The Bishop vs. the Deacon

Season 1 Episode 104
CC | tv-pg
Is Calvary Fellowship World Ministries about to violate God's law?

Recently, the mayor of Memphis called in a favor, asking Bishop James Greenleaf to throw the support of his mega-church behind a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager. The officer, David Nelson, is a member of Calvary, but with Black Lives Matter protests erupting across the city, supporting him would be a deeply unpopular decision.

The bishop decides to agree to the mayor's request without consulting his board of deacons. Later, the bishop calls a meeting with the deacons, where the board's leader, Connie Sykes, expresses her disapproval. "Bishop, it is with a heavy heart that I pitch my tent across from yours in the field of battle," she says. "Lord knows we have been comrades in many a fight."

The bishop starts to respond. "Deacon Sykes, can we—"

"No," she interrupts. "You started something here, pastor. You're going to let me finish."

"Go ahead," the bishop says, settling into his chair.

"I prized your counsel," Deacon Sykes says, "but when you decided to invite the police to our church without so much as consulting the deacons..."

"Connie, I called this meeting," the bishop says.

"After the fact," she shoots back. "You flouted the law of God. The church has deacons for a reason: checks and balances. You seem to be only interested in the checks."

"The good news is I don't have to answer to you," the bishop says.

"Don't you want to? Aren't we all in this together?" Deacon Sykes asks, standing up. "If you go through with this and let those ruffians parade up and down the aisles of our church with guns at their sides, I am going to stand up in the middle of service and walk right out, and invite every other Christian to follow me."

The bishop stands up, crosses to the other side of the conference table and leans uncomfortably close to Deacon Sykes. "That is your prerogative. I stand by my decision."

The bishop exits the room, leaving the deacon to stew. Once outside, though, he lets out a deep, troubled sigh.