Biblical war breaks out in Hervey Bay dividing church group
A WAR of biblical proportions has divided a congregation after the Churches of Christ evicted the Hervey Bay Bible Church splinter group from its Pialba premises earlier this month.
Terry Arnold, leader of the Hervey Bay Bible Church, said the conflict began about 12 months before when part of the congregation began to feel that the Church of Christ was not conservative enough in its teachings.
Mr Arnold said he had created the Bible church in an effort to return to the teachings of the Bible. Several meetings between himself and Churches of Christ representatives followed.
The representatives agreed that Hervey Bay Bible Church was diverging from the Church of Christ's direction.
That led to an eviction notice being served on the Bible Church, while Churches of Christ installed another pastor to preside over the Neils St church.
"It cut me to the bone," Mr Arnold said about receiving the eviction notice.
We believe the way it was done was very ruthless.
A Churches of Christ representative said that under the Hervey Bay Bible Church, attendance had dropped significantly.
"Churches of Christ in Queensland was approached by several concerned parties - supported by the current minister and treasurer at the church and a number of former members and leaders - who sought intervention to protect the church, its reputation and its assets," the representative said.
The recommissioned Hervey Bay Church of Christ held its first service on Sunday and there were more than 80 people in attendance, the spokesman said.
"Among those in attendance were a number of local leaders from other churches who are in support of Churches of Christ."
The Hervey Bay Bible Church has now relocated to the CWA Hall in Pulgul St, Urangan, where it holds services every Sunday from 9.30am.
Mr Arnold said about 40 people had attended the first service on the weekend.