Jesse James and Church Discipline

Ken Keathley has one of the best introductory paragraphs to a post I’ve seen:

A while back I had the privilege of preaching at 1st Baptist Church of Kearney, Missouri, which so happens to have been the home church of Jesse James. Jesse was a member in good standing when he led the first daylight bank robbery in Liberty, Missouri, a town about ten miles away. The church minutes record that deliberations to discipline Jesse were complicated by the concern that he might burn down the building. Everyone in the community knew Jesse was staying at his mother’s farm (she was a Sunday school teacher at the time), so two deacons were selected to go to confront him according to the guidelines of Matthew 18. The minutes of the next business meeting report that, for one reason or another, the deacons never could find the time to visit the notorious bandit. Then the minutes report that Jesse himself arrived at the meeting, and wishing to cause no embarrassment to the congregation, requested his name be removed from the roll. The church obliged.

From there he goes on to make an important point about church discipline. Read the whole thing.

3 Comments

Filed under History, Reformation and Revival

3 responses to “Jesse James and Church Discipline

  1. That is fascinating. One of our church’s home congregations meets in Kearney. Thank you for pointing this out.

    Warmly,
    Steve

  2. Jimmy Stanfield

    I know a guy right now that starting coming to a local church, met a woman and her husband and seduced the woman away from her husband and kids, destroying a family and an 18 year marriage. They are now angry because some people informed the pastor and the pastor instituted church discipline against them. What a shame that even an old outlaw like Jesse James had more decency and respect for the church than some people today.

  3. Dr. James Willingham

    Sirs: My Bible teacher at St. Louis Baptist College in 1959-60 was Dr. W. L. Muncey, Jr. He had 4-5 sons, all ministers. One was pastor of a church near Liberty Mo. I do not remember the name of the church, but Dr. Muncey told us (his class in Christian Doctrine) that his son had found in the church records where Jesse was thinking about joining the Presbyterians. The church sent out a committee to get him to keep his membership in the Baptists. By the way The problem we have is that there was about 5 Jesse James. They were about the business of raising money to start the Confederacy all over. My great grandfather worked for one of those Jesse’s, the J. Frank Dalton one. Nothing is ever as simple as we like to think. Bob Ford was a cousin of the Mo. Jesse and the whole deal was a charade to get Jesse off the hook. The fellow who shot the one buried in the James’ grave was the African American cook and member of the gang. He was still living in te early 70s in Florida. I had 2 students in my class who were from that town in Fla. where the old man lived. He still had his six guns and was as dangerous as a rattlesnake..so they indicated. The Jesse of Mo.’s father Rev. Robt James was one of the founders of William Jewell College which I also attended in 1960. 28 yrs later I would find out about my great grandfather & the Jesse who was born in Ky. God sure has strange ways for His people.

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