Church Members File Lawsuit
MBC members Kevin Elwell, Steve Gaskins, Deborah Ash, Roland Smith, and Michael Manfredi filed a complaint against Platt and other church leaders at MBC. Their lawsuit says they were illegally barred from voting in the July 18 members meeting to affirm the new elders. The suit also states that the second election violated McLean’s constitution.
In the follow-up election, church members were required to show identification and their names were placed on their ballot to ensure no one could sabotage the election. Provisional ballots were given to “inactive” members, which included any member who has missed eight straight weeks of in-person worship services, a rule that the suit’s filers say is hard to enforce due to the pandemic.
A statement posted on MBC’s website regarding the results of the follow-up election read, “All of the provisional ballots were officially counted as well, and even if only the provisional ballots that voted ‘no’ were to be included in the official count, the results would still be above 78% for all nominees.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Rick Boyer, said Virginia’s law requires churches to follow the rules they place in their constitutions. The plaintiff’s hope is the court will agree with them and force the church to hold a new election, voiding July 18th’s results.
Concerned Church Members
A Facebook page dedicated to voicing concern for the direction MBC is heading was created on June 21, 2021. The page titled ‘Save McLean Bible Church‘ has 469 followers and says its purpose is to restore “McLean Bible Church to the purpose and vision for which it was founded upon!”
Sixteen-year church member Jeremiah Burke identifies himself as the leader for the “small group” Platt spoke about in his sermon, and his wife moderates the ‘Save McLean Bible Church’ Facebook page, which shares articles claiming Platt and the elders are “woke.” Burke believes Muslim leaders are seeking church buildings to purchase and believes McLean’s Tysons property is one of them.
Burke says one of his concerns has been how much money the church has been giving to the SBC, although it is not affiliated with any denomination. He believes “McLean was one of the most influential churches in America. It had an incredible influence over the power players in D.C. We’re coming to try to take the church back. There’s no intention of us leaving the church. I think that’s what David’s scared of.”