If you followed the saga surrounding First Baptist Church in Naples, FL over the last few months, you’re aware that the church is dealing with the aftermath of a failed attempt to install a pro-social justice pastor after he failed to receive the required 85 percent to secure a position of senior pastor. Marcus Hayes, who church members had concerns over his apparent pandering to the Democrat party, withdrew himself from consideration after the church slandered several of its members publicly and painted dissenters as “racists” and “white supremacists.”
Part of the leadership involved in the search process for a new pastor after former pastor, Dr. Hayes Wicker, suddenly resigned was John Edie. Edie held the title of “Executive Pastor” and was instrumental in bringing Marcus Hayes to the floor for a vote. After the failed vote, and after Hayes withdrew himself from consideration — and after the church booted 19 members from the church roles without following the biblical model for church discipline — Edie resigned from the church.
Since Edie’s resignation, the remaining leadership — all of whom were involved in the process of bringing Marcus Hayes to the floor for a vote, and all of whom were instrumental in painting the dissenting voters as racists and removing them from the church — have attempted to “regroup” and begin the process again. Part of the process involves voting in new leadership to key positions, many of whom concerned members of the church complain are ill-equipped and nominated without input from the congregation.
The concerned members sent out an email to the church again laying out their concerns and urging the congregation to vote against many of the problematic proposed leaders.
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The email reads in part:
The Church has announced “special business” meetings to take place Saturday,January 4th at 6:00 PM and Sunday, January 5th at both 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM at the conclusion of each service for the purpose of introducing the new Deacons and to vote on the prospective new committee members, i.e., people to replace committee members that have concluded or exceeded their 3 year terms. For reasons we explain below it is our unequivocal recommendation that you vote “no” or “nay” or “not to approve” the people presented for the Personnel Committee, Finance Committee and the Trustees.
The people presented for the vote who the concerned party is urging a vote against include, Neil Dorrill and 6 others on the Finance Committee and 8 people on the personnel committee. Dorrill was the chairman of the search committee who brought Marcus Hayes in for the failed vote. Interestingly, Dorrill previously had charges of racketeering against him in 2001 and received 3 years probation and a ten thousand dollar fine for handing out pay raises as county manager in exchange for another high-profile job.
Below is the email in full as well as the committee and deacon recommendations whom the concerned members are urging members to vote against.