Schism Ch. 2 – Pt. 5: Rebellious Spirit

Last Time: Division between members started to rise as arguments against and in favor of Mrs. Payton, bringing forth the explainations of more problems in the church.


December 4th, 2010


Sister Bertha Cooke – who sat directly across from me during this meeting – stood up to give her opinion of Mrs. Abigail Payton Pastor Payton’s wife. According to Sis. Cooke, members of other churches told her shortly after Pastor Payton became the church’s pastor that Mrs. Payton ran the aisles like a mad woman. Sis. Cooke didn’t believe those gossipers until she saw the actions of Mrs. Payton for herself.

But a spirit from Mrs. Payton attached itself to Sis. Cooke as she explained, “I prayed because I like Abigail. But God showed me that I only like her because of a physical attraction, not a spiritual attraction. No matter what I thought, God showed me what Abigail is doin’ is wrong. God showed me through old members who come up to me and tell me that Abigail is the reason they don’t come no more.”

Sis. Cooke also had qualms with Pastor Payton in regards to a personal e-mail she sent Pastor Payton that he read out to the congregation. The only reason Sis. Cooke felt Pastor Payton would do something like expose a personal conversation between the two was his, “…rebellious spirit.”

Pastor Payton immediately explained that the only reason he read the e-mail was to make everyone know that he’s not going to let anyone dictate him except the Lord.

Sis. Cooke disagreed with Pastor’s claim that he’s one with God, “You ain’t preacin’ the scripture. You ain’t givin’ us the Word like it’s supposed to be. I know I need to be fed, and you aren’t doin’ that. A lot of people feel this way and that’s why they left.”

Instead of raising his hand and waiting for his turn, Brother Melvin Adams stood up with a bold declaration, “I’m next!”

Bro. Adams ignored the slight laughter that occurred after his standing to tell Teresa Whatley that she and others like her should base their religion on their own relationship with God, not the adults of the church after she claimed people left the church after finding out about other church member’s ungodly lifestyles. Sis. Whatley made sure Bro. Adams understood what she meant and how her request was for the adults and leaders of the church to look at themselves before questioning why the youth won’t come to church.

Throwing his hands up, Bro. Adams declared, “This is the worst church in the world with all these problems going on.”

Deacon Roscoe Calhoun’s daughter expressed her appreciation for Pastor Payton’s sermons, but not the way Mrs. Payton conducted herself by wearing black when performing the communion ceremony.

My father took a stand to defend Mrs. Payton and ask for us not to talk about here while she’s not here to defend herself, “…especially when I’ve seen a lot of you do worse during services.”

My father also declared that, “If we don’t straighten out these issues today, we might as well not even take communion tomorrow.”

The comment my father made seemingly irritated Sis. Cooke as she started shaking her head in disgust while saying he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about by only coming to church once or twice a month.

Sis. Harriet Millard – Trustee Sinclair Millard’s wife – questioned Pastor Payton about allowing Mrs. Payton to be involved in the committee meetings, Payton’s lack appreciation for Baptist churches, Pastor’s lack of love for everyone, and his disregarding the past.

Trustee Millard stood up when his wife sat down to agree with her, and admit he’d been hurt by the Pastor not showing compassion to him when he was sick a while back. Tr. Millard told a story about his family being in the hospital and another pastor visited them instead of Pastor Payton. In Tr. Millard’s opinion, Pastor Payton’s style of leadership was hurting the church. And more importantly, Tr. Millard didn’t take appreciate the usage of armor bearers when they have deacons ready to work, “We need to get rid of the armor bearers and use the deacons! But the deacons also need to understand that people don’t wanna hear the deacons hollering and doing extra-long prayers; taking up time from the service.”


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