There were eleven or twelve elders in 2012 when the vote to change the bylaws occurred. Five resigned because of the bylaws change. Seven elders remained at the time the news of Brandon’s arrest came out. Were you aware of the elders decline? Did the people in the pews realize the change and recognize the significance? I’m just asking.
From the book:
“The effect on church leadership further decimated the elders. In an email dated August 18, 2021, elder #1 gave me these afterthoughts of the experience.
‘This is what I mean:
When the Milburn cover-up became known, there were, I believe, 7 elders, including SW, [Elder#9], [Elder #4], [Elder #6],[Elder #7], [Elder #5], and [the soon-to-be executive minister]. The Sunday that the elders set for a Q&A in the lobby between services, [Elder #5] was an elder during the Q&A following the 8am Chapel service, but had resigned before the Q&A between the later services. As you witnessed, the elders were “in our faces” during the Small Group Leaders session, defending SW and berating the members of the congregation who spoke up with honest and important questions.
Skip to the next “annual” congregational meeting where elders and deacons were to be confirmed (maybe December of 2015. . .? I don’t remember being around for the election, so maybe it was spring of 2016.) Of those 7 elders, only (SW=Steve Wingfield), [Elder #6] & [Elder #4] remained. The others either resigned, were fired [the Executive Minister], or chose not to renew their position. [Elder #4] had planned to step down, but stayed, fearing there would be no one who could take on the financial mantle. So, 4 elders out of 6 left their posts (SW was elder by position). I’ve always wondered what precipitated this exodus since there was unwavering support earlier in the episode. Apparently, even SW couldn’t hold their allegiance, or he actively sought to rid himself of them. As disheartening as this element is, I’m guessing not a handful in the congregation were really aware of this collapse in leadership.'” (Taylor, Joy S., A View from the Pews – The Inside Story of a Broken Church, 2022, Lily of the Valley Publishing, Santa Claus IN, pp. 128-129.)
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