A 103-year-old Georgia woman was banned from the Elberton church she’s served for 92 years after she voiced concerns about the pastor’s sermons.
Genora Hamm Biggs received a rejection letter from Union Grove Baptist Church in August, according to Athens Banner Herald. Signed by Rev. Tim Mattox and nine other members, it was then Biggs and her grandson, Elliott Dye, found out they had been banned from the congregation.
Dye had served the church for 30 years, Biggs for 92.
Biggs said the letter didn’t state a reason behind the expulsion, but believes it has something to do with her comments on Mattox dividing up the Baptist church by incorporating a doctrine of Holiness practices.
“He is a holy sanctified minister or so he says. We voted him in and we didn’t know it until he was there. We are Baptists and that’s what we want to stay,” Biggs said.
Biggs says she ignored the ban and attended church the week after getting the letter. Upon her arrival, the pastor dismissed the service and left Biggs sitting in the pew with the lights off. Police were notified, but Chief Mark Welsh says he refused to throw a 103-year-old woman out of church.
Dye says his grandmother was also subjected to slurs from their former fellow churchgoers.
Dye said a woman in the church called his grandmother “Jezebel,” a term with negative connotations for Christians. But Biggs didn’t hear the reference, Dye said.
“I never told her because her feelings would have been hurt,” Dye said. “They have been so rude and I don’t understand why it’s been directed at my grandmother. My grandmother can be pretty outspoken and that could have a lot to do with it.”
Ordained minister Kevin Hamm was also banned, but says he was more upset over Biggs’ dismissal. She began attending the church at the tender age of 11, and is even featured on a founding members plaque in the building.
“To disrespect a pillar and a mother of the church; how can we sit back and watch something like this go forward?” Hamm said. “The church decided not to comment because it’s all a bunch of foolishness,” he said.
Other members of the church have taken Biggs’ side, excusing themselves in solidarity. Biggs refuses to give up, vowing to return to the congregation.
SOURCE: Athens Banner Herald | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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