Burn Some Bibles, Get Famous

An independent Baptist church in Canton, North Carolina has managed to get widely reported around the interwebs by announcing a book burning for Halloween – the books in question including various translations of the Bible and works by well-known evangelicals and neo-Pentecostals, who are deemed to be heretical. The church concerned is the Amazing Grace Baptist Church, pastored by Marc Grizzard, and, according to reports, he has a congregation of fourteen members (from Wayback, it seems the church used to be based in Cumming, Georgia). The BaptistWebsite hosting service has either pulled the page or gone down due to excessive hits, but luckily there is still some material available from caches. It’s a typical window into the world of “Independent, Fundamental” Baptist Churches, a world away from slick megachurches, Charismatic showmanship, and the political strategies and savvy of Christian Right culture warriors – let alone the intellectual tradition within evangelicalsm. While easy to make fun of (à la Landover Baptist), such churches and their networks are often overlooked – except when they pull a stunt like announcing a book-burning.

From the site, we learn that:

We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR [=”Textus Receptus”] . We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.

We will be serving Bar-b-Que Chicken, fried chicken, and all the sides. 

Other events listed include: a Missionary Conference with Brother Travis Sharpe and a “Bible-making trailer” from Anchor Baptist Church in Brevard; a Revival, assisted by Tom Shook of Truth Baptist Church, Canton, NC; and, still to come, a one-year anniversary with Evangelist Harold Leake. The church also supports a couple of foreign missionaries: the Ambrocio Family in the Philippines (also supported by Springfield Bible Baptist Church) and Joseph Onikeku of Nigeria (links added):

I personally know of this family and their son James. I went to school with James while at Tennessee Temple University, we were room mates. When I first met James it was awful funny how we came to understand each other. I thought he talked funny, and he thought I talked fast. We became great friends real fast…Mr. Onikeku went to TTU when Dr. Lee Roberson was the President and Pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church. The Onikeku family and ministry believes just like Dr. Lee Roberson did when he was on this earth. He stands for the King James Bible, Jesus is the Son of God, and others doctrines that the Old TTU believed in…

Grizzard considers his late father McArthur Grizzard to have been “the World’s Greatest Preacher”, and the website includes a number of aphorisms; here’s one:

Sometimes after my daddy quoted a verse he would say, “I’m not quoting Ripley’s believe it or not; its God’s believe it or else, or else you wished you had.”

The site was also described by the website Stuff Fundies Like in June:

When you visit, be sure to check out page on “letters, thoughts and articles” on topics such as “sex, drugs, homosexuality, alcohol, smoking, immodesty, long hair-guys, short hair-girls, pants, mixed bathing, Judging, cursing, Science, etc.”