“Never hide things from hardcore thinkers. They get more aggravated, more provoked by confusion than the most painful truths.” ―
In my opinion, head pastors should not hire their sons to work as pastors under them. Let Junior strike out on his own.
Wait a minute. Didn’t I just write this story? Yes, on 2/6/34, I wrote, “Jackson Gatlin, the Youth Pastor of The Vineyard Church, Duluth, Accused of “Misconduct,” Is Suspended, Along With His Father and Lead Pastor Michael Gatlin. Here is a repeat at a different church.
Here is how this situation matches that one:
- Passtor dad allegedly knew of pastor son’s behavior.
- Victims speak out.
- Pastor dad resigns.
- Pastor son was out.
- Third party investigation commences.
This situation has a few interesting differences. The Christian Post wrote Eastview Christian Church pastor resigns after son is fired from Central Christian Church for adultery.
Was this really “adultery” or pastoral abuse? Caleb Baker is fired from Central Christian Church.
This is an aside. I believe that it is possible that, if Caleb had been a direct supervisor of this church staffer, it could be considered pastoral abuse due to the power differential. However, I don’t know if that is true, so I’ll leave it at that.
Caleb Baker, was fired from his job as a pastor at Central Christian Church after he was caught in an extramarital affair with another church staffer.
The lead pastor announced this to the congregation.
“Caleb Baker, our lead student pastor and associate preaching pastor has been involved in an extramarital relationship for the past six months. And it involved a woman on our staff,” Cal Jernigan, lead pastor of Central Christian Church in Phoenix, Arizona, told his congregation near the end of his sermon at the megachurch on Feb. 1
I wish Pastor Jernigan would explain why this affair was not a power-differential situation.
After discussing the situation with his elders, they made the decision to fire Caleb Baker and the woman he was involved with in the affair.
So why is his father, Mike Baker, now the former pastor of Eastview Christian Church?
You know what’s coming. It appears that Caleb was the youth pastor working for daddy at Eastview Christian Church until 2016, when he suddenly left to go to Central Christian Church.
Brook Yarbrough, a former colleague of Caleb Baker at Eastview Christian Church, alleged in a Feb. 22 statement on Facebook that Caleb Baker was “let go” after it was disclosed that he was involved sexually with multiple women at the church.
These are her allegations in a nutshell.
n 2016, while I was on staff at Eastview, Caleb was let go after multiple women in our congregation came forward disclosing inappropriate sexual relationships he initiated. Instead of being honest & transparent about this, leadership chose to let our staff and congregation believe he was choosing to leave to join a new church staff instead of being terminated directly for his misconduct.
Here is her full post.
Yarborough claims that Central Christian Church was warned, but the Christian Post did not get a response to their inquiries. Soon after, Mike Baker resigned from Eastview even though the elders claimed they didn’t ask him to leave.
Here is a link to read all the updates from the elders at Eastview. The following deals with Mike Baker’s resignation.
Mike Baker’s Resignation
Feb 25, 2023
The Elders were committed to walking this journey with Mike Baker, endeavoring to support the truth-seeking process to transparently reflect and correct – if necessary. Over the recent days the Elders met in executive session to determine the best path forward. Before decisions were finalized, Elders and ECC leadership removed the Saturday, February 25th edition of “Mike Talks.” Very soon thereafter, regrettably, Mike submitted his resignation as the Senior Pastor of Eastview Christian Church. The Elders did not call for his resignation.
Later, on February 25th, the Elders met with Mike. Then and now the Elders believe that for the health of our church, a third-party involvement is necessary to adequately address allegations. Mike remains steadfast in his sincere conviction that there is nothing to investigate. However, because the Elders were not aware of everything that transpired involving Caleb Baker’s departure and want to be transparent in the process, we reached an impasse.
We love and support Mike and Sara Baker. Our hearts break for their family, and we pray for healing for the Baker Family as well as the Church they loved so well.
Mike Baker responded in a video, saying Satan is out to get him.
He really should have taken a vacay in the Keys before posting this one. Prediction: he will immediately start a new church and join the conga line.
He. says they had some sort of internal investigation, which didn’t prove anything. He told his son to leave because of further allegations but claimed he didn’t know what they were. He didn’t ask additional questions, and told him to go. Then, suddenly(!), an “unplanned” job offer came in from Central Christian Church.
Mike Baker says the allegations are libelous and slanderous, but he says “he won’t sue.” He claims that people are abusing Caleb’s family. He claims he resigned because they are “leading out of fear” due to the social media posts. The elders would not let him defend the family from the pulpit, so he resigned.
Eastview Christian Church has hired a law firm to conduct an investigation.
This is from the elders.
This is an excellent move on the part of the church. It’s too bad Mike Baker refuses to be a part of this. It sure sounds a little suspicious to me. He should change his mind and work with them, or this thing will dog him the rest of his life.
In the Facebook post comments, there’s a few more stories of cover-ups at these two churches that are simply awful.
If some of you want to come forward and tell your stories, I hope you will email dee and do so. I will be thinking about you.
i.e. “SEE HOW HOLY AND GODLY I AM!!! SATAN HIMSELF HAS SINGLED ME OUT FOR SPECIAL PERSECUTION!!!”
Here we go again … another sad example of why the ministry should not be a family affair.
Ummm. The church Caleb Baker worked at is the closest of the three megachurches within 2 miles of my house. Looks like Baker was Central Christian’s “Lead Student Pastor and Associate Preaching Pastor.”
Man, they’re everywhere, aren’t they?
That said, this is a transcript of what Central Christian’s lead pastor, Cal Jernigan, told the church on February 16. This is actually better than I expected, which isn’t a whole lot. Not going to say that it’s perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
“ Mike Baker responded in a video, saying Satan is out to get him.”
Nah. I’d say some version of the opposite is closer to the truth.
“Mike Baker responded in a video, saying Satan is out to get him…”
I’m bettin’ that Satan has much bigger fish to fry than a ‘Pastor’ who can’t keep his pants on.
In all honesty?
I think it’s funny more than anything else.
“Very soon thereafter, regrettably, Mike submitted his resignation as the Senior Pastor of Eastview Christian Church.”
When you say “regrettably,” Elders, you mean “and not a moment too soon!” right?
True, but it shows remarkable self-awareness for one of these guys. He admits that he suspended his judgment to please a friend, and that the friend took advantage of him. He says he’s still friends with “Mike,” but it wouldn’t surprise me if that quickly came to an end!
Yeah, it’s more like “Be sure, your sin will find you out!” (Numbers 32:23)
Baker is pulling the Robert Morris card: “I have to say this, um, I’m really concerned about how much time people spend on the Internet. I’m extremely concerned about it. Extremely concerned about it; here’s one thing, just even the blogs that mention Christian leaders, and I’m one of ‘em. Praise the Lord, I’ve made the Satan, Satan’s hit list now you know.”
Dee wrote “ In my opinion, head pastors should not hire their sons to work as pastors under them. Let Junior strike out on his own.”
If these guys paid attention to their Bibles, they’d notice that for Old Testament leaders, appointing their sons to be leaders was so normal and expected that Samuel did it even though his sons did not walk in his ways, and he’d seen how that went for Eli and Sons.
New Testament leaders, OTOH-/ not one solitary NT church leader appointed his son to be a leader after him. In fact, we never even read that any of them even HAD sons, though most did, I’m sure. One guy did have 4 daughters who prophesied, however.
Mega-mania usually leads to mega-mess of one sort or another.
Those who defend and cover for evil/doers when they’re their kids or dudebros love love love them some proverbs 18:17. But you don’t hear them suggesting making bribes or casting lots as vs 16 and 18 recommend.
400 years ago Satan (with his WITCHES) was spending all his time drying up Goodwife Prudence Temperance’s milk cow and giving Goodman Zerubbabel Shealtiel gout, so you never know.
“See what a Mighty Man of GOD I Must Be! SEE? SEE? SEE?”
Scripture refers to things that cause folks to wander off the straight and narrow under three categories: the world, the flesh, and the devil. No reason for the devil to show up, if the flesh gets to ‘Pastor’ first.
Speaking of family business churches:
Hillsong has been credibly accused of using charitable donations for financing non-charitable purposes, including private-jet travel and business-class flights for its leaders and
As usual, Hillsong doesn’t admit anything, saying more or less “anyway, that was yesterday, we are completely different now”. Quote:
If you couldn’t be trusted with the money in the past, why should anyone trust you now?
People, don’t donate a single penny to megachurches and megapastors, the money will mostly be spent on living on the hog!
Find a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a charity that provides medical services for those that cannot afford them – help the least of these instead of financing Armani-Ronnie or Ed Young’s latest fashionable outfit or the Houston family’s jet-setting lifestyle.
Even if “GOD *WILL* PUNISH YOU!!!!!” like a Conjure-man’s familiar spirit?
(In both Appalachian and PA Dutch lore, Witch-men and Hesen live (and get rich) by extorting money and goods from those around them by supernatural threats.)
Mike Baker states nothing could be proved one way or the other regarding his son’s sexual behavior. Perhaps to a court of law that would be true. But i can’t fathom he did not know his son’s heart and true character and desire (or lack thereof) to obey God. It is highly doubtful he was above reproach. I don’t buy any of his spin.
Mike uses the verse from Proverbs that the Hebrew root means” dig deeper”. He should have not put his head in the sand and dig deeper if the “allegations” against his sons were true or not? He should have been like the Bearean Christians and examine to see what these women stated were true or not as well. (Acts 17:11) Not a very godly pastor when he protects his son rather than the flock. I foresee a father/son ARC church plant soon:)
Baker, Morris ……. Pfffttt. Satan is not out to get these guys. They prepared the guest room, rolled out the welcome mat, and invited Satan in.
If Baker hadn’t stormed out in a school-boy huff, he should have been formally dismissed.
Well said Gus, well said.
The EIC (evangelical industrial complex) needs to be called out for what it is; a racket.
1 Peter 4:12-13. If Satan is attacking him, and really who isn’t Satan attacking, shouldn’t he be happy? Honestly, I just can’t with these church leaders. I am at a loss for words. Zero compassion do they possess.
Dave A A,
We need more daughters who are pastors!
Some mega-churches are part of the EIC (evangelical industrial complex). Some so-called “churches” are religious and ecclesiastical production companies which put on a weekly show to please an audience. They even call the platform where the show takes place a “stage”. What traditionally was a congregation gathered for worship and ministry and service has been reduced to a fast growing crowd of observers who merely watch the show. And they love to be identified as (or boast about being) one of the fastest growing churches in the country—as if that is the measure of the way of the cross!
Americans (and American Christians) crave to be entertained. The Great God Entertainment sits on the throne in many churches. Twenty-first century churchgoers love big screens, fog machines and skinny jeans … so “God gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul” (Psalm 106:15).
Amen! Woe be to those who stand in the way of female believers who are called to pastor.
I beg to disagree. I think we need a lot less men and women trying to be Pastor Kings and an evening of the ground so that all of the other scriptural callings are recognized as equal. Our system needs radical reform. Calling more women up into a system prone to abuse just creates women who are abusive. Been there. Done that. Having more women lording authority over others is not an improvement. If the lording is done away with than the women will have the ground that they should have without trying to get into a position where they can abuse just as good as the ole boys.
Being God-called into the office of Pastor is distinctly different than a religious system calling someone into that position. A believer truly called by God to shepherd the Body of Christ (man or woman) would not be abusive.
Nor silence those who have been abused, nor protect and cover for abusers.
How many male church leaders have, by example, taught the exact opposite ???
I second the Amen.
The trifecta of a corrupt soul with corporate corruption, too:
Power, vice, money.
The trifecta of a God seeking loving soul and the Body of Christ:
Vows of a life chaste as single or devoted to one’s life partner, work & earn & fulfill my & my family’s needs & help others’ basic needs with surplus, and humility on level ground at the foot of the cross, never elevated or self-promotion.
Two completely different lifestyles and cultures. Two completely different choices.
In our freedom of religion countries, look what religion and church have become. We have vast opportunities and resources to do right. But doing right is a choice. It’s a narrow road without a crowd. Clearly.
1. the pastor runs the show or business, (instead of 18 gifts in equal footing collaboration as the Body of Christ), so abuse of power,
2. What follows is fingers in the pocketbooks of church members for pastor “projects” or grift,
3. Then finally minors are violated, adults including leaders are promiscuous, etc. Vice.
Never enough. The black hole of a soul.
This is a neverending pattern, until pastors get off their pedestals and take their place with equal footing among the 18 gifts of the Holy Spirit. 18 gifts from God to the Body of Christ.
Ava, religious leaders have endeavored for 2,000+ years to keep this a secret from the Body of Christ. Equal footing = equal authority in Christ, and the powers that be just don’t want to surrender any power to others. The organized church has fallen far short of the resources available to it in the Kingdom of God because it will not recognize this Biblical truth.
And two different outcomes when the kingdoms of men compete against the Kingdom of God.
Amen! Totally agree!
Pastors (good shepherds) do not lord it over the sheep, do not abuse the sheep, do not fleece the sheep. Good shepherds lay down their lives for the sheep. Yes, you are correct that there are other callings. Yes, the “system” needs radical reform. My only point is that the good ole boys have monopolized pastoral ministry for far too long, and that needs to stop. There are other important issues to be addressed, but that’s the one I spoke to.
“YOU CAN’T PROVE A THING! NYAA NYAA NYAA NYAA NYAAAAAAH!”
With or without the Angel Encounter (with Signs and Wonders) Prophesying/Commanding their Return at a gas station in Nowhere, Wyoming?
Does that stream-of-consciousness rambling repetition remind you of any other public figure?
Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues,
Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, Tongues, and Tongues?
(I am NOT exaggerating)
Never mind The Matrix,
Never mind South Park,
We’re all living in Monty Python’s Life of Brian!
Key point to the discussion.
For every good ole boy at the top of any religious hierarchy, there are a thousand or more genuine pastors laboring in obscurity. They never reach the top and have no desire to … they love Jesus and serve only Him.
A touch of charisma, a gift of gab, and a narcissistic personality = good ole boy. You will find them in lead roles in every denomination, in mega-mania, and lined up with the goats on Judgment Day.
From an old song:
“Good Ole Boys won’t make it into Heaven
Good Ole boys won’t wear a crown
Good Ole boys won’t live forever
where the saints of God are found”
Ava said: “It’s a narrow road without a crowd.”
Yes it is! And I am happy to be on that road. Don’t need the fanfare. I wish it was a more well-traveled road.
Once, our adult SS teacher mused aloud, I wonder why the road to (you know where) is wide……
I blurted out, “More traffic.”
And it’s all one-way, no detours, no getting off at the first stop, no U-turns allowed, a road going to your final destination, the journey you chose
actually, a “You-Turn” is possible, choose this day whom you will serve
Very true. The same theobrohood that executed Jesus.
It seems like, as in Jesus’ day, the real enemies of Jesus and the Body of Christ are the religious elite (then: Joseph Caiaphas & the Sanhedrin leaders; now, church leaders abusing power, resources, & the vulnerable). The real enemies are from within. It seems.
We can separate from the world and embrace the church, and then, like Jesus, be betrayed from within the church; EVEN CHURCH LEADERSHIP CAN BETRAY, and even destroy trusting followers of Jesus.
No doubt about it.
“But alas for you, you scribes and Pharisees, play-actors that you are! You lock the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in men’s faces; you will not go in yourselves neither will you allow those at the door to go inside.” (Matthew 23:13 Phillips)
Crazy. And real. Been there. Seen that. Cult like. Tongues cult.
My mama was born in Eastern, KY coal country….. I am accepted there as one of them. I know their ways… the “old” ways. Though I was born and raised in Western, KY, my speech, my accent, even my cooking are all strongly influenced by my mom’s side of my family.
One side of her family was mostly Pentecostal. When I was 13, I was in a room with a bunch of them; their mother,grandmother, my gg-aunt was on her death bed. The whole crew, more than a dozen people, started praying in tongues. Now, mind you, these people were part of my family…people I knew and loved, blood kin…..but if I hadn’t been trapped against an inside wall, I would have climbed out a window to get out of there. Lil ol’ adolescent me was scared out of my wits!
Now, they didn’t handle snakes, but this old recording from Wendy Bagwell and the Sunlighters brings back some memories:
… Look around and see where the back door is……. I done looked. They ain’t one……… Reckon, where do they want one…..
After reading a number of your posts, I’m wondering why you allow anonymous comments to your posts? It seems cowardly at best, and certainly doesn’t meet your mission of stopping clergy abuse or pedophile attacks. Anonymity simply allows the trolls of society to voice their views outside of their sheltered lives. I’d love to hear your rationale.
It’s quite easy. Many people have been abused by churches and fear using their names. I understand their reasons and support them. Unfortunately, many people who demand to see commenters’ names are often out to go after them.
Good Lord! If I revealed my identity, the NeoCal dudebros would track me down and take me for a ride in the country to beat their version of truth into me! They just don’t like me (or any Wartburger) for informing and warning the Body of Christ about their message and method. The local NeoCals who know me shun me and avoid me like Covid when I bump into them at WallyWorld. I love them and try to talk some sense into them, but they quickly turn their carts toward the chip aisle to hide behind party-size Ruffles. However, I have rescued a few from the snare of New Calvinism, so the ole man keeps at it.
There are abused and broken lives who comment on TWW. Some have experienced the pain of abusive pastors and church systems, experienced betrayal of trust, and led astray for a season through aberrant belief and practice. They have mustered up enough courage to share their experiences and warn others on this platform. They are not trolls who live sheltered lives, although a few of those rascals drive by on occasion to take more shots at the wounded.
Reminds me of Jerry Clower’s story about Marcel Ledbetter who climbed a tree after a raccoon, only to find it was a “wild cat” which attacked him. Marcel began to shout to the hunters below “Shoot up in here!” … to which one responded “We can’t shoot, we might hit you” … Marcel shouted back “Shoot up in here anyway, one of us has got to get some relief!”
I think of that story often when I tangle with New Calvinists over jots and tittles.
Beans and cornbread, fried taters in bacon grease, goulash, green tomato relish … perhaps?
The Old APPLACHIAN Ways.