Just 18 months ago, in an announcement that they had hired Mark Smith to be their new senior pastor, top officials at the First Baptist Jackson Church in Mississippi said they had fallen "in love" and described him as God's man and "God's will" for the job. In a surprising turn of events this week, however, Smith abruptly quit, declaring in his rejection of the job that he is not the man for their church.
"After prayer, meeting with others, seeking counsel from the church staff, and study, [Smith] senses he is not the man to lead First Jackson into the future," a press release from the church read.
These sentiments are a sharp departure from the excitement and Godly conviction Sam Peeples, chairman of the nine-member pastor search committee that unanimously recommended Smith's hiring publicly shared with the congregation in a report on his hiring in September 2013. more >>
South Carolina's highest court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by The Episcopal Church against a breakaway diocese regarding several church properties in the state.
The South Carolina Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal, issuing an order Wednesday regarding the matter and scheduling arguments for September.
At stake are the approximately $500 million worth of church properties of the Diocese of South Carolina, whose leadership voted to leave The Episcopal Church back in November of 2012. more >>
A Presbyterian Church (USA) regional body located in California has been accused of putting a Korean congregation's effort to leave the mainline denomination to a standstill.
Last year, Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church of Rowland Heights voted overwhelmingly to seek dismissal from PCUSA over the denomination's growing acceptance of homosexuality.
Out of 817 votes casted in the March 2014 vote, 738 voted to leave, 74 voted to stay, and 5 votes were dismissed. more >>
These two Texas pastors decided to do something unique which they are calling the "tale of two cities." After acknowledging racial tension that had been occurring in Texas, they decided to stand up. They knew they needed to take the stand and remind people that God loves EVERYONE!
It just so happens that we all may forget that God loves all of us no matter our race, color, or ethnicity. No matter how different we may be, God loves us all! How these two pastors decided to approach this topic is truly amazing. They entered each others' churches and delivered powerful sermons. The congregation remembered that that they are not so different after all. God bless them for what they are doing, and most of all for spreading the love of God!
They hope what they did on Palm Sunday won't just build a bridge between their congregations, but over the racial divide in their city. more >>
A black pastor who dared to be different by challenging racially stereotypical church models to become a leader in a white church in Louisville, Kentucky, explained at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention's leadership summit Friday that he did it in pursuit of the unity of the faith.
Kevin Smith, assistant professor of preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and who is also teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, explained at the summit themed, "The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation," that becoming a pastor in the predominantly white church was something he had to challenge himself to achieve and maintain because of the cultural differences between the white church culture he transitioned into and the black church culture in which he was raised.
"Blackness can be weighted and graded in a way that whiteness just isn't. You got the look, you got the look," he said of being white at the summit held in Nashville, Tennessee. "A matter of fact, it's so superficial at the look level that throughout American history, some people from other ethnicities have been able to pass. So it's not really about content it's just about the look." more >>
Normal worship service at a Jackson, Mississippi church was halted Sunday after members erupted in an ugly brawl over their allegedly spendthrift, "money hungry" and disrespectful pastor who refused to relinquish his pulpit after they voted him out a day before for reportedly abusing his role.
A WJTV report said things got so heated police had to be called in to keep the peace.
The members of New Galilean Baptist Church said they also wanted their fairly new pastor, Orlando D. Franklin, out because of his autocratic leadership style and his penchant for silencing congregants. more >>