Merle Fulmer has resigned as pastor for Lakeridge Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas. Who is Merle Fulmer? He was the Baptist pastor who spoke the words "Nothing in his character would make me suspicious" after hiring Blain Miller as a youth pastor. At the time, Miller faced sexual assault charges from an alleged relationship with young girl from his previous church. Hiring Fulmer did not seem prudent then. Hell, it still seems imprudent.
Fulmer's resignation took two and a half years. It tore a small church apart. This story was with me the whole time. My heart broke as I read emails and comments from church members who were in agony. The church was hateful and unhealthy. Something needed to happen.
The long road to recovery can start. I offer the words of Coldplay's A Rush of blood to the head. It somehow feels right. It was playing in the background when I read an email from a youth group member telling me of Fulmer's resignation. Like many things in my life today, this song felt right.
He said I'm going to buy this place and burn it down
I'm going to put it six feet underground
He said I'm going to buy this place and watch it fall
Stand here beside me baby in the crumbling walls
Oh I'm going to buy this place and start a fire
Stand here until I fill all your heart's desires
Because I'm going to buy this place and see it burn
Do back the things it did to you in return
For the members and former members of Lakeridge Baptist Church. I think of many of you as friends even though we have never met. I've come to care about you as this painful process worked its way through your church. I can only tell you to burn the shell of your old church down. Put Fulmer and Miller behind you. It is time to start the healing process.