Denis McBride hired as the new pastor of the PCC Campus Church

Wouldn’t it be great to have a pastor to whom God confirms His direct will?

Donn R Arms

Few churches generate more Internet “heat” than does Pensacola Christian Church. This selection will be wildly second-guessed, especially since they did not choose a seasoned professional but called a teacher from within. It probably doesn’t matter, though, as Arlin Horton still calls the shots at both the church and Pensacola Christian College. The last two men did not leave this ministry on good terms.

Does this church have elders, deacons, members and such? Is it really a church? I’m used to going to the Sunday morning service at BJU (from age six to twenty-three), but they didn’t call it a church. Is it really a church, or just an irregular one?

I noticed that while the article never uses the word “hired,” you do. It’s a little perjorative, isn’t it?

I’m responsible for the use of “hired” so I will briefly defend it

He was not called to Pastor a church in the traditional Baptist sense of “called” as there was no congregational vote. He reports up the chain of command to the Hortons] From a Wiki article :
Since the inception of PCC and of the Campus Church, critics have pointed out that college’s Campus Church may not be a true local church. One example of how the Campus Church operates differently is the recent selection of its current pastors. Traditionally, local churches of the Independent Baptist persuasion (as the Campus Church claims to be) form a pulpit committee which presents pastoral candidates to the congregation for a yes or no vote. Upon a majority yes vote of the congregation a call is extended to the candidate to become the church’s pastor. In the case of Dr. Neal Jackson and Dr. Lloyd Streeter becoming the Campus Church co-pastor in January 2007, Arlin Horton personally selected them without either a pulpit committee or congregational vote. PCC however holds that as an independent church they have the right to operate the Campus Church according to their interpretation of what is scriptural.

Wait…what? It’s a church that can operate independently as long as the President of PCC is OK with what they do? And he can come in and make changes if he doesn’t like what they do?

I wonder how the theology classes explain this when they get to the section on ecclesiology. SMH

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

About 6 years ago, I was invited to PCC for a pastor’s trip with about 2 dozen other pastors. The last event before we left was a luncheon following which was a q&a. The pastor’s were told that they could ask anything. Most of the questions had to do with the campus church. Arlin Horton got very irritated; the end of it was when he said nearly angry, “Just because we don’t do things the way you do them doesn’t mean the way we do it is wrong.”

Wow! Dennis McBride was my youth director for a couple of my high-school years and was our high school history teacher. He was there when I surrendered to full-time Christian service at the Bill Rice Ranch and he was there when we saw Dave Hyles assassinated by Communist thugs in Hammond!

Actually, Dennis was a little suspect among us because he was a graduate of Liberty (a fact that is conspicuously absent in the PCC information). I haven’t seen him in over 30 years but the description of him as a man who is a dynamic speaker and a man with a heart for people makes it sound like he hasn’t changed. If he is serving the Lord with a clear conscience, I wish him well.

It’s true that Campus Church doesn’t do things like most churches. Even their website says, “(Campus Church) operates in the spirit of an independant Baptist church” and “a warm church atmosphere,” making it pretty clear that it looks like one, but is not.

I assumed that the title was trying to pick a fight, and I bit. I shouldn’t have. Instead of provoking to love, I threw gas on a match. It was the wrong spirit. Forgive, please.

PS: I also misspelled “pejorative”


If it’s not really a church, then why should anyone go to it as if it were. It says they have a pastor. If it’s not a church, then how can he be a pastor of it? My view is that if the pillar and ground of the truth is the church (1 Tim 3:15), and the Campus Church isn’t one, then it’s dangerous to have students in it (by itself).

Either it’s a church or it’s not. It can’t be kinda churchy and be a good thing. Would you say the PCC campus church is a true church? Is it an irregular one? I know BJU has a campus service Sunday morning, but requires students to attend a true local church in the evenings. I don’t think this is a very clear biblical practice, but it’s far less confusing than mixing a church and an educational institution.


Perhaps we can borrow a phrase from Catholic theology and call it an ecclesial community.

M. Scott Bashoor Happy Slave of Christ

[Shaynus] Joshua,

I know BJU has a campus service Sunday morning, but requires students to attend a true local church in the evenings. I don’t think this is a very clear biblical practice, but it’s far less confusing than mixing a church and an educational institution.

I would say they are equally confusing. Also, I do not believe BJU requires their students attend a true local church in the evening.