"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Revealing Message on Anointing by Rick Ousley

Having been gone for a week I have been out of touch with SBC news. Kevin Bussey and Bob Cleveland have written about the moral failure of evangelist Rick Ousley.

I have met Rick once. This past January at the Oklahoma Evangelism Conference Rick preached and I had the occasion to visit with him afterwards for a couple of minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed his message at the Evangelism Conference and continue to believe, without hesitation, that God can speak, and does speak, through faulty messengers.

My heart is grieved over Rick's sin, but I wish to learn from it without condemning him. I have already prayed this morning for him, his wife, and his family, as well as the woman with whom he has been involved. The Associated Press has made public the details of Rick's sexual sins, including this unusual statement:

"Donna Jones, 43, of Katy, Texas, said she began a sexual relationship with Ousley when she was 18 after he and his first wife divorced and that it continued after he married his current wife.

She said she met him twice in recent years on his trips with Samford's football team and that her last trysts with Ousley were Dec. 10-17 when he preached two consecutive Sundays at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, the News reported."

I decided to listen to the two messages that Rick preached at Champion Forest the very two weekends the woman alleges she renewed her involvement with Rick. I have heard from a close pastor friend of Rick's, a man I highly respect, who said he is walking Rick and his wife through this ordeal. This pastor assures me that this alleged tryst in Houston with this woman is not true. However, he also told me that the truth, even without Houston, is bad enough.

In Rick Ousley's second message at Champion Forest entitled "Christmas Presence: Part II" Rick gives us a peek into his inner struggles and the demons within his own life. His words will send a chill down your spine as you listen to him, particularly the first ten minutes of the message. The effect his words had on me were two-fold:

(1). God's truth is always precious, though the messenger be a clay jar.
(2). Salvation is by grace, and not by works, and for that we are all grateful.

The message can be watched in video here or in audio here.

In His Grace,



Bob Cleveland said...


Thank you for this post. I'll reiterate something here that I mentioned on Kevin Stilley's blog.

That is: God blesses and builds with the message, not the messenger. Brook Hills was built by God on the message of the saving grace of Jesus. And part of that process was open and free praise and worship of the Living Savior, which I enjoyed with my wife, at Brook Hills, a few times.

Something another preacher said once rings true here: don't let what someone is not, interfere with what God has, in them, for you. I recall a chilling message one time called "The Apology of an Heretic" in which a non-believer stated the claims of Christ, and that if he believed them, they'd be the sole focus of his life. It was a real lesson for believers.

One fear that I do have is that some folks might respond to the devil's suggestion that it's no use resisting. I think it is. We're sinful, but God has the program to get us past that. But we DO have to decide to.

Alycelee said...

I listened to his message.
He said, "Sometimes you can do church and religion until you build up an immunity to the things of God." That's a danger, a warning to all of us in church.
There are many options here for us to think about when we read about this man. Judgements, wondering why, considering that his spiritual life, is all but over. Of course, non of these are ours to make.

I agree with Bob that decisions need to be made prior to getting to the point of temptation, but I also think we need to be in close accountability relationships where there is no hiding. Three-fold cords are uneasily broken.

Kevin Bussey said...


Thanks for linking the message. It did bring chills to my spine. Rick is one of the best communicators I've ever heard. I am praying for him and his family.

I guess the reason this hits home is because this “Bama” boy and Samford Grad looked up to Rick. Brook Hills was like our Saddleback or Willowcreek. All of the Bama guys I know respected Rick and Brook Hills. My big brother in my Frat @ Samford was on staff there for 10+ years. I know of people whose lives were changed because of what God did there.

I admit I have a large hockey stick protruding out of my eye. I’m struggling with the failures of the prominant pastors. That is why these forums are so helpful to me. Instead of keeping it to myself, my friends give me different perspectives.

I have learned so much from all of you. This really scares me to death.

Matt said...


God used a missions conference at Brook Hills my senior year of high school to change me life. If not for Rick and that church, I wouldnt be married to my wife and doing the things God has called me to do. Rick has spoken at our church many times, and I can just say that everyone here is shocked and disappointed. But I am thankful that God used him to touch my life, and I am thankful for His grace that saves me.

What are some practical things that you and your staff do to keep from even the appearance of this?

Wade Burleson said...


It begins, of course, with accountability among all staff regarding their marriages. There are questions that are asked regularly about the state of marriages. We also have specific boundaries regarding counseling (no woman counseled more than once without her husband present, always a secretary in the outer office, etc . . . ). Of course, no amount of control can prevent what is ultimately in one's heart. That becomes an issue of personal intimacy with Christ.

Probably the most effective tool in my life is to remember that I cannot compartmentalize my life. Ministry and life are one. What I am in private is to be no different than what I am in the pulpit. Of course, the one person who knows me best is my wife, and personal intimacy with her (spiritual, emotional, etc . . . ) is the best prevention.

Jeff said...

As someone who lives in the area your church is in and hearing this news from family and friends on Friday from Birmingham when the story broke I'm shocked as to how you all have just dismissed this as we will pray for Rick Ousley. Have you not seen further stories that Rick Ousley met this young lady when she was 15 and then took the most precious gift of all which was her virginity when she was 18.

Further more if you read she was actually saved and gave her life to Christ during a revival he led at her church. This man continued this relationship with her until she finally stopped him. There HAD TO BE PROOF TO back up her claims or the Q-Team would not have closed nor would he cancel his 3 months of preaching. This man does not deserve to preach again much less me around young adult's. He has caused a life time of hurt that will take a lifetime to heal.

Good ole Bama now Sorry??? Sorry that she went public when he ask her more than once according to articles to please keep this quiet. Stories also show she is not the only one tangled up in Bama Boy's secret twisted secret life.

Wade Burleson said...


I don't consider praying for Rick, his family and this woman as 'dismissive.' In fact, I have been in contact with those who are trying to help Rick, and I believe my desire to pray for Rick is a sign that God has invested His grace in Rick, for those desires to pray for him don't originate within me.

I long ago discovered that the truth is usually worse than what is reported publicly. But I've also learned to trust only God's righteous anger -- mine is usually too skewed by my own sin, no matter how pure I think the anger might be.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Yesterday I preached a sermon entitled "A Haircut In the Devil's Barber Shop". Yes, you are right it was on the fall of Samson. One thing I pointed out about Samson's life was that God used him regardless of his violation of the Nazarite covenant. The cutting of the hair was the step where Samson walked away from the vow.

I do not know Brother Rick Ousley and to be quite honest, have never heard his speak until I followed your link. Though this affair was covered a 25 year span, if he has asked God to forgive him, then we have no other choice. I pray God works in my life the Grace I need to be able to forgive as I am forgiven.

To all that have come to Christ under this man's ministry, the are no less saved. God did a work in their life and for that I am grateful for this man's ministry. Let us all begin the journey of forgiveness and restoration as we pray for this man and his family.


Les Puryear said...

There is no sin in the Bible from which any of us are immune. When we believe that we would never commit a certain sin, that is when we are most vulnerable. It is only the power of the Holy Spirit in us that causes us not to sin. It is never our "righteousness" that prevents sin.

Praise God for His keeping us from whatever sins we have not committed today. Praise God for forgiving us for all of our many sins today. In all things, may God be glorified.

May God restore this dear brother.

Kindest regards,


Tom G said...

Just one day at a time sweet Jesus, That is all we can do live each day in His grace. I don't understand it all, but I know God loved David so I will let God be God and He has the final word and I love and thank him because He loves me, is loving me and will forever. Glory to His name

Debbie said...

I admit that I have a very difficult time showing grace to someone who has committed adultery. Like Kevin, I guess I have a stick running out of my eye on this one too. I am also looking at myself who has never had a desire to stray nor to my knowledge has my husband. When I took a vow I meant it, I know this sounds judgmental, but I can't understand how this seems to keep occurring in the higher levels of ministry.

volfan007 said...

lets not forget that king david was a man after God's own heart, and he also fell to sexual sins. none of us are immune, and we all struggle with the flesh in all kinds of ways everyday of our lives. praise the Lord for His grace and mercy!


Pamela Cook said...

I live in OK, which has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. As a never-married Christian that would love to be married one day I watch stuff like this go on in absolute horror.

Most of my 47+ years I have felt like Christian married people just took their marriages for granted not embracing the gift they have been given by God. It just seemed like they changed spouses like I change my shoes each day. The fact that the church for the most part support married people at the exclusion of unmarrieds made this observation harder for me to take.

I can truly say that my heart has soften tremendously. The pastor of the congregation I'm a part of taught a series that dealt with the attacks against Christians and ministers, especially those that have a heart to win souls to Christ and to intercede. I know that some may not hold the view I do about the supernatural realm. However I'm convinced this is happening, especially to those that are having an impact for Christ and His kingdom. There is so much pressure that comes against them that the only time it seems to end is when they give in. The pastor talked about how that almost happened to him. He is a man of prayer. However for a couple of years he had stopped praying on a regular basis because of listening to wrong teaching. This is when the trouble started. Before he was about to get involved in immorality he came to himself and began praying again. He never cheated on her in the 41 years they have been married. He is STIL a man of prayer.

Over the years when I would hear of people giving testimonies about how they got involved in some form of sin (sex, love of money, etc.), pretty much every person mentioned in some way that the communion with the Lord stopped long before the sin. When the pressure is on we all must resist and stand up. The Lord will help us if we do not give up.

I hope and pray that married people will take their marriages seriously as a great opportunity to serve the Lord and be a picture of Christ's relationship to us, the body of Christ.

Todd said...

Isn't there some danger when we offer forgiveness before there is repentance? Where is the cry for justice and a concern for the glory of God? Paul would tell us to cast this man out of the church (1 Corinthians 5). Yes, I believe in the redemption and forgiveness and restoration of grace, but I also believe that "we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3.1). Let's don't too quickly dismiss the incredible damage this has done to the Kingdom and the veracity of the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Red Delicious apples to Fuji apples (as opposed to oranges)...

How many times in the last few months have you heard cracks about a past president's infidelity from church folk? Has he been forgiven?

I just don't see consistentcy with forgiveness from the saints. It just "feels" like we use our own bias to determine who we quickly extend forgiveness to.

Does the grouchy chairman of deacons, or the constant complainer of the flower displays get the same quick forgiveness when caught in adultery?

Charles R. said...

As we have recently witnessed on Capitol Hill in discussions regarding executive privilege, consistency is in the eye of the beholder.

One Salient Oversight said...

I fully believe that God can and does speak through cracked pots like Ousley.

However I also believe that 1 Timothy 3 gives strict guidelines for the behaviour of Christian leaders.

Ousley should never preach again. He should never be employed in Christian service again. Nevertheless he should be cared for by the church and given help to find a vocation so he may place food on his table. The rest of Ousley's life, though lived in regret, can be one that glorifies God through humility and trust.

Terry said...

I have read each and every insert and listened to both sermons. I'm still disgusted that not one person that has left a message here has mentioned the hurt this woman from our State (Texas) must be feeling.
This woman was a child when she met Ousley he took from her at 18 and continued to take. He begged her not to tell. Have any of you read other articles on the Internet about this man? People this man is sick. I cannot forgive someone who does not completely tell the truth and repent. As a church have you reached out to this woman and offered prayer or counseling? I'm trying very hard not to judge but it's hard when all I read about is how wonderful Rick Ousley is and how many he has saved. Did people put there trust in God or the words that Ousley sold that came out of his sinful mouth. As a Christian I'm praying harder for God to lead my heart the right way. If you wanna hear an assume message go to The church of Brook Hills website and listen to Dr. Pratt preach about Ousley. The hurt and disgust in his voice will do more than poke you in they eye. These are men who trusted him, called him there friend and Brother. He not only betrayed God, his family but thousands of others. I agree he should never preach again or hold any position in any church again.

Tom G said...

A little of the subject, but todd made a comment that has be to thinking ---"isn't there some danger when we offer forgivness before there is repentance" Which comes first forgivness or repentances--my thought is that forgiveness always has to come first--Christ died on a cross for the forgivness of my sins and when I understood what he went through to give me that forgivness I repented and accepted that forgivness---there is no promise that I know of (in life) that if I repent of some thing that I will be forgiven-- When I hurt someone deeply but they continue to show me grace and forgivness What can I do but repent-- just my thought on which is first -- would like to hear a brief on repentance before forgivness

Anonymous said...

Wade, did you go to any of the Big 12 Basketball tournament?

Anonymous said...

amen, tom g! a check of matthew 18 still looks like the only difference between a christian and non-christian when it comes to forgiving is that the believer, according to Jesus, really has no (right) choice but one. sounds like maybe we are a little confused between "trust" and "forgiveness?" one takes quite a while with deep hurts like this one...the other, as long as we decide it will take I guess...

ann said...

Wonder what I did post was there for a minute and now gone? Please explain?

Anonymous said...

ann, it looks like it went to the march 20 post.

Wade Burleson said...


I read your comment and felt very, very sad. I will definitely pray for Donna, and please communicate that to her. I also read the comments on the link you asked I read. I'm not sure that sad describes my emotion after reading the comments. I will continue to pray for Rick, but if what has been written is true, my prayers are that God, by His grace, will save Rick Ousley from his sins and the righteous judgment of God due them.

bryan riley said...

Thank you for pointing us all to Him even in what many find to be difficult circumstances in which to focus on Jesus. All too often we'd rather rubber neck at the flesh rather than bow in amazement at the Spirit.

Guy Lancour said...


Thanks for your post. It was gracious to the offender without limiting the hurt that was caused and continues to be caused by his actions.

I have been studying in the book of Isaiah. One of the sins of Israel and its leaders was to become self-sufficient in their dealings with the world around them. I am convicted that this is so easily true of me. I wonder how much I depend on me, my ability to preach and teach. My ability to lead. All of this rather than an authentic trust in God who gives good gifts to His children. Yikes! I think I can understand Paul's words in Romans 7.

I think that this incident plus all the other incidents of men in ministry comes from a lack of trust in God. When we become sufficient in ourselves, then anything is possible.

rex ray said...

I clicked on Rick’s sermon and I WAS going to write and say if we were without a pastor, I would recommend him being ours. I thought he would repent, but after reading the comments on the link you gave, I wonder if the Holy Spirit is in him or a demon. Even now, I would not want my grandchildren around him.

Rex Ray

Wade Burleson said...


I deleted the comments you copied and pasted in your own comment, but have left the main point you were making. I prefer that people go to the link above rather than duplicating the comments here.

Steve A said...

I have an idea that applies more to the more numerous situations where adult pastors fall into a fling, not a lifetime pattern as Rick O. demonstrates.

Understanding that I am a layman who wouldn't know a seminary if it ran me over, would the fact that a pastor deals with warm feelings and philos and agape all day long in his job, and it is simple human nature that these feelings affect his judgement outside of his "real work?"

Accountants are said to be real cranks about money, coaches are expected to be hyper and stressed all the time, cops don't let their kids get away with nothing, etc.

Is the mismanagement of love simply a special danger for pastors and therapists, and, to some degree, teachers?

R. Grannemann said...

I've often pondered what it means to forgive. It doesn't mean to let sinners go unchallenged, or let them have their way. I think it means to withhold personal animosity, and when repentance comes, to forget.

Lord, help me forgive other truly, as you have truly forgiven me.

S.A.M. said...

What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God."
Romans 3:9-11
Hate the sin, love the sinner. Sin is sin, whether it is adultry, false testimony, lust of the heart, theft, idol worship. I don't think anyone is dismissing this, because church leaders must be held to a high standard, but they are human just like anyone here on earth and tempted every day. God will judge the sinners heart, whether or not he repents is not up to us. I can already see the secular world turning more against God because of another leader in the church falling to sin. It is not OK for anyone, even non-believers to commit the sins of the world.
Let anyone without sin cast the first stone. Let God be judge. We as fellow Christ followers must not throw our own to the lions. We need to lift them up before the Father, and love the sinner, hate the sin.


Ann said...

I posted my comments as I stated and they are gone. Someone answered me as they went to "Anonymous said...
ann, it looks like it went to the march 20 post. Can someone explain how I get to that part of this site?
Thank you,

Cecdaddy said...


Just follow this link, time-for-personal-reflection , your post is the last one.

Paul Fries said...

I struggle with how to respond. I cannot dismiss the Sacred Text which says, "Do not receive an accusation against and elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear"(1 Timothy 5:19-20). If the accusations are true and have been verified by multiple witnesses then shouldn't the church (or authority) make a public stand? This in no way negates any good that has come from the elders previous ministry. In my own life I was led to Christ by a pastor who later committed adultery. I am no less saved nor less grateful for his ministry to me. However, in my opinion, he disqualified himself from his ministry position because of this sin. The question of, for how long, is for another post.

It seems that we, as Christians, have no problem publicly condemning lost people in their sin. However, when it comes to a well known Christian leader we immediately go to the forgiveness mode.

Honestly, I struggle with how to respond. I do find it interesting that no one ever quotes the 1 Timothy text and yet, to me, it seems to be the answer.

rms said...

Luke 22:27
Simon, Simon Satan Has asked to sift you (plural...meaning all disciples) like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back strengthen your brothers.

Is it not interesting to note that Jesus predicts Simon's failure. Yet He tell Simon that once he returned (repented)...he will have a job to do? In essence, his ministry explodes after this incident...after the ressurrection.

People(including pastors) fall because all sin as consequences. Even sin that remain hidden has consequences (Psalms 32)

ALL sin has consequences:

For the believer: Unrepentence/rebellion have extreme consequences like found in I Corinthians 5:5...

For the unbeliever...death AND hell

Why does God choose to use someone after they have fallen?

We ask the wrong question. There are better questions.

Why does God rescue any of us?

Why would God use any of us for his purposes?

Why does God deliver the sinner or the saint from the full consequences of sin?

Because grace offered/embraced changes everything

Maybe the parable of Luke 7 gives us some insight

"Therefore I tell you, her MANY sins have been forgiven, that's why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little loves little"

Could it be that God sometimes restores fallen pastors because they understand grace, ministry, purpose, God, marriage, family, church etc like they did not before thier sin was exposed?

Numbers, size, scope of influence does not necessarily indicate God's favor..but sometimes it does.

This does not malign or diminish the multitudes of pastors that labor in obscurity, fidelity, and integrity...It shines great light on them. I also believe that heaven has great reward waiting for them.

Nevertheless...those who "labor hard" and "never leave home" must be very careful...they may be not be the prodigal son...they can become the "elder brother"

Let God deal when Rick and his future

Let's pray for him, his family and ministry

Let each of us remember that we are all succeptible to the allure of sin unless we abide close to Christ and endeavor to be led by His Holy Spirit.

Just a few thoughts from someone who has been there and "returned"

Rodney Sprayberry

TruthOfActs said...

To Ann, from Rex Ray
You seem to be having trouble finding your comment. Hope you don’t mind if I copy & paste it to where you wanted it to go.
I a almost angry with myself as his sermon sure had me fooled.

Ann said...
We can say what we want and believe what we want this is a free country. With a very heavy heart I decided to post this after reading this and I quote" I have heard from a close pastor friend of Rick's, a man I highly respect, who said he is walking Rick and his wife through this ordeal. This pastor assures me that this alleged tryst in Houston with this woman is not true. However, he also told me that the truth, even without Houston, is bad enough.
After speaking with Donna she assumes this man is Pastor Rick White of The People's Church in Franklin, TN. He and Donna have had many many conversations where she produced evidence to him proving that without a doubt she was telling the truth. Staff, members of Champion Forest Baptist she Church she is telling the truth about meeting him on Dec 10 & 16. Yes the 16th We did not go back to hear him preach the second Sunday. I have been with Donna on several trips to meet and hear Rick and was with her on Dec 10th. The more he lies the more will come out as many of you know there are several other sites you can read about this man. Here's one I have learned a lot about Birmingham Blues » Blog Archive » Sounds Like Physical Indiscretion To Me. Some I agree with and others I don't. What I do believe is this is a man who is still living a lie and until he fully tells the truth to himself, God, and his family and friends I cannot begin to ask God to forgive him. My friend of 30 something years is being haunted by telling the truth. Something she could no longer live with. she prayed and ask God to lead her in the direction he would and she only has regrets that she has been, made to look as the one who is completely at fault. Once again remember she was 15, her sister was 11. Her Sister recalls Rick as beening the fist "guy" (man) to kiss her with his tongue. I remember the day Donna lost her innocence and how she spoke of Rick saying he was honored. Sorry I have to stop this is way to emotional. Please pray for my friend Donna and read these other postings and ask your self are ALL THESE PEOPLE LYING?

Paul Burleson said...


Without my pressing judgment on any person, I'll leave that to the work of the Cross or eternity, I would point out a couple of things that I believe are scriptural from my understanding. Know my heart is heavy even as I type and I do so thoughtfully and carefully.

One is we forgive because we've been forgiven. As the Father of the prodigal son, it will be experienced when the one forgiven returns in repentance and requests it, but it's there already since we have already been forgiven ourselves.

Second, our forgiving does not keep consequences of actions from taking place and we don't negate those consequences in the name of love. Again, in the story of the prodigal son, the father DID NOT go after and clean up the mess that boy made. The boy was faced with his actions AND the consequences. In fact, that may have helped him "come to himself." Unlike the coin in Luke 15 for which the woman searched and the ninety and nine sheep left while the one was searched for, the father waited and let that boy face the consequences. That doesn't speak of a lack of love or forgiveness but the courage to love/forgive and wait.

To say when one who is a serial adulterer that the ministry is out of the question would be a biblical position of consequences if I understand being a "one woman kind of man." One might even believe that a single act of this nature would disqualify. I don't personally agree with that. I'm not sure but that what is meant by that phrase "of good report" might be understood to include a moral failure that has been repented of and time [much time] has proven there to be a real recovery from it. However, that is only a matter of opinion. But serial adultery is another thing in my judgment.

Finally, the presence of serial adultery in a life would seem to me to have far greater implications than King David's act of sin and spirit of brokenness and would indicate that, without evidence of that brokenness, we might want to pray for Grace to become real in the life so repentance and faith [bringing salvation] would result.

Regardless of one's view of these issues my heart is heavy for the true victims in any situation such as this. That would include families, including the perpetrator's family, the Body of Christ at large, and the lost who perhaps will mock the God of the one who claimed to be serving Him. [I also grieve for the guilty and pray for Grace and Mercy on them.]

Aren't we glad that, as in all things, God is still on His throne and the Cross is still the greatest accomplishment known in history. May we always preach Christ and Him crucified and may we learn from another's failure because we recognize that all are flawed still and must depend on His Grace and Power and be responsible in making our choices.


rms said...

Rex ((Even though they are Ann's comments)

There can be no restoration without repentance. Even with repentance there is still consequences. Make no mistake God is not mocked. There is sowing and there is reaping...

That being said...we must be careful in how we respond to another's sin. Even when that sin has hurt us or someone we love.

This does not mean we do not get angry. This does not mean we do not correct...stand up..defend...

It just simply means that our own sin or our response to another's sin..are windows into our own souls

Sin is messy. Redemption is messy. But so is grace and forgiveness.

That is the message of the cross and ulimately of Easter.

Let's continue to lift up everybody involved/affected in this mess..they all need the healing touch of GRACE now more than ever.

Rodney Sprayberry

Monte said...

I work at Student Life, which many of you know has used Rick as a camp pastor from its inception. This news has hit many at Student Life hard because of the influence Rick has had in the lives of so many here.

Yesterday, Randy Hall called us all together and we had a time of just talking, sharing, and allowing the healing to commence. Since so many on the staff here are young, there are many of these who can mark significant parts of their lives as those directly touched by the ministry of Rick Ousley. The word that emerged yesterday from a young African woman who sat among us was that though unfaithfulness may exist in sinful man, God is faithful. And although He may have used Rick in these significant moments, it was God acting through him. We can't miss this point. God is faithful no matter our sin. We have only to look to the history in the Word (through David and others) and in our own lives to see that this is true.

We pray that we will see Rick's life rise from the ashes to stand strong and true. This is the beauty of redemption.

docjoc said...

This is another reminder that SIN kills both in this life and in the life to come. Like in Adam it all starts with pride in ourselves to consider our own selves first and forget God...some call it original sin

Whatever you call it we are all subject to it, admit it to God, and ask forgiveness.

If we do not it will find a way to flower forth into sinful actions with a very deadly effect on ourselves and on others.

JIm Sadler said...

I like any born again Christian grieve because of a fallen preacher. As to the matter of forgiveness that all hangs on the repentant sinner. Any Christian who will sincerely in remorse, confess and repent then God will surly forgive as should Christians for we are to be godlike. That is one issue but the other issue is cut and dried. In I Timothy 3:1 and following is qualification of a preacher and Paul is quick to preface the list with this word;"blameless" without which you are disqualified, secondly he said husband of one wife, brethren you do not need a phd to understand that. I do not believe there are second chanches in this area. You disqualify yourself you are disqualified for life. If you truly repent you will understand this and be glad to take the lowly seat in the rear and work toward the day when God will say;"come up here". True we are all subject to the potential of sin but according to my pastor he preaches we should surely keep a short list before God and strive for perfection. By the way I believe it is the WORD of GOD and the convicting, convincing power of the HOLY SPIRIT that causes lost and undone sinners to repent and confess the LORD JESUS CHRIST as SAVIOUR and LORD, If even the Devil himself would tell the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ a man could be saved. God uses men but does not empower them to dispense salvation. Its the message not the messenger!!!

Anonymous said...

Questions about the 1 Timothy passage (for those of you using that as your primary basis for qualification):
Does this exclude someone from ministry who had sex before marriage? Does this exclude someone who was convicted of drugs in his past? Does this exclude someone who has broken his word with his congregation? Does it exclude a man who is guilty of an offense, repented before his church, and was restored over time to ministry? Does it exclude a man who does not handle his finances in biblical way? Does it exclude a man who has educational degrees that are purchased and not pursued through study? These are just questions... what does it mean to be "above reproach"? And what about grace?

Debbie said...

I hear the phrase "It' the message, not the messenger" but personally speaking, I would have to disagree and I believe it's why Paul gave such strict instructions to leaders of the church. I believe when the messenger falls, the message is hurt. Just look at those mentioned in this post that were touched by this minister's life and are now hurt. God heals, I agree. But I think we need to take a look at the ramifications here. The message does suffer, even if for a season.

prozaciswack said...

I just wanted to thank you for all that you write in this blog. I am at Cedarville university working on a class discussion topic on the SBC policies and your insight and open position have been an excellent source of reference.

You are a bold Christian who speaks what he honestly thinks and believes. I wish more Christians could be as open, honest, and reasonable as you. Keep up the excellent blog!

bryan riley said...

Debbie, I don't want to be construed as encouraging sin so that grace may abound; clearly, such an argument fails and is explicitly debunked in Romans 6. However, what I do want to say is that when the messenger fails it may hurt that messenger's message but it demonstrates the need for the Message, the Good News, and for God, and further exhibits the glory of a God who loves us all in spite of ourselves.

Bob Cleveland said...

God is pretty plain that it's GOD Who gives the increase. In our humanness, we still attach weight to the messenger, though, and I guess it's understandable. But I do have to say it is the message and not the messenger, and the only way the "message" is hurt is if we've attributed it to the messenger.

Human, natural, but I'm afraid still wrong.

One Salient Oversight said...

Does this exclude someone from ministry who had sex before marriage?

I would come down hard on this and say yes - but qualify it by saying that if the sex occurred before he was a Christian then that is less serious.

Does this exclude someone who was convicted of drugs in his past?

I would only exclude someone if their drug conviction happened while they were a Christian. Anyone who is habitually breaking criminal law while a Christian is not suited to the pastorship.

To qualify. Let's say a pastor's kid goes rebellious in his teenage years and ends up taking drugs and doing time in jail. Then, at age 21, he has a conversion experience and remains drug and crime free for the next ten years - I would say that he's okay.

Does this exclude someone who has broken his word with his congregation?

A pastor who lies to his congregation cannot be trusted. He must not be in ministry.

Does it exclude a man who is guilty of an offense, repented before his church, and was restored over time to ministry?

If a pastor commits adultery or steals or whatever, then he should never pastor again. "Restoration" should not include restoring the person to ministry.

Does it exclude a man who does not handle his finances in biblical way?

I think a bankrupt should probably be excluded.

Does it exclude a man who has educational degrees that are purchased and not pursued through study?

If he is lying about them then yes.

These are just questions... what does it mean to be "above reproach"?

Not even the hint of wrongdoing. It's not a matter of putting perfection onto the pastor, but of seriously considering only the most godly people to be pastors.

And what about grace?

Grace is fine. There's plenty of adulterers, criminals, drug abusers and greedy people in our churches who are only there by the grace of God. But a pastor should be a model of godliness - Titus 2.7-8.

The only people who should be excluded from membership in the body of Christ are those people whom Christ rejects. But when it comes to leadership - to presbuteros - only those who are both godly and who know sound teaching should be selected.

If a person has great gifts in preaching, but is not godly, then he should not be a pastor.

If a person has great gifts in leadership, in dynamism, in creating visions, but is not godly, then he should not be a pastor.

According to 1 Timothy 3, the only people who should be pastors are:

1) Men who are godly.
2) Men who know sound doctrine.
3) Men who can teach.

Those are the only qualifications the church should look for when looking for a pastor (or when they appoint elders or deacons)

jack said...

In an educational setting, this would be called a “teachable moment.” -So what are we to learn?

Three points to consider:

1) Make sure our own house is in order before casting judgment on those of our neighbors.

SNAP has set its sights on the SBC after exposing widespread problems within the US Catholic Church. Are we doing everything from our local churches through our regional and state associations on up to identify, confront and – if necessary root out-- problem clergy, denominational workers, etc --- or will we wait for someone else to do the job for us? Being proactive is not without pain, but the alternative is much worse.

2) Be consistent or be seen as hypocrites by those we should be trying to reach.

The world sees “Conservative, Pro-Family” religious leaders being quick to condemn indiscretions by those they oppose (such as Bill Clinton) who are also quick to extend grace to those they support (such as Newt Gingrich).

They are right to recognize the hypocrisy. Those who took their eyes off the prize of missions and evangelism and were seduced by the politics of man – (no matter the party or persuasion) have done the body of Christ a disservice --- and continue to waste precious resources and time by enlisting others.

While we need to be clear about condemning the sin, our collective voices need to speak louder about acknowledging our own shortcomings and scream a message of the availability of forgiveness to all that want it.

3) Quit projecting our prejudices and start preaching the gospel.

We’ve got denominational leaders trying to force the convention to enforce unbiblical pronouncements against alcohol and speaking in tongues ---- and waging a scorched earth campaign to keep women and homosexuals out of the pulpit…. –all of which is diverting people, time, money and effort from fulfilling the Great Commission.

Time is too short to continue to be sidetracked by issues the Lord himself did not find important enough to instruct us about during the short time he spent in our skin walking this earth.

ml said...


Samson was forgiven but the tragedy was that God accomplish more in his death than when he was alive. How much more could he have done had he not been so prideful throughout the entire narrative that depicts his life. Character always trumps potential!

To All:
The more interesting thing about this thread is that most if not all have no personal knowledge of these events. The internet has made our world so small that we can become inflamed or passionate about things that we are really not a part of. Does it matter to us that an accusation was brought against an elder of another church in another part of the world? Am I responsible for offering forgiveness to this man with whom I have no personal relationship? I simply use this as a way for God to teach me in a manner similar to Paul's historical hermeneutic about Israel's history in 1 Corinthians 10:6--Now these things occured as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they [he] did. Guys in ministry rather than pondering whether Ricj ought to preach again, we ought to be examining ourselves not to Rick but to Christ. The truth is we all want to be known for something and our own personal image management is probably just as good and deceptive as Rick's.

Let me suggest Andy Stanley's book Louder Than Words for anyone interested in taking a hard journey into their own Character and Integrity development.

TruthOfActs said...

I don’t mean to high-jack the topic but this is NOT about sin. And I don’t mean to pick on you because so far you represent the thinking of 100% of preachers I’ve heard on the subject of Samson.

You spoke truth when you said, “God accomplish more in his death than when he was alive.”
I disagree with “How much more could he have done had he not been so prideful throughout the entire narrative that depicts his life.”

Sampson was a judge for 20 years. If that’s all he did, would his story have ever been recorded? The main point with Sampson—God was glorified. It was God’s plan from the very beginning.

1. Miraculous birth. Angel: “Even though you have been unable to have children…” Judges 13:3 (New Living)
2. “What will the boy’s responsibilities and mission be?” (14:4 Holman) “He will begin to save Israel from the power of the Philistines.” (13:5 Holman)
3. Will Sampson sin against God? “The boy will be a Nazirite to God from birth until the day of his death.” (13:7 Holman) “He will be dedicated to God from the moment of his birth until the day of his death.” (Living Bible) And I believe that meant every moment in between.
4. Was marrying a Philistine a sin? “Now his father and mother did not know this was from the Lord…” (14:4 Holman)
5. Why did God want Sampson to marry the ‘enemy’? “…who was seeking an occasion against the Philistines.” (14:4 Holman) “His father and mother didn’t realize that the Lord was behind the request, for God was setting a trap for the Philistines.” (Living Bible)
6. What was the trap? “The temple was completely filled with people. The five Philistine leaders were there as well as three thousand people in the balconies.” (16:27 Living Bible)
7. Did Samson fulfill the mission that God brought him into the world to accomplish? I believe he did—100%.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade is correct once again. As the truth seeps out, it is much worse than previously reported.


There seems to be a long trail of staff members being unaccountable as witnessed by the growing number of current and former members who are coming forward. The story told about the flight attendant (if true) is the saddest.

A Friend of G&T2U

Friend in Christ said...

I think that soceity LOVES announcing a christian's mistakes! Just to PROVE how "fake" we are when what we are... is human. There is only one Jesus and rest of us will ALWAYS make mistakes and fail many times in life. What we ARE is forgiven. By the grace of God go I. Rick and his family are in our prayers. This man is NOT defined by his actions. He is a messenger that God blessed with the ability to speak and have received by others - God's word. I have heard Rick speak several times. His gift is not of his own design. He comes to us bearing gifts from God and now we want to crucify him. What christians should be doing is PRAYING and asking God to forgive US our failures.
Rick is accountable to God and his family. Everyone else should PRAY!

Anonymous said...

Friend In Christ,

I agree that we should pray. But when people come forward and make seemingly legitimate claims that might possibly involve a church, a young lady, or a ministry organization, do you think we should just pray about it and let Rick and his family settle it between them and God?

Curious Brother

Jerry said...

I have known Rick for over 30 years. I have no doubt of his amazing talents and calling. Even though he and I are now probably miles away from each other theologically, we still maintain contact occasionally. I would guess that this experience might lead him toward a different and fresher style of ministry. The difficult part is -- God forgives, people are less apt to do so. People are quick to jump on these stories . . . and the casting of stones starts almost immediately.

Rick did something morally wrong and got caught. Interestingly, even through the period of time that he was keeping this secret, people were still being moved to action by his ministry. His actions do not negate his story, but add validity to it. We are all imperfect. We tend to hold these messengers up as something more than human -- and this just reminds us, as I am sure it has for Rick, that we are all just humans -- with a heck of a lot of imperfections.

He'll figure it out. I am hoping that this leads him toward a ministry that is cutting edge, honest and breaks the mold on where and to whom we should minister. But, as he already knows, it is a hard, painful lesson.

Matt Kimberly said...

I just found out about Ousley's adultery last night. I had wondered what he'd been doing since he retired as pastor from Brook Hills and I googled his name. I wasn't prepared for what I found.

I read almost every article on the internet that mentioned the indescretion. Like most of you, I was most certainly shocked and taken aback by it, but thank God, the story doesn't end with the sin.

I agree with what a previous poster wrote about the woman in this adulterous relationship. She was taken advantage of by her pastor and friend and became a willing partner in an unholy bond with her pastor and spiritual mentor.

As we pray for Ousley and his family, let's not forget to pray for this woman and her family and the Church at Brook Hills. There's an awful lot of healing that needs to take place.

Pray that God will work through this unfortunate, painful situation and restore everyone involved into a right relationship with Christ.

On a personal note, I want to add that I've been blessed by his teaching ministry, particularly the "24 Hour Counselor" series that he participated in many years ago.

I learned so much from those tapes and God used Ousley to help me understand some very complex truths, such as the unforgivable sin and suffering.

I pray that God will work through this situation to bring out His Glory and His Honor.

Anonymous said...

ousley has a past of death and destruction and now you guys want an anointing of it by God??? the war has been faught. this man has proved to be a wolf in sheep's etc... along with a dozen other references that include details of riding yourselves of this forgiven lying piece of work. there are some gifts the lord won't accept and ousley made his church and personal fortune with each of them while courupting all he came in contact with. or are you saying the bible lies?

Anonymous said...

From Phoenix, Arizona...

After reading all of the comments I could not help but feel we are missing the point. First, there is a woman who was led to believe from her teenage years through adulthood that it's okay to have sex with PASTOR OUSLEY while he was married all these years. Second, I read so many of you discussing biblical teachings about weather or not Ousley should work in a church. My god, are you serious? Yea, God does work with borken clay vessels, however this is not just a moment in time. This was a "pattern of behavior" over numerous years. Third, why is the victum (Donna) looked at like the perpatrator? She was a teenager when Rick met her. At this time Rick Ousley worked at NORTH PHOENIX BAPTIST CHURCH in Phoenix Arizona. DID ANY OTHER PASTOR KNOW OF THIS ADULTREY? AND, if they did they are just as responsible for not reporting dealing with it. Finally, I read on this blog that some of you were defending Rick ousley...How sick is that?...I bet the same people who defend him, if Donna was your daughther you would scream for his blood...No, Donna is the victum, brook hills is the victum and many others who lurk in the shadows of destruction are the victums...

Anonymous said...

I grew up at North Phoenix Baptist Church and Rick Ousley was my youth pastor in the 80's. All I have to say about this is that his behavior is consistent with the legacy left by pastors in that church all the way up to Richard Jackson. There were numerous affairs between pastors and women in and out of the church, and, they were either ignored (as with Jackson's relationships) or they were "called to other areas of ministry."

This to me is indicative of the lack of accountability in the mega church model. When a church is run like a corporation, the leaders behave as such and consider themselves as impervious to consequenses as the heads of corporations like Enron or Halliburton. Yes, there are biblical lessons re: grace, forgiveness, etc. But there are ecclesiological conclusions to be drawn from this alarming trend. Is the way we're doing church encouraging this behavior?

Anonymous said...

Let me clear one thing up. I don't blame Ousley for falling to the temptations of the flesh. Every red blooded American can relate to that. The problem is not that he is a sinner, the problem is that he is a deceiver, he carried on a sham for years. A momentary lapse of judgement is one thing, twenty year affair is another. I met this clown when I was a teenager, it amazes me how many educated adults have fallen for this joke. Me and a friend have been relishing in this for months now, we always new there was something not right about htis guy (we had witnessed is non-humble behavior before). This guy is a joke and I'm glad he was found out as a fraud before he made any real money at this. Keep worshipping this guy if you want, but just remember, the bible warns against bowing down to false gods.

Anonymous said...

"Me and a friend have been relishing in this for months now, we always new there was something not right about htis guy" Wow! I'd be careful about throwing stones man. Relishing? How can you relish in that which breaks God's heart?

Floyd said...

Yesterday for whatever reason, Rick was on my mind. I knew he was in evangelism, so I googled his name, that's when I found out about his infidelity.

Before I continue, I must give you some background. Rick was my youth minister at Oak Ridge Bapt church. He came to Oak Ridge my in the summer before my freshman yr in HS. We lived in the same area, and at that time were very close. He was good friends with my family. On, Thursday mornings we had BASIC, brothers and sisters in Christ, a weekly Bible study for High schoolers and middle schoolers. Either he picked me up to go to it or I picked him up. I spent a lot of time with Rick. I admired and respected him, I loved him as my brother in Christ and my mentor. I even wrote a poem that basicaly said, I admired him, but not really him, but the Christ inside that I saw. We prayed together, he told touching stories and illustrations. The youth at Oak Ridge would go with him to the various churches where he preached revivals. He had some of the most indepth Bible studies which I have ever heard, his messages were touching and heart felt, bringing you closer to God. I was one of 6 or 7 youth which had felt God's calling into the ministry. He taught a class on Sunday evenings on preaching and teaching. We would preach or teach, then be critiqued on what we did right or wrong with the presentation, and on whether the topic had Bibical standing.
Our youth group grew to close 200 members, he established a youth council, which was voted on by the entire youth group, to help plan the yearly calender of teaching and events for our youth group. For 3 years, I was the youth council president.

My jr yr in high school, we did a mission/choir trip. When we returned, we even recorded an albumn at 1st Bapt houston. Rick told us a week or so later that he was leaving to be youth minister at 1st Bapt Houston.

Not too long after that, Rick was spending days and nights at his office at 1st Baptist. Then he and his first wife, Deb, seperated. Deb divorced Rick due to his infidelity at that time with a high school senior, who was 18 yrs old. There were rumors even then that there was other girls which Rick had inappropriate conduct with.

A few years back when I heard he had established a church and that it was growing, and that he had a family, and he was into evagelism, I was very excited. Rick had always been in my prayers, and I felt God had annointed Rick with tremendous talent to spread his word.

I believe that Rick did not reveal the complete story. When you compare Riok to David. David fell before the Lord and man, confessing that he had commited murder and adultery. Rick's confession seems to fall short of the full truth. I love Rick, my brother in Christ, and I will keep him in my prayers. I do believe that Rick has/had a special annointing, but like Sampson, he may have let it slip away.

Forgotten in this whole tragedy is his first wife, Deb, and their 2 children.

I am praying for everyone involved in this situation.

Floyd Sanson