This is one of the toughest articles I have ever had to write. The church that I have been attending for some time, 5 Hills Cowboy Church in Kempner, Texas has fallen prey to an evil that I have a hard time defining. Read on and learn how a Church can be killed from the inside.
Several weeks ago (in mid-August) 5 Hills Cowboy Church had a Congregational Meeting after the church service. This was supposed to be an informational meeting to let the church know what was happening with finances, building, etc. It became something else. Perhaps to fully understand, you should watch at least a part of this video that happened prior to the date of the Congregational Meeting where the two Elders were asked by our Pastor to preach because he was on vacation: https://fb.watch/nheNfyh1nQ/
The video isn't a Biblical sermon, it is a fear-mongering harangue (with a LOT of misinformation).
Back to the Congregational Meeting. During the meeting, the Pastor indicated that he felt the Bylaws by which the church was operating were not Biblically in order (he is correct). This led to an actual argument, in front of the Congregation, between the Elders and the Pastor. An argument that became very heated by the Elders getting extremely angry. Somewhere in there, the Holy Spirit decided that I needed to speak up. I do not actually remember everything I said, but others have told me that I spoke about there being a spiritual thorn in the side of our Pastor and that it was OUR JOB to help draw that out.
Still, people left the meeting confused, hurt, and angry.
In the week that followed, the Elders decided to FIRE the Pastor. As I have read the current Bylaws, there does not appear to be any basis for his termination except that he did not agree with the Elders. Understand, the Bylaws do give the Elders the ability to remove the Pastor, but only for specific reasons and NONE of these applied.
5 Hills Cowboy Church is a member of the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches (the AFCC). The AFCC does not dictate to the individual churches nor does it own the churches or their property.
The week following the firing of our Pastor, the Elders first stated that it was a misunderstanding and that they really wanted him to take a sabbatical, this was an obvious lie. Then they said that the Pastor left the meeting and quit, which was another obvious lie. If I understand 1 Timothy 3 2:7 correctly (where the qualifications of an Elder are defined) this act of lying immediately disqualifies them from their position.
In the ensuing weeks, obviously feeling empowered since there have been no consequences for their actions, the Elders have:
Removed people from the membership roles
Fired people from positions in the church for no valid reason other than they disagreed with their actions. Including removing people while in front of the congregation.
Interrogating people whom they suspect have a differing opinion than their own.
Barred specific people, physically, from entering the church
I have attended a different Cowboy Church (Open Gate Cowboy Church) for the last couple of weeks and it is 180° the opposite of what I am seeing at 5 Hills Cowboy Church. While Open Gate Cowboy Church I have seen a steady influx of people who were attending 5 Hills Cowboy Church and have now left. One of these people (who was removed from their membership and physically denied entrance to the church) was a FOUNDING MEMBER of 5 Hills Cowboy Church.
Through all of this the AFCC has offered to help, to send people to guide, but they have been rebuffed by the Elders at 5 Hills Cowboy Church.
5 Hills Cowboy Church is a dead church. There is simply no other way to state it. When a church becomes an exclusive club where you can only be a member if you agree with the dictators in charge, it is no longer a church and is totally outside the will of God. It has been allowed to become this way by people who could have stopped it. Irreparable harm has been done to the church and NOTHING will bring back many of the people who once made 5 Hills a real church, a place where the Holy Spirit fell, and Christ was in charge.
Stay in prayer for us please,