Rally for the bishop? UPDATES | Arkansas Blog

Rally for the bishop? UPDATES

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E-mail this morning says supporters of Bishop Steven Arnold, who resigned Sunday as senior pastor of megachurch St. Mark Baptist, are organizing a rally in his support this week. I've sent a note to the reported lead organizer, but if you know anything more, let me know.

UPDATE: An employee at Dunbar Community Center said a room had been reserved there late this afternoon for what was described as a meeting of St. Mark members, but it's not a public rally. If the group is meeting away from the church, however, it seems safe to presume it's a group with a different view of Arnold's departure. My source said Sen. Tracy Steele, who's close to Arnold, was working to organize the meeting. He has not returned a message asking for information.

UPDATE II: The controversy has cost Arnold another part-time job. He's resigned as a member of the board of Bank of the Ozarks, which paid about $20,000 a year.

UPDATE III: A friend of Arnold's confirms to me that Steele is organizing tonight's meeting. The strategy is to build support for a call that the elders consider asking for an expression from the congregation on whether Arnold's resignation should be accepted or not. Among his supporters, his friend said, there's a feeling that he has apologized and should be forgiven, particularly with the implications for the church should he depart. If there's a strong sentiment against Arnold's return, he likely won't, the friend said.

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