Signs Of Grace

Click here For more on Clays Mill Road Baptist Church and Jeff Fugate

Update 1: A couple of people seem very concerned with pointing out that Jeff Fugate himself allegedly had nothing to do with this sign being put up and ordered it taken down once he discovered it. In reality, it doesn’t much matter to me who was the actual person placing the letters on the sign because it shows a mindset that is pervasive and promoted through fundamentalism. I applaud whoever it was that finally had the honesty to make a public spectacle of their hatred of their fellow man instead of keeping it inside the church walls where it usually resides.

132 thoughts on “Signs Of Grace”

    1. Imprecatory Marquee’s: Specializing in promoting a judgmental, mean-spirited, petty god of vengence via weekly zingers that are a surefire way to draw the masses so the pews are full to over flowing each week.
      With a marquee like that the preaching’s got to be good. *amen?*

        1. It’s the way it is said in many IFB churches. The preacher ends a statement with a simple amen? (emphasis on raising his voice at the end). Which is a cue for the amen crowd to start hooting and hollering and shouting Hay-Men! Some will drag out the “hay” part. Others will say it as quick as possible. This is done not only to agree with the preacher but to stroke his delicate ego.

        2. It’s even worse if you have to say, “Can I get an ‘Amen’ here?”

          It’s like holding up an “Applause” sign.

        3. One of our fundy pastors would stop preaching, run down to the front pew, sit down and scream “Amen!” as though he were a member of the congregation. I always thought that was rather conceited of him. :roll:

          The church I attend now, the pastor does often say, “And all God’s people said…” but only after a song or special. Never during his preaching. :mrgreen:

        4. Thanks. The only exposure to a Hyles church I had was doing extension work at one in Milwaukee WI when I was attneding MBBC. I went there for about a semester or so and I had only been saved for about 3 years so it was a new experience for me.

          I understand the Haymen now. This pastor was actually an MBBC graduate who turned Hyles.

          Here is where I went and wow, would ya look at the big new church! When I went there in 93, we were meeting at a broken down school downtown and Noonan was the same pastor.

          I remember he and his brother “preaching” …”you women in yer britches!!!”

          http://www.faithbaptistmilw.org/AboutUs/Staff/OurPreacher.aspx

          I’ll have to look over the site more but it looks like it’s still Hyles-ish. I remember when I left MBBC, they were going to “uncheck” this church b/c he went Hyles.

        5. @Mominator: I know that church quite well and the brother of the pastor Noonan split that church in two. It was very sad as well as predictable. He was a brawler and beat up another man in the church over not attending Saturday soulwinning. It was a mess. He was certainly a Hyles follower. :twisted:

        6. I like my current church very much, but the pastor (normally a very humble person) apparently picked up a bad habit somewhere in his past of asking for “Amens” during his message; usually 3-4 times a message.

          I agree with the pastor above — that if you have to ask for an Amen, you probably didn’t say something worthy of an Amen.

        7. @Wannagetout

          I remember his brother very well and he was the one who was very irritating and belligerent in the pulpit. It doesn’t surprise me he split the church b/c I got the vibe he was jealous of the brother.

          I noticed on the Pastor’s description this statement:

          “Pastor Noonan has been recognized and honored across the nation for his work at Faith Baptist Church in Milwaukee. In 1995, Honorary Doctorates were granted to him by Dr Jack Hyles of First Baptist Church, Hammond IN and Dr. Bob Gray (the convicted Rapist?)of Longview Baptist Temple, Longview TX. He is asked to preach in churches and at conferences across the country.”

          I noticed they didn’t mention he went to Maranatha, but doggone, they sure did mention that honorary doctorate. :shock:

        8. @Mominator,

          The Bob Gray in TX is a different man. You are thinking of the Bob Gray from FL. The one in TX has his special set of issues but I am not aware of any allegations of child molesting.

        9. The youth pastor at the Faith Baptist in Milwaukee has a degree from HAC in “Assistant Pastoral Theology.” How is that even a major? Were his parents disappointed by his choice? “My son is going to HAC! Oh, crap, he only wants to be an assistant pastor, not THE MOG.”

          I also love how the teen soulwinning ministry “is responsible for seeing many souls saved each year.” You know, because the Lord never has anything to do with that type of stuff…

      1. Thanks for posting that link, Don. I’m glad he wrote that letter, I feel he did it very respectfully.

  1. It kind of amazes me how hard it is to find on their where these churches are located on their websites. I did find it on the Contact page, but you’d think they’d want to make their location clear and obvious from the get-go.

    1. I get the feeling most church websites are unintentionally designed for the people that actually attend, and not the people seeking the church out. It is actually work to envision what an outsider might be looking for online. I know this happened to me, having helped once do this here in Canada.

    2. I think this is the norm for a lot of churches. We’ve moved around quite a bit, so I’ve spent my fair share of time researching churches online. Most make it rather difficult for you to find out when and where they meet.

  2. I’m disturbed that they don’t have a Plan of Salvation on their web site. I mean, that could be the last web site some people ever see before they walk out of their apartment and into the street and get hit by a bus and die and go to hell. All because some church forgot to put in the plan of salvation…

    1. If they really been concerned about the thieves’ eternal destinies then they would have put a Chick Tract in a waether-proof baggie taped to the AC unit for just such an occasion. That way they could have put on their marquee: “To Whomever stole our AC units… “Read the Tract!” Call us when you get saved.

        1. George is immune to Taunt like Onyxia the dragon queen in World of Warcraft. Both will give you their undivided attention whether you want it or not.

          I wonder if George also has whelplings?

      1. You’re RIGHT!!!

        …So the poor people who don’t go to their church – i mean, err, “heathen,” DID have a chance after all!! I was looking for a text link at the top of their page and missed the one at the bottom. Somebody should tell them their web site is confusing…

  3. Pastor: “Can you believe it? Some low life scoundrel has stolen my bicycle!”

    Deacon: “Then tomorrow morning why don’t you preach on the Ten Commandments, and when you get to the 8th commandment let’er rip with both barrels. That way, whoever took it will get under conviction and return your bike.”

    Pastor: “Say, that sounds like a great idea, I’ll do it!”

    So the next day the preacher starts off on the Ten Commandments. The pastor was in fine form, and the deacon was on the edge of his seat knowing what was a’comin’. But when the Pastor got to the 8th commandment, “Thou Shalt not Steal” there was no “Shock and Awe.”

    After the service the Deacon approached the pastor:

    Deacon: Pastor, that was a fine sermon but I’m dissapointed that you didn’t really lay it to them when you got to the 8th Commandment? What happened?

    Pastor: I know, I was a’goin’ to, I mean I had me a head of steam, and was gonna preach hell hot and wide open.

    Deacon: So, why didn’t you?

    Pastor: Well, when I got to the 7th commandment I remember where I left my bike… :shock: :wink:

  4. The sign is sadly lacking in punctuation, but I am pleasantly surprised that they didn’t use “your”.

  5. Check out Jeff’s bona fides on his FB https://www.facebook.com/pastorfugate

    Just look at those Honorary Doctorates and who gave them to him.

    And this status from FB:

    We saw an average of 1,250 riders per week on the buses in April. Scores saved. Praise God for the bus workers of America who love the unloved! Let’s keep those buses rolling.

    The omnipotence of a fundy preacher: able to consign Ac thieves to hell and tell you that “scores” were saved on the bus routes in April. Is it just me or is being unloved maimed and the outcasts of society a requirement for riding on an IFB bus route? :roll:

    1. I was looking, I mean creeping (have to use the youth term) at his pictures. Saw a post from a “pastor”, so creeped on his page, and followed a link to his church. Clicked on “About Us” and the whole page was about him! The other info was on the side! It’s all about the pastor.

    2. His FB page also says he has an honorary doctorate from Oklahoma Baptist University. He writes that he received it in 1995 from Dr. Jim Vineyard. Maybe someone should tell Dr. Fugate that Jim Vineyard is from Oklahoma Baptist College in Oklahoma City, not Oklahoma Baptist Univ in Shawnee, OK. :grin:

    3. He didn’t condone the message. He was actually quite furious about the sign and it was taken down after a few hours. This man has a heart for people. He talks about a ores being saved, because he cares about souls. Jeff Fugate will cry from the pulpit while recounting the story of a drunk or a druggie getting saved. And when he says the unloved, he’s referring to the children who come on the buses believing that no one cares about them. You would be surprised at the heart break of the little ones. Who will care about them if no one tries to help? He loves people. Everyone tries to find a fault in a preacher.

      One other side comment, just because the congregation doesn’t say amen, doesn’t mean that the statement wasn’t deserving of one. Ever have a preacher say something that convicts you, and you sit in silence and awkwardly squirm on the inside knowing he is right? Gods Word is what is right. And if you can’t take it for what it says,, why say you believe it at all?

      1. “Doctor, Doctor, you’re not preaching good news,
        I gotta bad case of loathing you,
        We know you’re a Jack Hyles shill,
        I gotta bad case of loathing you…”

      1. Oh, wait, my mistake. I was thinking of someone else. I get all those people mixed up. Where is Seen Enough and her photographic memory when I need her?

  6. I’m so glad this church doesn’t have any wimmen on their staff. I guess they have preacher boys answering the phones or making copies.

    1. I would actually love for all of the women at one of these fundy churches to just decide that they’re tired of being looked down upon and treated as second-class citizens/Christians, and to refuse to work as the church secretaries (and other church staff positions women usually do). I know it would probably never happen though…

      1. Not one of the ladies feel looked down upon. They feel like they are serving God by following His word and helping the man of God in the work of reaching the lost. :) I love how you comment on the feelings of women who you have never met. :)

  7. “These men and their wives all seek to perform their ministries in a manner which will honor and glorify our Lord.”

    http://www.cmrbc.org/our-staff.html

    Whenever I see statements like that, I’m reminded of why we left. We don’t have to “perform” anymore.

    Now, I’ve gotta get myself a cuppa java so I can percolate my brain or there won’t be any “performing” today! :razz:

  8. Thanks foe letting me keep the AC units. I sold it and am taking a cruise to the Bahamas. And, yes, it is hot there. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  9. Well you have to admit this is an unusual sign for people to see as they’re driving by. More interesting than the usual hum drum of their service times or some other trite saying like “7 days without prayer makes on weak” or some such. People will notice this sign. :mrgreen:

  10. There is a story behind it, not that it excuses it in any way. Someone stole the AC units off of one of the church buildings. A member of the pastoral staff (I’ll let them remain anonymous but I do which one and it was not Jeff Fugate) took it upon themselves to put this message on the church sign. It was up I am told for only a few hours before phone calls and media inquiries started pouring in. Fugate was not aware of the sign until this point and had it taken down immediately after finding out about it. Too late, since pics of sign are all over the internet popping up on humor sites and such. I was wondering how long it would take for it to pop up here.

    1. We walk a fine line between ridiculing signs such as these simply to feel holier-than-thou and noting an aspect of fundamentalism we used to buy into but now realize was less than Christian-like.

    2. If your account is true, then I would expect that the person who put up the sign got “taken down” a bit along with the sign. I hope. That is inexcusable.

      1. I’ve got connections there. Not as good as I had a few years ago but still I occasionally get the inside scoop on things there.. This is not a recent event and happened a year or two ago. What I said can be backed up by a number of people “in the loop” there. Fugate had nothing to do with the sign except for having it removed. A member of the pastoral staff acted on his own in putting the sign up.

        Fugate and his ministry have become quite controversial in Lexington and Kentucky. This didn’t help matters. He’s very involved in political issues in the state. Just do a search for the “I Love America” patriotic rally in 2002.

      2. @JoeR: Certainly the pastor should have a talk with him… it was a lapse of good judgment. I know many people who would think only that it is funny, and not consider the larger picture.

        There’s no need to come down unnecessarily hard on the staff member unless he shows repeated and consistent violations.

        1. By “taken down” I mean in the sense of “taken down a peg”. I don’t mean that he should have been fired or caned. The offending pastor should definitely have apologized for the action.

    3. I guess I’m surprised the pastor doesn’t have to approve all saying that are posted. Most pastors control ever detail that involves HIS church.

      1. Oh it just isn’t fundy pastors that do that. I work at a United Methodist Church and the pastor has to read over the weekly news emails that I send out to our children and youth families. She says it’s to make sure I have correct grammer.

    4. This may be apocryphal, but…supposedly there was (somewhere) a sign on a building that said, “Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Signed, the Sisters of Mercy.”

  11. People are stealing AC units because of the copper inside. Churches have been especially vulnerable due to lower security and perhaps shorter ‘open’ hours during the week. I wonder if the thieves tithed when they got the cash from the scrap metal dealer?

    1. One small church here in the Greenville area got hit three or four times last summer. After that, they put in a camera and focused it on the AC unit so they could catch the guy.

      The SC state law governing selling of scrap metal have changed over the past year or so; now you have a permit to do it. I think it’s brought down the number of copper thefts significantly.

    2. A friend’s church also got their AC units stolen, and the pastor said it was probably for the copper (it had happened at least once before, but neither time did he or anyone in the church feel the need to post a hateful message on the church sign). The ridiculous thing is, the thieves get maybe $20 worth of copper out of each unit, and the rest is useless. Such a tiny amount to risk going to jail for, but nobody said these guys were smart. :lol:

      1. In our area, it is a common thing for houses that are empty or being built to be broken into and all the copper pipes and wires stolen. Same thing, maybe a couple hundred dollars worth of copper for the potential of years in prison for breaking and entering and receiving stolen property.

  12. I know we must have visited this church on deputation. I heard my dad say this name a lot. But I don’t remember anything more than that.

  13. The funniest church sign I ever saw said “HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING? DONT COUNT SHEEP, COME HEAR A SERMON!” Of course, it was a Presby church…Baptists dont really have a sense of humor…

    1. We saw one sign the other day that said…”If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.” Yeah. Baptist don’t have a sense of humor or when they try to have one, it just comes across as stale an/or dorky.

      We tried that same church and the pastor was a BJU grad. I got into an argument with his BJU wife when I told her I didn’t agree with the stupid rules b/c treating someone attending college like a kid is stupid and wrong. Of course, she stated that she needed the rules blah blah blah. Well. Punishing everybody is wrong and that’s another discussion too. One breaks a rule and everyone gets more rules added on to the handbook.

      1. LOL ah…the handbook. I went to bju, and we were supposed to return all dorm handbooks at the end of each year, but I kept mine! LOL I needed it to show non-Fundy friends, because they thought I was exaggerating! Now some of them ASK to borrow my handbook for their own personal entertainment. :lol:

        1. LOL. I attended Maranatha Baptist in WI and they had a handbook AND a Freshman class that was a semester long about the handbook/rules.

          I didn’t have to take the class b/c I transferred in. :razz:

  14. What strikes me as strangest about this sign isn’t so much the judgment of who is going where in the afterlife as the notion that the thief, or anybody, can take an air conditioner along to his/her/their eternal destination.

    If I can bring one with me, what kind of current do they use there, 110, 220, or some other voltage? And are there HVAC repair people there?

    1. That would depend on your interpretation of the word “mansions” in the NT. :razz:

      Me? I want a 9 ft concert grand piano to play in heaven and I’ll even play CCM, country and any other request. I’d also like to play a song with John and June Carter.

      Can I get a Haymen? (I’m new to that term, so I just had to say it!)

      1. Mom – this is why wommin folk aren’t allowed in the pulpit. :lol:

        The protocol goes like this:
        You ask for an amen?…..The audience responds with a Hay-Men!!! :mrgreen:

    1. I know of at least one HVAC technician who I used to deal with in a previous career who will be there to service it.

      Poorly, I might add.

  15. Are we forgetting that somebody committed a criminal act by stealing the AC units? The ones at our church cost around $10,000 a unit and we have three of them. I can fully understand the anger. Thieves should be dealt with as harshly as the law allows, which is not harsh enough in my opinion.

    1. For the record, I hope the dirty thief or thieves get caught and punished, and I hope the church gets its air conditioning equipment back.

      (Actually, I guess this all happened a while ago, but I don’t know what the eventual outcome was.)

    2. Anger/irritation, yes, I can understand. Condemning someone to hell because of their actions? No – I’m no better than they are, and I deserve the same.

      After all, it’s well-documented that while on the cross, Jesus’ words to the thief next to him were “Go suffer in Hell, you filthy thief!” :roll:

    3. If they couldn’t let it go…aka “turn the other cheek” like they tell us to do…then they could have at least used “Bible language”. Let them that stole, steal no more, but rather let them WORK!

  16. Pastor Fugate received two honorary doctorate degrees in 1997: a Doctorate of Divinity from Oklahoma Baptist College in Oklahoma City, OK and a Doctorate of Humanities from Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, IN.

  17. So according to FB this guy graduated from H.S. and TTU in the same your (1982)?? His Bio on his church’s website doesn’t list any sort of earned degree.

    Speaking of church signs…the little Methodist church in our community actually wrote something like…”if you’re looking for a church, we need members”. Maybe Methodists are more honest than Baptists…

    1. He has no earned degree. He attended Tennessee Temple for s short time before leaving to help his father who was a pastor in Hazard, KY, and had cancer (he died not too many years later). Had basically same story at Hyles Anderson from what I gather. I don’t recall him saying that much about either place.

      1. Actually on Jeff’s bio from the website it says, “Not long after his father’s passing, Bible Baptist Church called Pastor Fugate to be their new pastor.” If you notice, it carefully used the words ‘not long after’. That’s because Sam Fugate had already hand picked a pastor from the area by the name of Mike Ison to pastor the church.

        Mike did pastor the church for a period but the congregation would have nothing to do with anyone other than a Fugate. It was most definitely a Fugate empire. They were furious to the Ison family! Mike Ison is now an insurance salesman in Lexington, Ky. And a very fine man as I recall.

  18. Jeff likes to toot his horn more than anyone! If you look at the church history it all began with a, Dr. Louis Arnold. Dr. Arnold is very well known in fundamentalism and that’s why Jeff continues to ‘hang’ onto him. Although I think Dr. Arnold is one of the greatest men alive he had his problems too. He’s a divorced man who married his secretary, of which I don’t care! It’s been long enough that people forget. He’s done amazing work and continues to do so. Check out his bio. http://www.louisarnoldministries.org/Biography.html

    But he leaves out every other pastor. Bro. Gene Holmes was the next pastor. He is one of the true leaders for Christian schools in Ky. There was a period when Lexington Baptist Tabernacle joined with Clays Mill Road to save the church from bankruptcy. The pastors were Rex McPherson & Tom Lester. The attendance the first Sunday from CMRBC was 13. Had Bro. McPherson and Bro. Lester & the congregation of 60 not voted to join up with CMRBC, there would be NO CMRBC! Lex. Baptist Tabernacle congregation kept them from bankruptcy! The church continued to thrive & build to about 350. Then Rex left to go to the mission field when they called another Pastor.

    C.M. Carruthers was the next pastor & no doubt he had his trouble. He is best known as a hireling among most churches he has pastured. He destroyed CMRBC embezzling money & not keeping his hands to himself. Yet none of the deacons had the GUTS to prosecute! He eventually left. Not sure how or why it was only after he ran everyone else off leaving the congregation to less than 20. He is out of the ministry now for fathering children with younger ladies while he was married.

    Then along comes Jeff. BUT along with Jeff comes Russell Anderson the money man. Read his bio, “His giving to missions has directly led to the salvation of over twelve million souls, all of whose names and salvation date are recorded by Dr. Anderson’s staff.” I guess he has special hard drives to save all those names! He’s from the same area as Jeff. Russell toots his horn and Jeff’s horn. He bought Jeff the college. He pumps money into the church and buys him new buildings. Guess money does buy churches! Check out Anderson’s bio here. http://www.commonwealthbaptist.org/

    1. C.M. Carruthers is back in the ministry as a pastor in Florida. If the things you say about him are true I doubt his new church is aware of his past.

    2. Correction on that CM Carruthers comment – he is pastoring again in Ormond Beach FL with the woman he fathered a child with out of wedlock while still married to his first wife. Don’t think that church knows he was married before nor about him running off people in previous churches…..Check it out under his name on google!

    3. Duke, where in the world did you get your information??? CMRBC had less than 50 regulars when I took it, we gave money from our own pockets to bring it in the black and NEVER took a dime that was not designated to us nor was there an accusation of such or ANY wrong doing.
      During those 3 years we were there many were saved and baptized and the attendance was well above what it had been for years before. The congregation did come down the last several months, they all begged me to stay. There was NO wrong doing involved whatsoever.
      CM Carruthers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Lexington Baptist Tabernacle joined with Clays Mill Road to save the church from bankruptcy. The pastors were Rex McPherson & Tom Lester. The attendance the first Sunday from CMRBC was 13. Had Bro. McPherson and Bro. Lester & the congregation of 60 not voted to join up with CMRBC, there would be NO CMRBC! Lex. Baptist Tabernacle congregation kept them from bankruptcy! The church continued to thrive & build to about 350. Then Rex left to go to the mission field when they called another Pastor.
      C.M. Carruthers was the next pastor & no doubt he had his trouble. He is best known as a hireling among most churches he has pastured. He destroyed CMRBC embezzling money & not keeping his hands to himself. Yet none of the deacons had the GUTS to prosecute! He eventually left

      1. Be careful Chuckie. I know too much. I know a lot about Marion, Iowa, (I called them shortly after you arrived) & W.Va. All about your present wife and just how THAT came about, your first wife & boys, Ormond Fl, and a whole lot more! And to make it clear I do not speak to your family. I made a vow after you left CMRBC you would never hurt another family like you hurt mine. You messed with the wrong person. By the way, no one could beg you to stay as you left in the middle of the night in the brand new Cadillac purchased by the church that YOU promised to pay for! Perhaps you need to quit before I reveal too much.

        1. sadly Carruthers and his wife ran off anyone at the church in Ormond that cared and have changed the name of the church within a year.

        2. I would really like to know more information on this man. I attended the church in Ormond Beach, FL(no longer). But the people there have no idea about the things of Carruthers Past.

        3. Mr. Cloers if this is you I am wondering why you left the church when it appeared you were M. Carruther’s right hand man and participated in attempting to have long term church members that disagreed with Carruthers thrown out. Is this really Michael Cloers? Were you that surprised by this information?

  19. There are so many Baptist doctors today, it cheapens the word “doctor”. They need to create another title, maybe “pope”

  20. Dear Dr. Jeffery J. Fugate and members of the Clays Mill Road Baptist Church, … I read with interest your little sign, and wanted to share something with you. You see, I’m Catholic.. (surprise!, surprise!, surprise!)… and since you belong to the wrong church, and fail to exhibit the love and forgiveness of my Son, I wanted you to know that you won’t need those air conditioners either. Good luck. ~ God :!:

    1. That is hard for me to read. I was a member of a forum where one of the members had the username “God” and he acted like it, except he was not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination. He as rude, arrogant, crude, and disgusting. So anytime I see someone taking the name of God, even in jest, it makes me shudder.

  21. I actually find this kind of funny. I don’t think it’s a good testimony or right to do, but the irony and wittiness is there.

  22. I’m a member of the church in Ormond and carruthers has run off any one who would stand up to him. Is there any proof of these allegations of misconduct financially

  23. Pardon me Darrell, but maybe you should attend said church before assuming that they preach hatred of others. On the contrary, it is preached to hate the SIN, love the sinner.

  24. I’m surprised you never suspected there was a problem with Carruthers Mr. Cloers when you participated in attempting to have long time church members thrown out of a business meeting at the church by the police. Do you not question bizarre behavior?

  25. Trying to get info on Michael Carruthers. Questionable minister?????? Attend his church in Ormond Beach, Fl. He is a scum bucket. I need ammunition to get him out of ministry. He’s ruined and is ruining any lives. HELP !!!!!!

  26. Duke, please contact me re: Mike Carruthers. I attend O.B. Riverside church. He is in the process of destroying another church. Please HELP me. We need ammunition to get rid of him

  27. wow JC sounds like either Carruthers or his wife how would JC know about emails sent to Carruthers? Scam man still at it. The lack of education shows through in ridiculous allegations regarding a professional “servicing” church members. Of course Church members voted for a lie because a liar applied for the job. The church thought they were hiring a minister but they hired a used car salesman.

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