Baptist Church Splits

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Salty, Sep 19, 2003.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Has anyone ever gone thru a church split? If so, what was the main cause. What recommendation would you give so a split could be avoided.

    Several years ago, I was attending a SBC. The pastor resigned beacuse his wife was seriously ill. Throug a contact an IFB (BBF) pastor came to preach one Sunday. Everyone like him, so he was asked to come back the following Sunday. Before you knew it, he was asked to be an Interm pastor. Soon, some wanted him to be the Senior pastor, but could not, beacuse he had not graduted a SBC college or Grad school, per our church constitution. In the meatime, he was talking to another IFB church, (about 20 members) This small church joined enmass one Sunday. Within a few weeks this small group along with a few of the SBC who were befriended by the IFB pastor decided to make some major changes. For starters one of the three trustees went with the pastor and signed a new lease with the landlord, then changed the locks on the door. The church was now now longer a SBC.

    Any other stories?
     
  2. amixedupmom

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    Yes I have and the reasons in this order were

    Intolerace of other members
    Gossip
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    I have been twice (not personally involved but in my church as a teen and in my family's church 20 years ago).

    Both were because of the power/authority struggle betwen the Pastor and the church. In both cases, through intimidation and open threat, the Pastor "won". Folks left en masse and the ministry was hurt.

    Very sad to say, but some ifb preachers are megalomaniacs for power and absolute dictatorship. "My way or the highway" is their motto.
     
  4. greatday

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    I have heard pastors tell the sheep "vote with your feet and leave my church if you don't like it here!" It has been my real experience that most of these kind of pastors didn't prosper and after a few years most of their members left and they were left holding the bag and the church closed. And one day they will have to give an account to God for their stupidity and who will have the last laugh?

    "Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed. He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But they are on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted. And if they are bound in fetters, Held in the cords of affliction, Then He tells them their work and their transgressions- That they have acted defiantly. He also opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they turn from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures. But if they do not obey, They shall perish by the sword, And they shall die without knowledge. Job 35:5-12
     
  5. Ben W

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    The Salvation Army Corps that I grew up in and several other Corps in the city have split up over members wanting to go Pentecostal. The usual result is a mass exodus to the local Assemblies of God or similar fellowship.
     
  6. Larry in Tennessee

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    I went through a nasty split back in 2000. The surface issue was the music. The pastor wanted to move to contemporary music, while most of the deacons wanted to stay with traditional music. The real issue was a power struggle between the pastor and deacons that was going on behind the scenes.

    It all came to a head at a Wednesday night business meeting. My uncle called me and told me I needed to be there because they were going to ask for the pastor to resign. Everybody who was on the membership roll was there whether they had been attending church or not. People were throwing insults back and forth. It felt more like a union meeting than a church meeting. Apparently those who were on the pastors side knew what was up, because someone asked for a vote of confidence in the pastor. 84 people stood up to support the pastor, and 68 people walked out, including 5 of the 6 deacons.

    As far as advice, all you can do is pray. Ask the Lord for His guidance. I would also suggest that you not get caught in the trap of choosing sides. That's very hard to do. Whatever the issue is, you will no doubt have an opinion, but once you choose sides, you side against the other side. In my case, I felt like I had no choice. My uncle was one of the more vocal opponents of this pastor, and I felt quite a bit of family pressure to take his side. As it turns out, I feel it was the right decision, because I feel that I am serving in the church where God wants me to be right now.

    I don't know that a split can be avoided short of the Lords intervention. Once the wheels are in motion, people have a hard time putting there pride and hard feelings aside. The Lord will intervene if it is His will to save the congregation, but sometimes I think, it is actually His will to have a split. When the ill feelings get so out of hand, that may be the only way to finally put those feelings aside and get both congregations back to serving Him.

    Love in Christ,
    Larry
     
  7. Gib

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    I served as music and youth in 1993. The church seemed to have everything going for it. Sunday School was booming. Great fellowship. It was a very close knit church. And one day it all stopped.

    It was old school vs. new school. I don't know why it happened. When we started there the church fellowshipped all the time. It was a small church of 125 or so. Every weekend there was an unplanned get together. We'd pack a restaurant out on any given notice. They loved to fellowship. In the end, they could'nt stand to be around each other.

    They were a praying church. There were 30-35 people who met on Saturday evenings, after a fellowship, in the sanctuary to pray for the next days service, for the pastor and for receptive hearts. We had prayer teams, prayer warriors and prayer in the am before work. Towards the end, that all stopped.

    We had a great visitation program. It was heavily attended, weekly. In the end, it was the pastor and staff only. We had a special called service one Sunday night to see how we could salvage our church. It was evident that this close knit church was now 5-6 different factions.

    We found out later there was an issue of misconduct with a church leader. It was around that time that we started to break down. The church eventually split. 70-80 folks left the church. Many filtered into other churches, while 20 or so started another church. Once the facts surfaced, the new church fizzled and the majority of the members who left came back.

    Years later the church is once again unified and strong, full of fellowship and prayer.
     
  8. micahaaron

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    The first church split in the New Testement was Paul and Barnabus over the issue of Mark. If it can happen to the Apostle's, it can happen to us.

    MA
     
  9. TheOliveBranch

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    I've seen three. The first was over a name change. The church went from a community church to Baptist. Many left, but those that stayed with the pastor were blessed with growth later.

    The second was in a church prior to us becoming members. Gossip and the deacons wife caused the problems. Many left, but the church grew later.

    Third was a church with a very humble, godly preacher. I don't know why it started, but I know the pastor tried desperately to keep all the people together. It may have just dragged out the problem further because he put everything he had into trying to please everyone and they still left. The church didn't grow much and I don't believe the pastor is there anymore.
     
  10. gb93433

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    I think some splits are good and others are horrible. I was in a church that had a deacon that had thrown a car battery through a plate glass window because he was angry. That same deacon later had an altercation with one of the youth. The youth was about half his size. Several of the deacons told me that they thought the former bishop of the Mormon chruch was a Christian. The problem was that he was still attending the Mormon church and teaching there. But they let him regularly teach at the CBMC. The president of the local CBMC was an adult Sunday schol teacher at the church I pastored. I could find out what happened at any deacon's meeting from several in the congregation. Often I would hear about it not too long later. They had invested their money in a poor investment and lost most of it because they thought nobody would ever do something wrong. Churches like that need to cease to exist. I would have welcomed a split just so those who wanted to do something could. The church was so shackled by problems and poor practices.

    [ September 20, 2003, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: gb93433 ]
     
  11. amixedupmom

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    Ok since everyone has told thier's I will tell mine.

    Our Pastor resigned from the church due to personal reasons.

    We began the search for another pastor. WE had one come in Easter of this year.

    We voted him in. Everyone was fighting at this time we had no directins and ext.

    Well this pastor gets here and is here for about two months.

    Some members want other members gone and decide to leave cause the other members weren't expelled. (this is the rumor)

    Others leave because they do not like the minister


    These people one year ago loved one another, I do not know what happened but, it happened quick.
    I pray for them everyday that they can find thier way back to one another.

    God Bless you during this awful ordeal. If you need to talk you can always call on me [​IMG]
     
  12. Salty

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    Lea
    I am sorry about the situation at your church. I would like to let you know that you and your church will be in my prayers begining tonight. Since several of us on this have gone thru troubling times, we truly do understand how you feel.

    In Christ

    Bob

    Colossians 1:9-11
     
  13. GODzThunder

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    I worked at a Church where a new pastor spent an entire year neglecting all duties save preaching. He did not like visitation, he did not like moderating, he hardly counseled people, he ran up huge phone bills making personal calls from the Church phones, and he had an affair with his secretary.

    Needless to say he did do one thing, he befriended and catered to certain individuals in the Church so that when the deacons were asked to call for his resignation, he gleefully rejected this call. The fight that ensued split the Church from over 170 active attending members to less than fourty in five months.

    This is just one of many cases around my home area. Around here the main and almost only cause of Church splits is a power struggle. Even gossip is traced to a desire to lord over another.

    And as much as I believe a blessing the office of Deacon is I must admit that the deacons are usually the ones behind the power struggle, either with the Pastor or another member or deacon. This is probably why many preachers dread the word "Deacon" (sounds like Def Con).
     
  14. Major B

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    Joke among preachers:

    "What is the difference between a demon and a deacon?"

    Answer: "According to James, if you resist the Devil he will flee from you; if you resist a deacon, he'll get you fired."
     
  15. computerjunkie

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    I went through a church split, and it was so ugly I don't even want to talk about it. After a little over 5 years, we are finally healing and growing, but I still can't believe the things that happened were by people who called themselves Christians.
     

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