Family feud

Politics in a small church

When I arrived as pastor at Beech Grove United Methodist Church, the community was bitterly divided because one member was running against another to be county commissioner. The primary issue in the campaign was whether to zone Beech Grove Road, on which sat Beech Grove Church. Issues of class weren’t far behind. Those in favor of zoning wanted progress, growth, economic opportunity—and viewed their opponents as squirrel-eating backwoods rednecks. Those against zoning were for private ownership and for having the government butt out of their business—and viewed their opponents as elitist Yankee know-it-alls.


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