Below is the text of a letter to the editor that I sent to the Effingham Now newspaper defending our church. I think it is self-explanatory.
UPDATE: This letter was printed in the Dec. 27, 2007 issue of the Effingham Now. You can read it on their website here.
I was not surprised by the personal comments against me by the pro-liquor crowd in your newspaper's Effingham Now Vox Populi (Dec. 13, 2007), but you also printed an attack on my church that bordered on libel. You printed bald-faced lies about our church: that we manipulate people, that we don't do anything to help the community, that we don't encourage new people to join our church, and that if you're a nobody, don't bother joining us. None of that is true. You did not call our church for a response; you just printed this attack under the anonymous Vox Populi. Although the vox merely said "a church," how can anybody conclude it was any other church than First Baptist of Rincon when it was immediately after two other vox statements that attacked the church’s pastor by name?
A former member told me that she sent in a response to vox to defend us, so I waited a week for her response, but it was not printed. I cannot sit by silently any longer without responding to lies about the church that I love and serve.
1. We do not manipulate people. I have a few church members who disagree with me about the liquor issue, and we have discussed the matter lovingly and calmly, without any threats.
3. Our church has an active weekly evangelistic outreach, regularly inviting new people to join our church. Nearly every week new people join our church.
4. Our church is open to all races and economic backgrounds, and we currently have African-American, Asian and Hispanic people attending our church.
So as you can see, the vox comments about our church printed in your newspaper are not only false, but they are the complete opposite of the truth. While I respect the right of the people to express various opinions, I have no respect for the faceless “voice” of one person to openly lie about a church, nor do I respect a newspaper that would print such anonymous comments.