JD Greear, President of the SBC, charged money to attend his Good Friday worship service

By Elizabeth Prata

Pastor JD Greear is currently serving as 62nd President of the Southern Baptist Convention. His church is called Summit Church. It is a multi-site church with 9 campuses in and around Durham, NC.

Greear had been college pastor for 18 months before he was called to be the senior pastor. The church under Pastor J.D.’s leadership has grown from a plateaued church of 300 to one of over 10,000, making it one of Outreach magazine’s "top 25 fastest-growing churches in America" for many years running, according to the About page at Summit.

On Friday, April 19, 2019, Pastor Greear tweeted that he was "pumped" for the Good Friday service. See his tweet below.

Ticket? For crowd control purposes? For a head count? Intrigued, I looked it up according to the link provided.

Here is what I saw:

The church charges money for their Good Friday services. $5 plus $1.05 in fees for a total of $6.05.

Let that sink in.

Someone who attends Summit Church noticed the reactions of grief and horror of the discerning public to this state of affairs, and responded thus,

I replied with this:
"We see the value". The "value" of the Gospel is only $6.05? How can you put a price on it? How can you declare a finite amount for something of inestimable value? How can you allow money to change hands over Jesus' dead body? How can you put a price on Jesus's agony? 
But you did.
It is extremely sad that the President of the largest Christian congregation in the world and who pastors one of the largest churches in America would place a fee on the entrance of souls to hear the news about Good Friday. Not even heretical prosperity gospel church Joel Osteen's Lakewood charges parking or admission or requires tickets for any of its gatherings. Not even Lakewood.

Paul said,

What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:18).

If others have this right to your support, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not exercise this right. Instead, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:12)

Was it a sin for me to humble myself in order to exalt you, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? (2 Corinthians 11:7)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10).

 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:34).

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

There are so many verses in our Bible advising about money. It is a tempting idol and one of the biggest. But suffice to say that the mixing of filthy lucre, sordid gain, shameful gain as the different translations put it, and the presentation of the pure, holy Gospel is craven to the core. This should horrify you. It should be a significant marker of how far the American church has drifted from the Ambassadorial message that in 33AD we were charged to bring.

Shame on Pastor JD Greear. Now that he has mixed money and Gospel, we read his tweet in a different light. He is pumped for Good Friday services. Pumped because he is excited to bring souls to the throne? Or excited for the money it will bring him?


  1. Southern Baptist Convention. 'Nuff said.

  2. Totally disgusting. Selling out to satan.

  3. Is it possible this was for a special performance and not regular services?

    1. Good question. It wasn't. It was a Good Friday "worship" service (his words) and he specifically wrote that the service was specifically to prepare hearts for Sunday's Easter "good news of Easter" (his words) see at thislink.https://twitter.com/SummitRDU/status/1115623623790866432

    2. I found this on The Summit website:

      Good Friday Worship with the All-Campus Choir
      Join us on April 19 at the Brier Creek Campus and worship with the all-campus choir as we prepare our hearts for the good news of Easter. Click below for tickets and more information!

      Tickets are $5 each. Proceeds help offset the cost for future choir events and initiatives, including when the choir leads worship in contexts outside of the Summit (services at church plants, local outreach events, mission trips, etc.).

      Actual Resurrection Day services were free. It seems to me that the Good Friday event was a "special" and the church site plainly states the reason for the charge and where the money is going.

      I respectfully disagree that this was for shameful gain and places them in the same category as Osteen and Lakewood.

    3. I respect your respectful disgreement. Thank you.

      However, it was stated as a worship service in church specifically to prepare for Easter, as the link I previously shared with you says. If it was promoted as a fundraiser, that's different.

      No matter what, charging money for a church worship service in the house of God is shameful, especially when its intent was to prepare for Easter, another worship service. Please review the many verses in the essay that say mixing money and worship (or Gospel) is terrible.

      I didn't say that Summit was in the same category as Lakewood. I said Summit was worse (in this regard).

  4. This seems to be another distinctly western church idea. In Central Asia we once shared that some "pastors" in the west negotiate for salary and benefit package before deciding to pastor a church. They were incredulous. While we may understand it to a degree, their reaction was: "Disgusting! They make the Church a business."

  5. It seems he talks out both sides of his mouth. Now he says the charge was for a choir concert. Oh, the tangled webs we weave!


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