It has been a tumultuous year for Global Vision Bible Church (GVBC) in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee and internet celebrity Greg Locke, the church’s controversial pastor. The year began with the separation of Locke from his wife of two decades. That separation turned to divorce and, shortly thereafter, Locke married his church secretary (and rumored girlfriend) Tai Cowan. The year ends with the dismissal of GVBC Executive Pastor Jarrod Almond. Today, Pulpit & Pen confirmed with GVBC Staff, Tai herself, that Jarrod Almond was fired by Greg Locke two weeks ago for undisclosed reasons. Jarrod Almond is the husband of (now former) GVBC staff member Beverly Almond. According to Greg Locke’s new wife, Jarrod Almond has fled the state of Tennessee.
Tai did not confirm rumors that Jared Almond was fired for financial malfeasance. Earlier this week, a party claiming to be a former member of GVBC shared the following with Pulpit & Pen:
I was a member of GVBC and under Greg’s teachings for years. My family has been hurt and stepped on when we chose to leave. Slowly things seem to be getting back to normal for the church and Greg’s abuse and cheating ways have left the public’s eyes. I think it should be known that the Executive Assistant Jarrod Almond has been accused of stealing $200,000 out of the church’s account and left. All of his and his wife’s social medias have been removed and he is no longer on their website,
There are people that still follow this man and this church. Something needs to be done!
This accusation came as no surprise. Back in January, former members and elders of GVBC shared their suspicions with Pulpit & Pen that the finances at GVBC were not being managed responsibly. Concern most notably arose after Almond was spotted at a local Nissan Dealership purchasing automobiles for his and Greg Locke’s use with church funds.
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 1 Timothy 3:1-7
Despite his marital infidelity, abusive speech, and questionable dealings, Locke has remained pastor of GVBC (which he founded). Not only has Locke proven a poor manager of his household, the situation with Almond calls into question his business acumen and financial stewardship. Observers in Mt. Juliet report that many members have left GVBC and church attenders represent a revolving door of locals who lack Christian character. Locke has tried to raise the profile of his church through a number of strange gimmicks, including giving away a television and spending the night in a boom lift above the church as part of a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway. Any drop-off in local attendance and revenue is perhaps stemmed by GVBC’s “internet members.” Those who consider themselves “internet members” of GVBC should not only reconsider the wisdom and this type of church membership but also consider if sending an internet fire-brand “pastor” and known adulterer whose Executive Pastor and (figurative) partner-in-crime was just fired under a cloud of controversy is the best way to spend the money they’ve set aside for the Lord’s service.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
At the time of publication, the GVBC website is down for “scheduled maintenance“.
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