The course of true love never did run smooth — especially when the love affair is one between a fundamentalist church and their powerful and charismatic politician pastor. And therein hangs a tale…
Chuck Baldwin has been featured previously on SFL as we relayed the story of his sudden move from Pensacola to the Mountains of Montana to be the “tip of the spear” in the fight against the oncoming “fight between Big-Government globalists and freedom-loving, independent-minded patriots.” I guess everybody needs a hobby.
What wasn’t clear until recently was exactly how Chuck planned to fund this new venture in the mountain states after retiring as the pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church. But some documents recently came to my notice which show that Chuck’s plan was to use a retirement fund from his old church in the amount of about $52,000 per year for thirty years, a total value of over 1.5 million dollars.
But beyond the fact that there was a retirement fund set up for Chuck, the remainder of the story breaks down into finger-pointing as two different perspectives on the purpose behind this retirement payout emerge. The new pastor of Crossroads Baptist and new board of trustees claim in a written statement that Chuck basically hoodwinked the church into an agreement that they never fully understood and that he left the church in a financial wreck as a result of his sudden and unexpected departure to Montana. In short, it’s alleged that he took the money and ran. Chuck for his part claims that his planned retirement was a completely above-board affair that the board of trustees insisted he take the money and he merely went along with what their wishes.
It is worth noting that according to the church’s income spreadsheet, Chuck was paid about three-quarters of a million dollars in the four years preceding his departure — including a $175,000 payment made in 2009 by the church to buy Montana property. Apparently, Chuck had been planning to leave for the mountains for quite some time before his actual announcement in August of 2010. It is also of some interest that the church alleges that over $118,000 of “administrative expenses” that Chuck spent in the last four years as pastor were so ill-documented that the church was forced to issue a 1099 to Chuck for those funds as income.
But beyond the many questions surrounding exactly what happened with the financial situation at Crossroads Baptist, there is a larger story here that is of much more interest to those of us who have been in fundamentalist churches led by charismatic and powerful men. The question that I ask myself as I read through Chuck’s eight pages of flaming retort to the charges leveled against him is “how does a man of God react to conflict?” Does he start out with telling them that if it were not for him they wouldn’t even have a church? Does he rant and rail? Does he launch personal attacks on the man whom he hand-picked to lead the church he left?
My own personal favorite excerpt from Chuck’s letter is the portion where he tells everyone that his wife never entered the church office except to “clean my bathroom or throw out trash.” Not content to leave it there he then insists that she wouldn’t even know what financial records “looked like.” It’s also fun to see him refer to the current pastor of Crossroads repeatedly as “Mr. Nichols” in a group where that is the gravest of disrespects to a pastor. Stay classy, Chuck.
Not to be outdone, Chuck’s son and son-in-law wrote their own twenty page response to Crossroads’s Baptist’s resolution wherein they call on God to judge those who oppose Chuck and then proceed with reams of self-justification. It is interesting that these very men who apparently were part of the board that insisted that Chuck must take these retirement funds from Crossroads also left Crossroads with Chuck to move to Montana. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that score.
It’s anyone’s guess as to which bits of spin from each side of this situation nearest reflects the truth of what happened. I certainly don’t know. But what we can say with some certainty based on Chuck’s response is that when you cross a powerful self-made leader in fundamentalism you can expect that a display of deep humility and humanity will not likely be the result. One wonders what Jesus would have done.
104 thoughts on “Chuck Baldwin: A Study In Fundamentalist Leadership”
First?? I guess everyone else is at church.
And a close second. Now to read the post…
Why does this not surprise me? Basically a pastor with a “board” of yes men who did not have the guts to stand up the mog. Wonder if the preached on tithing? What a lowlife piece of trash.
I think every pastor should be required to go to business school. A board, by definition, is supposed to be a balancing force against the C-level executives (represented by the MOg, here).
A B-school requirement is unlikely to come about in any denomination I can think of, but it isn’t a bad idea. In the great majority of churches, pastors are also managers, and few of them have well-developed management skills.
Although my former pastor hasn’t taken money from the church, I can still see incredible similarities in attitudes and beliefs when it comes to “questioning their decisions”.
Somewhat ashamedly, I now see how he hand-picked men like me, who would go along with every decision he made. This allowed him to say that he didn’t do anything without our approval.
The sick part is is that they truly believe the whole delusion.
As to the letter (which I find quite enjoyable reading), it reminds me of a phrase I heard my pastor say quite a few times – that HE wasn’t going to let anyone jeopardize HIS ministry that HE worked so hard for. Men like him AND their paid-staff wives completely lose sight of the fact that they are paid, and everyone else (the grunt workers, if you will) are all volunteers with full-time jobs.
And, only a control freak leaves his father’s death-bed to preach a Sunday morning. How else can you describe such a man?
“HE wasn’t going to let anyone jeopardize HIS ministry that HE worked so hard for.”
Forget that it’s God’s church, and the pastor is to be an overseer not a lord.
My pastor says the exact same thing. I built this church. Ha.
And, I’m telling you, these men (and their wives) believe this is THEIR money. I saw the exact same thing, but on a smaller scale.
In one deacons meeting, I remember him talking about a pastor friend of his who’s church was struggling (because of changing demographics), and he mentioned how his friend could sell the church, and retire on that!
And, yes, he said that with a straight face.
I found some of the most self aggrandizing to be to the face his entire letter is trying to manipulate as many people into his corner as possible and repeatedly insisting it’s the other people doing the manipulating and not him (no way, not at all).
Like you pointed out leaving your dad’s bedside to preach on Sunday morning, and using that for years to point out how much they owe you is incredibly manipulative.
My congregation would be horrified if a pastor left his or her parent’s deathbed to preside or preach at a church service. Any leader who thinks he/she is indispensable is a poor leader.
I’ve heard the same thing from a church I used to attend. The founding pastor got into a row with the congregation because it was “his” church and he should still have control over the finances once he retired, including the ability to use church finances for his own means.
Incredible. Simply incredible! The absolute unmititated gall! 😮 😮 😮
This is probably common when a pastor starts a church from scratch. I suspect that many men have trouble “letting go” and turning over finances and other things to others. But, in my opinion, as soon as possible, the ability to sign checks and do reporting should be given to someone else.
Well I’ve never heard all of this before and I’ve kept up with Mr. Baldwin since he was running for president in 2008 on the Constitution party ticket. Can I admit it? I voted for him. 😳 I was at the time proud to have voted for him. But over the years through his own website posts I’ve come to realize he’s not all he was cracked up to be. I don’t have time to read these files now as tomorrow my husband goes in for surgery and we have to be up early but I’ll read them when I get a chance.
Our first pastor in Michigan pulled a stunt like this taking the church for $80,000 over something to do with his house. He later on “resigned” (but I think the deacons asked for his resignation and allowed him to resign to save face before they booted him out). Then he had the temerity to come back and ask the church for support for his mission board. 👿 I’m glad they did not take him up on his request.
Well, if you read between the lines, you will not have to vote for him again…
He has decided that, since he got so few votes in the ballot box, he is headed for the mountains and coming back armed and ready to “convince” you.
Coming from Latin America, let me be the first to tell you: that type of “convincing” don’t work.
He is STRONGLY supporting Ron Paul in this election. (I have some friends who are like Chuck Baldwin and are Ron Paul supporters).
Spoiler alert: Ron Paul is not going to be elected President of the U.S. (not this year, anyway).
What’s Chuck Baldwin going to do then? Back to the mountains and the arsenal, I guess?
I still get his newsletters. He worships the ground Ron Paul walks on! 😈
Lord Acton’s Axiom in living color.
“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”
More proof that corruption is directly proportional to the level of power that is available.
More proof that the IFB attracts men of this caliber, who present themselves as hand picked by God himself.
More proof that the “single” m-o-g rule is dangerous, manipulative, and one of the greatest sins ever foisted on Christendom.
More proof that the “worship” of Independence leads to bondage.
More proof that any man who is accountable only to God… soon will become the only “god” he is accountable to.
Don, you absolutely spot on. The biblical structure for church government was never one man rule. Problem is most all church members have never studied enough to know any better.
That, or they have been manipulated by self-serving Elmer Gantry types who set themselves up as chief under-shepherds. There is too much power and control out on the religious table to be left unclaimed.
Think about it, these who claim they are Called™ to the ministry are self called, or momma called. Then they proceed to take on the role of an apostle and claim apostolic authority over their flock. Which leads to another error found in modern Churchianity, Denominationalism, the body of Christ is so fratured and isolated from itself along denominational lines that it is no longer effective in being salt and light in the world. The Bible Belt here in the South is a prime example of this error. There are 700 churches in the area in which I live. An abundance of these are splinter groups that have split from another church, and most of these are run by men who have set themselves up as the only messengers of “TRUTH” so that they and their flock alone are in the direct center of God’s perfect will. *and they wonder why folks think they are a CULT?* 🙄
“More proof that any man who is accountable only to God… soon will become the only “god” he is accountable to.”
That statement sums the entire situation up perfectly. Your insight never ceases to amaze me, Don. You have made my night!
I love that Crossroads Baptist allowed their DNS to expire and therefore don’t have a church website anymore. 😛
Maybe they’re too poor to afford the $7.99 for renewal? 😯
Feels like a great opportunity to redirect to SFL! 🙂
I noticed the dead link, too. Do you know how the church is doing? Is Wallace still the pastor there?
I did help him get on the ballot in two states and praised him as a guest on my podcast. I even talked to him a few times over the phone about ministry advice. But somewhere in between the summer of 2008 and November, I started having second thoughts and voted for McCain. Ever since then I’ve learned more radical stuff about the guy…
How did you help get him on the ballot in two states? Don’t you have to be a resident of the state to sign a ballot petition for that state? And aren’t you legally limited to signing only one ballot petition per race per election?
Or did you help get him on the ballot in some other way?
My main effort was in Massachusetts I collected signatures throughout the sate in the early summer. By August I had moved to Wisconsin and helped collect signatures there as well.
Ah… I was wondering when I’d see the IFB version of a Kip McKean. Glad to know that coercive ministries share a lot of the same charming leadership values.
(I’m ex-International Church of Christ, hence my interest in ex-IFB’s. We have much in common. Trust me on this one.)
There are a few refugees from the Church of Christ in the Episcopal church I now attend, Walt. Some of the stuff they tell me is indeed much worse than Independent Baptist Fundamentalism. I’m happy for you that you are out of that.
You’re right that the Church of Christ can be as bad as fundies. They are very legalistic. You can’t even have assurance of heaven like the IFB at least tries to give you. They believe one MUST be baptized. I was raised in this kind of church til I was 12. 🙁
My impression is that the Church of Christ is about as legalistic as any you’ll ever find.
I visited the ICC when it was still meeting in Arlington, MA
I would like to point out that Churches of Christ and the “International Church of Christ” are two different types of churches.
Both are insane. ICOC takes it to another level of cultish behavior and financial control.
Churches of Christ just think there is power in the water and are arrogant enough to think they are THE only church of Christ. Everybody else born prior to Alexander Campell (the founder) apparently went to hell..lol.
Hmmnn, I never heard of the guy because I don’t keep up with politics but sounds curious. Are you going to post a link so we can read all the acusations and responses ourselves?
The links are all already in the post. Any words in red are links to more information.
😳 😳 …OOh, I see, sorry… 😳
Kinda like the red-letter KJB.
I voted for him, not really ashamed to say so. Certainly i would NOT have voted for him if i had known such things, but at the time I was happy to register my “protest” vote for a third party even knowing it wouldn’t actually “count”. At the time i didn’t even care if he was supposedly a christian or not. I didn’t even care to think about it. I have never let a person’s professed faith direct whether i vote for him or her. The platform just sounded better than what McCain or Obama were offering. How different the truth about this man proved to be.
I felt that he was the perfect candidate. He stood where I stand on all the issues straight down the line. I wasn’t gonna vote for Obama, and McCain was just too weak. I had one fundy friend tell me that I was wasting my vote, that a vote for a third party candidate was a vote for Obama. I stood my ground because I’m tired of voting for the “lesser of two evils.” I voted for Baldwin and 9 days later moved to Canada.
I love it here! Canadian politics is a bore to be sure, compared to American and I keep up on what’s going on in the states.
Holy Canoli. At the very least I am glad the evidence is out there for all to see. I wonder how he even got to be the Constitutional Party nominee. How big is that party exactly? Reminds me of two things: Kent Hovind and Waco, TX.
Well, I don;t know the facts, and I won’t comment one way or the other except to say that it sounds as if the power (and transition) structures in place are insufficient. Surprise.
Kinda-on-off-topic: But some of this is the *very reason* that a pastor should >>>never<<< choose his/her successor. There should be a long-term interim while the church (and not the manogid) prays and seeks G-d about who the next pastor should be. A process that generally takes 1-2 years…
You make a wonderful point, but churches without leadership will also crumble in 1-2 years. Some churches may lose 25-50% of their members in that year because of lack of leadership. It truly goes to show how many are really sheeple though.
True – But I never said “without leadership” – – if you have a solid interim that can help the church determine where they are and which way they need to go, while still providing the day-to-day leadership, then the church should actually be stronger and able to function as a living organism…
This is where belonging to a large church organization really helps. Our Episcopal congregation unexpectedly lost our priest (forced retirement due to poor health–the spirit was willing, but the flesh just had to slow down). We immediately began the search for a new rector. This typically takes 18 months to two years. In the meantime, the diocese rounded up volunteers to fly out and conduct services of holy eucharist, baptisms, etc. After a couple of months of this, we got a regular who is here about two Sundays out of three. All straight from the handbook. They had seen this before and knew how to deal with it.
BTW, we had just gotten that new priest when she found herself in the emergency room. And without a word of blame to anyone, the diocese just rolled with it and found people for us.
Robert Bakss in Australia has a 40 year ministry plan for his church, that he’s quite upfront about. He’s 15 years into it. He has divided those 40 years into four stages of ten years each, and he plans to spend the last ten years training up his successor. No joke.
The church I grew up in was without a pastor for three or four years. The lay leadership stepped up to the plate! It was the most exiting time in any church I’ve been part of.
In fact, it was sort of depressing to see all these leaders pull back to become sheeple again once the new pastor took over and started flexing his muscles, determining (unilaterally) how things were supposed to be done now.
Well I’ve read many of the pages of the first document and it all sounds so familiar, the tone, the whole of it smacks of the kind of writing that surrounds most IFB scandals. That’s a lot of freaking money people, your tithes! What the heck is all this b.s. about “double honor” give me a break!!! Hey, yeah, the salary for the year comes to over a hundred thousand sans perks but it really only is half of that and we are “honoring” him doubly. What the heck is that smell??? Let me get my boots… 👿 We are paying him so much for YOUR benefit, church, see then gid is obligated to bless us more…. it’s all for you people, you ungrateful slanderous bunch… Fuzzy math…fuzzy logic.. 👿
the only one on this board capable of understanding that part would be shoes…he can explain the complicated numerology of fundamentalism like no other
That’s hilarious that you say that because I thought the same thing, it sounds like something only he can decifer.. 🙂
Yep. None of this is hard to believe. My former pastor misappropriated 30k from the “missions fund” to help the sinking ship that was the christian school at the time because his son was at the helm. The deacons endlessly tried to bring the whole situation before the church but the pastor simply changed the constitution to say that the Mog could never be questioned and also that he had the authority to remove anyone from the membership that didn’t “act like a christian.”
“act like a christian” being code for obeying everything the Pastor says.
Sounds like one of our former fundy pastors in Michigan. The deacons later booted him out though! That’s what you get for changing the church constitution and making yourself lord and king over everything. His staff was afraid to breathe unless he gave them permission. The stories I could tell. I wish I had time! The best thing that ever happened to that church was getting rid of him! 👿
If the church is successful (and their position looks pretty solid), this should make the financially successful Mannogids take notice.
I recall my former fundy pastor getting the deacons to agree to a retroactive retirement plan.
I am surprised those bad trustees (who agreed to something they did not even read first) are allowed to serve any longer at all. I noticed they are changing to a rotating board, but still…
In his spare time, Baldwin enjoys hunting, recreational fishing, and watching the Green Bay Packers. Among his favorite movies are The Passion of the Christ and Gods and Generals, stating that the latter “has the power to change the hearts of millions of people who disdain the Old Confederacy, WHO MISUNDERSTOOD SOUTHERN SLAVERY(emphasis, mine), and who hold Christianity in contempt.”
I love how he lumps Southern slavery and Christianity together. No matter how benevolent such apologists claim slavery to have been, it STILL violated Jesus’ principle of doing to others the way you’d have others do to you.
How can an IFB pastor like The Passion of the Christ?
How can you misunderstand slavery?
It means people are bought and sold like bushels of wheat, and somebody owns other people and forces them to work for free.
If that’s not what it is, I really, really misunderstand slavery.
Up until the last 100 years there have always been slaves in every culture, country, and religion. The slave/master relationship is addressed many times in the bible. What happened in some areas of the country as it relates to slavery was reprehensible. That being said – the institution of slavery itself has served a valid purpose throughout world history. It has provided a way for people to pay off debt, learn trades, and generally work to a higher status in cultures that they would not otherwise have access to. You can regurgitate liberal talking points all day – but slavery itself is not evil.
Selling yourself into slavery to pay off debt is a good idea. I’m practically doing it for grad school. 😛
American slavery was different. I think the machine that was slavery had to turn into American-styled slavery to reveal the true evil in the system. And then ‘when sin was seen as truly sinful,’ it was destroyed. I think that all forms of slavery are bad, but it was a different system the ancient world and occasionally you could find a situation in which slavery was ‘moral.’
“the institution of slavery itself has served a valid purpose throughout world history. It has provided a way for people to pay off debt, learn trades, and generally work to a higher status in cultures that they would not otherwise have access to. You can regurgitate liberal talking points all day – but slavery itself is not evil.”
Valid purpose? Sure!
“Hey, we need to run these farms and houses but we don’t want to pay anyone. Let’s just buy slaves!”
Where do you think most of those slaves came from? Debt slavery was usually temporary but for the rest, you were a slave for life unless you were really lucky. Also, I’m sure most slaves of the past would have disagreed with your assessment. 😛
By your logic, the Bible talks about marriage in the terms of a man and many women, his wives maids, his concubines and anybody he might have raped. Therefore, polygamy is not wrong.
Polygamy like slavery is flat wrong. The Bible doesn’t seem to condemn either one but simply reports it taking place. The people who report your nightly news or write the articles in your newspaper are only telling you what happened, not how they feel about what happened. In reading the Bible it helps to find out what God actually says about it, and the way God has set things up. In the beginning God gave Adam ONE wife. Later on men because of lust decided they could have more. God never said it was ok. God’s permissive will is often vastly different than His perfect will. It would be the same for slavery. He may have allowed people to have slaves but that is not what He wants.
“Slavery itself is not evil” ❓
Try asking some slaves if they agree with that one.
My Dad always says, “Slavery is a great system– unless you happen to be a slave.”
I guess it was “liberal” to be against slavery back in 1860 or so, but I really didn’t think there was much of a partisan divide on that issue now.
That’s something I learned today.
😯 😯 😯 😥 😡 👿
Slavery is wrong, there is no justification for a human being to own another human being.
I’m from the mountains of Montana, and I have never heard of this guy. I guess because I’m a crazy liberal, sorry Chuck, there’s lots of us here. I do think its ironic that Chuck settled in the Flathead Valley, 40 miles from where I live and home to a nasty, racist “pro-white” movement, which also happens to include many of those Patriots who are ready to fight that Chuck was looking for-hmm, interesting for sure.
When Chuck B headed off to Montana, I thought it was to join the armed, “pro-white” bunch.
I could be wrong, though; I’m not really interested enough in him to examine his plans in detail.
Wow, it appears this guy to a page right out of the play book of our old fundy church. Except “our” incident happened 20 years ago and it was in Canada. (Hey if it worked once, why not try it again?)
This is my church!! And my fundy pastor!! They could be twins!
He didn’t outright take funds and run, I suppose, he’s still there living in a gigantic house with nice cars while the church filed for bankruptcy and the bank took over the property.
When I read stuff like this I am so glad there is a judgment day! He will answer for this as will all the abusive so called pastors! 👿
Feed the FLOCK pastor, not feed yourself! 👿
Amen Macushlalondra. 😡
@Macushlalondra, once again we are in similar situations — at a former church, the pastor lived very, very well (custom-built house in an exclusive neighborhood), while his secretary was living in a house trailer and much of the church was out of work. Because the church was supposed to be in a financial bind, everyone was asked to give extra… but the church (the pastor) continued to add staff and “ministries”.
I love these stories!
If you believe Chuck’s letter, you can’t help but be confused how god would tell Chuck that he must move to Montana, but not tell him that his hand-picked successor would lead the church astray. One can only conclude that god wanted Chuck to be deceived concerning the motives and character of his successor, or that Chuck is delusional when he claims that god reveals his will to him.
I’d like to hear him answer this one!
Darrell, you are a prophet. I mean that quite sincerely.
Another funide leader with a bogus education.
“He then received his bachelor’s and master’s in theology through external programs from Christian Bible College, located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina which is accredited by the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions run by the President of the college and has been referred to as a diploma mill in Name It and Frame It?. Baldwin has received two honorary doctor of divinity degrees, from Christian Bible College and from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida.”
That’s a nice new angle on the printing-up-your-own-degrees racket.
Start your own accrediting institution and accredit yourself.
Lots of heads of unaccredited “Bible colleges” must be kicking themselves now for not having thought of that.
Our pastor is very transparent with finances. When she came none of the accounts had been audited. It is now done every year. As a staff person, she encourages me not to handle money, if I need to get it to the financial sec. ASAP.
Regarding pastors leaving, in the United Methodist Church we have the appointment system. Each pastor is appointed to their charge for a year at a time. Our conference year is July 1 to June 30. When the Bishop decides it is time for a pastor to go to another church, the district superintendent tells the pastor. The bishop and superintendents pray about the type of pastor should serve a church. The congregation can tell the the type of pastor they would like to have, but that is as far as it goes. It is a smooth transition when new pastors start.
I always thought it was stupid that Baptist churches didn’t have a retirement system in place. My grandpa, a GARB pastor always said he knew the Lord was going to come back soon, and wouldn’t need to depend on a retirement plan. Instead he depended on old friends to support him and grandma. Found that out after he died.
The UMC has a retirement system, and churches are required to pay into it. It was even recommended 4 years ago that churches support lay staff as well. So I’m glad I will have a pension from the United Methodist Church.
Man, just reading this is starting to bring back sad memories. I think I’m gonna 😥
Our church had a similar lack of transparency in accounting for church finances. When a new member challenged the annual business report and asked for an independent audit of the books, all hell broke loose (old members were too stunned/brainwashed to see any issues). The member was hounded out the door but eventually the truth came out. Two key factors in allowing fraud in the church is a pliable board of deacons/elders that doesn’t have any knowledge of governance or is so loyal that they’ll go along with anything the man of gid can dream up.
Nepotism too is a cancer that breeds corruption in a church. It reflects a pastor’s view that the church is a business that he has started and like any prosperous businessman, he wants to take care of his own! If a pastor is hiring his relatives as staff, run for the hills!!!
Yep! Major nepotism in my old church. Daddy was the pastor. Eldest son was the full-time Christian school director, assistant pastor and basketball coach, his wife was the volleyball coach. The church secretary was the pastor’s daughter (who also handled money and did whatever daddy told her to do) The pastor’s son-in-law did the sound. Then He bought a huge piece of land and two out of three of his kids moved out there. The entire church staff helped the pastor build a new home on that land. He’s setting up the whole system to take care of his children. Our former assistant pastor did the exact same thing, putting his son in the position of assistant pastor/grooming him to be pastor. Churches are not inherited people!!! Churches are not a hierarchy!!!
It’s like deja vu – all over again…
MKX, it was exactly to prevent such practices that the Roman Catholic Church instituted the rule of celibacy for priests in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Mandatory celibacy may bring about its own problems, but it was made a church law in an attempt to solve a very serious problem: Church offices and property being treated as hereditary spoils.
I remember seeing a sign out front of a church several years ago “____________ Pastor and Owner”
Sigh… at least he was honest…
“We lived simple, non-extravagent lives”. I would be happy to live a simple non-extravagent life on 115,000 plus 97,000 or whatever in paid expenses, I could handle that… 😀
The former pastor at our church made it very clear to all that he controlled the church checkbook. At the time, there was a good amount in the church’s coffers. He laid off staff at the same time that he spent $20,000 in church funds on remodeling his kitchen (and still required the now-unpaid assistant pastor to keep up his responsibilites even while he was working at a Drug Fair to support his family). When he was finally called out for his overall shenanigans, he talked the board into a sweet $60k+/year retirement plan. Fast forward fifteen years – the church and school shrank to the point that his retirement package was a major burden. When approached about reducing his payout, he flew into a rage, accused the current elder board of all sorts of things and threatened to sue. Thankfully, he eventually agreed to a $100k lump sum (from the sale of a church property) as a payout to close out the retirement obligation, as he would have bankrupted the church within a few years.
That’s why the church now has an outside financial organization handle all of the church’s books and disbursements; they saw the danger of letting one man have ultimate control.
As Darrell pointed out, his comment about his wife only coming into the office to empty the wastebaskets sounded demeaning. There could have been a more respectful way to say that she’s completely uninvolved with the church finances.
But the thing that really jumped out at me (as others pointed out too) was his saying how he left his dying father to preach: Let go, man! Don’t be such a power-hungry controller. Your church wouldn’t fall apart because they wouldn’t be able to hear your words of wisdom one Sunday morning. Stop putting ministry before family. And then to use your inability to step away from your pulpit as a reason that the church should love you more because you give up so much for them – that manipulative to me.
Sorry, KindofBored. I meant that as a stand-alone comment.
Ha – no worries.
Yes they are able to use this as a double whammy. Most of the time he has someone who can preach in his place, an assistant pastor or even one of the men of the church. But no, he has to maintain all control by preaching himself AND is able to manipulate everyone into thinking what a great man of God he is by showing the “heroics” of leaving his dying father’s bedside. If I were his wife, I’d wonder if he’d leave my beside to preach. The ministry is NOT to come first. One’s relationship with God comes first, then family is to be second. Your job/calling etc comes third. Too many people equate their work for God on the same level as their relationship with God and that’s not the same thing.
My father has been a minister for 60 years, and he still empties his own wastebasket. He would never say my mother doesn’t know what financial records look like, or anything else implying that she is dumb or ignorant. People like Chuck Baldwin make me appreciate Dad more than ever.
Incredible. He calls himself a man of God but he will allow the church to suffer needlessly, even be forced to close just so he could get the money he felt he was due. If I’d been that assistant pastor I’d have told him to take a flying leap. No way would I continue doing the same work for no pay! And to lay people off because he couldn’t afford to pay them and pay to remodel his kitchen is disgusting. Thank God there is a judgment day, and he WILL answer for all of this! 😈
He’s running for Lt. Gov. here in MT. Claiming to be the only candidate that is “fiscally responsible” and “fighting for freedom for Montanans”. I think I’ll send this to the local paper and see if they agree. Everyone loves a scandal and dirt on politicians. especially those who claim to be christian.
Well a little digging showed me that he actually dropped out of the running last month. Coincidence? When did money scandal go down again?
I just happen to come across this blog and was not surprised at all! I was a member of the Southern Baptist church that Wallace Nichols pastored prior to Crossroads Baptist and I always wondered how he was able to get past a Pastor Search Committee with his own troubled past. Now I see that he was “hand-picked” by Chuck Baldwin and that explains it all. I find it so ironic that now there is conflict between to the two over a “financial situation”. If the congregation at Crossroads is unhappy with Chuck they are going to be in for a rude awakening with their new pastor when they come to find out he is EXACTLY the same thing! My advice would be to establish a system of accountability ASAP!