A tense meeting among congregants over whether the Rev. David F. Stephens Sr. of Greater Bellevue Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia, should be fired for alleged infidelity erupted into a violent brawl Monday night.
Video of the chaotic scene posted online shows what local police say are church members engaged in a fistfight and exchanging words sometimes laced with expletives.
"Us not having a pastor at all, is that going to make this a better church or worser?" a woman asked on a microphone.
"Worser!" the man recording the video said. "We want Pastor Stephens. He a big help to the community, though. They trippin.'"
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office explained to The Christian Post in a statement Wednesday that the brawl erupted inside the church despite the presence of police officers who were called in to keep the peace ahead of the meeting.
"Bibb County [deputies] assisted Greater Bellevue Baptist church with security during a church meeting. It was reported that the objective of the meeting was for the deacons and the congregation to take a formal vote on keeping their current pastor or to void his contract," the police statement said. "It was asked by the church trustees if a deputy could attend because of the tension that had been shown throughout the process."
According to the statement, officers were forced to suspend the vote after some parishioners became "irate" and "disorderly." It does not detail the fight which erupted on video.
"It was decided that the meeting and voting process would be stopped until a later date. Some of the parishioners became irate and disorderly. All in attendance were asked to leave the premises and additional deputies were asked to respond to the scene to help with crowd control and dismissal," the statement, which reported zero injuries during the fracas, continued.
Police said the incident is currently under investigation and did not explain what caused the fight. One source who was at the meeting on Monday night, however, told Obnoxious Television that the fight erupted after Pastor Stephens was confronted about his marital infidelity.
"The fight broke out last night because somebody called the pastor out about sleeping around on his wife and the pastor came an[d] attacked him ... the pastor and the first lady are living together but not together and the pastor is seeing someone else ...," the source reported.
Another source identified as James Fuller on YouTube alleged that the "pastor had slept with another woman. But he confessed and ask forgiveness from his wife and church. So they been busy trying to get rid of him. By degrad[ing] him on social media. And more [than] half congregation forgave. But others haven't, so they determine to get him out. This church has a history of getting rid of pastors."
Sgt. Linda Howard, public affairs officer with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, was asked by CP if she could confirm whether this was the reason for the fight at the church and she said she was unaware of this information. Church officials were also unavailable for comment on Wednesday.
Greater Bellevue Baptist Church was established in 1895 and is located in the heart of the Bellevue Community of Macon.
According to a bio at the Sunday School Publishing Board, Pastor Stephens is "gifted, powerful, and anointed."
"He specializes in church staff and leadership development, foreign mission development, health and wellness entrepreneurship, and design of social non-profit entities. He has been blessed to preach and lecture in conferences, conventions, revivals, and other notable events across the country and numerous countries. He has a great passion for others to have a better qualitative spiritual and saved life, especially the 'least and left out,'" it explained.
[Video below contains strong language]