Motion for Vote of No Confidence for Pastor James R. Welch - First Baptist Church FtL


Motion for Vote of No Confidence for Pastor James R. Welch - First Baptist Church FtL

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Mark Fillers started this petition to First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale All Church Members

                                       Motion of No Confidence
A motion of no-confidence, or a vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, is a statement or vote about whether an individual in a lead position of responsibility is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some aspect, are failing to carry out obligations, misappropriation of funds, failure to adhere to the rules, constitution and/or bylaws, have shifted from leadership to a personal agenda, or are making decisions that others feel are detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates that the individual no longer has the confidence of those being served. If a no confidence motion is passed against an individual, the motion is a call for the resignation of that individual along with the entire executive team.

                                 VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE



                                      JAMES R. WELCH

Mr. Paul Weinberg, Chairman of the Deacon Body

First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale 301 E. Broward Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

We, the undersigned members and regular attenders of First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, have composed this letter to express our dissatisfaction with Pastor James R. Welch.

This letter is an expression of our “Vote of No Confidence” in Pastor James R. Welch and his ability to lead our church. We understand the severity of this decision and did not arrive at it hastily.

“The practice of First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale shall be to teach the Word of God and advance the Christian faith throughout Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, the State of Florida, and the world. The government of the church is vested in the body of believers who are members of the church. The church is subject to the controlof no ecclesiastical body other than itself, but may voluntarily cooperatein ministry with other churches of like faith and practice.” (Church Approved 11.25.18)

“The mission of the First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale is to provide for the edification and spiritual growth of its members, to provide a spiritual outreach to non-members, and to build goodwill with the larger community.” (Church Approved 11.25.18)


“The church seeks (1) visionary leadership from the Lead Pastor and his Pastoral Team, (2) pastoral accountability to the Trustee Board, and (3) the Trustee Board's accountability to the Deacons and congregation. Pursuant to 2 Peter: 5:1-8, the Pastors, Trustees, Deacons and other leaders shall "shepherd the flock of God among you, not under compulsion, but voluntarily ...clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." In church governance, the Trustee Board and the Deacon Body shall practice co-governance rather than one being subordinate to the other.” (Church Approved 11.25.18)

For over one-hundred thirteen years, First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale has been a leader in spreading the gospel; where decisions were made on a collaborative basis with the best interest of our church community. First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale has always been a church that experienced great vision from our leaders, and where the congregation and church staff were given the respect and support to achieve our mission goals.

Throughout the past twelve months we have had concerns regarding the leadership of Pastor James R. Welch, specifically regarding trust, collaboration, communication, decision making, vision, adhering to the will of the congregation and his lack of respect for congregants and staff. We also believe that Pastor James R. Welch has failed to abide by the church constitution and bylaws.

Every congregant is the responsibility of all members of our community. We all succeed best when church administrators maintain a strong partnership with the congregation.

(a) “The Lead Pastor shall be selected as set forth in Article 6.1 of these Bylaws. He shall be the spiritual and administrative leader of the church pursuant to 1 Tim. 3:1-7. He shall also serve as the Lead Trustee on the Trustee Board, and participate in the other activities of the church as he deems appropriate.”   

(b) The Lead Pastor shall designate the members of his Pastoral Team. They shall serve as an extension of his ministry and act for and on his behalf and as he directs. He shall have authority to choose the members of the Pastoral Team as well as the clerical staff. However, in order to encourage openness and good communications as Lead Pastorffrustee, he shall confer with the Trustee Board for purposes of missional alignment and budgetary resources. Also, in order to encourage openness and good communications, each new member of the Pastoral Team shall be formally introduced to the congregation as soon as possible and shall give his resume, job description and a brief testimony to the Deacon Body at the next regular Deacons' meeting. The Lead Pastor shall also have the authority to remove members of the Pastoral Team and clerical staff.” (Church Approved 11.25.18)

Pastor James R. Welch has not created a stable environment, but instead has created a toxic environment and polarized atmosphere for both congregants and staff. Without the recognition of mistakes or the willingness to listen to congregants, Deacon Body or Trustee Board there is no hope for improvement and thus no way forward.
We feel Pastor James R. Welch has a lack of attention to, experience and qualification for, or appropriate prioritizing of, the ministerial requirements and interests of our entire church community, as well as a failure to recognize and respect the expertise of professionals in our community.

We feel Pastor James R. Welch has inconsistency in application of the church constitution and bylaws, rules and an ongoing lack of respect toward many of the congregants and staff. A church cannot be run successfully with a one-way avenue of communication. Even when counsel is provided, there is a failure to follow through or a total disregard for the ideas of many; when communication occurs, it is too often delayed and incomplete. There is just an overall feeling that we are losing ground all the time. We need a different, more solid leadership. The morale is too low and we feel it is time for a change.

(h) “Special meetings may be called by the Lead Pastor, or the Chairman of Deacons, or at least three of the Trustees elected at large, or by written request of seventy-five church members, provided the time and purpose of the special meeting is announced at a regular church service at least three days prior to the meeting. Any special meeting shall be held following a regular church service. A quorum at any church business meeting shall be at least one hundred members.” (Church Approved 11.25.18)

“The Trustee Board shall provide business and administrative governance for all the ministries of the church, subject to the oversight accountability vested in the Deacon Body and the church congregation. The Board shall constitute a church council consisting of the following ten (10) church members:”

“any cumulative modification of the annual budget or shifting of funds between line items in the said budget of more than $75,000 shall require the joint approval of both the Trustee Board and the Deacon Body. Provided further, any financial decision or combination of decisions that exceeds five (5) percent of the annual budget shall require congregational approval as a budget modification.” (Church Approved 1 1.25.18)

For the reasons stated, we the undersigned are voting “No Confidence” in Pastor James R. Welch. “The government of the church is vested in the body of believers who are members of the church.” We pray and believe that you as leaders will make the right decision and choose what is in the best interest for the church.


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