The IMB has been in the news lately for an abuse cover-up scandal that was featured on the world’s largest church abuse blog The Wartburg Watch. This is no big shock to anyone at FBC Sapulpa. We know the very significant connection the former IMB leadership has to FBC Sapulpa and we know what they’re capable of.
Here are some startling facts the rest of the world needs to know about the IMB. (A summary can be found at the bottom of the page.)
Tom Elliff, a former IMB President is on the board of directors for a para-church organization whose office is on the second floor at FBC Sapulpa. It’s called Meridian University. It is not really a university but more of a quazi-mission board. The board of directors (or what we’ve affectionately dubbed “pervert row”) can be found on their website at this link: Meridian University Board of Directors.
Elliff was originally inaugurated as IMB President in 2011. Under his tenure, in July 7, 2012, the IMB FIRED an IMB missionary serving from FBC Sapulpa. So abrupt was his termination that his family had no time to gather their belongings. He was perp-walked off the mission field in China and instructed that he was banned forever from serving in the IMB. His personnel letter, which was placed into the hands of The Sapulpa Messenger, can be seen below:
Just what exactly is “failure to maintain a lifestyle”? The IMB won’t elaborate.
One of the trustees for the IMB who was a trustee when the missionary was fired in 2012 was, at the time, the head pastor at FBC Sapulpa. Small world. We’ll talk more about him in a second.
It may also be worth mentioning that the fired missionary’s father, also a First Baptist Church of Sapulpa paid staff member, was trustee at NAMB.
Back to Tom Elliff. He resigned his Presidency at the IMB mysteriously without any specific reason in 2014. His vague answer given to the press was simply, “To comply with God.” He was succeeded in August of 2014 by neo-Calvinist wrecking ball David Platt. After resigning from the IMB, Elliff remained on the board of directors of Meridian U at Sapulpa.
The Elliff family is no stranger to sex-charged controversy. Tom’s brother Bill lead his Norman, OK, church to support and defend a convicted child molester in 1985. (The original article can be found here: Convicted Child Molester Reaping Strong Support From Norman Church) Additionally, the patriarch preacher of the family, J.T. Elliff, stunned everyone when he retired from the ministry in 1971, promptly divorced his wife and married his mistress.
Now lets turn again to the former FBC Sapulpa pastor mentioned above, who served as an IMB trustee in 2012 when the missionary was fired. His ongoing struggle with [hiding] his addiction to pornography and drooling over non-digital women is an open secret at FBC Sapulpa. After abruptly leaving FBC Sapulpa he took a head pastor position for less pay at a church in Norman, OK. His stay there was brief. The deacons there were not amused with his computerized philandering or his plagiarism and he was forced to resign. His porn problems became too public so he also was asked to resign his position as IMB trustee. Unable to preach in Oklahoma, he moved out of state. He resigned all his positions in Oklahoma except that he remains on the board of directors of Meridian U at Sapulpa!
Also, a dishonorable mention is in order for someone else. Another perv on the board of Meridian is a disgraced retired pastor who was caught in an adulterous affair while pastoring a church in Arkansas. Given his poor preaching skills and poor decision making skills we are baffled as to what he has to contribute to this board. His presence on pervert row at Meridian U is likely just a favor for his wealthy son-in-law who has helped bankroll numerous FBC Sapulpa projects.
This brings us to the chairman of the board of Meridan U. He just so happens to also be the top paid staffer at FBC Sapulpa. He secured the top job at FBC Sapulpa because his best friend, a member of FBC Sapulpa who’s father was already on staff, manipulated the pastoral search committee. He has openly and unashamedly admitted this from the pulpit multiple times.
The Quid Pro Quo
Here is where things go from plain crazy to bat crap crazy. The best friend of the FBC Sapulpa CEO / Meridian U. chairman is none other than the missionary that was fired by the IMB and perp-walked off the mission field.
But yet there is more…
The CEO of FBC Sapulpa is, by virtue of his position, also the chairman of Meridian U. So once the fired missionary secured his friend a job as CEO of the church by manipulating the search committee, it was time for the new chairman to repay the favor. The FBC Sapulpa CEO decreed that the fired missionary be hired by Meridian University and that he be given an office at FBC Sapulpa. The fired IMB missionary is now back on the mission field, working by himself, working with teens at church, and drawing a salary and doing so with the full knowledge of his friends on pervert row who were there at the IMB when he got fired. Additionally his father who is on staff at FBC Sapulpa was given a substantial pay raise shortly after the arrival of the new FBC Sapulpa CEO. Those are professional kickbacks that would make Washington DC blush.
The board of Meridian U is stacked with perverts and nobody at FBC Sapulpa knows what they really do, how the money is managed or why they’ve all wound up together here. (We also don’t know why they’re taking mission trips to tourist destinations in Europe.) What exactly the IMB missionary did to get fired, we also cannot say, but we are very disturbed by the fact that his handlers are those untrustworthy men found on pervert row at Meridian University.
Summary of Facts
- Meridian University, which is a quasi mission board, has its office on the second floor of FBC Sapulpa.
- Former IMB President Tom Elliff is on the board of directors of Meridian University.
- In 2012 the IMB fired a missionary from FBC Sapulpa for “failure to maintain a lifestyle”.
- Tom Elliff was IMB President at the time.
- The pastor of FBC Sapulpa at the time was an IMB trustee.
- The fired missionary’s father was on staff at FBC Sapulpa at the time and also a NAMB trustee.
- The fired missionary returned to FBC Sapulpa from China.
- The pastor of FBC Sapulpa abruptly resigned, took a preaching job in Norman, OK, for less pay, and was forced to resign there due to porn. He had to resign his position as IMB trustee also. He was barred from preaching in Oklahoma and had to move out of state.
- The above pastor has never left his position on the board of directors of Meridian U.
- The fired missionary (and possibly his father who was still on staff at Sapulpa) manipulated the search committee into bringing his best friend to FBC Sapulpa.
- Once CEO of FBC Sapulpa, his best friend was automatically installed as chairman of Meridian U.
- The fired missionary was then given a paid position at Meridian U by his friend and sent back to the mission field.
- His father was also given a substantial raise.
- There is one adulterer, at least two porn addicts, and an IMB President who resigned under mysterious circumstances all serving on the same board of directors at Meridian University located on the second floor of FBC Sapulpa.
- What could possibly go wrong?