2305 Raguet Street Nacogdoches, Texas 75965 Sunday Service Times: 10:30am

Letter from the Elders

Dear Members of Grace Bible Church,

Please find the transcript of the elder’s statement that was read this Sunday regarding pastors Kyle and Terrell below.

We recognize that this is a very difficult time for all of us and that there is still a lot of confusion and hurt to be dealt with.

Please know that we are praying for healing and restoration within our church family.  You may always contact us with questions.

United with you in the gospel,

 I have some very important and difficult news to share with you.  For the sake of clarity and because this is highly emotional, I’m going to read what I have to say.

 As you know, Pastors Kyle and Terrell have poured themselves into leading this body for the past several years, and the Lord has used them to accomplish tremendous things.  People have been brought to Christ, many have been baptized, and other ministries have seen fruitfulness and growth.

 But over the last couple of years – and particularly in recent months – it has become clear that Kyle, Terrell, and the elders have differing ideas in some key aspects of doctrine, vision, and church governance, which have made our continued working relationship unsustainable.  Please hear me when I tell you that we have labored long and prayed diligently over these differences, but in the end, as a result, a majority of the elders, with heavy hearts, asked Kyle and Terrell on Wednesday to step down as lead pastors. 

 Please understand that there is no scandal or moral failure involved, and that we love and respect these men deeply.  They are Christ-honoring brothers who are earnestly seeking to do what they feel the Lord is calling them to do.  We bear them no grudge and wish them tremendous success in their future ministries.  We will continue to pay their salaries and benefits for the next few months as they transition into the next phase of their careers.

 As is often the case in difficult times, many rumors have started since this news leaked out.  I want to take a moment to attempt to dispel two of the more prominent ones.  While our chief theological difference does revolve around spiritual gifts and how they should be practiced at Grace Bible Church, many of the notions flying around are exaggerations that do not accurately reflect the views of the elders, and they are harmful to God’s family.  There are brothers and sisters on all sides of these issues who stand to be hurt, and we don’t want to carelessly add to that hurt.  Additionally, our decision was not orchestrated by any single, small segment of the church.  This situation is painful enough already; we must affirm what is good and right and true.  

 Ephesians 4:29 tells us to “not let any unwholesome talk come from our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Likewise, Colossians 4:6 admonishes us to “Let our speech be always seasoned with grace, so that we will know how we should respond to each person.”  God can still be glorified in the midst of this, but only if we commit to treating one another as brothers and sisters, even if we end up going different directions.

 We ask you to join us in praying for Kyle & Terrell, their families, and for all of those who will be deeply hurt and confused by this decision.  The Word tells us to weep with those who weep; this is a time for weeping together.  But it is also an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that we who are in Christ can walk through calamity without bitterness and rancor.

 In addition to this being a trying time for them, it is also going to be a difficult season for our body.  There will inevitably be a period of flux and uncertainty as we chart a new course.  We ask for your patience, your involvement, and most importantly your prayers for the elders and the staff.

 We understand that many of you are experiencing significant hurt and confusion right now.  We sincerely apologize for the pain this is causing, but our God is a healer and restorer.  Jesus came to bind up the broken hearted.  If you have questions, and we expect that many will, you may come to us individually after the service and we will answer you as best we can.  We will be here at the front.

Before we pray, I would like to take a moment to try to answer a few obvious questions.

What is next for Kyle & Terrell?

Short term:

  • let me reiterate that they will receive full pay and benefits until the end of May. 

Long term: 

  • they are committed to continued ministry in Nacogdoches. They are seeking the Lord for direction to that end.

What will happen here at GBC?

In the short term:

  • There is obviously going to be some adjusting, but we will have church next week at 11:00.  One service only. 

    • There will be full children’s programming and the nursery will be running normally.

  • No student activities next Sunday morning.

  • Crosspoint will meet as usual next Sunday evening.

  • Kickoff for Wednesday night children’s and student ministries will be pushed back 1 week, to January 25.  Again, no Wednesday night activities this week (January 18).  They will start up on January 25.

  • There will be some turnover on the staff and elder board.  

    • Joni Hagler, our executive administrator, has resigned, although she will continue to fulfill her duties as we search for her replacement.  

    • Her husband Paul will also be resigning from the elder board.

    • Josh Taylor, our worship pastor, has resigned.

  • We will continue to meet our financial obligations to any staff and interns that decide not to go forward here at Grace as a result of this decision.

Long term:

  • We will do a pastoral search

  • In the meantime, we will continue to worship the Lord and study the Bible together every Sunday as a family

  • We will continue to serve the community and extend God’s kingdom in this city as GBC has been doing for over 75 years.