4015 Paulding Street
Meridian, MS 39307
October 8, 2011
Mayor Cheri Barry
Temporary City Hall
2412 Seventh Street
Meridian, MS 39301
Dear Mayor Barry,
I am in receipt of a copy of the letter delivered to you on October 7, 2011, regarding Christ’s Church in Action’s (CCIA’s) concerns preventing us from even considering going forward with the restorations on our property at 518 41st Avenue.(As we all know, the church’s property was the victim of an arson.) See the letter: http://www.topix.com/forum/county/lauderdale-...
I understand that you allowed a copy of that letter to be put directly into your hands by my Executive Assistant, Lucy Johnson. I thank you for that change from your past behavior; but I would implore you to read it fully, and respond with the responsibility and courtesy called for by your position, as opposed to what you’ve done heretofore: that is, you’re not only ignoring all our previous correspondence, but also ordering the entire City Administration, including the Police Department, the Fire Department, the City Attorney, and the City Council to not even accept mail from CCIA…even mail which we were directed to send by your City Attorney, your CAO, and others. Hopefully this is a new day, and we are going to “move forward” and leave all the nonsense, bigotry, bias, and high school antics behind us…and I hope everyone in the City Administration is beginning to understand that in the United States of America, bigotry and bias against someone’s religious beliefs or ethnic or geographic origins are not a reason to criminally deny human and civil rights and to treat people as second class citizens…especially since in this case, we are just ultra-conservative believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A question you may have asked is: Why haven’t we filed suit against you, others, and the city itself? I can assure you that in our efforts to overcome media and government blackouts which you obviously are participating in heretofore, we have met with and shown hard documentation to various prominent individuals in Meridian, Mississippi and beyond. Their unanimous suggestion (and on the parts of such people as Gil Carmichael, it has been a strong admonition and urging) has been to get lawyers and take you all to State and Federal Courts, and that if we did so, we would prevail.
Please understand, our work is not ours; it is from God. Our motivation is to do His will and not ours. Our desire is to give glory to Him, and not to ourselves or any man. It is by His power and grace we intend to prevail, not by money or mammon, because we know that true justice comes from God and not by man. And we know that God will bring it about in His way and in His time. We are not trying to win; we are simply trying to open the door for justice so we can do the work that God has given us without being impeded…we are not trying to win; our victory has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do.
Our victory is in pleasing our Father; so as long as He is pleased, we are victorious…whether or not you (collectively) have us killed (as has been stated will happen by many, including a member of the City Council and two Meridian policemen), or you just all continue to attack, harass, and hurt and slander us in so many ways…or you choose to treat Jesus as Lord with your actions, and begin to dispense justice and act ethically and according to your responsibilities. Our victory is not dependent on your relationship with God, but ours alone.
We are just seeking the justice from you and your administration as would be dictated by the Creator of Justice. Yes, we do not want to use courts to force you to act morally and ethically and according to law. Whatever obstacle(s) stand in the way of God’s work that we have been given to do, He will remove, in ways far more effective and permanent than anything we or the courts could do. Perhaps this admonition in God’s Word is germane here:
“‘So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone,
for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God,
you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.’”
It is my personal hope that as a woman who has taken the name of Jesus Christ to her lips, you will succumb to the urging of God’s Holy Spirit and act in accordance with His Word, which certainly is stated below, not all inclusively, but in part.
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind
regard one another as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
As a preacher, I clearly understand that for a person to do what I am suggesting, that is, to submit to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and accept the grace of God, that individual has to humble herself (even as Mary Magdalene had to), and change her direction to obey her Savior…and of course this would be especially hard for a woman who has become a politician, and who is connected with so many who, at best, only give lip service to the Lord Jesus Christ.(See James 4:6-10.)
For the record, this is by far not my first interaction with you. You have made many commitments and promises and gave your word, both to me and my wife personally, before, during, and after the election. You did the same to a number of members of the church. After Mr. McDonald’s appointment to the position of CAO, he, many times, echoed your commitments and made further detailed promises and commitments. None of what either of you gave your word on or promised has been done.
I need not here go into the details of which you are well aware, and some of which have been delineated in the October 7th letter. I am pastor of this church which is the victim of the crimes and harassment, and as such, I am responsible as trustee for its property and shepherd to its sheep. Herein I act in prudence according to my responsibility as such, as defined by my Father…I’m sure we all know what the Book says about the good shepherd.(It is sad that apparently your own pastor, either from fear/intimidation or complacency, has not advised you regarding these matters of which she has been informed.[Hebrews 13:17, Hosea 4:6])
In my interactions with you, and in person with Mr. McDonald, you have acted like a bully as has he; you were rude and refused to listen, and have had members of your staff threaten violence against us. But as you have said, and according to your mantra, let’s put the bad things behind us, and “let’s move forward.”
Our challenge here in jointly following the above admonition to “move forward” is that you are the anchor holding us back, dragging the past into the present and madly holding on to it, bringing it into the future. Your actions speak so loudly, no one can hear your comments on “moving forward.” As I’m sure Mark McDonald would tell you, it is very difficult to maintain one’s “genteelness” when encountering continuing verbal attacks and disagreement…you can only imagine how difficult it is for me, over the course of many years, to maintain a gentlemanly demeanor, even in this letter, when you have been cooperating with those who have committed such heinous crimes against us in the past (See Matthew 23:13-36, and Acts 13:9-11). Remember, not only has our property been destroyed, but our children and our physical persons have been attacked and hurt.
And further, you continue to order those who report to you to carry on with the harassment and slander against us, and in dereliction of their duty…and I have done my best to maintain my decorum. But, I would admonish you at this point, something my mother taught me:“Noblesse Oblige,” which means,“If you know better, do better.” And also, something I learned a long time ago: If you want to know if you are doing the right thing with authority in any given situation, mentally reverse your positions with the person before you, and see if you would want them to make the decision for you that you are making for them. In essence, treat others the way you would want them to treat you.
Because your presentation of yourself is not truly indicative of where you are, I myself, like many others who have dealt with you, have overestimated your level of sophistication and intelligence, your capability, compassion, and understanding, and your abilities to comprehend situations beyond your own personal goals. Therefore I’m going to resort to a parable at a different level so that you may better understand what I am saying…To illustrate: let’s say a person was very dirty, and another person says,“We have to be clean…unless you wash, you’ll stay dirty. It’s time to clean up.” The dirty person should clean up. If the person agrees that it’s time to clean up, and says,“It’s time to clean up and ‘move forward,’” but doesn’t clean up, there’s no way to “move forward.”
Let me try to give more meaning to the parable by speaking in some more details in a frame of reference that I hope you can relate to. I understand that, at the time of the writing of this letter, you are starring (with your close associate Frank Coleman) in Meridian Little Theater’s presentation of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Let’s say that a certain madam was overseeing a lot of whores and they had relationships with a lot of evil men, and those evil men have done terrible things to the people in the city where they all lived.
And, let’s say that because of her situation, there was a synergism between her and the evil men that caused mutual admiration and protection…and let’s say that there was a certain sector of this city that was adversely affected by the evil men…and let’s say this madam came into a position of influence in the city, and as such was approached by a representative of the group that was being harmed, and he spoke to her of truth, honesty, justice, and Jesus…and she (the madam) was convicted…and so she said to this representative:“I’m done with being a madam…I’m gonna clean up…and I’ll have my girls do it too, because I’ve influenced them…and we will no longer protect the evil ones. And I must thank you for sharing the scripture,‘Do not participate in the evil deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them’(Ephesians 5:11). I can see that WE NEED TO “MOVE FORWARD” AND PUT ALL THIS BEHIND US. As far as I am able and my girls are able, those men will not get away with anything evil without us shouting it from the rooftops.”("What I tell you in the darkness…proclaim upon the housetops.” Matthew 10:27) You can imagine the representative walking away, edified and hopeful, and thanking the ONE guiding him.
But let’s say, in our little parable, that the madam changes nothing and does not keep her word…but to the contrary, her business and social life remain exactly the same…and worse, she reports to the evil men her meeting with the representative, and they all plot on how to isolate this man and the truth further from coming to light. HOW CAN THAT CITY “MOVE FORWARD” IF THE MADAM DOES NOT KEEP HER WORD AND TAKE ACTION? Remember, the madam in a city knows everything that’s going on…everything. TO “MOVE FORWARD”, THE PAST MUST BE TURNED AWAY FROM…her past, her actions, must be turned away from… and changed…God calls it repentance…and she must expose the darkness of evil to the light of truth to bring about justice. Unless that happens, how can that poor, adversely affected group “move forward”? Isn’t the madam not only holding them back, but working actively to strengthen the past evils?
The time has come…I hope my parable sheds some light on it for you…you’re the Mayor. YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE; YOU CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIAN; YOU CLAIM JESUS AS LORD. Don’t be like the madam in our example, honoring God from her lips…she honors the Lord with her lips but her heart is far from Him. She obviously is deluding herself by just hearing the Word and not doing it.(James 1:22) I hope I’ve spoken to you at a level you can understand. It’s time for us ALL to “MOVE FORWARD.” I have work to do, and so do you; we must “move forward” and leave the past behind.
From the beginning I have been willing…it is YOU, Mayor Cheri Barry, that needs to stop deluding herself. The City of Meridian deserves a Mayor who is willing to lay down her life for what is right. The members of the assembly that I shepherd have such a person guiding them. It is time to give that to the City of Meridian.
Let’s follow the admonition of Jesus Christ…all of us. It’s time to put this all behind us and “MOVE FORWARD”. I am just asking you to do your job, honestly, ethically, morally, and according to the rule of law.
Hopefully, in the service of Jesus Christ,
Walter L.(Wade) Demers, BS, MS, POR, DMZ;
Pastor of Christ’s Church in Action;
Apostle, Mt. Zion
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