IT’S A SIN TO KILL A CHURCH (Or A Mockingbird)
When 2012 began, the Primera Iglesia Bautista De Frisco (PIB) was a thriving Christian Congregation exerting a positive influence in the town of Frisco. They operated a street ministry in their neighborhood, and supported foreign missions in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba and the Bahamas. After 25 years as a mission church, they were about to complete incorporation and achieve legal independence. They were full of faith and optimism.
They had given their time and their money to make their little Church beautiful – volunteering to landscape and clean and paint. Their Sunday school rooms and kitchen facilities were well equipped and demonstrated the family-centered mission of the little Hispanic Church. They had just celebrated Christmas, hosting all the children from their central Frisco neighborhood.
As 2013 begins, the little congregation is dramatically changed. After nine months, locked out of their Church; after losing all of their equipment and furnishings; after seeing a Korean congregation possessing and enjoying all that was theirs; after being betrayed by their brothers in Christ, they are short on optimism and hope. They are angry, and constantly fearful that the remaining families will desert -- terrified that their beloved Church is dying.
And who, or what is killing Primera Iglesia Bautista De Frisco? Is it a bank with a forfeited mortgage? Is it a business with unpaid bills? Is it the government with unpaid taxes or illegal activities? No it is none of these.
First Baptist Church of Frisco locked the doors of PIB Church last March 25, five days after the Hispanic mission church notified their sponsor that they had completed incorporation under Texas law, and were eligible for independence. The stated reason for locking the Hispanic congregation out of the Church they had bought and used for over 25 years was the character of their pastor. Although Rev. Ruiz had led PIB for almost a decade, he was now considered unfit by FBC. However, even when PIB finally agreed to fire their beloved minister, FBC was not satisfied.
In an almost unbelievable display of distain and disrespect, the pastors of FBC appropriated all of the equipment and furnishings in the Hispanic Church. Everything from audiovisual equipment and musical instruments to pots and pans was taken. What FBC could use was kept, and everything else was hauled and dumped in a storage facility. PIB was informed that they could pick up what they wanted from the things piled in storage. Then FBC leased the PIB Church, furnished with PIB property, to a Korean congregation.
It is hard to believe that the only objective of FBC was to protect the people of PIB from an unworthy Pastor. If their goal was to punish Rev. Ruiz, they are succeeding. If their goal was to kill Primera Iglesia Bautista, they are succeeding. If their goal was to appropriate the property of PIB for the financial benefit for FBC, they are succeeding. FBC is killing their former mission church and in the process enriching FBC by close to 2 million dollars.
One can only wonder how the good people of FBC feel about the destruction of the little Hispanic Church and the enrichment of FBC by these actions.