Brunson Called

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by dh1948, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. dh1948

    dh1948
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    Congratulations to Mac Brunson and FBC Jacksonville.

    As expected, FBC voted today to call Brunson as its pastor.

    Brunson has big shoes to fill. Our prayers are with him and the church during this time of transition.

    We should also pray for FBC Dallas as a new pastor is sought. For some reason the song, "The Old Gray Mare, She Ain't What She Used To Be" comes to mind when I think of that church.
     
  2. RandR

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    Can you think of any church that would "be what she used to be" in the absence of pastoral leadership for 11 of 15 years?
     
  3. dh1948

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    I can't say Brunson did not provided pastoral leadership during his tenure. Nor can I say that about Hawkins' tenure. Someone who is much closer to the situation...say a member of FBC Dallas...would have to make that call.

    It may be another topic for discussion under a different category, but perhaps many...note that I said, "many,"... of the downtown FBCs have lost their "curb appeal" over the past thirty years. Their glory days are all in the past tense. That is how I picture FBC Dallas. I could be wrong. Maybe she is a glowing exception...like FBC Jacksonville...who is full of life and vitality and making an impact in downtown Dallas. If she is, I stand corrected in my "old gray mare" analogy.

    What makes the difference? Leadership can make a difference. However, people must be willing to respond in a positive way to that leadership. Can't recall who, but someone has said, "If you are in charge of something and it is failing, it is your fault." In my less-mature days, I bought into that philosophy. I have learned better. It's not that easy.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    RandR do you have "issues" with this whole situation, you keep making comments about it all
     
  5. RandR

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    PastorSBC,

    I may. In fact I'm quite certain that some would say I have "issues." I'd prefer to think that I deeply love a group of about 10,000 or so often mischaracterized, easily maligned people who--though imperfect--deserve to be loved and led by their pastor.
     
  6. teachermom

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    What makes you say that we are First Baptist Dallas were not loved and led by our pastor? Mac is the only pastor we've had who has taken delicate situations and handled them Biblically. Can you tell me of any situation other than the recent one when Biblical discipline was needed and instituted?
     
  7. RonM

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    Mac was my pastor at Green St. Baptist in High Point, NC. The first time I heard him I told my wife he wouldn't be there long because he was so dynamic that a large church would call him someday. A year later he went to FBC Dallas.
    Over the past 5 years I listen to all his sermons on the internet. I have been a Christian for 40 years and with the exception of Billy Graham I have never had a pastor reaach me like Mac.
    I just found out about him leaving for Jacksonville. I watched is message last Sunday where he told the congregation in Dallas about the opportunity in Jacsonville. What I am curious about is when he mentioned that in 2004 he had a terrible year and even thought of leaving to go to some small church just to get away from it all. Evidently he talked to Jacksonville at that time and they offered him an associate Pastor position till Rev Vines retired, but he turned it down. Does anyone know what happened in 2004? I know how the people of Dallas must feel. I still miss him here in NC. I have to admit I am shocked he would leave them in the middle of their expansion into their new facility, but looking back, he did the same thing in High Point.
    All I know is that Jacksonville is getting a wonderful pastor who can reach the masses with his style and messages.
     
  8. teachermom

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    Over the past several months I have been recovering from the devistation of losing my job. There have been many sermons during that time that seemed as if God was speaking through Mac Brunson directly to my heart. There are so very many of us at First Dallas who will greatly miss the Brunson family.
     
  9. dh1948

    dh1948
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    teachermom, you paid Bro. Brunson one of the highest compliments a pastor could ever hope to receive from one of his members..."There have been many sermons during that time that seemed as if God was speaking through Mac Brunson directly to my heart."

    Isn't that really what being a good pastor is all about? Some church members think that being a good pastor entails listening to their whines and complaints; babying them when they didn't get their way in a particular matter; camping out on the doorsteps of rebellious, disobedient non-attenders; etc.

    IMHO, the primary characteristic of a good pastor is his ability to take the Word of God and skillfully use it to answer the needs of the human heart and life. Based on my experience of hearing him several times, I would say that he is an excellent pastor.

    teachermom, I will pray for FBC Dallas as she seeks God's man to become her next pastor.
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    dh, good words. I pray that my members feel that way at times.

    I, too, will be in prayer for you teachermom and your church as you search for your next pastor.
     
  11. txaggie95

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    I've just been lurking on this issue of Brunson's call to pastor FBC Jax and decided to make a couple of comments. Please keep in mind that I am am very aware of the inner workings of what has happened as of late and am just sharing information that would shed some light on some of the negative feelings people have about Brunson.

    First of all, I will have to say that it It is not surprising Brunson would leave at this time because for the last 3 to 4 years, the morale of the church staff and a majority of its members has declined due to many things such as the lack of respect coming from Brunson and his "chosen" staff and the dismantling of a beloved building for a much bigger building that really was not necessary. Seems that there are other projects that should have been done instead like revamping the existing buildings, improving on the Academy, etc.

    Brunson has driven the church to be millions in debt as a result of the changes he initiated. Yes he was instrumental in paying off a debt when he first came but a big chunk of that money came from the church's own funds and the rest was raised; however, due to the building and other things, the church is several millions in debt which is crazy. Many long serving and experienced staff members were fired after they all had to "reapply" for their jobs and this really should not have happened. This was initiated by a very new person who had no sense of who each person was and some of the "chosen" staff members relied on threats to others to do what they wanted them to do. Although I have not experienced this, several staff members have mentioned that Brunson has a horrible temper, and requires that his wife is by him in order to keep him "in line" which is his own words and it just is strange to hear something like that about a pastor. If anyone went against him the slightest, they were always wrong. I do understand that there are those who have the utmost respect for him and to a point I do have respect for him because he is an excellent speaker and knows the Word, but do not have respect for him for the way he has treated people I know, the way he has used the pulpit to "slam" people for whatever reason, and the way he has lead the church into debt.

    My prayer is that he will prove to be the best choice for Jax and that things will work out for Jax and for FBC Dalls. I also pray that the new search committee will be careful to find the right pastor who has a true and honest heart for the church, a heart and great respect for the people and for the staff and this means taking the time to check out these pastors to ensure their personal lives AND professional lives live up to the word of God because in my opinion and based on my experiences as a member of First Baptist, of those who succeeded Dr. Criswell, O.S. Hawkins was the most repected and and excellent role model.
     
  12. teachermom

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    in response to txaggie95 and any others who would care to read:

    I am not a new-comer to First Dallas. I have over 25 years in that church. And I mourned the loss of that building as much as anyone in the church. I met my husband in a Sunday school department the Criswell building. We married in Slaughter Chapel and our reception was in Grace Parlor. My children were at the Academy from 1st grade through graduation and their chapels and other programs were in Embree Hall. Our son and his wife were married in Slaughter. I felt the loss deeply. However, we need to be careful not to sacrifice the future as we hold onto the past. The past was built for our generation. We must build for the future. At the time Dr. Criswell built the gym, roller rink, and bowling alley (unheard of in any churches at the time) he faced stiff opposition. He himself told many times of the opposition he faced building a nursery and preschool ministry at the church. He had a vision for the future and many people at that time thought he was crazy. He was crazy like a fox! As he followed God's leadership and built in spite of opposition, the great First Baptist Church became what it is today. One thing I have learned during my period of unemployment as we have struggled to hang on to our house and cars is to not hold on to any possessions too tightly. As Corrie Ten Boom said, I'm learning to hold everything with an open hand. The first rule of stewardship is ownership -- and it all belongs to God -- including all the property owned and occupied by First Baptist Church.

    Nor am I an outsider who is only familiar with the church as a Sunday morning member who enjoys good Bible preaching (which I do). I have held various positions of responsibility which allowed a view of the inner workings of the staff when Dr. Criswell was the pastor. I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know and vowed never to know that much about the pastor and his staff again. However, my daughter has been on staff during the time that Dr. Brunson has been the pastor and again I learned a lot more about the staff than I wanted to know.

    The internet is not the place to discuss "family business." I will not detail the errors of txaggie95's report of the staff firings, except to say that much of the information is inaccurate.

    No righteous purpose for the Kingdom of God is served by "Brunson bashing." If you have a problem with Dr. Brunson, please follow the Matthew 18 principle for resolving those issues and quit airing them to the world.

    I know God is preparing our next pastor. I hope he comes clad in the full armor of God. He's going to need it for all the firey darts that are being shot in the church right now.
     
  13. dh1948

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    Well said, teachermom. There is always a lot of misinformation passed around when there is such a high-profile church and pastor involved. And you are definitely on-target regarding "Brunson bashing" and "family business." I would certainly not want any of my church family business discussed on this or any other forum.

    The nay-sayers are like fleas on the back of an elephant. Hang in there and continue to stand up for your church and pastor. May your tribe increase.
     
  14. RonM

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    Well said teachermom. I wish you and FBC Dallas the Lords blessings.
     
  15. RandR

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    dh,

    I do not condone the tenor with which txaggie95 writes. I regret some of the tone of my own posts on this subject at times, as SBCPastor and RonM can attest after PM exchanges with me.

    But your comments on this post betray your ignorance of the situation in Dallas. At least teachermom, by her own admission, acknowledges that she has not had first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of things since the latter Criswell days. What, praytell, from your location in Alabama, could you possibly know that would merit your banal opinionating about "fleas" and such.

    Maybe in having "heard him speak serveral times", you have a better handle on the situation in Dallas than others much much closer to the situation.

    While teachermom and I obvioulsy would not agree about much regarding Mac other than his preaching ability, we--unlike you--share a deep love for the church. I believe they (we) will be better off now with MB gone. She may not. In the future, I may see that he was indeed as great a visionary leaders as he is a preacher. Or, she may come to realize that he was self-focused, ill-tempered, and not much of a pastoral leader. Maybe neither. Either way, she and I (and even texaggie95) will continue to spend much time in prayer and tears for that church while people like yourself move on to give your "two cents" to whatever the next SBC "gossip" may turn out to be.

    I hear that Johnny Hunt is going to be nominated as the next SBC president. Perhaps you could go start a thread about that.

    Teachermom, God bless you. Texasaggie, tone it down a bit. SBCPastor and Ron, thank you for your PMs. Good day to all. SDG.
     
  16. teachermom

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    Actually, if you read my posting carefully you will find that I do have knowledge of the staff and Dr. Brunson through my daughter who was on staff. The time period I don't have first hand knowledge about is when Gregory was there and Hawkins to some extent. My daughter was doing a lot of volunteer work at the church during Hawkins time and has some first hand knowledge of the way he worked with his staff. Again though, I will not comment about either of her experiences with these pastors. It is not appropriate.
     
  17. dh1948

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    My, my...guess I really hit a nerve with RandR. (Pardon the banal comment.)

    RandR, you say that "you betray your ignorance..." (Pardon the banal comment.) And you are right. I really don't have any first hand knowledge of what is going on at FBC. Most of what I know is the gossip that has come from people such as you. Remember, even if a matter is true, it can be gossip. I have indeed heard my share of gossip about this matter. Next time I will consider the source.

    I feel sure you have personally addressed MB regarding your concerns. I commend you for that. Maybe he cleared some things up and you now understand him better.

    Johnny Hunt running for the SBC presidency? Is that fact or just more gossip?

    Well, there you have it...my tongue-in-cheek(Pardon that banal comment.) two-cents worth.(Pardon that banal comment.)

    Love you in Jesus, brother!
     
  18. RandR

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  19. teachermom

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    Do I dare post another comment?!?

    This was an editorial in today's Dallas Morning News in response to a naysayer last Sunday:

    Members loved Brunson

    Re: "Story flushed him out," by Pat Palmer, Sunday Letters.

    Pat Palmer can't go to the same First Baptist Church of Dallas that I do. The members I know love and appreciate the job Mac Brunson has done, despite the obstacles presented by a few who tried to stop the destruction of the old Criswell Building to make way for the new Criswell Center.

    He may leave us with an $11 million debt – he inherited $10 million when he came and got that paid off – but he also leaves us with a new $48 million, state-of-the-art building that will serve the community's needs for years.

    If the Lord would take those "naysayers" home, maybe we could get another wonderful pastor.

    Midge, Dallas

    Note: I took off the last name of the author in case she she didn't want her name all over this site.
     
  20. gtbuzzarp

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    I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
    The people I know at FBCD from all levels of involvement (and age) would agree with that as well. I know a few past "naysayers" whose minds were changed after Mac gave his "Passing the Torch" sermon. My wife and I are both excited about the reorganization and hope and pray Mac's replacement will be able to catch the vision and continue down that path.

    Time of course will tell, but it seems like Mac was sort of our "Moses" (remember how much the Israelites grumbled after being taken out of Egypt? ) and now we are awaiting a "Joshua".
     

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