Social media posts cause discord between Prestonwood Baptist, member



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Posted on March 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 14 at 11:39 PM

PLANO -- Chris Tynes of Plano says he is on a quest for answers.

He calls himself a long-time member at Prestonwood Baptist Church and said he once taught Sunday School classes at the church. He recently discovered that a former music minister, John Langworthy, admitted to sexual misconduct with young boys while at Prestonwood Baptist more than 20 years ago.

News 8 first uncovered the admission in 2011. Church officials were surprised to see Tynes writing about it last week on the church's Facebook page.

"I'm just trying to find an answer, or at least something," Tynes said.

But the Director of Administration with Prestonwood Baptist, Ben Lovvorn, said there's "an appropriate time and place to address concerns, and a Facebook page is not the time and place for that."

Prestonwood Baptist deleted three of his posts and agreed to meet with Tynes. Tynes said last week's meeting was canceled.

"We learned Mr. Tynes really had no interest in meeting with the church in good faith," Lovvorn said.

Tynes then took his frustration from Facebook directly to the church. He was met by three security guards in the parking lot. Tynes showed News 8 his cell phone video that shows security guards politely asking him to leave.

"If they're going to this much trouble to keep me from asking a question, that makes me think all the more there's something to this," Tynes said.

The church said the action was taken because Tynes turned from Facebook to Twitter and started making terroristic threats. One Twitter post obtained by News 8 showed a picture of a minister's parking spot and the words "My target." Another tweet said, "I'm sitting in my perfect ambush spot."

"When it comes to protecting our people, we take that very seriously," Lovvorn said.

Prestonwood Baptist called police about these threats.

Tynes later learned through a Plano police detective that he was characterized as "potentially violent." He took offense to the label, so he started his own Facebook page to draw attention to his cause.

The church says it can't worry about every page, but did make the message clear to Tynes.

"I said, 'Are you telling me I can't go back to church there again?'" Tynes recounted. "He said, 'All I'm telling you is you can't step foot on the Prestonwood campus again.' [...] I couldn't believe it."

The church is not pressing charges, but it tells News 8 he's still not allowed back.

Hard lessons on both sides about navigating through negativity in an online world.