NOTE: North American Mission Board (NAMB), Clarkston International Bible Church (CIBC), and Send Relief are all part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which has pro-slavery roots, continued white-supremacy, is anti-LGBTQ, and majority support Trump.
**Clarkston consists of over 90% minorities, including African Americans, refugees, and immigrants**
Please come and support Clarkston residents at the next city council meeting on November 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm.
ON ITS FACE, THERE IS AN INVALID CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT APPROVED FOR A $15 MILLION DEVELOPMENT IN CLARKSTON, GA!
City officials claim that no ‘final’ plans have been submitted yet, but that does not change the fact that the conditional use permit (CUP) was approved (Dec 5, 2017) before legal requirements were met. The CUP included a letter of intent and detailed site plans for the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) ‘ministry hub’. (13)
City of Clarkston Council Minutes 12/5/17: “North American Mission Board (NAMB) is requesting a conditional use permit to convert the existing Christian Life Center (CLC) (gym) at 3865 Church Street, to a worship venue and other church related activities. It was advised that Staff recommends approval of the conditional use permit.” (19)
However, the plan was much more than a renovation of the Christian Life Center (gym). Not only did it include much more space/land than the gym, there were ulterior motives. “We hope to use each of these as distinctive examples from which congregations nationwide can choose to visit and study and then make practical application when they return home. For example, Clarkston will serve as a multicultural urban setting with refugees and immigrants while Ashland will serve for a more rural experience. We do not intend to restrict, but support, the local church’s ongoing outreach into its community. There will be opportunities for youth groups to experience a specific setting and for internships where individuals receive a more in-depth hands on experience. Clarkston is a unique community with unprecedented Great Commission opportunities. A ministry hub in Clarkston would provide the platform to educate other churches on the strategic opportunity to minister to refugees and other immigrant groups.” (17)
Since the approval of the CUP was not done legally, the city’s approval for NAMB’s use of the property is invalid. State law requires a public hearing with specific advertisement and signage requirements for a CUP to be valid. NO public hearing was held, which the mayor, Ted Terry, admits:
“I asked (church officials) to have a public hearing before they act,” Terry said. “They admitted they screwed up. They should have done this months ago before they started demolishing things.” (6)
NOTE: this is the responsibility of the mayor. Burks (Clarkston resident and former council woman) said Terry was abdicating his mayoral responsibilities. “If this was impacting our city,” she reasoned, “then why is he pushing (responsibility for making info public) back on the church?” (6)
On February 7, 2017 Clarkston passed proclamation “Clarkston Loves Refugees”, the same day that NAMB bought/partnered with Clarkston International Bible Church. The mayor stated, “We are grateful to our many nonprofits, 13 of whom are housed at Clarkston International Bible Church, and to the church and other congregations who work selflessly to teach these people our language and our culture and help them get on their feet. (8) “Trent and the ministry of his congregation, and their ongoing commitment to stand with the refugees and immigrants in these difficult days, is a testimony to their Christian love for their fellow men and women.” (8)
“In March 2017, city administrators began working with NAMB on a proposed $15 million development. The mayor also began working with NAMB as they developed plans for a large campus. Citizens were kept totally in the dark by the mayor and city manager.” (13)
Despite not following state law, the mayor and some city council members support/defend this development and the validity of the illegal approval of the conditional use permit.
There are MANY Concerns about the Southern Baptist Convention/development:
• Pro-slavery roots and present day white supremacy
• Majority “Strongly” support Trump – even after ‘Muslim ban’
• Intention of conversion of refugees and immigrants
• Lack of transparency about motives/intentions
• Reason for welcoming refugees and immigrants prevents radicalization against the US
• Reducing diversity in the “most diverse square mile in the nation” – SBC is not diverse – misrepresentation of the communities in Clarkston
• Claim they are in Clarkston to “meet needs”, but they never asked the community what they “need”
• Tax exempt organization – taking away money from the city
• Did not meet many of the standards for charity accountability
• Problematic language, oppressive views, spreading false narratives
• Development will lower property value due to congestion, including bus traffic, overflow parking on residential streets, excessive noise, light pollution into nearby residences, non-residential incursion into the neighborhood, disruption of travel patterns due to the abandonment of a public street, and a weakening of neighborhood cohesiveness due to incompatible land use
• Intends to demolish several houses, including one of the few remaining historic houses in the city, and clear cut the lots, destroying many specimen trees
More details about these serious concerns can be found in the table below. (table couldn’t be put here but info from table is below. The table can be found on this event page).
–Pro-slavery roots and present day white supremacy – Founded in 1845 because white Southern Baptists disagreed with the antislavery attitudes and abolitionist activities of Northern Baptists. (1) (3)
This included the belief that slave-owners should be allowed to be missionaries.
(14). During the civil rights movement, members of the convention almost unilaterally supported segregation, including Jim Crow laws.
“I love the church, but I love black people more. Black lives matter to me. I am not confident that they matter to the Southern Baptist Convention…
As a black scholar of race and a minister who is committed to social justice, I can no longer be part of an organization that is complicit in the disturbing rise of the so-called alt-right, whose members support the abhorrent policies of Donald Trump and whose troubling racial history and current actions reveal a deep commitment to white supremacy.
Many churches are still hostile to the Black Lives Matter movement, and even more were silent during the rise of Mr. Trump and the so-called alt-right.” (1)
– During the 2017 annual meeting, SBC only adopted resolution against white-supremacy after it was rejected multiple times and “chaos ensued”. Twitter was filled with the alt-right calling SBC heroes for not denouncing alt-right. SBC then passed the resolution but left out McKissic’s (Black minister who initiated resolution) reference to the “curse of Ham” which gave Biblical justification of slavery and segregation. “God through Noah ordained descendants of Africa to be subservient to Anglos” (1) (16)
–Anti-LGBTQ “In 2017, top leaders of the SBC joined other evangelical leaders in a statement Aug. 29 denouncing LGBTQ people and their identities as “inconsistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.” (2)
A resolution said that recognizing the nationwide right to gay marriage, “does violence to the Constitution.” It praised the state attorneys general who were fighting the Obama administration’s guideline on school bathroom use. (4)
(Speaking about the 2017 meeting), While they hesitated to adopt a resolution that condemned white supremacy, they did not hesitate to throw out activists who tried to raise awareness about the ways in which the convention fails its LGBTQ. members.” (1)
Majority ‘Strongly’ support Trump In April 2017, 78% of white evangelicals, many of whom are Southern Baptists, approve of President Trump’s job performance.
In February and April 2017, Two-thirds of the white evangelicals –STRONGLY approved of Trump’s job performance. This was after the ‘Muslim Ban’/Executive order against refugees and immigrants in Muslim-majority countries.
Around that time, Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University said on Fox News, “I think evangelicals have found their dream president.” (1) (5)
–Intention of conversion of refugees and immigrants “We hope to use each of these as distinctive examples from which congregations nationwide can choose to visit and study and then make practical application when they return home. For example, Clarkston will serve as a multicultural urban setting with refugees and immigrants while Ashland will serve for a more rural experience. We do not intend to restrict, but support, the local church’s ongoing outreach into its community.” – David Melber
“There will be opportunities for youth groups to experience a specific setting and for internships where individuals receive a more in-depth hands on experience.” Clarkston is a unique community with unprecedented Great Commission opportunities. A ministry hub in Clarkston would provide the platform to educate other churches on the strategic opportunity to minister to refugees and other immigrant groups.”The prayer of CIBC and NAMB is for the Hub strategy to make Clarkston an even greater place to live and serve among the nations that God is bringing to North America (17)
–Lack of transparency about development David Melber, president of Send Relief, which is creating service centers across the country, said his group is trying a “holistic approach” to help those in the area, not necessarily just immigrants. As to concerns about proselytizing, Melber said the church recently passed out 2,500 book bags for back-to-school. And no one had to hear about Jesus.
“One of my dreams is for every Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist to have a Christian friend who can point them toward Christ,” stated Trent DeLoach, Clarkston International Bible Church’s senior pastor and director of the Send Relief ministry hub. “Most refugees have significant physical and emotional needs. They need Christian friends who can share the love of Jesus while helping them transition to life in America.” (18)
–Reason for “welcoming” refugees and immigrants Matthew Soerens (US director of Church Mobilization at World Relief) said “the churches that volunteer to sponsor refugees by helping them support themselves and get situated in a community during their first months in America play a role in preventing refugees from turning against their new country. “A strong integration process in a faith-based or community organization, that’s the best antidote for any sort of radicalization.” (4)
“We call on the governing authorities to implement the strictest security measures possible in the refugee screening and selection process, guarding against anyone intent on doing harm.”
Reducing diversity of “most diverse square mile in nation” – misrepresentation, lack of cultural competency (12) (11)
Did not ask residents what they needed, but claim they are meeting residents’ needs NAMB never communicated with the community, the adjacent property owners or anyone apart from the CIBC, from whom they bought property. They claim to meet the needs of the community without engaging with anyone about actual needs. (13)
–Tax exempt organization – taking $ away from community No payment of local taxes. Churches are not required to file Form 990, which gives detailed financial information, etc.
Not a transparent “non-profit” Issued Jan 2017, Charity Review found NAMB, SBC Did NOT meet many of the Standards for Charity –Accountability – No written policy for assessment of performance in effectiveness in determining future actions required to achieve its mission
Has never completed an effectiveness assessment
No detailed functional breakdown of expenses. Doesn’t indicate security measures in place to protect personal information that is collected.
2015 annual report didn’t include a roster of board of directors, or total end of year net assets. (7)
Problematic language, oppressive views “Refugees and internationals come to North America seeking security, opportunity and home. Often, they enter the country unable to speak, read or understand the language. They come with tremendous dreams, but their needs leave them vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. You can and your church can protect them and help them adapt through international support and genuine friendship.”
“Refugees and internationals come to North America seeking security, opportunity and home. Often, they enter the country unable to speak, read or understand the language. They come with tremendous dreams, but their needs leave them vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. You can and your church can protect them and help them adapt through international support and genuine friendship.” (17)