103-year-old woman banned from church

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ELBERTON, Ga. -- The one thing Genora Hamm Biggs says she knows is true is her love for the Lord.

At 103 years old, she reads her Bible daily, but lately she says she's had to do some extra praying.

"I was shocked," Hamm Biggs said.

She received a certified letter in the mail from church members.

"And it was not a good feeling," she said.

The letter states:

"Dear Mrs. Genora Hamm Biggs,
This letter is to inform you that according to the by-laws of the Union Grove Baptist Church, and by vote of the active members, any membership or associations that you have had with this church are now officially revoked. Therefore, you cannot attend Union Grove Baptist Church for any reason whatsoever. You are not to come to the property of the Union Grove Baptist Church located at 680 Pulliam Street, Elberton, Georgia 30635.

The members and officers of the Union Grove Baptist Church."

"The letter said we're not to come back, but we went back - police were there," Hamm Biggs said.

She says Union Grove Baptist Church in Elberton is the only church she's ever known. She became a member 92 years ago.

"He told police he wanted to put us out, but the police told him 'you can't do that,'" she said.

She says Union Grove Baptist Church's pastor, Rev. Tim Mattox wants her banned because she spoke out and told him about things she didn't like.

"He's a holy, sanctified minister - we are Baptist and he has divided the church," Hamm Biggs said.

She said he's not following the covenant of the Baptist Church and is trying to change the denomination to a Holiness Church.

"I haven't seen anything like this before," she said as she shook her head.

And there are former members who support her.

"It's not right," Ezell Land said.

He used to be a deacon at the church and said the Hamm Biggs' family founded the church.

"They brought it here on a mule and a wagon from the country when I was a little boy," Land said.

He grew up in the church too and was a member for 56 years before he left.

"Every time I would get up, the pastor would get up and make remarks when I sang and stuff. So, I just got my hat and I left," he said.

And although Hamm Biggs still has her name etched on the side of the church, she says it's the emotional scars that hurt the most.

"I wanna get my church straight like it has been," she said.

Elberton police officers call the church fall-out a civil matter and haven't made any arrest.

FOX Carolina tried to contact Mattox, as well as other members whose names appear on the letter, but couldn't get in touch with them.

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  • Emmaleah

    A minister is, yes, a leader of an individual church, but nonetheless only a part of the church. Christ is the head, and the only one who can be. A church should be, needs to be, run by the laws of the Bible, and not by what the minister thinks is right or wrong.

    • Truett Collins

      A minister is to be a servant of the church and it’s members and is to serve at the pleasure of it’s members. The problem comes in when a minister is set up on some kind of pedestal and looked on as something more than a servant, and a messenger.

  • olmon1

    It is nothing new. It started centuries ago. Look at Christendom today, It is hopelessly divided, its members often slaughter one another, its clergy are embroiled in politics. What happened to Christianity?’ Well, Jesus warned that false Christians would be ‘sown’ in among true Christians. (Matthew 13:24-30) Paul likewise prophesied: “I know that . . . oppressive wolves will enter in among you and . . . men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.”—Acts 20:29, 30.
    Even in the first century this trend had begun. The disciple James found it necessary to write these graphic words: “You are as unfaithful as adulterous wives; don’t you realise that making the world your friend is making God your enemy?” (James 4:4,
    What really surprises me is that so many people actually go to those churches and sincerely believe that they are the way to salvation when what they REALLY are is subtle, sneaky machinations of Satan to trick people into worship that is not acceptable to God. Instead of ‘Saving’ the people, the teachings of those apostate sects (I can’t in good conscience call them Christian) are actually keeping the church members from learning what is REALLY in the Bible.

    • Rory

      Elberton Georgia is the location of the Georgia Guidestones. Exactly 9 miles north of the center of Elberton. The inscriptions have commandments in many languages that proclaim the human population of the Earth is to be reduced to 500 million. Meaning, 90% of us will have to die.

  • william

    That’s it right at all 103 year old woman that show you that people don’t have any respect anywhere even in the church only one person know how to handle that situation