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2BC BLOG

Page 5 of 41

Church Discipline at 2BC by Andrew Nash

A few weeks ago, my family and I went out for dinner at Conrad’s Restaurant and Alehouse here in Liberty, where we chanced upon a group of church members eating dinner. It struck me then that if this scene had taken place in the first 75 years of Second Baptist’s history, then we would all likely be headed for church discipline for being seen in a “saloon.”

Church discipline was a recurring subject for the church in the 1800s. Members were expected to attend church regularly, support the church financially, and abide by certain standards of living in the community. When there was a reason to believe there was a need for discipline, then the violators were called before the church.

In some cases, we don’t know much. Church histories note an incident in 1897 mention an ordained minister with “gross immoral conduct” who was in the county jail. The church removed his name from the church rolls and demanded he gives up his credentials as a minister (Adrian Lamkin, p. 98). 

Other cases were more benign and come across as a bit funny in the modern era. 

One man was called before the church for “disorderly conduct in betting, swearing and un-Christian life.” He admitted to using “unguarded language” and betting on the most recent election. He begged for — and received — the church’s forgiveness (Lamkin, p. 98). 

My favorite story of church discipline from our history is the story of Williams Pitts in July 1878. Rumors had flown of his “unchristian” conduct and that he hadn’t kept the Sabbath holy. 

A committee met with him sometime in the next few months and reported in November of that year. Pitts admitted that on Sundays, he would “[ride] out in the country,” but he didn’t think it was harmful since he often went to church in the country. 

He also admitted to an incident when he had “gone calling” with a friend who had a bottle of peach brandy (gasp!). This friend drank from the bottle against Pitts’ wishes (double gasp!). The committee accepted this explanation and dismissed the whole case (Lamkin, p. 78). 

So next time you run into a church member at a place alcohol is served, be thankful that you likely won’t have to appear before the church to explain your behavior. 

Andrew Nash is curating our latest church history publication which will be released in November 2018. You can pre-order your copy here or in the Welcome Center on the first or third Sunday of the month.
at Wednesday, June 6, 2018
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Discovering Superman and Superwoman by Kim Halfhill

I have a confession to make to you. The end of the school year and the beginning of summer have me feeling a little weary. There are summer adventures to chase and deadlines to meet, and I’m wondering how all the pieces are supposed to fit together.  These words that I wrote and shared a few years ago are once again good for my soul. I hope they are for you, too.

You see, we are all in this together. We are the body of Christ, each with our function and purpose. So tonight, if you are feeling weary and quite frankly “give-out,” take heart – because in the body of Christ, we are absolved of our Super Woman or Super Man tendencies. I don’t know about you, but sometimes in this life, I still think I can do it all. In my mind, it goes like this: After I serve a delicious and nutritious 3-course themed dinner to our family, in a spotless kitchen, I’ll spend the perfect amount of quality time with my daughter crafting hand-made cards for whatever the next school party is. I’ll tuck her into bed wearing her favorite pajamas, fresh out of the wash, and spend the rest of the evening with my husband catching up on our favorite show. Somehow in this day, I’ve managed to spend several hours in my office, volunteer at school, and talk to my aging mother for an hour on the phone. Feeling accomplished and relaxed, I fall asleep for the perfect eight hours. 

Yet, in reality my days go more like this. I run scrambling from my office or wherever I find myself wrapped up in my latest project, just in the nick of time to get Kaylee from school. She dreams of afterschool ice cream and adventure, and I just want to find my favorite sweatshirt and yoga pants. When we finally arrive home, the meat that I was hoping thawed in time for dinner is rock hard and there are no leftovers in the fridge. We settle for frozen pizza and a salad (on a good week) and rush to squeeze everything in before bedtime. And usually, when I lay down with my daughter to snuggle her to sleep, I fall asleep before she does only to wake up at 3 a.m. feeling frustrated about all the things I didn’t get accomplished in my day. And I am forced to admit again, that I am not Super Woman. I cannot do it all. 

So I take great comfort and find joy in knowing, that God never intended the church to work this way. In his book “Unfinished Business/Returning the Ministry to the People of God,” Greg Odgen reminds us that it is together, as the body of Christ, we have it all. No one person, no matter how SUPER you or I may feel need shoulder the whole work of the church. Rather, through the grace of God, TOGETHER as the body of Christ, we have all that we need to minister to one another and to the world. We only need do our part. The part for which we are designed, and equipped. The part for which we were made.

at Monday, June 4, 2018
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1918 The Year of Disappointments by David Fulk


For a Memorial Day blog, I wanted to remember three church members who died in WWI. Instead, I discovered a series of hardships faced by the church throughout 1918. All at once the church sent its boys to war, the influenza pandemic arrived in Liberty, and the church had no pastor. So let’s look back 100 years ago...

When the U.S. entered the Great War in 1917, men across the country were drafted, trained, and deployed to serve in the American Expeditionary Force. The absence of 2BC men weighed heavily on the minds of church members as the holidays and New Year approached.

That December, a heavy blow came when pastor Solon B. Cousins announced he was leaving in January 1918 for a pastorate in Georgia. The response was quite emotional as he had become a very popular pastor.

A pulpit committee was immediately appointed to find Cousins’s replacement. Church member John Priest Greene, president of William Jewell, agreed to fill the pulpit during the interim period. 

On the committee’s recommendation in March, the church voted to call J.M. Fraser of Indiana. Word came in April that he declined as he was getting involved in war efforts overseas with the Y.M.C.A. The church accepted this sadly in replying, “The winning of the war must be the most important question for us all…In giving you up we shall feel that we have made no small sacrifice in this most holy cause.” 

With U.S. forces already fighting in May, there was no observance of the church’s 75th anniversary. Second had 71 men in the war, so anxiety and fear ran high. The church’s service flag bearing 71 stars was a constant reminder of these men and the dangers they faced. 

Those dangers were realized when the summer news came that Bernard Stone and Fred Musbach were killed in battle. The church conducted a memorial for these fallen men during the morning service on September 8. 

Word came after the November 11 Armistice that James Irminger had also been killed. He had instructed his parents that in the event of his death $100 be given to the church to generate funds for missions. Irminger, Stone, and Musbach are memorialized in one of the east (piano side) sanctuary windows. 

Liberty’s armistice celebration was muted as the Spanish influenza was taking hold. To help stop the spread of the deadly virus, Second did not hold services for ten Sundays: October 9 - November 10, then again December 8 - January 5. Imagine, ten Sundays (20% of the year) with no offerings. Sadly, this closure kept the church from gathering for Christmas services…an added injury when joys were high at the end of the war.

The congregation was without a pastor for 20 months. They even attempted to get Dr. Cousins back, but he declined. Not until September 1919 did Dr. Oscar Mangum begin his seven-year pastorate to lead the church through grief and rebuilding following the 1920 fire. As Mangum arrived, the Service Flag was “demobilized” as the last of the living 68 members were discharged from military service.

With disappointment after disappointment, 1918 tested the resolve of our church. On this Memorial Day, a century later, let’s remember those who had a role in that difficult year: the 71 who served in the Great War, the three who didn’t come home, the service of interim leaders and search committee members, and all those faithful souls who, for a year, prayed simultaneously for lives to be spared, for an end to war and a pandemic, and the coming of a pastor. 

at Monday, May 28, 2018
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