Tag Archives: Robert Calhoun Gray

New Story: First Baptist Church

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First Baptist Church has perhaps received more love and more hate than any other entity in Jacksonville. It dates to a ca.-Civil War split with black church members who retained the original name, Bethel Baptist. In 1923, Pastor W.A. Hobson welcomed 200 Klansmen in full regalia into his farewell sermon. In the 1980s, Pastors Homer Lindsay and Jerry Vines ignited a showdown with more “liberal” members of the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2019, what once seemed unthinkable occurs: the church plans to sell 90 percent of its downtown campus.

Hope for Life Baptist Church, Where Bob Gray Preached His Last Sermon

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Referring to the pastor whose sexual abuse of children Trinity Baptist Church covered for half a century, Gary Hudson says, “I knew Bob Gray for 30 years. I had Gray speak at Hope for Life that Wednesday night, March 22, 2006. It was the last time Gray preached in a Jacksonville church, the last time he preached anywhere.”

Gary Hudson says reading his Bible led him to renounce his faith. “The busiest guitar tech in the Panhandle,” describes himself now as “a very happy peace-loving non-believer.” His book is “dedicated to all I have influenced to believe in the Christian gospel.”

Hammond Boulevard Exit & the “Perfect Pedophile Paradise”

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Did God so love the world that he directed the Florida Department of Transportation to cut a new exit from Interstate-10 down to the northern entrance of what Dennis Cassell called Bob Gray’s “perfect pedophile paradise”? 

Whatever Tom Messer believed about God’s desires for his predecessor Bob Gray, whose sexual abuse of children Messer shielded from the law, he believes God wants 20,000 people daily to take the new I-10 exit by the church. 

So let’s do that. Let’s go. Here’s what we find.