A 103-year-old Georgia woman has been banned from the church she’s attended since she was a child. Genoa Hamm Biggs got permanently booted from Union Grove Baptist Church for disagreeing with the church leader’s preaching methods.
Biggs received a letter that stated, “According to the by-laws of the Union Grove Baptist Church, and by vote of the active members, any membership or associations that you have had with this church are now officially revoked. Therefore, you cannot attend Union Grove Baptist Church for any reason whatsoever.”
Reports ABC News:
Genora Hamm Biggs joined Union Grove Baptist Church in Elberton, Georgia, when she was just 11 years old and now, almost a century later, she was told she was “not to come back to the church, not even on the ground,” she told ABC News today.
She and the Rev. Timothy Mattox have disagreed on his way of preaching since he was hired six years ago, she said, but their problems came to a head when he put out a motion to remove her from the church the first Sunday of August. This motion came after she and some other members held a church business meeting where she voiced her concerns about him not answering or returning her phone calls.
Biggs did not like the way Mattox’s service was “different than the real Baptist [traditions],” but she went back to church after being banned along with other long-time members who also received letters, she said.
Mattox threatened to have her and the other members escorted out, she said, but they refused to leave. When police declined to get involved in the dispute, she said, he cancelled the service.
“The lights went out while we were sitting there. Finally we got up and filed our way out and we left. But they went back in there after we left and started the service,” she said of some remaining congregation members and the pastor.
Biggs says she was “shocked” by the act, and told that police would be on hand if she opted to show up again. In addition to being a faithful member for over nine decades, she worked as the church secretary for 40 years.
Biggs isn’t going away so easily. She’s still attends church, and says about 20 other members have left due to the preaching.
Police won’t get involved because the issue is a “civil matter,” which essentially means the church is on its on with this one.