The below is an account by Stephen Dare on the "tremendous effect that Jerry Vines has had on First Baptist, both as the pastor and in the days since he "resigned" from pastoring." It is pulled from a MetrJacksonville.com thread. This is an important story related to, arguably, one of the most powerful churches in our city and, at one point, the country.
Image from JerryVInes.com
I think there is a tremendous story in the horrifying effect that Jerry Vines has had on First Baptist, both as the pastor and in the days since he 'resigned' from pastoring. The narrative that I have is cobbled together, and doubtless wrong on many points, but it doesn't paint a very good picture of the man who almost singlehandedly destroyed the third largest baptist church in the country.
Here is the rough outline of the narrative:
Dr Lindsey Jr went to college in the 1960s and obtained an education in marketing, business management and advertising.
He came back to his dad's church and simply applied the modern techniques of outreach, messaging, customer followup and client relationship management and grew a church that had fewer that 2000 members into a 23 thousand person congregation and the third largest baptist church in america.
He took on Jerry Vines as an associate pastor. Vines had been one of the so called 'young lions' of the southern baptist convention in the 1970s who had split the baptists convention with conservative fundamentalist politics and started a 20 year purge of 'liberal' and 'moderate' baptist preachers and congregations from the Convention. Falwell and a few other familiar names from the era were some of his fellow 'young lions'. (this war on other baptists, continues to this day, btw)