I have been told three reasons this happened to Peter. One, they had just dealt with a homeless man in the sanctuary that refused to leave. Two, they had removed a person and that person had a gun. Three, they were doing all they could to keep the meeting from having any disruption whatsoever. Let me deal with each of these individually.
One, the homeless man. Certainly there are issues of vagrancy that should be dealt with and should be handled correctly. We cannot have our meetings overrun with the homeless, but we should minister to them in some way. However, let us examine Brother Peter vs. a homeless person. Certainly Peter will not win an award for “best dressed” preacher at any convention. However, on this day he certainly would not have been in the bottom 25% either. Brother Peter was dressed in a black suit and tie.(The picture was taken by his wife on his way out of the door for the convention) Certainly if a security person cannot tell the difference between Peter Lumpkins, in a suite and tie, and a homeless man he needs to go back to some type of security training.
Second, the removal of a person from the property with a gun. Peter may have been in his black suit and sun glasses and possibly could have looked like someone with a gun. But, then again, how can anyone profile what a person with a gun looks like? I have church members that have concealed carry permits and I was shocked by some once I found out. This incident with Peter Lumpkins had the security personnel roaming the hallways on the far side of the building trying to find someone with a gun and they identify a person with a camera as the perpetrator?
Third, they were trying to keep the meeting from being disrupted. Ok, that is a fair assessment. Then, there seems to be a question that is staring us in the face. Brother Peter is the person from Georgia that asked Dr. Mohler a question on the convention floor that could be perceived as “disruptive” by some. I do not perceive it that way but knowing state conventions like I do, the leaders do not want any questions asked that may seem disruptive. However, let’s say Peter’s question was not the case and they were targeting people that looked like they would be disruptive. What is it about Peter Lumpkins that looks disruptive? Is it the wind blown look of his salt and pepper brunette hair? Could it be the wrinkles on his face that time has placed there? Or could it be the svelte profile that Peter exhibits? If the way someone wore their hair causes him/her to be a target because they look disruptive, then GBC security will miss the skin heads that may come to their convention to disrupt it. If it is the wrinkles on his face, then GBC better begin issuing “Ponds” or “Noxema” with the messenger packets. If it is the svelte profile then GBC better get ready because the ExComm is now looking at a resolution on obesity. Does the GBC want the world to think they have nothing but overweight pastors and that Peter’s slender build set them on alert that he could not have been a pastor?
At the Georgia Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference, being held on the campus of North Metro Baptist Church Lawrenceville, Georgia Monday afternoon, a fellow Pastor, blogger, and Messenger to the Georgia Baptist Convention was physically accosted and asked to leave the premises by security. During a time in the Monday afternoon meeting Rev. Peter Lumpkins was physically grabbed by the Security Team of the Georgia Baptist Convention and asked to remove himself from the premises. What would be the reason for the Security Team of the GBC to publicly accost a Georgia Pastor? I mean, is Brother Peter charging the microphones and being belligerent to the guest speakers? Could it be that Brother Peter is blocking doorways and not allowing people to enter the worship center. No, it is none of these. What is it?
It seems this entire incident began when Brother Peter walked in with six-yes 6-of his books, at a guest authors request, and placed them on the guest author’s table. He was confronted by the security head at that time and told he could not place those books there as they were not approved by the GBC to be sold. What? Are we seriously censoring the sale of personal material at the state conventions to the point we are approving what every individual author sales? I mean, if we are that concerned about the authors we invite and rent space then we should not invite them or rent them space.
After that issue was ascertained as a mute point, Brother Peter was then asked about the camera he had over his shoulder. Brother Peter said he would like to take pictures and wondered if that was a violation of GBC policies. The head of security told him as long as he did not take pictures inside the Worship Center he would be able to stay. Less than five minutes after working through the issue of the camera, Brother Peter was approached by security personnel, physically accosting him by grabbing him and roughly pushing him toward the door. Brother Peter pulled away and then questioned them as to what was going on. It was then they told him he had to leave with the camera. Brother Peter informed the Communications Personnel that he wanted to get Dr. Frank Cox’s perspective on what they were demanding of him. What really surprised Brother Peter was the response of the Communications person when he said that Dr. Frank Cox was merely the “host” and had nothing to do with their actions. Then he questioned the use of his phone camera and he was informed they would remove him if they saw him taking pictures with a phone camera. Brother Peter took his camera equipment to the car and then returned to the conference.
Here is the issue. What is GBC afraid of? Is this the way GBC treats the pastors of their convention that leads their church to give in excess of 10% to CP? Why would the presence of a camera, hung across the shoulder of a duly elected messenger, be used to cause suspicion of security personnel? Brother Peter also had two copies of the book written by his son-in-law. His son-in-law is a youth pastor of a mega church in the Atlanta region and one that has been featured in the Christian Index. Brother Peter was told he could not have those two books on premises because they were not authorized by the GBC. What?
And one wonders why Georgia Baptist are having difficulty. Maybe the GBC Insider, though he was anonymous and I loathe anonymity in blogging, was on to something.