Monday, April 27, 2009

Historical Society Meeting Upcoming

The 8th Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Church of God Movements is scheduled for 9:30 AM Thursday, May 28, 2009. It will be held at the Lupton Library on the campus of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We hope you will be able to join us.

Membership is open.

This year's theme focuses on a discussion of serpent handling in the southern Appalachia region, and Dr. Ralph Hood from UTC will be our guest speaker. Dr. Hood has co-authored a book on the subject with Dr. Paul Williamson.

Current officers are:
Adrian Varlack Sr., President
Dr. Jerald Daffe, First Vice President
Dr. Louis F. Morgan, Second Vice President
Marie Spurling Crook, Executive Secretary and Treasurer

For more information:

Good News - Bad News

Good News: The new pastor is given a great compensation package.

Bad News: When the congregation found out, they sued.


The Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton (a Southern Baptist minister and former Rhodes scholar) has been selected by Riverside Church in Manhattan (NY) to serve as the new Senior Pastor with a nice compensation package. The church, a Gothic cathedral built in 1930 by John D. Rockefeller at 120th Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan, stood for many decades at the most heavily trafficked juncture of religious faith and social activism in the United States.

The compensation package granted by the church committee included an annual base salary of $250,000; a monthly housing allowance of $11,500; pension and life insurance benefits; entertainment, travel and “professional development” expenses; an equity allowance for the future purchase of a home; money for a full-time maid; and private school tuition for his 3-year-old daughter. (Not bad.)

Dr. Billy E. Jones, chairman of the Riverside Church Council, the executive board of congregants, said in a statement that the new pastor’s compensation was “in line with other religious leaders in Manhattan who minister to congregations of a similar size and scope.” Dr. Jones said the board had disclosed details of the pay package to the full congregation, but the dissidents dispute that. Dr. Jones also said that Dr. Braxton was not given money for a full-time maid, and that the “private school tuition” amounted to the pastor’s daughter attending the church’s day school tuition free.

Experts on American churches said in interviews that Dr. Braxton’s compensation was well above average among pastors nationwide, but was within the range of packages for senior pastors of megachurches and what are known as mainline “tall steeple” churches in major cities.


This week a group of dissatisfied congregants went to court to stop the installation of the new senior pastor whose compensation package, they say, exceeds $600,000 a year.

In a motion filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the group said that the new pastor, the Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, and the church board that selected him last September after a yearlong search, had dismissed their calls for transparency in financial matters. They also complained that Dr. Braxton was moving Riverside away from its tradition of interracial progressivism and toward a conservative style of religious practice.

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court judge, Lewis Bart Stone, effectively denied the motion by adjourning the case to the end of May, a month after Dr. Braxton’s installation, which is scheduled for Sunday. The judge urged both sides to reach an accommodation in the case, which was reported on Wednesday by The Daily News.

Here’s the whole article...

Sounds to me like there is more involved than money. What do you think? (Click "comments" below.)

Books To Consider Reading Next

1. The Shape of Things to Come, Hirsch, Frost
2. The Missional Church, by Guder and friends
3. Treasure in Clay Jars: Patterns in Missional Faithfulness, Lois Barrett
4. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, Resurrection and the Mission of the Church, Tom Wright
5. The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission, Lesslie Newbigen
6. The Mission of God, Christopher Wright
7. Announcing the Kingdom: The Story of God’s Mission in the Bible, by Glasser, Van Engen, Gilliland
8. Emerging Churches Gibbs, Bolger
9. The Prophetic Imagination, Bruggemann
10. The Politics of Jesus, Yoder
11. Exclusion and Embrace, Miroslav Volf
12. They Like Jesus but Not the Church, Dan Kimball
13. Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne
14. Breaking the Missional Code, Stetzer and Putman
15. Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, Thom Rainer
16. The Forgotten Ways, Hirsh
17. The Prodigal God, Keller
18. The Missional Leader, Roxburgh
19. God's Missionary People, Van Engen20. Generous Orthodoxy, McClaren

Evangelism In The 21st Century (Harvest)

1. Evangelism by compassion -- others will be attracted to Christianity if we are actually helping them with their worldly needs.
2. Evangelism by life change -- if I'm no different from anyone else except that I'm forgiven, then Christianity is useless. If Christianity is true, then others should find me someone they want to be like, someone they want to be around, someone they can count on.
3. Evangelism by the miraculous -- read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5a and 2 Corinthians and Galatians - power accompanied the coming of the gospel in the early church. The fastest growing segment of Christianity is in the southern hemisphere in the 2/3rds world and it is charismatic. I know that not everything is genuine, no doubt. But, there should be manifestations of God's power in signs and miracles all around us, if this thing we call Christianity is true.

[by Ken Schenck]