Schism Ch. 4 – Pt. 5: Unwanted Change

Last Time: The latest Call Meeting continued as tempers flared and claims of Pastor Cyrus Payton not being a true man of God were brought forth.


October 29, 2011


Sister Valentine Moore made a great point that the people condemning Pastor Cyrus Payton for not being the perfect pastor they thought he would be, “…then shame on you. Everyone’s human, and the pastor is no different. He’s not perfect. No one is.”

Sis. Moore talked about Sister Bertha Cooke’s comment regarding Pastor Payton’s lack of involvement in the church’s Youth Bible Study. Sis. Moore noted that the reason Youth Bible Study didn’t last long wasn’t because of Pastor Payton not coming, but because the youth attendance dropped off little by little. Sis. Moore concluded by telling all the deacons to come out for the prayer services on Wednesday nights to promote the unity they supposedly want with Pastor Payton instead of just one or two deacons showing up every week.

Deacon Samuel Travis stated that he hadn’t seen the congregation so confused like this before, “There is the worst I’ve ever seen (the church). There’s no love here. There’s only division. If you don’t come together, it’ll never get better.”

I asked what Dcn. Travis felt would help unite the church, and if it involved getting rid of Pastor Payton.

Dcn. Travis didn’t directly answer the question in regards to Payton, but did say, “…something needs to be done.”

Sister Harriet Millard took her stand to talk about how disappointed she was about everything, and how she didn’t really know who was Pastor Payton.

Situations like a group of people hogging Pastor Payton’s time following the Sunday service made her stopping caring about talking with Pastor Payton; saying, “And I have things to do, and I can’t stand around all day and wait to talk to someone.”

Sis. Millard didn’t take kindly to people talking about “unity” when, “…a whole bunch of you don’t even talk to your own brothers and sisters.”

Sis. Millard also had an opinion about the petitions, “We need to stop the petitions because it just shows the people who do them don’t have the nerve to call a real meeting.”

For some reason, Millard’s speech turned into a story about how everyone isn’t sinless, and how having babies out of wedlock is wrong; though her daughter had a child while not married.

When Sis. Millard sat down, Hope Boykins took a chance to apologize for her earlier outburst, and how we need to control ourselves during this session.

To bring the focus back to Pastor Payton, Ronald Brooks asked the Deacon Board if Pastor Payton was fulfilling his contractual duties.

Deacon Bill Richards answered for the board by saying Pastor Payton has stripped the Deacon Board and the Trustee Board of its power before showing that he did have a copy of the contract Pastor Payton signed to get the job. After much request from everyone wondering what the contract actually said, Dcn. Travis read the page and a half pastoral contract in its entirety.

My father asked the Deacon Board after Dcn. Travis finished reading, “So, what has Pastor Payton not done in that contract to warrant a dismissal?”

Dcn. Travis answered my father’s question with a confusing statement, “(Pastor Payton) takes it upon himself to change things.”

My father then asked why the deacons supported Pastor Payton one minute, then turned on him the next. My father gave a good example of why he felt his question was valid by reminding Deacon Roscoe Calhoun how Dcn. Calhoun – during the “Pastor Appreciation” service only six days before this Call Meeting – talked about how Pastor Payton drove from Richmond, Virginia to Troy, VA in the snow for Bible Study.

Dcn. Calhoun verbally defended himself and his statement from last Sunday by saying, “…that happened eight, ten years ago, and doesn’t change who he is.”


1 comment

  1. merry

    Great stories.

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