A pastor in North Carolina has resigned from the pastorate after getting caught plagiarizing sermons over the summer and passing them off as his own; an act his church says disqualifies him from ministry, and the pastor himself agrees.
Speaking to his congregation this morning via a pretaped segment, Pastor Greg King, a SBTS graduate, told Five Stones Church in Waxhaw, NC that after being previously chastised and disciplined for preaching another man’s sermons, he continued the behavior and started preaching plagiarizing messages over the summer that were not his own. His fellow elders confronted him about it, exercised church discipline, and removed from from the pulpit.
“Hey Five Stones. It’s hard for me to believe that this July marks 25 years that I’ve been in full-time ministry, with 12 of those years being the teaching pastor at Five Stones. Over the course of that 25 years, I’ve been blessed to be a part of so many people’s lives as I’ve shared the gospel. And while the majority of that time has been nothing but up today is a difficult day as I need to confess that this summer I preach someone else’s sermons.
Some will ask was this an isolated occurrence and the answer to that is ‘no’, the elders had addressed this issue with me in the past after. After several meetings with the elders, it was agreed that it would be in the best interest of Five Stones and myself, for me to turn in my resignation.
Thankfully Five Stones has never been about one personality, but instead it’s been a plurality of leadership. And so it’s important for the church to hear me say that I support the elders.
I am confident that Five Stones will continue to help people take their next step with God in the days ahead, and I pray you will forgive me for those choices that I have made.
Thank you church for how you have loved and supported our family over the years. “
We spoke to a congregant from Five Stone Church, asking her whether or not anyone was taking a cavalier attitude about the plagiarism, or minimizing its gravity. She told us:
“No one (of the congregants) has expressed that they view this as a non-issue. Everyone is very sad and feels that the church has handled it well…In some sense, I guess I would tell pastors, we do feel it when you’re not doing the work yourself. But what I really appreciated was the elders taking it seriously and Greg’s willingness to be publicly repentant. He didn’t defend the practice at all.”
We commend both Five Stones leadership for not tolerating it, unlike a certain congregation whose pastor is caught in near-identical circumstances, as well as former pastor King for publicly repenting of it, also unlike a certain Southern Baptist Convention President and pastor.
h/t to Jeff Maples at our sister site Reformation Charlotte for the vid
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