Another fiasco at Highpoint Church has been reported by Christian Post, Wartburg Watch and other outlets, showing the poor state of Christian morals and ethics once more.

These corporations of Christianity are corrupt to the core.

Police and private security officers were reportedly summoned to a family meeting at Highpoint Church in Memphis last Tuesday after members erupted in open rebellion against church leaders over the vague explanation provided about the departure of the church’s founder, Chris Conlee.

Remember Andy Savage? He was the megachurch pastor from Memphis who sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl two decades ago when he was her youth pastor. He finally admitted to the public what he had done after the victim went public with her story.

He didn’t admit everything, though. What he called a “sexual incident” was actually a case in which he drove the girl to a secluded area, whipped out his penis, and pressured her into giving him oral sex. Yet when he issued his “apology,” members of Highpoint Church gave him a standing ovation. It was an appalling moment — indicative of how low evangelicals have sunk during the #MeToo movement and the Trump era. Savage later announced a “leave of absence” from the church.

Things didn’t get much better after that. After Savage stepped down, Pastor Chris Conlee (below) blamed the critics, comparing them to the Devil. He told the congregation that the other side — I guess that refers to people against sexual assault — want the church to just disband. That wasn’t accurate. We wanted more accountability from church leaders. We wanted to know how Savage worked at Highpoint for so long when the other church leaders supposedly knew what had happened. We wanted an apology from the church leaders. Maybe a donation to a group working to prevent abuse and take care of victims. Or a sermon series about consent and power and sex, and how the idea of “purity” may have contributed to the problem.

We wanted to see some appreciation for the bloggers and social media critics and victim herself for holding Savage accountable.

You know. Meaningful things.

Earlier this month, the church received some more big news: Conlee was going to step down, too. He didn’t give a reason for the resignation other than there being a disagreement with the church trustees… but, frankly, it didn’t matter. He was complicit in the Savage story by defending him during the entire controversy. He supposedly knewwhat Savage had done but never said anything about it.

Not surprisingly, when Conlee was allowed to give a brief goodbye, the congregation gave him a standing ovation, too. Because they haven’t learned a thing.

Now, some of them are angry for a different reason. They want to know why Conlee resigned out of nowhere and they’re blaming the church’s trustees for pushing him out.

The church held a special session for members and trustees last Tuesday to try and sort through some of this. However, the “family meeting” didn’t go well, in part because the leaders didn’t address the multiple elephants in the room.

  • Why did Conlee resign?
  • What were the differences of opinions they had?
  • How were they addressing the abuse problem?
  • Why weren’t the congregation’s questions being answered in a public, transparent way?

This is about internal church drama more than anything — which I guess means it’s really no one else’s business — but that drama exists in part because of a lack of transparency with members and a desire to move past the issue of abuse before ever truly reconciling with their mistakes.

That’s why it’s a story that goes well beyond the church walls.

Jules Woodson, the woman whose revelation about Savage sent this church spiraling, said Conlee’s resignation was a start, but the church still had a long way to go:

I think Chris Conlee’s resignation was a necessary step and I’m grateful he is no longer in the pulpit for now though I am confused as to why it took 6 months for Highpoint to realize this. I also feel that the leaders missed an important opportunity yesterday to affirm to the world that in moving forward, they will be a church that no longer tolerates abuse and will become a safe and supportive place for all victims. Instead, they were vague about the resignation in the official statement they released and told reporters who reached out that they were not commenting.

A new pastor isn’t going to solve everything. And it doesn’t look like the trustees care enough to address their own faults. There’s even less of a reason today for any decent Christian to be involved with that church.

What we don’t know is whether they’ll be brave enough to leave a church that had comforted them for so long but has done so much damage to so many others.

Conlee delivered an emotional farewell to the congregation on July 15, just days after he announced his resignation from the church following six months of headlines about the sex abuse scandal involving former teaching pastor Andy Savage.

 

At the family meeting where between 1,000 and 2,000 people showed up expecting a deeper discussion of the circumstances surrounding Conlee’s abrupt resignation, Brad McDaniel, a counselor who says he is not a member of the church but attended the meeting, described what happened in a video posted to a public Facebook group called Highpoint Leadership Crisis (Unofficial).

McDaniel said the meeting went on for about one hour and involved the church’s board of trustees and several senior staff. The leadership team delivered a PowerPoint presentation on stage, highlighting things like the organizational structure of the church, its governing structure and its finances.

Explaining the reason behind Conlee’s departure, Erick Martin, a Highpoint trustee, stated that it was not due to the Savage scandal — during which Conlee had defended Savage as someone who had gone through the “redemptive process.”

Martin made clear, “This is not about sexual immorality. This is not about financial impropriety … And no, this is not about Andy Savage.”

He explained that over the past several months as the megachurch dealt with a past sexual assault accusation against Savage, “flaws” in church governance were exposed. He noted that members of the church also expressed concerns regarding leadership, direction, theology and governance.

After the church brought in a “world-class consultant,” they came to understand that while Conlee wanted to move in the direction of innovation, including starting churches and launching projects, the trustees felt what the church needed was more stability.

With that, Conlee offered three options to the staff: stay and continue to lead, stay while some staff who disagree leave, or leave his leadership post.

The family meeting continued with an explanation about the church’s financials. When Worship Pastor Josh Maze tried wrapping up the meeting and encouraged those with more questions to come down to the front to personally speak with the trustees, about a third of the congregants stood up and challenged the leaders.

“Unfortunately, this is where the meeting gets pretty nasty. So Josh is trying to pray and wrap things up and about a third of the audience stands up and starts yelling and chanting and saying this is a family meeting. We want to have a discussion,” McDaniel described.

The commotion can also be heard in the recording near the end. [40 min mark]

“We’ve heard you, now you need to listen to us. And Josh was basically saying we’re gonna bring the board of trustees down here (pew level) so you can go up and ask them any question you want to. The people were not having it. They were saying absolutely not. Why would we break up the discussion? Why would we disunify our voice? We all want to ask the same questions and we all want to hear the same answers,” McDaniel continued.

He explained that the banter went on for about five minutes before security personnel appeared.

“The police come in. Armed guards start coming in. There’s this one guy whose kinda building a case and the security guard comes over and begins to manhandle him and the members are like ‘No! you leave him alone.

He’s one of us. He’s a member. We want to hear from him.’ So now Josh Maze is stunned. Jim Pritchard is stunned. Security guard is stunned. Nobody knows what to do. People are streaming out mad. It did not go well,” McDaniel said.

The Christian Post reached out to Highpoint’s administrator, Jim Pritchard, for comment on the meeting Tuesday but a response was not immediately available.

McDaniel, who is encouraging Highpoint members to stay with the church, said unless Highpoint leaders start having honest conversations with the church their plan to move on from Conlee “is going to backfire.”

“I’m a counselor by trade and I’m seeing really hurt and very confused people right now because they are not being given very straight answers,” he said.

“I think the Highpoint leadership needs to learn very quickly. Highpoint is not a mob that needs to be managed. The Highpoint family is not a bunch of little kids that need decisions made for them by mommy and daddy. The Highpoint family can handle the truth.”

In his message to the nearly 500 members of the Facebook group, he asked them to share his report so they can help get the truth.

“If people like you don’t fight for this, who will? Everyone can’t just sit around waiting to see if someone else is going to do something. We need to find out the truth about why Chris was fired. We need to find out what was in his plan that was so offensive to those in power. If God has given Chris vision after vision for the last 17 years on what to do, why would we question it now?” he asked.

Conlee’s resignation came months after Savage resigned following an investigation of an accusation that Savage sexually assaulted a teen while he was her youth pastor 20 years ago.

On his final Sunday at Highpoint, Conlee urged the congregation not to turn away from the church because something has happened that “doesn’t make sense.”

“People will turn from God instead of to God. And people will turn from church instead of to church. Don’t do that. Turn to God and turn to the church,” he said.

As reported by the Wartburg Watch an email was sent from Jules Woodson several weeks ago, and a phone call from Kenny Stubblefield and Brooks Hansen. Amy Smith of Watch Keep was contacted as well. Jules had reached out to Kenny and Brooks due to a story posted at The Wartburg Watch link and link.

It is important to note that both Amy and I have had previous contact with HIghpoint Church Memphis due to those posts.

We all conferenced together via phone, along with Darcy, a friend of Jules who is an important reason that this story is being told.

Our subsequent conversations profoundly affected me over the Christmas season when I found myself waking up at all hours of the night, contemplating the pain that Jules has suffered both during the molestation and the many years following that wretched night. Meanwhile, the pastors involved in this story have gone on to success within the Christian world.

The name of the victim is Jules Woodson which is her maiden name. She wishes her name to be known. Darcy is her friend’s actual first name and we have permission to use that name as well.

Amy Smith and I are joint posting this story but we may tell it slightly differently. (Update:1/5/17 10:28 AM) Here is Amy Smith’s post:

Silent no more: a survivor of sexual assault by prominent Memphis pastor Andy Savage shares her story #metoo #churchtoo #silenceisnotspiritual

After our stories are published, I will be contacting the involved pastors and their churches for comment. Amy will be handling the media. There is little doubt in our minds this story is true, as you will see from the narrative.

Trigger Warning: The sexual assault will be described in some detail for just one paragraph, which will be clearly labeled.

A challenge to readers

This is a #metoo #churchtoo story. Many Christian women claim that they want to stand against the sexual abuse of women: #SilenceIsNotSpiritual.

 

The list of involved pastors, churches and organizations

Here is Andy Savage’s bio taken directly from his website.

The unanswered email that Jules Woodson sent to Andy Savage on December 1, 2017

Jules saw the following tweet by Andy Savage.

 


 

Here is the email that Jules sent to Andy Savage, Teaching Pastor of Highpoint Memphis.

——– Original message ——–

From: Jules Woodson

Date: 12/1/17 9:21 AM (GMT-07:00)

To: andy.savage@highpointmemphis.com

Subject: Do you remember?

Do you remember that night that you were supposed to drive me home from church and instead drove me to a deserted back road and sexually assaulted me?

Do you remember how you acted like you loved me and cared about me in order for me to cooperate in such acts, only to run out of the vehicle later and fall to your knees begging for forgiveness and for me not to tell anyone what had just happened?

Well, I REMEMBER.
#metoo

She received NO response. What prompted this email? Let’s go back in time to the end of 2016.

Darcy reached out to Jules to ask her “What actually happened to you?” We need more women like Darcy in this world.

Darcy had not seen Jules since she left the church to attend college. However, when the Donald Trump infamous tape became public, she began to think back to when she was a member of the highschool youth group at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church in Texas. It is now known as StoneBridge Church with the same senior pastor, Steve Bradley, as two decades ago.

An incident happened that stuck in her mind. The church never announced that he was being fired. Instead, they had Savage go before the church and say he made a mistake and that was time for him to move on.The rumor was that he had ‘kissed a girl.’

People were upset that Savage was let go because he was really well liked. A number of people blamed Jules for him leaving because there was no specific reason given by the pastors for why he left. Rumors were allowed to flourish. This, along with the shaming/blame game, caused her to stop regularly attending church.

In our group conversation, Darcy described Jules as both the most popular and the prettiest girl in the youth group. She remembered Andy Savage paying lots of attention to her. Darcy said all the girls were jealous of the attention that Savage paid to her because he was quite attractive.

Darcy was not close friends with her at the time because she was not part of the *popular* group and was a year ahead of Jules, but she always remembered her and wondered about what had actually happened. She sensed something really bad occurred and felt that the church members were not given the whole story. She was right.

So with great sensitivity, Darcy tracked down Jules and asked her about it. Jules, having kept this bottled up inside of herself for years, opened up and told her the whole story. Darcy’s act of kindness helped Jules to understand that she was the victim in this story and that she finally wanted to deal with it. We need more women like Darcy who bravely seek out the truth.

Some background from 20 Years ago

Jules was a popular student in the youth group and Savage was well-loved by the students and their parents. A number of the kids would go over to the church after school just to hang out with him. Jules was part of that group.

Over time, Jules began to confide in him. She was going through some difficult trials. Her parents had recently gone through a divorce. Also, she once attended a party and became the subject of unwanted forced sexual activity. It so disturbed her that she confided in Andy because she trusted him as her pastor.

Savage had behavior rules put in place by the church that he was supposed to follow. He was NEVER to be alone with anyone, especially a girl. However, he was a rule breaker. Savage lived with one of the families in the church and had students, including Jules, over to this home. One evening he took Jules to his bedroom, alone, and was tickling her. One of the other adults came to the room and told them they needed to go back and join the group because they should not be alone in a room together.

 

Jules’s story of molestation told in her own words.

“One evening, in the early Spring of 1998, I was hanging out with my youth minister, Andy Savage, at my church, Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church located at 10801 Falconwing Drive. I was 17 years old at the time and a senior at The Woodlands High School. There had been multiple kids there at the church after school, but as the night got later I was the only student left, alone in the church with Andy. I did not have a vehicle at the church, so Andy offered to take me home to my Mom’s house.

It was dark outside. As he was driving me towards my home, he passed the turn he should have made to go to my house. I asked him where he was going. I don’t remember his exact response, but it was something along the lines of ‘you’ll see’ or ‘it’s a surprise.’ I know for sure he did not tell me where he was taking me. I remember feeling special and excited, as in my mind, he obviously wanted to spend more time with me before taking me home. I assumed we were going to get ice cream.”

Trigger warning: Graphic description of sexual activity. Also, pay particular attention to where this took place. It is important.


He turned onto a dirt road and continued to drive. There were trees all around. I could not see the main road anymore, from which he turned. I asked what was back here. He told me they were building a church. I thought, maybe that’s what this was about, maybe he has some secret to tell me, like perhaps he was moving to another church. We reached a dead end and he turned the truck around before putting it in park. We were stopped, and he turned the headlights off.

Suddenly, Andy unzipped his jeans and pulled out his penis. He asked me to suck it. I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me. He then asked me to unbutton my shirt. I did. He started touching me over my bra and then lifted my bra up and began touching my breasts.

After what I believe to have been about 5 minutes of this going on, he suddenly stopped, got out of the truck and ran around the back and to my side before falling to his knees. I quickly buttoned my shirt back up and got out of the truck.

Now I was terrified and ashamed. I remember him pleading, while he was on his knees with his hands up on his head, ‘Oh my god, oh my god. What have I done? Oh my god, I’m so sorry. You can’t tell anyone Jules, please. You have to take this to the grave with you.’  He said that several times. My fear and shame quickly turned to anger. I had just been manipulated and used. I swore to him I wouldn’t tell anyone just to get him to stop. We both got back in the truck. As he drove me home, I don’t remember there being any conversation. I was in shock.

End of graphic description.


“As soon as I got home, I went straight to bed. I couldn’t fall asleep fast enough. “Please God, let this all be a bad dream,” I thought. Yet the hurt I was beginning to feel soon snapped me back into reality. This was no bad dream, this was a living nightmare. The secret quickly began to eat away at my soul. I couldn’t concentrate at school. I couldn’t think about anything else. The fear, shame, anger and hurt consumed me. As embarrassing as it would be for me to tell all the ‘dirty’ details of this horrible secret, I had no other choice. What happened to me was not right nor had it been my fault. I had to report this. Little did I know, the very people I was about to entrust to protect me and help me would not only victimize me all over again but would also engage in a cover up to protect my abuser and the image of the church.”

She reported the incident to Pastor Larry Cotton. She began to blame herself.

“Larry Cotton was the Associate Pastor of Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church at the time. Steve Bradley was the head pastor. I mustered up the courage to go tell them what happened. For some reason, Steve wasn’t available, so I only spoke with Larry. I remember asking him if I could speak privately with him and he said yes. I started out by saying something awful had happened to me. I was already crying. Somehow, I felt brave enough to tell Larry every detail of what had happened with Andy. I was mortified but I thought I was doing the right thing as both Larry and Steve were over Andy in the church and I was way too embarrassed and scared to tell anyone else, especially my own parents.

Just as I had finished telling my story, Larry immediately spoke up and asked me to clarify. He said something to the effect of, ‘So you’re telling me you participated?’ I remember feeling like my heart had just sunk to the floor.  What was he asking? More importantly, what was he trying to imply? This wave of shame came over me, greater than I had ever felt before. I had just gotten done telling him everything that Andy, my youth pastor, asked me to do. I didn’t say that I screamed no, jumped out of the car and ran into the dark forest because I hadn’t. I told him that Andy had asked me to perform oral sex and unbutton my shirt and I did. Every ounce of courage I had gathered to walk in there and tell Larry the truth about what had happened to me left in an instant. Not only did I suddenly feel this immense guilt for doing what Andy had asked me to do but I also started to feel that this was my fault somehow because I didn’t stop him.”

Larry Cotton told her he would tell the head pastor, Steve Bradley, about it and that the church would handle it.

“As you might imagine, I was beyond overwhelmed at the myriad of emotions I was feeling. I remember Larry telling me that he would have to share with Steve all that I had told him. I asked what was going to happen next and he said that him and Steve would be talking to Andy and that the church would be handling the situation. He told me not to speak with Andy and said that he would be telling Andy not to speak with me as well. Through the tears, I told him that I was too embarrassed to tell my Mom what had happened. He said not to worry, that they would talk to my Mother as well. He then told me not mention anything that had happened to anyone else.  It was very clear to me that I was not to say a word to anyone.”

Andy continued in his position and even taught *True Love Waits.”

“As days passed I remember feeling more and more hopeless. I was confused as it seemed that Andy got to go about his day to day life, within the church and outside of it, as though nothing had ever happened. In fact, he led a 2-day event at the church, known as True Love Waits, promoting sexual purity not only in abstinence from intercourse before marriage but also abstinence in any physical contact, actions and thoughts which might lead to sexual arousal. The irony had not been lost on me. Yet, here I was sinking deeper and deeper into this pit of depression. I had no where to go, no one to talk to. After all, I was given one job by the person I had sought help from (Larry,) and that was to keep my mouth shut.”

Jules confided some information in her female discipleship group.

“Not long after, I was meeting at the church with my all female discipleship group. I hadn’t had much interest in even being at church since everything that had happened but, deep down, I think I was just seeking some sort of solace in my faith for all the pain and hurt I was going through. Something came over me that night. I remember feeling disgusted and frustrated. What happened to me was not right! Why were my pastors not listening?! As if a final breath of courage filled my lungs, I opened my mouth and began to share some of what had happened to me. Looking back now, I know without a doubt, it was a cry for help. Tears ran down my cheeks. I remember feeling a slight sense of relief as this was no longer just a secret between myself, Andy, Larry and Steve. However, I too remember feeling as though I had just played my last card. I knew I had broken the rules of silence and that there would be consequences to my actions.”

Andy left the church.

“Word got back to Larry and Steve, almost immediately, that I had shared some things with my discipleship group. Now they had to do something. The youth group had a ski trip coming up and they announced to the families that Andy would not be going. Rumors were starting to spread that something had happened between myself and Andy. People thought/assumed that we had exchanged an ‘innocent’ kiss. The church, however, never came out with an official statement addressing what had happened and/or what was being done about it. Instead, they held a going away reception for Andy at the church in which he was allowed to simply say that he had made a poor decision and that it was time for him to move on from our church. Many people came to love on him, support him and say their goodbyes. There were hugs shared and tears shed. No one truly knew why he was leaving except myself, Andy, Larry and Steve. The gossip amongst my church family only continued to flourish. No one could imagine Andy doing anything bad or immoral, much less illegal, and so, it somehow became my fault that Andy was leaving.”

She later learned that her parents never truly learned the full story of what had happened.

“I couldn’t have been more grateful that it was the spring of my senior year as all I wanted to do was to leave town and get away from everything and everyone. I had basically shut down.  I felt so alone. It wasn’t until much later that I would realize that no matter how far away I moved nor how much I tried to move on with my life, that I could never truly escape what had happened to me. For example, when I found out that the church had contacted my parents, years later, and asked their permission to bring Andy back on staff, it brought back a whirlwind of emotions. Of course, my parents said NO, but even learning of this was traumatizing. I am a grown woman now and although it’s been almost 20 years since everything happened, it still affects me to this day.  There are triggers that take me back to that night, there are nightmares that haunt my dreams.”

Jules’ hope for those who read her story.

“My hope in finally coming forward with my story is not only that I can begin to get closure and healing for all that has happened to me, but more so, that my story might have a positive impact on others and effect positive change in how these types of situations are handled within the church.

To anyone who has suffered from sexual abuse in the church and the subsequent cover up and pressure to remain silent, I want you to know that it is not your fault. Most importantly, I want you to know that you are not alone.”

The subsequent years: The church wanted to bring Savage back on staff!

Jules struggled with anxiety and depression in the following years. She has sought professional counseling to help her make sense of what had happened to her. Meanwhile, Andy Savage, Larry Cotton, and Steve Bradley have gone on to become successful pastors. We asked Jules if any of them had reached out to her to see how she was doing. She has not heard from any of them.

The pastors and the deacons of StoneBridge Church later approached Jules’ parents, asking if they could bring Savage back on staff. The parents said “Absolutely not!” The pastors did not take the opportunity to reach out to Jules and apologize to her. Can you imagine that the pastors still did not get the seriousness of what had happened to Jules? They had been told the details. How could they be so callous?

My concerns about the molestation:

  • Jules had received permission from her mother for Savage to take her to her home from the church that evening. He deliberately ignored her mother wishes, leading me to question whether or not this could be considered an abduction.
  • She asked him where they were going but he did not directly answer her hence her assumption that he was bringing her for ice cream. (This makes me cry every time I think about it.)
  • Jules did not give Andy permission to engage her in sexual activities. Even if she had, she was a minor and he was a member of the clergy, abusing his clergy privilege.
  • Jules was well aware that Savage brought her to a dark, isolated area with no one around who could have heard her scream for help. He is a larger man who could have easily subdued her. There is no question in my mind that fear was a component here. By Jules complying with Andy’s desire, she may have prevented an even worse scenario.
  • It is hard for me to believe that he found such a perfect place to molest Jules at the spur of the moment. It appears to me that he may have planned this in advance.
  • Savage’s order to *take it to her grave* could be perceived as a threat.
  • The pastor, Larry Cotton, appeared to lay some of the blame on her by making her believe that she consented to the act because she participated. Given the particular circumstances of Jules’ trauma, his response could be seen by some as abusive.
  • From what we know, the police were not notified by the pastors of the church.
  • According to his bio (of which we have taken screen shots) Savage went on to be the Pastor of College Students and Young Singles at Germantown Baptist Church. Was Germantown Baptist Church notified of Savage’s behavior?
  • Could there be other victims?

A police report has been submitted by Jules Woodson.

Here are some relevant sections of Texas law.

  1. Note the clergy portion of this law.
Texas Penal Code Chapter 5. (22.011)

Title 5. Offenses against the person.
Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses.
Sec. 22.011. Sexual assault.
(b) A sexual assault […] is without the consent of the other person if: […] 10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser …

Texas Penal Code 22.011(b)(9): “by exploiting [the patient or former patient’s] .  .  . emotional dependency”; and (b)(10) “by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual advisor”

 2. CHAPTER 261. INVESTIGATION OF REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT link

Final thoughts:

-I will be contacting all of the pastors involved in this story as well as their churches. We will print their responses, if any. I will plan a follow up post on Monday.

-We will be watching the comments closely. All comments attempting to victim blame will be deleted and the commenter will be placed on our permanently banned list.

-Finally, special thanks go out to Brooks Hansen and Kenny Stubblefield for getting us all together and helping us in our research. Last year, I remember telling them that someday their story would help another victim. Here is the proof that I was right.

-Dearest Jules,

You are a brave woman who has endured much pain. I have been blessed by our conversations. I have cried a lot, both with and for you. Your story will help many other people. Ask Kenny and Brooks about it. One day, when they are older and can understand, your children will come to know what an awesome mom they have.

Parting Thoughts

If Andy Savage had had an ounce of humility and compassion, he would have called Jules Woodson and asked for forgiveness when she sent him the original email. She would have forgiven him and none of this would have happened.

It was his inability to deal with his past and apologize that caused serious problems for his church.

Chris Conlee mishandled the aftermath. The standing ovation for confessing a sin will mark Highpoint for many years to come. In the aftermath, Conlee had many opportunities to teach Biblically about the issues that were affecting in the church. He didn’t. Instead, he attacked the people who dared to speak the truth (bloggers) while running around getting prophecies for himself and writing vision statements summed up by threats- accept it or Conlee is gone.

This, folks, is why that meeting happened and this is why Highpoint has some guy who isn’t even a member attempting to do an end run around the church leadership.

Sadly, Highpoint isn’t unique in the least. It has turned out to be just another typical, bickering, evangelical church without a rudder.

Hopefully they will find a thoughtful, theologically stable pastor who gets it.

Editor: The problem with these churches is the platitudes and weasel words. There is never any accountability.