Part 1: Tiffany Thigpen, a Victim of Darell Gilyard’s Abuse and Paige Patterson’s Ignorance, Counters Sharayah Colter’s Post

Tumultuous Clouds of Jupiter: This stunning image of Jupiter’s stormy northern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed a close pass of the gas giant planet.

“Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.” ― Criss Jami


This story may take several posts. It brings me back to the earliest days of TWW, 2009, when few were reading our blog. I had discovered Tom Rich’s blog, FBC Jax, and read about his concerns with Mac Brunson, a fairly new pastor, at FBC Jacksonville. So I contacted Tom through his website and asked him if he would be willing to speak with me. Both of us remember that phone call in the summer of 2009. Tom, better known to all as The Dawg, answered the phone and suspiciously listened as I explained that I wanted to write his story. Slowly, he began to realize that I was serious and that this wasn’t some scheme related to FBC Jacksonville leadership.

Tom Rich is the one who introduced me to the story of Tiffany’s abuse by Darrell Gilyard. I began to closely follow the story surrounding Gilyard and posted number of stories about him throughout the years. I am wholeheartedly convinced that Paige Patterson did not do what he should have done and that Gilyard went onto molest more women due to his negligence. Sadly, it appears to me that Patterson was part of a generation that believed in covering up abuse because it was detrimental to the view of a pristine church by the community. I believe he also subscribed to the idea that women should forgive their violent husbands and continue to take one on the chin “for the cause of Christ.* At the minimum he was dangerously stupid.

When I was in my 20s, I came home to Salem, MA, during a break from my stint on the Navajo Reservation. My mother had the radio on, listening to the local news.The announcer reported that a woman had been raped but was not injured! I called the radio station and gave them a piece of my mind.I couldn’t believe that anyone would think that a rape was not an injury in and of itself.  On the next update, they changed the wording. I believe that Paige Patterson came from this generation. He should have reported each and every complaint that he received. It was not up to him to *investigate* the complaints or even say that there needed to be 2 or more witnesses for each complaint. Since when have rapists chosen to hurt their subjects in full view of witnesses? Also, each report from a new victim was corroborating other reported stories. In the end, I believe that Patterson was merely an SBC tin man who lacked a heart and din’t know he needed to find one.

After I write a couple of posts on Tiffany’s situation, I plan to follow them up with Tom Rich’s incredible story which involved his successful lawsuit against his pastor, church, the local constabulary, and a lackadaisical state attorney. It’s a great story!

Christa Brown carefully followed the controversy surrounding Darrell Gilyard and Paige Patterson. Prepare to get angry.

If you want to understand what happened, there is no better place to go than Stop Baptist Predators. Christa Brown wrote Baptist Scandals: The Darrell Gilyard – Paige Patterson Connection

In Florida, hundreds of pages of documents detail the sexually explicit text messages allegedly sent by pastor Darrell Gilyard to 14 and 15 year-old girls. A news account provides details of the molestation allegations against Gilyard.

So this is the Florida news, but look at the history of this pastor. Why didn’t Baptist leaders stop him sooner?

As reported in the Dallas Morning News, Gilyard left Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas in 1987 after about 25 women complained of his “sexual misconduct.” The senior pastor, Rev. E.K. Bailey, “assumed that would be the end of Darrell Gilyard’s bright evangelistic career.” How tragically wrong he was.

At that time, the First Baptist Church of Dallas and Criswell College president Paige Patterson were promoting Gilyard in Southern Baptist churches. He was considered a rising star. Despite the many allegations against Gilyard, First Baptist officials “decided there was not enough evidence” to further investigate Gilyard, and, according to Rev. Bailey, Paige Patterson wrote him “an unkind letter” saying that “he would have come out to my church and solved the problem for me if I had told him first.”

Apparently, 25 accusations weren’t enough for Paige Patterson. In fact, according to the Dallas Morning News, Patterson painted “Gilyard as a victim” and suggested the accusers were motivated by “jealousy, frustration and racism.”

Patterson wanted “demonstrable evidence” such as “photographs, videotapes or laboratory tests.” Despite 25 women’s accusations, Patterson and First Baptist “continued to recommend” Gilyard.

Tiffany’s story

Here is a link to her blog that received much visibility:let’s stop pastor darrell gilyard together. Sadly, Tiffany would go on to be ignored by the leaders of the SBC. They didn’t even bother to contact her when they were involved in getting rid of Paige Patterson. I believe that had I not brought her up in this post, SBC/ERLC/Caring Well: Tiffany Thigpen, Anne Marie Miller and Dee Ann Miller Aren’t Speaking at the Conference. Why in the World Not?, she would have continued to be ignored.

Why was she ignored? Was it because she named her abuser and sought justice? It seems that those who go after their actual SBC abuser gives the SBC leaders the screaming meemies.

Here is a synopsis from that post.


Begin synopsis:

Back then she was Tiffany Croft. I wrote about her years ago when I first started blogging. It is her testimony that led to Darrell Gilyard being convicted of molestation of teens in his church. Here is a link to her blog at the time let’s stop pastor darrell gilyard together

When I met an abusive Pastor, Darrell Gilyard, I was a 17 year old girl who was actively involved in my youth group and completely trusting of Pastors and leaders.

…I grew up attending First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida under Homer Lyndsay and later Jerry Vines. Jerry Vines “found” Darrell Gilyard in the 80’s while he was an attending member in our singles dept. Apparently he saw preaching qualitites in him and called his friend Paige Patterson and recommended him for a scholarship for seminary.

…. He would tell the story of “doing his homework at the service station” for light. All of this turned out to be a lie. I was a middle schooler and heard Darrell share his story from the pulpit and we sights on me – unlucky me. We trusted and respected Darrell because our Pastor and Paige both bragged on him and revered him, loved him like their son, Jerry Falwell as well. We blindly trusted because there were no warnings, no safety parameters. We all knew how Vines loved him. Our church was a mega church back then, boasting some 16,000 members and our Pastors were revered, we trusted whom they trusted.

…Patterson placed him in Pastor positions at local churches, the accusations and reports followed. Darrell came onto women, assaulted them and even raped. All were reported to Patterson. We all know the story, Patterson, in his own words “broke them down” and shamed them, and he stood behind Gilyard. There are many reports of this available. We know this part and how that went during the 80’s

…in 1990, my Pastor and Gilyards mentor, Vines, decided it was an appropriate choice to have Darrell Gilyard travel with our youth choir and orchestra

…one fateful night, Darrell knew something I didn’t and he saw what would maybe be his last opportunity and he took it. Someone close to me had confronted Darrell, his Pastor, about the ways in which he talked about me to him, about his frequent interaction into my life, phone calls and such.

…without anyone with me, I met the Pastor and he immediately got very inappropriate and his hands were everywhere, all the sirens sounded at once – he told me that he knew I wanted him and that is why I was there. Of course I protested and said this isn’t funny, you asked me here to warn me about something…I will spare the details, I do not want to even relive them though it plays like an unwanted movie in my head. I tried to get away from him and he was determined, he tried repeatedly to rape me and I fought with all that I had.

I managed to wrestle him and actually shoved him to the ground as he lost footing and got the door open just in time for him to hold the door and try to come in, I fought and fought again and somehow managed to squeeze the door shut on his arm forcing him to let go as I moved the car into reverse
Tiffany did not remain quiet and would eventually report this to police years later. She was a teen with a supportive mother. However, Jerry Vines had something to say. He told her to keep quiet since there was *nothing he could do about this.*

I was summoned back to Dr. Vines, he told me that he had flown to Dallas and he and Patterson were given some materials and that Darrell was indeed a “bad apple” and that when they confronted him, that he was evil, that he looked at them and said “I don’t care if Gabriel the archangel came down from heaven and told me to leave the pulpit, I won’t do it.” Dr. Vines told me that their hands were tied and there wasn’t much they could do. I didn’t know any better and was just a teenager so I thanked him for trying. We agreed that I wouldn’t talk about it and that no one at the church “needed to know” and that was that.
Long before #me too* and #caring well,  Tiffany went to war with no help from the current SBC leadership, some of whom were (and some still are) good buddies with her former pastors.

I contacted local reporters and said I have a story to tell and I want my face and name put on this so that the girls have a voice (since they were minors). I interviewed with every local station and gave my email address for contact and quickly created a blog called “Let’s Stop Pastor Darrell Gilyard Together” and pleaded for other victims to come forward so that in numbers we could see him prosecuted.
Mac Brunson took over for Vines at FBC Jacksonville and continued the attack on Tiffany.

Mac Brunson became the new Pastor of my home church, FBC Jacksonville, when Dr. Vines retired. Brunson was a buddy of both Patterson and Vines. He also was once the Pastor of FBC Dallas and was Chancellor of Criswell College at one time. He apparently didn’t like me blogging about the predator Pastor who was at a neighboring church just a few blocks away or about how Jerry Vines had not reported it when it happened in 1991. He was asked in an interview, “What do you believe the next SBC president needs to focus on for the next two years?” “Saving his hide!” said Brunson, and then he brought up the Gilyard case all on his own.

He was quoted as saying,“…You know, here’s a Pastor right down the street here, all over the headlines, who is being arraigned today in this city…and of course there are people that have tried to blame Dr. Patterson for that …they tried to blame Dr. Vines…I can assure you they didn’t cover up anything, they’d have enjoyed exposing it too much…” In another he said “this lady is giving this pastor down the street a hard time, blogging about him” as he was doing a seminary taping which was heard on the radio and many people told me about it.

She began to receive threats and disgusting emails from *nice* SBC folks.

Many people from the church wrote scathing emails to me. I received nasty emails from Gilyards camp as well, threatening emails, emails wishing harm to me and my family, condemning me to hell, calling me horrible things, I even received emails claiming I seduced Darrell or “wanted it” or “asked for it”.
Dr Vines refused to help her.

I asked, practically begged, Dr. Vines to do what was right – to call out Darrell’s sin and help me push for accountability and also help for the victims, he would not. I asked him to write something and acknowledge that he wishes he could go back and do things differently and not even have to admit wrong or apologize to me (I let him off easy, hoping for good) and that if he would write something like that I could publish it on the blog. He would not.

Then, her private information was subpoenaed from Google and Comcast by FBC Jacksonville’s despicable Mac Brunson. My good friend, Tom Rich, had his info was subpoenaed the same time. (Tom won and Brunson lost, big time.)

My blog and email addresses, screen names and telephone and social security and address and registration, IP address, log in data, posting etc etc etc. attached to my blog, were subpoenaed by the State of Florida, through our local law enforcement and granted by the State Atty’s office at the request of…duh duh duh…First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Florida, Mac Brunsons church, Jerry Vines former church, my former church where I reported my abuser.

And this was all subpoenaed through Google and Comcast. And because “no criminal activity was found” (of course) they were able to look, peruse, get what they wanted without my knowledge and then claim they didn’t find anything and destroyed the original file which showed the basis on which the subpoena was granted. What could they possibly claim I did to warrant this? I would never know. My blog, New BBC Open Forum blog (Memphis blogger) and FBCJaxWatchdog blog were included in these subpoenas. What did they claim we did? Each was blogging about abusive Pastors and hurts of the people of the churches they were blogging about – BBC was about Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, FBC Jax Watchdog about Mac Brunson and FBC Jax.

Jerry Vines reportedly lies about Thigpen and Gilyard in his memoir.

Jerry Vines writes his Memoirs which is published and promoted by Lifeway – I refused to even buy the book, but I begin to be notified by others that there is a chapter in the book about Gilyard and it is not truth. Vines writes the version as if Gilyard was just a single guy flirting with another single (referencing what happened to me) and he actually states it that way and follows up with “perhaps I was wrong”. I was sucker punched, I felt the world spin again and I was outraged. I’ve spent years telling the story and pushing for the predators punishment, he and Patterson try to silence me, Patterson was horrible to me, division in my family, in my church family, being attacked and threatened verbally, years spent gathering evidence and victims, sharing the truth and evidence and yet his final blow is this.

End synopsis


SBC tribalism is getting worse.

Last week, I wrote What Happened When SBC Pastor Jared Hamilton’s 5 y.o. Son Is Molested By an Elder’s 13 y.o. Son? He Had to Leave His Job at Missouri Valley Baptist Church

I reached out to members of the Carin Well team, Phillip Bethancourt of the ERLC, and the Missouri Baptist Convention. I did not receive any replies. Why is this? I believe that a few people involved in the abuse of this family are well connected to the current power brokers in the SBC and mentioning abuse is only acceptable when it involves someone from the *other tribe.*

And that is what is going on here. When I called for Paige Patterson’s resignation in June, 2009, I did so due to his despicable statement of sending a woman back into a physically abusive home. At that point, I hadn’t noted the developing tribalism. Boy has that changed. Some of today’s SBC leaders were well aware of Patterson’s statements and continued their friendship and support of him until they found it advantageous to be rid of him.

It took time for the Reformed Baptists to move into a position of power. They didn’t suddenly become *woke* and decide to fire him for his statements and actions. They knew about those things for years. Patterson made the mistake of not jumping fully on-board with the Reformed agenda. I believe that if he had, he would still be in his position. Don’t get me wrong. He should have been fired and I stand by my 2009 post on the matter. My stance on the issue was not based on *what kind of Baptist he was.*  It was based on his disturbing views on violence against women.I am not so sure about some of the others.

So, why does this matter?

In order to understand what happened, as well as what is happening, one must understand where the major players fit in this paradigm.

  • Tiffany Thigpen : an abuse victim who is outside of the tribalism wars.
  • Sharayah Colter: Paige Patterson supporter who is not part of the Reformed Baptist inner circle.
  • Scott Colter: Sharayah’s husband and long time *Chisf of Staff* (this ain’t the White House, boys) of Paige Patterson.
  • Paige Patterson: Obviously not part of the Reformed Baptist inner circle and stuck in a different generation of SBC leaders
  • Current SBC leaders ands organizations: ERLC, Al Mohler, most seminary leaders of major SBC seminaries: Reformed Baptists along with those who know how to play the poser game: Jerry Vines
  • Peter Lumpkin who is most definitely not Reformed and is supporting the Patterson tribal wing.

It is my opinion that many current leaders are concerned about sex abuse in the SBC to a point. However, when the accusations of abuse occur, it appears that both sides of the Great Baptist Divide will default to defending their tribal member. In other words, if it involved my dudebro, I’m not so sure they did anything wrong.

Which brings us to Sharayah Colter

Sharayah blogs at shiriyah.com. Here is what she says about herself. She posts this along with the obligatory “These make me look like I’m friends with these politicians” pictures.

Sharayah studied print and broadcast journalism and graduated from the University of Texas, Arlington and later earned certificates in biblical counseling and women’s ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is currently part-way through a Masters of Theological Studies degree and holds a certificate in leadership from the Focus on the Family Leadership Institute.

Sharayah has worked with various secular and Christian news organizations across the United States. Her experience includes newspapers, magazines, radio, digital media, marketing, copy editing, graphic design, advertising and public relations. Sharayah owns Colter & Co. Design, which serves clients internationally in brand identity, design, and strategic communications.

It is important to know that Sharayah’s husband, Scott, was Paige Patterson’s Chief of Staff and was none too pleased to leave his gig. However, he was made Executive Director  of the Sandy Creek Foundation. Guess who the President of this group is? Yep-Paige Patterson. Please note the names on the books for sale. It appears to me that this is really *The PaigePatterson Yet Lives* Foundation.

Therefore, one can theorize that Sharayah has an agenda which appears to include push Paige, show disdain for his critics, including victims of his inability to deal with sex abuse, and support the tribe.

She wrote a post: Slander & the survival of the SBC: A problem larger, but not smaller, than the Paige Patterson saga.  Of course, we have to slog through w the typical  blather.”It’s all slander!”  “False accusations against Paige Patterson!” “It’s defamation!” I do not think these words mean what she thinks they mean unless she means that everyone is deliberately lying. I suggest she read my post:  Slander of an Inconvenient Truth? 

In her post, she did something that upset Tiffany. She quotes Tiffany as giving a pass to Patterson but, as is usual in these tribal situations, Sharayah plays games with Tiffany’s words. I wonder if she knows how this hurt Tiffany? If she has compassion for the victims of Darrell Gilyard, and he sure had numerous victims, she should have shown far more thought in what she wrote and quoted.

So, here are the quotes in question. I will deal with Tiffany’s response to Sharayah’s selective quoting  on Friday.

In 2008, Tiffany Thigpen, one of Gilyard’s accusers who is said to have encountered him in Jacksonville years after Patterson had severed contact with Gilyard, wrote a blog reminding readers to avoid godless chatter and false knowledge in regard to Patterson and another pastor also involved in the handling of Gilyard.

“There are many things being said about Paige Patterson and Dr. Vines. I have my own personal feelings about what did and did not happen in the past, and even now,” Thigpen wrote. “However, to blast them on this or any other site only based on what we are being told by the media and the past allegations of cover up, would be wrong.”

…“We know who the real criminal is here,” Thigpen wrote. “I do not believe either of these men condoned the behavior of Darrell Gilyard, nor did they feel what he did was o.k. If they did, there would have never been an inquiry in 1991 – and I know personally they pursued all of the allegations that were brought to them in June 1991.”

Tiffany wrote far more than this. Did Sharayah know this? Did she deliberately overlook the information? Or perhaps she just lost interest in *the rest of the story?*

Tune in Friday for the rest of this story.


Comments

Part 1: Tiffany Thigpen, a Victim of Darell Gilyard’s Abuse and Paige Patterson’s Ignorance, Counters Sharayah Colter’s Post — 60 Comments

  1. When I was a new Christian, back in the 70s, I wouldn’t set food in an SBC church because of their stand, or lack thereof, on racial issues. Now, I won’t go because of all the unresolved sexual scandals. By exalting the perps to pastoral super-star status and denying the stories of the victims, they will one day self-implode. It might be a blessing if that happened. I know there are no perfect churches, but they have a systemic, pervasive problem that they must address.

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  2. Linn: systemic, pervasive problem

    … problem of maintaining a hunting ground for predators, including pulpit predators, while calling it “church”.

    This post reads like How to Raise Up a Rapist Into Leadership in the “Church”.

    Seeing all the “try to tell them but they didn’t listen” again & again – it seems like it would be useful to tell leadership the story once, give them one chance to respond righteously, and if they don’t – walk, no run, as fast as possible in the opposite direction. They show their colors as fellow predators or at the very least, predator enablers – done, with them. Stay close to Christ, and find real fellowship, elsewhere, obviously.

    Many attempts at trying to tell and convince – this seems like beating a dead horse. Waste of time, effort, & energy and in the end, no go. Believe who they (“leadership”) are the first time, as they self-identify by their response. The witnesses (victims) deserve better from the get-go.

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  3. Investigative piece just out:

    https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2020/02/13/southern-baptist-sex-abuse-pastors-history-divided-church/4586698002/

    Includes some very troubling statements from Larry Theisen, recently retired leader of local Baptist association who served on sexual abuse task force of the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders:

    “Larry Theisen, then the association’s director of missions, knew that Foose’s secret had torn Oakwood apart because he had served as interim pastor after the last of Oakwood’s leaders resigned. Theisen retired in December after 24 years in the job. Before leaving, he served on a national committee for SBC association leaders that drafted guidelines for preventing sexual abuse of minors in the church. In an interview, Theisen said he tried to remain neutral at Oakwood but that it was a challenge because Foose is a friend.
    Theisen said he learned of Foose’s conviction about 10 years ago from one of Oakwood’s pastors and did not ask for more details beyond what Foose later told him – that he had inappropriately touched a teen girl above the waist. Theisen said he has never been interested in reading through the court records to fully understand what had occurred. “Everything that goes into our mind affects our mind….I don’t like to fill my mind with things that are unnecessary,” Theisen said. Theisen said it wasn’t his place to question Oakwood’s decision to make Foose pastor, because of the autonomy of Southern Baptist churches.”

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  4. Article last year by SBC organ Baptist Press mentioning Theisen’s work crafting a document titled: “Encouragements to Associations, State Conventions, and Churches Regarding Abuse of Minors”:

    http://www.bpnews.net/52982/sbcal-to-vote-on-document-to-prevent-abuse-of-minors

    “BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Associational leaders will vote in June on a document encouraging Southern Baptist associations, state conventions and churches to proactively address and prevent sexual abuse of minors.”

    “Kevin Carrothers, associational mission strategist (AMS) with the Salem South Baptist Association of Mt. Vernon, Ill., led an SBCAL three-member task force in drafting the document.”

    “Joining Carrothers on the task force are Matthew Gullion, an AMS with the Northeastern Indiana Baptist Association in Fort Wayne, Ind., AND LARRY THEISEN, AMS OF THE KEYSTONE BAPTIST ASSOCIATION IN DILLSBURG, PA.”

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  5. Jerome: Investigative piece just out…
    “Larry Theisen, then the association’s director of missions…said he learned of Foose’s conviction about 10 years ago from one of Oakwood’s pastors

    and…here is the church:

    http://www.oakbaptist.org/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=180091319&sec_id=180018861

    “Oakwood Baptist is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. We also teach the doctrines of Grace.”

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  6. Jerome: Theisen said he has never been interested in reading through the court records to fully understand what had occurred. “Everything that goes into our mind affects our mind…. I don’t like to fill my mind with things that are unnecessary,” Theisen said.

    “Ignorance is Bliss and I WANT UTOPIA!”

    Theisen said it wasn’t his place to question Oakwood’s decision to make Foose pastor, because of the autonomy of Southern Baptist churches.”

    Autonomous when it is to their advantage to be autonomous, a monolith marching in lockstep when that is to their advantage. (Notice the one thing both have in common?)
    Disperse for Defense, Concentrate for Attack.

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  7. “Many people from the church wrote scathing emails to me. I received nasty emails … threatening emails, emails wishing harm to me and my family, condemning me to hell, calling me horrible things …”

    How many times have we seen this?! Loyal followers of pervert “pastors” defending them to the bitter end. The lack of discernment in the pews across America is at all-time low. It’s a sad day when the cries of victims are ignored, while abusers get standing ovations.

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  8. dee: They will defend him to the end. Perhaps it’s because there financial well being is tied to his well being.

    “Chief of Staff” for Paige Patterson doesn’t look very good on your resume … except in the crusty corners of Christendom. There was a day in SBC life when that would have been a ticket to opportunity, but is now a scarlet letter. It’s too bad – these folks appear to be very talented otherwise.

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  9. Hi Dee,
    I posted on one of the older posts about that pastor Dan Smith. Not sure if people go back to visit to see comments. I reached out to the mother of the daughter who was kicked out of the service right after it happened. Please go listen to his response in his Wednesday service three days afterward. Especially when he told media outlets he wasn’t going to respond to it! His Wednesday night service is posted on the church website.

    Mom of daughter

    I didn’t watch his Wednesday sermon. I did get a bunch of mixed feelings when I attended Sunday’s service. My heart wanted to believe he was being sincere, but my brain kept telling me it was for show. They did hire the local police department for church that day due to some threats that they allegedly received. You are right though, he didn’t really acknowledge his mistake during his apology on stream. However his words were different when we met that Saturday before in a private meeting. He said when we met that he didn’t know what he was thinking or even why “a small noise” bothered him. Said it must have been the devil. But in the service he doesn’t defend my daughter against the mean comments, mostly regarding her LOUD child, but defended the comments against himself. There is a reason my post is still available to see and share. This is the reason, as you have said, there are concerns of his response. I didn’t mean for it to go viral but I feel it did for the good. Thanks for your insight. Makes my own insight not looks so cruel.

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  10. Max: How many times have we seen this?! Loyal followers of pervert “pastors” defending them to the bitter end.

    And that splashes outside the churches themselves into Culture War Activism and Politics.
    Fanatical Loyalty like they’ve been programmed/conditioned in 1984’s Oceania or RL North Korea.

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  11. I’m curious whether there are any parallels or contrasts to be drawn between DG and MLK in terms of attitudes toward their relations with the opposite gender. In my circles, MLK tended to be looked down on as a womanizer (though obviously that is not as big an obstacle to embrace by the churches as it used to be). I don’t know the history of SBC attitudes toward MLK. Am curious whether there may have been a bit of a double standard.

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  12. dee: Lumpkin

    We’ve all made a wrong turn or two in our individual journeys. On the positive side of his ledger, Peter Lumpkins tried his best to keep the New Calvinist movement at bay within SBC … one of the earliest to recognize its leaders and their agenda, he fought it tooth and nail on his blog … a vocal opponent of Mohler and the Mohlerites … he flagged SGM/Mahaney and authored a resolution on the sexual abuse of children, which was adopted by SBC (albeit, not heeded at the time by Mahaney’s buds in SBC).

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  13. Sharayah Colter twittering today, Southern Baptists’ reactionary faction is organizing:

    https://twitter.com/SharayahColter/status/1228318485182394373

    Sharayah Colter: “So glad to be a part of the Conservative Baptist Network! Exciting to partner with Southern Baptists..Join us! @BaptistNetwork”

    Brad Jurkovitch (spoke at the recent Pigg conference alongside Paige Patterson) is heading up an effort to ‘take back the SBC’:

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-baptist-network-launched-amid-woke-trend-in-sbc-emphasizing-scripture-evangelism.html

    He also has on board Dorothy Patterson’s brother Chuck Kelley (former president of the New Orleans seminary) and Rod Martin (member of SBC Executive Committee):

    “Those involved in the network’s formation, many of whom spoke with The Christian Post, say their efforts are needed given the direction and perceived future of the Convention that many devout Southern Baptists find troubling…a significant number of Southern Baptists are especially concerned about the overemphasis on certain issues…’The word “woke”…is often said to be African-American in origin and refers to a perceived awareness about racial issues and social justice, and…other pet causes’.”

    “‘We are concerned about the current road our Southern Baptist family is traveling. It is a road that is twisting what God’s Word is saying’…said Brad Jurkovich, the network spokesman and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana, in a press release exclusively provided to CP Thursday.”

    “Chuck Kelley…former NOBTS president notes that…in the wake of a burgeoning #metoo movement…he encountered several conservative pastors who confided in him that they were not sure if they could stay in the SBC much longer because of the direction it appeared to be heading…He hopes the efforts of the network will alleviate the ‘unsettledness’ in the denomination”

    “Rob Martin, who serves on the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention…explained…that the most important thing for the new network to achieve is to offer hope to ‘countless’ Southern Baptists, who need to know they are not alone…Southern Baptist polity is organized around the autonomy of the local church…at the Executive Committee level what needs to be reestablished is the ongoing validity that the EC does not tell local churches what to do, Martin said…’Do we need to take a stand against sex abuse? Absolutely. Do we need to take a stand against racism wherever we find it? One hundred percent…But we’ve chosen to be Baptists and we have to maintain the autonomy of the local church’.”

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  14. Jerome: Martin said…’Do we need to take a stand against sex abuse? Absolutely. Do we need to take a stand against racism wherever we find it? One hundred percent…But

    Everything before the ‘but’ is a lie. That fits here.

    What they actually care about is making sure people don’t care too much about these and other ‘pet’ causes. Ugh.

    Imagine being the dude who thinks the SBC is too liberal!

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  15. Friend: Shauna marquis: They did hire the local police department for church that day due to some threats that they allegedly received. … He said when we met that he didn’t know what he was thinking or even why “a small noise” bothered him. Said it must have been the devil.

    The above is super crazy and not what most people want in a church.

    Sounds like the Geraldine Defense. “Not My Fault! The Devil Made Me Do It!”

    Or Carl Sagan’s “Demon-Haunted World” where everything happens because of Spirits and DEMONS DEMONS DEMONS. (My writing partner knew someone like that. If a light bulb burned out, would not surprise him if the guy took his Bible and start Rebuking the Demon of Burned-out Light Bulbs. This fixation on the Spiritual at the expense of the Physical eventually ruined the guy’s career, retirement, and life in general.)

    “Small noise bothered him” is hyperalertness — completely natural and understandable in someone who believes himself threatened. I know because I have that problem. It’s natural; possibly pathological, but natural. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO GO FOR A SUPERNATURAL EXPLANATION? THEY’RE WORSE THAN THE OCCULT WOO-WOO TYPES!

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  16. FW Rez:
    In addition to her husband working for Patterson, Sharayah apparently works as a contractor and/or employee of the Pattersons since her company is listed as the designer on the personal websites both Dr. and Mrs. as well as for Sandy Creek.

    Cozy, ain’t it?

    Wanna make book as to which side their brioche is buttered on?

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  17. Jerome: https://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-baptist-network-launched-amid-woke-trend-in-sbc-emphasizing-scripture-evangelism.html

    From the article “… a significant number of Southern Baptists are especially concerned about the overemphasis on certain issues …”

    Why don’t these folks just come out and say they are concerned about Calvinization of the denomination? Mohler must have them scared into silence, so they refer to “certain issues” while avoiding the elephant in the room.

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  18. Brian:
    https://brucegerencer.net/2020/02/black-collar-crime-convicted-sex-offender-donald-foose-found-pastoring-southern-baptist-church/

    Donald Foose is a pedophile, did two years in a state prison system. He was also a pastor at the time of the crime.

    Correction: he was only a teacher at a Christian school when convicted.

    I tried typing in the link by hand using my cell phone, no joy.

    Type in his name and pastor, the USA Today article should be at the top.

    After leaving Oakwood in 2018, he pastored two other Baptist churches till this point, his past unknown to others.

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  19. Jeffrey Chalmers: His sermon on gossip right before it all came out is so predictable…. how many times have seen that playout here on TWW..

    So many times, I’ve lost count. Beware of pastors who preach hard about a particular sin (usually means they are in it) and those who chastise the congregation about gossiping (usually means someone is getting close to the truth about them).

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  20. Can anyone here name a single “celebrity” or prominent Christian leader who has been called to the carpet for covering up sin (theirs or someone else’s) who has actually repented and left ministry to lead a quiet, humble life following Jesus? If you know of a such person share their story with us. Otherwise my take is that men like Patterson, Vines, Brunson (Driscoll, Macdonald, etc, etc), and the Gilyards they protect plus the Sharayah’s who orbit and support them will not listen, repent or change. It’s a lost cause.

    But there are more of us than there are of them. And we can change.

    Every time someone like Tiffany shares her story the rest of us gain wisdom and courage. Two years back when I first stumbled onto TWW I barely understood the evangelical machine, let alone how to stand up to it. Now I know what to look for, how to speak up and how to help others do the same. It’s empowering to know we are not alone, that there are thousands and thousands of us out here who are not going to sit quietly and let men like this cover up for one another’s secrets any longer.

    Rock on Tiffany. Rock on Dee.

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  21. Fisher,

    Preach it!
    As I reflect on what is presented here at TWW, and my life experiences in the Church, all of our sharing/ discussing these situations at TWW has helped me see the first hand and secondhand abuse I experienced in the fundagelical world. It also had greatly encouraged me that I am NOT a “bad Christian” for thinking things in the past did not “smell/feel right”.
    I really think that as more and more of us get “wise”, we can have a significant, positive, effect on the system… we just need to be blowing the whistle, crying foul, and be willing to take initial “ heat” of these clowns trying to gaslight us… In the long run, the only “power” these clowns have is the “power” we give them.
    As Max often says, it is Christ, and Christ alone, that is the basis of Christianity… If you believe the Bible, this is what the gospels says.. not some “keys”, of any other BS these clowns come up with….

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  22. It is the gullible pew sitters, and the lay leaders who bear the blame in the charade of unaccountability. Sure, these “men of God” can ruin lives, cover up abuse and sweep it under the rug, they can lead a once great church to financial ruin and skip town with millions. No accountability because these men just go to another church who has goo-goo eyes for their new famous story-telling “man of God”, and don’t realize they are listening to a charlatan week after week. It is embarrassing really, to see how church members continue to fund it all. They all get what they deserve.

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  23. Tom R: It is embarrassing really, to see how church members continue to fund it all.

    As I’ve said before, actors would have no stage if it weren’t for an audience willing to buy a ticket to their show. “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry! It’s amazing … It’s astounding … It’s sensational!!” shouts the carnival barker. The gullibility factor is at an all-time high in the American church. Prayerlessness + complacency about the things of God = zero spiritual discernment. Easy targets.

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  24. Jerome: Includes some very troubling statements from Larry Theisen, recently retired leader of local Baptist association who served on sexual abuse task force of the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders

    I read the whole article which is quite long and between that and the central figures that are highlighted here it just illuminates why Jesus was so severe whenever He addressed the Pharisees. They sat in Moses’ seat of power but they had zero the humility and zero the intimate knowledge of God in a very personal sense. Moses was scared senseless by the power of God he witnessed. In contrast, the Pharisees and these current leaders act like God does not even exist. The atheists argument that the religious leaders just leverage an “idea of a godhead” into a way to manipulate the masses for personal gain is dead on. Now this is not the way it has to be with everyone who claims to be a Christian and has some authority over others, but it is unfortunately the norm.

    It is a dangerous thing to want power over others while any of us still is walking in substantial pride. The fruit will always be very, very bad. God said that Moses was the most humble man on earth, and that is why he was such a great leader. When we run across someone like Moses today, no one thinks that that man would make a great leader. How severely deceived we still are…

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  25. Way off-topic, but perhaps a matter of keen interest to TWW community.

    The mega-church model, which is an environment in which abusive forms of “leadership culture” seem to thrive, cannot function without consistent high cash-flow.

    CDC seems to me (listened to the Friday 2/14 conference call with representatives of the media) to be cautiously lowering expectations about the ability of US public health system to maintain long-term containment in US of the viral pneumonia that has become epidemic in China. (Part of the issue is that even if US can contain it fully in 2020, the virus seems likely to become endemic in China and so there will always be a risk of pandemic in future years). They are starting to talk about measures to slow the spread in the community in US should the virus “break out” of the current containment measures being pursued to prevent or delay “break out” in US.

    (aside: this sounds alarming and I think it definitely is a matter of concern, but should not induce panic or anxious pre-occupation. It appears that the new virus produces in US patients what might be thought of as a really bad cold, though if it progresses to pneumonia, that is not something to sneeze at, if one will pardon the pun. This is not Ebola or SARS. If we have a US epidemic, it will be disruptive but not “end of the world”)

    Chief among the measures for slowing community spread, in the event of “break out”, are “social distancing” measures, including avoiding (or even banning) large public gatherings where asymptomatic carriers of the virus could unwittingly spread it to others.

    If these measures are put into effect, mega-churches will not be able to pay their bills unless non-attending people continue to contribute at something resembling the level they would if attending. It seems to me likely that many would be forced to significantly reduce expenses, which would probably mean staff layoffs. Megas with high debt might have difficulty servicing that. For example, I believe that HBC, even with JM gone, still has high debt.

    Should this come to pass, it will be intriguing to see the spin that advocates of “strong sovereignty”, such as John Piper, put on this development. Piper’s former church is one of the megas that would be affected.

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  26. Samuel Conner: Chief among the measures for slowing community spread, in the event of “break out”, are “social distancing” measures, including avoiding (or even banning) large public gatherings where asymptomatic carriers of the virus could unwittingly spread it to others.

    To date, scientists do not know exactly how the novel coronaviris (now called COVID-19) is spread.

    Social distancing makes no sense unless the correct distance is known. Social distancing might also not help with transmission via surfaces such as door handles. Barring public gatherings would be ill advised without also studying the likelihood that this would backfire: people might hide symptoms, flee to another region, etc. Even if we quarantine, people might cough on the pizza delivery driver. (These are my views.)

    The Lancet gives scientific information: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30374-3/fulltext

    One excerpt: “Seventh, if widespread community transmission is established, there should then be consideration of a transition to include mitigation activities, especially if contact tracing becomes ineffective or overwhelming and an inefficient use of resources. Examples of mitigation activities include cancelling public gatherings, school closure, remote working, home isolation, observation of the health of symptomatic individuals supported by telephone or online health consultation, and provision of essential life support such as oxygen supplies, mechanical ventilators and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) equipment.”

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  27. dee: I am under the impression that the website was created by Sharayah Colter.

    I don’t know what to make of the Conservative Baptist Network at this point. One of the featured promoters is Rod Martin, who is also involved with SBC’s Founders Ministries (you can view his video promotion of CBN on the website). It’s not clear what theological flavor these CBNers will be … Patterson was once a very vocal anti-Calvinist … but who was/is he really?

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  28. Anonymous

    Your comment was not approved. I know a great deal about Tom Rich’s story since I was early on involved in the fiasco caused by Mac Brunson misuse of law enforcement in order to out Tom Rich. As you well know, Tom won and Brunson had to apologize.Were you there for the apology from the pulpit.

    Tom Rich is a long time friend and I will be writing his story this week. So many people have no idea what happened at FBC Jax. BTW, he has been a good friend to Tiffany Thigpen, another victim of FBC Jax with Jerry Vines. You guys had quite the lineup of godly™ leaders.

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  29. dee: This new group will stir things up in the SBC …

    Well, Pope Mohler doesn’t appear to be too excited about formation of the Conservative Baptist Network if you read between the lines in his Feb. 15 tweet:

    “The real network of Southern Baptists is called the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s going to meet June 9-10 in Orlando. I look forward to joining you there.”

    Ronnie Floyd, CEO SBC Executive Committee, also appears concerned about the direction of CBN in a recent statement “Regardless of our secondary affiliations or networks, we must continue to uphold the Baptist Faith and Message …”

    Interesting that everyone continues to ignore the elephant in the room which is precipitating a lot of unrest in SBC … the “Conservative Resurgence” turned out to be a “Calvinist Resurgence.” Will the real conservatives please stand up!

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