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Controversy
It’s true.  Change Sucks.  Ask some of the members of The Church At Carrollton, who are none too happy about change. Since Pastor Greg Drake came five years ago, some things have changed.  As noted in a news story, some people are ticked.  Royally ticked, actually. Here are the things cited that have changed: 1.  The church name (it used to be Abilene Baptist Church) 2.  No more ‘hymn book singing’ 3.  Removal of the piano and organ 4.  Printed words to songs are now “replaced by a screen” 5.  Several pews were removed 6.  Some stained glass was partially covered. 7.  Shut down Sunday School classes (these classes met for SS, then left before the service started) 8.  Walking away from the SBC The result?  A lawsuit in county court questioning the legal ownership of the church entity, going back to the original deed in 1876. Here’s the premise:  since the church changed it’s name this year, and is no longer operating under the Abiline Baptist name any longer, the 1876 deed that grated the land to “Abilene Baptist” has been revoked since the new entity is no longer using it for the said purpose of the deed (again, signed in 1876). One of the protesters is quoted in the article: “I just feel like the Lord wanted that to be Abilene Baptist Church, or otherwise he wouldn’t instill in these men back in the 1800s to put that in the deed…The said purposes has got to be Abilene Baptist Church. To me, it’s clear, the purposes are your ministries of the Baptist Church because it states that in the deed.” This guy’s also more than a little ticked that he’s no longer a deacon: “I just had a feeling from the Lord that it wasn’t supposed to be changed, and that’s when [Pastor Drake] told me that he removed me as a deacon. My dad was a deacon there, and I voted for all the former deacons because I felt like they wouldn’t want the name changed.” After all, his dad WAS a deacon. But wait… there’s more! Not long after the civil suit was filed, the church was called to defend against allegations in Carroll County Magistrate Court that the Rev. Drake had been removing flags from the graves of Civil War veterans buried in the church cemetery. Read more:Times-Georgian – Controversy at church where change has alienated some been embraced by others // All I can say is… change sucks. This is one of the more outrageous church conflicts that I’ve seen recently… but you know… things like this happen all the time.  They’re just not written about in the local newspaper (thankfully). I hope that I don’t become like this when I’m older. I hope that if/when I walk away from a church and it’s leadership, it’s about something much more important that hymnbooks, pews, stained glass and the like. I pray that I don’t end up a bitter, angry, hopeless man as I get older. Thoughts?      
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Controversy
A gay Tennessee couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday, an attack that was prompted by one of the gay men’s father. “I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,'” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr. “My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs. Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt. Thoughts? Is there anyone that can justify the actions of this pastor and deacons? Of course, there is a family dispute element here, but is there ever a time when someone should be physically restrained from entering a church service?  Maybe a domestic violence situation…?  Someone who would be verbally disruptive? Have any of you had to deal with a situation that was uncomfortable, or, like this, turned to blows? Todd More here.
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