Archive for Friday, June 26, 2009

First Christian Church pastor resigns without explanation

June 26, 2009


The Rev. Randy Beeman resigned this week as pastor at First Christian Church, 1000 Ky.

Beeman was senior pastor for six years at the church, which has about 600 members.

In a letter to the First Christian congregation, Beeman said he would like to focus on “personal issues” in his life and has no plans to serve another congregation in the near future. While he did not go into an in-depth reason for his resignation, he does state that that “there has been no financial, marital or sexual misconduct” that led to him leaving the church.

Beeman declined comment Friday when contacted by the Journal-World.

Marylee Southard, chair of the church’s elders, said that the church will be seeking an interim pastor and hopes to have one by Aug. 1. In the meantime, ordained church members and retired ministers will be filling in. Other church leaders will help in church administrative duties and in fellowship and outreach. Southard declined to comment on the reasons for Beeman’s resignation.

The church is holding an informal congregational meeting at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Beeman is also chaplain for the Kansas University men’s basketball team. It is unclear how his resignation would affect his position with the team.


Bassetlover 8 years, 10 months ago

Phenomenal loss for the church and our community at large. Randy contributed so much, and on so many different levels even beyond the church. He epitomized "service" and his absence leaves a huge void. Godspeed, Randy!

Judgesmails 8 years, 10 months ago

Stand by for upcoming scandal news.......

compmd 8 years, 10 months ago

Why does he have to give a reason for his resignation?

Gods_007_agent 6 years, 9 months ago

I have over 25 years of pastoral experience. It always grieves my heart when I hear of God-loving, People-loving Pastors who are making a big difference in people's lives...unexpectedly resigning. While it is true "Nobody forces Pastors to put politics in the pulpit", it is also true, like it or not, there is politics to pastoring! All 'Church Leadership Committees' are designed to help promote God's Christian agenda through the various ministries of the church. However, church committees only function well IF everybody on the committee KEEPS 'GOD'S AGENDA' ahead of their own. More often than you know, individuals on committees have their own agenda to push, resulting from selfishness or lack of spiritual maturity. Regardless of the reason, Pastors can be under TREMENDOUS STRESS when their heart's desire is to 'advance God's agenda', but they have to work with committee members who a) have a personal agenda to advance, or b) have a revenge score to settle over some extremely trivial matter, and undeservedly have the support of the church body! Not a good situation. Many GOOD Pastors love their flock too much to allow the internal conflict within the committee to spill over into the church body. Many GOOD pastors have been led to resign to remove the strain and try to 'keep the peace' within the congregation. PRAY for Godly Pastors all around the world! They are carrying heavier burdens than anyone realizes...Godspeed!

somebodynew 8 years, 10 months ago

I never listened to a sermon of his, so I have no clue (and probably M_m doesn't either) if he even put politics in the pulpit. I do know and highly respect the man and from talking to him the political angle just doesn't seem right to me.

But, besides that. I truely wish the best for Randy and hope whatever this issue is can be resolved quickly for his sake. He is a very kind and caring person way beyond the religious beliefs, and will gladly help people out without "pushing" his beliefs on them.

As Bassetlover said - Godspeed Randy. And if, by chance, you actually look at these blogs - send me an email and if I can help in anyway I will. I know you don't know me here, but you do know me.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 10 months ago

agree with somebodynew, Pastor Beeman was a very caring man and the politics being thrown in here is just from M-M/Aggie, i.e. nuts. Pastor Beeman didn't get involved in politics.

I will say that I was disappointed that Pastor Beeman was wishy-washy on some very serious doctrines of the church.

idiots on here automatically jumping to scandal, politics. could just as easily be Pastor Beeman is telling the truth, something may be going on that necessitates him focusing on his family for a while.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 10 months ago

Aggie, thanks for a more respectful post, instead of your ethanol experience, or before that when you wrote that because I'm socially conservative I keep my wife naked in the kitchen and just rape her from time to time.
this is an improvement.

it is funny you, as an apparent agnostic are concerned about politics and the church, not really your ballgame.

but here goes. I would have had to hear that pastor's series of messages, and I might well have been one of the 1K who left his church.
my pastor here in lawrence never says "vote for John McCain" or "vote for the republican." though I know from some republican events he is interested and personally involved. obviously so am I.
if we say we have faith and there is no outward manifestation of it, the faith is dead or meaningless.
I don't know what you'd consider "politics" but my pastor does preach that life begins at conception. he preaches that from the content of the Bible. He then preaches that if we stand by and do nothing when innocents are murdered, we are guilty of that killing. again, from the Bible.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 10 months ago

(cont'ed) He preaches that we should be involved by voting and volunteering, without identifying what and where from the pulpit.
He says that our voting should always reflect our values.
So, the answer for you is more complex than you may have thought Aggie. A good preacher takes current events and connects the truths of the Bible with them. sometimes these have unmistakeable political implications.
it would be wrong for him to hand out candidate literature in church, exhort candidate support from the pulpit. But if he avoids discussing the Bible's truths that have political implications, he is burrying his head in the sand.

now, you asked about the issues I referred to regarding Pastor Beeman. no, I won't mention them here, I might as well sign my name in that case.
Both issues the Bible speaks quite directly on.

I don't doubt Pastor Beeman's heart to serve. and I hope whatever the problem he can overcome it and quell the storm.

Kylee Manahan 8 years, 10 months ago

Pastor Randy, please tell me you will not be leaving town! I have never met someone who I could go to for spiritual advise until you. You helped friends of mine in need and they told me that you were the one that could help. I didn't take advantage of that during that hard time of year last year, but now that you might leave I am ready because I know that you would be able to help me. Please don't leave town. You are a great pastor, something that I had missed growing up in the First Christian Church. You will be missed by all of us, but especially those of us who need your spiritual guidance. Hope you contact me at

Your lost child of God

Sharon Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

I do consider this news as it affects a number of Lawrence citizens who were involved with the man in many aspects, pastor, advisor or friend. Seems like it also gives some a much needed reason to speculate until they learn the facts. Whatever this man's issues, I wish him well and hope that he finds peace in his decision.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

This sounds as if we won't get a chance to see him again. If that is the case, Randy this is for you.

You are the reason my husband and I developed a renewed interest in religion. When you spoke (not preached), we got it! It was as if you knew we needed things basic, yet thought-provoking. We are so incredibly sad to lose you, but will always (and now eternally) be thankful that we had you for a short while.

We wish you all the very best and are behind you 99% (we are still a little selfish). I truly hope that you are around Lawrence still, or that we hear from/about you. You are without a doubt one in a million.

For those who do not know him or have never heard him talk, I am sorry for you. Your posts would not be so ill-informed or negative. This is one cool guy.

God is good, Randy. He sure is.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

Randy, you also will know us if you email. Please do, if you so desire.

KansasPerson 8 years, 9 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says…

'I'm sorry but how is the “resignation” of one primiitve shaman from a primitive, Bronze Age cult news?'

Because not all the news fits all the people. That's why it's called the Lawrence Journal-World and not the Marion Journal-World.

There are (I imagine) some people in Lawrence who don't care one way or another about basketball; yet if the KU coach were to resign, you bet it would be news.

In another example, there was a big article on the lavender harvest the other day. I know some people who can't use lavender; it makes them sneeze. Should we have made sure that story didn't run in the paper?

Just because you're not into something, doesn't mean other people aren't!

woodenfleaeater 8 years, 9 months ago

Maybe he was questioning the actual existence of "God". After serving the Lord for so many years, and turning to the Bible for all the answers, he may have realized the Bible is not to be taken literally. Maybe he had some questions and some doubts about man upstairs. Maybe he reaized you shouldn't have to rely on a book to tell you what's right and wrong and how to live your life. You should be able to do just fine on your own, or maybe he's becoming a Pastafarian.

somebodynew 8 years, 9 months ago

TomPaine - You make some very good observations "It's not helpful to make such speculations, especially not here. His business is his business, his life his life. Maybes are only maybes, and barely worth the effort it takes to concoct them, or less."

But one point you make seems misguided: "Hypothetically, however, I'd say that any pastor who decided to leave the faith would have one heck of a tough emotional terrain to traverse, and would deserve sympathy and encouragement from every side."

No where in the article did I pick up that Randy was leaving the "faith", he is just stepping down from his role as a leader of a church. A role that, knowing Randy, takes a lot of time and energy. I doubt that Randy is questioning or leaving his faith, just has some pressing personal issues that need his energy.

Whatever it is, I hope he is at peace and knows there are a LOT of people who would gladly help him if he needs it. Me being one of many.

pace 8 years, 9 months ago

yellow journalist type of head line. bad ljw, bad. go to the corner and hawk

Tom McCune 8 years, 9 months ago

Belief in God is not the same thing as belief in organized religion.... or in one particular organized religion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

So what qualifications does the "team chaplain" need to have? Do they have to be Christian?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Why would a college sports team need a chaplain? I think this is a horrible idea. I had no idea such things went on in this day and age.

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Machiavelli_mania (Anonymous) says… "The number one reason why people are not attending church services these days is the over-abundance of politics in the pulpit. What we have today is the Ridiculous Religious Rite setting the stage and directing the near-total demise of the American Christian Church. No problem as far as I am concerned. The Ridiculous Religious Rite have certainly been a good part of why I gave up publicly practicing Christianity. I blame them for it … and also the atrocious antics that happened at the first Nicean Council. Bye, bye, Church."

Good for you M_m! Because of cowards like yourself the 'RRR' continues to strengthen it's ties to all Christian faiths! The battle cry of the weak,

"Abandon ship!!"

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Did he not say one word to his congregation that he was leaving and why? He just walked out the church door and never came back? I am not sure why this would be news. Is this the church that serves the LINK dinners and was serving as a shelter for a while? Anyone think that could be part of it?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Roger I don't know what church you are talking about having the pancake feed. It seems to be that church gives a lot of solid substantial help to the homeless. No matter how faithful or religious someone may be we are each of us products of our individual upbringing. When I was homeless, a woman from my church was serving lunch at the soup kitchen, saw me and said, I didn't think Catholics were homeless. Oh, well. I think it would have been better for the Pastor to have talked to his congregation about this openly. It is the method of resigning that will lead to speculation, also the things that he made a point of stressing that he did not do.

letsgetwise 8 years, 9 months ago

Pastor Randy's resignation is as stated. He is taking some time to address some personal issues that he believes need to be addressed. Those issues obviously do not include you or me. He is a good man. I have attended this church in the past and appreciated his sermons. He was always friendly and respectful. I believe when/if he or the church leaders decide to share any intimate details they will. Sometimes it is time to move on into whatever direction and get your life in order. In the meantime, my prayers go out to Randy and his family as well at the leaders and congregation at First Christian. God is good, He will work in this situation and lives will be mended.

BrianR 8 years, 9 months ago

"A thousand people left the church. They chose to leave because of their conviction that part of their mission as Christians is to openly promote those candidates..."

Very interesting.

How quickly the "religious" have forgotten the Sermon on the Mount. Using The Church for political ends is the height of hypocrisy, or close to it. The political wing of The Church are the Pharisees, they've lost their way.

JohnThreeTwenty 8 years, 9 months ago

As an FCC member (and country music fan), based on my observations, my opinion is, to paraphrase Billy Currington's current hit song: "God is great, Randy Beeman is good, and the FCC Elders are crazy."

lmn 8 years, 9 months ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says… Why would a college sports team need a chaplain? I think this is a horrible idea. I had no idea such things went on in this day and age.

What the hell is your problem with life?

Furthermore, he owes no public explanation, even if busybodies like you think otherwise.

BrianR 8 years, 9 months ago

JohnThreeTwenty (Anonymous) says… "...“God is great, Randy Beeman is good, and the FCC Elders are crazy.” "

Ok, by Tuesday or Wednesday, can we have something in 2/4 in whatever key you prefer?

BL 8 years, 9 months ago

I grew up in Lawrence in the 50s and 60s. The First Christian Church (FCC) was a big part of my life--and even more so of my mother's.. Was baptized by Rev. Hanan, had gold stars for Sunday School attendance, and sang in the choir for several years. After graduating from KU and moving and living away from Lawrence for more than 30 years, I decided to return here. But I did not think the First Christian Church would be the place for me, having visited several other churches with the same name in several other parts of the country--and not appreciating, understanding or feeling comfortable with their "brand" of Chistianity. So I never attended a service again in Lawrence since my return.

However, (too) soon after being back I did attend a memorial there for someone I loved very much, It was easy and comforting to see how special a person Rev. Randy was/is and how connected he was to so many people (of all walks of life) in the Lawrence community.

Now that I've been back, living here again for six years, I've followed and been very proud of what the Lawrence FCC has been doing. So, no matter why and what has led to his decision to leave the FCC, I wish the best for Rev. Randy in his future life. I also thank him very much for helping and truly caring for, and about, SOOOOO very many people here in Lawrence.

Calliope877 8 years, 9 months ago

I apologize for my following question being off topic, but has anyone heard of the International Church of Christ and are they still on KU campus? I remember reading an article back in 2000 about how that church also claimed to be the "first" christian church (seems like they all claim that), and they had questionable ways of "converting" students. I guess that's why this article made me think of it, even tho I don't think the two churches are I mean no offense to any First Christian church followers.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 9 months ago

The International Church of Christ is still around, but they have changed a lot.

pace 8 years, 9 months ago

The headline is incorrect. There was an explanation, just not full enough for the editor of the paper. WOW. So he/she purposely created a false headline. Given the information in the article they should of stopped the headline at "First Christian Church pastor resigns ". The man gave an explanation, the headline was a lie. Yellow journalism. bad ljw bad

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Okay, pace, don't keep us in suspense, what was the explanation? It is human nature to get curious when something like this happens. I still say a sports team does not need a chaplain. Why?

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

Read the article people:

"In a letter to the First Christian congregation, Beeman said he would like to focus on “personal issues” in his life and has no plans to serve another congregation in the near future. " - that is from his letter.

Anything more is his business.

CurlyGirl 8 years, 6 months ago

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