Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Seminary President Calls for Steve Gaines to Resign!


In a front page article in the December 20th Memphis Commercial Appeal, Dr. Michael Spradlin, president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and interim pastor of Germantown Baptist Church, has asked for the resignation of Dr. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. That article, in its entirety, is here.

Quotes by Dr. Spradlin include:

"If Steve Gaines found out that a child had been sexually molested by one of his ministers and if he did nothing to address it, then he needs to step down immediately," Spradlin said. "We cannot take chances with other people's children. If he knew about this and kept quiet, then he's put Bellevue in a very dangerous position and possibly put children and the emotionally vulnerable at risk."

"There's a sense of Steve Gaines being the measure of what's right and what's wrong. If you agree with him, you're right and if you disagree, you're wrong," Spradlin said. "But I think he's spent all his credibility and people are losing trust in him."

Steve Gaines issued this statement.

186 comments:

CH said...

Thank you, Dr. Spradlin, for being a man of courage and conviction.

cjesusnme said...

Dr. Spradlin,

You are being covered in prayer Dear Brother. Praise God for men of honor and integrity such as yourself! You are a blessing to many of us!

phil413 said...

Dr Spradlin,
I will continue to pray for you daily and I praise you for your strength and integrity.
Psalm 118:6
David Matlock

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin,
I am grateful to Jesus for you and all the others who have taken a stand for righteousness when it hasn't been easy. The consequences of wrongdoing need to happen. Integrity does count.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin:
Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your leadership. My family and I are praying for you and your family. God bless you.

westtnbarrister said...

Real leaders often point the way at the darkest hour. Dr. Spradlin, you're a real leader, a beacon of light and truth for Bellevue's darkest hour. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin: Thank you. We appreciate your courage and integrity.

allofgrace said...

Dr. Spradlin,
Preach on!! Your name is being lifted before the throne of God. I thank Him for your integrity. Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin, thank you for taking a stand. Dr. Rogers always reminded us that "All it takes for ever to succeed is for good men to do nothing". Thank you for doing something.

Custos said...

Well said, Dr Spradlin. All that’s necessary for wrong to triumph is that good men do nothing. Thank you for doing something: Thank you for being courageous and standing for what’s right. I’m sure your life will be more complicated after this, but you knew that and I thank you for accepting the added burden that goes with standing for what’s right. I stand with you.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin-
Thank you for your leadership. My family and I are praying for you. We appreciate you. Finally, a strong leader of moral character and conviction is willing to take a stand for truth against the darkness oozing out of our church. Praise God!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Dr. Spradlin,

Thank you so much for your courage and willingness to stand for Truth! I'll reiterate what others have said. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. (I've always thought that applied to good women as well!) You've illustrated by your public comments that integrity, which is something that seems to be sorely lacking among the leadership at Bellevue today, does indeed count. We stand with you and appreciate you more than you'll ever know. God bless you!

This, sir, is for you!

NASS

Anonymous said...

Did you ever stop and think that Dr. Spradlin had hidden motives behind this entire thing and was just waiting till the moment was right; like for instance, the Paul Williams matter. I can just see Sprad thinking to himself."I know, I will get the support of the church by fully welcoming Steve Gaines to be our new pastor so that I can raise money for my seminary next door, and then, I will turn around and slap him and the church in the face." Thanks Sprad, way to use even more ammunition against a church that has suffered enough.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Let's see. So far we have 12 "for" and 1 "against." Interesting.

CH said...

TeamGaines,

Good gracious. You accuse a man of untarnished reputation of scheming and conniving for his own benefit, whilst a man with demonstrated poor judgement and questionable motives/tactics (straining to be magnanimous here) remains upright in your view?

Perhaps your Bible is upside down?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin said:

"If Steve Gaines found out that a child had been sexually molested by one of his ministers and if he did nothing to address it, then he needs to step down immediately," Spradlin said. "We cannot take chances with other people's children. If he knew about this and kept quiet, then he's put Bellevue in a very dangerous position and possibly put children and the emotionally vulnerable at risk."


Maybe you like to play Russian Roulette? Do you not have children, or at least family members with children? Maybe you would like to be working down the hall from a pedophile? Hummm... I would have to tell my children not to come to see me at work, or park on the campus without an escort...

This is just a no-brainer. Even secular business world knows better than to do hide something like this, continue to employ someone after knowing, and gamble with their own liability and with the lives of children and abused adults. It was a very stupid decision.

Thank you Dr. Spradlin

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

12-20-2006

Dear Brother Mike,

Greetings to you in the most holy name of Jesus!

It is with humble and greatfui hearts that Brother Charles and I would like to thank you for taking a public stand for the LORD and his beautiful bride by asking for Pastor Steve Gaines resignation.

We will be writing to Pastor Steve today in support of his resignation and pray that he will step down and do what is in the best interest of our church.

There may be a high price to pay for taking this stand but the LORD can replace and restore any loses we take for HIS sake!

We have no doubts that the LORD will richly bless you for your strong walk in truth and light and that HIS blessing will be shed upon Mid America seminary as well.

You have stepped up at a time when many tired saints needed encouragment and refreshing.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Under HIS wings and in HIS love,
Brother Charles and Sister Pam Gremillion

Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest. (Luke 9:48)

MOM4 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MOM4 said...

Dr. Spradlin,
Thank you so much for the stand you have taken during this difficult time in the history of our church. There are many of us praying for you and the seminary, we know the onslaught you can expect, mostly due to the experiences we ourselves have had after opposing Steve Gaines. Mrs Rogers, of all people, was even forced to defend her late husband and even her own integrity was questioned after making statements to a local TV station. Please know that you are very well respected and honored for your reputation of integrity and wisdom and the strict adherence to God's Word. We appreciate the stand you have taken and would like to see more SBC leaders do the same. Thank you in Jesus' name!

Anonymous said...

Praise the LORD and thank you Dr. Spradlin. I have been praying that God would use you in a mighty way to restore our beloved Bellevue Baptist Church to it's rich tradition of Drs. Lee, Pollard and Rogers.

"And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exhalted.

Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth."

Isaiah 12, 4 and 5

Tim said...

Dr. Spradlin,

Words cannot adequately express my appreciation for your willingness to address this issue. In a time of great difficulty you have been successful in being gracious and true. It is my deepest prayer that because of your courageous stand there will be a wave of revival in the hearts of Bellevue Baptist Church. This has been a time like no other in the history of this church where standing for righteousness has been so difficult. You are sincerely appreciated for taking that stand.

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

12-20-2006

Greetings to you in the most holy name of Jesus!

Pastor Steve, in light of all the unresolved and unscriptural practices that have come to our attention over
these past months,Brother Charles and I feel led to ask for your resignation and we do so with great conviction mixed with concern for your own soul.

We have always believed that it was the LORD who brought you to Bellevue. HIS ways are soverign and holy and when we follow HIM, we are
always blessed. We believe the LORD wanted to bless you Pastor Steve by bringing here among us and you mentor Pastor Rogers.

None of us can ever say we know just why the LORD moves us here and there, until we look into the rearview mirror of our lives and it is there, in that rearview mirror, that we most often see HIS reasons for each season of our life.

When you look back Pastor Steve, you will most likely see HIS great love bringing you to a place where you would face your own soul in a way you never have before. The LORD is trying to refine you into HIS image, just as HE is doing for many of us who have come to warn you in love so many times at enormous sacrifice.

Pastor, our love for you and for JESUS is why we have continually made contact with you and begged you to open your eyes to the unholy ways that have led us to this sad day.

It is with great sorrow and resolution that Brother Charles and I ask you to resign your pastorship at Bellevue for the good of Christ and HIS beautiful bride.

If we can do anything to help you in anyway, please feel free to ask. We only want the best for you.

Remember we love you now and always and only want GOD`s best for you and for Bellevue!

Under HIS wings and in HIS love,
Brother Charles and Sister Pam Gremillion

Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest. (Luke 9:48)

MOM4 said...

team_gaines said...
"Did you ever stop and think that Dr. Spradlin had hidden motives behind this entire thing and was just waiting till the moment was right; like for instance, the Paul Williams matter. I can just see Sprad thinking to himself."I know, I will get the support of the church by fully welcoming Steve Gaines to be our new pastor so that I can raise money for my seminary next door, and then, I will turn around and slap him and the church in the face." Thanks Sprad, way to use even more ammunition against a church that has suffered enough."

Actually, knowing the demonstrated character of Steve Gaines and his followers, I would suspect that Gaines will pull BBC funding of MABTS immediately, if he has not already done so. I believe Dr. Spradlin is stepping out on faith and God's Word to stand for the welfare of BBC, whilst Steve Gaines will do whatever maneuvering he can to retain his position and I feel sure that the character of Steve Gaines will lead him at some point to threaten MABTS funding if they don't play his game.
Mark my words sir, your dog don't hunt!

Anonymous said...

team_gaines said...
Did you ever stop and think that Dr. Spradlin had hidden motives behind this entire thing and was just waiting till the moment was right; like for instance, the Paul Williams matter.

If ever there was a moment more right to Dr. S to come forward, I have yet to see it. If a man is willing to harbor a child rapist, every person should be coming forward.

I can just see Sprad thinking to himself."I know, I will get the support of the church by fully welcoming Steve Gaines to be our new pastor so that I can raise money for my seminary next door, and then, I will turn around and slap him and the church in the face."

A slap in the face to the church is exactly what is need at this time. A slap in the face is far better than the impending wrath of the Almighty.

Thanks Sprad, way to use even more ammunition against a church that has suffered enough.

If ammunition is what is needed to bring this church back to it's rightful path, then my thanks also, Dr. S.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Spradlin,

Thank you so very much for standing for the courage of your convictions and for standing for truth and integrity in Bellevue Baptist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

I'm sure there will be those who are going to try to demonize you but you have a host of friends all around the USA and in fact the world who are applauding your action today. You are not alone.

Churches all across America are looking at BBC since the minister/rapist was announced and wondering what, if anything BBC will do about it.

Comments like Baptists can't drink booze, smoke, dance, etc. but they can allow a pedophile to remain on staff as a minister have already been posted on WMC TV's site. We were about to become the laughingstock of the whole world.

We must tell the world that all SBC churches will not allow this kind of thing to happen. As Dr. Rogers used to say "It is getting Gloriously Dark" and "I'm going to keep my teeth brushed and my bags packed"

Please excuse me if I didn'g get those quotes exactly right because I was relying on my memory.

I do remember the very first two sermons I heard Dr. Rogers preach.

Availabililty

Accountability.

Wow!!! How prophetic he was and this was in 1973, long since forgotten by most but they have been burned into my heart since I first heard them. By the way if anyone here has copies of those sermons I would love to have a new copy since mine have been lost over the years. It would be very good to see if LWF would run them over the radio for such a time as this.

As my name says Integrity Counts.

God Bless you and your family. I will be praying for you and for BBC.

Anonymous said...

About 30 years ago, I helped lead a forum of discussion at Cypress Jr. High, under the leadership of a program through Juvenile Court, dialoguing with young teenaged girls regarding rape, sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, and other related topics. I remember one young girl in particular, a street-smart kid with a wisdom and toughness that belied her years, responding to the question, "What would you do if someone tried to rape you?" -- with a graphic, potentially excruciatingly painful explanation of just exactly what she would do ... and had there been any males in the audience, they would have been doubled over in pain at her mere suggestions. I remember thinking, "That's right, girl! You said it!" -- and filing away her comments for future reference in case I ever needed them myself.

Then came April 1981. I was awakened at 4 a.m. with a knife to my throat and was brutally raped by an intruder in my apartment. This jerk took my virginity and my innocence in more ways than I can count, and I was helpless -- helpless to do anything to stop him. I remembered the young girl's advice, and thought seriously about trying to attack the rapist and defend myself physically, but the knife in his hand told the whole story. He clearly had the advantage and there was nothing I could do.

My point is ... none of us really knows what we will do in ANY situation until we are there. We're all brag and boast and standing firm on this principle or that, but when real life smacks us, it's sometimes very different than what we had imagined. We find ourselves making decisions we never thought we'd make, and never even thought we'd HAVE to make.

It's easy to sit and quote Scripture and toss around epithets regarding what Bro. Steve should have done, or what the mysterious previous senior staff member who knew of PW's indiscretions should have done.

Personally, I am honored to serve under a Pastor who decided to err on the side of grace. I wish everyone felt the way I do, but I know, sadly, that they don't.

Once the results of the investigation are in, and I don't think it will be long, my personal belief is that PW will be asked to resign if he has not already done so on his own. I agree that this is as it should be.

I do NOT, however, believe Bro. Steve should be asked to resign. He did what he felt was right, which in this case was to follow the example of Jesus when the woman caught in adultery was brought to him. Surely you cannot argue that Jesus had available to Him all the Scriptures in Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Ezekiel, and all the others that have been so oft quoted here, as well as the supreme advantage of being Almighty God -- yet He chose to extend complete grace to this woman instead of lobbing Scripture at the situation, and He chastised those who wished to stone her and disgrace her.

None of us knows for sure how he or she would react in a similar situation. God help us, that we won't ever HAVE to be taught in order for us to stop being so quick to condemn others.

And one added footnote: God's power to heal is so complete and sure. I don't think often of what happened to me back in 1981, and when I re-tell it (usually only in the context of being able to help another victim of rape), so complete is God's healing of my memory and my scars, it is almost as though I'm telling of something that happened to another person. I pray this same healing for PW's son and anyone else who has been damaged and their innocence destroyed through sexual sin.

pinker socks said...

team_gains,
Did Steve Gaines write that out for you or just give you the general wording he wanted put on here? How many "mistakes" is this for Gaines now? I've lost count.

He went too far this time. Not only did he put our church and especially our children at risk, but he tried to lay it at the feet of Dr. Rogers. Because Dr. Rogers was a man of integrity he never had even the slightest blemish on his ministry and now Dr. Gaines tries to put this scandal on him when he is not here to speak for himself and his precious grieving widow has to come out to defend him. SHAME ON YOU STEVE GAINES, RESIGN!!!
Thank you Mike Spradlin. Please keep fighting for us.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Steve did not try to blame this on Dr. Rogers. He said it was a problem known to "previous leadership." I believe that has been proven to be true, and that the person who knew was NOT Dr. Rogers.

pinker socks said...

Who do you think "previous leadership" is? I hope you open your eyes soon.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, pinker ... but I don't believe it was Dr. Rogers, and I don't believe it was "EB," who had already retired before the incident happened. I don't know that speculating really accomplishes much, either. I believe it will come out in the investigation. If it doesn't, it should.

allofgrace said...

mjm,
First let me say I grieve for what was taken from you. Thank you for your courage in sharing that. However, I think you're confusing forgiveness and grace with consequences. I can tell you as a partaker of God's glorious grace, that I am still suffering the consequences of sins committed long before I even came to know the Lord. God has most graciously forgiven me..but the consequences remain..such is the nature of sin...if it were not so, if there were no consequences for sin, then why did Christ have to shed His blood to pay for it? Thankfully, if PW is truly saved he will not suffer the ultimate penalty..just as you and I will not. I pray that PW will recover and be restored to fellowship and usefulness in God's kingdom...but I do not believe he should ever hold a ministerial position again. As Dr. Spradlin stated...you can't fault someone for not knowing what to do...but in this situation counsel should have been sought immediately as to what should be done, if that was the case. This put children in danger. The statistics on this issue show that...better to err on the side of the safety of children in this matter. I respect and appreciate your views, but I cannot agree.

pinker socks said...

Why do you think Mrs. Rogers felt it necessary to call the news to let them know that it was not Dr. Rogers.
I'll tell you why; because Gaines stated that "previous leadership" knew about it and he didn't offer that all important detail, that I'm sure he knew, that Dr. Rogers DID NOT know about this.

Can you answer my previous question? How many "mistakes" is this for Gaines? The tally marks are multiplying!

Derrick Calcote said...

MJM,

May the Lord bless you for sharing your story, and continue to do a healing work in your life.

Your words are so true and so eloquent, and I say a heart felt AMEN to them.

I love my Lord.
I love my Church.
I love my Pastor.

My pastor has my continued prayers and support.

-Derrick Calcote

Finance Guy said...

team gaines
Did you ever stop and think that Dr. Spradlin had hidden motives behind this entire thing and was just waiting till the moment was right; like for instance, the Paul Williams matter

I'm sorry sir, but Bellevue knows Dr. Spradlin. He has earned his credibility over the years with us.

Question for you. Do you think that Steve Gaines and Harry Smith have been lying in wait for years for the "right moment" where they could take over BBC and MABTS, as well as Union University, and become "Big Chiefs" in the Southern Baptist Convention?

Finance Guy said...

NASS
Let's see. So far we have 12 "for" and 1 "against." Interesting.

Add one more.

Finance Guy said...

mjm
He was unclear on who the "previous leadership" was, with either a planned, or unplanned deniable finger pointing at Dr. Rogers. Remember, Joyce was forced to call the TV news to protect her husbands honor from this mealy-mouthed blameshifting pastor.

Finance Guy said...

maybejustmaybe
Personally, I am honored to serve under a Pastor who decided to err on the side of grace. I wish everyone felt the way I do, but I know, sadly, that they don't.

Just curious, if PW raped your child sometime between June and last Sunday. Would you still feel the same way?

pinker socks said...

maybejustmabe,
When it comes to child molestation one should err on the side of the children!
I have children at Bellevue. You, sickandtired and others that seem to support PW and Gaines scare me!
It may be a long time before my kids walk Bellevue halls without their dad or myself with them. HOW SAD IS THAT?!?

MOM4 said...

financeguysaid...
"Question for you. Do you think that Steve Gaines and Harry Smith have been lying in wait for years for the "right moment" where they could take over BBC and MABTS, as well as Union University, and become "Big Chiefs" in the Southern Baptist Convention?"
It is a known fact that the 2 men go "way back" and that their power plays have been made and blocked by men of God. Harry Smith has made his major money via lawsuits (Ford Motor Co.) and some shady real estate dealings (Schilling Farms) and that is a documented fact. The only thing left for him is power, and he and others (Steve Tucker, The Caldwells, etc.) used their positions, entrusted to them by Dr Rogers no less)at BBC to bring Steve Gaines as pastor, all the while deceiving not only Dr Rogers, but the majority of the congregation. Harry Smith and Steve Gaines BOTH worked to take over MABTS by using their positions at Union University and their plan was thwarted by men of integrity. Union University needs to wake up to their leadership problems as well. Harry Smith has participated in some questionable activities, especially since Steve Gaines' arrival at BBC. There are those with knowledge about the past dealings of Steve Gaines that will not come forth because of the fear of the power that these men now hold, especially in the SBC!
I am grateful that Dr Spradlin made a statement. It is time for others to do the same! WAKE UP SBC- this is not a POLITICAL ISSUE - we are talking about the kingdom of GOD and HIS CHURCH!

Anonymous said...

maybejustmaybe:
"My point is ... none of us really knows what we will do in ANY situation until we are there. We're all brag and boast and standing firm on this principle or that, but when real life smacks us, it's sometimes very different than what we had imagined. We find ourselves making decisions we never thought we'd make, and never even thought we'd HAVE to make.
It's easy to sit and quote Scripture and toss around epithets regarding what Bro. Steve should have done, or what the mysterious previous senior staff member who knew of PW's indiscretions should have done.

Personally, I am honored to serve under a Pastor who decided to err on the side of grace. I wish everyone felt the way I do, but I know, sadly, that they don't."

Are you serious?? Erring on the side of grace?? Grace and removal from leadership are not unilaterally linked. If one is removed for a past "moral failure" that doesn't mean that you aren't showing grace. On the contrary. It shows that you are showing grace to the rest of the body and to the victim(s) involved. Moral failures have consequences. Sin has consequences. Lapse in judgement has consequences. Failure to act has consequences.
The pastor has opened the gates for litigation...be it true or not. Do you not honestly believe that others will come forward now and claim (either true of false) that they were a victim of PW. Hold on to your wallets because Pastor Gaines just allowed that to happen by doing NOTHING for 6 months. Pastor Gaines had a confession from the culprit but allowed him to stay. WOW!

gopher said...

Jeremiah 6 (NIV)
13 "From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.

14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.

15 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin,

Thank you for answering the reporter's question honestly.

Transparency is so refreshing these days.

Resolute decision-making based on scriptural conviction seems to be rare as well.

You got it exactly right. May your tribe increase.

Anonymous said...

mom4,

You left out Mark Dougharty, David Perdue, Chuck Taylor, and a few more. Do they just take Mark Dougharty out and dust him off on Sundays to deliver the benediction?

MOM4 said...

IDC,
They were part of the "etc."!
I believe that Mark Dougharty is working silently behind the scenes to earn his extra years salary bonus that he was given "in case the new pastor did not want him to remain on staff". Perhaps since he did "remain on staff" - he should give it back - better yet, perhaps he should go ahead and resign as well and just keep the money - it would be a small price to pay for integrity in leadership!

Bereans said...

Dr. Spradlin,
Thank you for being brave enough to stand for truth and righteousness. You have a seminary full of young preacher boys who are watching this sordid soap opera unfold across the street. They are watching to see how pastors should handle difficult situations. You have stepped in and made it abundantly clear how this should have been handled. You have not only set an example for them as to how this should be handled but you have made it plain what the consequences of this should be if they ever choose to step onto the wrong side of the fence. You have done your job as seminary president to lead your students by example.

The members of Bellevue are also grateful for your decisive leadership. While others wiffle-waffle, you stand strong and show us the Biblical way to handle such things. We don't need committees and investigations and 6 months to figure out what to do. You knew instantly what to do because you know scripture and know to look there for the answers.

Thank you for your public stand. We needed someone to stand for us. We will be at GBC this Sunday to hear a preacher with integrity.

Bellevue Friend said...

Friends,

Right is right no matter how many are for it, and wrong is wrong no matter how many are for that!

Dr. Spradlin is a man of God, courageous, and forthright! I thank God for you!

It's been said that “Peace is such a wonderful thing; I would trade almost anything in the world for it....except the truth!

Dr. Spradlin, thank you for not trading truth for peace!

Team Gaines……Hit the showers! Game over!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Dr Spradlin for having the discernment and courage to stand up against the evils that have overtaken Bellevue for the past 25 months!

The majority of the sheep have fallen under some sort of spell where they are no longer discerning and following after a man who indeed, as you have stated, measures what is right and what is wrong by his own measuring stick, and twists scripture to back up his own agenda.

How I praise God for your wisdom and discernment and also for your integrity and courage to stand up against a man who is known for getting rid or ruining the reputation of all those who do not agree with him and serve him.

Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTIOON! 15 MONTHS

Anonymous said...

Mom4,
IDC,
25+yrs@BBC,

Amen. The time has come to purge our church of these leaders who have no motives other than increase their power. Many of us have finally started to ‘wake up’ to realize what has been going on. A lot of us “nobodies” are uniting to reclaim our beloved Bellevue in the name of Jesus. We are now awake, and integrity absolutely matters!!!

Praise God that Dr. Spradlin has stepped forward publicly to weigh in with his words of wisdom. The light bulb went off for many people when Steve Gaines allowed a child molester to remain on staff for 6 months before finally bringing it to the congregation. We are talking about our children!!!

Does Steve Gaines dare think that he is above reproach or above the law? He has recently preached about being under authority. Did he not listen to his own words? Oops…this must be another mistake of the mind….

Anonymous said...

Steve Gaines has been asked to resign for more reasons than what we are reading about today. The pattern of emotional and spiritual abuse by Steve Gaines towards Bellevue's staff and membership has no place in the church. Men who are called to be pastors do not act in this manner. Lying, financial impropriety, intimidation, law breaking, misusing the scripture for personal gain, and arrogance are not characteristics of a pastor. At what point will it take for some of our members to admit that the best thing for our church is for Steve to go so we can have healing and restoration?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Spradlin,

Thank you for your courage. May God continue to bless you. My prayers are with you.

concerned

Finance Guy said...

Integrity Does Count said...
Do they just take Mark Dougharty out and dust him off on Sundays to deliver the benediction?

thanks for the giggle. I've started to wonder if MD does have some integrity, and as such, he's not trusted by the "leadership". Poor Mark got left holding the bag on the "dream" story.

Anonymous said...

I have a dream...

That a time will come at Bellevue when sin will be treated as sin...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the pastor will have time to answer questions from the congregation in a real business meeting instead of having self-serving informational meetings...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the pastor will be accountable to the congregation...

That a time will come at Bellevue when there will be a new set of bylaws that will provide checks and balances on the power of the pastor's office, will treat the office of deacon scripturally, and will address the concerns of power plays among members of the laity...

That a time will come at Bellevue when ministers who serve the church will be dealt with scripturally when they sin in a disqualifying way...

That a time will come at Bellevue when ministers who serve the church well for years will be able to speak freely from the heart with joy about their years at Bellevue without having to sign non-disclosure statements...

That a time will come at Bellevue when many of the discerning christians who have left will return to help with Bellevue's restoration...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the elderly among the membership will be able to sing the hymns that they know and love and not be made to feel as though their church has disappeared over night...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the standing ovations for performances will cease and a chorus of "amens" will ring out in worship directed to God alone...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the giving of staff and membership will be an undistracted act of worship without any concern that the pastor will be making a list and checking it twice...

That a time will come at Bellevue when "We are one in the bond of love..." will be sung from the heart by all present with beaming faces...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the heaviness of this day will be lifted and this time of contention will be a distant memory...

--and I believe that this dream will not become reality until some time after SG is gone... jmo

gopher said...

SG has sure changes his views on this issue, as back in June 2004 he is quoted as saying:

On the final evening, Rev. Steve Gaines, pastor of First Baptist Church in Gardendale, Alabama, railed against homosexuality, by saying, "God characterized homosexuality as an abomination in Leviticus 18, and He sandwiched it right between adultery, child sacrifice and having sex with an animal." He urged Southern Baptists to contact their congress-people to lobby for approval of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

http://www.whosoever.org/v9i1/
soulforce.shtml

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin, thank you for being a man who has the courage to stand for truth and light. It is so refreshing. It has been a very long time since many of us have seen any integrity from people in positions of leadership at BBC. May God richly bless you. Again, thank you.

Finance Guy said...

mjm
I do NOT, however, believe Bro. Steve should be asked to resign. He did what he felt was right..

Here in lies the problem. A public pattern has developed were what SG "feels" to be right more likely than not, turns out to be the "wrong" decision. (Mistakes of the mind). Do we trust someone with this level of poor judgement with our church?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dr. Mike Spradlin. It has become quite apparent that Bro. Steve Gaines must resign immediately. I only hope that he has the cover of God's grace to do so. We need a pastor, not simply someone who can preach a good (if, as the previous weeks have shown us, self serving) message. Kind of sad that his past 2 or 3 sermons have been so self serving, isn't it?? Sad.. and yet so enlightening.

Anonymous said...

Derrick Calcote said...
MJM,

May the Lord bless you for sharing your story, and continue to do a healing work in your life.

Your words are so true and so eloquent, and I say a heart felt AMEN to them.

I love my Lord.
I love my Church.
I love my Pastor.

My pastor has my continued prayers and support.

-Derrick Calcote


Deacon Calcote,

Chuck Taylor asked you not to be on this Blog. Why are you going against his wishes?

If you are so much in favor of Steve Gaines that you would blindly give your devotion to him when he is so clearly leading us contrary to God`s word, then I think you need to start packing your bags and follow him out the door when he goes.

Derrick you are a young man with a humble heart but you are traveling a dangerous road with Steve Gaines as your travel companion.

I get the feeling he has personlly taken you under his wings and put you under his spell.

Please reconsider what you are doing.

If you are so loyal to the leadership, then your disloyalty is showing everytime you come back to post,

If you can go against Chuck Taylor to post, there is every hope to believe that you might break your loyalty to Steve Gaines one day soon.

I hope so!

Memphismom02 said...

Thank you, Dr. Spradlin, for telling it like it is. How long will you be interim at GBC? We need for you to come and help with restoration at Bellevue!

And now, the $64,000 question: If SG won't resign, how can we help him to be voted out? The sooner, the better. Let's go into 2007 with a positive outlook for our church.

Anonymous said...

The reason why I want Steve Gaines to resign;

He no longer meets the scriptual requirements to be a pastor.



I Timothy 3:1 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

I Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

I Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

I Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

I Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

I Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

I Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

AND If Donna Gaines really called us trash, she does not meet the scriptual requirements to be a pastor`s wife.

Bepatient said...

He did not say "previous leadership"
He said "previous people". Whatever you think that means at least quote it correctly.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Spradlin

Thank you for finally joining those of us who have been standing against Bellevue`s Goliath`s.

I hope you are ready for the battle that will surely come!

Anonymous said...

Paul Williams told Mrs. Rogers that Dr. Rogers knew nothing about him being a pedophile.

It is beginning to look like a confessed rapist has more integrity than Steve Gaines when to comes to this issue and I do mean this issue only!

Finance Guy said...

Does anybody believe for one minute SG has the integrity to resign under any circumstances?

I'm sure they are in the back rooms busy strategizing on how to ride this out, and guaging the support they have in the congregation.

Spradlin has to know this, and knows the risk he took personally with his remarks in the CA. He must know more that is not (yet) public.

This is almost a "loser leaves town" situation.

We should continue to lift up the parties involved in prayer.

Anonymous said...

Is Steve Gaines and company still harboring a known adulterer>

Bruce step down and do the right thing.

Steve Gaines and company, remove him if he doesn`t remove himself roday!

pinker socks said...

bepatient,
Previous people, previous leadership, whatever the wording it's very OBVIOUS what he was trying to imply. He could have easily been a man of honor and stated that Dr. Rogers did not know about this. Mrs. Rogers felt it necessary to clear that up with the news. All of you PW & Gaines supporters, what is in your heart to block discernment? Please spend some time on that. This man is not qualified to be in the pulpit of Bellevue or any other church!! He has proven that himself over and over!

Anonymous said...

team_gaines said:

"Did you ever stop and think that Dr. Spradlin had hidden motives behind this entire thing and was just waiting till the moment was right... "

No, I've got to admit that never crossed my mind. Still hasn't either.

Karen said...

Thank you Dr. Spradlin. You are truly a Heaven sent blessing today. I hope your students follow your example to become strong men of Godly character.

Karen Turk Marshall

Anonymous said...

Financeguy

Dr. Spradlin has known things we have reported for a long time. ( I am not referring to the Paul Williams rape), but most of the other issues we have discussed on this blog.

For whatever reason, the pedophile news embolded him and Dr.Allison and they have now joined in the march for Truth!

Better late than never!!!

Welcome Dr. Spradlin and Dr. Allison

Finance Guy said...

blessmewiththetruth
Bruce step down and do the right thing.

Steve Gaines and company, remove him if he doesn`t remove himself roday!


I would add the word "publicly" remove.

You really think that if SG knew about the issue PW had and left him on staff, he's going to have Bruce Brooke disciplined for the piddling little sin of adultry? All Bruce has to do is go in and say "sorry and i'll never do it again", and in the world SG lives in, that's good enough, and we should all show grace and mercy to our big powerful friend that I love, and just act like it never happend.

Finance Guy said...

bmwtt,
I know about the "other stuff". I am certain however, that there are other things that raise to the level of the PW situation that are not commonly known (yet).

Most people won't care about a powerstruggle between the two sides of Appling Road. They will care about serious moral issues though...

Just the thoughts of a lowly sheep...baaaaa....

Anonymous said...

Financeguy

The reason I want Bruce removed is because he no longer scripturally qualifies to be a deacon or leader at our church:

I Timothy 3:8 Likewise [must] the deacons [be] grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

I Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

I Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless.

I Timothy 3:11 Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

I Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

I Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Bell22 said...

I just saw a post when did Donna Gaines call us trash? That is not good either.I see the goodwill really being spread around. This whole thing is a mess I wish it would end.

Ed_T said...

Remember folks, the seminary has some financial needs and I'm sure Dr. Spradlin knew he was risking losing the financial support of some "Kool-aid drinkers" by making such a bold call for SG's resignation.

So if you've got any year-end giving you can do, maybe now would be a good time, don't you think?

You can make online donations at the seminary's web site.

Anonymous said...

David Combes

Please step down from any position of leadership you have at our church and please do not accept any futher positions of leadership if offered.

We don`t need another blimish on Bellevue.

If you want to purchase booze we can`t stop you but please don`t represent Bellevue either in public or private settings as a leader of our church.

Steve Gaines and company don`t allow David to add to our problems.

MOM4 said...

Can someone verify the Donna Gaines' statement calling us "trash"? What was that context and where did it come from?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr. Spradlin for being a man of integrity!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr. Spradlin,

Folks let me share with you how our Father is a living active God. May this be an encouragement to you.

Two weeks ago, I felt the Holy Spirit laying on my heart to reveal my identity. However, I did not do that, I was concerned that I may be blindsided by only hearing your side of the story.

However, once the PW issue came out, with his confession, I could see what you had been talking about. I still do not agree with the little he said she said comments, and focusing on every little negative detail. However, I believe in my heart the Holy Spirit placed in on NASS heart to start this blog.

I revealed my identity with my palms sweating, but I just felt the overwhelming presence of God to do that.

Within 5 minutes my phone rang, I did not recognize the number, but I knew that was Sister Pam. Folks, that should encourage you, to continue this struggle. I do not know Sister Pam except the little I have seen of her postings. That was the Holy Spirit speaking to me and confirming in my heart.

Low and behold, this beautiful, godly voice came on encouraging me, and she stated it was sister Pam. She told me about some of her physical difficulties, and I knew this lady knows the Lord in a unique way, that most of us don’t. I have a couple of ladies in both my churches who have been on the footsteps of death through cancer. When these ladies speak to me about something the Lord lays on their heart and they have been praying about an issue, I listen!

Thank you Sister Pam, you will never know how you have ministered to me, and I count it a privilege knowing, that you are praying for me. If nothing else comes out of my revealing, but knowing that Sister Pam is praying for me, it was all worth it!

The Lord confirmed in my heart, with Sister Pam’s phone call, I was on the right side of this. Then the very next day Dr. Spradlin make the same statement I made! Thank you Lord, you folks are in my prayers, and there are many pastors learning from this experience, and they too will become better pastors.

I also believe, SG, though he should not stay at BBC, is not disqualified to be a pastor.

However, I do believe this could be a turning point in his ministry, like the night Jacob wrestled with God. After the wrestling match, he walked the rest of his days with a limp. But he was a new man with a new outlook on life and his role in Gods plan for man. Also, Jacob was no longer a schemer or supplanter, henceforth his new name Israel.

You have seen my transformation; all things are possible in Christ, Amen. Let BBC be an example, that Southern Baptists (and all Christian people) will honor and protect our children, no matter the cost. With the sole motivation being to honor the bride of Christ.

Please learn from this cowboy preacher's mistakes.

In Him,
Kevin Landis
www.trailtoheaven.org
www.dentoncountycowboychurch.org

New BBC Open Forum said...

sendthelight50@aol.com wrote:

"I am a faithful active member of Bellevue. There are a great number of us who have discussed for months the jealousy of Dr. Spradlin toward Bro. Steve. He could not control Brother Steve and have access to Bellevue the way that he had grown accustomed to under Dr. Rogers. I have questioned the choice of Bro. Steve's son who is attending a Calvinistic based school, but having grown children of my own, I know they do according to their own desires and have to learn from their own choices which are often contrary to the parents views. Brother Steve has spoken clearly and boldly that he believes that ALL people have been given the right to choose Christ or reject Him. We can assure you that the voice of Michael Spradlin is not the voice of God telling our Pastor to resign. The voice of Michael Spradlin is coming from a heart of jealousy. I have family members who attend Germantown Baptist, who report their dislike of the attitude of Michael Spradlin and wish that he would resign. Their words, 'If we had known that he is like he is we would have never agreed to call him to fill our pulpit' We have said for years that maybe he is a good teacher but something about his arrogance stands out too great for us to ever want him to be a preacher for us to sit under. Today as we, a large group, read the headlines we say 'this is what we thought and now it comes to the surface' but not one of us are surprised.
We are behind Brother Steve's feet as long as we see the love of Christ in his heart and during all of this ordeal we have marveled that the love of Christ only becomes more and more evident.
Remain firm Brother Steve! We love you and are praying passionately for you!"


I wish this person would register and post her own comments instead of cluttering my mailbox with this stuff, but as long as she chooses to send these things, I'll be happy to pass them along.

NBBCOF

Bepatient said...

It does matter if you misquote someone- "Leadership" is very different from "people". Unless your heart is already hard against him, there are many ways you can interpret this.

If you truly believe what you have to say about this man, you need to be accurate- there should be no need to change his words to make him look worse.

Anonymous said...

MOM4 said...
Can someone verify the Donna Gaines' statement calling us "trash"? What was that context and where did it come from?


New BBC Open Forum said...


Perhaps it will help you understand why that's more than likely not happening when I tell you that Mrs. SG was reportedly overheard telling someone (I paraphrase), "Oh, Steve has gone through this with every church he's pastored. We always have to go in and clean out the trash."

Anonymous said...

sendthelight50@aol.com said:

"We are behind Brother Steve's feet... "

Most of us feel as if we're under Brother Steve's feet.

Bell22 said...

Ed T what do you think about Donna Gaines statement? Ed T and I know Dr.Spradlin personally if he says Dr. Gaines need to go then he needs to leave. Derrick ouit drinking the kool aid try a more grown up drink but not wine. ok

Tim said...

BlessMeWithTheTruth said...
Financeguy

The reason I want Bruce removed is because he no longer scripturally qualifies to be a deacon or leader at our church:

Blessme,

Those are good reasons because they are God's reasons. He did not leave us to our own imagination as to what He requires. Bruce isn't the only one that needs to step down or be removed.

Think about these requirements:

double-tounged...
greedy of filthy lucre...
pure conscience.....
found blameless....

The qualifications are there, the political spin-committee needs to go in entirety.

INTEGRITY DOES COUNT
Romans 12:17
Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Anonymous said...

How much courage did it really take to condemn an embattled pastor who just confessed he should have dealt differently with an immoral employee? The reference of Matthew 18 is constantly sited when dealing with Pastor Gaines. I have not seen anyone site this for Dr. Spradlin comments. Instead he demanded a resignation in front of 500,000 newspaper readers. The Lord’s kingdom is not being glorified through any of these public discourses. God will move how and when He chooses. Let’s not glorify anyone other than Him.

Anonymous said...

Bepatient said...
It does matter if you misquote someone- "Leadership" is very different from "people". Unless your heart is already hard against him, there are many ways you can interpret this.

If you truly believe what you have to say about this man, you need to be accurate- there should be no need to change his words to make him look worse.


Truer words have never been spoken. The last thing this man needs is help in making himself look worse.

Anonymous said...

Dr, Spradlin

Have you personally confronted Steve Gaines as Matthew 18 mentions?

I believe you have but if you are reading this, please send us a post.

Wasn`t Dr. Spradlin visited by Gaines` men and told that Matrhew 18 did not apply to Steve Gaines?

Didn`t Dr. Spradlin confront Steve Gaines on that issue?

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah said...
How much courage did it really take to condemn an embattled pastor who just confessed he should have dealt differently with an immoral employee? The reference of Matthew 18 is constantly sited when dealing with Pastor Gaines. I have not seen anyone site this for Dr. Spradlin comments. Instead he demanded a resignation in front of 500,000 newspaper readers. The Lord’s kingdom is not being glorified through any of these public discourses. God will move how and when He chooses. Let’s not glorify anyone other than Him.


So we should continue to sweep this stuff under the rug? I guess we now know why Gaines needed new carpet installed in his office.

Anonymous said...

Nehemiah said...
How much courage did it really take to condemn an embattled pastor who just confessed he should have dealt differently with an immoral employee?

Nehemiah,
I have a message for you..please come outside the wall..down here to my...uh...place so we can discuss it.

Anonymous said...

astounded said:

"So we should continue to sweep this stuff under the rug? I guess we now know why Gaines needed new carpet installed in his office."

I imagine the lump underneath that carpet is growing rather large by now, don't you? Must have been some new kind of "extra stretchy" carpet to accommodate all those "mistakes of the head" that are piling up under there.

Karen said...

pastor,

Can we be friends now? :)

Karen

Anonymous said...

Karen,

As long as your husband doesnt put a knot on my noggin.

I trust you believe me now, that I really did not know you. Nor, anyone else in this forum.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Steve Gaines took immediate action at Gardendale when a paid staffer was caught in a compromising situation. The man was gone on the spot. However his actions at Bellvue show where his "total" control can get him. Not informing the church staff put the results of his decision on his shoulders. it is a shame that he cannot overcome his ego!

Tim said...

SendTheLight,

I also am a faithful active member of Bellevue. I must disagree completely that Michael Spradlin is speaking from a heart of jealousy. I believe that he has spoke from a heart of conviction and Biblical conviction at that. I also have family members at Germantown who have truly enjoyed Dr. Spradlin's preaching. The heart of Steve Gaines I believe should be revealed and I pray that it will. Many of us have seen his heart in his self serving sermons. Many of us have experienced and seen first hand his ruthless treatment of the children of God. When that heart is revealed and perhaps it will be soon, then I will voluntarily consume the crow that is to be eaten without ever offering it to you. I, perhaps as much as anyone, can appreciate your zeal and passion. The lack of transparency from our leadership has caused far more friction between a congregation that has the same zeal and passion, but for lack of knowledge and vision been unable to be united. It should be the prayer of all that Christ be lifted up and integrity restored.



Integrity Does Count
Romans 12:17
Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Bereans said...

Steve's latest statement of 12/20 says,

"In closing, I want you to know that I still have a Pastor’s heart for everyone involved in this situation. I am saddened and dismayed to see this minister’s family and our own church family go through this heartbreaking situation. God wants us to respond in grace and love. Jesus forgave others and we can, too."



The Bible teaches us that God is a God of grace and love but also a God of judgment. Steve is all about grace and love. What about sin, consequences and judgment?

God forgives and so should we, however, there are always consequences for sin. All ministers know that they are held to a higher standard. The Bible gives clear qualifications for men who are called to me ministers.

Those who equate this situation with how Jesus treated the woman caught in adultry are not accurately handling the word of truth. She was a pagan, unsaved woman not a Christian minister. Both will be forgiven, but the minister will have to find a new line of work. He may serve the Lord in a lay capacity at a later time, but not as a minister. In a secular example, it is just like an attorney who commits a felony. He can be forgiven but can no longer serve as an attorney. He has been disqualified by the bar.

Steve's responsiblity as a pastor is to perform God's discipline and judgment when a minister disqualifies himself. Then he can love that man and help him pick up the pieces and start a new life outside the ministry.

Custos said...

So, the common theme from those dismayed by this morning's headline can be summed up as, "Dr Spradlin is jealous and power hungry, so he called for Dr Gaines resignation."

Ok, you people who take that tack in some form or another, what would it take--what sin would be great enough--that covering it over would be grounds for demanding resignation.

In other words, what sin would Steve Gaines have to cover up for you to say that Dr Gaines should resign? I'd like one example, please. If I don't hear one, I'll presume that there isn't one as far as you're concerned.

To take a slightly different angle: Does a position of prominence preclude action? Said another way, does the fact that Dr Spradlin has influence prevent him from exercising that influence? That seems to be the contention on the part of those objecting to Dr Spradlin's call for resignation.

If this is what you believe, then we can conclude that Dr Rogers never should have used his influence in the Memphis area, SBC, and world to call people to obey Scripture.

Finally, and most importantly, if the objectors will wind their clocks back to 1979 and the 1980s, everything they're saying was exactly what could, and doubtless was being, said about Dr Rogers as he stood strong at the SBC.

Would you people condemn him as you are Dr Spradlin? Do you have one whit of evidence of what you're saying other than opinion?

LibertyInChrist said...

I now have my Psychological Counseling for Pastor Paul Williams and Ted Haggart vs. Bible chart up and linked now:
http://www.prophezine.com/PZBlogs/tabid/475/EntryID/50/Default.aspx

Purpose-Driven Pedophilia: Licensed Psychotherapy of Paul Williams & Ted Haggard vs. Scripture

In response to Steve Gaines statement that: This is a church matter...then contradicts himself by saying that Paul Williams is getting OUTSIDE Commercial professional counseling: "Williams will continue to be supported through outside Christian counseling and the support of our Biblical Guidance Ministry." Ted Haggart is undergoing the same type of counseling.

Steve Gaines does NOT know what he is talking about to say this is a church matter when a crime has been committed!

The above Psychology vs. Bible chart in my first book on Rick Warren entitled: Who's Driving the Purpose Driven Church which proves that the use of psychology by a licensed psychologist collides with Scripture. In fact, it is pure heresy and sorcery!

Proof that "Purpose-Driven Pedophilia" is the perfect description:

This WAS on Bellevue Baptist Church's website...but now it has vanished mysteriously:

"Equipping for Ministry

Teacher: Paul Williams & Webb Williams

Room: W262

Term: Oct. 18-Nov. 8 (2nd 4 weeks)

In order to continue growing in your walk with Christ, you need to be
obedient in finding the area or areas of ministry in which you should serve. This class will help you discover your spiritual gift(s),
recognize how to use your talents, abilities, and passions to serve
Christ, and the place of service God has specifically designed for
you!" SOURCE:

http://www.bellevue.org/templates/cusbellevue1103/details.asp?id=13

60&PID=31809&Style=

AND


I found the link in my document on Gaines that proved Bellevue Baptist was conducting Temperament Divination:

http://www.bellevue.org/templates/cusbellevue1103/details.asp?id=1360&PID=5133

However, if you go there now...here is what you will see:

"The Web site is unavailable

The Web site you are looking for is currently inactive. Site administrators should contact your hosting provider, for information on reactivating this site."

THE COVERUP CONTINUES! ANY QUESTIONS?

And it is what I sent a host of members at Bellevue Baptist Church BEFORE this sex scandal!

Anonymous said...

SendtheLight

If your name is a prayer, I know the Lord will honor it and bring you the light.

Are you Donna Gaines?

Anonymous said...

I along with many others have called the church-801-901-385-2000 and asked for Linda Glance's office. I asked that a message be passed along to the pastor. I told them that I as a member of Bellevue would like for Steve Gaines to resign. I was told that the church is keeping track of the votes on both sides.

chazzo said...

Thank you Dr Spradlin. You have answered our prayers for a leader to come forth.

Charlie, Mary Barrett and Lonnie

Bereans said...

rewashed-

Isn't it sad that our church leaders look to polls and blogs to decide how to respond?

No doubt that the blogs (that they aren't supposed to read) led them to make Sunday's announcement. Now they admit that what they defended Sunday was wrong. How did they come to that revelation...the uproar on the blog.

We need spiritual leaders who don't look to public opinion to know what to do. We need a man who will look to God's word and obey what it says. Then they'd get it right the first time.

Today, Mike Spradlin is that man.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really believe this web site is helping the situation at Bellevue? We should be taking our fears and frustrations to God--not posting them on this site. A lot of what is said here is just plain old murmuring. God is in control of the situation at Bellevue. He will deal with all the people involved in the turmoil. Don't you think it would serve God's purposes more if Bellevue's members would gather together to seek His face and beg for mercy and deliverance?

Anonymous said...

custos,
It should be pointed out in the great debate about Mike Spradlin's motives, that he has responsibility for the education of 400-500 pastors. He drills into them the lesson that they must walk with integrity, and on this issue, should deal with that sort of sin immediatly. Meanwhile, across the street, what's been practiced is the exact opposite of what he teaches his preacherboys.

He has no choice, like the parent setting and example to their children, but to make a bold statement. Otherwise he looks like a hypocite to his students.

He must be as mad as a wet hen that Steve Gaines has put him in that difficult position, and forced him to take a stand, at least on the issue of harboring child molesters on the staff of your church.

Why does the SG crowd look at this soley in terms of a "powerplay" on the part of Dr. Spradlin? Probably because that's how they think....consoldiating power is what they are focused on themselves, so they figure everyone else is as well..
baaaaaaaa...baaaaa

Anonymous said...

It has been said on this blog that Bellevue was previously the flagship of the SBC before Steve Gaines became pastor. With all of the "miscues" by Gaines and his inside staff during the past year, Bellevue is now a sinking canoe.

Most of you probably already know that Bellevue may not survive.

Thank the LORD for godly men and women like Mike Spradlin, Mark Sharpe, Richard Emerson, Jim Haywood, Pam Gremillion, Carole Pemberton and many others. With their courage, conviction, leadership and integrity, Bellevue may be able to float again.

Anonymous said...

It sure is nice to download the GBC sermon.. and hear a good sermon via Mike Spradlin..


Versus the Steve Gaines Sermon of the week.. which, although it may be cynical.... makes me thing ohh geez... what's he wanting forgiveness for this week.....

Finance Guy said...

Sanballat,
amen...You took the words right out of my mouth...or off my fingers as the case may be!

Anonymous said...

to Nass and Josh and whoever else has had the fortitude to help keep serious issues at the forefront:

this is not meant to be a standing 'o' or a slap on the back, only a simple compliment.

it would have been easy to succomb to pressure and condemnation from the leadership, other church members and the many who surf in and out of here...but you did not. Our LORD is still the one seperates the wheat and chaff, but He has chosen things and people that the world deems as foolish to accomplish His purposes. Would all of this have come to light and would Dr. Spradlin have issued such a stern public rebuke without the blogs? Maybe. Did the blogs serve as a means to keep the light shining on these issues? Definitely

I also believe though that this is not a time for complacency nor chest-thumping (not that this is the case). The pastor does indeed need to resign, and it is the LORD that turns hearts whethersoever He will. As the LORD does His work in the heavens and earth unbeknownst to us and in His timeframe, may I exhort us all to keep standing for truth, no matter what the cost. GOD bless

Tim said...

murcyme,

You are absolutely correct and many have been doing just that. There have also been many that are convinced after much prayer that God requires that His people act upon the convictions that He provides and are in the process of doing so.

Integrity Does Count
Romans 12:17
Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Anonymous said...

If Steve Gaines does not have the intention to resign, and if he has not been persuaded in the least by the recent happenings, the Sunday sermon ought to be quite a 'doosey'

Anonymous said...

MABTS: 901.751.8453
Bellevue: 901.347.2000

Call and voice your support of Dr. Mike Spradlin and his conviction and courage to speak the truth.

Thank you Dr. Spradlin!! We appreciate you. Thank you for your integrity.

Anonymous said...

to all,
please remember that even if the pastor does indeed resign, there is really nothing in place to prevent these types of problems from reoccurring. the bylaws and policies are not in need of updating...there are basically non existent...there needs to be some serious efforts to put valid procedures and policies in place, and that inlcudes accountability measures and oversight from top to the bottom, as well as congregational involvement! Does anyone seriously think that the remaining leadership would move to do this?

Anonymous said...

I just dropped off a donation and a pledge for 2007 at the seminary business office. Don't know Dr. Spradlin but I like his style!

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 46
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Bepatient said...

I am frustrated that this is called a "BBC Open Forum" but the only views that seem to be truly welcomed are those that are against SG. It should be for all people who want to help Bellevue, regardless of how they believe it should come about.

i find it disheartening that most people here are so quick to say unless you agree with the way "WE" want things to happen your opinions are not valid and you are not seeking the "TRUTH".

Just because I want firm and factual validation of any claim made against our pastor why does that make me a Kool-Aid drinker?

This recent action (or inaction) is a devastating blow to Bellevue.

My heart is open to whatever needs to happen. Perhaps it is a resignation, but perhaps God has another plan. Either way I refuse to lose my own integrity along the way. I will follow Biblical guidelines for my life to the best of my abilities. I will not have a spirit of fault finding and will not judge every word spoken assuming the worst about people on either "side". God did not call us to behave this way.

I think SG carried the Biblical principle of grace too far in his decision, but I think some people here do not carry it far enough.

Don't lose sight of the rest of the verses in the Bible on how we should live.
I don't think it is Biblical for someone to call Steve Gaines a "mealy-mouthed blameshifting pastor"

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my incomplete post earlier

I along with many others have called the church-901-385-2000 and asked for Linda Glance's office. I asked that a message be passed along to the pastor. I told them that I as a member of Bellevue would like for Steve Gaines to resign. I was told that the church is keeping track of the votes on both sides.

I also called Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary and asked for the President’s office-901-751-8453. I asked them to pass alonog to him my appreciation for his courage, conviction, and willingness to take a stand for what is right.

I would encourage each of you to make these calls and let those in leadership know your views.

Hecanhear said...

Thank you, Dr. Spradlin for your taking a stand for righteousness. Thank you for your integrity and conviction. May God continue to bless you and cover you with his guiding hand. Again, thank you for helping Bellevue during these times of suffering.

Anonymous said...

Folks, I am a long-time reader but first-time poster. Former Bellevue member with family still in the church.

I am obviously disappointed with how things have gone south with Steve Gaines's leadership. I definitely think he dropped the ball with the Paul Williams situation. I am flabbergasted even more with Paul Williams, though, and that he didn't have the sense (decency, courage, guts, spiritual maturity . . .) to step down after he raped his son while being a church staff member. That is very sad to me.

But the Mike Spradlin comments are sad as well. There are already many people who are livid with his comments and see it as petty, selfish, and self-serving. Believe me, I've already had the phone calls today to back this up.

I feel that some think that now Mike is the "hero" come to rescue Bellevue. If the truth be known, Mike has some issues in his leadership and how he has treated people as well. Talk about someone who turns on people when they don't agree with him! I know things first-hand, so please don't assume I'm spreading rumors. Please don't overlook this fact and the fact that he helped drag Bellevue's name even further into the mud with these comments to the Commercial Appeal.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not condoning Steve Gaines's actions, but I'm not condoing Mike Spradlin's either. What would Jesus do? In my humble opinion, not what Steve, Paul, or Mike have done.

God's ble`ssings on you all.

MOM4 said...

Bepatient said...
"I think SG carried the Biblical principle of grace too far in his decision, but I think some people here do not carry it far enough."

Please realize that we have been driving the lack of integrity and standards of accountability issue since the beginning of this. The force that is behind us is none other than a desire to seek a Biblical handling of the affairs of Bellevue, be it financial or moral. Steve Gaines has been "shooting from the hip" ever since he arrived. Had he sought the Lord on his decisions, what do you think would have happened? If he had sought outside counsel on his decisions, what do you think would have happened? No one can tell me any more of grace than Dr Rogers has already preached and the Lord revealed thru my own salvation. There is a time for grace and forgiveness and we as a church body will arrive at that time and healing will begin. Each of us individually must forgive what has been done to us, said about us and those we love, and the hurt that this latest incident has done to the Bellevue family, including the Williams family. Please do not miscontrue our anger with the situation and Steve Gaines with a lack of grace. Grace will be when the punishment comes and we are pardoned, not excused.
On an earlier post I used the example of an abortion. Even though one repents of the sin and is forgiven, the child is still dead. There are consequences to sin, and while we can be forgiven, the effects remain.

Tim said...

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Please carefully read the following scriptures. I have been convicted by brothers and sisters in Christ and the Word of God. I am grateful for those that spoke a word in kindness.

Proverbs 14:29
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Proverbs 27:3
A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

Proverbs 30:33
Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood:
so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

Psalms 37:1-8
1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

James 1:19-20
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.




A response to a private e-mail from sendthelight,

I am not sure who you have spoke with to be honest. I have conducted my own investigations. I have spoke with numerous people about these issues. The moral breakdown within our church has led me to become overwhelmingly concerned about issues of integirty and transparency. I am well aware of the who is behind the savingbellevue web-site and the blog and neither of those have been influenced by Mike Spradlin. I can say that with first hand certainty. Both of these groups were surprised that Mike Spradlin had done the interview with the Commercial Appeal and expressed the opinion that Steve Gaines should resign. I am also convinced that there are facts that have been witheld from the congregation as to why some issues suddenly resurfaced at this time however, I am waiting for the police investigation before formulating any incorrect conclusions. I believe that as more comes to light there will be a point that we will all be in agreement. There will be a time when we must determine in our hearts that we are all part of the same body and that as such we need to work with one another for one anothers common good. Hopefully, that time will come soon and we will not have damaged one another so severly that we cannot be reconciled to one another.

I would appreciate your prayers for me as I pray for you.

Integrity Does Count
Romans 12:17
Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Finance Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen said...

pastor,

Thank you, Kevin - no knots on the noggin for you. I'm glad you've seen the light.

karen

Bepatient said...

"...There is a time for grace and forgiveness and we as a church body will arrive at that time and healing will begin...Please do not miscontrue our anger with the situation and Steve Gaines with a lack of grace. Grace will be when the punishment comes and we are pardoned, not excused..."

I wasn't aware of the verses in the Bible that put time constraints or qualifications on Grace.
I am glad God didn't wait to give me His grace until I had been "punished" for my sins.

Everyone talks about the power of this blog, but what about the power of God- I believe there were other ways to handle this that did not involve the media, internet, or demands.

Maybe SG is not the man God wants to lead our church but I can't believe this division is what God wants for our church either. I think it will take more time to heal from the division I have seen in families and friendships than it will take to heal from the things SG is accused of.

Karen said...

I just called BBC and spoke Mary Ellen in the Pastor's office - I told her I did support what Dr. Spradlin had said in the CA and while I was not against or didn't like Dr. Gaines, I supported Dr. Spradlin's call for Dr. Gaines to resign.

Sounded to me like they are keeping a talley.

karen

Bepatient said...

"Thus, there is no point in Dr. Spradlin outlining this approach as given to us in Scripture. "

Even if Steve Gaines doesn't think Matt 18 applies to pastors, are we not still under an obligation to try?

Also, I have yet to hear those words from his mouth. Can you give me a transcript or audio of him taking a stand on this?

Anonymous said...

Bepatient

Please go ask Dr. Spradlin for youself since you already said you don`t belive what you read here.

Do your homework and stop asking us for more proof of waht we already know.

When you have proof to share please come back and do so.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Finance Guy said...

bepatient,
This was discussed in a meeting in Dr. Spradlin's office with Steve Tucker and Chuck Taylor. (or so the story goes).
When asked if he believed that Matt 18 applied to the paster in the Coverup/Communication Committee meetings, Steve Tucker would not answer, saying something like he didn't think that should be discussed or something like that.

Karen said...

bepatient,

The thing about truth is you never have to remember who you've told what to - all that to say, the story of Chuck Taylor and Steve Tucker going to over to MABTS to see Dr. Spradlin is 100% true. Call his office and ask him yourself. He doesn't have a bunch of men protecting him. I'm sure he'd be glad to relay the story to you in his own words. Be nice to his secretary - when I talked to her this morning to make sure Dr. Spradlin knew of my support, I told her I admired her for her sweet spirit on the phone today. I knew she was tired.

karen

Anonymous said...

Karen said...
I just called BBC and spoke Mary Ellen in the Pastor's office - I told her I did support what Dr. Spradlin had said in the CA and while I was not against or didn't like Dr. Gaines, I supported Dr. Spradlin's call for Dr. Gaines to resign.

Sounded to me like they are keeping a talley.

karen

Sounds like the church is now taking ques from AMERICAN IDOL!!!!

I refuse to play their games!

Anonymous said...

financeguy said...

....Oh, and pursue real estate deals and preach for extra pay at other churches.

You've got mail...

Anonymous said...

Bepatient

Do you realize that while you are accusing others of judging, you aer judging others?

Please stop it.

If you want to blindly follow Steve Gaines no one here will stop you.

If you are unsure as to what to do, go and research the issues and get the facts and then make a decision based on facts.

The truths that have been shared here will never be changed into something else no matter how fierce the battle gets!

Truth will stand!

Anonymous said...

What real estate deals have been executed at our expense?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know who Sendthelight is so that our children can stay clear of her class. I don`t want any child of mine to be taught by a woman who supports Steve Gaines harboring a pedophile. If anyone knows who she is please do us all a favor and let us know so we can protect our children.

Anonymous said...

Tim wrote:

Hopefully, that time will come soon and we will not have damaged one another so severly that we cannot be reconciled to one another.

I would appreciate your prayers for me as I pray for you.


Brother Tim,

I am OVERJOYED to read this!!! God impressed it on my heart to pray for you recently, and praise Him that He has heard!

Keep the faith!

Bepatient said...

I am not judging anyone- I am telling you how the things I read here make me feel.
I am not blindly following anyone- not Steve Gaines and not a website.

And to clarify- I am not asking about Spradlin.

I want to know when STEVE GAINES has expressed his views on Matt. 18's application.

And as for doing my research if you say that everything here is the truth- am I not here seeking information?
But instead I just get ignored or told that I am blindly following...

Finance Guy said...

FinanceGuy said...
BlessMeWithTheTruth said...
Dr, Spradlin

Have you personally confronted Steve Gaines as Matthew 18 mentions?

BMWTT,
Dr. Gaines doesn't believe this passage applies to pastors...at least pastors of large mega-churchs on Appling Road. He sent his "boys" over to Dr. Spradlin sometime ago, and they informed him directly, that "Matt 18 doesn't apply to Dr. Gaines".

Thus, there is no point in Dr. Spradlin outlining this approach as given to us in Scripture.

What Matthew 18 means when you apply it to pastors, is that you go confront a special committee of the deacons about the pastor's behavior, and they will stonewall you as long as it takes for you to give up and go away. "Freeing up the Pastor to do that which he has been called to do". Oh, and pursue preach for extra pay at other churches.

Finance Guy said...

steve gaines
I want to know when STEVE GAINES has expressed his views on Matt. 18's application.

I think Steve Gaines made his position very clear by the way he treated Mark Sharpe and Richard Emerson when they went to him.

Finance Guy said...

to the board..
Ignore my previous comment concerning real estate which i've edited to remove. It was a flippant remark, and the point was that instead of focusing on being pastor of Bellevue this past year, it seems that SG has sought to "enlarge his borders".
Not wanting to start any unnecessary rumors.

Anonymous said...

FinanceGuy said...
steve gaines
I want to know when STEVE GAINES has expressed his views on Matt. 18's application.

I think Steve Gaines made his position very clear by the way he treated Mark Sharpe and Richard Emerson when they went to him.

3:20 PM, December 20

Financeguy A

ctions do speak louder than words! What good would it be for Steve Gaines to expound on Natthew, when he obvioucly doesn`t apply it?

You are what you do not what you say you do

Bepatient said...

financeguy said:
"I think Steve Gaines made his position very clear by the way he treated Mark Sharpe and Richard Emerson when they went to him."

That is just not good enough for me personally. In theory it seems that each person here should make an attempt to reconcile with him in this way (maybe including myself- I have questions I want answered). Just because someone doesn't do something right I don't think it excuses us from trying to do it in the right way again and again.

My family and I have been the victims of rumor and he said/she said as well as people making assumptions about things based on how they perceive something. It is hurtful and devastating, so I just want to be careful in what I do and say and the things that I am basing my feelings about him on.

Do any of you feel that there is any outcome that you can see where you can stay at Bellevue if Steve Gaines is there?
I don't want to start an argument I am genuinely curious.

Anonymous said...

Tim wrote:

Hopefully, that time will come soon and we will not have damaged one another so severly that we cannot be reconciled to one another.

I would appreciate your prayers for me as I pray for you.

Tim, I know yesterday it seemed like we were going after each other in a non Christian way, and I held that resentment for awhile. So I just want to say that I am sorry that we got into a verbal confrontation, and the fact that you took my attitude as being condescending towards you. I am also letting go of any resentment I may have had towards you, and I am not going to take things personally. I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope there is no resentment towards me from you after yesterday.

david S said...

Be patient,
In theory it seems that each person here should make an attempt to reconcile with him in this way

I think there is a difference between “Cooperate” sin and personal sin. When someone sins against the entire body, it is not each members job to go to them. It is a collective problem.

Biblical example:
Each person did not go to Achan and express their grief over his sin. Paul did not ask each person to go to the immoral man, it was taken to the entire Body. The first steps in Matthew 18 have been taken, it appears to now be an issue for the entire body.

The pastor used the platform the pulpit to address his side and apologize, but no church forum was made to address the pastor. He didn’t attend any of the Communications meetings. When Jesus says: “Take it to the church” he doesn’t mean one man stand behind the pulpit, say his peace and then declare the matter dealt with.

Summery:
The opening phases of Matthew 18 have been taken. It is now a whole church matter.

Tim said...

memphis,

No Sir or No Ma'am as the case may be I was not offended in fact it was my over sensitivity that caused a problem and I apologize for that. Occasionally tempers may flair even in church settings but we will all be needed in the long run to straighten this mess out. Quite honestly we do not have the luxury of not needing one another even when we are not in agreement.
Please remember me in your prayers and as I also remember you.

Anonymous said...

Tim, it is Mr Memphis by the way. Thank you for your post. I agree emotions get involved here and we all start to put up the wall around us. I admire your passion, and though we might never agree about who is right and who is wrong, I do respect you for your psot and acceptance. I am not looking for enemies on this post, I want us all to be unified and after a common goal, but I fear there is a wall building seperating the church, and that is not a good thing.

But an honest question, if the blog (not singling any one person out) gets all the resignations they are after, what then???

Bellevue Friend said...

Friends,

As many know children are often afraid of the dark, it's sad when God's children are afraid of the light! Bellevue, a Business meeting must, must be held to address your leadership's credibility! Bring this all out into the light, bar the media and seek the face of God!

What Pastor would want to hold onto a position simply because of it's prominence? Trust me peace trumps position every day! Take that vote of confidence for all those currently in leadership. I believe the Lord is using this blog, to advance these issus into a business meeting!

If in an oficial Church-wide business meeting Dr. Gaines survives a vote of confidence so be it....at least you will have some closure and the ability to start from a position reached by the people of God!

Is Bellevue a Congregationaly Approved Church or not....it's high time you find out!

Bepatient said...

This is one interpretation of the Matt.18 verses- I am not saying it is the only one but it closely matches what I believe ( I think the key is the 'refuses to repent' section...

"so must the congregation of Christian disciples separate itself from the arrogantly sinful member who refuses to repent even when convicted of his sin by the whole church"

It also says to forgive(77 times verse). If Steve Gaines comes to us and asks our forgiveness and repents before God are we not to forgive him? How do we decide if his repentant heart is real since we can't see inside his relationship with God? I know you can see his actions, but if we were all judged by other people on our actions wouldn't we all fall short?

Anonymous said...

As we reference Matthew 18 remember there is more to this Chapter than how to confront other Believers. Contained in this Chapter are 5 basic sections consisting of:
1.The humble will become the greatest
2.Do not hinder another in his walk with Jesus
3.Rejoice over the repentant sinner
4.How to treat others during times of strife
5.Forgive like we want to be forgiven
Treating each other with humbleness and forgiveness are central to Jesus’ teachings. Not only did He say these things but He acted these traits out to their fullest.

Tim said...

faithnhope,

Thank you so much for thinking of me and praying for me. I have had several tough decisions within the past weeks.

Memphis,

The primary goal that I believe that we are all seeking is integrity and transparency. So many issues have muddied the waters that I know that there are times that I have lost site of what clear water looks like.

Integrity and transparency may sound generic, but the meaning behind them is that the membership be able to ask valid questions and obtain valid answers. Our church is currently operating under by-laws that were established in 1929 when the membership was at 50. We are in desperate need of ammending them or adopting new by-laws so that many of these issues have a procedure in place as to how they should be handled. If these had already been in place then we as a church could have saved ourselves a world of problems and embarassment.

Tim said...

memphis,

I must be gone for a bit, but will check back in later today or tonite.

Anonymous said...

James Dobson called Mike Spradlin today to offer support. Also, Mrs. Joyce Rogers has made a statement that should be on the news tonight.

Anonymous said...

CHANNEL 13 HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL AIR A SEGMENT ON BELLEVUE ON THE FIVE O`CLOCK NEWS.

Anonymous said...

Baptist Press Article just released:

Bellevue's Gaines should resign, seminary president says
Dec 20, 2006
By Staff
Baptist Press
CORDOVA, Tenn. (BP)--A call for the resignation of Bellevue Baptist Church senior pastor Steve Gaines has been voiced by the president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, which has a longstanding relationship with the prominent Southern Baptist congregation.

At issue, according to comments to the Memphis Commercial Appeal by the seminary president, Michael Spradlin, is Gaines' six-month silence after learning of a sexual abuse allegation 17 years ago against a longtime Bellevue staff member.

"If Steve Gaines found out that a child had been sexually molested by one of his ministers and if he did nothing to address it, then he needs to step down immediately," the newspaper quoted Spradlin as saying in a Dec. 20 article.

"We cannot take chances with other people's children," said Spradlin, who also is interim pastor of nearby Germantown Baptist Church. "If he [Gaines] knew about this and kept quiet, then he's put Bellevue in a very dangerous position and possibly put children and the emotionally vulnerable at risk."

Gaines, in a Dec. 19 statement quoted by the newspaper, wrote: "The past few days have been difficult ones as I have worked through an issue that no pastor wishes to face. We have had to place a minister on a paid leave of absence due to a past moral failure.

"I learned about this in June from the minister involved and believed the issue was settled. Two weeks ago I was surprised to find out that the issue was not settled.

"Some people have questioned why I waited for several months," Gaines acknowledged. "It's simply this: I acted out of a heartfelt concern and compassion for this minister because the event occurred many years ago, he was receiving professional counseling; and I was concerned about confidentiality. In light of the events that have unfolded, I realize now that I should have discussed it further with this minister and brought it to the attention of our church leadership immediately."

Spradlin, in his comments to the Commercial Appeal, also referenced controversy that has buffeted Gaines since he was called as Bellevue's pastor in July 2005 succeeding Adrian Rogers, who had retired after leading the church for 32 years. Rogers died of cancer in November 2005.

"There's a sense of Steve Gaines being the measure of what's right and what's wrong," Spradlin was quoted as saying. "If you agree with him, you're right and if you disagree, you're wrong.

"But I think he's spent all his credibility and people are losing trust in him," Spradlin said.

The Commercial Appeal did not report a response from Gaines.

The newspaper identified the Bellevue staff member accused of sexual abuse 17 years ago as Paul Williams, a 34-year staffer. The newspaper did not identify his position at the 30,000-member congregation, although Bellevue's website previously listed him as minister of prayer/special projects. Williams has been placed on paid leave while an investigation of a "moral failure" is conducted, the paper reported.

Bellevue's director of communications, Jim Barnwell, told the Commercial Appeal, "I think the important thing to remember is that Steve Gaines realized he made a mistake, he's taking ownership of that and trying his best to fix it." Barnwell added, "I don't believe there was a deliberate attempt to hide anything."

Describing the investigation, the Commercial Appeal said it will include Bellevue members "and independent sources" during which "Williams will not perform any ministerial duties or be on the Bellevue campus."

Earlier this year, Gaines' brief tenure at Bellevue encountered a stormy challenge from a former deacon, Mark Sharpe, and other opponents whose accusations -- aired on the Internet and in the Commercial Appeal -- include Gaines' alleged intimidation of those who disagree with him, his alleged forcing out a popular music director and his alleged refusal to disclose his salary, which they contend is nearly $500,000.

Barnwell told Baptist Press at the time that "the allegations are simply not true," noting that "not one" former or current staff member, past deacon chairman or member of what Bellevue calls its board of directors had "broken ranks and joined the opposition."

Gaines and other church leaders devoted the Sept. 24 Sunday evening service to the controversy. Gaines told the congregation that the session was not a "business meeting," but a time for church members to receive information "from this pulpit from the leaders of this church."

Gaines, deacon chairman Chuck Taylor, Harry Smith, a longtime member of the church's finance committee, and Chip Freeman, the church's chief administrator, reportedly addressed various allegations point by point.

Anonymous said...

You all are really having a good time trying to destroy God's church aren’t you? The really interesting thing or should I say the MOST interesting thing to me is that 95% of you are hiding behind your "little made up to post in secret screen names." I can see the smiles on your anonymous faces and the froth on your mouths and hearts as you type your evil gossip seeking to destroy God's church. Some of you are so giddy while doing the will of satan and so eager to spew your venom that you can't spare even a few seconds to check your grammar! I have a name, my name is Brad Jobe and I have seen you kind of people before. Kind of like those who play gotcha politics. It goes like this; you don't like someone already, so you lie in wait, just waiting, waiting... and then they make a blunder.....BAM! GOTCHA!! You pounce like a rabid lion with satan at the reins! Ripping, snarling, laughing, and killing your long sought after prey. You seize the opportunity to destroy, besmirch, and ruin the character of a Godly man.
Do I like everything he does? No. Did Brother Steve make a mistake? YES! It was a stupid one too. But if it wasn’t that one, you people would have found another, and that is something that a majority of Bellevue agrees with me.

You post bible verses to try to bolster your point while at the same time you tear people down with cowardly anonymity. Where is the honor in that? Seriously? I have lots of verses I’d like to remind you of but you have thrown them around so callously it seems unnecessary.

One of you were so misguided that will calling for the resignation of Brother Steve you said you believed it was God’s will he came here! What!

If you get your way, and you may, I wonder how long it will take you people to find something wrong with the next pastor. Why don't you just go away if you think Pastor Steve is so bad? Take your perfect sinless selves and depart from us sinners.



Again, my name is Brad Jobe. Merry Christmas.

cjesusnme said...

Psalm 43:3 said...
James Dobson called Mike Spradlin today to offer support. Also, Mrs. Joyce Rogers has made a statement that should be on the news tonight.

Thank you for that information. Any idea what channel we need to be watching and what time?

Thanks and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Petition Needed?

Has anyone started an online petition to collect the names/addresses of members who either a) support the pastor or b) support pastor's resignation?

At the end of the day resolution to our issues will not come until all have had a chance to speak their voice. A physical petition with clear and concise action items will provide that voice.

allofgrace said...

Concerning any jealousy issues between Dr. Gaines and Dr. Spradlin...I would imagine it would be the other way around..seeing that it was Dr. Gaines seeking to take control of MABTS.

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

Bellevue's Gaines should resign, seminary president says
Dec 20, 2006
By Staff
Baptist Press
CORDOVA, Tenn. (BP)--A call for the resignation of Bellevue Baptist Church senior pastor Steve Gaines has been voiced by the president of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, which has a longstanding relationship with the prominent Southern Baptist congregation.

At issue, according to comments to the Memphis Commercial Appeal by the seminary president, Michael Spradlin, is Gaines' six-month silence after learning of a sexual abuse allegation 17 years ago against a longtime Bellevue staff member.

"If Steve Gaines found out that a child had been sexually molested by one of his ministers and if he did nothing to address it, then he needs to step down immediately," the newspaper quoted Spradlin as saying in a Dec. 20 article.

"We cannot take chances with other people's children," said Spradlin, who also is interim pastor of nearby Germantown Baptist Church. "If he [Gaines] knew about this and kept quiet, then he's put Bellevue in a very dangerous position and possibly put children and the emotionally vulnerable at risk."

Gaines, in a Dec. 19 statement quoted by the newspaper, wrote: "The past few days have been difficult ones as I have worked through an issue that no pastor wishes to face. We have had to place a minister on a paid leave of absence due to a past moral failure.

"I learned about this in June from the minister involved and believed the issue was settled. Two weeks ago I was surprised to find out that the issue was not settled.

"Some people have questioned why I waited for several months," Gaines acknowledged. "It's simply this: I acted out of a heartfelt concern and compassion for this minister because the event occurred many years ago, he was receiving professional counseling; and I was concerned about confidentiality. In light of the events that have unfolded, I realize now that I should have discussed it further with this minister and brought it to the attention of our church leadership immediately."

Spradlin, in his comments to the Commercial Appeal, also referenced controversy that has buffeted Gaines since he was called as Bellevue's pastor in July 2005 succeeding Adrian Rogers, who had retired after leading the church for 32 years. Rogers died of cancer in November 2005.

"There's a sense of Steve Gaines being the measure of what's right and what's wrong," Spradlin was quoted as saying. "If you agree with him, you're right and if you disagree, you're wrong.

"But I think he's spent all his credibility and people are losing trust in him," Spradlin said.

The Commercial Appeal did not report a response from Gaines.

The newspaper identified the Bellevue staff member accused of sexual abuse 17 years ago as Paul Williams, a 34-year staffer. The newspaper did not identify his position at the 30,000-member congregation, although Bellevue's website previously listed him as minister of prayer/special projects. Williams has been placed on paid leave while an investigation of a "moral failure" is conducted, the paper reported.

Bellevue's director of communications, Jim Barnwell, told the Commercial Appeal, "I think the important thing to remember is that Steve Gaines realized he made a mistake, he's taking ownership of that and trying his best to fix it." Barnwell added, "I don't believe there was a deliberate attempt to hide anything."

Describing the investigation, the Commercial Appeal said it will include Bellevue members "and independent sources" during which "Williams will not perform any ministerial duties or be on the Bellevue campus."

Earlier this year, Gaines' brief tenure at Bellevue encountered a stormy challenge from a former deacon, Mark Sharpe, and other opponents whose accusations -- aired on the Internet and in the Commercial Appeal -- include Gaines' alleged intimidation of those who disagree with him, his alleged forcing out a popular music director and his alleged refusal to disclose his salary, which they contend is nearly $500,000.

Barnwell told Baptist Press at the time that "the allegations are simply not true," noting that "not one" former or current staff member, past deacon chairman or member of what Bellevue calls its board of directors had "broken ranks and joined the opposition."

Gaines and other church leaders devoted the Sept. 24 Sunday evening service to the controversy. Gaines told the congregation that the session was not a "business meeting," but a time for church members to receive information "from this pulpit from the leaders of this church."

Gaines, deacon chairman Chuck Taylor, Harry Smith, a longtime member of the church's finance committee, and Chip Freeman, the church's chief administrator, reportedly addressed various allegations point by point.
--30--
Compiled by Art Toalston.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brad Jobe

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and familiarizing yourself with the people who post here.

Also, you might want to check your proper nouns.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Joyce Rogers will be making a statement on Channel 5 at 6:00 P.M. tonight.

allofgrace said...

sendthelight50@aol.com wrote:

" I have questioned the choice of Bro. Steve's son who is attending a Calvinistic based school, but having grown children of my own, I know they do according to their own desires and have to learn from their own choices which are often contrary to the parents views. Brother Steve has spoken clearly and boldly that he believes that ALL people have been given the right to choose Christ or reject Him."

Hmmm...well I guess we better stop telling folks to repent and believe and start telling them to go to God and demand their "right", seeing how God owes them something.

Btw, Mrs. sendthelight50...don't worry too much about Dr. Gaines' son in that awful Calvinistic school...I promise he won't come back with horns and a pointed tail..or fall asleep at night with a copy of Calvin's Institutes under his pillow..he might just come home with a greater understanding and appreciation of grace though...unless that offends you too.

Memphismom02 said...

Channel 5 @ 5 pm

Channel 13 @ 5 pm

Bellevue Friend said...

Friends,

I am astonished that 31% of people polled thus-far, do not support a man of God like Dr. Spradlin telling it like it is!

Thomas Jefferson said "In matters of taste swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like a Rock"

Too many Bellevuer's floating down the River!

Anonymous said...

Just like a liberal would answer. Attack the messenger inside of three sentences but speak nothing of the message.

Anonymous said...

What is the plan for the service tonight? Surely there is no better time than now to bring this to a head. It's clear to me based on the responses to the poll on the front page that the majority of people here won't stand with Gaines. If the congregation is given all the facts then allowed to vote Gaines and anyone else associated with this latest "moral failure" will be as well.

Anonymous said...

Brad,
Actually those three sentences spoke volumes to your comments and you didn't even realize it... God bless you, brother

Anonymous said...

Brad the blog hater is still reading. He might even be enjoying it.

padroc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Memphismom02 said...

Is there a Wed. night service at Bellevue tonight? At 6:30 as usual? Who might be leading it?

padroc said...

Fellow Pilgrims,

It seems that it is James Dowd that said that Dr. Mike Spradlin called for Dr. Gaines resignation, however when quoted Dr. Spradlin said "IF Steve Gaines found out...THEN he needs to step down...IF he knew about this... THEN he's put Bellevue..."

The operative word in Dr. Mike Spradlin's statements is 'IF'. Dr. Spradlin did NOT call for Dr. Gaines unconditional resignation.

As I read the article James Dowd made his own statements as to what Dr. Spradlin meant.

In my humble opinion Dr. Spradlin is wise enough not to speak authoritatively about something or someone without first hand information. I think we are wrong for saying that Dr. Spradlin called for Dr. Gaines resignation.
He called for his resignation 'IF' as I read the article. With this I whole heartedly concur.

Dr. Gaines, Jesus Loves you and I am interceding for you and your family. Dr. Spradlin I am praying for the wisdom of God to be yours. My desire is to see that the road between BBC and MABTS does not become a chasm of regrets and sorrow but one that we can follow to the Cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:14 ya’ll

allofgrace said...

padroc,
I appreciate your wanting to be a peacemaker..that's commendable...but I think Dr. Gaines has already said he DID know...in June of this year.

Tim said...

padroc,

Your statement is correct, Dr. Spradlin did say if...

However, the comment was if Dr. Gaines knew about this six months ago and did not act then he should resign.

Dr. Gaines answered that question Sunday when he acknowledged that he knew six months ago and had not done anything.

So the condition to be met by the "if statement" was already met at the time of the statement.

pinker socks said...

bepatient,
We can forgive him, but we don't have to keep him. He is a man of arrogance and because of that he is a man of poor judgement.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

This comes from "My Utmost for His Highest" by Chambers. It is the January 11th devotion.

What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

"As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon...,and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus" Luke 23:26.

If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything - it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it means that other people's plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, "You call this Christianity?" We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.

When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, "I will never accept anything from anyone." But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).

A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal processes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, "I will not cause other peple to suffer?" We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.
_________________________________

Friends,

I believe this is the crux of what we are seeing in our church. People are upset because people are being obedient to God and others are angry because this obedience comes at a cost. The cost is that we have lost faith and trust in our Pastor. The cost is that our beloved Bellevue is no longer what we thought it has been. The cost is that the painful truth is being revealed. Who wants to think these things are true about our Pastor???? I certainly don't. Who wants to think that these things in our church are true??? I certainly don't. But the truth is that our church is beginning to be torn asunder. I don't want to be the one with my head stuck in the sand so that I can participate in the choir, or Bible Fellowship, or Children's Ministry, or the Car Care ministry, or any other ministry our church offers, and ignore the skeltons in our church's closet. The truth hurts!!!! But it is imperative for the truth to be revealed so that we have a Christ-centered, Bible preaching body of believers.

Thank you Dr. Spradlin, Josh Manning, David Matlock, and others who may come forward. Thank you for obeying God, no matter what it might cost others!!

Anonymous said...

tim said,

Your statement is correct, Dr. Spradlin did say if...

However, the comment was if Dr. Gaines knew about this six months ago and did not act then he should resign.

Dr. Gaines answered that question Sunday when he acknowledged that he knew six months ago and had not done anything.

So the condition to be met by the "if statement" was already met at the time of the statement.


That's what you call a first class conditional "if" in the Greek: if and it is.

I'm guessing Dr. Spradlin knows that "if" well as a seminary president/professor.

moosergs said...

Thank you, Dr Spradlin, you are a true man of God. Me and my family will be praying for you. I'm looking forward to hearing you peach this Sunday.

Anonymous said...

MOM4 said...
Integrity Does Count said...
mom4,

"You left out Mark Dougharty, David Perdue, Chuck Taylor, and a few more. Do they just take Mark Dougharty out and dust him off on Sundays to deliver the benediction?"

No, not Sundays only...they took him out to breakfast this past Tuesday morning at the Cracker Barrel.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr. Spradlin for being a man of valor, for standing for openness and truth. Thank you for being forthright and letting God's word dwell in you richly so that in the fiery trial, you can stand firm.

2006Huldah said...

Dear Maybejustmaybe:

May I ask if the person who attacked you in 1981 was ever caught, tried, punished? I tried to email you this question privately, but you do not show your email address.

If you do not choose to answer this question, I will respect that.

Dee

2006Huldah said...

Dear Blessmewiththetruth:

I do not know whether you are male or female, but I just want to say that every single time I read what you have to say you truly DO bless me with the truth!

I love you in the Holy, Holy, Holy Name of our Lord Jesus. Continue the fight with your strong, straight song. I will be in the background saying "Amen..Amen".

Dee

Finance Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
2006Huldah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
2006Huldah said...

Financeguy:

Dr. Gaines won't be climbing. He'll be driving--a TANK.

LibertyInChrist said...

SUBJECT:

STEVE GAINES REFUSES TO RESIGN TO A CHEERING ESTIMATED CROWD OF 500 AT BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCH

A FELONY HAS BEEN COMMITTED FOLLOWED UP BY A COVERUP OF THE FELONY AND THE CROWD CHEERS THEM ON? DON'T ANY OF YOU WONDER IF THESE 500 WERE HAND-PICKED? ISN'T IT GLARINGLY SUSPICIOUS TO ALL OF YOU THAT THERE WAS NOT EVEN A SINGLE VOICE OF OPPOSITION?

Steve Gaines refuses to hearken unto the appeal of Dr. Spradlin to resign. Note that there is no mention of the host of members of Bellevue calling for Gaine's resignation. Still no repentance on the part of Pastor Steve Gaines and now they want to go from the frying pan into the fire by working with FOCUS ON THE FAMILY on this crisis (another principality of psychological counseling).

David Coombs: "a self-imposed deadline of 30 days for this investigation" and report?" More insanity! Who in their right mind believes 30 days is enough time to resolve this and the final disposition? How is 30 days even their decision to make? So Mr. Coombs has grandchildren at the church he is worried about? If that's true then why did the staff continue to leave Paul Williams on staff? They should have thought about that before they allowed Paul Williams to continue on staff for months since June. This leadership has demonstrated NO WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT. You should have NO CONFIDENCE in these men! So Steve Gaines, the Personnel Committee and Mr. Coombs wants people to report to the foxes guarding the chicken coop? So who now wants to volunteer to become a victim a second time by confiding in these leaders?

Last night on the news, a 32 year old teacher was arrested for sodomizing her own son at a motel in front of her baby sitter and two other small children. This is a FELONY. She will get 8-15 years in prison plus a $500,000 fine if convicted. Now aiding and abetting or covering up a felony is also a crime (in some cases a felony too). Does this story sound familiar? How about $500,000? The story was reported on FOX News (National). According to the attorneys and prosecutors, the law makes the crime far worse when it is committed in a relationship of trust (teacher vs. student). This would also apply with pastor vs. parishner. So I don't think it is time to simply ask that Steve Gaines resign, but demand it immediately. It is high time to file a police report and formally charge BOTH Paul Williams and Steve Gaines. At least Paul Williams would then be arrested, like the teacher in Colorado.

Steve Gaines and David Coombs have laid down the gauntlet. It is now time for all of you to lay down the gauntlet publicly at a morning church service as well as all of you reporting this to the police and filing felony charges.

No wonder the Lord cancelled my flight yesterday because of snow storms in Denver and the Midwest, or there would be no way I would know this or be able to post this RED ALERT! Well you are in the storm of the Century, spiritually speaking, so I pray that you will all be equipped for it which by the way, will not pass in 30 days! These speeches by Gaines and Coombs could rank among the GREATEST SHAMS OF ALL TIME!

Anonymous said...

Liberty

Riad Saba was there so I don't think the crowd was "handpicked". Come on now this is a public open door meeting. There was no one there checking a list of who could and couldn't get in.

Think what you are saying before you type. You discount everything you say in your lack of thinking.

Karen said...

Liberty,

I was there and remained seated during the ovations - I even made it on the video stream.

Karen

Anonymous said...

Dr Spradlin, Praisegod for a man of your integrity and conviction.James Dobson said it well when he stated that Christian Leaders should take stands on issues such as these no matter what the consequence. I am so sorry that David Perdue called for your resignation for standing up against the cover up of child abuse. You cant suggest that a minister should resign for breaking the law by covering this up but he can suggest you resign for standing up for the rights of abused children. It seems Steve Gaines would be protected by his possee no matter what he does. No one will stand for you being let go. We need men of your steadfast character. I truely believe Dr Rodgers would have done the same.