Sunday, October 25, 2009

Can't Be Explained Only Experienced

Now, here is "our" history with John. About 6-8 months ago he arrived at RWOC. His first day there, he began asking people for rides. Rides to church, rides to home, rides to the store, rides everywhere. Well, for several months congregation members and staff alike did their best to accommodate John's transportation needs. During this time, John never attempted to find a permanent solution to his transportation needs. He continued to bum rides to church and then blow up and use profanity with staff and congregation members when they declined to give him a ride. John spoke to Officer Dan about having the church bus or shuttle transport him to and from church. (officer Dan oversees the church's vehicle fleet) Officer Dan explained to John (several times) that the buses and shuttles don't run in his particular area due to the lack of vehicles and the higher demand in other areas of the community. John's response?: PROFANITY. So after 6-8 months of this revolving door John decided to leave Officer Dan a message. The following is the transcript of the voice mail that John left for Officer Dan a few days ago:

"Officer Dan this is John from D.C.. I been trying to get ahold of you all summer to call and tell you this stuff to your face. I guess you haven't retrieved your messages. I don't know who has told you that you have arrived, but you haven't arrived yet. Gods had our paths to cross and I'm hoping it was for the best to compel us to go to a deeper relationship but I don't know, you don't want to seem to do it that way, but that is fine with me. I really don't need you man. I just wanted you to know that you haven't arrived, and the shirts you wear are out dated and you look like a hick. You just an unsophisticated hick to me. Thats all. You got your head so far up Ron's behind that you can't see the hurt going on around you, the chaos that goes on around you. Wake up and get start living man so you know what is going on. The kind of dude you are we call that back home, we call you a house nigger, with the dookie ministry, thats what it is. Boss nose ministry thats what it is. Get your head out of Ron's behind so you can stop stroking your ego and maybe you will see what's going on around you and see all the hurt goes on around you and I will see you when I see you."

Well, today when John arrived at church I introduced myself asked him to explain to me and Officer John why he would leave such an un-christian like voice message. He stated that he said those things because Officer Dan had not called him back. At that I said, "you mean to tell me that you feel justified in calling Officer Dan a "house nigger" and insulting Pastor Ron because Officer Dan didn't return your phone call?" John said "yes." (both John and Officer Dan are African-American) John then asked me if I knew what color Jesus was. I told him that "Jesus was a
Jew and thus would have had features which resemble modern-day persons of Middle Eastern descent." John's responce was. "no, he was black." I told him that was fine, but that he was not going to call the church and leave messages like that again. At that point he began to point his finger and aggression toward Officer Dan. I interupted John and told him he needed to be speaking to me. It was then that he told me that I was racist and probably did this type of thing to people like him all the time. I told John that I disagreed with him regarding my being a racist and that my purpose was to make sure there were no further inappropriate phone calls.

John continued with his accusations of my being racist as well as reassuring Officer Dan of his status as a "house nigger" as well as the location of his head up "Ron's behind." I explained to John that if he continued with his insults and language I would place him on trespass notice. To that he stated, "that don't bother me, there is other church's". So, I placed him on trespass notice and Officer Dan and I escorted him outside. I asked him how he was getting home and he stated one of the ushers brought him to church. I asked Offcer Dan and Officer Tim to stay with John while I tried to find the Usher that drove John to church. While I was searching for the usher, John proceeded to become "mouthy" with Officer Tim. At one point Officer Tim asked John why he was coming to church. His response: Im here looking for a damn wife!" "Im here for the women!" (I wish I could say he was joking)

After ten minutes of searching I located the usher and explained Johns situation. The usher stated that she did not want to leave the service. I thanked the usher and called Greenville City Police to give John a ride home.Once the officer arrived I explained to John again that if he returned to RWOC without my prior approval, he would be arrested for trespassing.

It is days like this that I have to say out loud, "It can't be explained, only experienced!"


  1. It is sad when people so lost continue walking around blaming everyone else for their issues. We are lucky to have you guys there to protect all of us. All we can do is pray for him and others like him. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Thank you Alisha. I'm going to pass your comment on to all of my officers. It will lift their spirits.

  3. We truly appreciate you for your leadership and God-given ability. Because of you and your Risk Management team, the Kingdom of God will continue to advance so we can take ownership of what Christ left us with. May God continue to show is awesome favor upon you and all that you touch.

  4. If people only knew what the "Watch Men" go thru!!!!!! I can't say enough about you all, to provide a safe and orderly place for us to worship in a day where not everyone likes us! Continued Blessings and FAVOR to all the Watch Men, Women and their families!

  5. Coming from a "greeters" viewpoint it has often been thought about and said around the church that the "watchmen" are so serious and I have explained that it is because of this very reason such as this blog. I am very grateful for the men and women who keep us safe at RWOC. Your value doesnot get recognized enough. Thank you for serving your church family and educating those who need it in love. Bless you Pastor Travis!

  6. Even though I tease y'all, especially you, I know you do great work! Be encouraged and don't let the exceptions get to you! :) Veronica