Movie Launch! Documentary of the Scandalous ‘First Baptist Church Naples’ Story is Out

Enemies within the Church has released their documentary about the scandalous shenanigans that went down in 2019 at a now-prominent Southern Baptist Church (SBC) megachurch, where a failed pastoral search led to scurrilous accusations of racism and sin on part of dissenting members made national headlines.

We covered the story extensively at the time, and anyone wanting a ton of articles and primary sources can check out the Pulpit & Pen archives, but as a bit of a primer, an SBC megachurch in Florida needed a new pastor after Senior Pastor Hayes Wicker announced he was stepping down. After a time the pastoral search committee sought to bring on Marcus Hayes on board. Congregants had some questions about and concerns about what they viewed as Hayes’ progressive beliefs and ultimately he wasn’t voted in, receiving only 81% of the vote that requires an 85% threshold.

This caused the leadership of FBC Naples blow their top and to. go. off. Because Hayes is a “POC,” they got up on stage and declared that the reason he was rejected was that the congregation’s members were all racists. They released a public letter and lamented the congregant’s prejudice, announcing that anyone who voted against likely did it because he has black skin and they have a black heart and as a result there would be hell to pay.

And there was.

After the dust settled. 700 people left the church and nearly 20 families were formally excommunicated, including some that had been there decades, without ever having provided proof of their charges.

The President of the SBC, J.D. “Hold-my-beer” Greear did as he is wont to do: ignorantly going off half-cocked without knowing what the heck he was talking about and concurred with the accusation of racism despite no evidence.

There’s much more than that, of course. There is so much double-crossing and backstabbing and kind of sin is not even heard of among unbelievers. And this film by “Enemies Within the Church” documents it all.

You can watch the trailer below, and then the full length movie after that.



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11 thoughts on “Movie Launch! Documentary of the Scandalous ‘First Baptist Church Naples’ Story is Out

  1. The self-righteous wokesters at Naples First Baptist negated God’s decree against bearing false witness. Their concerns are not in any way God’s will, apparently, and I can’t see how that church can call itself genuinely Christian.

  2. Why anyone would hire John David Edie is beyond me. What is his resume. He worked on staff at a church where his dad was exec pastor. Then he gets to use that church’s money to plant a church. The plant goes deep into debt to keep him paid. Then he goes to FBC Naples.

  3. When churches have a hierarchy, corruption takes over, I am an ind. Baptist for forty yrs (KJV only, hymns sung) , not controlled by a church council or nat. assoc. I urge everyone to get out of the SBC denomination churches. Form small churches indep. from any assoc. or hierarchy.

  4. I am truly shocked at this documentary’s one sided, half truth and lies are being perpetrated by my brothers and sisters in Christ. As a long time member of FBCN, I know what happened and this is not correct.

    The only thing honest in this whole “documentary” is that Pastor Wicker and his family are wonderful, loving and Godly people. Our pastor resigned. He served well for all those years and we praise God for him. We love him and are thankful that we had the privilege of his leadership.

    However, maligning John David, Neil Dorell, and Marcus Hayes is scripturally wrong. These are one sided malicious lies and I’m shocked that these “journalists” did not do any true investigations! Shame on you!

  5. @Concerned believer, I would love to know the “other side” of the story, or a more complete account of the story. The two sides available on the media on this story are either:

    1. FBC Naples is racist, or
    2. Marcus Hayes is woke.

    I ask because this is close to home for reasons I cannot say at the moment.

  6. I now see why all this happened to Naples First Baptist Church. Their unchristian actions toward their members eventually opened wide the doors to uninvited evil. Around 10 years ago I was an active member of that church for several years. I was a single parent, and unexpectedly I was caught up in a horrible situation at work. I was harassed because of a complaint I made against my boss. Under his pressure by my late father, he wanted me to report my sexual harassment experience. I begged my Dad to let it go, but he insisted I report it or he would do it against my wishes. I said it wouldn’t look right coming from my Dad, it would make me look a fool, I didn’t want to look afraid, I wanted to stand up for myself. So I reported the event confidentially to HR. “Someone” seen talking in the video, was above me at that work place. The company decided to not talk to me at all about my complaint, I was never given assistance, I was left in the dark. They removed me from that office to other offices. That “someone” talking in the video celebrated my demise by holding a celebration with a big cake and a card written and signed by him to the senior boss saying “ha ha ha, I’ll have my attorney talk to your attorney.” the day I was packing my things to relocate to another office. The cake, and the card were right in the open area, there for me to see, as they waited for me to finish packing and leave to begin their celebration. I think he was suggesting I was going to sue. He made sure I was pegged as a whistleblower and thus I had to pay the price. He actively defended the boss with this cake and card. So again, after I filed the complaint and the complaint was obviously purposely exposed by HR, without warning or communications, I was kicked out of that office building and I was sent to other work places. The other work places also treated me very bad nonstop, as if I was under punishment for something I did wrong. It never ended. so I ended up leaving my career behind to find another job. It was so hard for me to get a good job, as I was still suffering depression from losing my career. So right away I asked Wicker Hayes if I could please be hired as a janitor or do anything. Over and over I pleaded and over and over I was denied, I was shocked and my depression got severe. Yet up til then I had been teaching Sunday school there as a volunteer and I volunteered to do a lot of things on my little time off, my child and I were there at all the church functions several times a week, it was our way of life. I struggled so hard I am in tears remembering all this that happened around 10 years ago. So I never got hired but I was offered to clean Wicker Hayes’ house, just once, even though I asked to make it weekly or biweekly or monthly, they just wanted me to clean just that one time. So I had sincerely hoped maybe they might hire me regularly. I made sure I did a deep clean. As I was cleaning that one time, his young child stopped me to talk to me, so I stopped to talk to her. Hayes’ wife came around the corner and saw me standing and talking to their small child, and ordered us to stop talking immediately. I was shocked. When I finished cleaning their entire house at the end of the day, I told the wife it was my birthday that day. Did she even care? No, and still so shocked at her treatment of me I decided I didn’t want her money, I said very kindly that she needn’t pay for that day. She probably thought I felt guilty for talking, but that wasn’t why at all. To me, I hoped that decision I made, made her wonder why I didn’t want to take her money as much as I needed it. I’d hoped she thought about the way she treated me. I doubt she ever realized the truth, I didn’t want her filthy rotten money. So, after years of struggle and never giving up on my faith, I thank God I eventually got a good job working in Iraq for almost 8 years. I have PTSD now, and strugggle daily but I thank God every day He was there for me when my church wasn’t in my time of need. I was still able to give my child a good start in life by my having a great job again but being away from my child that many years has hurt our relationship. All I wanted was to stay with my church family and watch my child grow in the fellowship at that church as we had been doing wonderfully there, it was so special and precious for our tiny family to have an extended Christian family. And some day to see my child get married in that church and even celebrate grandchildren with my church family, those were my hopes and dreams for the future. Well, that dream went out the window, along with that career I had in Naples. Looking back, I loved that church dearly, I considered my family, up until my work problem. Once I got the boot from my company, First Baptist Church of Naples under Pastor Hayes gave me the boot too, who embraced a new member: That man seen talking in the video, around the same time I was going through my work hardship, that “someone” joined my church and became a prominent member and close friend to Hayes. That’s why Hayes booted me, insider information from “someone” who definitely told lies about me and discouraged them from hiring me, that’s how I see it. So now Hayes knows how it feels. People saying wring things about you, people kicking you out, you did that to others, Sir, from your comfortable high position and your m illion dollar home, and good promised future for all your kids, you just didn’t care about the little guy. Sorry he has to go through this but actions have consequences. That’s Biblical. So read that part of the Bible and save all your “poor me” Hayes, no one is listening, just like you not listening to my pleas for help. By the way, Hayes never stopped sending me generated letters reminding me of my signed “promised money“ I would pay weekly; I signed a promise letter that I would give a specific amount of money weekly for the new church building , even reminding me that I hadn’t “caught up” in my weekly promised amount which I cried receiving them knowing I couldn’t pay it, the guilt he laid on me was shocking. So no, Hayes isn’t racist, he’s just in it for the money, prestige, running around with all the wealthy folks and kicking the little guys to the curb. The rest of the people in the video are true Christians as far as I know and they just didn’t know the other side of Wicker.

    Sent from my iPad

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