Let me tell you a story of how churches play “dirty” and play for keeps.
Professor Doug Lay was a Sunday School teacher and member of FCCF. He was a professor of English and Literature and an academic advisor at St. Louis Christian College for 17 years. He was selected by the SLCC students for the “Teacher of Year” award for the 2014-2015 school year. The award is presented during the student commencement ceremony.
However, because of the dispute with senior pastor Steve Wingfield, Lay was not able to attend the ceremony because Wingfield would NOT permit him to be on FCCF property. Yes, it was childish, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Professor Lay is well liked and well respected at St. Louis Christian College. He is also well liked and well respected as a teacher and Christian at First Christian. But, because he’s blown the whistle on child abuse by a youth intern from FCCF, he’s no longer welcome on the church’s campus. He’s had to stop teaching Sunday School and as had to stop attending Sunday worship services at FCCF.
Because he wouldn’t be silenced concerning the child abuse issues, he’s also felt he had to resign from St. Louis Christian College. This wasn’t because of pressure from the college, it was of pressure from another Wingfield, Steve’s brother Paul.
Paul Wingfield is the lead pastor at White Flag Christian Church in South County. First Christian and White Flag churches both provide support for St. Louis Christian College. Well that was until March 23, 2015.
That’s when Paul Wingfield made an angry call to SLCC’s president Dr. Veech.
From: RFT article 5/29/15
On March 23, Veech was waiting at a departure gate in Lambert International Airport when he received a call. On the line was Steve Wingfield’s brother, Paul Wingfield, the lead pastor at White Flag Christian Church in south St. Louis County. He sounded pissed.
“The phone call was very quick,” Veech recalled in an interview this week. “He was very concerned about the attacks on his brother and on the church.”
According to Veech, Paul Wingfield declared that White Flag Christian Church could not support an institution tied to an agitator like Lay. He told Veech that his church was halting contributions to the college, effective immediately.
Some folks call this kind of action business as usual. Others call it blackmail. Still others call it retribution. What would you call it?