“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Jesus Christ
David Franklin is the associational missionary for the Bartow Baptist Association (BBA). He is well-known around Cartersville as a force for good as is informally and amicably referred to as a member of the local “Christian mafia”. He might be the most well-connected Christian in the entire community. If you are a Baptist in Bartow County there is a good chance that you have seen David Franklin fill the pulpit of your local church on a Sunday morning. Under his leadership, the BBA has implemented the annual SPLASH Bartow local missions initiative as well as seen increased local church cooperation across racial lines. Franklin is very respected among Bartow County’s religious leaders. I personally have benefited from his insight into Baptist life. That is why it was so disappointing to see Franklin endorse Rowland Springs Baptist Church (RSBC) in an effusive Google review. RSBC is dangerously compromised by the influence of the cult of Freemasonry and counts several Masons among its membership. Three of the current officers of Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63 are members of RSBC. Because of its toleration for Masonry, RSBC has gotten several negative reviews on Google. I can only imagine the negative feedback is what inspired Franklin to add his own.
In his Google review of RSBC, David had the following to say:
Rowland Springs is a warm and loving church that is committed to being an Acts 1:8 church. The church is involved from locally to around the world in sharing the good news of Christ and meeting people where they are. They have been really engaged locally in various ministries from feeding and clothing the hungry and poor to helping people with house repairs to helping in our local schools and more. I get to work with them with SPLASH Bartow and more and they are great. Also, I personally have worked with a young minister and a missionary that God is using (mightily) that has come out of Rowland Springs. The people at the church are loving and genuine. Pastor Joe is a great guy that is a faithful pastor. His family is strong. If you are looking for a church that faithfully follows the Bible and Jesus check out Rowland Springs – David Franklin
As a Spirit-filled Christian and former member of Rowland Springs Baptist Church, I can tell you, authoritatively, that many of these statements are not accurate. Rowland Springs indeed feeds and clothes the hungry and poor. However, this should be expected among all Christ’s churches. Rowland Springs is only “warm and loving” to guests and members inasmuch they adhere to its culture of silent conformance and its toleration of syncretistic religion. Rowland Springs is exactly the kind of church that looks clean on the outside (nice building, smiling-people, inviting events) but is rotten on the inside. It is the epitome of a “white-washed tomb”.
A former member once relayed this to me about RSBC and its Pastor Joe Ringwalt:
I grew up at Rowland Springs. Joe Ringwalt was a very much, don’t step on toes, kind of preacher…Rowland Springs had a lot of “old money” and he worried about making them upset. There isn’t much discipline that I ever saw, and Joe will rarely step on anyone’s toes with a sermon.
I experienced Joe Ringwalt’s fear of man and love of money first hand when I asked him to stand against Freemasonry at RSBC. “If I go against Freemasonry, I’ll get fired,” Joe sheepishly told me. He said this not six months removed from coming into my living room to prospect me as a church member and telling me that he did not support the Masonic Lodge.
Since I respected and trusted him, David Franklin was one of the first men I went to for help when my own pastor, Joe Ringwalt, refused to take a stand against the evil, demonic cult that permeated the church of which Joe Ringwalt had been pastor for twenty years. I thought Joe might listen to an older, experienced minister like David over a younger fire brand like me. Unfortunately, David was of no help to me. When I called him, Franklin told me that he didn’t know any Baptist Masons in Bartow County (I made him aware of eight at Rowland Springs!) and that Masonry was not as big of a problem as it used to be. As it turns out, there are least two Masonic members of Franklin’s own church. Masons have permeated Bartow Baptist Church’s for years. Like so many other Bartow Baptists, Franklin, who constantly preaches and prays for revival, seemed unconcerned about the Masons in our midst.
I was eventually excommunicated from Rowland Springs Baptist Church. A special church conference was called for the sole purpose of doing so. The only non-church-member present at the meeting was Joel Thortnon, a lawyer who works for the Bartow Baptist Association. I later learned that none other than David Franklin himself was on the church campus. Franklin waited in a back office, his lawyer observing the proceedings, while my church removed me from membership for calling sinners to repent.
Why would Franklin do such a thing? Why would Franklin leave such a positive review for a church he knows to be compromised by a cult and a hireling pastor? I searched the Google reviews of several prominent Bartow Baptist Churches, including Franklin’s own, and could not find a single other church for which he left a review. So, why Rowland Springs?
The answer may very well lie in the money. RSBC dedicates roughly 2% of it’s annual budget of ~$600,000 as a gift to David Franklin’s Bartow Baptist Association. The 2018 budgeted donation from RSBC to the Bartow Baptist Association was over $14,000.
There is an old axiom that says, “You get what you pay for.” When will God’s people finally learn that Christ’s blood-bought church doesn’t need money to be successful? Only when pastors and Christian leaders prioritize holiness instead of attendance numbers and bank balances will revival come to their stagnant churches.
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.” John Wesley
To learn more about Freemasonry and how it conflicts with Christianity, you may read my new book Christianity and the Craft. If you are local to Bartow, I currently have about 50 copies at my house to give away.
You may also want to read my book about Baptist Stewardship, The Cooperative Program and the Road to Serfdom.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.