Monday, November 06, 2006

Carol Pemberton Letter #2

On November 4th Carol Pemberton wrote a follow-up letter to her October 12th letter to the deacons.

What do you think about this one?

42 comments:

Tim said...

I wish that I knew this lady. She is full of grace and truth. She possesses wisdow that is only exceeded by that of Solomon and my father. I do not know if this kind spirited lady is 18 or 80, but if I live to be 100 I would never expect to achieve the level of wisdom that she exhibits.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Also, would God, who is Master and owner of the sheep, be pleased when the sheep are fleeced and a large amount of the wool is left in the shepherd’s tent, rather than forwarded to the Master to be distributed to many others in need throughout His Kingdom?"

And she has a sense of humor, too.

Lwood said...

Thank you Carol for putting in writing the words and thoughts of my family.I could never write a letter of this magnitude with such love and compassion. Our prayer is that the leadership of Bellevue will read it and understand the heart and soul of bellevue members that are hurting.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Carol Pemberton for writing and expressing so beautifully, almost in picture form, the essence and gravity of my concerns. Many are praying and learning to pray as never before in their lives. I will use your letter as a helpful guide so as to pray God's word for each of the topics of concern. I am at once both grieved over our circumstances and at the same time full of joy KNOWING that Almighty God is not meeting in emergency session, Jesus is Lord and His children, whom He knows by name, can bring every thought into the obedience of Christ and worship our God together in Spirit and Truth. AND we can in all things give thanks. Believing God, trusting in Jesus, making no promises or pledges or other presumptive statements, each one of us can pray to be a part of the solution and obey God's word in doing so. Praise be to God.

Anonymous said...

The letter is gossip.

Disseminating it aids and abets the gossip.

Directing such opinions to Pastor Gaines in a private letter is one thing; broadcasting them on the Internet is another matter entirely. She wields Scripture verses like brickbats, tossing them at people with whom she disagres.

She labels such people as engaging in "the love of money" and having "erred from the faith." She compares Pastor Gaines' sermons to "vain words," and accuses the church's leadership of "fleecing" the flock.

When you approve of it, you approve of gossip, and reinforce the understanding of more and more people that what bills itself as "saving Bellevue" becomes more and more anti-Bellevue with each passing day.

--Mike

P.S.: Oh, and with regard to the attempt to defend tossing bombs, er, "speaking the truth in love" from anonymity? All of you who are angels go right ahead and keep posting anonymously; those of you who are human beings, however, should at least show the courage of your convictions by taking responsibility for your statements. As has been noted more than once, criticism from anonymity means nothing.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Scrolling on by...

NASS

MOM4 said...

And I am scrolling on by as well, seems some folks don't know the difference between truth and gossip.

Unknown said...

Mrs. Pemberton,

I just love you! Your eloquent words muct illicit a response; any response.

Dr. Gaines, PLEASE help us! I've been a member since I was a child and I don't want to leave Bellevue.

Mike Bratton, I love you man, but I refuse to let you accuse me of being annonymous. My name is Karen Turk Marshall.

Love to you all,

Karen

Anonymous said...

Mike Bratton, I love you man, but I refuse to let you accuse me of being annonymous. My name is Karen Turk Marshall.

Now, see, people? How hard is that?

Congrats on the nuptials, by the way--and please, please don't tell stories about how goofy I was in college.

--Mike

upside down said...

Mike Bratton said "and please, please don't tell stories about how goofy I was in college."

Mike, I didn't realize that you were still in college. LOL

Unknown said...

The only goofy thing I'll tattle on Mike about was that we went to a sorority dance together once (Ok, technically it was a dinner because I went to Union University!) and he drove my manual shift car and didn't tell me he didn't know how to drive a manual shift car. Quite the experience!!

Ok, y'all, get off Mike and let's keep this discussion about Ms. Pemberton great letter to the Pastor.

I'm not scared of revealing my identity because I'm not scared of people or what they may thiink of me. I'm also convinced and convicted that something is wrong at Bellevue Baptist Church. I don't have enough money to make a dent in anyone's paycheck. I don't have fence for anyone to climb over; come knock on my door. I've Phil Weatherwax since I was little kid; I don't fear him.

I want my church back!!! I want this fighting to end and I want to know that we have a pastor that respects and loves everyone the same regardless of connection or bank account. I want to be fed by his sermons; I want to fellowship with other believers without giving some sort of "secret handshake" to see who's side they are on. Why is that so hard to understand and get to?

Unknown said...

I've Phil Weatherwax since I was little kid; I don't fear him.

Make that "I've known Phil Weatherwax since I was little kid..."

Tim said...

Ok, Beulah Land ...
I can no longer hide behind the curtains..
I must reveal myself...

I am "Tim ... the tool man Taylor"!

Ed T. said...

Anybody notice there's been no mention of the attendance numbers during our high attendance campaign...or I've missed them?

That would be because we've been nowhere close to them according to a deacon with whom I've talked.

I guess that's actually good so we don't have to hear the "well, we met our high attendance goal of 7,777 and so everything must be right" argument.

I would like to hear Mr. Bratton's opinion on one matter: when the Pastor goes before a congregation of 4,000 and admits that he and others "stepped over an itty-bitty fence" and then puts his hand down to knee level to illustrate such a point, is it classified as deceitful, out-and-out lying or irrelevant when said fence is known to be 4-4.5 feet high?

If a pastor is not faithful in such a small matter of telling the unvarnished truth, why should we be expected to trust him in more significant areas?

As for the "credit card issue", which was so easily disposed of on Sunday night, if it was so easy to put that to rest in a 2-hour deacons' meeting and that's all there was too it, then why in the name of Heaven was it not dealt with long ago before any of this became public. I do believe there must have been Kool-aid in those communion cups Sunday night.

Whatever "benefit of the doubt" I was willing to give to Dr. Gaines evaporated once I learned he took his case and presented it before another church the night after the informational meeting on Sept. 24th.

I'm Ed Thompson, and I approve this message.

Anonymous said...

We are all so fascinating. Those of us whom God has called and who have by faith received God's gift of eternal life, ARE, no matter how far along in our maturity in Christ, some kind of "tool" God can use for His purposes.

Some of us see from one vantage point and some from another. Some write with sharp edged "carbide" words and some with soft edged "butter" words. Some more informed, some less. Some more or less self reliant and self absorbed. Some pampas and some reserved. Some wordy and some not. Some logical and some meandering in thought. Some reckless and some measured --- BUT, each an instrument of some sort which can be used of God for His purposes to work in the Body of Christ at large or in the life of an individual fellow pilgrim. Scrolling on by may be the wisest thing some should do if you realize that your temptation to sin would be too great. But God may suggest to you that His love is to be your love and that in Christ even the apparently abrasive folks among us are worthy of our love and prayers for whom God condescended and died. I love you Mike Bratton. Not because of any qualities you have or character you display but simply because God actually loves me and I am certainly one of His more unlovely children and whom ever God loves I will to love because He first loved me.

In the mean time you and I are viewing the same "accident" from two totally different vantage points with two totally different reports as to what happened and is the "scene" as we see it. The understandings and perceptions of the "finger” in no way are the understandings and perceptions of the "spleen" BUT we are both a part of the same body and both important to that body and who is it that does not love his own body.

I thank God for our useful and yet necessary differences. May Christ have preeminence.

Tim said...

stillwaitingandwatching,

Or perhaps, I should address you as Mrs. Land.

I believe that your husband and I went to the same high school. He was a year or two behind me. He would certainly remember Tim however (small school and only a handful of Tim's there). He will say, "Can't be?", then read my comments and say, "Well, sure enough, thats him, thats the Tim that I knew."

Of course I could be wrong, but don't think that I am. God Bless You and your family.

Anonymous said...

padroc,

Well said.

RM said...

One of my favorite pasttimes is reading this blog. Now you have progressed to equating disgruntled church members with angels from the Lord, hoping that God will speak to Dr. Gaines instead of yourself, and still not willing to sign your real name. Come on guys, sign your name and own up to what you write.

SallySherlock said...

Truth Hunter said...
"Excellent point praying4ewe.

For what it's worth, the word
is the deacons saw NOTHING Sunday. Chip Freeman went over a powerpoint summary of credit card transactions. They did NOT examine credit card statements.

Does this square with what was said Sunday night?"


What does anyone know about this? Can anyone confirm what Truth Hunter was told?

If they did not examine the credit card statements, we were lied to Sunday night.

RM said...

Tim,

Thanks for the note. My name is Randy McDonald and my blog is: www.sbobserver.blogspot.com

Feel free to email me personally and I will give you my cell number and you can call me and we can talk.

It would be interesting and informative to say the least.

SallySherlock said...

Hey Deceived,

Truth Hunter says there weren't shown any bills at all.

Unknown said...

From Derrick Calcotte's email to me, regarding the credit card bills:

Karen,

I can tell you with confidence, that the credit card issue has been laid to rest beyond any question. We reviewed every single charge on every single statement going back to the very beginning. Each charge was examined and found to be 100% legitimate.

There were allegations that the pastor made personal charges on the card. This has been proven untrue beyond a shadow of a doubt.

There were allegations that there was some other credit card that had the personal charges on it. This has been proven false as well. The pastor does have an additional card (a Master Card, in case he is somewhere that doesn't take AmEx) but in the lifetime of that card there has been on one charge on it. It was a legitimate charge and it was under $10.

Sister Karen, I am heartbroken. It kills me that we have subjected our pastor to this insane degree of scrutiny, especially since the facts show exactly what we've been told time and time again there is nothing wrong.

Those who have falsely slandered our pastor over this credit card issue, who have gossiped, who have murmured about it need to repent before our Lord and apologize publicly. It is terrible that such damage has been done to his reputation over this issue of credit cards, when all allegations are totally without merit.

Thanks for checking in. Please help get the word out on the truth. If there is a question on this issue that you do not feel I've answered fully, please, please, please follow up and let me clarify it. There is nothing at all questionable there, and I want you to be completely reassured.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote


Derrick, you said to get the word out so I assume you meant it's okay to pass your email along. Hope you don't get mad about it being posted here.

Did the deacons see a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Chip Freeman or did they examine actual credit card bills from American Express and MasterCard?

SallySherlock said...

RM (Dr. McDonald) should have little credibility here. For days he has excoriated posters to the forum for making their views public. All the while on his own blog he demeans those within SBC institutions and the SBC hierarchy with whom he disagrees. For example, read his November 4th post at http://www.sbobserver.blogspot.com.

I quote his first paragraph thusly and like so (a little Bratton lingo for ya):
"I just finished reading Jim Richards' comments concerning people who practice speaking in tongues and partaking of alcoholic beverages and find them amazing--but quite typical of his ilk! Before I comment on this ridiculous stance I want to take you back a little in our history—"

Looks to me like he is debating a church matter in public, what does it look like to you? Does that sound like a pastor full of love? You can read more of his post and his blog for further examples.

We are one body of Christ and I see little difference between airing denominational dirty laundry and the dirty laundry of an autonomous SBC congregation. Both are regrettable, but that is how we communicate in 2006. Until RM takes down his blog, I won’t listen to his views on the Bellevue conflict. He uses it to publicly call out Southern Baptists. Shouldn’t he handle his disagreements privately instead of on the internet for the entire world to see?

RM FYI: I’ve been following your blog for several weeks. I agree with your November the 4th post. You are right on target about that and probably most things. Some will not be happy until they divide the denomination again. You might be interested to know that Dr. Gaines wants us to care about the BF&M. He quotes from it often and has us read it out loud. He is among those pulling the noose tighter.

Tim said...

rm,

Well..Hiddy-Ho neighbor. Good to meet you Mr. McDonald. Tim..the tool man Taylor here. What and when I choose to reveal anything about myself is my own business, is it not.

I did take a little trip over to your blog, but my concerns at this moment are with Bellevue and things that are of concern there.

Now, concerning the credit card issue. This is something that I have moved past. I would like to hear first hand from some (more than just one) of the deacons that were actually there, but it was a small concern to begin with and I believe that most involved were aware of that.

I am concerned about the fact that the reasons for not preaching on Wednesdays was far from truthful. I have been surprised that there seems to be no one else seems to be concerned about that.

Unknown said...

tim,

I haven't forgotten about the other issues either. I don't care if Dr. Gaines doesn't preach on Wednesday nights. I think if he's having "family time", that time should be spent in church. He knows as a Baptist preacher that the main days to be in church are Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday night. The fact that he's scheduled to preach at all these other engagements on Wednesdays flies in the face of the truth. Ms. Pemberton's letter hits all the issues I'm concerned with and I hope she gets a response.

PS: Ed Thompson, you crack me up!

Unknown said...

deaconsoldier,

I posted Derrick's email to me here because, after reading some other deacon responses to the Gremillion's email, I felt his was the most eloquent and sweetest spirited one and I sought him out. Derrick's been nothing but sweet and kind in his responses to me (I can't speak about anyone else's exchanges with him). Just wanted to make that clear.

Much love, Karen

RM said...

I Love My Church,

Thanks for reading the blog. Sorry that you can't see the difference between affairs and monetary fraud and theft in a convention and your differences in Bellevue. Maybe in time you will learn.

GBC_Member said...

How hard is it to just open up the credit card reciepts to Mark Sharpe so we can just get this over with.

Either the staff has used them for personal reasons or they have not. The innocent do not fear an inspection, the guilty do.

The innocent reveal where all "extra" money from a trip to Turkey goes. The guilty brush it off with a comment that they will just give away extra tickets to some worthy people. Quit messing around and just show the paper trail for crying out loud.

A power point presentation instead of just a list of what was spent and where it was spent is not what we need.

Just get on with it. How hard is that?

SallySherlock said...

RM,

Don't speak down to me, sir. I have a doctorate as well, so I am less than impressed

We have concerns over monetary fraud at Bellevue too, but you should know that since you are reading the blog. We are also concerned our pastor stood in the pulpit and lied to us.

You don't know all the facts about this conflict. There are many things you need to learn before interjecting yourself in our church conflict. Maybe in time you will learn the truth.

RM said...

I Love My Church,

When you choose to air your dirty laundry online with a blog you leave yourself wide open to anyone reading it and commenting on it. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

If you have a doctorate, then you should know how to handle your situation Biblically and not be parading this dirt all over the universe. You guys should be ashamed.

I had the privilege of working personally with Adrian and I can assure you that he would be ashamed of your mess.

SallySherlock said...

RM,

Your ugly attitude has been exposed, Dr. McDonald. I know all I need to know about you, sir.

You see yourself as doing the Lord's work to save the SBC, so the ends justify the means, at least for you. To fight that fight, you attack those you disagree with publicly via the internet. Do you think the world understands the difference between a Southern Baptist pastor attacking other Souther Baptists and what we are doing on this blog? I think not. In both situations Southern Baptists are shooting at Southern Baptists. You have adopted an elitist attitude that has convinced you that you are fighting the good fight for the convention, so even though you publish your thoughts for the world to see, it had to be done. Likewise, we believe this struggle in our congregation has to be done.

Do the members of your church know you are interferring with our church? Do they know their pastor has defamed members of our church on his blog as well as this one? Would they be embarrassed by your conduct?

To be honest, I'm not bothered by your blog and I agree with much of what you write. I am only pointing out the hypocrisy of your position.

I can indeed take it. Nothing you could possibly say bothers me. I'm sure you feel the same way.

I won't respond to you further. I will be praying the Lord uses your blog as I see Him beginning to use this one.

RM said...

Must have touched a nerve on some of you... I was surfing through the channels tonight and actually saw Adrian preaching! He preaching on the "root of bitterness". I would challenge each one of you to buy that cd and listen to it. Then I think you'll know EXACTLY what he thinks of what you are doing.

By the way, I'm not interfering in your church. I'm just watching the fiasco you have created.

bowtheknee said...

I'm not even sure I heard Jim Whitmire call him "Adrian" or at least not often and rm - I think we'd all appreciate it if you referred to him as Dr. Rogers if you must continually bring him up. I saw his sermon on bitterness and thought it was wonderful.

Since this is supposed to be a thread on the Pemberton letter, I would like to say how much I admire her for her candor.

Diana Hart

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote:

"By the way, I'm not interfering in your church. I'm just watching the fiasco you have created."

Uh... in that case, would you mind just being a "silent" observer? Because you really aren't contributing anything worthwhile to the discussion.

This man's a "pastor/counselor" and a "good Baptist boy." What's the world coming to?

Tim said...

rm,

This fiasco was created by the leadership of Bellevue. I believe that they were given amble opportunity to resolve these problems and refused. This became the next step in an effort to keep concerned members informed.

Granted, every post that you see on this blog has not been as it should be, but we are trying to resolve the issues of our church by the only means that was left to us.

I can not even begin to tell you how heart broken I am over every thing that has transpired.

I remained quite for months...months, hoping that there would be a resolve, but it did not come.

I am reminded of a statement that I once heard. "All that evil needs to suceed, is for good men to do nothing." Silence in not an option, when the sanctity and integrity of our church hangs in the balance. Am I saying that I am opposed to evil?...absolutely. Am I saying that I have all the answers?...absolutely not. I do not even possess all of the questions, but there are questions that I feel need to be answered truthfully and completely. Am I saying that the leadership of Bellevue is evil?..absolutely not...neither am I saying that the gentlemen behind savingbellevue are evil..

Someone is either severly misled and misdirected or has stepped over the line, however, and I want to keep the wood on the fire, and the fire hot, until the gold has been refined.

I have never seen a time in my life when the truth seemed to be so difficult to find. Without meaning to be offensive to you, sir, the outside sources have served very little in the process, because they possess very little knowledge concerning this situation.

I can not speak for all that have been involved in this blog, but I would have dearly loved to have seen this contained withing the walls of our church. It should have been possible, but long past the time that the church should have been brought into a business meeting, we were called to an "informational" meeting. The focus of which was to present only the information that was beneficial to the leadership.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you, Tim. Well put.

And now, to return to the topic at hand... thank you, Ms. Pemberton, for taking a stand for truth. We could use a lot more of you!

NASS

Tim said...

Absolutely!
Sorry for the runaway comments.


Mrs. Pemberton, you have been incredibly bold in the face of adversity as well. You will be in my prayers daily over the next several weeks.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Pat,

I was just thinking the same thing. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You can check out the Bellevue.org web site. Go to ministries and then Bellevue Foundation.

Call the foundation tomorrow and I'm quite sure they will be more than able and willing to answer all your questions.

The basics are that people make designated gifts and the foundation passes the money on to the organization that is specified by the donor.

Hope this helps.

*

Anonymous said...

truth hunter said... Something dramatic must be done now.

What? Something like a "Showdown"?

Please, define your terms.

--Mike

bowtheknee said...

Amen Truth Hunter!

Diana

Anonymous said...

"truth" hunter,

so where does it stop? where do you draw the line? do you really think that that you justify the way things are being done?

what do you want to accomplish? and do not answer the "truth". that is getting a bit old honestly. you can get any questioned answered to want answered.

there is NO excuse for this blog and others, NONE.