From the Salisbury Post – (These events appear to have occurred in or around Salisbury, North Carolina.)
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call from the Rev. Corey Barr at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Boyden Quarters, 1765 White Road, Sunday around 1 p.m.
Barr told dispatchers several people needed to be removed from a meeting/service in the sanctuary, and that “non-members (were) there disrupting a religious service,” the dispatcher’s report stated.
When two deputies arrived, they found about 100 people in the sanctuary divided into groups, shouting at each other, but no physical fighting.
Barr requested officers to remove about 20 people from the service who he said were not members of the church, the report said. The report said deputies were told the church was in a battle over by-laws and other issues.
The report said the associate pastor and two church elders told the officers not to remove anyone, and that Barr was wrong.
Barr has not returned calls from the Post.
According to the report, the meeting appeared to be out of hand, with no order or control by church administrators. Several people were videotaping the incident, it appeared.
A third deputy arrived, and the deputies “kindly advised” leaders of both parties it would be a good idea to dismiss the meeting before it became “more violent than it was,” the report said.
The meeting was dismissed and the last deputy left the scene at 2:12 p.m.
This was the second time the sheriff’s office has had to respond to the church following a 911 call from Barr. (Read More)
I want you to go read the article in full. If you read the rest you will find out what happened after the last 911 call, the story of who has been hiring deputies. And there are some other interesting details.
What are the business ethics here?
We could debate whether or not a church is a business. We could also argue over whether or not the Sheriff’s department could be considered a business. This is a grey area between the public and the private.
However, when you read the article you will discover that Pastor Barr has been hiring deputies at $20 an hour and deploying them in church. This moves at least part of the Sheriff’s department into the “for profit” zone.
Generally speaking, it is not common for churches to hire armed deputies but certainly there are circumstances that would merit such an action. However, church meetings have never to my knowledge required armed supervision.
Were you aware that the fictional town of Mayberry, the setting for the Andy Griffith Show, is south of this area. This would have made a good episode.
I hope everything works out for the church and parishoners.