Amendment I of the United States Constitution states…
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” To”abridge,” means to curtail, to shorten, to lessen, to diminish, to cut off, to deprive or cut off from (i.e., to abridge oneâ€™s rights). Patrick Henry once said, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, . . . lest it comes to dominate our lives and interests.” There is no question that what happened to Gary Trout so long ago was a shocking and frightening violation of the separation of church and state. This is his story of how the government overstepped its bounds in clear violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by its invasion into church polity. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution severely circumscribes the role that a court may play in resolving a church dispute; nevertheless, the church he pastored unbelievably became a state-run church. Now after twenty-four years, the Lord has led him and convinced him to tell the untold story. The true, complete story is often unheard. He recounts the events which have never surfaced that contributed to the calumnious and calamitous condition that put him in court, removed him from preaching, and restrained him from acting as pastor in any manner. This is the story of government intervention in church affairs, the astounding events that transpired during that time, and the victory finally won at the state’s highest court, the West Virginia Supreme Court in a unanimous decision filed on July 3, 1989.
GARY TROUT became a Christian at the age of seventeen and began preaching at the age of nineteen. Throughout the past 38 years of ministry, he has served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, senior pastor, youth camp evangelist, revivalist, radio speaker, Christian School administrator and teacher, and President of West Virginians for Decency and Morality. He is currently the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Marion, Virginia. He and his wife, Beth, are the parents of four children and have two grandchildren.
Most helpful customer reviews
By Dr. Roy L. Carter
This is a story that Pastor Trout now feels that he can tell after 20 years of silence. This story tells of all the trials, tribulations, and injustices that this man of God was put through over 20 years ago by folks in his church that desired power and control of the church and its pastor. This book further states how the government stepped in (in clear violation of the constitution of the US) and made rulings that they had no right to make. I’m confident that this writing will ruffle a few feathers even after these many years have passed but I’m grateful that Pastor Trout has now been able to say what I believe he would like to have been able to have said back then. I also believe he didn’t say those things back then because he truly loved the folks who were his accusers and prayed for their repentance and restoration. I believe he still loves those folks to this day. This book also shows a tragic but very real side of how folks can react in a church. I do not stereotype all church members like those that Pastor Trout had to deal with, but I know that churches tragically have those kinds of people in them. Shame on the pastors who knew Pastor Trout when he was going through these trials and never offered a word of encouragement, prayer, or support! I can say that because I am a pastor with over 20 years in ministry. I’ve reached out to other pastors going through trials that were their fault and trials that were not their fault. Have some backbone guys and do the right thing! Shunning a fellow pastor is never the right thing to do! I also feel that I have a right to say these things because I’ve personally known Pastor Trout since near the beginning of his ministry. I know his character and his Savior! Is he perfect?………… No,……..but then again who is?? In closing……….. May God bless the Pastor Trout and his family as they serve till they see Him!
Dr. Roy L. Carter – Sr. Pastor in NC
Nothing But Net!
By Kevin S Lucas
Pastor Gary Trout was a young man on a mission. Just out of Bible college with a devoted young wife and growing family, Pastor Trout took an older church and began to bring in new members with his pastor’s heart and a determination to serve God and follow the Great Commission. Under his kind and loving outreach, the church began to grow and take on a life they had not seen for years. The halls began to hum with new life and many of the old members began to sense their power and dominance in the church was waning. Had Pastor Trout been leading them astray it might have been a different but Gary Trout was simply preaching God’s Word, winning lost souls, and loving people to Christ.
Then the trouble started…the old guard, realizing they were about to be outnumbered, attempted to freeze the membership rolls and remove the pastor from office. The struggle that followed told for the first time in this book, came to an end only the unanimous decision of the WV Supreme Court in favor of Pastor Trout and the majority of the church that sided with him.. Along the way, there are break-ins, whispering campaigns, lawsuits, and Judicial activism. This is a must read for anyone concerned with the growing power of the courts over our religious institutions. Told with simplicity, humility and a desire to educate about what happens when judges play God and church members are determined to have their way in spite of the Scriptures, Gary Trout’s book scores a goal for religious freedom with nothing but net! This is a great read and I highly recommend it!
Powerful demonstration of the providence of God toward his people who rely on total faith in Him. Encouraging testimony to us all, showing how God never leaves nor forsakes his people who trust in Him.
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