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Calif AB appoints woman as D. O: Violation or progress?
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Post Calif AB appoints woman as D. O: Violation or progress? doyle
Stephen Darnell, Administrative Bishop for the Churches of God in California has officially appointed Pastor Sue Webb as a District Overseer in Southern California. Sue Webb is Pastor of the Chapel of Praise Church of God, a congregation of approximately 100, located in the Southern California town of Santa Paula.

The role of women in COG leadership was strongly debated at the last Church of God General Assembly. Afterward on Actscelerate, the topic and the General Assembly decision restricting women in leadership, was hotly debated for several weeks.

Possibly some will feel what the California AB has done is in direct violation of what the Assembly decided. Others will feel it is a progressive move whose time has come.

This writer was blessed to have a grandmother who was a preacher so I have no problem with women or their role in leadership. However, if this decision is found to be in violation of what COG people decided at the Assembly, it could not be viewed as progress.

What one feels about the California D.O. appointment may depend on their understanding of what the Scriptures say about the role of women, what the Minutes say and their perspective of what the Assembly recently decided.

One thing is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN, the life and ministry of Pastor Sue Webb has been so exemplary until her fellow ministers have much confidence in her. Whatever the controversy about whether women should hold the office of District Overseer or not, she has had nothing to do with any of that controversy.

She has faithfully gone about her ministry duties fulfilling the Calling she feels God has placed on her life.

I tried find the website for the Chapel of Praise Church of God in Santa Paula, CA but didn't find one. Also tried facebook for Sue Webb and for her church but did not find it.

That's my opinion. What's yours?

Doyle
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1/8/11 11:12 pm


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Post Wimauma
Well, I tend to agree about the part that if it goes against the rules, it should be viewed more carefully. However... are the rules that specific.

Personally I think it's a wonderful thing.

Secondly, why is this a big surprise? The Church of God has allowed many, many pastors and officials to go around the rules or to directly violate the rules with either no consequences or in some cases giving what many would view as reward for doing so. This can be debated all we want, but it will be allowed to run it's course.

It starts with the little things at the local level and moves up from there. I don't hop on the "ol' boy" complaint bandwagon often, but officials and pastors look out for their own.

I know that in the local churches I've been involved with, there have been a handful of times in the last 40 years that members of the congregation have gone to the overseer with valid evidence of wrong-doing by the pastor and nothing was done about it because this was a fairly high-profile church. It took much more serious personal failings on the part of the pastor before he was required to step down.
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Post Randy Johnson
In practical terms, what do District Overseers actually do?
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Post Larry Wiley
Quote:
In practical terms, what do District Overseers actually do?


They have the right to call themselves "District Overseers".

As far as authoritative responsibilities that is determined by the AB.

They can have district meetings such as calling a fellowship meeting with the pastors on the district or District Revivals or Youth Rally's.
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1/9/11 1:41 pm


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Post John Haywood
if there was no OB the AB can appoint an LO minister to serve as D O male or female Very Happy Very Happy Acts-celerater
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1/9/11 4:34 pm


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Post Bro Bob
A poster here PM'd me a reminder of the 2nd paragraph about state council selection in mission states that allow for non-OBs to be selected if there were not enough OBs to fill the minimum required positions.

There are some rules which are strict, and others which make specific allowance for adjustment in an 'as-needed' basis. If this paragraph were being stretched in California to include this situation, then it also required Bro Culpepper's prior approval.

Bro Clifford Bridges appointed my father as pastor of the 5th and Fox St. church in Denver in 1969, which was a District Church in a mission State. I don't know if Bro Bridges was unaware that dad did not have Ordination credentials when he appointed him, but he insisted that dad obtain them ASAP. He actually pushed all pastors to progress towards them. Dad jumped over all the required hurdles during our first year there. Just ignoring the requirements was not an option.

I don't know any of the names mentioned in the title post in this thread, and even now would have to scroll back to find them. This is not intended as a commentary on any individual.

But if Tom Sterbens was that state overseer, (and Tom and I disagree on this issue), and Tom felt compelled to make the above appointment as being right for that pastor and that church, then I would hope that he would also use his authority within the MINUTES to officially name another church in that district the "District Church" if there were any being pastored by an Ordained Bishop. Failing that I would hope he would restructure the district to be included in one that was being operated in harmony with the General Assembly.

If Tom were to make this appointment, and not make the necessary adjustments, I would accuse him to his face of going directly against the will of his brethren on the General Council, and against the expressed will of the General Assembly on a topic that was revisited by them within the last 6 months. I'd say, "Tom, you are promoting YOUR agenda and not keeping your vow to yield to the body."

But I can talk to Tom like that because he knows I love and appreciate him and all that he does for the kingdom of Heaven, and the Church of God. And I know that he would rebuke me if I needed it, and maybe even just for fun.

BB
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1/9/11 6:02 pm


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Post Cojak
Stephen Darnell is a prince of a man. Dedicated and defined. I think the kid is doing well. He is his own man. He hasn't become an Overseer because of family connections. But he has been blessed

The last I knew of his grandpa, before he died, he was the church janitor in Lincolton, NC. His dad was a choir director (unpaid) in NC.

The appointment I am sure was not made to hurt, embarrass or make a point. He must have felt it was right.
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1/9/11 7:14 pm


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Post Three cheers for this comment! Cojak
Randy Johnson wrote:
In practical terms, what do District Overseers actually do?

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1/9/11 7:15 pm


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Post Bro Bob
Quote:
In practical terms, what do District Overseers actually do?


This is a good question. Times, they are a changin'

From it's appearances early on the CoG took on a military/big business style structure, but highly modified.

A big part of that was in full swing in the 50s 60s and even the 70s.

We didn't fellowship much with other denominations who openly ridiculed our backwoods beliefs. We fellowshipped with each other.

At that time, if you went from one CoG to another to another to another you heard the exact same music sung the exact same way, and it was our own stuff and fresh from the latest convention books purchased at camp meeting.

The Declaration of Faith was never threatened in the slightest from any pulpit. The doctrine, like the music, was unique to our church in almost every town, while being identical to every other CoG. And we felt we were struggling to grow, but the truth was, no other denomination was coming close to our overall expansion.

Attending district fellowship meetings the next town over was a competitive event. How many are here from East Gadsden? Stand up! And we would count them.

While attending a smaller church, I have had D.O's actually come and present names and take votes for pastoral selection. I have known D.O.s that had to go and deal with a wayward pastor, or help a pastor deal with a wayward layman.

I have a tape someplace of a D.O. telling the men of a church who had contacted him 2nd ( as the MINUTES require) asking for a pastoral preference vote, and in that tape they are rebuked with the warning to "Touch not God's anointed." "Your pastor is God's man, and when he is right he is right, and when he is wrong he is right!" This same man's own hand picked council (MINUTES violation) would later bring charges against him.

I knew a D.O. once (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) who was ordered by an overseer... No, I can't tell this one yet.

The structure is still in place for D.O.s to exist and there is quite a lot they can do on behalf of the State Overseer. And I would think they can be much more available than the state office in large states just for advice and counsel, both to the other pastors, and to the other congregations on their district.

Surely there are pastors on acts-celerate who can add to this.
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1/9/11 8:20 pm


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Post Randy Johnson
Larry Wiley wrote:
Quote:
In practical terms, what do District Overseers actually do?


They have the right to call themselves "District Overseers".

As far as authoritative responsibilities that is determined by the AB.

They can have district meetings such as calling a fellowship meeting with the pastors on the district or District Revivals or Youth Rally's.


So, in reality, they don't really do that much at all, so having a woman appointed as one really shouldn't be a problem, should it?
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1/9/11 9:12 pm


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Post Bro Bob
Not any more than putting the ark on a cart pulled by an ox.

Not any more than giving your word and not keeping it.

Not any more than using a book to claim to BE a state overseer, and ignoring it when it comes to performing your duties.

Not when the options are plentiful to appoint her as pastor and make someone else the un-necessary District Overseer.
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Post CoG Jerk
One thing that makes me wonder is if I'm not mistaken the official title is now District Bishop. Not that I personally would have a problem with that, but we supposedly ruled out female bishops at the last GA.
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1/9/11 9:28 pm


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Post Randy Johnson
I didn't mean to offend anyone by my previous remark, but I hope it made someone stop and think.

Personally, I like the idea of District Overseers, but I think instead of them being currently active pastors, they should be seasoned elders in the faith who can devote their full time to the churches on the district, instead of having their time and focus divided between the welfare of the district and pastoring their own church.

A district overseer, in my opinion, should be a person who can advise, mentor, correct and mediate the disputes that might come up between pastors and church members. They should regularly visit all the churches on their district and evaluate the pastor's ministry and the health of the church. But it would take a special person to do this and pastors' attitudes would have to change in order for it to work.
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Post BB said a mouthful Cojak
We didn't fellowship much with other denominations who openly ridiculed our backwoods beliefs. We fellowshipped with each other.

At that time, if you went from one CoG to another to another to another you heard the exact same music sung the exact same way, and it was our own stuff and fresh from the latest convention books purchased at camp meeting.

The Declaration of Faith was never threatened in the slightest from any pulpit. The doctrine, like the music, was unique to our church in almost every town, while being identical to every other CoG. And we felt we were struggling to grow, but the truth was, no other denomination was coming close to our overall expansion.

Attending district fellowship meetings the next town over was a competitive event. How many are here from East Gadsden? Stand up! And we would count them.

While attending a smaller church, I have had D.O's actually come and present names and take votes for pastoral selection. I have known D.O.s that had to go and deal with a wayward pastor, or help a pastor deal with a wayward layman........... Shocked

Yes, they did that at one time, and that is a fact. Also a fact about our denomination at that time. Wink
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1/9/11 9:55 pm


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Post Bro Bob
Randy, forgive my snap. You know how much I appreciate your comments here.

This is no gray area. It is as plain as it can possibly be. The younger men are the ones pushing this issue and they are doing it without any new revelation or exposure from scripture, rather they are doing it by eliminating previous scripture reference. They had the significant power to get it on the agenda ( wanna try that yourself?) and when soundly rejected they go ahead and do it anyway, even when options to appoint the woman AND keep faith with the body are right in front of them.

Is it any surprise that it is California where a previous AB was forced to make the appointment of a man who not only holds dual credentials (forbidden), but pastors churches in both denominations simultaneously?

Compared to that, this doesn't even leave a greasy spot.

I am here to bury our forefathers and these rules they established and left for us, I am not here to praise them. It has already been testified in this thread by another good man how honourable these specific persons are. So if there is conflict between them and those who went before us, then it MUST be the dead who got it all wrong. If there is conflict between them and their own peers on the general council, it is because too many on that floor are just illiterate hicks from Tennessee. If they are in conflict with the body, then it is the BODY that has it wrong.

..............

As to your proposed alternative, I prefer it to what we have in place. And you and I both can make a better Bible case for that than our present system. But you would have to eliminate the idea held in most pulpits that the pastor's place in the body is so far removed from the pew, that the dna isn't even the same.
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Post War Eagle
I said this on the other thread.

The whole issue is pointless. We've contradicted ourselves so many times in regards to this issue with women and bishops.

We just need to go ahead and decide what we want to do and do it already.
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1/9/11 11:25 pm


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Post What did the General Assembly decide? doyle
I wasn't at the General Assembly so this is a serious question. The role of women in leadership was strongly debated. What was the decision?

D
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1/10/11 12:25 am


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Post CoG Jerk
That women could not be bishops in the CoG, and that women could serve on the Church and Pastor's Council.
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1/10/11 12:34 am


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Post I know it was said in jest earlier but,... Bowtat
what is the role of a DO? I am under the understanding that they are to be aware of local congregations and ministers to (1) help with any needs they can and (2) to be the "heavy" for the AB. I do not think this is mind blowing to assume a seasoned minister, despite the gender, could full fill the role.




and one more note:

Bro Bob wrote:

The younger men are the ones pushing this issue and they are doing it without any new revelation or exposure from scripture, rather they are doing it by eliminating previous scripture reference.

I understand that you read the scriptures that a women should not be in ministry, ok got it, but to assume that youth and lack of scriptural understanding is the reason I support a women in a ministry position that is not found in the Bible has NOTHING to do with a women bishop. I would also note that OUR seminary professors seem to hold not only the age requirement and the biblical awareness, but also the belief that being a women does not exclude you from being a bishop. If you would like hold that a women is not allowed to be a bishop, that is fine, but understand that those of us who do not "read" it the same way do have some place in the COG.

I would pray that being from the North, South East or West, being young or old, or born with ovaries, black, white or whatever would stop being a reason for disqualification for respect on this board or in our Church. Sure I laughed at the Soddy Daisy guy at the GA, but then I realized he is a "ordained Bishop" as well.

Sorry for all that, I just hate when a topic is dismissed as nothing more than youth and ignorance when it seems to be a major discussion with in our Church denomination.
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1/10/11 10:51 am


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Post Shane B. Stone
Title is still District Overseer. Unless a state did it on it's own I've never heard the District Bishop title. Therefore it is not a violation of the minutes.
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