Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bellevue's in the Baby Convention Business Now?

An attentive reader alerted me to the latest... gimmick?... money-making scheme?... new member drive?... at Bellevue. I'm not sure exactly how this fits into the grand scheme of things, but here it is.

Mid-South Baby Expo 2011

Bellevue isn't the main sponsor of this event (to my knowledge), but they are providing the facilities and will have a big presence. In the past this annual event, like most "conventions" of this type, has been held at the Agricenter International, but this year it's being held at Bellevue.

The question is... why? Mainly, I believe there's money in it for the church. I'm sure they get a percentage of the admission price. (Someone can correct me if I'm wrong about that.) Someone -- the sponsors, the attendees, the exhibitors -- someone is paying for the use of the facilities, the utilities, the clean-up, traffic control, extra staff, security, etc. I believe money is the driving force behind much of what they do. Not all, but much. In a charitable nod, the church is providing bus service for women in "underserved" areas.

If they can attract some new members with this thing -- with kids (future replacement giving units!) -- then all the better. However, those in the age bracket having babies generally aren't the big givers. If they were smart they wouldn't have run off so many of the older givers, but that ship sailed ages ago.

To date there are over 60 exhibitors (Bellevue has reserved a booth 3 booths), and sponsorship packages are available. In addition to being an exhibitor, Bellevue is one of the "anchor" sponsors (hence the 3 booths as opposed to just one). "Anchor" sponsors appear to be a step above "participating" sponsors. I'm reminded of the FBC Jacksonville Pastors' Conference silver, gold, and platinum sponsorships. I wonder how much it costs to be an "anchor" sponsor.

I see four radio station logos on the sponsors page. Generally when radio stations are present at an event they blare their music from vans. Will the church parking lot be filled with the sounds of "maximum rock," "Gen X music," "classic soul," and the sweet strains of "today's best country"? What, no K-LOVE or "The River"?

Some of the
activities and seminars include a babies and children's fashion show, a maternity fashion show, breastfeeding seminars, pediatric consults, an "infant safety zone," spa treatments for mom, and a "Daddy Zone" complete with "daddy obstacle course" where dads will wear the "pregnancy belly." (I think some of those guys wear the pregnancy belly all the time.) Turner Dairy will be serving up pickles and ice cream. Yum! And there'll be door prizes! And... if you run short of cash and want to buy more stuff from the exhibitors' booths, why there's an ATM machine right there in the west lobby.

As the trendy bracelets remind us... WWJD? I think there'd be some serious table-turning-over going on at Bellevue on April 2nd. But again, on second thought....


gopher said...

The new trendy braclet around Bellevue Baptist is now the purple:

"Gripes Be Gone"

Isn't it a lovely day today, not a care in the world.


gopher said...

Also.... Bellevue Baptist will hold its FIRST ever (drum roll, please)

Easter Egg Hunt:

"Join us by helping out on Bellevue Loves Memphis Wednesdays Mar 30, & Apr 6 as we fill 50,000+ Easter eggs for the Bellevue Eggstravaganza."

There was a time when Chickens and Rabbits didn't mix with Jesus at Bellevue,

Apparently the Marketing Department has taken charge (after Steve & Donna took out the Trash)


drstevej said...

What's the big deal here? This is a sour grapes thread.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Sour grapes? That implies jealousy or resentment to me. What does "sour grapes" have to do with moneychangers and "daddy obstacle courses" in the church?

drstevej said...

resentment, I'd say.

There were no games in the childrens ministry under Adrian?

No one ever paid money for say a retreat under Adrian?

You are angry about the past and this thread is nit picking.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Believe what you want then. I'm not angry. I'm disgusted. There's a big difference. I didn't like a lot of what was going on under AR's watch either. I just wasn't as aware of a lot of it as I am now.

However, I don't recall him renting out the church for secular conventions. Do you? If that ever happened and someone can provide the details, I can try to address it, but this is the here and now, not "the way AR did it." I've never thought SG is the problem with Bellevue. Rather, he's a symptom of a much deeper problem that began long before he ever came on the scene.

Also, if you believe this is just nitpicking, why do you bother responding?

strugglingtostay said...

the problem with this, IMO, is that there are no ministries involved....there are hundreds of local ministries that work with pregnant and single mothers in our community. They are doing wonderful work....what a lost opportunity for hurting and needy women to be exposed to what the body of Christ is doing on their behalf Very disappointing......again.

New BBC Open Forum said...


That's one of my two main problems with this. One is the hiring out of the church for commercial ventures. The other is what's bothered me about this from the time I read that the church is busing in women from "underserved" areas.

They're doing this why now? So "underserved" women can watch fashion shows of people dressed in expensive clothes they can't afford? Look at all the expensive junk they can't afford? Maybe get a complimentary mini spa treatment they have no way of ever affording in real life. Okay, someone is giving away a nursery makeover to a deserving family. That'll be great for one lucky family.

Let's face it. The demographic at Bellevue is not the same as that of "underserved" areas of Memphis. That's just a fact. It's not being racist, classist, or whatever. It just is. It's almost as if they're bringing "underserved" people in just to rub their noses in it, to show them how the other half live, and maybe to make themselves feel a little better for a few hours.

I'm not a poor person from the 'hood (okay, we're pretty poor right now, but I digress), but I know how insignificant I feel when I walk into that building. Especially if you go up there during the week when it's almost empty. Fancy furniture and drapes all over, all that wood and brass (very '80s/early '90s but still fancy), all the plasma screen TVs hanging around, the big floral arrangements and tchotchkes everywhere. It reminds me of a huge fancy hotel. I've never stayed in anything fancier than a Holiday Inn (the old ones), but I've walked through The Peabody a few times. All that's missing are the rolling brass luggage racks and bellhops in fringed uniforms. It's nice but it's cold.

Now, if I feel that way, can you imagine how intimidating that place must be to the people Steve claims to want to attract? Are they going to start running bus service from the 'hood every Sunday? Because that's the only way they're going to ever get them there. I don't think they do want to get them there. I think they want to bus them in occasionally (4th of July, the defunct Family Fun Festival, this) for appearances. Even Steve isn't so naive to think they're going to get money out of people they bus in from across town.

Rugged Guy For Christ said...

Did you hear that Bellevue asked or forced a well known individual that is part of the praise team-to step down (he is allowed to finish the Prodigal) because he recently gave his testimony that included being delivered years ago from pornography. Apparently, the church or some high ranked person was and is afraid what the members will think when they see him singing during services.
I wonder how many members think about what SG has negatively said in the past when they see him preach?

Rugged Guy

New BBC Open Forum said...


Welcome. I think almost everyone knows who you're talking about although in his own words he wasn't "delivered" until this past August, not "years ago." I have not heard anything about him being asked or forced to resign from the praise team. If this is true, I suppose it was a risk he knowingly took by printing his story in a publication that's distributed all over the tri-state area.

I have heard of at least two long-time staffers being forced out in recent weeks, so nothing would surprise me.

I wonder how many members think about what SG has negatively said in the past when they see him preach?

I'm sure many do although he says enough in the present to make the past dim.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I guess all those "red chair stories" are just an illusion?

gopher said...

Bellevue Baptist features "Red Chair Stories the likes of these

Alcohol, Drugs, Fornication

Adultry, Drinking, Drugs

Parting, Drinking

Everyone is being "encouraged" to "confess their sins" to each other -- to "be accountable" to each other.

Yet, someone admits he was struggling with a particular blip in his life (well just because it was for half his life), apparently made himself accountable to others and new wife, confessed it all, has apparently turned from his sin (that is if he stays off the beach and pool areas), and he's off the stage (just like "Betty the Bank Robber").

Alot different than the ones who actually did things to someone and were /are allowed on stage?. Like Paul the Pedophile, Suzzie the Sleezie Dresser, or the Preyer of the Young Girls

Oh, and remember Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter who outed himself saying he had lusted for women other than his wife.

Anyway, this Bellevue Baptist thing is all Hypocritical ....

Bellevue Baptist claims they Love Memphis but spend almost $1 million to keep their pastor and his family (1 son, 3 daughters & 2 son in laws) in comfort. Not to mention, that if Memphis is so Lovable , how is it that Steve & Donna Gaines are away from Memphis at least one week (and Sunday) a Month ? Grooming themselves for their next position?


How the Administrative Pastor spends all that money on new Signage (like they needed new ones) purchased from his abusive brother?

So now the Moto is:

"Let Our Church Be Your Church"

or should it be

Let our Pastor be your Pastor
(just tithe)

InMemphis said...

Anyone know about the couple caught having sex today at BBC?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Nope, but IF that happened it wouldn't be the first time. However, you'll have to forgive me if I don't immediately buy it when a new commenter drops something like this. Feel free to PM me if you have anything to report.

New BBC Open Forum said...

All I ever heard from "InMemphis" was *crickets*. I'm so shocked.

Anonymous said...

2012 Version

Belleuve had 7 of those booths, so they are a Main Sponsor.

Gotta keep those leads for new people coming in, as their going out the back door faster then their coming in.

Thanks to sweet Steve Gaines!