It has come to the attention of this blog that Historic Saint John's Evangelical-Lutheran Church, a former epicenter of Lutheranism in Milwaukee where two sainted WELS Synod Presidents were pastors and the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America was founded, had its pastor removed and property seized by two unrepentant homosexuals. Mr. Tim Niedfeldt, who recently left his WELS church with the intent to join and revitalize St. John's, has graciously offered this "guest post" of sorts, which is essentially a cross-post of his "press release" on the St. John's Facebook page. We will update readers with further details in the days to come:
It is with great sadness I write that St. John's is in crisis. This is Tim Niedfeldt writing today for full disclosure. Although I joined St. John's on Feb 16th as a new memberm I have not been officially accepted as a member and I never will be.
Yesterday, Pastor Hastings received a letter of dismissal from two of the existing 4 members. One member and council member is in AZ. He was not notified of any action. Another elder matron is in a hospital. The remaining two are members who, if there was anyone to implement official church discipline, would immediately be under discipline and excommunicated. Although it is embarrassing to admit that the only remaining attenders before my arrival are homosexual, Pastor without any other members would have no way to do anything with these two members. He often had zero attenders to worship.
It is worse as one of the offending members was in a state of crisis a few years ago and needed a place to stay. He was given some rooms in the parsonage to stay in (perhaps it was still "the closet" at that time). The parsonage is furnished with furniture Pastor Hastings provided. Liberace paid no rent out of the graciousness of Pastor's heart. The other member came a few years ago after a recent divorce. At first he came with his son. Soon he started coming with his new lover. So St. John's got two gay members and a gay attender all through the backdoor (pun intended).
Fast forward to February when my family came to church. I have been increasing the public exposure of the church by inviting members on facebook. I had prepared the St. John's Ustream account to start streaming services on Easter. I was working on releasing a kick butt web site with all the social media widgets. Soon I hoped to engage St. John's to become a center for discussion and proliferation of confessional and Independent Lutheranism.
So why a near neck-breaking pace to remove Pastor with no official warning, no official meetings, no voters, and no constitutional basis for the removal? The gay club was coming to an end. They knew church discipline was coming the moment they voted me in. They saw guests starting to come. They saw me, the "non-member," setting up recordings and broadcasting confessionalism to the world and paying to make sure we had an organist they didn't want for St. John's grand organ. As of Sunday, Karen and I were supposed to be voted on for membership. I'm guessing that's a no.
So why do 3 gay guys hang out in a confessional church that condemns their sin for nearly 3 years week after week. This is just SPECULATION but I would guess it would be to hasten the departure of Pastor Hastings. When he was retired or removed the church can be sold and the endowment divvied up to the remaining members. Perhaps fund anew Gay bar or something.
My prediction, if we cannot stop this improper action: St. John's is sold as a campus church to Grace and the gays go off and have found a nice way to keep sinning and have church pay for it. Stay tuned for some calls to action in the next posts.