The 103-year-old woman who was banned from the church that she has been attending since she was 11 years old is not going to give up easily. Genora Hamm Biggs might be old, but she is not senile. Biggs is determined to stand up for her beliefs and for her church.
As reported by ABC News on September 16, Biggs received an official letter by the Union Grove Baptist Church in Elberton, Georgia, stating that she was banned from her life-long church and the church’s grounds after she began criticizing the church’s pastor, Reverend Tim Mattox.
Reverend Mattox became pastor at Union Grove Baptist Church six years ago, and over time, he began changing his preaching style to a Holiness Church style which was deviating from the covenant of the Baptist Church. “At one point, he had a crew in here and they were hollering and falling out in the middle of the floor,” Biggs told a Fox affiliate WAGA-TV reporter. “We don’t do that in the Baptist Church.”
Biggs apparently tried to communicate with Reverend Mattox about the issue, but when he failed to answer or return any of Biggs’ phone calls, she saw no other solution but to voice her concerns during a church business meeting with other church members. The decision to have Reverend Mattox removed from the church was met with resistance by the pastor, and one week later, Biggs received the official letter that she was banned from the church that she had been a part of for the past 92 years.
The letter stated the following: “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. Sincerely, The members and officers of the Union Grove Baptist Church.”
No one can keep a 103-year-old woman from her church, ban or no ban, and when Biggs along with other banned church members returned to their usual Sunday service and refused to leave, Mattox called the police. When police declined to get involved in the dispute, Mattox cancelled the church service.
“The lights went out while we were sitting there. Finally we got up and filed our way out and we left. But they went back in there after we left and started the service,” Biggs said about some remaining congregation members and the pastor.
Quite obviously, Mattox is going out of his way to deceive Biggs and other barred church members to get his way. However, if he thinks that a 103-year-old woman can be banned from her church, he has to think again. Biggs says that nothing will stop her from attending church. “This is my church, I love this church, and he cannot stop me from going.”