The Virginian-Pilot’s Lou Hansen has a well-researched two part story on Rev. Jim Webb, the former pastor of the revered Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Norfolk. I don’t know what prompted Hansen to delve into this; perhaps it was the arrest of Webb on an outstanding warrant when a background check was run on him by the Norfolk Sheriff’s office. (The warrant was subsequently dismissed.)
The church – and, in particular, the black church – is the one place where people are willing to forgive past transgressions. I think, had Webb honestly admitted to the search committee the actions which led to that arrest, they might have still hired him. (The part about him running out on his second wife – taking their child – would have probably been a disqualifier, though.)
Every time I think about Webb, that old song “May the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me” comes to mind. With my own father as a minister, I was taught early on that they were held to a higher standard than the rest of us. Webb’s day of reckoning will come.