Vivid Led Walls By Prime View
The initial phase of the video system renovation focused on the installation of three Primeview 18 x 9.8 PRVLEDCUS40 3.9mm True Black Indoor LED Displays. The center display can be lowered into the upstage set using an ETC Prodigy theatrical lifting system to expose the Baptistery. A tvONE CORIOmaster Video Processor provides the video content to the LED Displays. Initially the existing Standard Definition Video Production System produced the content for the LED Displays, the CORIOmaster handled the upscaling and image detailing very well.
The second phase of the project took place in the Summer of 2018, which involved a complete renovation of the sanctuary, platform, lighting systems, and the video production system. All new HD video equipment was installed in a new Control Room that was renovated specifically for the application. A new Machine Room was also part of the renovation. Ross Video components are at the heart of the video system. All video signals pass thru a 64 x 64 Ultrix Series router which has a multitude of capabilities. John Patterson, Media Director at First Baptist Church Naples, requested the capability to have any available video source in the system displayed on a Multiview Monitor. The Ultrix Series Routers provide this capability along with seamless switching between sources. The seamless switching makes the Ultrix Router a viable basic backup to the Main Switcher. Numerous other feature are also provided by the Ultrix Series.
A Sound System For Church Participation: State
The First Baptist Church Naples is now equipped with one of the most inspiring church audio systems you could hear. The entire sanctuary renovation spanned two years and kicked off with a comprehensive overhaul of their existing church sound systems. The new audio systems installed include some of the best speakers for church auditorium layouts, as they were designed to handle a wide variety of uses, ranging from traditional and modern worship services to large-scale concert events. Meyer Sound Leopard series line array loudspeaker systems were chosen along with UPA and UPQ series loudspeakers for outfill and UPJunior loudspeakers for front fill, offering outstanding coverage and performance to the entire audience area. Low frequency reinforcements include three 1100 LFCs arranged in cardioid to focus the sub-bass energy to the audience and away from the stage area while offering tremendous output capability.
Church Quiet On Specifics Of Racism Allegations
Church officials, however, have been largely mum on the details of the alleged campaign and racism. Kenneth Bonnett, pastor of communications for the church, declined to offer specifics about the church’s allegations, saying “it would not be proper for us to share that content openly.”
The campaign, he said in an email to the Daily News, consisted of social media, texting, phone calls and a series of emails. At least four emails were “broadly sent,” he wrote, with others privately sent.
Voicemails left for Hayes this week were not returned, and Neil Dorrill, chairman of the pastoral search team, referred questions to Bonnett.
But a question and answer session with Hayes and his wife held by the church on Oct. 24 offers some glimpses into the opposition that built against the prospective new senior pastor and the apparent rift between church leadership and some in the congregation.
Leading the Q& A session, Dorrill alluded to the past year for the church, which saw its longtime senior pastor, Hayes Wicker, leave amid dissatisfaction by some church members over the circumstances of his departure.
“We all realize that the year of 2019 has been very difficult in the life of our church,” Dorrill said. “And, as a result of that, there have been groups who honestly feel a little disenfranchised.”
When asked during the Q& A session whether he considers himself a conservative, Hayes said he is “as conservative as they come.”
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Chuck Colsons Pastor Pushed Out After Easter Services
The turmoil at FBC Naples began about a year ago, when longtime Senior Pastor Hayes Wicker announced to the church that he was stepping down to make way for younger fresher leadership.
At the time, Wicker seemed to be well-respected by his church and denomination.
During Wickers 27-year tenure, FBC Naples grew from 400 weekly attendance to over 3,000. The church also launched a schoolFirst Baptist Academy. And in 2006, Wicker served as head of the SBC Pastors Conference.
Wicker also was pastor for 20 years to evangelical author and founder of Prison Fellowship, Chuck Colson. Colson thought so highly of an oath of integrity that Wicker had written that Colson included the oath in his landmark book, The Body.
Despite this track record, Wicker said he was shut out of the new pastor selection process. Wicker said Dorrill banned him from pastoral search team meetings, and the chairmen of the personnel and finance committees told Wicker his oversight was not needed.
Caudill added that Dorrill advised Caudill that any pastoral candidates suggested by Wicker would be dead on arrival.
In the months leading up to Wickers resignation, the church hired Auxano, a church consulting company, to advise the church on the pastoral transition process.
Yet Easter services would be the last time Wicker would preach at FBC Naples.
Wicker said he was shocked by the accusations, but instead of fighting, he tendered his resignation.
Wicker called the allegations appalling.
Did Racism Play A Role In Marcus Hayes Vote
In its open letter to the SBC, FBC Naples lay leaders and staff wrote that they know racial prejudice contributed to Marcus Hayess failed vote because of the campaign that started just days before by a few disgruntled people in our church.
Presumably, the campaign to which the letter is referring is an email that was sent from the Concerned Members to those who had signed the petition shortly before the Hayes vote, requesting a special business meeting. In the email, the group warned that Hayes had endorsed Woke Church, a book that the email claimed was promoting cultural Marxism.
The email also objected to Hayes reportedly saying that he rejects the concept that a person can look at a person of color and see no color. The authors wrote, Paul is clear to us in Philippians 3:2-10 that we are to have no confidence in the flesh of our ethnicity.
However, the email also expressed concerns about Hayes ability to reconcile the deeply divided church. It noted that Hayes had unfriended or blocked several people who had signed the petition on his social media accounts.
It also noted that Hayes didnt meet the criteria members had stated for the next senior pastorthat he have five years of experience as a senior pastor.
Also concerning to the group was the fact that Marcus Hayes didnt respond to a letter Concerned Members of FBCN had sent him a week earlier, outlining their issues at the church.
We reached out to Dorrill, but he refused to answer any questions.
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Some Church Members Say Race Played No Role
To those who are part of the Group of Concerned FBNC Members, the church’s allegations of racism have no standing.
“It has nothing to do with race,” said William Ericksen, a member of the church for five years and part of the group.
Instead, Ericksen said Hayes has no experience as a head pastor and said that his political views wouldn’t go along with a conservative church. But more importantly, Ericksen said, members feel their voice isn’t being heard by church leaders.
“It’s become a dictatorship,” he said.
On social media, too, some church members said race played no role in the failed vote.
Gretchen Church, who said on Twitter that she has been a member of First Baptist for more than 17 years, tweeted that racism had nothing to do with voting. “It had to do with biblical principals that many questioned,” she wrote.
Since the failed vote, other allegations have surfaced.
Dorrill near the end of a Nov. 2 service told the congregation that “the integrity of our election last weekend was compromised.”
Two members of the counting committee, he said, have admitted to leaking confidential early voting results from Saturday night to a lay leader in the church “who then used that information, we believe, to compromise the process.”
Dorrill did not elaborate on how the process was compromised, and Bonnett did not answer emailed questions about the matter.
Bonnett told the Daily News in an email Wednesday no revote has been scheduled.
Racism Charges Remain As Search For Pastor Continues
In November, Caudill sent a letter to several prominent SBC leaders, including President Greear and SEBTS President Danny Akin, urging them to retract their statements supporting the racism narrative offered by FBC Naples.
t seems from social media posts that, with no investigation, some convention leaders have chosen to believe this narrative, Caudill wrote. First Baptist Naples is, ethnically, a predominantly white church but we are not a racist church.
Caudill said no one replied to his letter.
Pastor John David Edie, who wrote the open letter to the SBC on behalf of leaders at FBC Naples, alleging racism, resigned in early December. Following worship services on December 7 and 8, receptions were held to honor Edies six years at the church.
The search for a senior pastor continues, with Dorrill leading the search committee.
Wicker said the future for him and his wife is uncertain. Yet despite all thats happened, Wicker said, I pray people would not use this to come against megachurches or seeing all committees as bad.
Similarly, Caudill stated, First Baptist Naples still has potential to be used greatly by God. But I dont see how the spirit of God can move among those people, unless they are willing to understand what has happened and admit that what they have done is absolutely atrocious, ungodly, unjust, and even in violation of their own bylaws.
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Excommunicated Baptists Say Megachurch Smeared Them As Racistsand So Did Sbc Leaders
Last fall, First Baptist Church Naplesa prominent Southern Baptist megachurch in southwest Floridamade national headlines for rejecting an African American pastoral candidate because of some alleged racist members.
Racial prejudice a factor in rejection of black pastor, read the headline of a piece published in the Baptist Standard. Similarly, an article in The Grio asked, Did a Florida church not hire a pastor because he was Black? And Christianity Today stated, Black Pastor Candidate Withdraws After Controversial Vote at SBC Megachurch.
However, according to a group of 30 to 40 Concerned Members of FBCN, which includes several former deacons, racism had nothing to do with why pastoral candidate was rejected as pastor. Instead, the group alleges that the racism charge was a ruse by men who had recently seized control of the church, expelled and maligned a beloved pastor of 27 years, and then fabricated a basis for excommunicating those who had objected.
The group adds that national leaders within FBC Napless denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention , supported the churchs leadership and furthered the racism charge.
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Despite these red flags, leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention have supported leaders at FBC Naples.
‘not A Racist Church’
The controversy, which quickly spread in religious circles online, has suddenly thrust the North Naples church into an unwelcome spotlight, much to the dismay of some members.
“Unfortunately our church familys business has become fodder for spotlight-seeking bloggers and others who are commenting about Christians whom they do not know personally, and slandering a church that they know little about,” Sonya Stearns, a member of the church, said in an email to the Daily News.
Generally, at Southern Baptist churches incoming pastors are approved by a majority of the church body upon recommendation from an elected search committee and/or pastoral staff, Stearns wrote.
In 2016, under the leadership of its former pastor, the church changed its bylaws to adopt the 85% approval rule, instead of a simple or super-majority, Stearns continued. That’s why Hayes was not officially approved, when in past years he would have been.
First Baptist Church Naples, she said, “is not a racist church by any stretch of the imagination.”
“While racial issues were brought into play, and horrifically there indeed were some who did not approve Rev. Marcus Hayes based upon prejudice, our church loves all people of all colors equally,” Stearns wrote. “Misinformation, fear, and ignorance of social media platforms played a role in the voting, and we, as a church family, are dealing with those issues.”
Connect with the reporter at or on Twitter @PatJRiley.
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Pillars Of The Church Excommunicated
FBC Napless accusations and treatment of Pastor Wicker upset dozens of church members.
This sequence of events raised many questions for me and my wife, Caudill said. It was all being done vindictively and not in a righteous, godly manner.
Concerned families gravitated to the Caudills, who had served in SBC churches for over 50 years. Yet Caudill said that when he spoke up in meetings, the 79-year-old deacon was deemed divisive.
On May 28, Caudill said the church placed him on disciplinary suspension from the deacon board and the senior pastor search team. Blake Crawford and former deacon, Mike Dolan, said they were also suspended around that time.
In June, Voices of FBCN sent an email to many in the church, criticizing the actions of church leadership.
Church leadership responded in an email to members, calling the Voices of FBCNs email inaccurate and slanderous and claiming that a security breach of the churchs email list had occurred.
FBC Naples also sent several cease and desist letters from prominent law firm, Holland & Knight, to several church members suspected of having involvement with the Voices of FBCN email.
A representative from the Collier County Sheriffs Office also confirmed that FBC Naples contacted them on July 3 regarding a suspicious incident.
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Welcome To First Baptist Church Of Golden Gate
We are so happy that you are visiting with us today on the Web. We have included some valuable information on this site and tried to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. If there is anything specific that you would like to know about us or the work that we are doing here in our community, please feel free to contact us. If you have a specific prayer request, you may want to include that as well. The information that we receive from you will be used in confidence for the sole purpose of praying for you and your specific need. If you would like a visit from our Pastor, please feel free to let us know, and he will call you and set up a time.
In addition to our Sunday Morning Worship Service, which begins at 10:45 AM, we also have a Bible study on Sunday nights. The study begins at 6 PM, and is less formal, allowing for questions and insights from those attending. Also on Wednesday nights at 6 PM, we are studying Bible Doctrine. It is true that what we believe determines how we live our lives. This in depth Bible study has been a wonderful time of learning and growth for all of us.
We want to extend to you a special invitation to come and worship with us. We are conveniently located at 2741 Santa Barbara Boulevard just one blocknorth of Golden Gate Parkway.
We hope to see you soon!
Spark Studios: Created in Christ*Designed for His purposeOur VBS is FREE to all kids K-5th grade
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Dates: September 11-18, 2022
Millions in Florida are currently unreached with the Gospel. The light of the Gospel brings hope of restoration both today and eternally as new churches make change possible in unreached neighborhoods.
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Join with fellow Florida Baptists as we pray together for church planters across our state. Pray that the Gospel would not stop but that it would go through us to continue a disciple making movement. God is already doing an amazing work lets join with Him in advancing the Gospel.
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