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Belleaire resident questions message, Workplace smoking ban, Residents shocked by treatment by Town

Belleaire resident questions message



As the ongoing controversy between the First Baptist Church of Concord, and many citizens of Farragut escalates, I decided to listen to one of Doug Sagers’ sermons on line from Sept. 30.

I found some of his comments interesting. HOWEVER, I was dismayed and disappointed in what I felt is the lack of respect for those citizens who do not agree with the FBC master plan expansion, and have serious valid concerns that so far have been ignored or dismissed.

During part of his sermon while he asked for a $16 million commitment by Nov. 18, 2007, he told his congregation not to fear. Doug Sager said, “It doesn’t matter what the critics say, it doesn’t matter what the papers say, doesn’t matter what the media say, doesn’t mater what the municipal planning committee says, it doesn’t matter what the authorities say, there is no fear. Because God wants the church to grow corporately.”

What exactly is that supposed to mean?

Doug says he is going to step up and do the expansion for the glory of Christ. “We can do anything we decide to do,” per Doug Sager. Nov. 18, Brother Doug wants the congregation to gather in celebration and make a statement about what “we” believe about God and what “his” word means.

Doug Sager also wants to raise $16 million by Nov. 18. Next Sunday he wants a commitment for $1.9 million in pledges.

He asked: “How many of you are willing to suffer for Christ, what are you willing to give up for Christ. … What are you willing to give up for the sake of the gospel?”

It seemed to me that almost the entire sermon revolved around raising money and then raising more money. And then belittling and undermining the democratic process our country was built on by belittling the town of Farragut’s codes, rules and regulations.

Pastor Doug and the FBC have to obey the same laws the rest of us do. Both Man’s laws and God’s laws. There seems to be a prevailing attitude among the very small group of people “in the know” within the FBC that perhaps they have confused their will with God’s will.

Also, many of us feel the church administration is over its head but too proud to ask for help or admit they did not plan well and made serious errors in judgments both financially and in how they have badly treated their neighbors.

It is sad to think that a church that has been an important part of the Concord and Farragut Community for so many years has lost sight of its true goal. Which is to Serve God and To Serve God’s Community. Serving one’s ego has nothing to do with teachings and love of our lord and savior Jesus Christ.

The residents of Belleaire, along with Shiloh, Derby Chase, Glenn Abbey and Farragut Crossing have formed a cohesive group whose goal is to protect our families, our homes and our communities. We are also gathering support and strength from other residents of Farragut in other neighborhoods. We will continue to stand tall and proud and behave with dignity, as we know what we are fighting for is our families first and foremost. That is where we gain our strength and determination, as well as from each other.

If you belong to the FBC, ASK QUESTIONS, DEMAND ANSW-ERS, don’t allow anyone to throw rhetoric or scripture at you in an effort to diffuse your question or confuse you. Write your questions down, and don’t be afraid to ask for the answers back in writing.

Look up archives from the farragutpress, The News Sentinel and the TV stations on the meetings from several years ago. You will find a lot of information that will help you understand why the residents of the five adjacent neighborhoods are so distrustful and wary of what its Leaders say to us. That is when they actually communicate with us.



Thank You,

Jeanne Brykalski

Belleaire resident

almost 12 years,

Concord/Farragut Resident 20 years prior to that.



Workplace smoking ban



On Oct. 1, Tennessee [took] a monumental and historic step in the right direction with the enforcement of the workplace smoking ban.

Now, virtually all places where people work will be smoke-free. The goal of the law is to limit exposure to secondhand smoke, which is a serious health hazard that could lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.

The Tennessee Department of Health and the state Depart-ment of Labor and Workforce Development will work jointly during the next several weeks to enforce the ban by educating establishment owners and operators to help them comply with the law.

As Health Commissioner, I urge the one million Tenn-esseans who smoke and those who use spit or chew tobacco to use the ban as motivation to kick the habit for good.

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 800-Quit-Now is a free service for all citizens. Your local health department or your health care provider also can offer you help.

Stopping the use of tobacco products is one of the single best things you can do to improve your health and the health of your loved ones.



Sincerely,

Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN

Tennessee Health

Commissioner



Residents shocked by treatment by Town



My wife and I moved to Farragut five years ago, in large part to be closer to our church, First Baptist Concord. We also have three grandchildren in Concord Christian School.

We have been shocked at the hostile treatment toward the Church by the town of Farragut. This treatment reached its current limit recently when the Municipal Planning Commission refused to approve the church’s site plan for a church/school building when the mayor even stated he found no basis to deny the plan. Instead the MPC voted to continue the application until the church submitted a “Master Plan.” This was in spite of the fact that the planning staff recommended approval. We have a conceptual plan for possible future construction but the church has not voted to build anything more than the building that is pending before the MPC. It is unreasonable and likely unlawful to attempt to tie the church’s hands for all possible future construction.

We purchased 13 houses on Belleaire Drive over several years in order to meet the TOF 40 percent green space requirement and have worked with the TOF staff for several years in order to comply with all requirements. As previously stated, the staff recommended approval. The TOF treats First Baptist Concord as an enemy and an outsider in spite of the fact that the church is made up of approximately 8,000 members, 3,175 of whom are residents of Farragut, and live in 1,580 households. There are 6,330 occupied households in Farragut which means 25 percent of the homes in Farragut are occupied by FBC members. There are 49 occupied houses in the Belleaire subdivision and 13 owned by FBC.

Some of the positive impacts of First Baptist Concord on Farragut are:

1. Concord Christian School has 405 students, 44 percent of whom are not from FBC member families. This means 405 fewer students in the overcrowded Farragut area schools.

2. CCS uses local caterers from the local economy for student lunches.

3. Our Vacation Bible School averages 2,000 children per year, 42 percent of whom are not from FBC member families.

4. Our gym is used by approximately 1,300 persons, 42 percent of whom are not FBC members.

5. Our Fall Festival (at Halloween) serves 5,000 children and youth and 50 percent are from non FBC member families.

6. Our 3,000-plus seat auditorium is used by the public for such programs as Farragut High School Baccalaureate program, Tennessee Band Festival, Spelling Bee, Safe Boating and Hunting classes and is available for other programs under our guidelines.

7. We offer licensed counseling services at no charge to the public and approximately 200 patients have received counseling in 2007.

8. Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America meet regularly in our facilities.

9. In addition to 3,175 Church members who live and VOLUNTARILY shop in Farragut, a large number of our 8,000 members and visitors VOLUNTARILY shop and eat in Farragut each Sunday.

10. We provide gas and food vouchers to approximately 500 needy persons per year.

11. We minister to over 500 middle- and high-school students in our youth programs.

12. We are the largest employer in Farragut.

13. We must be doing something that appeals to hundreds of Farragut residents to have been blessed with the growth we have experienced in the past few years. We believe God is blessing our

ministries.

It is the duty of the TOF to protect the rights of 25 percent of its households and good business sense to treat the many members who are not Farragut residents with respect and appreciation. It is the duty of the TOF to apply the law evenly and without prejudice and the recent hostile atmosphere and actions of the Commissioners at the MPC meeting showed

prejudice.

We urge the MPC to approve the FBC site plan so the Church can continue its ministries and continue to support Farragut.



Sincerely,

Douglas and Sandra Dutton

Fox Den

 

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