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

A Prophetic Voice, FBC Naples. and Marcus Hayes

This past Sunday, October 27, 2019, Marcus Hayes went with his wife Mandy and their three precious children "in-view-of-a-call" at First Baptist Church, Naples, Florida.

Marcus Hayes, the pastoral candidate presented to FBC by the church's Pastor Search Committee, was rejected to be the church's next pastor.

For the uninformed about Southern Baptist policies and practices, a "view-of-a-call" Sunday is when a visiting pastor preaches to the congregation and then the congregation votes on whether or not to hire the visiting pastor.

Pastor Marcus is an outstanding preacher. For the past several years he has been a Campus Pastor at Biltmore Baptist Church in North Carolina. He is also serving on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.

FBC Naples is filled with some wonderful Christian people. Their former pastor, Dr. Hayes Wicker, once served as the pastor of Emmanuel Enid.

Letter to FBC Congregation 
Why did the church reject Marcus Hayes as their pastor? The staff of FBC Naples explains why in a letter they sent to the congregation this past Monday, October 28, 2019.
"Last week, through social media, texting, phone calls, and emails, racial prejudice was introduced into our voting process."
Let that sink in.

The Southern Baptist Convention began with racism, and the Southern Baptist Convention, unless there is radical, deep, personal and corporate repentance, will continue in latent racism.

Those are the facts. We best begin changing them. No more talk. Action.

As a parliamentarian, I know that a church's constitution can be changed by a 75% vote. I would change the constitution of  FBC Naples post-haste, re-vote, and call Marcus Hayes as Senior Pastor. IF that is impossible, FBC needs to imitate the 1860 Republican Convention. The delegates eventually voted for Abraham Lincoln to be President. They couldn't get the number of votes they needed, so they voted, re-voted, re-voted, and re-voted until eventually Lincoln became the United States Presidential Republican candidate.

In fact, I predict that will happen at FBC Naples.

Why? Because FBC Naples has a heritage of correcting wrongs. Listen to the prophetic voice of their former pastor, Max E. Cadenhead. It's a story told by Charles Colson, a member of FBC Naples during his lifetime of Christian service, and recounted in the 2015 book The New Pharisee by Jeff Saxton:
The late Max Cadenhead, when he was pastor of First Baptist Church in Naples, Florida, riveted his congregation one day with a bold confession. "My message today is on the parable of the Good Samaritan," Max announced. "Let me start with an illustration. Remember last year when the Browns came forward to join the church?" he asked. Everyone nodded; the Browns were a very influential family. "Well the same day a young man came forward and gave his life to Christ. I could tell he needed help - and we counseled him." No heads nodded; no one remembered. "We worked with the Browns, got them onto committees. They've been wonderful folks," Cadenhead said to muffled amen's. "And the young man...well, we lost track. Until yesterday, that is., as I was preparing today's message on the good Samaritan. I picked up the paper, and there was that young man's picture. He had shot and killed an elderly woman." Chins dropped throughout the congregation, mine (Colson's) included, as the pastor continued. "I never followed up on that young man, so I am the priest who saw the man in trouble and crossed to the other side of the road. I am the hypocrite." More of that kind of sober honesty in the church would be very healthy.
FBC Naples has a history of prophetic leaders.

The 81% of members who voted for Marcus Hayes should follow the pastoral staff's recommendations and do something about the racism.

No more talk.

Do something.

(UPDATE: FBC Naples' Pastor Search Committee announced this past weekend (November 2-3, 2019) that FBC Naples is going to conduct a re-vote on Marcus Hayes as their Senior Pastor. The announcement in the services received a standing ovation - begin watching at the 1:06:00 mark. ).

90 comments:

Patrick Mead said...

Weeping for this family. Weeping for the church. Praying for the right thing to be done by the church.

Christiane said...

"Racism, which is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior."

a great sin of pride that can lead to even deadly consequences and most certainly, great suffering for innocent people;
but the WORST deadly consequence is the poisoning of the soul of the ones harboring hatred for others . . . for that consequence, the Holy Spirit is needed to heal the poisoned one

Anonymous said...

Chalk it up to old eyes, but I had trouble reading the letter. Can we have more info? How do we know those who voted against this pastor did so for racist reasons? Giving grace a chance, is it possible they just did not care for his preaching or had some other cause? Have they said it was because of his race that they voted no?

Again, you may have already answered this Wade and my old eyes and I apologize if you have answered it. I went through watching something similar at a church that ordains women once when a woman candidated and was not hired. The accusation was that it was because she was female. Truth was the tiny church had a majority of folks that felt she could not handle the job on top of a permanently and totally disabled husband and two small children, plus the field being rife with gangs and drugs. For her safety and sanity they went with a less encumbered person who happened to be male. Not because of gender, but other circumstances.

She currently serves at a church much more suited to her life situation.

So before I draw and quarter this church and the folks who voted no I would need more info.

You know me, I never assume the obvious. Except with rattlesnakes and grizzly bears. Then I assume malice and give them their territory!


linda

Gerald Polmateer said...

Many children have seen such things which tends to hinder them later and give them a dim view of people in the church.

Craig Eastman said...

The 81% who voted their conscience for this pastor should not roll over or permit the 19% (some of whom voted the pastor down on the sole basis of White Supremacy) to cause White Supremacy to stand in First Baptist Church of Naples. They MUST call this pastor.

Walker.tim said...

Wade, I very much agree with you that we must reject racism in the SBC. And the rejection of racism must be going on right now. I will also pray for FBC Naples.

Anonymous said...

I know something of this situation. Race definitely Was an issue. However, to chalk the whole situation up to race would be inconsistent. Again there was a portion (maybe a sizable one) that took their issues with Marcus to that level. However, some portion (maybe a sizable one) of the “nays” has other and possibly valid reasons (which probably have more to do with disagreements in the body than with Marcus). The question is not if FBCN is racist (I don’t think it is). The question is more so if the racists added to the others in elevating the percentages? If one could validly remove those racists from the vote, would it be different? Probably. However, how does one classify who is and isn’t? Do we go looking for hoods in closets? What criteria must be met? Do we confiscate personal bookshelves? It seems to me that the term “racism” falls on a sliding scale for many. Now I’m not saying this in defense of those that are racist here. I know there are at least 2-3 instigators that need to be removed for sure. Yet, my fear is that we are going to see a witch hunt started, in the Salem sort of way. The only real victims here are Marcus and His family. I think the man could have made a huge difference. Hayes Wicker (in many ways) created his own kingdom at FBCN. There were privileges and a cloistered life that most pastors will never see (Nor should). I imagine that is why he strategically worked to control so much. Yet, every person at FBCN contributed to that. They allowed him (through personality dynamics) to amass such influence. Now they should not have the liberty to start blaming each other. What a spot on the Body of Christ for all of Naples (and the world) to see. I pray for all of them as we all should.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Did you read your post? I mean, could you see the “Senior Pastor voting results”?

If it’s important, it should be in letters large enough to read.
I ‘blew it up’ but it didn’t help. How did Craig Eastman read it? How did he know 19% voted against him?

I’m with Linda, maybe they didn’t like his preaching. Or could it be like our church many years ago when the majority rejected the prospect because he didn’t use King James Bible. No joke.

Wade Burleson said...

Linda and Rex,

Sorry for the small size of the letter. It's the only size I have.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of this church and have been for decades. Current leadership has put that out there falsely. I know many people who voted no who were not any part of racial profiling but did not feel he was a good fit or also felt that this gentleman was handpicked by a toxic leadership who wronged Dr. Wicker into leaving the church he had shepherded for well over 20 years. There is zero transparency in leader ship right now and a lot of bullying. I have a question sir. Your last name is the same as the current executive pastors sister. Are you any relation? That is a valid question to determine if this article was published with bias.

Tim Guthrie said...

Throw out the sinners and re-call the Pastor! This is sickening!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

Pastor Wicker was not "wronged into leaving the church". He retired and he resigned.

CRS

Anonymous said...

He and Janet are personal friends of mine. He did not retire willingly at the time. He has been publicly shamed by the current leadership, marring his years of service. This is why the church is so so divided right now.

Stan Lindsey said...

As the comments began to degrade into attacks, how is it that we have already forgotten the task of the church - to win lost souls for the Kingdom. Stop and look at the world laughing at us Christians. Shameful.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a difficult faith community that IS divided in what it values, which is sad

maybe, before they involve any more people from the outside, they could attempt to reconcile themselves to one another through Christ the Lord

then they might be in a better condition, as a community, to consider a new pastor ?

RB Kuter said...

Wade, perhaps you should re-visit your original post on this one. Racism is indeed a problem in SBC churches, as it is in churches in many other denominations and independent churches. But your intervention and judging this individual church's administration, its motives, choices on leadership, is beyond the scope of appropriate involvement of outsiders like you and me. Some good comments in response to your post point this out in portraying that we really are not aware of the politics, personalities, recent history, etc. that is involved.

Even if the "staff" attributes the candidate's rejection to racism, how do we know what issues that staff may have, it's motives, etc. As one member points out in the stream of comments, the former Pastor was apparently put in the position of feeling he was pressured to retire by factions in the church prior to this candidate being proposed to replace him.

I have no idea if the candidate's race was an issue in his rejection. It would be in a lot of churches for diverse reasons. There are no doubt hundreds of churches that would reject a proposed pastor due to race/ethnicity alone, both white, black, Hispanic, etc. That certainly can be attributed to a sinful heart of arrogance and misplaced pride but is sometimes reflective of a congregations' preference to have "one of their own" serve as their leader. That could be due to wanting someone who could better serve in their community, communicate the Gospel, minister to those of their culture. We don't know.

I don't attend SBC Annual Meetings but do follow the news on the Convention. I am not familiar with racism active on a top-Convention level. If there is, that would certainly warrant our involvement as individual members of the Convention. That is "our" affair. But policing individual congregations with which we are not involved is another matter, in my opinion.

Sorry to see other Convention, high-profile, SBC celebs playing what appears to be the "virtue signaling" path too as they rush to condemn this church. That's not a lot more attractive or honorable than the matter they are targeting.

Susan burlison said...

No relation...i am the sister you are referring to and the spelling is different..burlison

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous personal friends of the prior Pastor: My husband and I have attended this church for many years and are members. In the beginning of this situation, we too were deeply saddened that Pastor left sooner than he announced initially in January, that he would be retiring. We were perturbed at the church that there was no retirement party or final sermon. But we asked questions, as many as we needed to ask, to satisfy our anger. The staff initially did not want to speak in any negative way about the events so they were pretty much silent. However a group sent anonymous letters of grave allegations against the staff. The staff was forced to reply to the allegations against them. The staff provided proof of their side of the events with dates,documents when necessary and answered questions with verifiable facts. The anonymous group remained anonymous with no verifiable proof other than "words". So to say on a public blog that he was publicly shamed by the current leadership is outright deceiving. And still just more words... We can't deceive the public with these comments, that is not good. The church is not as divided as you'd like to present. I don't want to argue with you as I care about your feelings you may have, but we need to present correct facts. He was not publicly shamed into leaving. The staff was still publicly silent when he left. I believe they would have remained silent if they had not been forced to respond.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe this had nothing to do with race, when it comes to the concerned members that have expressed many issues. Yes! Pastor Wicker was going to retire. No! He did not plan on leaving the way he did! Would Marcus have brought healing to FBCN? Possibly!
Personally, I think the members of FBCN need to ask themselves a few questions?
1. When did the uneasy feelings at chirch begin?
2. Why was there so much chaos around the Pastor Wicker's leaving?
3. What needs to be done to get right with God?

Anonymous said...

There is a division in this church that needs healing. Whether it is Marcus to do it or another Pastor it is all to be done right. Let Gods will take over here. Much prayer for all involved. As for me I am considering as are many others to worship elsewhere. I dont feel the Spirit there. It is being suppressed.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous commentators,

I do not moderate the comment section. That's been my policy for years. However, I do encourage people signing their names. I am always identified, by articles I write or places I comment, by my name. That doesn't always mean I'm popular, but it does mean the principle which I'm advocating has my personal courage behind it.

I tend to "ignore" anonymous comments (and would encourage others to do so) because hiding behind anonymity never solves anything.

Let me tell you a story. I've been pastor of Emmanuel Enid for 28 years. Emmanuel has changed. Rather than a "come and see" mentality, we have a "go and tell" purpose. We have helped start homes for prisoners (Oasis); brought on staff a pastor we sent to the Marshall Islands for 2 years to begin Community Planning in 2020 in ENID where over 4,000 Marshalese reside; we've started a REFUGE home for abandoned or homeless women; we transport prisoners to our church every Sunday, disciple them, and are now seeing those freed moving their families to Enid because of the church and jobs we've found for them through our prison ministries; our church members are behind direct missions efforts (church planting, water well drilling, hospital, Christian communications via radio and television) in Niger, Poland, Indonesia, and other far reaching places around the world. Our focus is as much local as it is global. We give out free gas and food vouchers every Sunday, and our church has given over $100,000 in financial aid to people in need of financial help this past year; we are working on CLEARING Foster Care homes in our county in 2020 by our members bringing children into their homes rather than have them in state homes (Foster Care and Care Portal). I could go on --- and on --- and on. All this has begun within the last decade.

Recently, I had a gentlemen send me an email - "We'll be back at Emmanuel Enid when you're gone."

He signed his name.

My wife and I had a great opportunity to take this gentleman and his wife out to lunch. I just listened to him. He said that a few people (who wished to remain anonymous) have told him how awful of a person I am. I laughed, and said, "Have you ever experienced me being awful?" He looked at me, lowered his eyes, and said, "No." Then he apologized. He said these people, who would not come speak with me, had turned him against me. Of course, I forgave him, and I told him that I loved even those people who feel that the changes at Emmanuel are not for the best.

My point is simple: Signing your name gives the ability for personal relationship and potential correction. Not everybody needs to agree; but every one should have the dignity to let the unique nature of their voices be heard.

Anonymous said...

The current leadership at FBC is known for intimidation. It is a common practice for those who intimidate to lie in order to get their way. When something doesnt go their way they accuse the nay voters of racism. Hmmmmmm that sounds strangely familiar. Isnt that what happened in a recent rlection? We've heard alot of accusations and stories of how the previous pastor was publically dishonored in a video sent to all members via email. Who in their right mind would want to be part of a church who would stoop so low and then refuse to seek reconciliation. This all could have been resolved if their had been true Holy Spirit led leadership in place currently. So sad that while they are slandering, intimidating, and spreading lies about racism there are people in the world and even their own church who are struggling with real life issues that need to know that someone cares.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,
First, this blog is making it's way around FBC and anyone who states their name and disagrees at FBC is bullied by current leadership. Second, did you know the accusations made against the previous pastor that started this mess were done so anonymously? I might add that unless you go to this church you really have no idea what the truth is.

Wade Burleson said...

Candidly, if leadership "bullies," they are the ones that need to be called out.

I've been down this road before - I understand bullies (see "Hardball Religion"), but I only effected change by having the courage to speak up with my name behind my voice.

IF that's difficult, I'd encourage you not to comment and only read.

Anonymous said...

What responsibility does the church body have? This whole thing is a snake eating it’s own head. The congregation voted in a pastor who then put leaders in strategic places. Those leaders are now being blamed for hurting the leader that they all voted for. Additionally the church voted for many of those strategic leaders and changes. Again the leader who strategically placed committees in the place of elders. Also all the leaders these people are now “concerned” about, were also voted in by this congregation. It’s like stabbing one’s self in the heart and then blaming the knife.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Your comment was very good about encouraging people to sigh their names.

NBC 5 News on October 30, reported Brandon Gonzales was arrested for the killing at Greenville on the testimony of one person WHOSE NAME IS NOT REVEALED. He is now a “protected witness”. I’ll name him Mr. X for telling his story.

Mr. X states he saw Gonzales in the restroom with a large group of people and within 15 seconds of leaving the restroom, Gonzales pulled a handgun from his waistband and began shooting people in the head.

Brandon Gonzales’s friend Zach Bowen, said he went to the party with Brandon and states: “I know for a fact it wasn’t Brandon.”

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Greenville-Shooting-Suspect-Pointed-Guns-at-Targets-Heads-Witness-564118251.html

Alaskan in Texas said...

Not that you seek it or need it, but I appreciate you using your blog platform to bring attention to the statement put out by the staff at FBC Naples.

The criticism you are getting from commenters here (both anonymous and named) seems to have a theme of downplaying the racist element of the story. "You are virtue signalling." "You don't know if you don't attend." "Maybe people just didn't like his preaching." "Keep your nose out of other churches' business." Etc. As a white, American, professional, male, to these comments I say: Rubbish! We need to listen to people who are calling out racism, acknowledge racism exists even if it isn't part of our personal experience, and do whatever it takes to put an end to it.

The thing about racism is its insidiousness. Racism is like the yeast that leavens the whole lump of dough: You know it's in there, you know it was only a small fraction of the overall recipe, but in the final result of a swollen, doubled-in-size, lump of dough, it's impossible to tell where it started and where it ended.

I am tired of hearing white people (me, included!) in America downplaying racism, denying or minimizing its existence, and hoping folks will one day "just get over it." I think it is those very types of responses that allow racism to stay alive and rear its ugly head in our churches from time to time, and especially in Southern Baptist churches.

So, bravo to you, Wade, for giving attention to this important story from FBC Naples. Would that we all stop wringing our hands and worrying about rocking the racist boat. Rock it, I say. Rock that racist boat.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I understand your outrage at the FBCN pastoral vote results, but I am a little surprised that you would advocate trying to overturn the vote of an election carried out according to FBCN by-laws. A recent President of the United States once said that "elections have consequences". Was there a racist element involved? Most likely there was. That does not mean that FBCN should run a procedural end-around of the results in order to change the outcome. Didn't the Democrat Party try that after the 2016 Presidential election? FBCN not calling Marcus Hayes is probably a loss for FBCN. If FBCN changed its vote, I would hope that Pastor Hayes would decline the calling.

Ken P.

Wade Burleson said...

Ken P.

Great point, and I agree.

I also agree one should change the rules when a very small minority (300) controls the direction of a church that had 3800 in attendance.

Whether one likes President Trump or not, one could argue that no President in the history of past time or future time would ever be elected with a requirement of 85%.

My point is that Bylaw requirement is unreasonable and - in my opinion - should be changed.

Gerald Polmateer said...

Several years ago a large church called me and asked me to meet with them. I turned down their invitation because I was aware of the problems there and knew they needed to settle some issues. At the time that church had numerous problems because they would not let go of their aging pastor who needed to retire. They went through a number of pastors in a short time but now are doing quite well.

everette said...

Wade,

I appreciate your willingness to call out FBC Naples on this issue, and I largely agree with you that the church should find a way to offer a job to Rev. Hayes.

But I think that to stop here would be treating the symptom (voting against a qualified pastoral candidate because of his skin color) rather than the disease (of obvious racial prejudice in the church).

When God decided to convict Peter of his ethnic prejudices, he did not send a Gentile to do so. God first sent a vision to confirm that Peter should accept Cornelius' hospitality (and by extension, his unclean food). Later, when Peter relapsed, God sent Paul, a man whose Jewish credentials were unimpeachable.

If this church wants to become worthy of a man like Rev. Hayes, shouldn't it first seek to discipline the racists in its midst, and then be reconciled with those who are willing to repent of their racism?

Once this happens, the church can then apologize to Rev. Hayes and then call him again, while openly acknowledging that he might very well not want to accept the job. But Rev. Hayes should not be put in the position of being a "magic Negro" (for lack of a better term) whose primary function is to cure white people of their racism. The church should deal with that on its own, or with the help of an interim pastor experienced in addressing such issues.

Anonymous said...

For the record, my family and I have faced a great deal of racial prejudice.

I am open to seeing evidence that those voting not to call this pastor did it due to racism. It is possible to vote against him for some other reason.

HOWEVER, we are not allowed to judge the condition of the souls of others. To point blank assume the ONLY reason some voted no is racism is a form of reverse racism. We have to be better than that.

I can think of many reasons they could have voted no: maybe he said he would push for changes they don't want, such as music or taking the church in a different direction theologically. (Maybe he is a Calvinist and they are not, or he isn't one and they are.)

At least we know how they voted. I was once part of a church that held a pastor recall vote where said pastor vowed to resign if the vote was not unanimously in favor of retaining him. I voted no, and as collector of ballots know for sure there were many no votes. In a few minutes we were told it was unanimous in his favor, and that proved we "had no church bosses that would hurt him by voting no."

Needless to say I found a new church.

I have witnessed a church refuse to call a Calvinist as pastor. He spun that as not being called because his surname was Spanish heritage. Uh, no, they were dispensational free grace traditionalists. Listened once as a female staff member who clearly needed firing could not be fired "because that would be sexist."

So I always want proof, not innuendo. In both those cases it was not sin. The Hispanic man would not have been hired had he been Anglo. They called a Hispanic for the job. And the female staff member would have been fired if male.

So if there IS clear evidence people voted no BECAUSE of his race, tell us. Not "so and so said it was because" but actual clear evidence.

Enough intersectionality and yes, virtue signaling, already. As a non100%Anglo female, enough. Sometimes it really isn't about sex or gender or race.

linda

Betty said...

I am a member of FBCN and am happy to report that racism is NOT the issue at FBCN. Some of the posts regarding this issue is totally incorrect and no one should voice their opinion unless they know the Whole Truth. Sometimes when people lose the debate they revert to slander. When a church has been a lighthouse for 30 plus years in a community the enemy wants nothing more than bring about strife and confusion. Unless we are grounded and rooted firmly in the Word of God our spiritual eyes can become blinded to truth. So sad when people become mad at God.

Unknown said...

Thank you for such honesty, I agree with the church allowed Pastor Wicker too much but I also enjoyed his preachings. Pray God resolves any issues soon before it escalates further.

Rex Ray said...

Am I a racist?

When I was 16, we lived in Giessen, Germany. I had a crush on the prettiest girl in school, Mary Ann Decab, a Black girl who was two years younger than me. She never knew I liked her. She moved to Munich. The last time I saw her, she waved at me from the stands as I won the mile race in Munich, Germany.

While in the Air Force, I told a friend, “When I was a kid, I hunted rabbits with a ‘Nigger-shooter.” (Sling-shot) He started laughing: “You do know I’m Black, don’t you?”

Last Friday, I heard a Black preach at a revival. His color did not bother me; just the stories about his wife would have gotten an award on a TV comedy show.

I believe their kids suffer in a ‘mixed’ marriage. That may make me a racist.

RB Kuter said...

So "Texas Alaskan", you made direct reference to some of the comments I made so I will respond in an attempt to clarify to you the intent of my comments.

Regarding my impression that "outsiders" of a church who jump on a bandwagon saying there are issues of racism in that church when they do not have the details and are not active members of that congregation and my say it has the appearance of "virtue signaling", that is a correct assessment of what I was saying.

If someone, or a small group of members, in my church accuses our church staff of being racist with no clear evidence or support for that and Texas Alaskan, who had never been to our town, begins blogging and Tweeting and using all kind of social media posting saying that our church is racist when some of your high profile friends are saying it too, then I would say you are probably "virtue signaling" and commenting on things in which you have no clue as to the actual situation.

You wouldn't do that, for sure, but maybe you get why I would take away this impression regarding such.

If you are inferring that I told Wade to "keep his nose out of other people's business", then you have absolutely no idea of what you're talking about. I love Wade's boldness and defense of those who are victims of bullying and being pushed around and for his calling out those injustices he sees in our institutions and Baptist culture. I did propose that I did not feel his involvement in this instance was wise, but not so crude as to tell him, "keep your nose out of other's business". I would also never propose to him that he not address the racism going on in our Southern Baptist culture and Convention.

Then you infer, again (at least I feel your comment was directed at me due to some of the terms I used and you quoted) that I am proposing a toning down of the dial on concern for racism in our Convention. Again, you have no idea what you're talking about. My comments were in no way intended to excuse genuine racism and injustices to others.

As I mentioned, I recognize the existence of racism present in our Baptist culture but have become very sensitive to people who grab hold of this "racism" ball bat to beat up on all kinds of situations that do not warrant it. That has become an everyday occurrence in our nation lately.

There is a myriad of factors that result in church congregations being primarily of one race or ethnicity or another. It is not always a matter of that congregation being all "black" because they hate "white" people, all "Indian" because they hate "westerners", all "Hispanic" because they hate all "Anglos", or all "native Alaskans" because they hate "non-Alaskans".

Is your congregation 50% "African-American"? I doubt it. If it is 80% "white", then you are a "racist" congregation. How does that feel? If your congregation is 50% "African American" you probably go to Tony Evans church! I would too!

Whatever "your" church is or is not, what business do I have commenting on those complex internal administrative decisions and interactions going on in "your" church? None. As I mentioned in my comment, the Southern Baptist Convention does affect we Southern Baptists and we are justified in being involved and commenting on its affairs. Big difference, to me, but obviously, not to you.

pavielle_86 said...

What was the point of you sharing this?

Wade Burleson said...

Pointing out potential racism in the SBC (read the letter).
Pointing out a potential way to correct way to correct it (read the blog).
Pointing out that actions locally often have repercussions globally in this day.

That's the point, Pavielle.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

We have several mixed racial families in our church. The kids are beautiful. The families are amazing. The more a person experiences the cultures of other people, the more normal differences seem.

RB Kuter said...

"pavielle_86" asks; "What was the point of you sharing this?"

Let's see, one point is to explain I am not racist at this time in my life and would never try to diminish the serious nature of the issue or try to make excuses for it.

Another point is to express that I support Wade and his methods and would never tell him to "keep his nose out of the affairs of others".

Another point is that my impression is that a lot of people in the US these days attack those who are in opposing positions by calling them "racist" as a means undermine their credibility even though there is no basis for their accusation.

Another point is to say that there are a LOT of people these days who do not have a genuine and sincere interest in remedying injustice but love to project that they do because some others with whom they are enchanted are doing it, thus, the label, "virtue signaling".

Another point is to say that just because a congregation is predominantly one color/nationality, ethnic group or another does not mean that they have a sense of hatred or disdain in their hearts about those who are different than themselves.

I could go on but feel I am being repetitive. Hope this makes it more clear as to my intent.

RB Kuter said...

I think that "pavielle_86" is simply being irritable.

Wade Burleson said...

Got it, RB Kuter -

I thought "this" by pavielle_86 was a reference to "this blog post" rather than RB's (your) comment. :)

I guess pavielle can let us know which he meant.

Anonymous said...

I did a quick demographic search on Naples, FL. I don't know for sure how FBCN compares, but Naples is overwhelmingly white (94%), old (median age is 65) and rich (median income is twice that of the state, and that probably does not include well-off retirees). Just saying that Naples may not be the most ground-breaking place to have an African-American pastor.

Ken P.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

This makes me a racist.

“All great nations commit suicide with 7 steps.” By former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm.

1. Have America to use more languages than English.
2. Encourage immigrants to maintain their culture.
3. Celebrate diversity rather than unity. Replace the ‘melting pot’ with the ‘salad bowl’ metaphor.
4. Make the fastest growing group the least educated with a 50% high school dropout rate.
5. Establish the cult of VICTIM by minorities thinking their lack of success or persecution is the fault of the majority and start a grievance industry.
[Black Lives Matter?]
6. Be labeled a RACIST if you disagree with VICTIM.
7. Make it impossible to enforce immigration laws.

Wade, how close are we to ‘suicide’?

Rex Ray said...

Or I should say; Richard Lamm's suicide?

Jennie said...

Rex Ray, you are a racist. Your terminology is not appropriate.

We should encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I teach ESL at my church and the cultures represented from all over the world are a beautiful tapestry of God's creation. They can be part of America and still hold on to their cultural identity. How sad it would be if they didn't!
People who are against immigrants, usually don't know any personally. I know many and they are some of the hardest working, kind people I've ever met.

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is enlarge the page to read it. Quit complaining and put both fingers on the screen and pull it apart to enlarge it. Learn how to use your phone.
There are people on here that say they have direct knowledge of racist propaganda used against this potential Pastor and it was done by phone, mail and social media. What you should have been asking for is a view of the evidence to form an opinion. Everyone wants to say something but they are not interested in Facts. Show the text messages, letters and social media posts.

Anonymous said...

How can a grown woman or man allow themselves to be bullied by others. You mean they can't fight back (private meetings, emails, letters, protests and social media). People who let themselves get bullied are what trump calls them (Weak). Fight back with everything you have.

Gerald Polmateer said...

Before I pastored I was a teacher with a record few could ever claim. I had completely changed the program I taught in a high school that has a 2/3 dropout rate. It would have done no good to remind the students of how poor they were. Instead I brought them up to a level I had never seen done in most colleges and universities. My students won every competition every year and the program became the state standard in CA. After 2-1/2 years the state paid me a visit and wanted to know what I was doing. At that time they made me aware of some things I did not know. For example not one of my students dropped out of school. I dealt with a number of problems by teaching the students for success once they graduated not just to do well in my class.

If racism is a problem in that church there may be a better solution to solving that problem. Often times problems are solved in such simple ways by the right person. I knew there was a problem in the first church I pastored I knew there were two major problems, but I never said anything about it directly. I don't think the people had given any thought to some of those things. Many times from the pulpit I would say something like we don't care if you have hair or no hair. We don't care if you have a big nose or no nose. We don't care if you can see or are blind. We don't care if you have big ears or no ears. We don't care where you have come from but God cares where you are going. We are just glad you here. That got the point across that everyone is different and has different gifts, different ministries with different effects. The people began seeing a different church and began staying after to welcome new people.It was a church that had lost almost everything. God made that church come alive and today they have so much. I am proud of them and how they allowed God to change them.

I believe we must treat people in such a way that they want something higher but they want someone to show them the way.

The solution with a problem starts in the closet not by political moves. God ways are so much higher than our ways.

Rex Ray said...

Jennie,

Hooray for you, but how is teaching immigrants English helping them to maintain their culture? That’s one of the things the ex-governor of Colorado said should be done to prevent ‘our suicide’.

Yes, I’m a racists, but not for the reasons you say. Our church song director is a LEGAL immigrant from Romania. His 15 year-old-son was born in America.

I believe this makes me a racist.

I retired as a Tool Designer from LTV. In my last years there, I saw many Blacks promoted even though they were less qualified because LTV had Government contracts that required a percentage of Blacks to have the higher paying jobs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action_in_the_United_States

Have you heard this?

“Sorry, but food stamps don’t cover dog food.”
Black: “I’ll take it back and get steak. My dog likes steak better anyway.”

“You think I’m guilty just because I’m Black!” That got so common, it was called “The Race Card”.

Once, I was the only one of our “Volunteer Christian Builders for Christ” still building a large Black church in South Oak Cliff in Dallas. I worked five hours a day for 49 days. The others left after a week when a Black was behind a tree dodging bullets.

Once, the Black pastor scolded me for working at night with the doors unlocked. He said one of his members passed out from a ‘choke-holt’. He woke up with his billfold stolen.

He also said, “We need Mexicans to do the work. I can take you right now and show you 20 of our young men sucking on a bottle.”

One day, I asked why scrap sheetrock in his truck was covered with tree limbs.

“The city dump charges for leaving sheetrock.”

Later, I told the pastor, my skill saw was missing and only one member had been there. He called his mother and asked if she’d seen him.

“He came into some money and has left with his friends.”

I figured my saw was in some pawn shop.

Two years ago, I was in the Dallas VA Hospital. A Black wife, in a wheelchair, was visiting her husband who was my room-mate. She told him she’d parked in a “Handy-cap-only. Their car had been impounded because their daughter removed her handy-cap-sticker thinking it’d be stolen. The mother said, “A hundred dollar’s not a lot of money, but it is when you don’t have it.

Their small boy chimed in, “South Oak Cliff where there ain’t no money.” My heart broke for them, but circumstances prevented me from giving money.

This is a joke: Two men on an airplane. One guy’s company was transferring him to Chicago, and was worried about his kids. The other said he’d lived there for years and assured him they’d be fine if he put them in a private school.

“What’s your job?”
“Oh, I’m tail-gunner on a firetruck.”

Anonymous said...

Ken P.

This is continuing racism. Why is it about the color of his skin and not the content of his character, his education, his ability to lead and his religious convictions.
You mean an African-American Pastor isn't capable of running a predominantly white church in Naples? White people in Naples is not ready for an African-American leader. If this is what some of them are thinking then racism sure as hell exists.

Christiane said...

There is a terrible underlying sin urged on by satan that hides beneath our racism:
'pride' in seeing ourselves as somehow 'better than' others and in full swing, this pride accelerates into contempt and into hatred and on into pointing the finger and judging and still further into promoting the hate so that others will join us against our victims.

The problem is, WE are the ones who are ultimately hurt by that hatred. It poisons us. It becomes something that we send outward that takes on a force of its own and we cannot control it's destructiveness . . . and in the end, we may say 'oh, I never meant for that to happen', but it's too late and the blood is on our hands. . . .

and oh my goodness are Christians in the thick of this sometimes and the sad thing is that they don't even KNOW it.

But then, sometimes something happens to change this fear and contempt to something else . . . . perhaps a movement of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of the people

. . . was a Church in a small town that helped some newcomers who were 'different'; amd
the people in this Church did reach out and they helped these new people, even though at first, they were confused about what to do and they were fearful, so they read the Holy Gospels and they prayed.

Here is the story of what happened :
https://youtu.be/tOWPd76HiVI

Later, seeing this, there was publicity, and a famous political active former Christian minister was confused and said 'What on Earth were they thinking?'

What indeed. 'They' had looked into the sacred Scriptures and 'they' had prayed about it and 'they' reached out to their neighbors and helped them. It happened. Here. In America. A lot of things can change when a people let go of their fear and open their hearts to the sacred Scriptures.

Rex Ray said...

Ken P and CHRISTIANE,

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2018/05/03/homicide_overtime/

This chart compares homicides by Black and White men per 100,000 population for the years 1980 to 2015.

The math calculations show Blacks murdered seven times more than Whites.


https://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/top-stories/protest-expected-at-hunt-co-sheriffs-office-over-arrest-of-alleged-greenville-shooter/

Tomorrow, I plan to be in this protest group that’s 35 miles from here. He’s not Black but Mexican.

RB Kuter said...

"I thought "this" by pavielle_86 was a reference to "this blog post" rather than RB's (your) comment. :)"

Wade, I believe you are absolutely correct that his statement was directed toward your post.
My apologies to both you and pavielle.

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY

here's the FIRST Trump quid-pro-quo Ukraine conspiracy theory, ENJOY:

https://www.businessinsider.com/ukraine-halts-manafort-investigations-to-avoid-irritating-trump-2018-5

Trump gave Ukraine Javelin missiles AFTER the Ukraine stopped investigating his buddy Paul Manafort.

"Until the investigations were halted, Ukrainian officials were looking into money paid to Manafort and a New York-based law firm by people within former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's political party. Yanukovych, who was pro-Russian, was famously ousted in 2014 by street protests that captured the world's attention and ultimately spiraled into the conflict that continues to rage on in eastern Ukraine. Manafort was a long-time adviser of Yanukovych.

The Ukrainian government's decision to halt the investigations into Manafort reportedly came in April, roughly a month after the Pentagon gave the final approval for the sale of 210 Javelins and 35 launching units to Ukraine. Ukraine received the missiles on April 30."

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, what's with the continued anti-President campaigning? Kind of reminds me of people posting ads for oils and make-up in the midst of FaceBook streams. If you continue, you are going to motivate me to begin posting comments referring to the immense amount of corrupt, illegal, obstruction of justice, treasonous, non-patriotic, subversive, acts during the past President's administration and throughout the past political campaign.

Darn! She did it again! No, sorry. I won't be that disrespectful of Wade's blog site.

Anonymous said...

They have tried to fight for reconciliation with meetings emails etc and have been disciplined for disagreeing with leadership. Now because the prospective pastor didnt get the number of votes needed they have been accused of racism and are being removed from the church. For the record there were reasons for not voting for prospective pastor such as lack of experience with leading a large church and managing a large budget. You dont alli yourself to be bullied it just happens without your consent. That's why it's called bullying

Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter

I worry that people who live in bubbles of info don't get the full story.
So I'm trying to help out.

One thing:
maybe EVERY AMERICAN will watch the coming testimonies of witnesses before Congress when they begin 'live'.

Then people can make up their own minds.

I DO understand that the far right wants it's base to ignore any news input unless it comes 'approved', but that only encourages me to help out my friends in the heartland.

This particular 'controversy' is like 'stage one' of the FIRST use of American military weaponry to manipulate a foreign gov't (Ukraine) in a 'quid-pro-quo'. Trump got away with it. The investigation against Manafort was dropped in the Ukraine and at the end of that month, the missiles were delivered in return.

What we are seeing today is the results of a Stage Two 'quid pro quo' EXCEPT this time, witnesses who are credible SAW what was going on and knew it was illegal and threatened our national security, so they came forward. Trump got caught. Thanks to the Giuliani-Parnas-Furman clown show, who tried to 'shadow' deal, it's coming out what happened.

MY interest? I have often mentioned here a beloved godmother of blessed memory, Eleanor, whose people came here from the Ukraine when it was under Russia. She told stories of her family. You wouldn't want to hear them. So I do this for her also. I think I'm helping. At least that is my intention.

Jordan said...

I'm sure you've seen by now the REAL story. The 'woke' staff desperately wanted a black man (any black man) to signal their virtue. The head of the pastor search committee was arrested previously for a pay-to-play scandal and busted for racketeering in regards to employee hiring.

This, combined with the fact that Hayes promoted pro-abortion Kamala Harris, Eric Mason's ridiculously 'woke' book, and that Hayes strongly advocated Social Justice, gave the congregation pause to consider his candidacy.

Combine this with one other fact....the church bused in millennials who were ordinarily were not at church and had never before voted, lowered the voting age to 16 to allow the youth groups to push out the teen vote in the name of "racial justice" and pulled some other dirty stops, this put a sour taste in the mouth of the congregation.

Nothing *specifically* was alleged as racism, because nothing was about race. It was about worldview; a godly one versus a worldly one.

Make sure you have all the facts before you start flinging around the 21st century version of "witch" around.

Christiane said...

Mr.Kuter,

here is some info on WHY withholding the javelins were a the threat to OUR national security:

https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/10/03/top-us-military-commander-in-europe-says-more-javelins-will-help-ukraine/

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"You mean an African-American Pastor isn't capable of running a predominantly white church in Naples?"

No, and I made no statement implying such.

"White people in Naples is not ready for an African-American leader."

I did not say that either.

What I am saying is that any church that is 94% white is not likely to call an African-American Pastor. Conversely, any church that is 94% African American is not likely to call a white pastor.

Anonymous said...

The above should be signed Ken P.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, I will get my infor from other sources and simply overlook whatever is written when I see you as being the source. Talk about biased.

I seek to be informed but will not allow myself to be obsessed by the current media cesspool of propaganda. Too depressing and distracting and worthless. But hey, you go ahead and enjoy.

Brendan Fernandez said...

I would like to give perspective as a former staff member, current member, current BLG Teacher and volunteer for our college and 20’s ministry and someone who deeply hurts for this body.

Prior to working at FBCN, I attended the church for the large majority of my life. I’m 21 years of age, so for the 14 years I lived in Naples, I was at FBCN every weekend since my baby dedication.

I currently resigned after working at FBCN for partially over a year, and I didn’t resign because of the current situation, I resigned for personal reasons. Now I am I am only a member and volunteer at FBCN.

With that out of the way I’d like to preface that prior to me working at FBCN, I was not nearly as involved in church polity, business meetings, and I was not informed on what our church by-laws and constitution said. I take personal responsibility for that. I’ve known we have had by laws, I had seen in the bulletin there was business meetings, but I never started attending until maybe two years ago.

I am a skeptical being by nature, I think many of us are. While the transition started to get messy I didn’t know who to trust, what to believe, or what I was supposed to do. I can say firmly I had people from both sides of the aisle upset, mad and hurt, and it made it hard to navigate.

Something that was a blessing to me was how open to conversation pastors and staff would be regarding the situation if you wanted to ask questions. Pastors encouraged over the last several months people to come to the office and ask to speak with them, have lunch with them. The worship service wasn’t the place to discuss those matters.

I quickly saw people only became active in business meetings and reading the church constitution once they lost trust. Whereas I feel that everyone, with I myself included, should be active in our church at all times, knowing our structure, what our staff’s roles are and being in constant conversation with staff and pastors building relationships with them before the going gets tough.

I was excited for the vision and the gospel forward mission the search committee as well as Marcus Hayes brought to the table. As someone who’s always struggled with bible and LIFE groups at our church sometimes exceeding 300-400 people , and noticing that often times discipleship and fellowship was largely taking place amongst groups that were the same age, ethnicity and in the same stages in life, it brought me immense joy to hear that unity was at the forefront of that vision going forward.

I was excited that from the pulpit Marcus holds fast to sound doctrine, and Is a herald for the Lord. Not a topical speaker, or motivational preacher, but a bringer of the already perfect message God has given us. I can’t tell you how blessed I was to hear biblical exposition of scripture from the pulpit.

I would not make this up, as it would only bring further hurt and pain to our church if I did so. During the voting process the man behind me in line was speaking to another woman and gave extremely racially charged reasons as to why he wouldn’t vote for Marcus. I do not believe the 300+ people who voted no were doing so because of blatant racism, but regardless, first hand I heard it loud and clear.
I wish I had mustered up the courage to turn and speak to this man, but he sounded set in his ways and I wasn’t looking for an argument, I simply was stunned and saddened by those words.

Ultimately I would like to leave all this on a positive note, as I’ve tried to do with any comments I’ve put forward with this topic.

God is still very much in control. The church is not divided, and I’m thankful biblical church discipline is taking place. This pastoral staff is showing no signs of running, even though they have been ridiculed and slandered over the last six months. One pastor told me this, a shepherd does not abandon his sheep at the most vulnerable point.

I know our God is sovereign. He is the perfect shepherd.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

Christiane said...

Mr. Kuter,
I can respect that you choose your own sources of information.
I am certain that for many who follow only Fox News, the 'whole' story is not opened to them, so I bring info from other sources here to help out.

I don't expect anyone to look at it. It is a gift. It is something that I need to do so that I can feel that I tried to help them. If I didn't, my conscience would bother me when I see the effect of 'bubble' communication on good people.

Have a good weekend. Be blessed.

Gerald Polmateer said...

Christiane, what do you comments have to do with the blog post?

Wade Burleson said...

Brendan,

Great comment. Thank you. Our prayers are with you and your church.

Gerald,

I did not tell you earlier, but your comment on November 1, at 1:42 was outstanding.

Gerald Polmateer said...

Wade, thanks. After a few times the people laughed. I would say things like that as I thought of them at the moment. So it became a fun time in which the people anticipated what I was going to say next. It was also a fun thing for me to do.

Christiane said...

Hello Gerald Polmateer,

Sorry to be trouble.

Anonymous said...

There was no racism. That was manufactured to goad the congregation into desiring a scapegoat so the church leaders could have a pretext to punish, and throw out those who had been calling them to account for their questionable behavior. Thats it. Pure and simple.

Scott Shaver said...

Christianne:

I think Trump OWNS both your "conscience" and your head.

Sad that you can let a sitting president keep you in such a perpetual state of delusion and spiritual disarray.

Get over it. Get over yourself.

Or get help.

It really is nauseating.

Rex Ray said...

My letter to the Editor of the Dallas Morning News.
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/2018/12/02/submit-a-letter-to-the-editor/

Dear Sirs,

Has there been any motive given why Brandon Gonzales killed people at the Greenville Homecoming-Halloween party? He lived in Greenville, married with two children, and had a good job working for a car dealership as a security guard.

Many believe the killings were gang related, and are afraid to tell what they saw.

Has the unidentified ‘Informant’ that claimed he saw Gonzales kill people, been given a lie-detector-test?

‘Informant’ said Gonzales was playing dice with a crowd of people in a restroom 15 seconds before he started shooting. Can ‘Informant’ name anyone else at the dice game?

‘Informant’ states one victim fell against him; knocking him down and had blood on his jacket to prove it. Has his jacked been tested for matching the victim’s blood?

In a crowd of 750, what’s the chance of the two victims killed being that close to the dice game?

Could it be ‘Informant’ is protecting the real killer, or is the real killer?

Christiane said...

Hello Scott Shaver,

That I care if my heartland friends aren't getting the full story is meaningful to me.
If you are not good with that, examine your own conscience and your own words.

What is it about my bringing some links here for them makes you upset. Everyone can ignore me. I am not a proud person. I do not need attention.

If the links can help, good. If they are not read, no one is injured by their presence.

I think Wade knows I am not a destructive person and I don't mean any harm to anyone.

You wish people to be silenced? Why is that?

Soon, perhaps this month, there will be public hearings broadcast live for all of our citizens to see, and my hope is that Americans WILL watch them and make up their own minds.
When people are properly informed, in this country, I can trust a good outcome that works for better.

The mention of 'conspiracy theories' between me and REX RAY are because he enjoys them and has great interest in them and wants to share what he thinks. What is the harm in that?

Think about your own fear of the links I might bring here. You can examine that in your own way. Is there something in those links that you find threatening to your trumpism? Like the story of the FIRST time Trump held back vital weapons until the Ukraine stopped investigation Manafort's involvement in money shenanigans? The Ukraine stopped the Manafort investigation and the needed missiles arrived in the Ukraine at the end of that month.

You do know that Putin is an enemy of our country, I hope.

Anonymous said...

Brendan

You stated that “One pastor told me this, a shepherd does not abandon his sheep at the most vulnerable point”. If that is so, then why did Kevin Taylor, one of the pastor’s at FBC Naples send this email to a member they recently excommunicated? https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/11/03/far-from-the-black-massive-budget-shortfall-at-embattled-fbc-naples/. Is this an email coming from a Christian pastor??? Did they forget about biblical discipline in Matthew 18:15-17. Instead the bylaws were amended so they do not have to bring a member before the church to excommunicate them, which goes against God’s Word. These pastors are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Also if 81% of the congregation voted for this pastor, then I guess the 19% has been voting with their offerings of which they do not trust the current leadership with. The 19% were contributing to 50% of the weekly offerings and the other 81% contributed the other 50%. Does that make sense. Are the other 81% tithing according to scripture? Should they have a majority vote when they are not tithing in accordance with scripture? Don’t believe me, anyone can take a look for themselves by going to the FBC Naples website and look in the archives of the First Word and compare. You will see that the weekly offerings have dropped by 50% under the current leadership. The week of the vote being an exception when the leadership bussed in hundreds of people to get the record setting attendance of 3818. They also had an additional Sunday evening that weekend which they never have. See if the attendance comes close to that in any of the weeks following.

You allegedly heard someone making a racist comment when voting. Do you have proof? Please don’t state something when you cannot back it up with facts. The church is indeed strongly divided. Keep drinking the kool-aid Brendan, you one day could aspire to be like Kevin Taylor or better yet, the ring leader John David Edie.

KD said...

Everyone seems to jump right away that this is racist act. That the church members are racist! I don't see this as the case, because the numbers don't add up.

Just think about this - if the community is 90+% white, then it'll stand to reason that the church is 90+% white, but 81% of them voted for him? There has to be a more logical reason for 19% voting against him.

Maybe it's because his teachings are heavily leaning towards Critical Race Theory, Social Justice, and Intersectionality, more than preaching the Word of God? Critical Race Theory, Social Justice, and Intersectionality all lean heavily on Marxism and Communism. Intersectionality believes that you must reject the idea of a personal identity and group people in social hierarchies.

This blatantly rejects the Gospel of Jesus, who said that each man and woman must come to terms to their salvation with God, not a group of people. Jesus died for us as individuals, not as a societal group.

So before you start yelling that the church is racism, and that the community is racisist, look at the facts first. Read about Marcus Hayes teachings first, and compare it to God's word. Maybe that is what the 19% of the members did and saw that what he was teaching was not of God?

Bill said...

I am a 4 year snowbird attender of FBCN. A member of a SBC church in another state. A seminary grad. A church planter. While I do not have a legacy in Naples, I have observations.

FBCN was in need of a leadership change. Dr. Wicker is a godly man. His messages and presence in the pulpit over the last years, especially last year, were less-than-inspiring and enthusiastic. This is NOT unusual for men who have given their all for the Lord over the years. His messages would "work" for those who were part of the congregation for years, but maybe not for new attenders and an important younger generation of seekers and believers. This is no different than what happens in a secular job. People in their 60's are naturally less sharp and relevant to a younger generation. Has NOTHING to do with preaching the truth ... or in secular terms, "knowing your stuff". For all leaders there is a time to hand over the reins of leadership. Dr. Wicker knew that time had come.

It is mysterious what happened after the Easter season worship ended. We looked forward to watch Dr. Wicker help find and endorse his successor ... then get out of the way as the new leader took over. Where was Dr. Wicker? Why did he just disappear? It was so clear that if he were on stage and introduced Marcus Hayes as his successor, that the vote would have been different. Some of the blog comments speak to him being forced out. I do not know circumstances around this. But can we imagine how glorious it would have been if Hayes Wicker could have introduced Marcus Hayes as the next pastor!!!

Change is always difficult. Marcus Hayes is SOOOOO different than Hayes Wicker. Color of skin is the least of it. Age, preaching style, enthusiasm, sweating while preaching, sermon examples, jeans and a sports jacket at a morning service. Marcus Hayes is no Hayes Wicker. Nor is Hayes Wicker any Marcus Hayes. But it was time for change at FBCN. This was a BIG change. My wife and I were delighted that the staid FBCN would even consider Marcus. A brave decision.

Good men can grow into new assignments. While Marcus is lacking in some qualifications or church size, school size, etc. and maybe is a social media victim of tweeting/texting before fully thinking about unintended consequences, HE HAS BIG POTENTIAL that has been demonstrated at the SBC executive level and at Moody Bible Institute, to mention just two. He represents a newer generation that needs to be reached with the same message, but delivered in contemporary context. Not compromising the Gospel, but bringing new levels of application through expository teaching.

I though Marcus did a really good job on his message delivery. I found no heresy or error in his message. My wife and I were excited to sit under his preaching and teaching.

In Luke 9:5, Jesus instructs his apostles as He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God: "If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them" (NIV). I pray that Marcus does not see his experience at FBCN as unwelcoming. He is gifted, fresh, enthusiastic, relevant for the next generation, and respected in the convention. Perfect? No. A big change? Yes. FBCN needs to be welcoming and launch on an exciting faith-filled journey with the new leader. LEt's focus on the next generation and those who have not received the Good News.





Rex Ray said...

Every News Station on our TV had GOOD NEWS last night about the killing that took place at the Greenville Homecoming-Halloween party.

Brandon Gonzales has been released from jail because police said there was not enough evidence to hold him.

One may wonder if the protest group in front of the jail had anything to do with his release or why he was arrested in the first place.

Now, they can start looking for the real killer. I’ll bet they start with the guy (police didn’t release his name) that told them he saw Gonzales shoot people.

Rex Ray said...

What’s the old saying? “The bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it.”

The witness (police have not released his name) showed his jacket covered with blood. He said when Gonzales shot the victim, the victim fell against him and knocked him down.

HELLO!

Rex Ray said...

Police have the statements made by one person. They know his identity but kept it secret. I’ll name him X.

Police should do this with X’s statements:

1. Blood on X’s jacket should be tested if it’s from the dead or wounded.

2. If it’s of the dead or wounded, X may be killer.

3. X may be partner of killer.

5. Has X disappeared?

Wade Burleson said...

Got another November 1963 taking place near you Rex.

Gerald Polmateer said...

How does these comments contribute to the discussion?

Rex Ray said...

Judy asked why I made so many comments concerning Gonzales being arrested in the Greenville killings.

I told her it could be it hurts me when I believe the innocent are in jail. I’ve sent two emails to Trump (no response) why Sirhan did not kill Robert Kennedy.

I also remember how my twin brother was falsely arrested, put in restraining device that hurt his knees so bad he couldn’t work for 3 months. It choked him so bad, a medic yelled, “You’ve got to turn him loose; he’s dying!”

Wade,
You’re right.

Gerald Polmateer said...

So Rex how does your last comment contribute to the discussion about what Wade initially posted?

Rex Ray said...

Gerald,

About the same thing as Wade’s last comment. :)

Michael said...

wow. Focus on and praise the Lord. Naples has become a place where we evaluate and rate preachers -is this what we go to church for? To be entertained?

Gerald said...

Idolatry is rampant on how to grow a church. They have relegated God and what He does to a formula rather than doing what He commands. If what God does can be duplicated then God is an idol.

Rex Ray said...

“There are six things the Lord hates…a lying tongue…a false witness who pours out lies…” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NLT)

November 10, 2019 Newspaper: “A man freed after being accused of fatally shooting two people and injuring a dozen more at an off-campus college party in East Texas…Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, was released from jail…Sheriff’s Office said information favorable to him was discovered…He’d been jailed on a capital murder charge after an affidavit said a CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT told investigators Gonzales opened fire.”

The ‘lying tongue’ said Gonzales was in a restroom playing dice before he started shooting. Said one victim was shot and got blood on his (witness) coat when one victim fell against him, and knocked him down. [“…pours out lies”]

Newspaper: “Gonzales said he was on Facetime in his car on the parking lot and didn’t hear any shooting. People saw him there as they went in and there when they ran out. Said he’d be glad to see his three children, and hopes he can get his job back from a car dealership as a security guard.”

I’m glad Gonzales didn’t get shot like Oswald.

Gerald Polmateer said...

Everything that is found in a city is found in the church. Today we have Christians voting for those who support dismembering babies and throwing them in the trash.

Rex Ray said...

Gerald,

I’m surprised to see you read comments that’s made six post ago. Your last comment on it was three days ago. Also, your comment was four hours after mine, and was ‘off topic’ about as much as mine.

Are you one of those that have to have the last word?

I mentioned Oswald because I believe he didn’t hurt anyone as written in the book “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing” by James Tague who was wounded when JFK was killed.

I’ve kept a list of 34 people that I’ve given or sold his book to. Last on the list was Wade. We got to know each other pretty well as I turned 85 when my wife and I joined his church on a tour of Israel a couple of years ago.

Scott Shaver said...

No fear whatsoever Christianne. Post what you like.

But as I said before. Your constant anti-Trump bias and hatred is something I personally find nauseating.

I am sure I am not alone. The guy really seems to push you beyond any reasonable boundaries of rationality or common sense IMO.