Schism Ch. 1 – Pt. 3: The Big Question

Last Time: The February 2010 Call Meeting continued as Pastor Payton reflected on a meeting he had with the Deacon Board that ended with Deacon Dewey Holly warning Payton to not go too far in his actions or risk losing respect of Holly and the entire Deacon Board.


February 29th, 2010


The Men’s Ministry was reborn at the end of 2008, only to falter out less than a year later. According to Deacon Samuel Travis this coming together of men that was meant to inspire and help grow the church’s males insulted the Deacon Board because Pastor Payton, reportedly, didn’t want anyone other than the “young people” to head this ministry. To make matters worse, it was also rumored that Payton gave whoever headed that month’s Men’s Ministry meeting their subject and everything they had to say.

My father disputed these bogus claims as he was one half of the last Men’s Ministry service in August of 2009 alongside myself.

I also joined my father to correct this falsehood that Pastor Payton was behind our presentation, “Pastor Payton never told myself or my father what to say, do, or even what the topic should be. Pastor Payton just approved our topic, and gave us a couple of scriptures that he thought would help it.”

Associate Minister Zachary Toliver echoed my sentiments, straightening out a fallacy in front of everyone.

With the discrepancy over the Men’s Ministry settled, Deacon Roscoe Calhoun wanted to know what, who, and why Pastor Payton took it upon himself to assign armor bearers, “I have a question for you, Pastor Payton: What is an armor bearer? And who are the armor bearers?”

Before Pastor Payton could answer Dcn. Calhoun’s question, Dcn. Calhoun yelled, “Who are the armor bearers?”

Pastor Payton replied, “‘Baritone’ (Amos Macklin), Zachary, Albert (“Tiny” Albert Coleman), Herbert Jacobs,”

Taking Dcn. Calhoun’s spot was Dcn. Travis to get an answer to, “Why do the armor bearers get to come up with you instead of the deacons?”

Pastor Payton informed everyone, “Well, the deacons used to come up during Altar Call (a congregational prayer moment that occurs after the sermon).”

Zachary Toliver defended himself by stating that he and the rest of Payton’s Armor Bearers only took the deacons’ spots in front of the altar during Alter Call simply because the deacons would leave before Altar Call.

Having another question needing answering, Deacon Calhoun asked Pastor Payton, “So why do (the Armor Bearers) have to stand in (Pastor Payton’s) room when you (Pastor Payton) and the deacons have our meeting before service?”

Toliver responded instead of Payton, “If you felt I shouldn’t have been in there, you could’ve told me. Out of respect for you, I’d left.”

Dcn. Calhoun rolled his eyes as he said, “That’s not what I was sayin’ at all.”

A majority of the room informed Dcn. Calhoun that is exactly what he was saying.

For a couple of moments following Deacon Calhoun’s argument against the Armor Bearer, I thought if it was time to ask my next question.

With the clock showing two in the afternoon, I took my stand to verbalize the query running through my mind, “I’ll keep this short because everyone is ready to go. Pastor Payton, you alluded to earlier that there’s a power struggle going on between yourself and the deacons. Well, have you spoken to the deacon or deacons that you feel is/are responsible for this? And if you have, what deacon or deacons need to be removed? And to the deacons – do you feel Pastor Payton has overstepped his boundaries by not allowing you all to have a say in the church. I just want to know what can be done to get this church in order. Do we have to get rid of some deacons? Do we have to get rid of the pastor? What can be done to fix this mess?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>