*A few weeks back we brought you the story about a 103-year-old woman who was kicked out of her life-long church by its new pastor. Ms. Genora Biggs had problems with the pastors deliverance style of preaching and believes she was ousted because she complained. Now, in a complete role of reversal, it is the pastor who finds himself voted out of the church, in a movement that is said to welcome her back.
But according to what Biggs told 11Alive News on Thursday, the pastor is not taking the news lightly and is refusing to leave.
In an interview with Biggs at her home in Elberton, 11Alive reports that the disruption to the elders normally peaceful routine has been drastic after being thrown into the media frenzy.
You will recall the letter written by the pastor and signed by the deacon and ten other church members that was mailed to the home of Biggs; saying that she was no longer welcomed at the church and to stay off of church property.
Biggs aims to stand by her story, and told 11Alive that she plans on spending the rest of her days at the church, where she has been a member since the age of 11.
And that church, she says, will remain Baptist.
With regard to how things are unfolding, its a no-win situation according to Biggs.
“Doesn’t make me happy,” she said. “Very, very unhappy.”
She said that on Sunday, September 20, about 50 members who no longer attend every week — either because of their own disputes with Mattox or because they’ve moved away — returned and voted to remove Mattox, and appoint a 90-day interim pastor. Ms. Biggs’ grandson, Elliot Dye, told 11Alive News that they all believed their vote on Sunday would override the eleven members who signed the letter that Mattox had them send to Ms. Biggs.
But that is apparent easier said than done because Dye and Biggs say Mattox has now gone to court to dispute the vote.
Of course Biggs never thought she’d be in such a mess. But finds herself hopeful because of all the support she is receiving from around the country.
“I have been getting calls – every day, yeah,” she said. “It makes me feel good.”
Biggs is a widower whose husband, Hoyt, died 15 years ago. So she really appreciates the calls of support; especially the one that came from a woman who told her to “stick to your guns!” To which Biggs responded, “That’s what I’m trying to do.”
She also received a call from a man in Tampa area who prayed with her.
11Alive has been unable to reach Rev. Mattox for comment.
No one knows who will be at the pulpit on Sunday, since Mattox has refused to leave. But the interim pastor is expected to be at the church and so will longstanding member Genora Biggs.
Biggs will celebrate her 104th birthday in November.