This manipulation of process may be David Hall’s boldest trick yet.
Just as the conspicuous arrogance of King Rehoboam split The Kingdom of Israel ending the stability of Solomon’s reign, so Senior Pastor David Hall appears to be on the verge of splitting Midway Presbyterian Church through the brazenly unconstitutional action of purging the church roll on the eve of a vote to retain his call. Just as King Asa relied on human scheming for deliverance instead of God in a time of trouble, so Senior Pastor David Hall has once again used unethical parliamentary tactics and the schemes of men to preserve his power.
Is anyone surprised? He has even preached from the pulpit how “congregational pruning” is a good thing and he has led the Session in the divisive purging of Ruling Elders who exposed his manipulation of the church courts and his multiple written false attestations (a crime for which he may still answer in the highest court of the PCA).
His messages from the pulpit have been on the theme of “comeback” victories while he orchestrates his own planned comeback by submitting to a vote on his call as a pastor at Midway where he and the Session (made up of men he chooses and controls) get to choose who gets to vote by illegally removing dissenting voters from the roll of the church without telling them.
What does all this signal? David Hall is afraid of losing his power. He is incapable of trusting in the providence he so fervently preaches about as a Calvinist. Instead he has resorted to earthly schemes in an attempt to hold on to his precious position of control.
He would do well to remember that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose hearts are blameless (II Chronicles 16:9), and that truth endures forever, but deceit is always found out (Proverbs 12:19).
A Scared Pastor Makes Bet He Thinks He Can’t Lose…
A reasonable person could conclude that Senior Pastor David Hall is afraid. The messaging from his Session for weeks was that there was only a small “minority” of members who would support his removal. Perhaps some believed this – up until a petition that met the constitutional threshold was submitted to the Session to call a meeting to discuss the dissolution of his call.
Only after an attempt to create outrage by falsely accusing the petition signers of claiming David Hall was involved in adultery, and only after a period of bullying and threatening signers of the petition did the Session declare it out of order citing that non-members had signed it. They of course provided no evidence for such a claim. Members (if they can even know they are even considered such) will just have to “trust” the Session is being forthright.
Perhaps more likely than a bunch of non-members signing the petition is that David Hall and the Session became apprehensive when after the rumors of adultery failed to stick, and their period of coercion and demonization of the signers wasn’t working – that they suddenly realized they might not have the votes to prevail in the question of continuing the Senior Pastor’s call. What has David Hall done in the past when found out? He cheats. One look no further than the infamous Midway congregational meeting of July 2020, the questionable dismissal of the complaints that followed, or the equally disastrous January 2021 meeting of the Northwest Georgia Presbytery – which are just some of the examples of David Hall’s willingness to do anything to preserve his power and influence. The Midway Guardian will be exposing more on these topics soon.
A reasonable person might wonder why if there were so many disqualified names on the petition to discuss dissolving David Hall’s call why it took the Session the better part of a month to make that determination. Why didn’t they examine the roll initially against the signer’s names? The most obvious and likely answer is that they did exactly this and “Plan A” was to try rumors and intimidation of the signers. That didn’t work. So they went with “Plan B” – purge the roll of known dissenting voters. Having done so – a vote to retain his call is a lot less scary to David Hall.
In contrast, recall the words of Puritan Richard Baxter on the “The Use of Humiliation” in his treasured work The Reformed Pastor:
“Our very business is to teach the great lesson of humility to our people; and how unfit, then, is it that we should be proud ourselves? We must study humility, and preach humility; and must we not possess and practice humility? A proud preacher of humility is at least a self-condemning man. What a sad case is it, that so vile a sin is not more easily discerned by us, but many who are most proud, can blame it in others, and yet take no notice of it in themselves!“