Pastor or Staff Worker Being Fired

I have been fired a number of times:

(and not in order of the events)

Wooster Baptist Temple by the Pastor for doing a good job. 1970-71. I have never been back.

Connersville Baptist Temple by the Pastor because the Pastor believed I should be a Pastor in another church. 1978-1980. The church members did not know why I was ask to leave town. The Pastor left, and I have been back twice since, good church.

Portsmouth Baptist Church, the Pastor said they didn’t have anymore money (that was a good one) 2003. I was ask to leave but the Deacons said no. The pastor finally quit and now I am welcome back. I did not leave town and am still in town.

Bigelow Church, fired by the Elders before I had a week under my belt.  I did not leave town and am welcome to come to the church.  I was not the Pastor but had a new position that did not every get off the first floor.

Pleasant Valley Ranch Camp, fired by the Board becasue I would not go against the senior pastor 1974-76. I was going to Manssfield Baptist Temple, I preached there several times and worked with the Pastor, and taught the College and Career class, and had a great time teaching the class.

I pastor two Southern Baptist Church Lusby Mills, the old deacon was not very happy at the growth in the church and I left. Then another Second Baptist Church, the real reason that was stated by the Deacons who were very good men, was that I was not a good southern baptist preacher, and than I had a little trouble with Wal Mart.

Victory Baptist Church, Assco. Pastor was not ask to leave but was the people were not happy with the me. In fourteen months we had 201 first time visitors, are church grew to 275 from about 120. The Pastor did not want me to resign. I go back to the church anytime.Good people and a good Pastor.

Thank goodness I had a little better time in First Baptist Church in Kansas, I did manage to stay as Pastor/Teacher for  16.4 years. Had a wonderful time, loved the people, still do.  Invited to come back anytime. Have preached there several times.

Ashland Ave Baptist Church, fired by the Assoc Pastor at the request of the other Assoc pastor who agreed with the Senior pastor, because they felt I was not cleaning the lady bathroom well enough. 2001. But I did stay in the church and after the Pastor left I was able to teach the Adult Sunday School Class.

Madison Baptist Church, Pastor for 3.4 years. The church had twelve our first Sunday, and we went over 100.  I resign myself. I have gone back several times and am welcome. 1971-74.



Currently I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church since 2008 and its been a challenge but we are doing good. I guess I might be here for a while or until I get where I can’t preach. Love every week there.

Oh I was fired at Southall Baptist Church in Danville, VA in my second year of Seminary. The Pastor didn’t like it that I was doing a reasonable good joy with the youth.  I was only 19 years old at the time.  He had be sign a paper saying he was a good man. He wasn’t.  1967 was the year.  I have never been back.

You know you would think I have a problem with Senior Pastors.  I have always had a good relationship with the people in the church, but its always been the pastor who is out of order in their pastoral ministry.

And one other place I worked was Roanoke Baptist Temple, where I was the youth pastor ans assoc. under by Dad, Everette Whisnant for 27 months. I loved every minute when I was there from in the 10 and11th grade of high school, before I Dad died in 1966.

Was not fired at Fellowship Baptist Church, in Roanoke, VA in 1966



I was not fired at West Handly Baptist Church in Fort Worth. 1968

Was not fired at Gideon Baptist Church in Fort Worth under Dr. George L. Norris for 42 weeks as Bus and Children’s Director.

Was not fired at First Baptist Church in Haltom City, Fort Worth in 1976.

So that give a brief history from 1964 to this present time in August 2012: that would be 48 years.



Many churches today are being forced to let staff members go. This is a tough call, one no senior pastor wants to make. But senior pastor, if you do have to let go of a staff member, I’d suggest you realize that there are some phrases that sting when voiced, phrases that are often misconstrued as lessening the blow.

1.     “This is going to make it possible for you to find the right place for you at this time.” What the staff member is probably thinking is, “I thought we all prayed about this when you hired me. You even asked me if I’d be a long-timer or if I’d be moving on when something better came my way. We both thought this was the right place for me. Please don’t act like God has a greater plan for my life. You’re just using God-talk to rationalize the decision you and the elders have made.”

2.     “This really hurts me to have to do this.” When a senior pastor says this to the person they’re dismissing it sounds as though they’re asking the person being dismissed to minister to them. The person who needs to be ministered to is the person who’s already wondering what their family will do when the severance package runs out.

3.     “If we had more money we could keep you.” In many settings, the staff member who is about to be without a job may be thinking, “If you were willing to give up a small portion of your extravagant salary, the church could afford to keep me.”

4.     “I’m really going to miss you.” When you make this statement you lead the staff member to believe that you had a great friendship, not just a working relationship with them and that you’ll miss their abilities and personality. The way to judge whether or not you should use this statement is if you know in your heart of hearts that, 1) you really need them in order for the church to function an all pistons, and/or 2) you really do love them and what they bring to the team and that they help in creating a chemistry that is vital to the team. By the way, if you’re the senior pastor… if you realize that these two things are true, back up and regroup, do anything in your power to keep this staff member. You can’t be sure the next person you hire will be able to be this person, the church won’t be nearly as effective and efficient without them, and they are vital to the chemistry of your team.


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