A few days ago Bill Eibell called to tell me about a meeting with Brother Oscar Rodriguez Friday night for those who were upset or concerned about all the people who have recently left Rock Church — or if we had any problems with him and Carol. He said if I felt I needed to attend the meeting to feel free to do so.
I wrestled with whether or not to go for three days. Myrtle decided not to go (then found she would be out of town anyway), believing that God is going to work everything out. I had to confess to the Lord that my flesh wanted to go just to find out, if possible, what was behind so many people leaving – but my spirit was saying, no, don’t go. Yesterday morning while preparing for devotions I read a statement by Ignatius, an early church leader — he said we should be loyal to our pastor, and that disloyalty to a pastor was disloyalty to Christ. When Bill came over to the school later in the morning, I asked him if I would be disloyal to him if I attended the meeting. He said, no, to go if I felt I needed to. A short time later he called me out of the learning center to give me a pastoral warning — he said it in a very gentle, loving way: if I did attend the meeting, be very careful not to get caught up in something I might regret farther down the road.
So I began wrestling again — should I or should I not go? The meeting was scheduled for 7:30 and about 6:15 Ann Boyd called to offer me a ride if I were going. I had thought earlier of calling her to see how she felt about attending the meeting, but hadn’t done it. Perhaps, since she called me, this was direction from the Lord, so I decided to go. There were only 11 members there and I think all of us were shaken up, just knowing why the meeting had been called. Brother Oscar and his wife Nellie listened with love and compassion to all that was shared. (I didn’t open my mouth.) Bill Eibell apparently has not had a true pastor’s heart towards everyone in the body, and Carol has taken authority that God had not given her. In view of the fact that more than 30 members have already left the church and others are on the verge, Brother Oscar agreed that a change of leadership was needed immediately. He told us that he would be there to minister on Sunday and that the Eibells would be going back to Va. Beach. In a way I felt relieved and yet terribly sad.