I nominate for the best example of Baptists behaving badly the brethren involved in the Greater Gaston Baptist Association where the Associational Executive Director, Larry McElreath, was forced to resign last November. L'affair Gaston has spilled over into the new year and appears to have some shelf life left.
Back in November the Executive Committee of the GGBA shoved a piece of paper, a resignation letter, under McElreath’s nose, said sign it or we will eliminate any severance. He signed under pressure but later found out that the Executive Committee didn’t have authority to fire him, only the assembled messengers from the churches of the association did.
Even though McElreath is not accused of any immorality or other personal scandal in the matter, he feels that his reputation is tarnished by the forced resignation.
Lawsuits are in the wind. The situation is a mess.
Here are some quotes from the GGBC Executive Committee firing, er, forced resignation squad:
Those opposing the forced resignation wanted a meeting to clarify things, to which they were told, “Another meeting would only bring about more confusion and hearsay as words spread back and forth and still people would be left not knowing all that they want to know,” the letter back to the pastors stated.
The opposition wanted a list of Executive Committee members, to which the EC is reported to have “denied giving the dissident group a list of its members.”
The opposition wanted a copy of the tape and minutes of the annual meeting but was denied that.
After the forced resignation, the Executive Director’s office was entered and stuff taken. The firing group responded, “By law we have the right to go in there and look at anything we want…The only things we removed were things we needed to keep”.
The pastor of the church who is the biggest giver to the GGBA is Wayne Key. He is also the chairman of the Executive Committee and said “We feel we’ve done it decently and in order and what God would have us to do” thereby blaming the Almighty for the mess at the Greater Gaston Baptist Association.
Bumbling Baptists behaving badly.
Nothing new under the sun.
The Biblical Recorder has a good piece on this:
Greater Gaston in turmoil after DOM pressured out