It’s been a while since I’ve done a Christian Film Review, but I had the opportunity to talk about a Christian film and Discernment, so here we are. Enemies Within The Church has been in production for years. I have been a vocal supporter of their project, but admittedly, they have fallen way behind their production schedule. They released a short documentary for free on YouTube called The Story Of First Baptist Church Naples because the story was deserving enough of its own coverage. And I believe they made the right call. Enemies Within The Church turns a disturbing and alarming story into a source from which we can draw hope.
I summarize the story that Enemies Within The Church tells as follows:
First Baptist Church Naples is a large and influential church in the Southern Baptist Convention. FBC Naples Senior Pastor Hayes Wicker is theologically solid, but he hires Executive Pastor John Edie. Edie slowly works to transform FBC Naples into a more bureaucratic organization, and ultimately ousts Hayes Wicker in an untransparent manner that condemned his character.
John Edie and his shady comrades embark to replace Wicker with Marcus Hayes. Marcus Hayes is deeply tied to the Southern Baptist Convention, most notably JD Greear. JD Greear, Kevin Ezell and other major figures pushed for FBC Naples to accept Marcus Hayes as their pastor.
But Marcus Hayes is woke. And a number of congregants organized an attempt to thwart his nomination and narrowly succeed. John Edie and the SBC could not stand for it and publicly slandered these people as racist. FBC Naples took to unilaterally excommunicating several members who opposed Marcus Hayes.
In the end, the church’s leadership is in shambles, and John Edie cashes out, leaving the viewer to contemplate whether Edie was paid to put Marcus Hayes forward.
The Story Of First Baptist Church Naples is disturbing and alarming, but it is meant to be an inspiration. JD Greear and his woke cronies attempted a coup at FBC Naples and were thwarted on a grand level. The film makes note that Marcus Hayes was subsequently ramrodded in Crossroads Church Texas.
As someone who has followed this case from day one, this documentary provides a more in-depth examination. If you are a Southern Baptist, I’d say this documentary is a must watch.