AmericaPreachers.com has broken news that Bishop Neil Ellis formerly of the Full Gospel Baptist Church will in fact begin a new fellowship. Bishop Ellis' exit has played out more like a "take my ball and go home" story than the divinely inspired shift story it has been portrayed as.
This week news broke that by virtue of its severity could have toppled one of the most visible progressive fellowships. With his resignation from the Full Gospel Baptist Church, Bishop Neil Ellis took with him years near the helm of the Full Gospel Baptist Church.
Serving alongside Bishop Paul S. Morton for the fellowship's existence, many saw him as the only plausible successor for the church's chief apostle. When it became apparent that Ellis may not have been the replacement, in favor of the embattled (and ultimate successor) Walker he withdrew himself from consideration altogether.
He chose to spare the church the overwhelming rift that was sure to follow a defeat at this summmer's convocation.
This week with his resignation in tow, he removed his and his church's membership from FGBC. In a heartfelt (open) letter to the Bishop, Ellis resigned from his post as 2nd Bishop. Bishop Morton replied with another leter and reinforced the notion that FGBC was in no way facing a split.
That was until 18 churches in the Bahamian jurisdiction followed suit and renounced their membership with the church. Something has gone awry in the Full Gospel Fellowship and unconfirmed sources have stated that many more churches are set to stage an exit in protest of new leadership. The Full Gospel Baptist Church has long been lauded for it's legacy of integrity and has withstood every challenge against its leaders and their most private matters.
All of that seems to be crashing down with whispers of voting improprieties and Bishop Morton turning his back on one of his long time allies. One thing is certain, both preachers will be just fine. Morton and FGBCI will go forward even under the bishopric of incoming Bishop Walker. Bishop Ellis has already been connected to Chicago Pastor and Chief Apostle of a burgeoning fellowship Larry Trotter. This all seems to have grown from Bishop Ellis' dismay over the impending voting results last month. No one can fairly assume what the future will look like for two of FGBC leading men (Morton's tenure ends in 2015).
A brotherly bond was severed suddenly and surrendered to ths public to further sully what little hope remains of reconciliation. What reparations could be made after the vote? Certainly Bishops Morton and Ellis have spoken since last month's convocation. Apparently Bishop Ellis was not pleased with Morton's effort or lack of effort to make a move that would better represent his tenure and high rank in the church. Detractors say that Ellis mishandled not being the Bishop's eminent replacement and those sour apples are to blame.
Others along with Ellis have docked their FGBCI vessels and are mere spectators as the sun sets and the ship sails on their fellowship with FGBCI and Bishop Morton.
What do you think? Divisions have for years been at the root of "new" fellowships. Do you think Bishop Ellis was right to leave? Comment below and share your thoughts with Fred and the readers!