The Apostle Paul laid out the requirements for the man who fills the pastoral office in 1 Timothy 3:
“He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)”
Consider the case of Gregory Duane Locke, the immensely popular internet pundit and founding pastor of Global Vision Bible Church (GVBC) in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. In addition to local members, Locke’s church accepts “internet members” who watch sermon webcasts and donate online. Locke’s Facebook page, upon which he markets his “On Point” web videos, has over 1.6 million likes. His videos typically feature Locke giving no-nonsense straight talk about political and biblical matters. In a recent video, Locke condemned the behavior of disrespectful children and took a hard line about the rights of parents over children who “sleep in” their beds and “eat from” their tables. “He who makes the gold makes the rules,” Locke proclaimed.
Unfortunately, Locke has no credibility to speak to this issue as a pastor or a father. Locke is a deadbeat dad yet he has the gall to give parenting advice. According to sources very close to Locke himself, none of his four children live with him. His eldest son lives with Locke’s terminally ill mother, Judy Sumner, and has lived with her since Locke separated from his ex-wife Melissa over a year ago. At one time, Mrs. Sumner was taking care of all four of Locke’s children. Locke’s second-oldest son resides in a boys home. His two youngest children (a biological son and a foster daughter) live with Melissa. Sources also reveal that Locke has been consistently delinquent in his child support and alimony payments to his ex-wife (who is recently remarried to a former pastor). According to a November police report from Rutherford County, Tennessee and local sources, Locke spewed profanity in front of his children during a child exchange and argued with his ex-wife over his past due debts.
The only children who do reside with Locke are the children of his 2nd wife, Tai. These children come from two different biological fathers, neither of whom is Locke. Tai was serving as the church secretary when Locke separated from his wife of twenty years. Tai is currently being marketed on Facebook as the “first lady” of GVBC.
For all intents and purposes, Tai is an apostate homewrecker if not a gold-digger. It’s hard to blame her given that her pastor is such a nefarious scoundrel. It is a reproach to Christ’s church that a man like Locke masquerades as a man of God when really and truly, he is an adulterous internet religion huckster. Locke lives the life of a lost person, not of a blood-bought Christian. All the while, his family has suffered from a lack of emotional, spiritual, and physical support. Apart from his adultery, Greg fails to meet the scriptural requirements for the office of pastor. He clearly has failed to manage his own household well. Given that GVBC executive pastor Jarrod Almond was recently fired under a cloud of suspicion of financial impropriety, there is good evidence that Locke has also failed to properly manage church affairs. In the wake of his personal moral failings, the physical attendance at GVBC has dwindled. Nevertheless, Locke remains popular on the internet, where he puts on a Christian face. Sadly, the face presented to those closest to Locke is one of rageful anger. Locke resembles more the “Ramblin’ Man” of his Allman brothers namesakes than he does a shepherd of Christ’s flock.
How many church-goers and observers will this false pastor turn away from God, raking in internet donations along the way? Only God knows and only God can save Greg Locke, a man who needs the prayers of the saints for his repentance. His family also desperately needs the prayers of the saints. They have been left with a derelict, dead-beat earthy father but can still hang their hopes on a Heavenly One.
*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.
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