This summer The Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville is inviting locals to join it on “a journey of spiritual renewal”. This journey is to be manifested in its “Meet God Here” series of Wednesday Night preaching events. Leading off on Wednesday June 5th is Bishop Jim Bolin. Liberty Square obviously has high expectations for Bolin’s appearance, having advertised it as a “revival” on a digital billboard off of Highway 41. While Bolin may be a fine speaker, no attendant should expect to “meet God” at any Pentecostal revival led by him.
In 1983, Bolin and his wife Robin founded of Trinity Chapel in Powder Srings. The congregation grew into a megachurch, boasting 7,000 members, before denominational (Church of God) officials removed Bolin as Senior Pastor in 2008 after he confessed to an adulterous relationship. He was immediately replaced by his son, Jason. Five years later, however, Bolin was back in the saddle and back at the reigns of Trinity Chapel. He was restored, at age 61, as Senior Pastor with his wife, who also claims to be a pastor, at his side. Since 2013, Trinity Chapel has rebranded itself as Seven Springs Church and Jason Bolin is once again leading as Senior Pastor. Bishop Bolin, now in his late sixties, is apparently spending his retirement years preaching revivals on the church of God circuit.
The Apostle Paul taught clearly in his first epistle to Timothy that a pastor caught in adultery is no longer qualified to be a pastor:
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Also, clearly taught in the scripture above (as well as others) is that the office of pastor is limited to men. Nevertheless, women continue to serve as pastors alongside their husbands in the Church of God. This is because, in the entrepreneurial realm of Pentecostalism, churches are often little family businesses. In the case of the Bolins, their son inherited his father’s pastorate. It didn’t matter that his mother was no pastor and that his father was biblically disqualified from holding the office of Bishop. It mattered that they can fill seats.
This is exactly what Liberty Square expects Bolin to do this Wednesday. Liberty Square is itself no stranger to rebranding. It was formerly known as Cartersville Church of God. Names can be changed but the culture of Pentecostalism remains the same. It makes little kings out of its leaders and doctrine and holiness take a back seat to emotionally-driven experiences which are devoid of any real spiritual power. The Church at Liberty Square is a mission field. Cartersville’s Christians should remember as much when they drive by its billboards advertising revival.
*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.