who is scripturally unqualified, and the JBA statement should have explicitly said so.
But "unity" and "purity" sound so much nicer than acknowledging a registered sex offender/serial abuser/rapist in the pulpit.
I don't recall the troll objecting to First Baptist Decatur, GA being kicked out of the GBC for calling Julie Pennington-Russell as their pastor. Unity, troll, unity!
Might I just say that this new commenting system in Blogger is ridiculous! It takes me a minimum of 10 tries to get the captcha right, and then... after putting the preview somewhere down the page and lopping off the first few lines, it won't let me edit anything. Here's me trying to post a comment.
I doubt if any Baptist anything could please you but then they really don't care if they make a blogger happy.
On one hand, I believe that the church is free to choose whomever they want as their pastor and it is basically none of our business.
On the other hand, the association is free to choose whom they will let be members--and that is only the business of churches who are members of that association.
On the third hand, if I truly believe in God's grace and redemptive power, I would tread lightly in my blanket and continual condemnation of this church and Gilyard specifically. I think he is probably a hedonistic degenerate but then I'm not God and don't know his heart.
I'm sure a blogger will straighten it all our for us.
And the last time I checked, I am free to blog about Gilyard and the JBA and express my opinion, and it ain't none of your business. And I for sure am not worried if my blog makes an anonymous commenter on my blog happy.
You usually don't make me happy and its our freedom in this country to blog about whatever you want but you need to also remember Baptist polity. If you aren't a member of that church its none of your business and they don't care what you think. If you aren't a church who is a member of that association then your opinion is basically worthless.
But then I'm not sure any of this will change your elevated opinion of yourself.
"its our freedom in this country to blog about whatever you want"
First, I appreciate your post. Second I want to add that as Americans we have many freedoms God does not give us. Freedom of speech is a great example. As an American, we can say what I want, as a Christian we do not have such a right.
When this is presented and we see it as a biblical truth we must choose which authority we will live under.
"If you aren't a member of that church its none of your business and they don't care what you think."
And if you aren't a member of that church its none of your business and they don't care what you think.
See how silly that argument sounds when it gets turned around on you?
Joshua (March 5, 2012 9:03 AM) said:
“ ‘its [sic] our freedom in this country to blog about whatever you want’ [sic]
... I want to add that as Americans we have many freedoms God does not give us. Freedom of speech is a great example. As an American, we can say what I want, as a Christian we do not have such a right.”
But is not the exercise of doctrinal and personal accountability made possible by giving each individual the ability to exercise freedom of thought and speech?
I agree that the secular interpretation of the United States Constitution’s 1st Amendment and the Biblical freedom of speech which we enjoy in Mashiyach Yehoshua are not strictly the same things. The former and latter items are two different contexts which afford believers in Mashiyach Yehoshua many of the same freedoms for different reasons. And believers in Mashiyach Yehoshua should not confuse the two.
But, even so, the same freedoms remain the same freedoms.
"But is not the exercise of doctrinal and personal accountability made possible by giving each individual the ability to exercise freedom of thought and speech?"
No. If we are going to line up with scripture, our thoughts are not to be our own. 2 Corinthians 10:5.
"I agree that the secular interpretation of the United States Constitution’s 1st Amendment and the Biblical freedom of speech which we enjoy in Mashiyach Yehoshua are not strictly the same things"
Since the Constitution is not divinely inspired, it is secular. We must interpret it on that basis. There is no Biblical Freedom of speech. God does not give us that right.
One of the major problems among Christians today is the following of our conscience instead of the surrender of it.
"And believers in Mashiyach Yehoshua should not confuse the two."
I don't think most Christians confuse the two, I think most Christians are clueless to one side of the subject.
"But, even so, the same freedoms remain the same freedoms."
If I understand this in context with your post, I don't think I agree. Maybe you can more clearly explain what you mean.
New BBC Open Forum you said;
"I don't recall the troll objecting to First Baptist Decatur, GA being kicked out of the GBC for calling Julie Pennington-Russell as their pastor."
Hey you forgot or maybe no one knew but there were two (2) of the Georgia Baptist Convention TOSSINGS churches out for having named "females" as Pastors. This one may have slipped through the cracks because it ticked many off in Georgia.
Something about those Ga Baptist Conventioneers and their umpires...
Baptists have stated clearly through their adoption of the BF&M 2000 that their understanding of the word of God is that the office of pastor is limited to men.
That in itself would cause the SBC to stand against female pastors.
As far as DG, I do not think he should be pastoring. But I am willing to admit I could be wrong. Has God changed His heart and perverse mind? I know God can.
The church did not enter blindly into this action. Could DG have fooled them, as he has done others in the past? Could these men have seen God's hand in this from the beginning of this process for a new pastor?
Armchair judging is fun but can be sinful too.
"I do not think he should be pastoring."
"The church did not enter blindly into this action."
You are correct. They ignored the evidence and hired him because "attendance was down and he could attract a crowd" - acoording to one of the deacons at the church.
"Armchair judging is fun but can be sinful too."
Espically when you are unaware of the facts.
It amazes me how far we have come in the past couple of decades. Church members defending a pedophile preacher and ignoring the high likelyhood that women will be victimized. Very sad.
As a Chritian-ritual abuse survivor who has spent years recovering from a man like the poor sinner Mr Gilyard, I can say he should only be allowed in the church to clean the toilets - and even that should be done with very close observation.
The troll might be interested to know there is no cure for sexual deviance. There is however, a cure for ignorance, so he is not completely without hope.
Any idea of what's happening with Gilyard now? I didn't see him listed in the church's pastoral line-up. (pun intended)
A treat a scritch behind the ears and a hug to the watchdog!
Anonymous?!? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! You hide behind some stupid puppy dog picture. I believe there is a healthy role for a blog like this, but most readers would have a lot more respect for you if you identified yourself. It doesn't take much courage to throw the bombs you throw while keeping your identity a secret. Some of your bombs are important and necessary. But many are unfair cheap shots that you obviously feel emboldened to spew because of your anonymity.
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