Sunday, February 25, 2007

What's Most Important?

What do you think are the top 3 issues facing Bellevue Baptist Church today? Give your reasons.

Many of these issues apply to the church at large as well. This book,
In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity, by Tamara Hartzell, addresses some of the problems affecting the church today. It's a free eBook available on the "Book Contents" page.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Petitions

Two petitions concerning the leadership at Bellevue are now online.

The first is the
Postpone the Ordination of David Coombs petition which many of you have already signed. The ordination is scheduled for this Sunday, February 25th, so don't delay.

The second is entitled
Should They Go?.

Please stop by and sign both petitions if you haven't already.


Carol Pemberton has written another fine letter regarding the situation at Bellevue.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Postpone the Ordination of David Coombs!

Time is of the essence as the ordination is scheduled for this Sunday, February 25th!

A petition to postpone the ordination of David Coombs until certain questions are resolved is now available to sign at Postpone the Ordination.

The petition reads as follows:

Postpone the Ordination of David Coombs

In accordance that all things be done honestly in the sight of all men, we believe that there is a discrepancy between what had been reported to the Commercial Appeal concerning the openness of the records of the Church and the actual behavior that David Coombs has presented both by letter and personal contact.

In accordance with the mandate by the Church to leave "no stone unturned" in the investigation surrounding a case of sexual child abuse, we believe that David Coombs was negligent in failing to interview the victim.

By report of and the confirmation by witnesses of his response to a dear lady who confronted him with the statement, "Pedophilia thrives in secrecy," following the investigative report presented to the Church, we believe that David Coombs has exhibited a lack of compassion and empathy that is necessary for the ministry.

It is our conclusion that it would be in the best interest of Bellevue Baptist Church to postpone the ordination of David Coombs to the ministry. We are in agreement with these and other issues in whole or part and that has caused us to petition the church on this matter.

You may sign anonymously, but it would be preferable if you sign with your real names as anonymous signatures cannot be verified. A place to leave your comments is provided, and I would encourage everyone who signs to comment as well.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Please Continue...

Please continue your previous discussions here.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Administrative Pastor's Page

From the new page on Bellevue's website:

"Our new Administrative Pastor’s webpage will serve to communicate progress and provide new information on church administration issues. Long term, this page will evolve into a location where church members can view policies, procedures, current financial information, and statistics about church activities and church life. In the future, we hope to incorporate a way for members to submit questions and receive answers online.

"We desire to be open and transparent in every aspect of church life. It’s our prayer that this webpage will provide a better means of communication between church administration and members."


So far the only two items on that page are letters from former corporate-world-chief-financial-officer-soon-to-be-ordained-minister David Coombs are two letters which are here and here.

Now, read the Tennessee code and letters from Bellevue members requesting information from church leadership as permitted by Tennessee code here and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Patient is in Critical Condition!


Please read the following direct quotes from the Investigative Team:

"One witness would not agree to be interviewed except in a group setting. Ultimately, the Team felt that asking the questions it wished to ask could not be done properly and confidentially in such a group setting, and therefore, the Team decided not to interview this individual. Although the individual was a significant witness, the Team felt that the information this witness might have offered basically was corroborative of what other witnesses had stated. The absence of this interview was not a problem for the investigation."


"The first to come forward with any concerns about Paul Williams being allowed to work on the staff at Bellevue Baptist Church was Paul's son and two of his son's friends who came to Pastor Gaines on December 7, 2006."

"Although there is no excuse, there is an explanation which leads to the recommendation noted above. The Pastor stated that he had never dealt with an incident of this type before. Further, there were no policies and procedures in place that he had been trained to follow. In the past, the circle of information on any problems of a sensitive nature in the church was kept very tight to protect the families of the individuals and to protect the church from embarrassment. There has been a feeling that policy and procedures of this type were more suitable for the world than for the church. This feeling is not only found in Bellevue Baptist Church, but also is prevalent across churches in general. The events relating to the Paul Williams issue have vividly brought to light the need for change."


ICU REPORT:

1. The unidentified "significant witness" mentioned was the most significant witness.

2. While the "group setting" mentioned would not have included legal counsel, it would have included all parties with firsthand information. This was to provide the church with information they needed before starting the "official" internal investigation. It would also have provided the opportunity to request that Steve Gaines make it clear in any subsequent public statement that the previous administration had no knowledge of the situation and to try to lessen the negative effect the announcement would have on the Williams family. This request was denied.

3. The unidentified "significant witness" would have offered information that was NOT corroborative of what other witnesses stated and would have changed the context of the committee's report. Significant information was provided in a meeting on January 11, 2007 which was not included in the report.

4. The December 7, 2006 date refers to the date of an actual meeting in which this issue was finally discussed, but the implication in the December 17th announcement to the congregation was that Steve Gaines was unaware until just a couple of weeks before that there were any "unresolved" issues remaining. In reality, this had been brought to Steve Gaines' attention several weeks prior to this meeting, as requests for a meeting had been made (and apparently denied) for some time prior to December 7th.

5. The "policies and procedures" as mandated by Scripture are sufficient to provide guidance to even the most inexperienced layman and should certainly have been sufficient for a Pastor with a Doctorate in Theology.

6. The "circle of information on any problems of a sensitive nature in the church" is apparently tighter now than it has ever been.

7. The idea that this tight circle was designed "to protect the families of the individuals and to protect the church from embarrassment" could not be a more inaccurate statement of fact. The clear intent has been to protect the administration and leadership.

8. The events that have "vividly brought to light the need for change" have to date produced absolutely no change and in fact continually magnify the resistance to any change relating to transparency.


--ICU Nurse

Thanks to "ICU Nurse" for these comments which inspired this topic idea. Some editing by NBBCOF.


Both reports are available here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Conflict of Interest?

There have been many questions over the past year about perceived conflicts of interest on the Pastor Search Committee which called Dr. Steve Gaines to Bellevue. This article details many of those concerns.

Please limit your discussion to this topic. Any comment that makes mention of the subject of the previous topic WILL BE DELETED!


Thanks to Karen for this topic suggestion.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Meet Mr. Ace!


Attention NBBCOF Bloggers!

We have now learned the identity of Mr. Ace, the blogger who has made it his personal goal of disrupting this forum for the past several weeks. Ace was foolhardy enough to write Jim Haywood, whom he had viciously attacked in several comments which were quickly deleted from this forum, identifying himself as "Adam Jones" and gave Mr. Haywood his cell phone number requesting that he call him. Mr. Haywood apparently shared that information with several other people, one of whom performed a reverse cell phone number search and learned that "Adam Jones" is in reality Adam Cary Sidhom. Mr. Sidhom, who goes by his middle name, Cary, is a member of Bellevue and a member of the string section of the orchestra. He will turn 20 years old this Friday. (NASS has woolly socks older than that.)

It's interesting that "ace" always said he never lied, yet in his message to Mr. Haywood he stated, "I am not hiding my identity. Hi, my name is Adam, what's yours?" [He didn't know to whom he was writing?] "In fact, give me a call if you want to talk more... 901-XXX-XXXX... The WHOIS records haven't been updated wherever you just searched. Try searching at godaddy.com and you will see the domain registrar has my name + phone number... it's showing up as updated there."

Okay, let's explore that statement. "Ace" told me he helped set up and is a moderator for
faithinbellevue.com, a site set up with this stated purpose: "This is a website to show our support for Bellevue Baptist Church. Here you can show your support for Dr. Steve Gaines and our great church and share with others how Bellevue has positively influenced your life and family. Together we can show the world how Bellevue has changed lives and is answering prayers." That's certainly a worthy and positive endeavor, and "ace" even asked me to place a link for the site on this forum which I did. However, later that same evening, Cary, who posts there using his first name, asked me to remove the link as he didn't want it on this site anymore.

But wait... another site just popped up this past Friday called "Save Saving Bellevue," a vindictive "spoof" of the Saving Bellevue site. Note: No link will be provided here for that site, and you go there at your own risk (or more specifically, possibly that of your computer), but here is a screen shot. It's interesting to note that both these sites, at least until yesterday, were registered to fake names ("Adam Jones" and "Adam 123," respectively) at fake Cordova addresses with Memphis zip codes.
Here are screen shots from godaddy.com from February 4th and 5th showing the changes that were made in the registration information for savesavingbellevue as well as the information for faithinbellevue.com. Now we see that the registrar is "Cary Sidhom" and at least some of his correct information is now listed.

But these two websites aren't all of Mr. Sidhom's adventures in cyberspace. Here are but a few of the places he's been hanging out:


MySpace.com

Facebook

Xanga

Ask MrCary!

vBulletin Forums. There were over 4000 posts from MrCary there last night which now seem to have evaporated (or I suspect have just been hidden). However, you can still see some of them from here.

FreeAdvice
here about the legalities of recording conversations. And this one about recording video.

And the strange world of ViolaUnion.com, parts of which are here, here, here, here, and here. Is Bellevue Baptist Church aware they're "sponsoring" this site?

Cary Sidhom is personally acquainted with the poster who posts here with the screen name "sickofthelies" and for some time now has insulted and mercilessly taunted this lady, who is an admitted victim of childhood sexual abuse herself, but would not reveal his identity to her. It turns out that Cary Sidhom is also personally acquainted with SOTL's family and is a close friend of her son's. In fact, she and another person recently paid the entire cost of Mr. Sidhom's fare for a Caribbean cruise a group of Bellevue string students and their parents plan to take in the spring so that the students can use their violins to share the Gospel in some of the local schools whenever the ship docks. They had offered to do this because Mr. Sidhom told SOTL he couldn't afford the cost of the trip and because he's always, in her words, "seemed like such a good kid." Knowing that she was paying for his trip, he continued his malicious attacks on her, both on the forum and in private correspondence with others.

Cary Sidhom and SOTL's family and other members of the orchestra and string group eat out together regularly, and at no time has Cary ever hinted that there was any problem between him and SOTL. In person he has remained polite and friendly. Yet he mocked her in his comments on the forum following her encounter with David Coombs. He has referred to her in e-mails as "pathetic," "a big, fat crybaby," and "a drama queen." And SOTL has had no idea all this time that she was paying for a Caribbean cruise for none other than "ace"!

In spite of criticism for his name-calling and behavior towards SOTL and others on this blog, "ace" has offered repeated disingenuous apologies, only to repeat his behavior again and again.


Last Tuesday night he warned me in an e-mail that two "immature" acquaintances of his were going to attack the blog. He claimed he was trying to talk them out of it because "we shouldn't stoop that low," but that he didn't know if he could stop them. Apparently he couldn't because the attacks by "thing 1" and "thing 2" began shortly thereafter. Hence, comment moderation has had to be in place almost continuously ever since.

"Ace" was permanently banned from posting here last week but continued to post anyway. When asked by someone why he continued to post after being told he couldn't, his reply was a flippant, "Because I feel like it."

More information will be forthcoming over the next few days. In the meantime, I would ask that you not personally attack this misguided young man. He is in need of our prayers.


Updates:

"Ace" threatened to reveal the identities of some of the people posting here and thought he was telling everyone my identity.

This was a series of comments from January 22nd through the 29th which to me are evidence that "ace" was working alone or in combination with someone else to give a false impression of his own identity.

"ace" said...

Mom4,

Spill it. I have nothing to hide. Try to intimidate me all you want, I don't care. Post away.

10:10 PM, January 22, 2007

"Knower of all" said...

Ace, I know who you are. Do you want me to say right here or do you want me to tell you in e-mail? Your choice, and if I don't hear back from you in 5 minutes, I'm posting it here.

10:41 PM, January 22, 2007

"Knower of all" said...

You are Stephen Coombs, David Coombs eldest son. Does your dad know that you are posting on this blog?

10:45 PM, January 22, 2007

"ace" said...

Knower of all,

Email me if you want... or post it, I don't care.

-the real ace.

10:47 PM, January 22, 2007

"ace" said...

25+years,

Steven's back... or is it Stephen? I believe Karen asked you a question Ace.

You can just call me Steve.

10:05 PM, January 27, 2007

"ace" said...

I am not Stephen Coombs.

A lot of people owe Stephen Coombs an apology, as well as the rest of the Coombs' family, including David for these lies and accusations. I'm sure they'll be waiting....

12:01 AM, January 29, 2007

Note that "knower of all" got a little ahead of "ace" when he revealed "ace's true identity" two minutes before "ace" gave him the go ahead. Regardless, from "ace's" comments, he stated he didn't mind someone revealing his identity, so to object when someone did so seems a bit disingenuous. It also seems a bit irresponsible to allow someone to plant the idea that he's someone he's not and to not deny it for a week. He even said, "Call me Steve."

Now we see he's posted a
petition urging people to sign protesting the ordination of David Coombs. A legitimate petition from a concerned BBC member urging the same thing was quickly removed from that site, but this one is allowed to remain.

And this one apparently never got off the ground.

It seems ViolaUnion needs to be "saved" now. What is this obsession with "saving" things? I would suppose Mr. Haywood should be flattered, for as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Obsession, on the other hand, is a little "s'cary" though.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Today's Media Coverage - February 3, 2007

Please continue your discussions here. Comment moderation shall remain on until further notice which means your comments will not appear immediately. Stay tuned during the next week for some changes which should make everyone's reading and commenting a more positive experience!

Commercial Appeal
letters to the editor.

Coffeetrader News&Views by Lindon.

Counseling Notes by Bowden McElroy.

The
latest from FBC Jacksonville.

Christian Worldview Network article.

Please bookmark this site:

http://newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Today's Media Coverage - February 1, 2007

New Commercial Appeal column by Wendi Thomas.

Original Wendi Thomas
column.

New FBC Jacksonville blog.

Associated Baptist Press
article.

Baptist Press
article.

Please bookmark this site:

http://newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com