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presstalk 671-TALK

ē In the past few weeks and months I have watched the discussions in the farragutpress as the First Baptist cult tries to bully the town into allowing them to expand their facilities for the glory of Christ, the benefit of the community and their pastorís divine legacy. My family has received numerous calls and mail solicitations to ask us to voice our concerns about how FB[Concord] is being treated by the community. I find their claims about their enrollment and benefits to the community to be highly exaggerated. As anyone whoís been involved in these type cults has realized, you are never taken off the role unless you move your membership elsewhere or die. Where we now attend church, there are many other people who are being included on the roll as being active members of FBC. This week, in the mail, we got a DVD with the pastor reminding us how over the years a small group of FBC members have taken advantage of our community. The literature accompanying the DVD appears to suggest that we may put off our children attending college so that the church may have more money for their expansion fund. I find this interesting, since many of FBCís pastors and ministers make in excess of $100,000. Be aware, in addition to their normal recruiting campaign, the cult is now campaigning for the MPC to allow their expansion. I suggest they do not allow this. As I recollect a few years back, the pastor was given a Mercedes and then he purchased a farm. Perhaps they could build the expansion as a memorial to him on his farm. I am sure heíd be willing to donate it and a sizeable chunk of his income for his glory.

ē Residents in the town of Farragut deserve an answer on why our mayor and elected officials have not come up with a compromise solution to the industrialization of the Green-way Trail. Estimates by LCUB have been distorted on the cost of reasonable alternatives for aligning the increased capacity needed for Turkey Creek to other areas, like along Grigsby Chapel [Road] or the highway. These are capacity and money issues, and our town leaders should engage LCUB instead of penalizing the homeowners along the Greenway Trail.

ē Iím traveling west on Kingston Pike, just past the newly renovated Weigelís at Smith Road on the right-hand side. And Iím rolling down my window, going slow, listening for whales and gnashing of the teeth from Sugarwood [subdivision]. I donít hear any. Where is all the gloom and doom? Where is Armageddon? I thought when that new Weigelís opened up, with their entrance so close to the front of Sugarwood, that it was going to be a disaster, according to those residents. I thought there would be wrecks and congestion, and just general mayhem. Turns out this was a good idea. Turns out that is a very nice spot in Farragut. Very nice example of controlled progression. I think it was a welcomed addition to the community, and Iím glad to have it.

ē In reference to First Baptist Church, it seems theyíre making the argument that they make up 25 percent of Farragut. Well, itís kind of interesting that Americaís a democracy, and 25 percent is not a majority. Itís kind of interesting, they seem to be trying to use the same approach that many world leaders use, that penalizes the missionaries they seem to support that they criticize so much.

ē The Administration at Farragut High School should not have planned College Night on Oct. 9, which [was] the same time that our kids are having midterms. Why canít our administrators do a better job of planning in consideration for our children?

ē I thought that Black Wednesday in January was a wake-up call for county officials who had acted unethically in terms of the Sunshine Law. Apparently it was not. One official subsequently spent thousands for printing and postage to increase name recognitions as a newly appointed incumbent. Another denied violation of the law as a witness during the trial, but subsequently said that private deliberation was historically a modus operandi for making decisions on the commission. The one who takes the cake, though, is the official who collects the taxes, who used taxpayer money to include his biographical sketch in the letter that I just received about my property tax. I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I wonít be a stupid person when Election Day comes around.

ē I think what Farragut needs in its new downtown area that theyíre talking about developing is a community center with a pool, health club-like facilities, tennis courts, racquetball courts, and then maybe a big hall for a gathering place, where the town of Farragut could have concerts, meetings, maybe an outdoor area for outdoor movies or outdoor concerts. A place where the community can come and enjoy one another and use the facilities, since we donít have any kind of workout facility or pool since the YMCA isnít going to be built at Concord Pool, and theyíve torn that down. Many cities have this, and I think it would be a huge asset to our community.

ē I really donít understand why the First Baptist Church folks donít get that the people living in their area donít want a huge campus-type facility next to their subdivisions. Just because itís a church doesnít mean they can do whatever they want. I donít use their services, and I donít want or need their services. The church needs to wake up and realize that it has outgrown its sight ó period.

ē I just want to tell you that your rag sheet called the farragutpress gets more sickening to the taxpayers of the town of Farragut every week. You are so biased in favor of First Baptist Church, which seems is a big tax-free business operating under the name of a church. If they are a mission church, why donít they help people in Knox County? There are children that donít have shoes and coats who go to the public schools the taxpayers support and for sure couldnít go to a Christian school. Also, there are people in their own church who need help and canít get it. Missions begin at home.

ē I think in the future, the chairman of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission, who has stated that he is a resident of Belleaire subdivision, needs to recuse himself from any business having to deal with either the church or Belleaire subdivision.

ē I am not a member of the big Baptist Church, and I am also not resident of Belleaire. But I am calling to talk about the issue that seems to be in the forefront in the presstalks. I do live in a neighborhood where the big, new Catholic cathedral is going up, and, quite honestly, Iím not so happy that there will be an increase in traffic. But I just have to get over it because the church is a property owner and they are attempting to use it in a lawful way thatís not going to affect me other than put me out. And I think the Belleaire residents really need to start thinking about this. They have a relatively good neighbor attempting to use their property in a way that might inconvenience them, but certainly is lawful. And Iíd also like to say that last summer it seemed that Belleaire residents were complaining about the road next to the church. Would not the churchís proposed new road help in alleviating that problem? Iím just very, very confused with the position being taken by the Belleaire residents and the fact that they donít seem to realize that life does not stay the same, that property changes. They ought to be rather happy that the town of Farragut hasnít taken their land by eminent domain to build the new high school that we clearly need.

ē I live in Belleaire, and yes I am one of the people who have been active in trying to save our families, our homes and our community. And Iím also one of the people who has had trust issues with representatives from the First Baptist Church. What I would like to see happen before this gets too much farther and too much uglier, is have representatives from the five subdivisions, representatives from the church in a neutral setting. Something very informal where we can throw out questions, make comments, ask the church, ďO-K, why is it this, this and this?Ē And they can give us an answer, and if we donít like that answer we can counter. And if they ask us a question, and they donít like the answer, they can counter ó a give-and-take. A roundtable, civilized discussion. There has to be a way that the church can grow, can have its school, without destroying the oldest subdivision in Farragut; without running people out of their homes. There has to be a way, if the church will just be willing to sit down with us, calmly and honest, and talk to us and listen to us Ö The families who reside Belleaire, Derby Chase, Shiloh, Farragut Crossing and Glen Abbey Ö are not opposing this because they hate the church, they are opposing it because they are mad at the church. Ö They donít want to see their communities negatively impacted. Ö The people who belong to the church who do not even live in Farragut ó much less live in these neighborhoods ó arenít even trying to feel one ounce of [compassion] for the families here.


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