A few weeks ago, you may remember the scandal brewing at First Baptist Church of Naples, FL where a black pastoral candidate, Marcus Hayes, failed to receive enough of the required votes to install him as the new senior pastor. Shortly after the vote, the church — along with Southern Baptist leaders — began to cry “racism” and “white supremacy” as the motivation behind the rejection which led us to believe there was more to the story. Knowing how the Southern Baptist Convention operates, we opined that the motivation was likely not motivated by racism at all. And we were right.
It turns out that after we received emails from the concerned party who voted against Hayes, the motivation for his rejection had much more to do with his liberal progressive bent and, well, zero evidence of racism.
We then began to connect the dots between the current church leadership and the failed vote and came to the conclusion that the leadership — many of which had a serious criminal history including fraud — were likely involved in a back-alley deal with Southern Baptist leaders to install Hayes. As the leadership began to purge dissenting members from the congregation — without following the biblical steps of Matthew 18 and church discipline — more and more members became concerned with how the church was being operated. The plan was to purge the “no” voters and re-hold the vote bringing Hayes in as the senior pastor. Ultimately, after the scandal ran its course and facts began to emerge, Hayes decided to drop out and remove his candidacy altogether.
To this day, the accusations of “racism” and “white supremacy” against those who voted “no” to Hayes as the senior pastor have remained unsubstantiated. Now, the executive pastor who essentially led the failed effort to install Hayes as the senior pastor has decided to abandon his congregation — he has resigned, leaving the church with no leadership.
Below are two emails that the Church sent out — one from the executive pastor, John Edie, announcing his resignation and the other from the remaining church leadership.