For many years, Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis has been one of the most prominent Southern Baptist churches in the nation, due to the godly testimony of the late Adrian Rogers.

In 2005, just months before Pastor Rogers died of cancer, Steve Gaines became the new pastor. I remember thinking: How hard for someone to follow in the footsteps of a spiritual giant like Adrian Rogers! However, the transition was smooth. The first few months of Gaines’ time in Memphis was rather uneventful. The church adjusted, and corporately mourned the passing of their former pastor.

Last year, things changed. A group within the church became unhappy with some of the changes that Gaines was implementing. Some questioned his leadership. Others wondered about his character. In a church with 30,000 in attendance, it is difficult to measure the amount of support and opposition. Who knows how many people actually came to oppose Gaines? By last fall, there was a significant group (whose vocal volume might be greater than its numerical power) demanding Gaines to step down.

 

SavingBellevue.com was created to keep church members informed of the problems in the church and the issues surrounding Gaines’ leadership. The website accuses Gaines of mishandling church money, ramroddding his own agenda through passive committees, and even “trespassing” on private property.

Late last year, a true scandal erupted. Gaines discovered one of the men on ministerial staff had a history of molestation and did nothing about it for several months. He later admitted that his lack of agressiveness in this situation was a mistake.

The resistance to Gaines continues, largely through SavingBellevue.com. The website is the prime place to find the dirt on Gaines, and sadly, more than a half-million hits have been registered, since the site began.

I am not in Memphis. I do not go to Bellevue. I do not know Steve Gaines. I will admit that Gaines’ treatment of the molestation situation was unwise at best, and that the molestation scandal could very well damage the church’s testimony.

But ironically, more damage is being done by the effort to “preserve” Bellevue by ousting Gaines. The people running this website are airing their dirty laundry for the whole world to see. Bellevue is suffering, Gaines is suffering, and ultimately, Memphis is suffering, because the reputation of a great church has now been stained and will probably suffer reproach for several years. The church’s credibility in the community is eroding. There are people all over the country and the world who are logging on to SavingBellevue.com and reading the gossip.

I am sure that those who have set up this site have good intentions. But is putting up a church and pastor to public shame the way forward?

The Bellevue situation saddens me. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, which means that in some mysterious way, He is working this situation to the ultimate good of His children at Bellevue. I rest in the assurance of His providential will. But I believe that ultimately, it isn’t Gaines’ leadership that is causing the bulk of the trouble at Bellevue. It is “SavingBellevue.com” that is destroying Bellevue.

(See another post on this subject here.)

written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog

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Comments:


39 thoughts on “How "Saving Bellevue" is Destroying Bellevue”

  1. Scott says:

    Thanks for saying so well what I’ve been thinking for a few months now. May God have mercy on our churches.

  2. Gary Moore says:

    I gather from your comments that you say we should swallow and follow. Do you believe all Ministers and religious leader are somehow always divinely appointed and not subject to accountability, questioning or removal when their behavior violates normal human behavior? How can an attitude of “if you don’t like it then leave” be tolerated! Is it not hypocrisy to in one breath tell people to come to Bellevue and in the next breathe tell long time members, those of us who have invested our lives, to not question what we do and if you don’t like it find another church.
    In the eighteen months I heard Steve Gaines preach, I know he believes passionately in titheing almost every sermon contains a demand to tithe but I really don’t know what he believes about Jesus. A preacher preaches on what he believes in, and if you don’t preach on Jesus you need to go!
    I have personally witnessed the Church and Dr. Rogers handle a minister who committed adultery and let me tell you that is one service that scared my wife and me. There was no cheering in that service. Dr. Rogers did not allow it. I have also heard that Dr. Gaines had no problems handling a similar situation at Gardendale. I find it hard to believe that this same Church, my Church, had such a slow response and a hard time in deciding how to handle this latest moral failure.
    You are right when you say Gaines is not solely responsible for the problems at Bellevue. His coming is only revealing the cold heart and mean spirit of many in leadership at Bellevue. Last summer I had a skin cancer removed from my face, not something you can hide. I received phone calls of concern from three other senior pastors in other churches but not one phone call from anyone at Bellevue. I guess I am not important enough to make it worth anyone’s time to be bothered except for ministers of other churches. Sadly, Bellevue has lost sight of what is important but I guess the show must go on.

  3. trevinwax says:

    Gary,
    I have not advocated a “swallow and follow” attitude. I freely admit that I am not in Memphis and do not have enough knowledge of the church, Gaines, or the problems to be able to render a judgment as to who is at fault. Even if I was closer to the situation, I do not think it would be my place to do that.

    I’m sorry that you have been wounded at Bellevue since Dr. Rogers passed away. I have been wounded in churches before too, here in America and some overseas.
    I understand that many are upset over changes at Bellevue and that there are many wounds that need to be healed.

    The point of my original post, however, was to question the wisdom of a site like SavingBellevue.com. It seems to me that a site of such gossip and rancor is actually doing more damage to the church than the issues the site was created to resolve. The very fact that people from anywhere can access this site and get the latest “dirt” in the Bellevue crisis is disturbing. This site is the result of choices made by people who (like you) have been wounded, but (unlike you) have not chosen to handle their hurt wisely and in a Christlike manner.

  4. CONNIE says:

    Very interesting, How is your Web-site any different than Saving Bellevue. You were able to give your opinon just as those people are. My understanding is the reason the site was started was because the members could’nt get the Pastor and Staff to answer any questions. Refused.. to answer their questions and some were removed from their position in the Church. What would you suggest someone should do if they are ever faced with this problem in their own Church? Especailly when God’s laws as well as man’s laws are being broken.

  5. trevinwax says:

    So if I feel I have been wronged by a church or the pastors of a church, I have the authority to slam them publicly and drag their names through mud?

  6. CONNIE says:

    You did’nt answer the question?

  7. trevinwax says:

    What would I suggest someone do if they are faced with this problem in their own church? Definitely not start a website that would smear the name of my brothers and sisters in Christ and the church that I love.

    If I am at odds with the leadership of my church, I must either ask God to change my heart so that I can follow the leaders or ask God to lead me where He wants me. Perhaps the direction of the church is the sign that God wants to move me elsewhere. Starting a website that tarnishes the reputation of a good church is not one of the options.

  8. CONNIE says:

    Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. If and I did say if…The leaders are omittedly doing wrong and breaking laws and will not listen and answer to all Church members in a Church business meeting or in a private meeting of more than 2. Something more drastic has to be done. Pastors are human and have to held accountable or they may fall or trip and no one wants that to happen especially to a Godly man that Bellevue’s pastor was…And he was or is only God and he know for sure. One thing is for sure God’s plan for this will be the right plan. Amen?

  9. luke says:

    i am curious to know which, if any, Bible verses have been used to show that what savingbellevue.com is doing is, indeed, God’s plan. Currently i would have to agree with trevinwax about the public slander and libel that is really putting the Christian realm in a bad light. However, if there is new light that could be shed(and by new light i mean grounded in some sort of evidence and/or Biblical doctrine) then i would appreciate such enlightenment. God bless

  10. Saul says:

    So let us all put our heads in the sand and bow before the great Steve Gaines. Could it be that the world would see the that the true “Christian realm in a bad light”. Is it any wonder that the US Congress is now in control by anti Biblical people and now passing gay rights laws as Christian ministers lavish themselves with worldly pleasures.

  11. Billie says:

    I agree with your opinion that the, “savingbellevue” site has all but destroyed the reputation of our great church. I loved our church under the leadership of Dr. Rogers. Dr. Steve Gaines has been a, “Joshua” for us and some of our people have chosen to turn to Egypt instead of going on into Jericho and claiming our promise land. I can honestly say that I have grown, tremendously, spiritually under the leadership of our new pastor. I follow closely as he declares
    God’s Word and I have not found one single mistake. He has made a few decisions which I questioned until I learned all of the facts and based upon all of the information he had I believe he made the only decision he could have made. I, along with thousands in our church are sick and tired of the members of the, “savingbellevue” site. I wish to thank you for giving us a opportunity to express our feelings of disappointment and disapproval of what these hypocrites have done. I ask that you and your readers please do not judge our pastor and the thousands of faithful servants, of our Lord and Savior who remain faithful, by these few people who have the means and intelligence to instigate such a demonic force against God’s servants. We covet your support and prayers.
    In regards to the bloger statement that Brother Steve preaches every Sunday on tithing, this is a false statement. I have heard every sermon that he has preached and I can tell you that his messages rarily ever mention tithing and the one sermon that he did preach on the subject was one of if not the best sermon I ever heard preached on tithing. Their web site is filled with lies and deception.
    Thank you for your wise observation!

  12. Tina Benham says:

    I found your site by accident, but am so thrilled the Lord led me to it! As a member of Bellevue for 17 years…I love my Pastor. Do I think he is perfect? By no means, as none of us are. He makes mistakes as we all do. But I get so much out of each sermon he preaches. The problem with the “Saving Bellevue” stuff is that it makes it so hard to keep a family going on a regular basis because they want to go and worship their Lord and Savior, like we are suppose to, but all the naysayers want to keep negativity stirred up. If I were unhappy and I would be going elsewhere to worship. Why pull everyone down and away from where they may think the Lord wants them. Go find the place that you feel happy serving instead of trying to make everyone unhappy.

  13. Marten says:

    truth is never gossip or slander. So you are saying that Christians should never publicly admit negative truths? How shallow. We must contend for the truth. Gaines IGNORED scripture in allowing a minister who raped his son to stay on staff for 6 months until the outcry became so loud he and the victim let him know things were not ok. What does ONE do with a pastor who either does not know scripture or chooses to ignore it.

  14. Laura says:

    Let me clarify something about the “Saving Bellevue” website. The website was started as a last resort, due to the “stone-walling” by the leadership. When I say leadership I am speaking of Gaines, Doughtery, Taylor, etc. I also use this term, ‘leadership’, very loosely because those of whom I have listed are anything but leaders. The web site is not about bashing anyone, although there are and will be many more that will say that it is. The website is about TRUTH. Some things that have been brought out by the website have eventually been admitted to by Gaines and a few others. However, Doughtery has yet to admit or apologize for anything.
    This Easter will mark the 29th anniversary of my family coming and joining Bellevue. And the past year Gaines has stained the face of Bellevue and the legacy that Lee, Pollard and Rogers have left behind.
    This isn’t about changes – this is about character. And if people will open their eyes and see for themselves and do some research on Gaines as I have done, there will be no doubt in the minds of Gaines’ ‘followers’ as to what he really is. And that is – someone who has a hard time with telling the truth. Someone who apparently has a hard time calling sin – sin, instead of ,” a mistake of the mind and not of the heart.” Someone who has an anger problem (Gaines threatned a man – there is a sworn affidavit to this). Someone who believes that we are not born lost (You can go to Bellevue’s site and go to the message archives and hear the sermon “Blessedness of a Cleansed Heart” – this sermon has been the trouble spot for me with Gaines, because I this is not scriptual). In a nother sermon about Lazurus and the rich man that went to hell – Gaines said that we are not sure if this event really took place. I have always been taught that it was an actual event. In all of Christ’s parables, names are not mentioned. However, in this story that Christ told, He uses a specific name. Gaines said, ” It could have happened. Or it’s just a story. Perhaps it’s both.” It cannot be an actual event and a parable at the same time. And the list could go on.
    I feel as Christians we need to stand for truth no matter what the cost. If it was about changes being made, such as music styles, I would agree with you. But we are not. We are talking about standing on God’s Word and doing what IT says and following what CHRIST says do. Let me add, this MUST be done in love.
    We are standing at a crossroad and we will each have to decide which road to take. As for me, I choose the road of TRUTH no matter what I might find. I will continue to SEEK truth, LOVE truth and LIVE for truth.

  15. trevinwax says:

    I am continually amazed at how much traffic this post has generated during the past few weeks.

    I thank everyone who has chosen to comment here. But please, I do not want this to turn into another “Saving Bellevue” site, in which people come and write down all the gossip about Steve Gaines. People who are looking for that information can find it on other sites.

    I will mention only one thing in Gaines’ defense (to the accusation from the previous comment). About “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” – as one who has studied the parables for years, I have come to the conclusion that it was indeed a parable of Jesus, because the opening “There was a man…” is the opening to many of Jesus’ parables. It’s similar to what we would say “Once Upon a Time” today. It’s true that Lazarus is named, and this is the only parable that features a named person, but when we consider that Lazarus means “God is my Help,” then we understand that Jesus was seeking to show us that this was not just a poor beggar, but a poor righteous beggar.

    This is not an issue to divide over. And attacking Gaines on an issue like this is ridiculous. There are many men of God who believe the story is true, and many who believe it’s a parable. Jesus Himself will straighten us all out. But whatever position takes on a story like this does not make one a conservative or a liberal.

    The previous comment illustrates exactly what I tried to communicate in the main article: anything and everything is used against Gaines to discredit his leadership and cast doubt on his teaching.

  16. Jack Wright says:

    Steve Gaines does not fit the discription for a Pastor Biblically. So you should be looking at this from a Bibical standpoint ONLY. YES he should remove himself as (so Called) Pastor.

  17. Laura says:

    First, I share no gossip. I used Steve’s own words. This is something that we disagree on. That’s ok. But – Do not accuse me of gossiping. I stated that I had a problem with Steve’s take on Lazarus and the rich man and also about his stand that, and I quote, “You are not born lost.” This is not trying to take something and use it against him. I am stating what he said. Not everybody is as learned as you. The average person, (especially lost person), when hearing a statement like that, can cause great conflict.
    It is NOT Scriptual and doctrinally correct. Therefore, I will take a stand and defend God’s Word.
    I want to stress, the things in the previous article are facts.
    “Saving Bellevue” will continue to take a stand for what is right. I know those who are affliated with the website personally. They only seek for Truth and accountability.

  18. Debbie says:

    What would you suggest someone should do if they are ever faced with this problem in their own Church? I think this is the best question of the Blog and really the next point of value after dealing with both sides of the “Saving Bellevue” site issue.

    I understand the deep desire of getting the truth out to people in your church, when the church has taken a left turn that you either perceive as unscriptural or really is unscriptural. You want the truth known and the church you love protected from the guaranteed attack from the evil one (who would love to destroy a church), or from the wrath of God as he chastens his shepherds for deceiving or harming His sheep.

    We could all agree that the people in Bellevue went to leadership and weren’t heard. Let’s assume that was true. The question is then, what is the next right thing to do? I’ll assume a lot of prayer went into the decisions made – even those to create the website, must have taken prayer. So I’m not arguing about the site topic, but I do want to discuss what God would want us to do.

    I am not in Memphis, but my own mega church has gone off in a wrong direction under the leadership of a powerful teaching pastor and a few strong leaders. Over several years, we met with the leadership several times, prayed and worked on trying to make things right, but all to no avail. We left this church, which was quite painful and sad. We were tempted, but we did not create a website, because I truly believe God is in control. As much as we wanted the truth to be known, we really believe this is God’s decision not ours. First and foremost, it is God’s church, not mine to destroy. We trust that He will reveal the full truth in His good timing, despite how much it hurts to wait upon Him.

    We took the steps that follow. We prayed A LOT, read scripture and read many books that pointed us back to scripture. We anonymously contacted a few church consultants to ask their guidance and prayed with them. We had a sense of urgency to meet with the leadership and give them the warning we believed God would want us to say, which was mostly from Scripture hoping the two edged sword would work. We did all this with much prayer and in love for the leadership and our Lord. We feared there would be a mass exodus or a church split, because of the potential outing of the deception by either Satan or God. It’s now too late, the split and exodus are happening.

    There are several powerful leaders in large churches, the temptations are great, these sins are so easy to fall into because of pride and “successful growth strategies”. This is not a limited problem in the US, it’s happening in many places. We are aware of more churches and families deeply hurt by powerful leaders that have gone astray in big business churches. The greatest harm is to the name of Jesus and the glory of God. This is no small problem in our wealthier American church world.

    So again, what would you suggest someone should do if they are ever faced with genuine deception problems or other severe sins within the leadership in their own Church? Would you make this a new topic for discussion?

  19. trevinwax says:

    Thanks, Debbie, for your words and the question you pose. I have started a new topic for discussion based on your question. You can access it here:

    http://trevinwax.wordpress.com/2007/03/26/how-saving-bellevue-is-destroying-bellevue-take-2/

  20. Trish says:

    You are correct in saying that the “Saving Bellevue” website has all but destroyed Bellevue. I am a member at Bellevue and I am amazed at the lengths that this group has gone to destroy Steve Gaines. I think that we should pray for our church leaders….not attack them. If you do not trust the leadership at your church, then pray and leave. Starting a “church bashing” website is not the answer and it is NOT scriptual. I trust Steve Gaines, but I trust the Lord more. I know that the Lord will take care of the situation if the leadership there is not what it seems.

  21. Bill M says:

    This blog is totally uncalled for. You are not a member of Bellevue, and have no real means of knowing what the story is at Bellevue. Yes, Bellevue’s sterling reputation has been tarnished. At this point, beyond repair. It happened under Steve Gaine’s leaderhip and obvioyusly some of the policies he implemented, or allowed. The ‘buck stops with him’. For the best of all concerned, he should resign.

  22. Keith says:

    I’m a member of Bellevue, and the church has not been destroyed. It is still a vibrant church ministering to the city of Memphis for the glory of our Lord Jesus.

    There are concerns about Pastor Gaines, but unfortunately so much gossip and slander has been thrown around the real issues have been lost sight of.

    Savingbellevue is an embarrassment and an eyesore, and should be taken down.

  23. arejaymack says:

    As a Christian first, and a Pastor for almost 40 years, I have read most of the comments of pros and cons and wish to add my observation. It seems to me that Diotrephes did not get the recognition that he and his crowd wanted and now, they turn their attack against God’s Church and God’s messenger. It is another case of the sheep trying to dictate to the shepherd and now you have the usual consequences. I have noted a great dane walking down the street and two or three minitures barking at his heels. He may turn and look ocassionally but mostly, he just keeps on going to take care of business. I really question how much prayer has gone into all the attacks against this man and ministry. God help us!

  24. csglaser says:

    If you take a good look at human nature it is evident that the savingbellevue.com web site is a natural consequence of Dr. Steve Gaines unfortunate mistake. It is natural for people to react in different ways to different circumstances and controlling those reactions is futile. It is like throwing a lighted match into a box of incindiary devices. Some will go off, some will not, some will go a short distance, some a long ways and some not at all. The only solution is that the situation is adequately handled by the match thrower. Dr. Gaines has to prove himself all over again. Just saying he is sorry isn’t going to be enough. He has to back up his regretfulness by showing some sort of responsibility. He has taken away something from the congregation, mainly trust, and trust always has to be earned. I don’t think it is unreasonable to step down while he is making progress at regaining the congregation’s faith and trust. A church divided allows sin to enter its doors. If Steve Gaines does not step down (and by now its not even questioned)he allows Satan to come into the church and destroy it. And by the way, forgiveness is important, but forgiving him and allowing him to continue to lead are two very different things.

  25. Brad says:

    I happened to find this site this morning and couldn’t pass by without my personal opinion also. I was very disturbed to find out there are problems at Bellevue, a church I have visited several times through the last 30 years. As a pastor, and also as the son of a pastor, I can think of no better way to harm or slander a church or any individual than to start a so-called site like “save Bellevue”, which could possible do nothing more than fuel the fire and help spread gossip. Regardless of what those of us outside Bellevue have heard, seen, or read, let those without sin cast the first stone. No one has the right to air anyone’s dirty laundry for the rest of the world to wallow in — whether “justifiably” or not! We who call ourselves Christians need to pray for Bellevue Baptist Church, for their Pastor Steve Gaines, and for the individual members on each side of the issue. We have no right to choose sides. We have no right to say Steve Gaines is or is not a qualified pastor. We have no right to judge. That is the job of the One we call God. Only God truly knows who and what are at fault. AND, ONLY GOD can forgive sins and correct these wrongs — not us humans, and certainly not any web site. May God truly “Save Bellevue”, and may He continue to save all our churches from sin, backbiting, gossip, and slander, of which there can be no benefit.

  26. Crystal says:

    Hi everyone. As believers, there are a few things I feel we should remember:

    PASTORS are human beings living in flesh who make mistakes.

    If God can forgive them, be patient with them, and allow them to grow, why can’t we carry out the christlike duty of doing the same?

    Since when is perfection a prerequisite for being used?

    Was David disqualified from leadership after his sin? Who determines whether a heart is truly repentant- us or God?

    Paul had a thorn in his flesh and stated that he couldn’t do right, even when he tried. He stated this openly in a letter to the church. Was he openly bashed? Was his family subject to reproach or embarrassment?

    Who among us has the right to declare him unworthy of service without following the proper channels involved in attempting to handle this MERCIFULLY? The scriptures say that if its necessary to bring him before the congregation and he doesn’t repent upon confrontation, he should be removed from office. But the key here is a face to face meeting of some sort where he has the ability to defend himself- not a bashfest where he’s unable to defend himself.

    Finally, on judgement day- we are not bashed in the presence of God, we are asked to give an account. Why, as Christians, can’t we understand that God desires that we are merciful, patient, and prayerful concerning our bretheren. Stop expecting perfection. Since Christ has ascended, we will not find it in any man on earth.

  27. Brother says:

    Let me clarify one thing for the readers of this website (which I am sure you mature believers already know). God’s church will always have a struggle with Satan until Christ returns to take his Bride home. We can make our stand and wear the armor of God, and then let God fight the part of the battle that is His.

    “Saving Bellevue” is probably just one small instance of such trouble the Bible speaks of (it is merely ONE man who has made up false accusations and published them for the cheapest price to the widest audience). If we Christians have given our witness to the truth by our lives, and we walk with God (as I fully believe Steve Gaines and many members of Bellevue do), then the part of the battle that we cannot fight will be handled by Him. Three days of carrying away the spoil…maybe in Bellevue’s case that means planting local Spanish churches to reap the harvest of souls :)

    Readers: we should follow Matthew 6-7 and judge for ourselves. I believe it cautions us to apply judgment to ourselves first. So, settle this in your own mind: Do you trust a small group of assassins that secretly plot to bring down the righteous with their every move (like Bill M or Jack Wright or Jim Haywood)? Or do you trust a pastor who has a large congregation of Christian supporters, and has a history of walking with God openly. The evidence (in my opinion) is overwhelming that Steve Gaines is walking with God blamelessly. A church should support its pastor and pray for him to seek God more deeply.

    Yes, Steve is a man who makes mistakes. Yes, he learns new theology every day from the Bible. I imagine Brother Steve will handle issues like ministers molesting their kids (albeit 17 years ago) differently now as well. I’m sure Steve Gaines will learn to be a better person before Christ even to the moment of his last breath. We all are in the same boat. We as Christians are “a group of sinners who banded together to do something about it” as one wise ministry put it with a smile. A body of fallen sinners whose hope is in Christ alone…

    Let me do what Dr Rogers suggested: bring us back to Jesus. I love Genesis 6:9 because it shows how God is pleased with blameless men (NOT PERFECT). I believe He is pleased with Brother Steve (and Bellevue) as a whole. Any discipline God gives will be done as a father who disciplines the child whom He loves. How many fathers seek to malign their sons openly with a website? God does not need a website with lies to accomplish His will, but He does use such things to His ultimate glory anyway.

    As for the doctrine that our beloved pastor preaches – I have heard plenty of sermons. I find no fault in him. I even think Brother Steve has learned how to cut down on the number of points he uses so that we can keep up :) I heard some alliteration the other day, too. I like it when he plays the guitar. Either way, he is the man that I want to pray for as my pastor. I want to have the privilege of seeing my church turn out 2 giants in the faith – Dr Rogers and Brother Steve Gaines.

    You and I can debate over “rumors” and allegations, but God is the Judge. Christ determines if His servant stands or falls. Even for the Christian who falls and then repents, Christ wipes away all their sins – even the sins of ministers who have molested their children, or treacherous people who set up false websites to malign the righteous from their little hiding places. If Christ removed us from our area of influence for any sin, then all of us would be removed. This life is not about perfection, but about being righteous, blameless, and learning to walk with God. Who is Christ in this situation, and what is my response to Him?

    Here’s what I am going to do. When Brother Steve talks about “a parable” I will try to take it in the Spirit. I will ask Christ about Lazarus’ existence when I see Him. I will not worry about carrying 2 cloaks and a sword with me when I go out to share Christ with my neighbors. I will praise the Lord for the BBQ I eat, and I will not force my wife to cover her head, as in the Old Testament. I will sing a new song and an old song to the Lord – whichever ones Jamie Parker selects for Sunday morning. I will assume that Genesis 6:9 applies equally to a man as to a woman. I will seek to rightly divide the Word of truth. I will use the common sense that God gave me to avoid vain babblings over nothing. I will expose lies against fellow Christians (including Brother Steve) as just that. I will forget about “Saving Bellevue” and its poison. I will pray harder when someone mentions Saving Bellevue, and try to prepare myself to carry away the spoil after God’s battle.

    So I ask you – what more can be gained by talking? The issue has been addressed among that former minister’s family, and it is time to let them deal with it. The issue with Saving Bellevue has been addressed by Bellevue. It is time to let God handle it. I pray for mercy for those in the wrong.

    Casual observers: please, be careful of what you read. The tactics that some of these “destroy Bellevue” people employ are nothing short of treacherous, and they will seek other churches. Bellevue is not the first or the last church to be attacked. In the end, the truth will be known and Satan (and his children) will be swallowed up. We Christians will have our judgment, but ultimately we will have redemption and justice. The Bible is clear, and its focus is on Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. His Word is unsearchable in riches, and His ways are not our ways.

    As for Bellevue: I am a Bellevue member, and I can tell you that our church is doing well. The “group” that establishes itself against God’s church is much smaller than you think, and the Lord will protect his church (just like He promises). I just suggest that we pray for the Lord’s guidance, and move ourselves away from any group that opposes the Lord. Korah can tell you why. Just ask any of his kids – oh wait. Sorry.

    Those are my observations, and the truth that I have experienced. May God bless His Bride and grow her to Him. To Christ be the glory – through all eternity!

    **My sermon ends, and I apologize for not alliterating better**

  28. Buffy says:

    I hate to hear about the problems at Bellevue. Adrian Rogers was a true man of God and I know he is missed greatly. My church split a couple of years ago after we had an audit and had to hire a private investigator to find out what we found out. There are approximately 30 people left there now. I may never trust a pastor again but then we aren’t supposed to trust man, we are supposed to trust God! I pray for Bellevue and the people that are hurting there because I know what it’s like to have to leave your church that you don’t want to leave. But I know im right where God wants me to be now and that these things happened at our church because God was no longer there. Like Bellevue, we could not get our pastor to leave. All the deacons left and most of the members are gone but the few I mentioned above. I don’t see anything wrong with the Saving Bellevue site as long as the truth is being told because people need to know what these pastors are doing to Gods children and his house.

  29. Ken says:

    I am formerly a member of Bellevue having left years ago due to job requirements. I absolutely loved Dr. Rogers and was able to attend his Memorial Service. I have heard S. Gaines preach twice as well as offer the invitation at the Christmas presentation. He did a wonderful job.

    I don’t really know Dr. Gaines but the few times I have seen him I was impressed. Perhaps he has fooled me, but I must say that his critics do not impress me very much. They may be mostly in the right and just unable to express themselves that way due to the limits of electronic communication. I know blogs do not allow a person to express his heart. But, if this blog and the “Saving Bellevue” blog is an accurate representation of those who speak in the medium, I believe they should repent. They come off as nothing more than bitter, selfish, and hateful. I was also present when a minister taken in adultery went before the church and I concur that Dr. Rogers handled it perfectly. I also agree that Dr. Gaines messed up badly. People, there will never be another Adrian Rogers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved him and I miss him too. I am tearing up just thinking about him. Ken Whitten and The Roger’s daughter’s comments at his memorial service make me want to cry when I remember them. But you cannot expect ANY man to be another Adrian Rogers.

    Comments like “my church” and “I’m not ‘important’ enough” etc. make you seem petty and self-serving. Please know that I don’t want to judge you. I am only expressing an opinion about how you “appear” on this and the Saving Bellevue blogs.

    Unless there is bonafide, clear-cut, proven, and obvious sin on the part of Steve Gaines, I believe you should refrain from this kind of rancor. If he is taken in adultery. if he is embezzling money. If he is preaching heresy (not just something you disagree with him about). If he is messing up (like he did one time) on a repetitive basis. If he has violated the biblical qualifications for the pastorate, THEN you should challenge him as pastor.

    But all I have ever heard or read is innuendo, hurt feelings, disagreements, and opinions against Steve Gaines. Before I would touch God’s anointed, I would be very sure.

    Please forgive me for my tone in these comments. I have tried to soften it while still making my points. It is difficult to do so when not sitting face to face.

    May God bless Bellevue, her pastor, and her people.

  30. Britt says:

    ok people, Adrian Rogers was not God! So many people hold him so high that is seems this way! I now go to Bellevue and I love how Dr. Gaines is leading. He is just as much a man of God as Dr. Rogers was. Things are wonderful at Bellevue!

  31. Big Mama says:

    I read the site. If this pastor is guilty of the things accused then he needs to step down for the good of this church and re-evaluate whether he should be in a position as spiritual leader. I do not know any of the people mention or the church except by reputation. So I do not know on a factual basis if any of these allegations are true. But a minister should be held to a higher standard. His handling of the sexual molester is grounds enough in my opinion for his resignation. He should have offered it up immediately and not put his church through this ugliness.

  32. CJ says:

    How is Steve Gaines responding to the scripture that talks about “if your brother has ought against you” ? Is he going to them or is it his way or the highway? That should give some insight into the situation.

  33. John Taylor says:

    What a facinating article. I’m looking for a NLP expert to help with a project, who’s your mentor?

  34. Bill says:

    The buck stops with Steve Gaines. Really? So what your saying is that only Pastor Gaines can be held bibilically accoutable? What about not taking a brother or sister to open court as Paul said in 1 Corinthians? Each of us is responsible to be a witness. That means tha daily decisions, attitudes, and the way we go about conflict resolution, and the way we deal even with chruch staff is to be Biblical. Wheter or not we respond in obedience to the commands of Christ is the cry of the Bible. It is not whether or not we can make others submit.
    In my opinion, as Paul would say this is bill speaking not Christ. The biggest problem in the church today is a feeling of entitlement that if what we want is not happening we can pursue whatever avenue to get the results we desire. Pastor to stept down, teacher to quit teaching, my kid to get a fair shake, me to get the promotion I desire.
    The Buck stops with each of us.
    What ever happened to earth shaking prayer? If Steve Gaines is not supposed to be the undersheperd of Bellvue then pray for God to reveal that to Steve, if Steve is to be the undersheperd then pray for God’s will to be done in His pastoral leadership and those that disagree pray that God will bring all to unity of the Spirit of God.
    Isn’t that what Dr Rogers Called for in His final message as Sr Pastor of Bellvue?

  35. Tammie says:

    My husband & I are members of Bellevue Baptist Church. We receive a blessing everytime we hear our pastor speak because he is speaking from God’s word. I do not know why some people feel the need to try to undermine God’s work I can only conclude that is the work of the devil. I really believe that this website is just one of the many tools of the devil to cause conflict in the church. If you will read your Bible you will see that Christ loved the church so much that he gave his life for it. So the ones that are guilty of attempting to cause problems at Bellevue; remember this is Christ’s church. Do you really want to stand before God on judgement day and give account of your malicious actions?

  36. Ernnestine says:

    What bible are you reading? I hear this man preach every Sunday before I leave for my own church, and I have never heard him preach anything but the bible that I read and study from – NKJV, Amplified, NLT, and other translations which are approved by most scholars. He preaches Jesus, salvation by grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, walking in the Spirit, living a holy life and witnessing to the lost. I believe if he were not God’s man, he would have been removed by now or shown plainly to be godless. Dr. Rogers is in heaven. He is not coming back. He had already retired and Steve Gaines had been hired by the people of Bellevue. It is a shame before God for believers to publicly fight and back stab each other, giving the church and Christ a bad name just because they are not getting their way or can’t get rid of a preacher they don’t like. There is a lot of difference between personal preference and Scripture. No preacher ought to be maligned unless he is clearly violating Scripture. Our personal preferences don’t matter, and we need to go somewhere else if we can’t live with things we don’t like where we are. Whose church is it? It is Jesus Christ’s church and it is about what He likes and doesn’t like!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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