Possible Financial Woes For Love in Action

Germantown Baptist Church, a long time supporter of Love in Action (LIA), is experiencing internal strife that could potentially lead to a church split or a loss of a chunk of its 11,000 plus members. According the the Commercial Appeal,

An apparent power struggle at Germantown Baptist Church is causing strife between senior pastor Sam Shaw and a significant segment of his congregation.

The main issue is a proposal to change the church bylaws, putting key decision-making in the hands of a small group of elders rather than continuing a tradition of the membership making decisions. A new group of elders would supplant decision-making authority of the current church board and deacons.

Members opposed to the changes say 1,200 church members met last week to discuss the proposals. And a Web site has been created to lobby against the change in governance.

The opposition may continue to grow leading to a crisis or Germantown may work out the issue without much loss or by ridding themselves of their senior minister. But should they experience a drop in membership, this could have a significant ripple effect on all the ministries they support, including LIA. (I do not know just how much Germantown gives to LIA annually. Anyone know?)

John Smid, executive director of LIA, is a licensed minister through the generosity of Germantown Baptist Church (no seminary required!)

Hat tip to Bob Painter who first shared this story to me a month ago.

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Contemplative Activist on April 23, 2006 at 3:35 pm Reply

    What kind of Baptists are they?!?!

    Us Northern-Ireland Baptists (well, I’m not one any more, but my parents were when I was growing up) pride ourselves on congregational governance. It made us not-like-the-Catholics.

    Tst tsk tsk tsk

    What next, a Baptist Pope?!

    😉

  2. Anonymous on April 26, 2006 at 7:26 pm Reply

    Us German Baptists are the same.

    Baptist pope? Look at the ranks of the SBC and maybe you will find a future candidate…

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