After fifty-seven years in existence Mt. Salus Baptist Church in Gainesville has decided to take things in a different direction. This moderately sized congregation of just over 400 has wrestled over the years with how the church ought to be run. Some have advocated a strong pastoral leadership, while others have pushed for more direction from the church's deacons, who have traditionally run the matters of the church. But recently, the majority of the members have become disappointed with the deacons' leadership, and now a new and "novel" approach is being taken to their roll within the church body.
"Formerly the deacons pretty much ran the church" said Alvin Turner, a life-long member of Mr. Salus. "But during our last congregational meeting we came up with some new and fresh ideas about what the deacons ministry ought to be like."
The "new" approach will be this; the deacons will now minister to the widows and the needy of the church so that the pastor can focus on the ministry of the word.
While many are excited about this "new" approach, some of the deacons are less enthusiastic about the change.
"I've been a deacon for 35 years" said Terry Cummings. "We were running things just fine around here. I'm not about to start serving food, or fixing someone's porch, I'll tell you that right now."
"I think its worth a try" said Chris Smith, who was elected to be a deacon just last year. "I don't think anything like this has ever been done before with deacons. I'll stick to it and see how it works."