Whisnants Sometimes on the Wrong Side of a New Start Up

Thirty-five years ago, I was on staff of the largest Baptist church (at that time) in Arkansas. After about a year, I resigned to organize a Lifeline Home for Teenagers. The next Saturday morning, several key leaders of the church knocked on my door to ask if I would start up a new church, stating that they represented maybe as many as 300 who would follow them to join. I declined without a second thought about it. The church did not split and today continues to be strong.

But new startups are not always a bad idea. America actually was a new startup from an old country. However, I am told that my ancestors, the Whisenhunts, who came here from Germany in the early 1700's, were Loyalists to England, at least some of them were, and not Patriots. 

Thomas Road Baptist Church (Jerry Falwell) began in the mid 1950's as a split from a church which my dad had previously pastored. A year or so after Dad had resigned, Jerry was saved and called to the ministry in that church (Park Avenue Baptist Church). When the pastor (who had followed Dad) resigned, the church disagreed on whom to call as pastor. A small group that wanted Jerry to pastor (about 30 adults) quietly left the church to organize a new church in the old Donald Duck Bottling Company building on Thomas Road, and then called Jerry as their first pastor. My mother told me that Dad was not supportive of that action at first and did not believe God would bless it, but in time changed his mind and supported Jerry's ministry. Today, TRBC averages over 17,000 every Sunday.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 10E07