"For the love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Tim. 6:10a) Ergo... follow the money.
Moved from another thread"Copied from the SAVINGBELLEVUE website:Today Friday November 17th, 2006The information about the Pastor using the Bellevue credit card for his daughter's birthday party at Colonial Country club came from Deacon Terry Brimhall and Ted Minor. They met with Harry Smith, Chip Freeman, Linda Glance and other and viewed the statements a few week ago. They said that this is what they were shown in that meeting. Ted and Terry both told me this in person Nov 11th 2006 and Mark Sharpe also over the phone.Jim HaywoodThe Pastor also charged at the Hilton to Bellevue rooms for his wife's birthday a few day later.In both cases this is commingling funds which is illegal for a non profit."I would like to know how this was "missed" if the deacons saw the credit card statements??? 9:59 AM, November 17, 2006
Copied from another thread:MOM4 said... Latest revision note to previous post from SAVINGBELLEVUE is:"The Pastor also charged $507.88 at the Hilton to Bellevue for rooms for his wife's birthday a few day later. He has since I am told has reimbursed the church.In both cases this is commingling funds which is illegal for a non profit." 10:10 AM, November 17, 2006
Latest from the SAVINGBELLEVUE WEBSITE:"Two plane tickets at a cost of $1100.00 charged to Bellevue for Steve Gaines's daughter to attend a cheerleader tryouts is not paid back."My questions, where was this charged? Was it a credit card or direct bill to the church?
Mom4, I can understand the Colonial Country Club thing. Like at a hotel, you sign off on things you "purchase" and it's billed to your room then you pay it. At Colonial, Bellevue receives a bill and apparantly Steve paid it back. I can't accept any explanation about the Hilton Hotel being charged to Bellevue. That's totally unacceptable even if Steve paid it back. It's obvious he's lied about using the credit card - don't care if he paid it back. He said he never used the credit card, not once. He didn't say well, I used it in error and I've since paid it back. I could have accepted that and moved on, but we've got it on tape that he said he's never used the American Express card.I have no answer or opinion yet on the airline ticket thing - today's the 1st I've heard of it. Derrick Calcotte, Can you please explain this? I've enjoyed your candor and demeanor in all my dealings with you.Thanks! Karen
He said in the "informational meeting," that he had never used the church credit card for personal expenses, not that he had never used the card at all. Are these not personal expenses?? Deacon Calcote, if Deacons Brimhall and Minor saw these charges, did you? If so, were these charges deemed "unanimously" "acceptable" by the Deacons at their meeting? Well, if these two deacons have problems with these charges, then how can it be said that the deacons "unanimously" "accepted" the credit card information? Also, how can these obviously personal charges be acceptable to our deacons??? Something isn't adding up. Can you clarify Deacon Calcote? Thank you.
I seem to recall during the September 24th meeting, the pastor holding up his Bellevue issued credit card and stating that he had NEVER used it for personal reasons. Hmmmm. . . daughters birthday party at Colonial CC, charges at the Hilton for his wife's birthday. . . sounds pretty personal to me. Even if he did pay them back, it is an issue of integrity. Did he ever use a Bellevue card for personal reasons? A simple yes or no is an acceptable answer.
who said that both of those Deacons had problems with those charges? i understand you and others have concerns.
Hisservant,If they didn't have problems with the charges, why did they go to Jim Haywood with the information? Surely they knew he would put it on his website.Do you know for a fact that these two Deacons do not have a problem with these charges, or are you just throwing that statement out there for thought?
I am wondering if these charges are possiblily direct bills, or at least some of them, and the Clintonesque sidestepping of the issue is where the truth lies.Did Steve Gaines misuse his position at BBC for personal gain and did he attempt to avoid a clear presentation of the truth to the congregation?Whether he paid it back or not is no longer the issue here, it is complete, sincere honesty.
hisservant, Am I to understand by your statements that you approve of these charges? Did you already know of them prior to today?
there are people on the committee and others working very hard to get questions answered. they are not trying to hide anything. i can assure you of that.
hisservant you wrote:who said that both of those Deacons had problems with those charges?SW&W you wrote:If they didn't have problems with the charges, why did they go to Jim Haywood with the information? Surely they knew he would put it on his website.Wasn't savingbellevue.com set up for those of us who had questions/problems? This is a rhetorical question as I think we all know the answer.
hisservant,You and I agree! Praise the Lord! - I don't think the Communications Committee is trying to hide anything either. I think they're having to deal with a mess brought to them by our pastor.On a personal note, hisservant, you don't seem to be beating the drum of "Steve Gaines is beyond reproach" (my impression; not anything you've said). You okay?Truly concerned, Karen
Hisservant,Please answer my question:Do you know for a fact that these two Deacons do not have a problem with these charges, or are you just throwing that statement out there for thought? Thank you.
Bellevue Executive Staff Expense ReimbursementPolicy SummaryRevised November 6, 2006This policy is to give guidance to the executive staff of the church as to expenses that are to be reimbursed as they carry out their assigned responsibilities to accomplish the church mission.The Church recognizes that the Senior Pastor from time-to-time will travel to represent the Church, speak and teach as part of his personal ministry, and participate in the ministry efforts of the Church outside of 2000 Appling Road. The event that requires travel outside of the city may also involve the spouse. The expense incurred will be reimbursed by the Church at a level that is dictated by the location and nature of the event, if not paid by an outside organization.For subordinates, the Executive Staff is to be used in the selection of the mode of travel, accommodations, dining, and entertainment.The Executive Staff is encouraged to show appropriate hospitality to guest speakers, teachers, and individuals leading in the ministry activities of the Church. The expense incurred in the showing of this hospitality will be reimbursed by the Church.From time-to-time the Executive Staff may feel that to best administer to, lead, and reward their subordinates is to dine outside the Church. These expenses are to be reimbursed by the Church.From time-to-time the Executive Staff may take church members out for a meal in the course of administering Church responsibilities. These expenses are to be reimbursed by the Church.All reimbursed expenses need to be within appropriate approved budgets.Policy for the Pastor's Church-Furnished VehicleAs part of the Pastor's compensation package, the church provides him with a vehicle. The church will cover all expenses of the vehicle including lease cost, insurance, maintenance, and fuel. The Pastor will account for the business and personal use of the vehicle and report to the church. The value of the personal use will be computed and included in his annual W-2 report of earnings. © Bellevue Baptist Church
Travel and Entertainment GuidelinesRevised November 15, 2005"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." I Corinthians 4:2The following guidelines have been established to inform Bellevue staff of travel and entertainment spending practices which have been authorized by the Office of the Pastor in conjunction with lay financial leadership, and to standardize spending practices across departmental lines. Appearance, attitude, conduct, and spending practices directly reflect on the church, our Pastor, and our Lord. Therefore; it is expected that, at all times, the conduct of Bellevue staff will exemplify the high moral and stewardship standards established by God's word, and owed to the Bellevue members who faithfully support the work of the Bellevue ministry with their tithes and offerings.Travel and entertainment expenses incurred while conducting Bellevue ministry will be reimbursed to the individual after appropriate approval and documentation is received in accordance with the following guidelines. All expenditures must be appropriate to the conduct of Bellevue ministry, and individuals must make sure that expenditures are not for personal expenses and that accounting for all expenses is proper and timely.These are spending guidelines and not hard and fast rules; therefore, exceptions may be made to any guideline with advance written approval from the Office of Administration* or the Office of the Pastor.Travel ExpensesReasonable and customary travel expenses of spouses accompanying Bellevue staff to the Southern Baptist Convention will be paid by the church. Reasonable and customary travel expenses of spouses accompanying Bellevue staff on Bellevue missions projects (foreign or domestic) will generally be paid by the church; however, advance approval must be obtained from the Office of the Pastor or the Office of Administration*.The church encourages the participation of a spouse in the ministry of his or her husband or wife. Further, the church desires to promote business/ministry travel practices that encourage the health of staff families. To that end, the church will pay reasonable and customary travel expenses for a spouse to accompany his or her husband or wife for all out-of-town travel. In the event the staff wife or staff husband is unavailable to accompany his or her spouse for out-of-town travel, then the unaccompanied spouse must travel with another staff member or lay member of the same sex. Out-of-town travel is generally limited to members of Ministerial & Executive Staff, and a Conference Request Form along with a Travel Authorization Form must be submitted and receive proper approval before travel is authorized.The church also encourages spouses and children to accompany Bellevue staff when they are leading out-of- town ministry projects (camps, retreats, choir tours, etc.). There may be times when it is not appropriate for family members to accompany a staff spouse or parent; therefore, advance approval of travel should be obtained from the Office of Administration*.LodgingWhen overnight travel is necessary and authorized, the traveler is expected to stay in a reasonably priced hotel or motel. Obviously, the cost of lodging will vary depending on locale. The general rule will be that the cost of lodging should be a maximum of $115 per night, and any amount greater than the $115 guideline limit must be authorized in advance by the Office of Administration* of the Office of the Pastor.Meals - TravelA traveler may be reimbursed for up to three meals per day up to a maximum amount of $50 per day while on overnight travel. The daily maximum allowance will be pro rated on the day of departure and the day of return if departure is later than 10:00 a.m. and if return is before 5:00 p.m.Tips for meals are recommended at a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 20%. No amount greater than 20% will be reimbursed.Meals - LocalThere will be times when it will be appropriate for Bellevue staff to purchase meals for guests during the conduct of church ministry. The cost these meals will be reimbursed if prior approval has been obtained from the Office of Administration* or the Office of the Pastor. The request for local dining should include the ministry purpose of the meal, the name of the restaurant, the anticipated cost of the meal, and the names of the individuals attending the meal. The proper authorization will need to be in writing (an e-mail will be satisfactory) and attached to the original receipt when submitted for reimbursement.Auto RentalsVehicle rentals must be approved in advanced through submission of a Travel Authorization Form. A mid-size or smaller car should be requested. When renting a car, the traveler should only select the "physical damage" coverage that is offered by the car rental company.TelephoneWhen overnight travel is required, one 10-minute personal long distance call per day is appropriate and reimbursable. Any long distance calls should be charged to a church calling card. If a call is not charged to a church calling card, reimbursement may be denied. If you receive a monthly cell phone allowance from the church, no long distance calls charged to your cell phone account will be reimbursed.Personal EntertainmentAny expense related to personal entertainment such as: movies, tickets to sporting events, admission to amusement parks, golf, etc. will not be reimbursed.ReceiptsOriginal receipts are required for all items greater than $5.00 (except for mileage and tips).ParkingAll parking expenses associated with authorized church travel are reimbursable with appropriate documentation including parking at Memphis International Airport.OtherOther expenses that are not specifically mentioned in these guidelines, but are related to the conduct of Bellevue ministry are reimbursable. Examples include fees for faxes, copying costs, express mail and postage charges. The purpose for these expenses must be documented on the Expense Report Form, and original receipts are required.Expenditures related to non-customary ministry travel expenses such as dry cleaning, laundry, newspapers, magazines, snacks, gifts, traffic fines, and personal care products will not be reimbursed.Expense ReportingAn Expense Report Form is to be completed and submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor within ten days of the end of travel or within ten days of local entertainment. The Expense Report Form is to be reviewed and approved by the immediate supervisor and then forwarded to the Financial Administrator for final review and approval.The same procedure is to be observed for the authorization of payment of church credit card statements. The monthly statement must have all documentation for expenses attached and submitted to the employee's immediate supervisor within ten days of receipt of the statement. The immediate supervisor will review and approve the credit card statement and forward it to the Financial Administrator for final review and approval.Any questions in regard to the intent or interpretation of any guideline may be submitted to the Office of Administration* for clarification.*The Office of Administration means Church Business Administrator.
Uturn,thank for that. And where do birthday parties for Donna Gaines at the Hilton Hotel fall under this policy?Karen
yes I knew of them prior to today and from all I have seen and know, I approve of them. as I have said before, Brother Steve really has gone above and beyond in the financial area.
Karen please read this and let me know if this coincides with your version of this incident.FROM BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCHFor years, Dr. Adrian Rogers sought to have a blended style of worship. When Dr. Rogers retired in March 2005, Dr. Jim Whitmire led us to update our music while continuing to have a blended style of traditional and non-traditional songs. When Dr. Gaines came in September 2005, he encouraged this process to continue. Dr. Gaines has said he wants all of us to worship together and to not divide the congregation over music with separate traditional and non-traditional music services. The objective is to have a blend of approximately 50 percent hymns and 50 percent new songs in each service.Was Dr. Jim Whitmire asked to retire?No. Dr. Whitmire announced to the entire staff on December 14, 2005 that he was not asked to leave but was choosing voluntarily to retire at the end of the year. Dr. Whitmire continued to help Bellevue and Jamie Parker's of the 2006 Memphis Passion Play. He also fulfilled his commitment to take the Bellevue choir to the Southern Baptist Convention in June 2006.
FROM BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCHWho has reviewed the pastor's credit card expenses?Chip Freeman, Business Administrator, David Coombs, members of the Finance Committee, and Deacon Officers at various times prior to October 29.On October 29, the documents were reviewed by: Wayne Vander Steeg, Harry Smith, Aubrey Earnheart, Perrin Jones, Mark McDaniel, John Hyneman, Everette Hatcher, Rex Jones, David Coombs, Chuck Taylor, Steve Tucker, Jeff Arnold, Scott Foster, Mark Spiller, Bart Berretta, Mike Hobday, Bryan Miller, Jim Barnwell, Dr. Gaines, and Chip Freeman.On November 1, these same records were reviewed by Gene Howard, Assistant Secretary for the Deacons. All of the above have found the credit card charges were reasonable and customary for the senior pastor. No inappropriate expenditures were found.On November 5, the current and newly elected deacons met and reviewed Dr. Gaines' credit card charges. After the review, the deacons present unanimously agreed that the pastor's credit card use was in accordance with Bellevue's policies and that no inappropriate expenditures were found.
uturn: that is what I know to be true also about Dr. Whitmire. I will try and share more later in detail.many have know for a good while that certain things could have been done different. the announcement etc. there is no doubt about that. it is not an excuse, but mistakes are made. Dr. Rogers made plenty of them and Dr. Gaines will make plenty more in the future. I think he is learning and growing every day. they have tried to make it right and they are trying even hard to do so now.
hisservant,I agree. I believe that he has gone above and way beyond. Why was this truth hidden, if you knew about it?
Hisservant....I am beginning to hear the Jeopardy theme song playing in the background....HisServant said... who said that both of those Deacons had problems with those charges? i understand you and others have concerns.stillwaitingandwatching said... Hisservant,Please answer my question:Do you know for a fact that these two Deacons do not have a problem with these charges, or are you just throwing that statement out there for thought? Thank you. 12:21 PM, November 17, 2006
Sick. This makes me sick. That anyone would even NEED to ask questions. That when questions are asked, sheep are told to "like it or leave it." I miss being able to trust my pastor to be a shepherd of the sheep. A church is not a business, and it's wrong that pastoring a flock would come with such huge perks- over and above the standard of living of most of the flock. This sheep has NEVER seen the kind of income that the pastor makes, much less the perks. Charges or not, I vote "no-confidence"And am grieved to tears May God have mercy
It appears that the "spin" that has been placed on so many things is spinning out of control.
hisservant,Sorry to bombard you with questions, but you seem to know answers...what steps has Dr. Gaines taken to "make it right" with the Whitmires? As far as I'm concerned, he humiliated and disrespected this man in front of the congregation. Anything other than an apology to Dr. Whitmire, in front of the congregation, is unacceptable in my book. IMH(but accurate :)O)
hissevant All I can say is if you approve of breaking the law then you need to reconsider your statement. Pastor Gaines may mean well on his personel charges and may have planned on paying back these charges but this is against the tax code laws. Also, does Pastor Gaines not have his own personel credit cards to use like 99% of all people out there. I think he is paid well at Bellevue and does not need to have members support all his activities. Something is wrong with all of this!
I believe I have figured out the true identity of hisservant.It is "Elvis" and he has left the building.
BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCHINSIGHT FROM AN EX-STAFFERREAD MORE AT HIS BLOGformerlybrainwashedbellevuer.blogspot.com/ATROCITIES going on in the current church administration are not simply mistakes or "little sins" as we Baptists so love to name them.They are the results of the ignored issues, the myriads of broken people, and especially the sins and dark dealings behind the scenes. The things that are coming to the light now in all that Bellevue is facing, THESE are the REAPING of what has been sown for many years, things that the church either turned a blind eye to or simply ignored. All the "secret" racism, all the overt racism, all the overlooked hurting people, all the members left on the side of the road broken and bleeding, all those who were convinced they had lost their salvation (or weren't ever saved in the first place) because of not attending EE or Sunday school classes (TOTALLY UNSCRIPTURAL BTW), all those who were told that they had no right to think they were saved if they didn't tell at least one person a day about Jesus (where in the world is the concept of GRACE there?) - and ultimately all the people that, in a drive to gain power and money, Bellevue left in it's wake - the people who never made it into the cliques ... the people who look sloppy because it is all they can afford, or the people who are looked down on for dating outside of their race ... people who are judged for no other reason than they aren't a part of a group - people who TRULY NEED JESUS BUT CAN'T FIND HIM BECAUSE THE CHURCH GETS IN THE WAY! This is why these things befall Bellevue Baptist Church now, but is this fact truly changing anything or anyone involved???Do not be fooled - in the end, Bellevue is all about numbers. As much as I hate saying it and as much as I fought against that stigma while on staff there, I have to surrender to it's truth. Especially in light of current events.
Tim, I have been following your posts - you are a hoot! Keep it up brother:)I truly enjoy your humor and insight - Thanks for bringing laughter to this otherwise depressing time..
BELLEVUE EX-STAFFER REPORTSThe thing that crushed me about working on staff was realizing that Bellevue is, at it's core, a business. Period.Let me say that there is nothing singlehandedly wrong with that, nor do I fault the church for my own misgivings. But I saw things and heard things there that crushed me, and again I fault myself because church is still made up of humans. But some of the racism behind the scenes is too much to ignore... like when my boss (a seasoned minister on staff) called me his "jiggaboo boy" in front of two other witnesses. I had already been "privately consulted" about my work with the kids of the church and the fact that my two best friends were a black guy and a mexican, BOTH GOD-FEARING BELIEVERS. I was told that I needed to "be sure" of my friends, who in their own right had enough of a tough time while members of Bellevue. I will not get into that here.This line of thinking brings me to Mr. Weatherwax, the long time minister of inner-city missions. This, the same man who consulted the fiance (at the time) of my best friend - a Mexican - and chastised her for dating outside of her race.
hisservant says:yes I knew of them prior to today and from all I have seen and know, I approve of them. as I have said before, Brother Steve really has gone above and beyond in the financial area. 12:41 PM, November 17, 2006 Does David Koresh, Jim Jones mean anything to you? Are you all planning the kool aid too?
Is it safe to say that UTurn and Mark Sharpe are the same person?
I think UTurn is the person from this website:www.formerlybrainwashedbellevuer.blogspot.com/Is that true?
whynotask: you can say whatever you would like. the fact is that from day one Dr. Gaines has been very Cautious of what he has done in the financial area. he has gone above and beyond in many areas. what many of you seem not to realize, is that you are not only accusing Dr. Gaines of these things, but those in the office of the Pastor and other offices in the church. Dr. Gaines goes by the SAME guidelines that Dr. Rogers did for many years. regarding everything from his car, to gas etc. there have not been "new" rules set up.
NASS,Was there any particular reason that you moved this thread to the top of the forum this morning? That is one smart sheep...baaaa..bbbaaa...rillant
No, after listing eighteen dozen hypothetical questions I think he's more in line with MS.
Hisservant,Exactly! And it may be time to pick up the rug and sweep out from under it.
Tim,As I explained in the topic heading, the last financial thread had nearly dropped off the front page and had seen no activity in over three days. With the new information being posted on sb.com this morning I figured it would generate some discussion here, and since it is "financial" in nature, I thought a new financial thread was needed.I have no way to change the order in which the threads appear on the front page. Even if I just write a draft and save it without publishing it, once I do publish it, it appears in the same chronological order in which it was written. In other words, if I've saved a draft of one topic but not published it, then I publish two new topics after that, if I go back and publish the draft I saved earlier it will appear third in line, not first, even though it was actually published later. Not the best system around, but the price is right!NBBCOF
Uturn,I can't speak to what Jim Whitmire and Dr. Rogers discussed regarding worship.I do know that after Dr. Rogers retired, Mark D. was very hard on Jim Whitmire and stripped him of his title. Mark D. forced Jim to use the Praise Team full-time. Jaime was looking to buy a house here in Memphis in October 2005 so the decision on whether or not Jim was going to retire was obviously made by this time. Jim was forced by Steve to take Jaime to the SBC; they choir had an opportunity to sing at SBC for about 30 minutes and it was Jaime's decision to turn it down. I've got a long list of things that were done to Jim before he left. If anybody knows where I posted it, could you please copy and paste it for me? Thanks! Karen
NASS,The nassister, nassorama, pretending not to be brillant.
i have been at Bellevue for over 17 years and have NEVER one time heard anything about this race stuff. NEVER. if it was there, it is VERY well hidden. very. I have been involved in just about every area of the church on many different levels. i have had many African American friends my entire life and it has been no secret.
tim wrote:"Hisservant,Exactly! And it may be time to pick up the rug and sweep out from under it."Amen! I've thought all along that the problems we're now seeing did not all begin with Steve Gaines' tenure. There needs to be some serious housecleaning done.If I might borrow a quote from a wonderful tribute to Dr. Rogers left by "tn_lizzie2000" in another thread..."Dr. Rogers' comments about getting ready to move from Central Ave. to Lakeland. He talked about being shocked by the STUFF underneath and behind the clothes dryer. He cautioned us to not let stuff pile up, hidden, in our lives. We needed to stay clean before the Lord."Words of wisdom we should all consider, including Steve Gaines and the staff.NASS
Karen: so it is not true that Dr. Whitmire was already planning to retire and even brought it up? we know things were not all done in the right way, we do not need to state that again. things are trying to be made right there.
hisservant,I seem to recall asking you a very simple question yesterday -- at least twice -- and I don't recall seeing that you ever answered. I apologize if I overlooked your answer, but quite simply, just a yes or no will suffice, are you a deacon?Thank you,NASS
karen I found your list of facts that you posted earlier about Dr. James Whitmire.It doesn`t seem to match Bellevue`s version.May I ask where you got your information?KAREN POSTED:1. Mark D. was the one that stripped Jim of the Minister of Music title. 2. Mark D. used his authority to undercut Jim's authority and made the working environment horrible for Jim.3. Mark D. forced Jim to use the Praise Team full time.4. When Steve arrived, he basically ignored Jim. 5. Jim wanted to stay at BBC until after the S. Baptist Convention in June 2006 - Steve said no.6. Jamie and Dana were looking to buy a house here in Memphis in October 2005.7. Steve made Jim take Jaime to the SBC - while there, BBC choir had an opportunity to sing for the convention for about 30 minutes; Jaime turned it down.
Dramadramadrama and Hisservant,It's nice to have folks watching out for you these days. Although Uturn seems to be a brilliant contributor to this blog, unfortunately it is not me. I will blog only when I feel it necessary to respond to something that is blogged in error. I enjoyed reading the following recent guidelines that obviously comes from within the bowels of the church of which I have no access.Travel and Entertainment GuidelinesRevised November 15, 2005Bellevue Executive Staff Expense ReimbursementPolicy SummaryRevised November 6, 2006Hisservant,I am still waiting on your phone call to me. Do you not have access to a deacon's directory? If not, blog so and I'll give you another way to contact me. I'd love to talk to you. I think we are good friends.Also, I'm tired of people hiding behind Dr. Rogers. It's disrespectful to do so. It's really not fair to keep saying Dr. Rogers did this and did that. You don't know what he did and didn't do and he's not here to give you his opinion of things now. Even if Dr. Rogers did things a certain way, are we now saying we base right and wrong on a man?I'm looking forward to talking with you Hisservant.
hisservant said:i have been at Bellevue for over 17 years and have NEVER one time heard anything about this race stuff. NEVER. if it was there, it is VERY well hidden. very. I have been involved in just about every area of the church on many different levels. i have had many African American friends my entire life and it has been no secret. hisservant, just because you haven't heard something personally doesn't mean it didn't happen.Karen: so it is not true that Dr. Whitmire was already planning to retire and even brought it up? we know things were not all done in the right way, we do not need to state that again. things are trying to be made right there. I was just answering uturn's question directed to me.karen
uturn,Various choir members and Mrs. Whitmire.
Mark: I agree in regards to Dr. Rogers. I have brought his name up a few times when I thought it was ok, but that is it. i appreciate your invite to contact you. I am praying about it. thanks again
Colonial Country Club may not take credit cards, but is there a hotel anywhere in the country that doesn't take them? Most refuse cash. Folks, there is no valid reason to charge a party to the church.
Karen: so it is not true that Dr. Whitmire was already planning to retire and even brought it up himself?
11-17-2006BELLEVUE EX-STAFFER TELLS THE UGLY STORY OF RACISM AT BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCH IN CORDOVA, TENNESSEE.There are many men on death row who only murdered once in their lifetime and could get plenty of witnesses to swear they are men of good reputation but it only takes one murder to be a murderer and likewise one racial remark to be a racist.Bellevue Baptist Church better get ready to give an account for the racial allegations now being paraded across the world.Allegations of financial misconduct are coming from every direction and conflicting accounts of Dr. James Whitmire`s retirement are placing the church`s version in a head on collision with the past music minister`s memory.
Yes, I also have information coming from Mrs. Whitmire that they were mistreated.There are things that are going on that are unreasonable.
that last post had NO facts to it at all. just repeating the same allegations we have all heard. why post it?
charis......Sick. This makes me sick. That anyone would even NEED to ask questions. That when questions are asked, sheep are told to "like it or leave it." I miss being able to trust my pastor to be a shepherd of the sheep. A church is not a business, and it's wrong that pastoring a flock would come with such huge perks- over and above the standard of living of most of the flock. This sheep has NEVER seen the kind of income that the pastor makes, much less the perks. Charges or not, I vote "no-confidence"And am grieved to tears May God have mercy 12:58 PM, November 17, 2006 That is why we have the need for "above reproach"......
hisservant says...whynotask: you can say whatever you would like. the fact is that from day one Dr. Gaines has been very Cautious of what he has done in the financial area. he has gone above and beyond in many areas. what many of you seem not to realize, is that you are not only accusing Dr. Gaines of these things, but those in the office of the Pastor and other offices in the church. Dr. Gaines goes by the SAME guidelines that Dr. Rogers did for many years. regarding everything from his car, to gas etc. there have not been "new" rules set up. 1:54 PM, November 17, 2006 And I guess if Dr. Rogers did it all is well...........
stillamember: we have all heard that and know that. we know things we not done great and feelings were hurt. i am sorry it happened, but it does no good to just keep repeating it. Brother Steve and others have said they were sorry more than once. they are even now doing all they can to make things right with the Whitmire's
hisservant, Perhaps you need to call Dr Whitmire yourself. Ask him if he was forced to sign anything in order to receive his compensation. That would account for his "accounting" to the congregation about his "retirement". Ask the person if you want first hand facts or trust the ones that have already asked.
that is not what I was saying and I understand that.
Here's the thing...Dr. Rogers was a beloved, humble, gracious, well-respected pastor to our church for 30 years. Is it reasonable to say that Dr. Gaines should have the same benefits given to Dr. Rogers over 30 years in his first year at our church?? That is ludicrous. Or should he earn it over a preriod of time?I don't know of ANY organization or business or anything where the person who takes over from someone who has retired gets the same salary and benefits as the retiree.
hisservant said:Karen: so it is not true that Dr. Whitmire was already planning to retire and even brought it up himself? At the time Dr. Whitmire announced he was "retiring", he was trying to save Bellevue from some hurt. Can you imagine him standing in the pulpit saying something like "Steve Gaines and Mark D.(I can't spell it) are making my like here a Bellevue absolutely miserable - I am retiring". Even the Communications Committee handout indicates that things with Dr. Whitmire were "handled badly". If you don't believe me, ask Steve Tucker and Derrick Calcotte. They conceded that point to my mother and I last Sunday. Why do you want to belabor this point? All I did today was answer a questioned posed to me by uturn and you had to jump all over me again.Karen
WELL SAID, Mom4!!
I must be the one that does not understand about the Whitmires, so let me see what I missed??? His family is sick over the way he was shoved out the door. Jamie bought his house 8 days after Dr Rogers died, they did not even wait for the tears to dry! There is nothing under the sun that can restore Dr Whitmire and his family to their proper place now, only the Lord can do that. There has been immense damage done to BBC because of the "misspoken words", deceptive practices and "mistakes of the mind/heart??"not to mention the ill will to anyone who even would remind the present leadership of any resemblance of Dr Rogers' ministry. It is like they (SG & MD) couldn't wait to get him out the door so they could run things "their way" - which turned out to be "their way or the highway". As far as many of us are concerned, it is definitely a "no confidence vote" and the sooner the better (and there are 17 of us!).
NOV 17, 2006NAACP MAY SOON BE CALLED TO INVESTIGATE BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCH ON RACISM CHARGESSome members of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee are not taking the news about alleged racism lighty.
uturn: is that a joke, a sick joke? i sure hope so. i will very soon be done with this blog and done with the junk on it.
NAACP? I would love to know who thinks they are the right group to call even if these "things" existed.
hisservant, Whether it is a joke or not, can you not see that the brother is hurting?? Maybe you need to read his site so you will understand where his pain is coming from. I do not agree with any thing the NAACP does because they do nothing to promote unity, and I would not like to see them involved in this mess, therefore it is up to people like you, someone in authority, to reach out to Uturn on behalf of BBC???
I understand he is hurting, but the things he is alledging happened years ago....atleast 6 if I remember from his blog. I don't believe this is the place to be posting his personal problems with the church years ago. This forum is for us to discuss issues that have arisen since Steve Gaines' tenure.
hisservant....uturn: is that a joke, a sick joke? i sure hope so. i will very soon be done with this blog and done with the junk on it. 3:18 PM, November 17, 2006 Your statement implies that you are on a mission of finite duration. Please pray tell when your time is up.Who can we expect next?
SW&W, And I totally agree, but I understand that the issues with Phil Weatherwax are what caused the ugly past to rear it's head in an unresolved issue. This is of course the "financial thread" and the postings should not be here regarding this issue, perhaps it could be addressed in person by someone like hisservant. He is obviously someone of authority with inside knowledge, so he is either a deacon (officer?) or staff. Maybe he could start with Mr. Weatherwax, then move on to Uturn in an effort to extinguish this rekindled fire.
his servantYou may be done it you wish but I would suggest that if you have any authorityat Bellevuethat you deal with the racism allegations hurridly and stop joking around with the members of your church.
mom4: you do not know the heart of others and please do not act like you do. we do not even know our own hearts. I am amazed at how you and some others speak of Mark D. you must not know him. he is far from the picture you and others are painting. and no, I do not work for him and no I am not related to him. as already stated, Bellevue is a huge place with many on staff and many employees. those on staff have never been perfect and are not now. those that have left in the last few years are far from perfect as well. trust me. it is a fact that you and many others simply do not know the big picture. mistakes are not knew. hurt feelings are not knew. bad attitudes etc are not knew. they exist in every church, because sinners Saved By Grace are in every church.that is in no way an excuse. I am in no way saying these things are ok.
hisservant said:"uturn: is that a joke, a sick joke? i sure hope so. i will very soon be done with this blog and done with the junk on it."We all look through a glass darkly. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it is not there. This is one of those times it would be appropriate to show compassion and Christian love instead of blurting the first words that pop in your head.
hisservant, It is called compassion. Anyone who would write what he wrote is hurting and he needs our love, not chastisement, but I am requesting that he stop with the NAACP threats. That is not productive, and neither are you.UTurn, will you stop if we can help you?
Mom 4 said 17 "no confidence votes..Count 4 from here also....Did anyone get the BIG promo from the communication committee today..The more they try to cover the bigger the mess is...Interesting reading tho....
I am sorry you have misunderstood me Mom4.I am not threatning anyone and never would.I am only stating the truth.
Don't kid yourself, some of us know Mark D. plenty well. He is all about business. It is known Dr. Whitmire was stripped of authority before Dr. Gaines was called.Who gave Mark D. authority to demote Dr. Whitmire? Why would we do that when a new pastor was on the way? He was the one connection to the past we had. Was Mark D. already coordinating with Dr. Gaines? I want to know if Dr. Gaines was calling the shots BEFORE he was called as pastor? These are reasonable questions based on what we know.
i am at a loss for words daily at how so many of you seem to be "Conspiracy theorist". amazed and saddened. no wonder some of you believe all the rumors and stuff going around. it seems that someone is always out to get someone. it seems that I am a new staff member or family member every day. one day I am Brother Steve, the next day Chuck Taylor. like the staff and Deacons are sitting around trying to figure out what to post next and how to trick who next. trying to figure out their next evil move. it is like some are looking over their shoulders every second. listen to yourselves!! PLEASEI understand that some are hurting. I pray you get your questions answered and the issues are delt with. i pray that many come back to Bellevue. for the others, I pray they are able to find a new church home. a place they will grow to love and worship in. but this is getting totally out of hand. totally! you are feeding off of each other and you are consumed by this stuff and it gets worse every day. it is controlling some of you. God is on His throne and God is in control.
lwood,what thing from the Communications Committee? Did I miss something.I think it's interesting that some posters bristle at the thought of the NAACP coming here to check things out. What about the EEOC - what would they find? What about the Federal Government checking on BBC tax exempt status - isn't that what's happening at he COGIC church for having Harold Ford, Jr. and President Clinton rally there?Folks, we're dealing with serious allegations - maybe we need some outsiders to find the real facts.Karen
i am sorry, but I did not know that uturn was the one from the blog. do we know that is true? if so, I am sorry.
Karen: so you are in support of having the NAACP and the EEOC to come to our church to check things out??
Ladies and GentlemenSome answers you've been waiting for.-------------------------------Here are the facts related to the Country Club. 1. November 6, 2005 Steve Gaines took Keny and Tracy Hatley to lunch at the Colonial Hills Country Club. This was paid for on Steve Gaines’ church credit card. The purpose of the meal was in regard to recruiting Keny to join the staff.2. March 26, 2006 Steve Gaines took his family to Colonial Hills Country Club to celebrate Bethany’s birthday. He assumed he could use his personal credit card since he had used the company credit card back in November. But the waiter explained that their policy had changed and they no longer accepted any cards. The cost of the meal would be direct bill only.3. When the March 31 statement came to Linda Glance, she marked it “Steve Gaines will reimburse” and dated it April 6. Steve Gaines’ check was deposited April 10.SUMMARY:He did NOT use his credit card for Bethany’s birthday party, or, in other words, a personal expense.--------------------------Here are the facts on Donna Gaines Birthday.1. Steve wanted to give Donna a birthday present of a night away with her good friend, Charlotte Guffin, the guest soloist from Gardendale.2. Two rooms were booked for Friday night, March 31, and Saturday night, April 1, 2006.3. It was direct bill to the church. The Amex card was not used.(All Bellevue VIP guests are put up at the Hilton where we have a direct bill account.)4. Total bill came to $507.88 for room and taxes only. Nothing else was charged to the room. ($126.97 per room per night.)5. When the bill came in, Linda Glance wrote on it “personal charge - Steve will reimburse BBC. Linda, 4/13/06”.6. Steve handed a personal check to Linda Glance made payable to Bellevue Baptist Church amount $507.88 on 4/25/06 to reimburse the church. Linda made a note and sent it up for deposit on that day.I hope this answers your question regarding Donna’s birthday gift.---------------------------The only Marriot bill is the Voddie Bochum (Awesome August). It was charged to Steve’s AMEX because there is no direct bill arrangement with the Marriot.---------------------------Records are available for inspection upon request for the above.---------------------------The facts as were told to me by the communications committee concerning the plane ticket for Steve's daughter to go to Florida for a cheer leading event.1. Steve asked his assistant, Linda Glance, to make arrangements for his daughter. She did through the usual travel agent.2. The bill arrived and when Mark Dougharty found out about it he told Steve Gaines the church would cover the ticket since Steve's daughter would not have had to make the trip thus Steve would not have incurred the expense if they had not moved to Memphis.3. Steve accepted the gesture and offer.All of this information came directly from the Communications Committee.Now for my commentary and perspective...All of the above seems to be understandable and reasonable. Though, in wisdom, Steve should have paid for the plane ticket I think it reasonable that under the circumstances that he took the gesture - as it was likely meant - from the Bellevue family seeking to encourage and love on its new pastor who was trying to also bring a family along with him. Now, my commentary is just speculation but as I've mentioned in my past entries I believe that we must look to find reasonable answers first (though we may disagree with the decision) and not assign dark motive just because we don't like the decision or judgment call that was made.Again, hear me clearly, there are some terrible actions that I totally disagree with BUT we must take each issue and first discern whether our disagreement is preference or conviction based. Absolutely do not yield on convictions - but you better be sure you have seen the situation clearly, measured out love to cover what it can first and only then carefully and humbly move forward.Loving you each.Andrew*
uturn: so what do you mean you are stating the truth? have you or someone else called or planning on calling the NAACP or not? if not, then why even bring them up?
hisservant Were you at the deacons meeting wednesday night?
No - but if that's what uturn wants to do, then you can't stop it. Also, don't ask me anymore about the Whitmires. Out of respect for them, I will not answer.karen
Andrew,Thanks for the post!!!I hope it doesn't get the "scroll, scroll, scroll" treatment.
You guys let it get out of hand. Somone should have realized that when you were refusing to cooperate with Mark Sharpe. No pastor, no deacon, no staff member is above accountability. You should have considered the likely outcome of this when you closed ranks. You turned up the fire on yourselves. You should have considered what it would look like to refuse others the right to speak. We had that shameful meeting on September the 24th. Nearly two months have passed and to this day no one has been allowed to speak publicly, thus the need for the internet. Evidence drips out instead of being presented in an open manner. The deacons cannot even agree on what they have been shown. There is no more transparency today than there was when the pastor played leaped over Mark's itty bitty fence. You may not think any of this is fair. You may think people are jumping on conspiracies. Well, this is the environment you and those you defend have created. This is reality as it exists today. I have got to say, it was obvious two months ago we were headed this way. It was apparent to all that the leadership didn't "get it." Your attitude evidences they still don't.
Andrew: thanks. I for one, thought these facts had already been posted and if they had not I am sorry I did not post them sooner. I have known the very simple answers to these "complex" issues. I have repeated over and over that for most of the 'issues" there are VERY simple answers. not complex, not twisted, very simple.I am have been bashed for days on here that I do not know what I am talking about on a number of issues. if this info is new to you and it seems to be new to many, it seems I know much more about the facts and what is really going on than most.
very well said Andrew. most on here think "dark motives" are behind everything. it is just not the case and it is very sad that some of the very simple issues have been turned into what they have been. many on the blog and others are great deal responsible for things getting twisted and blown out of proportion.questions and concerns are fine, but the fact is most on here and other places do not stop there.
Andrew,The events you posted happened in November 2005, March 2006 and April 2006. Why in September 2006 or October 2006 or November 2006 or in the Communications Committee FAQ information handout was this not brought up? Why have NONE of the deacons said exactly what you've said today? Why has the "party line" been: We saw the credit card charges and we see nothing wrong. When was the cheerleading event? I can understand if it was a year ago that Mark thought it a nice gesture to offer for BBC to pay for the event. What school/group was is for? In Alabama or Memphis? If the reason she flew there was because it was an Alabama event that's one thing. If it was for a group here in Memphis, that's another. Also, why were there 2 tickets paid for - he's only got one daughter that went, right?Karen
truth hunter: can you please back your last post up with scripture?? any of it please?? all you did was blame all the slander, anger, rumors, etc etc etc that has happened on someone else. you and the others on this board are in control of your own actions. we will all be held accountable for what we do! not others. we cannot put our Sins on someone else, because they might have made a mistake.this brings me to my original point several days ago. there is no way to defend this blog and the libel and slander that is on it. let's say all of the things you claim are true? so?? that does not give any of us the right to slander and spread rumors. you are in control of your own actions or at least you should be. we cannot control what others do. that is impossible, but we can control what we do and how we react. when this stuff started out, it was much different than it is now. when Mark and some others started some of this, it was different. their were allegations and rumors and questions, but it was not to the point it is now. many of you are simply out of control. that is why the Bible warns against things like gossip and rumors and slander. they are very dangerous. they take on a mind of their own. many of you have been taken over by what is going on. look at how things hav changed even int he last week. day by day it gets worse. how far will you let it go? to what point will you let it take you over?
Karen: this exact info has been known for weeks and as I have said 100 times. the answers are there for those that want them. many of you are not asking the questions. if you have more, go get the answers. and do not say they will not give them, that is not true
the cheer event was a year ago or over. right what Brother Steve was coming here. he did not expect for the church to pay, but they chose to do so and I have no problem with that.
hisservant said:"Andrew: thanks. I for one, thought these facts had already been posted and if they had not I am sorry I did not post them sooner. I have known the very simple answers to these "complex" issues."Then in response to my last post hisservant said:Karen: this exact info has been known for weeks and as I have said 100 timesWhich is it: you're sorry you didn't post it or you've said it 100 times? Can't have it both ways.
the cheer event was in Memphis and they did not know about it until the last minute
Andrew, I would like to address your post in extensive detail, but time restrains me at this moment, but I must hit on a few high spots. Dr Gaines needs to repay all of these items if he has not already. My understanding is that he has done so on all but the plane ticket. When we moved 1600 miles from home, I had to pay my plane ticket back when my father died. We took the job, knowing that we would be far away from home - that was the deal - you move to take the job, you move away from those you love and the things associated with them. Mark Dougharty is pretty free with his "giving" of gifts to those who he deems worthy, what about all of us who give out of our poverty to provide for the needs of the membership and most go begging. I believe that if some of these men want to provide these perks for Steve and his family, perhaps they can dig into their own pockets for a change. I also don't think this airplane ticket expense for TWO round trips for a cheerleading trip is worthy of even the slightest consideration and personal integrity would have required that Steve Gaines should have refused it immediately. Perhaps that is why he is using BBC like his own personal piggy bank. He has been wooed and drawn and motivated by the money BBC can give him. For that, the Mark Doughartys and the search committee and whomever else was involved is to blame. Enough is enough. Question: I assume that you are taking Mark's word on all of this information? On a better note, I appreciate your post, this is more information than we have had since the beginning of this mess. It is about time we had a response and I thank you for it.
i have said the answers are there for the ones that truly want them. when all this is said and done, there are many that will have many 'I am sorry" letters to write. yes, on both sides.
Second Request!hisservant Where you at the deacons meeting wednesday night? Yes, No or no comment
my point proven. the facts are given and still those come with issues. that is great you have "issues", that does not make any of it wrong. period! i am sure you would not like the way I do things and I would not like the way you do things. that is life. Brother Steve or anyone else was not put on this earth to make you happy. to do things you think are right. etc etc etc.personal preferences. some of you will never be happy and will never be satisfied. never
hisservant,Seriously, I am not being auguementative with you but what?? You said the cheerleading event was in Memphis right about the time Steve was getting ready to come here from Alabama. Are you saying it was a school tryout here in Memphis and BBC paid for it? It was a short notice thing and in order for her to tryout she and some else (Donna, I assume?) had to come as a chaperone. Is that accurate?
i would say you are pretty right on
hisservant,are we hugging on Sunday? I asked you that earlier today. :)
what? and to answer your other question, from what I know you have it right
I have recieved form letters from Bellevue in the past from one of the staff members that almost always concludes with, His Servant. Does any one else remember seeing somehting like that?
there is nothing hidden here Tim. nothing. think what you will. i have known of tons of people to sign things His Servant. that seems to be very common
karen: hugging? what does that mean?
Tim said:I have recieved form letters from Bellevue in the past from one of the staff members that almost always concludes with, His Servant. Does any one else remember seeing somehting like that?Isn't everyone of us, including you, 'His Servant'?
Hisservant,Have you ever conceded that you are a staff member or a deacon? If so which is it. If not why should we believe that any of your information is credible?
my thoughts exactly Cary
Anybody want to take a stab why at least one ex-staffer was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement? He didn't, but I wonder if others were asked the same and why would a church need such a thing. I've talked to two other pastors (other churches) who can't come up with any explanation.Got my Communications Committee report today. Interesting reading. Probably would put a lot of my uneasiness to rest except for some issues that were not addressed.
if there were issues you still have, go Sunday and get them answered
Hisservant,Care to respond?
I am glad that the issues with the credit cards and charges have been addressed.I, however, disagree that the church paid for Gaines' daughters plane ticket. If Gaines had turned it down I would respect him for it. Just because he moved is no reason for the church to pay. If it is, how long should we pay for tickets?Mark D. has too much control at BBC. I lost all respect for him when he made the decisions he did regarding Dr. Whitmire. example: Dr. Whitmire was not allowed to choose the Music after Dr. Rogers retired. Like he or anyone else was more qualified to do so!!!
to what? i thought i did?
hisservant, There is no scripture reference necessary for my last post. It was obvious what I meant and I meant what I said. I believe some, if not all, of the money-related allegations are bunk. There can be no doubt the way this has been handled created the environment we find ourselves in today. However, if you were implying those individuals are not subject to accountability, then maybe we are getting down to the real issue. If that is what you meant, then the leaders need to simply state that is their interpretation of Scripture. If it is the interpretation, then I would like someone to explain the support for this in the forum. It flies in the face of tradition Southern Baptist practice and teaching.
hisservant,In regard to the hug; I posted this this morning over on the newest "deacon" thread; I thought you saw it:Ok, hisservant, if you let me know who you are, I'll hug your neck on Sunday and we can agree to disagree. I apologize for making things personal in regard to you yesterday.Karen
Hisservent,The question is are you a staff member or a deacon?
To all,Plane ticket background: Dr. Gaines' daughter, Allison, had plans to try out for cheerleader at her school before Dr. Gaines had agreed to come to Bellevue. They were vacationing in Florida when they found out ECS would be holding cheerleading tryouts. He called his former secretary in Gardendale who, in turn, called Mary Ellen Ward who made the arrangements through Regal Travel for Allison and Donna to travel to Memphis.1. Mary Ellen Ward wrote on the invoice that Dr. Gaines would reimburse the invoice. Linda Glance was out and Mary Ellen was working in her place.2. Mark Dougharty made the decision to pay the invoice as part of Steve Gaines' moving expenses. He reasoned that Dr. Gaines would not have had to buy the tickets if it were not for the church moving him from Gardendale to Memphis.I hope that clears things up for you. -------------------------The above is from the communications committee and further clarification of events.Andrew*
Thank you, Andrew, for all you have posted.
Very nice "spin" and recovery put on the credit card issues, but it still doesn't wash for at least a couple of reasons.1) Dr. Gaines would have been well aware of jepordizing the tax expempt status for doing such a thing. You know he didn't fall off the cabbage truck yesterday. Although, it would be nice if he jumped on one tomorrow.2) Our finance office who approves the expenses that are paid would be well aware that co-mingling of funds was not acceptable under IRS regulations.Back some time ago it had occured to me that the credit card scandal was going to be an effort in futility and I posted to that effect. I have reviewed credit card statements for years and you will eventually come to the point that you will have to "accept" whatever "reasonable" explanation that is given. All of the "reasonable explanations" don't add up, but unfortunately the proof will always come down to who says what the charge was for.I honestly believe that this is part of the rope-a-dope strategy that keeps us away from the issues that are beyond refute.By a mans words he is justified and by a mans words he is condemned. There is plenty that has been done from the pulpit with or without a credit card scandal.
right on Andrew and thanks!Karen: there are absolutly no hard feelings and thanks. I am also sorry if I have said anything to hurt you or anyone else. I was just upset that it had to get to a personal level. i am only sharing my heart and what I know to be true.thanks and have a great weekend!
Hisservant,Don't be surprised if they don't change the locks on the door before you get back Monday.
Just wondering here, did she make the squad?Checking to see if we got our money's worth.
Did I understand someone to say that the plane trips were in 2005? If so, was the value of the tickets included in the 2005 W-2 for Steve Gaines? The tickets were clearly not for BBC business, so if Gaines received them as a gift from BBC, then they should have been reported as income to him. Were they?
It appears that more than credit card statements alone need to be reviewed. At this point, it is clear that any BBC account with any vendor is freely used for personal purchases. What else has been billed directly (i.e. charged)? What else has been given as a gesture of kindness?
OK! Now I got it!Maybe that's what the $500,000 donation was for, huh?No longer wondering.
“When dogs run in packs they do one of three things; they sleep, self-indulge, or fight among themselves- until a fox goes by- and then it’s tally-ho, off to the fox.” Brother Herb Hodges told me this parable almost 15 years ago. I can say today that I’ve seen all three pack activities fleshed out. The one new thing that I’ve concluded is that fighting is prompted when an interruption of the other two activities, sleeping and self-indulging, occurs. Nevertheless, the solution is the FOX. For the Christian the FOX is the world of over 6 billion people who have an inevitable destiny with an eternal existence in heaven or hell. Over the last several months I’ve logged hundreds of hours either discussing or answering questions stimulated by gossip, slander, lies and innuendos; I tried to reason with the unreasonable, I’ve tried to rationalize with the irrational and I can say without question that not one minute of the logged hours has benefited the eternal destiny of those in the balance. While we are acting as PACK animals ignoring the FOX millions are daily entering a Christless eternity. May God have mercy on each of us.I’m convinced that the long-term answer for today’s challenges is vision. “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint.” We are a PACK without a vision. We are a PACK who has forgotten that there is a FOX. We have slid into a state of buildings, programs, activities and self-indulgence. Our vision is limited to our Campus conveniences, personal hobbies, personal preferences and self-interest. Paul told the Church at Corinth that Christ alone is the true foundation, however we can build upon this foundation either eternal construction or temporal construction. God please give us LEADERSHIP with VISION of ETERNAL consequences!Sorry for the long read but a friend e-mailed this to me and I thought it was appropriate. It made me ask myself if I have lost sight of who my fox really is.Phil.4:13David Matlock
I think 44 people were added to God's Kingdom at your church Sunday because your pastor was chasing the Fox and leading people to Jesus, and many others were praying for them as the Gospel was preached.Wouldn't it be awesome if all of the hours spent debating all these details were put into sharing Jesus? Imagine how many people who have never heard the Gospel would know how they could be saved!
Please tell us the quote below is a joke. Otherwise it is a painful revelation to see that apparently someone in authority thought these plane tickets were an acceptable use of funds and a valid "moving expense". I doubt the IRS would rule that as a legitimate "moving expense". I have little confidence in the credibility of any past or future statment coming from whoever said this. This appears to be a clear violation of the expense and travel policy posted earlier here today not to mention a possible violation of federal tax law if this was not included in the W2 of the Pastor. Please tell me the reason posted below is a joke. Please. Really, this can't be the real story given by anyone with any authority in a financial position. Andrew said:Plane ticket background: Dr. Gaines' daughter, Allison, had plans to try out for cheerleader at her school before Dr. Gaines had agreed to come to Bellevue. They were vacationing in Florida when they found out ECS would be holding cheerleading tryouts. He called his former secretary in Gardendale who, in turn, called Mary Ellen Ward who made the arrangements through Regal Travel for Allison and Donna to travel to Memphis.1. Mary Ellen Ward wrote on the invoice that Dr. Gaines would reimburse the invoice. Linda Glance was out and Mary Ellen was working in her place.2. Mark Dougharty made the decision to pay the invoice as part of Steve Gaines' moving expenses. He reasoned that Dr. Gaines would not have had to buy the tickets if it were not for the church moving him from Gardendale to Memphis.I hope that clears things up for you.
Tim,I love you man, but don't be ugly about Allison - we're not advancing our cause with credibility if we resort to bashing the kids.:),Karen
phil413,I understand and agree completely with your friends parable. It makes a very valid point.However, we are not dogs and the lost are not foxes. We are sheep and they are sheep.Into what fold could we bring sheep into. Would we bring sheep into a fold that we already know to be led by an uncaring shepherd?If we have no fold to bring sheep into, then what do we do when we find them?Before we can search for lost sheep, we must have a fold.
Tim, you said,...Very nice "spin" and recovery put on the credit card issues, but it still doesn't wash for at least a couple of reasons.1) Dr. Gaines would have been well aware of jeopardizing the tax exempt status for doing such a thing.---Sir, I humbly ask on what authority do you stand to claim the tax exempt status comment above. Please, I am not picking a fight or defending the Committee's statement of fact. I think if your statement is to be recognized as true it must be validated by your actual and accurate knowledge of the tax codes. What can you offer to support your claim? And maybe more importantly if you are correct in every way about loosing tax exempt and that Steve knew he was risking it, and logically further that our church finance people knew the status was being put at risk and were actually risking it any way, why do you think this practice continues and is it reasonable for us to credit you with more knowledge than all the others combined.Again, I am not picking a fight but I think it is a fair intellectual question sir.Andrew
Andrew I donot understand the explanation on the plane tickets? I may be dense but why did he call his secretary in Alabama and then she called Mary Ellen Ward to book tickets here? Was Steve Gaines working for Gardendale or Bellevue at the time of this call? Was this a period between jobs? Sounds confusing to me? Slap me & explain.
Andrew, I can't help but notice that your account of the airline expense has changed from your 1st posting. Any reason?And who are you and where are you getting your information?Karen
Rah, Rah, Rah!Go Eagles!!!!Yeaaaaa!!!Please, tell me this is not the reason for running off half the congregation and demonizing deacons.Don't tell me this $1100 plane ticket cost the church it's respectability in the community, and damaged it's ministry.Baaaaaaaaa!!!
andrew,The IRS does not allow the co-mingling of funds within a tax exempt organization. Co-mingling of funds would be any thing that is related to personal business and not the business of the tax exempt organization itself. It doesn't matter if it repaid or not. From the IRS stand point the fact that it was repaid would prove their case. It would have been better that the item be listed as a legitimate expense from a legal stand point. It is highly unlikely, however, that the IRS would yank our tax exempt status over a few scattered, unrelated events. Contrary to popular belief the IRS can be reasoned with.Again, this particular issue is of little significance to me, because I have reviewed hundreds of credit card statements over the past 20 years or so and know that proving the truth in these matters will ultimately come down to a "he said that is what for issue". It is an effort in futility.
Karen,you are correct. I thought about that a couple of minutes later myself. thanks for the reminder.
Folks, here's a couple of links to some exerpts from a sermon preached by Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, at the South Carolina pastor's conference. I know this thread isn't about this...but this message by Dr. Akin gives me hope.Link 1Link 2
Sir bin,You said referring to my earlier comment..."Please tell me the reason posted below is a joke. Please. Really, this can't be the real story given by anyone with any authority in a financial position."---Reason... simply to pass on information from the communication committee that is relevant and appropriate to the comments at hand. And, for some unknown reason, no one else was doing so.And yes you are correct it did not come directly from a person with responsibilities in the finance office but it did come from the committee and I must reasonable assume it has been researched, discussed and confirmed. I don't have any other evidence to suggest it is not true - do you? Also, it sounds like a normal, reasonable average act that likely plays out many times a day in churches and companies all around us. Sir it makes sense, but don't confuse that with me saying it was right or wise. Honestly, do you not believe that this could actually have happened? We're talking about average people doing average things under pressure to please and move forward. I am not capable or qualified to tell you if we have indeed risked any tax code violation, but frankly all this seems reasonable. I am open to any factual and documentable evidence to the contrary.Respectfully,Andrew*
Andrew,As I stated some time before, this is an issue that is impossible to get to the bottom of. Average company business, yes this is something that goes on all the time. For a tax-exempt organization it is a not allowed and here is why. Suppose the organization pays my $500 bill. Then, the next day I repay the $500 making my check out to "Tax-Exempt Organization". The tax exempt organization is out nothing so it would seem to 100% ok. However, my check indicates that I made a "donation" to "Tax-Exempt Organization". Tax laws were inacted back in the early 60's that put an end to this type of activity and the example that I gave above is precisly why they were enacted.
Andrew.....I can believe it happened. I can even see how it would happen even up to Mark D. aproving the charges to show good will to Dr Gains.What I can't believe is that Mark D., the Pastor and the whole deacon body would cover and run. Why on earth would Mark D. not stand up in front of the church on a Sunday night and just say "I did this, it was wrong, the money has been repaid"?My 6 year old could have made a better decision! Do you really want me to believe that Mark Sharp has been demonized for this? Do you really want me to believe this is all it took to expose pride and arrogance in the Pastors office, Ministers and the Deacon body?Do you really want me to believe the flock has been scattered for this????????If this is as deep as this goes and I think that is a big if, everyone in the Pastors office should resign for bring this kind of hurt, shame and devastation to Bellevue's doors. That goes for both the Pastors.Now, lets talk about these things the Deacons, sunday school teachers and even the dining hall employees are being asked to sign. Loyalty to this???????????
Also for anyone following along. I want to predicate this by saying that I am not certain that Harry Smith is a CPA or not but I think that he is. Since he is a member of the Communication Committe, he should be aware of this as well.Hope that I answered your questions, Andrew.Tim - The tool man
I cannot sit any longer and read w/o responding. We have been at Bellevue and all of our realtives for many years. It grives us all to swat back and forth as a fa,ily on what is right and wrong at Bellevue. We have gone from favoring one side to the other until we are sick. I now know finiancial dealings may be covered up. I spoke with someone who said that John Crockett's account of knowing about Brother Steve's salary before he came to Bellevue was not correct.before he came was not correct. How do we all know this? We asked someone who spoke early on with John and he admitted that. This is all our family and kids needed to hear and this is too much for us. When will all of this cover up stuff stop? And my Sunday school teacher called today and asked us to just trust. Karen I am sorry I asked you yesterday if your not happy to go somewhere else.
There will be another twist added to the "spin" so don't be surprised. Financial affairs can be and often are manipulated. Businesses do it every day..Enron..WorldCom..etc..etc..The truth is usually simple. A lie continues to grow.
moveon,I empathize with you. I for a long time trusted and believed, but once I began asking and looking it was overwhelming, the amount of mis-information and contradiction that is given by deacons and staff is appauling.
Tim.........This is nothing more than the rope a dope we have been seeing. They toss this out hoping we start discussing this stuff and take our eyes off the pain, hurt and damage that has been heaped on Bellevue the last 6 months or more.
MoveonIs your source Richard Emerson?
tim,May I make a few comments about your earlier post? Thank you.However, we are not dogs and the lost are not foxes. We are sheep and they are sheep.Lost persons are not sheep. We refer to them as lost because they are lost. They don't know our shepherd, and don't respond to His voice. They are separated from God, and are in danger of eternal separation unless they are saved.I understand that the lost you are referring to could be the scattered members of Bellevue, but that's not what you wrote.Into what fold could we bring sheep into. Would we bring sheep into a fold that we already know to be led by an uncaring shepherd?I understand that you're refering to Steve Gaines as the uncaring shepherd, but he's not the shepherd the lost need to be introduced to. God's Word identifies Jesus as the great shepherd of the sheep, and the lost need to know Him, not Steve Gaines.If we have no fold to bring sheep into, then what do we do when we find them?Before we can search for lost sheep, we must have a fold.I understand your concern, and I share it. The way we do evangelism relies heavily on bringing people to church. Jesus said "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture."Sheep only spend the night in the fold. By day they are let out to pasture. There might be trouble in our fold, but the pasture is the same as it's always been. Bring the lost in through the narrow gate, and let them find the pasture. If there's no fold, we'll just have to spend the night in the pasture with them.
i`m sorry but I just visualized a Pinnochio nose growing longer and longer and longer on the pastor and his yes men as the lies grow LOL
ezekiel,Exactly! So why don't I go to the communication committee and ask my questions.I have heard my answers with my own ears and have detailed in earlier post what my issues are.We will either remove the sin of the man in the pulpit or we will remove the man of sin from the pulpit.I am also increasingly convinced that a great number of our problems began when Bob Sorrell retired. The associate pastor at Bellevue has handled much of the administrative affairs of the church for the past 30 years. Bob Sorrell did an excellent job at that, Mark Dougherty has not and this was someone that I thought fairly highly of at one time.
DSF.....What would really be awsome is if we could get a staff and a Pastor that would live out the life of a shepherd instead of a spoiled child.Walk the talk and begin trying to love the hardened hearts that are in the audience instead of confirming all the actions and behavior that hardened them in the first place.
Whynotask said... Andrew,I do not understand the explanation on the plane tickets? I may be dense but why did he call his secretary in Alabama and then she called Mary Ellen Ward to book tickets here?My answer...I don't know. Perhaps he was going with who he knew and wasn't going to assume it was a Bellevue concern. Maybe he asked his Alabama secretary to call BBC. Again, I just don't know. Does it matter? Mark D is the one who made the suggestion and decision.You said...Was Steve Gaines working for Gardendale or Bellevue at the time of this call? Was this a period between jobs?My answer...I don't know who's clock he was on but I think it reasonable to assume that he had agreed to come to BBC at that point.---Karen said... Andrew, I can't help but notice that your account of the airline expense has changed from your 1st posting. Any reason?And who are you and where are you getting your information?My answer...Karen you are completely correct, my statements do conflict. I had not noticed. Short explanation...the first post about the plane ticket was from a phone call and from my notes that I took down during the conversation. The second comment about the plane was copied from an email I received today.In the first comment, I stated what I do in fact remember being said and what my written notes indicate. I had not noticed the differences in the story probably because I think the essence of them is the same and my focus at the time was more on whether the credit card was actually used to purchase the ticket for personal expenses.---Mr. Barnwell has been very patient and kind to answer my questions and is the source of this information.Since we are on a planetary communication device I wish to remain masked. For what it's worth though, a while back I revealed my secret identity to WTB and NASS. At some point you just have to trust someone, you know? I would be more than happy to meet with you or anyone else in person. I am a Bellevue member and want very much to return there.Please forgive me for not being more careful with my error. I will try to do better.Most sincerely,AndrewP.S. Of my posts today, all were copied directly from an email except the first comment about the plane ticket. Again, I'm very sorry for the confusion. Now I have to live with the fact I've lowered my own credibility. Oh well, I guess I human too.Love you each.*
Sorry I am just getting back into the posts, but I wanted to go back and address something from earlier in the day."HisServant said... mom4: you do not know the heart of others and please do not act like you do. we do not even know our own hearts. I am amazed at how you and some others speak of Mark D. you must not know him. he is far from the picture you and others are painting. and no, I do not work for him and no I am not related to him."I would like to know if you know the heart of Mark D? You spoke as if you did and therefore assumed that I must be wrong about him. Yet you stated in your first statement in the post above that "you do not know the heart of others and please do not act like you do. we do not even know our own hearts'.How then, may I ask, do you know the heart of Mark D.? Is it because you know him personally? The diciples knew Judas personally - Ted Haggard was known personally? So was Bill Clinton. I made my assumptions on Uturn based on his writings, they revealed a heart in pain.I made my assumptions on Mark D based on how he has treated others and mishandled the affairs of our church.An apple tree does not produce pears. The insulting remarks you made were uncalled for.
This was posted before but I could no find it in the archives, so I went to Wikipedia for the definitiion.Rope-a-dopeFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchRope-a-dope is a boxing fighting style used most famously by Muhammad Ali (who coined the term) in the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman. The idea is for the boxer to lie on the ropes of a boxing ring, conserve energy and allow the opponent to strike him repeatedly in hopes of making him tire and open up weaknesses to exploit for an eventual counter-attack.Lying on the ropes had been, and still is, considered a "sin" in boxing, exposing a fighter to punishment because he cannot move away from his opponent.Ali had used the style of leaning on the ropes in a handful of his previous fights, most famously in his first fight with Joe Frazier where Frazier landed heavy blows to Ali. This seemed to further demonstrate that lying on the ropes was a bad thing, and could only harm the fighter who tried it.This did not discourage Ali from using this strategy against George Foreman. Foreman was a harder puncher than Frazier, and many felt Ali would have to stay away from Foreman in order to beat him. Ali instead started to lie on the ropes towards the end of the 1st round, and used the ropes throughout the rest of the fight. Foreman's strategy for the fight was to cut off the ring and get Ali to the ropes so that he could hit Ali and try to knock him out, so since Ali was willingly lying on the ropes Foreman would plant himself in front of Ali and punch Ali as hard as he could. Foreman landed constant blows to the body, but had trouble landing punches to the head. Foreman began to tire from all the punches he threw at Ali to no effect, and with the punches he was taking from Ali, Foreman was visibly finished by the 5th round. Ali eventually knocked him out in the 8th round. Ali had regained the Heavyweight title with this strategy of lying on the ropes, and allowed one of the hardest punchers of all time to swing away at him.Ali further used this strategy as a resting method against Chuck Wepner in his next title defense, but finally, before his second title defense against Ron Lyle, Ali named this style. While being interviewed by Howard Cosell, Ali declared that the new name for this method of lying on the ropes was to be called "the rope-a-dope." Ali used this style against many fighters, including Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila."Ali's health problems today may stem in part from the rope-a-dope method. He took many punches from Frazier in Manila while rope-a-doping, and many feel Ali began to deteriorate physically after this fight.Fighters are still to this day generally hurt badly when they lie on the ropes. James Toney, like Ali, is an exception to this rule and is effective at fighting while lying on the ropes. Ali and Toney were able to use this method largely because of their defense and most importantly because of their ability to take a punch. Average boxers do not have the ability or the strength to be able to withstand the amount of punishment caused by going into the rope-a-dope, and most fighters who lie on the ropes are knocked out or hurt badly.Rope-a-dope is also commonly used to describe strategies in areas other than boxing, where one party purposely puts himself in what appears to be a losing position, and then becomes the eventual victor.
sr,I indeed am referring to the lost.Jesus, when he saw the multitudes had compassion on them for they were as sheep having no shepherd.We are not introducing them to a Pastor as the Savior. However, a pastor is referred to numerous times in the Bible as a Shepherd. The Good Shepherd has come to seek and save that which is lost.Just because they do not hear and recognize his voice does not make them any less sheep than we are.Jesus said that the pharisees followed their masters voice who was the devil.Yes we are the sheep of HIS pasture and indeed they are the sheep of another pasture.
Tim said:We will either remove the sin of the man in the pulpit or we will remove the man of sin from the pulpit.Tim, have you ever sinned? Yes. You've probably lived a long time so let me cut back on your lifespan in my question and get a little more specific. Have you sinned today? I don't know if I'm understanding you correctly, but you can't remove remove 'sin' out of someone...surely you should know that... Even people who profess to know Christ sin on a daily basis...but as Christians we should desire not to sin anymore. I mean, come on, who wouldn't like NOT to sin? It's not like Steve Gaines, when waking up in the morning, is thinking "Hmmm, I wonder how I will sin today."
Tim, if you do go to sit with Chip Freeman please remember that he is the one who first brought many of the money mishaps to the attention of Mark Sharpe.He is the one who was telling Marke about the Ruth Chris` story.He is also the one who took care of Mark Sharpe`s swimming pool while they went on vacation.He is the one who left Bellevue in hopes of escaping all of this but for whatever reason returned. hmmmmAnd Chip`s wife later went around saying that she and Chip were never friends with the Sharpes after Mark confronted the pastor about all these things.
Cary,Are you sure of that? It seems that it is very much like him to say "Hmmm...How can we have a meeting where I can tell about all the "itty bitty" things that I did wrong, make a joke of an apology for it, give a reason for not preaching that is partially true because I don't want to say that I have other engagements scheduled, claim to have 100% support when I know it is not true...Hmmm..."Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. We can cut all around financial affairs, they are the least of my concerns.Also, my sin affects those around me and those that know of it. So, perhaps a portion of our church is affected by it, that is the sin that affects us individually.Sin from the pulpit affects those around and those that know of it, those are sins that affect us congregationally.There is not a measure of sin, that would make mine greater or lesser than anyone elses. There is however, an accountability associated with sin that is determined by the measure of those affected by it.
Ahh that dirty little word "accountability".Thou shalt not question my authority. Ok, how bout intellegence or integrity.Let's see...Why don't we start out at the top and work our way down.
Did anyone ever find out it Chuck Taylor has financial connections to Bellevue that would compromise his postion at the church?If anyone has this information, please post it.
Whaaa...Hooo..Dinner time?I'll be back after I eat.
Andrew...Derrick seems to have lost his voice, can you answer the question. Someone else was asking as well.Derrick Calcote...Praise God for the 44!!!!The credit belongs to the Holy Spirit for those saved. Quit thumping your chest.You and the other deacons along with the administration are responsible for those that have left. What are you doing to get them back?
ALl I know about Chuck Taylor's business is that he owns an office supply company. Is this true?
Ezekiel,Thank you for reposting your question that I reposted earlier. I have been waiting for an answer all day.I have given up on hisservant answering any of my questions. Apparently, the answers were getting too close for comfort. I would like to think they were just missed.
was it his servant that kept saying the deacons were only going to sign what they already agreed to do when they were first brought on as deacons or was that Derrick?I can find what I am looking for but I think tere was some false information given out about the signing of the loyalty pledge. I realized this after we heard that there were so many who have refused to sign it and that the letter was being reworded.Can anyone put this in perspective for me.
Reposted:tim said...LETSBEHONEST,Thanks for the info-warning. I appreciate it. I am already aware of these things. We must be wise as serpants, yet harmless as lambs.Andrew,Why on earth would I want to go see Chip to tell him something that he already knows? 7:21 PM, November 17, 2006
and why on earth would you want to go to Steve GainesMark DChuck TaylorHarry SmithThey already know too!
Andrew:And yes you are correct it did not come directly from a person with responsibilities in the finance office but it did come from the committee and I must reasonable assume it has been researched, discussed and confirmed. I don't have any other evidence to suggest it is not true - do you? Me:No, I have no reason to doubt the explanation you gave. I just think it shows very poor judgment on the part of the person that approved it. I was responding to the reason given, I didn’t mean to come across as shooting the messenger (you). If I did I apologize.Andrew:Also, it sounds like a normal, reasonable average act that likely plays out many times a day in churches and companies all around us. Sir it makes sense, but don't confuse that with me saying it was right or wise. Me:We will have to agree to disagree since it makes little sense to me. It violated the BBC expense and travel policies posted here earlier and certainly would never be considered a valid moving expense by the IRS. Andrew:Honestly, do you not believe that this could actually have happened?Me:I believe it could have happened. What is sad and a shock to me is that apparently it actually did happen. That is the sad part. It was poor judgment by someone in authority to approve payment by BBC for those plane tickets under the guise of “moving expenses”. Amdrew:We're talking about average people doing average things under pressure to please and move forward. I am not capable or qualified to tell you if we have indeed risked any tax code violation, but frankly all this seems reasonable. I am open to any factual and documentable evidence to the contrary.Me:I am not a 501c3 code expert and don’t care enough to look it up. I suspect but have no proof the “commingling of funds” and the purchase of the plane tickets does not place BBC’s tax free status in any real jeopardy. The worst that would probably happen would be a fine from the IRS. I do suspect the tickets would be viewed by the IRS as taxable income to the Pastor and need to be on his W2. Again this strikes me as something you maybe pay a penalty for. Not a big deal. I admit I am guessing a bit. It is worth someone at the church looking into with a qualified expert. If there is a 501c3 tax attorney they are welcome to set me straight. It is not my area of expertise. I think the best way to handle this situation would be “hey, we messed up and never should have paid for those tickets. We will have our tax accountant determine what we need to do and the pastor is going to pay us back for the tickets. Please forgive us” Why there is not some of that from leadership I don't understand. We all make mistakes. People will forgive, but you have to confess you messed up first. It is the failure to admit an obvious mistake that leads to bigger problems. Andrew, again if I upset you I am sorry. I was mad at the explanation given not at you. I apologize if my words and tone suggested otherwise.
sw&w....I hope you are not holding your breath. Looks like no one wants to jump on this one..........
Mr. ezekielI understand your frustration. I share it too. There is still much I don't understand. I've posted comments here for some time now and I hope that they've been a help and encouragement to the visitors that come this way.My heart is to help, not hinder, to love, stand firm, be wise and mind my tongue. I'm sorry if there's something I've done to cause you to be upset with me. I really don't know what it could be. Could you tell me please, sir?By the way, I am not now nor have I ever been a deacon or staff member at Bellevue. I would count it an honor though if I were able to serve and serve well.Sincerely,Andrew
LEAST WE FORGET!Be careful about sitting with Jim Barnwell too!THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL ARRICAL REVISTEDEx-deacon accuses Gaines of misleading church and misusing financesBy James DowdContact October 5, 2006A former deacon at Bellevue Baptist Church issued a public call Wednesday for the senior pastor's resignation. But a church spokesman said the Cordova congregation that counts more than 30,000 members fully supports the minister and does not want him ousted. Advertisement The latest protest was sparked by comments Dr. Steve Gaines made at the church on Sept. 24. During the evening service, the pastor addressed controversial comments that had appeared on the Web site and were reported in the media. Former Bellevue deacon Mark Sharpe, in a letter posted on savingbellevue.com, alleges Gaines has misled the congregation, hidden financial information and refuses to preach on Wednesday nights. "He's brought shame on Bellevue," Sharpe said in an interview on Wednesday. "There's a man in the pulpit who's losing his integrity, and if you can't trust your pastor, then who can you trust?" Jim Barnwell, the church's director of communications, disagreed. The church received an exemplary rating following an independent audit a few months ago and worship attendance and giving remain stable. "We regret that a few of our church members have sought to resolve their issues publicly when it is strictly an internal, family matter," Barnwell wrote in a statement issued Wednesday. "We make it a priority to listen and respond to every suggestion or concern from our membership. "Any Bellevue member with a question or concern is invited to contact a deacon or the church office. Bellevue's pastor, deacons, staff, and virtually all its congregation are committed to restoring fellowship between church members in a Biblical manner." One complaint stems from remarks Gaines made to the congregation in which he said he will not preach on Wednesday nights because he wants to spend more time with his family. He also refuted claims of financial impropriety, saying he had not misused his church-issued credit card. But Sharpe, who listened to the service on Bellevue's Web site, said Gaines deliberately orchestrated the proceedings so as not to allow any questions from the congregation. The problem, he insisted, is that the pastor is not willing to be held accountable to members for his actions. "He let it be known from the very beginning that it was not a business meeting, just a time for information," Sharpe said. "If it had been a business meeting, then he'd have run the risk of having to let members ask questions and it's obvious he didn't want that to happen." Attempts to resolve the conflict have so far been unsuccessful, Sharpe said. Several weeks ago a group of church members met off-campus to discuss concerns over Bellevue's direction. Around that time, the Web site was launched and has been critical of changes in music and worship style since Gaines's arrival. He succeeded longtime pastor Adrian Rogers, who retired after serving more than three decades at Bellevue and died last November. Rogers' son, Steven Rogers, declined Wednesday to comment on the conflict. Initially a forum to protest what some saw as a move to allow the pastor greater authority, the site recently included allegations of misbehavior and intimidation tactics by church leaders. The site receives thousands of hits every day, said founder Jim Haywood, and by late Wednesday had recorded more than 131,000 hits. "We finally had enough and had to do something," Haywood said. "You see this preacher talking out of both sides of his mouth, doing things that are unbelievable, and it's just not right. This is not about being vicious, it's about bringing out the truth." One of the most controversial events involved Gaines and three church leaders climbing over a fence to arrive unannounced at Sharpe's home in a gated community. Sharpe, who was not at home at the time, learned from his children about the visit. A transcript from the Sept. 24 service shows Gaines acknowledged the incident and apologized for it. "It was poor judgment on our part, but I want to tell you this, it did not come out of a bad heart," Gaines said. "It was a ... if it was a mistake, and it was -- I'll take the 'if' out -- it was a mistake of the head, not the heart. "We don't have bad hearts. We were trying to reconcile with a brother." Sharpe said he had not spoken to Gaines after the off-campus meeting. Gaines did not comment Wednesday, but Barnwell agreed there had been no further contact. Still, he said the doors remain open. "I pray for these guys, and I hope they're praying for us, too," Barnwell said. "They're welcome to come back. Given time, I hope everyone will come to love and respect Brother Gaines as I do." -- James Dowd: 529-2737
Andrew, It is a tone problem, nothing against you. Thank you for the answers and your patience.Just really frustrated that we can't get men to be men, answer the questions. The cure is a lot better than the pain..... I just can't imagine how the assault on our church started this small and we can find a man to stand up and stop it. I apologize for snapping at you.
Anyone have any information on the $25,000 gift from Bellevue to The U. Meth. CHurch that burned down? I have heard that that church is pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and has a woman pastor. Financial oversight and congregational governance problems come to mind--just my opinion. How many Bellevue members would agree with this gift from the tithes given?
Amdrew.I have a strange feeling that you are being used in a wrong way even though you are a blessing to us.When you said "And, for some unknown reason, no one else was doing so"I think you said more than you ever thought you did to us!
Andrew, Hisservant, and all who have provided answers to the many questions. I would quit posting altogether. It is obvious that no answer will ever be good enough. Even if they saw it with their own eyes it would not. One word of advice to you guys.As a wise pastor once said "When you wrestle with pigs, both of you wind up dirty, but only one likes it"
25+yrs@BBC said... Anyone have any information on the $25,000 gift from Bellevue to The U. Meth. CHurch that burned down? I would not have wanted to donate to a church that belives in KILLING BABIES and HOMOSEXUALITY or WOMEN PREACHERS.....WHAT HYPOCRITES WE ARE AS A CHURCH!!!Now we will be responsible for those who go to the new church they build and hear a false gospel and eveything that goes with that.This is exactly why we can`t feel comfortable bringing friends to Bellevue right now! They just might all learn to be liars and so forth.
Someone asked about Chuck Taylor. I made some calls and learned his company does most of the printing for the church.
A quick google of united methodist belief should get your their official website and I don't find anything on it like that...In fact they look a little more tolerant than us....I wonder if they publish salary and offering info every week?
noanswerwillsuffice said... It is obvious that no answer will ever be good enough. Even if they saw it with their own eyes it would not. Only Truthful Answers will ever be good enough and we would love to see the truth with our own eyes!
Moving expense?? A daughter's cheerleading activities considered to be a moving expense? Mark D. should be fired! But why would Gaines ever fire someone who was so generous to him - or someone so rich (I hear Mark D. has $25 million in the bank at his disposal. Shhh...it's in a BBC account.)
25+yrs@BBC said... Anyone have any information on the $25,000 gift from Bellevue to The U. Meth. CHurch that burned down? I have heard that that church is pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and has a woman pastor. Financial oversight and congregational governance problems come to mind--just my opinion. How many Bellevue members would agree with this gift from the tithes given? 8:06 PM, November 17, 2006 REPLY:Oh boy. I REALLY hope this isn't true. I agree with what LETSBEHONEST said... I would not have wanted to donate to a church that belives in KILLING BABIES and HOMOSEXUALITY or WOMEN PREACHERS.....I get that we have to prove this before we panic. But this would be devastating. I agree with helping individuals in need, but to help raise a chuch that spreads filth? Even with all of the problems we currently have, there would be no excuse for this.Again, the caveat is... IF WE PROVE THIS TO BE TRUE. I don't mean the caps to show shouting. I just want those words to stand out a little.I have a feeling this will only get harder brothers.A.
You are right, the United Methodists are way more tolerant of sin than we are. The following paragraphs were copied from various websites. Sorry for the duplication.The United Methodist Church began in the early 1970s to view abortion as a "choice". The United Methodist position in favor of abortion has been so strong that two of its institutions helped organize and affiliate with the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights. For many years RCAR used office space in the United Methodist Building which is located across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court. In both 1996 and 1997 the United Methodist Church publicly supported President Clinton’s veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. While the 1996 United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline still maintains a strong pro-abortion position.The United Methodist Church, along with several other major Protestant denominations, is a long-standing member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. As its name implies, the RCRC is an interfaith organization devoted to promoting a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, among other related women's health issues. Following the recent FDA release of mifepristone (an abortion-inducing drug), the president of the RCRC issued a statement praising the drug, and calling its approval "a victory for women as moral decision-makers and for supporters of women as moral agents," and later added that "it does not change the necessity for vigilance against anti-choice tactics and harassment."From their statement of beliefs:Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual OrientationCertain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for homosexual persons. We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting their rightful claims where they have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against gays and lesbians. We also commit ourselves to social witness against the coercion and marginalization of former homosexuals.Several hundred United Methodist churches nationwide have already announced that they support gay rights including unions. Many Methodist pastors continue to perform same-sex unions regardless of church policy.
25+yrs@BBC said..."Anyone have any information on the $25,000 gift from Bellevue to The U. Meth. CHurch that burned down? I have heard that that church is pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and has a woman pastor. Financial oversight and congregational governance problems come to mind--just my opinion. How many Bellevue members would agree with this gift from the tithes given?"It is true. The check was delivered by Phil Weatherwax and Steve Marcham (sp?). Also, the characteristics of the church - woman pastor, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion are also true.
Mr. ezekielAll is well between you and me. Again, I share your thoughts and ponderings. I am very sad at all the damage that has been caused. Sincerely,Andrew
Anyone have any information on the $25,000 gift from Bellevue to The U. Meth. CHurch that burned down? I have heard that that church is pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and has a woman pastor. Financial oversight and congregational governance problems come to mind--just my opinion. How many Bellevue members would agree with this gift from the tithes given? I don't know about any money but the Pastor of that United Methodist Church is Martha Wagley. She was at Germantown Methodist before their current preacher arrived and almost killed GUMC. They didn't like her but since they were Methodists the congregation could not get rid of her. I have a lot of work friends that go to Germanton Methodist that commented when they saw her in the paper after the fire. The only reason she was removed from GUMC was giving dropped off a cliff when many members left for other churches. She is definitly pro abortion and pro gay clergy. A friend that used to go to GUMC approached her once about a Sunday school teacher that was preaching the resurrection never really happened, that it was a metaphor. Rev Wagley would not remove him from preaching. Also would not remove children teachers that said the Old Testament (red sea etc.)was mostly folk stories. Liberal with a capital "L".
Andrew,Did the Communications Committee happen to say how the plane tickets were accounted for? Did they end up actually being treated as moving expenses?
I have been keeping up with all of this for weeks now. I find it hard to swallow that the church has donated 25k$ to the UM church downtown. Was anyone other than staff notified that such a donation would be made?
I would add I don't mind giving $25,000 to the uber Liberal Methodist church, as long as all the money was used to buy new Bibles. < wink >As with most things it depends where the money went and what it was used for. No need to knee jerk react until we get some more facts.
Completely forget about all this nonsense about plane tickets and the like. What does it say about the leadership of BBC when it so clearly supports a church that so very clearly is lead and holds beliefs so very much against what BBC believes? Either they're not thinking or as has been put forward all along there is NO transparency with the finances of BBC. Because if there had been and people were made aware of such a donation do you think the congregation would have approved? Oh and I'm not talking about the blind raise your hands if you agree with what the Pastor just said type of notification. This donation will eclipse all other issues once the general BBC member understands what we just gave 25K dollars to.
Would we give ANY money to a satanic "church?" Obviously the answer is no. Well then why would we give money to UMC for ANY reason? Pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, woman pastor, teaching the resurrection is a metaphor, teaching biblical stories are folk stories... This is satanic teaching. I don't see the difference. Just because the church CLAIMS to be Christian, it doesn't mean it is.A.
It's impossible for me to forget the plane tickets. I work hard for $1100. If I was in charge of a company that I did not own and one of my subordinates told me that he would use company funds to pay some of my personal expenses, I would know immediately that doing so would be defrauding the company. That is what Gaines did! He must be held accountable if at all possible. Mark D. was his subordinate. Gaines took the money!!
Ok, looks like we got a little off track, was that intentional, more of the rope a dope??????Maybe we can try afew of these questions.....Can anyone tell us who supplies the church with the folowing items? Feel free to add to the list. I am sure I am not covering everything WE buy.1)Cafeteria supplies/food2)Cars3)office supplies4)cleaning supplies5)janitorial services
In my opinion Bellevue desperately needs revival and reform. Paul's ministry was marked by the trait of "providing things honestly in the sight of all men" (Rom. 12:17)... What a contrast to the present case.
I agree Joe. SG should know better. I think he does know better. But the deal was too sweet for him.A.
I guess my point is really that the plane tickets are another non-starter as far as issues go. But you start talking about a 25k dollar donation that went to a church that believes and preaches what the UM downtown does and did then you will get everybody's attention. Don't give me any nonsense about supporting people or churches when they're wounded. It's like Housewife said would we support Satan because he came to us and said his Satanic Church burned down? I'm sure the answer would no.
Let's see, that would require truth and light would it not?
averagejoe said... Andrew,Did the Communications Committee happen to say how the plane tickets were accounted for? Did they end up actuallyI'll check tomorrow to see if I have more on that.---The 25k is true. (different source)I am totally against it too.Love them, witness to them, serve them, reach out to them in Jesus' name. But don't enable what we stand against.---Blessings to you and good night all. Off to spend time with my lonely wife.Andrew
HisServant said... "Karen: so it is not true that Dr. Whitmire was already planning to retire and even brought it up himself?"and"i have said the answers are there for the ones that truly want them.So, I would like HisServant to ask the Communications Committee the following question: Did Jim Whitmire go to Dr Gaines and tell him that he did not feel that the Lord was leading him to retire yet; and, did Dr. Gaines say "Jim, you are not man enough to work under Jamie Parker" If the answer is "yes" do you think maybe this could be construed as coersion? If the answer is "no" then another rumor is put to rest, but I must tell you that the quote came from a Whitmire family member. Why don't I ask? Because I think I already know and if your answer comes from the CC maybe you will believe it.For the record:I am a deacon (in good standing for the moment).I was at the last deacon fiasco - er- meeting.I did not vote for the pledge. I was one of the ones who walked out.I did not, nor will not, sign any pledge - and bty contrary to what Deacon Calcote and others have said, I have never been asked to make any kind of pledge at any of the deacon interviews I have been in.I did attend of-campus meetings with a group of concerned deacons.To all the hurting and scattered sheep be assured that a group (51 a few weeks ago and growing) of deacons are concerned and are working diligently, both openly and behind the scene, to resolve this mess.Lastly, why not identify myself? I want to leave the deacon fellowship, if I decide I must, on my own terms when I am ready.
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