Monday, August 6, 2012

Can Spiritual Abuse Destroy a Marriage? Paul's Story

From time to time, I will be posting select personal spiritual abuse stories here.  There are a number of reasons to post stories of abuse.  We can learn from them to try to prevent it from happening again.  We can offer support.  Looking at someone's story might identify something we experienced and can validate our suspicions.   The confusion of dealing with a pastor who misuses or abuses his position as pastor can get so emotional and heady.  It's helpful to have a sounding board and this is a great place to do that.  It's also difficult to find people who understand.  People here do understand.  






"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made from them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Matthew 19:4-6 


Losing a marriage to divorce is something that I have read in a number of spiritual abuse stories.  This is a tragedy.  I'd like to follow up this post with a post on the topic of divorce and spiritual abuse, looking deeper at what scripture has to say about how spiritual abuse can affect marriages.   

"Paul" sent me his story a while back.  It's a story of deception, abuse of power and control, illegal activity, and manipulation that resulted in the loss of his marriage.  He mentioned in an e-mail to me today that he wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone.  Ouch!  Paul's loss is great.  

I have informed Paul that I would be posting his story soon.  When we discuss this story, please keep in mind that Paul's divorce is nearly final.  This is fresh and raw for him.  I would really like to use this opportunity to share our support and offer words of encouragement to our brother, Paul.  

Paul's words to me today:  "If one person will be saved from going through what I have been going through then all my pain is worth it."  

Amen to that!




Paul's Tragic Story of Divorce and Abuse  
I write this with plenty of emotions and sadness as I am right now facing one of the most difficult times of my life.  I too am a victim of Spiritual Abuse.  
My journey started back in 2004 when I was seeking a place of worship after going through a nasty divorce.  I ended up at the church where I was abused because there were some good friends of mine there.  It wasn’t long after I started there that I became active in the activities that were going on there.  The church was busy building a new sanctuary and with my past experience as a carpenter, I feel right in and began to help.  It wasn’t long before I had made some new friends and began to become interested in the Worship Leader who was also divorced and single.

My current occupation was a State Health Inspector where I regulated sewer, water and food for the State.  One of my main duties as a Health Inspector was to determine the size and discharge of sewer for residential and commercial facilities.  So with this knowledge I one day introduced myself to the Pastor and told him what I did for a living and that I could be of help when it was time to size the new sewer treatment plant that would be required for the new sanctuary. 
 
As we continued to proceed with the work on the new sanctuary, the Pastor never contacted me and I discovered that he had not pulled permits for a new sewer system, but decided to tie the new sanctuary into the existing sewer treatment system.  This was a violation of the State Sanitary Code and I felt like I needed to bring it to his attention, but I didn’t.  By this time, I was dating the Worship leader and my main attention was on that, and I tried to forget what I knew about the sewer.  I tried to convince myself that maybe he just didn’t know better.

The years slipped by and I married the Worship Leader in March of 2006.  We were now in our new building and I thought everything was fine.  I had even forgotten about the sewer incident.  Sometime in 2006, I began parking cars for the church and was parking cars for about 2 years when the Pastor came up with an idea how to make people commit to working around the church.  He announced that everyone would be required to sign a covenant sheet which would require them to remain at their preferred job for a six-month commitment.  Since I had now been parking cars for 2 years and didn’t believe in signing a covenant with a man,  I did not sign the covenant sheet. 
 
About a month after not signing the sheet, I was out parking cars one Sunday when I was approached by two of the ushers of the church with a sealed letter from the Pastor.  I was instructed to open and read the letter.  The letter was written by the Pastor and said that because I had refused to sign the covenant sheet, I would have to leave the parking lot.  I was then escorted off the parking lot by the two ushers.  This was when I realized that there was something seriously wrong with this Pastor and I began to watch everything he did.  
I scheduled an appointment to discuss the parking lot situation and was told that the covenant sheet was not for people like me, but that I would have to follow his instructions or he might lose control of those that needed such a commitment.  I told him that I still would not sign such a covenant sheet because I was working for the Lord, not the church.  
He then labeled me as a rebellious person.  It was about three weeks later he announced at the pulpit that all the covenant sheets were going to be destroyed and that he would never ask anyone to make a covenant with the church again, but willingness to work would be between you and the Lord.  But the damage between the Pastor and me had already been done.

It took me a couple years to put the parking lot incident behind me and begin to become active in the church again.  We were now working on our third and current sanctuary of which I spent time helping with the framing and finish work inside the church.  This was a large church that we were told would seat up to 1,500 people. 
 
Again, with my sewer knowledge, I did the calculations as to the size of the sewer treatment that would be required for such a large church.  One Sunday morning, I was walking around back of the church and discovered that a small residential sewer system had been installed to accommodate a kitchen which was added to the smaller church we were still in.  I found it funny that the sewer system was installed at such a great distance for the kitchen that it was serving.  I thought to myself, “I bet he is going to tie this large church into this small sewer system”.  I didn’t say anything to anyone but waited to see what would happen. 
We finished the work on the new sanctuary and moved into it in June of 2011.  Just as I expected, the new church was tied into the small residential sewer system.  This really upset me, but I still didn’t know what to do.  Remember, I was married to the Worship leader, and she was now on staff full-time.  
Sometime in July, my wife called and asked to help finish some work in a coffee shop that was being built inside the sanctuary.  One of the nights I was working, I asked the church Mission Pastor what type of business we were opening.  He told me he thought it was going to be a retail coffee shop with a cash register.  I told him that if the church retailed coffee though a cash register, it would be required to be permitted by the State.  He said he wasn’t aware of that, but would pass that information on to the Pastor.  
The very next night I was again working in the coffee shop and the Mission Pastor informed me that he had spoken to the Pastor who said that they were not going to have a cash register  -  they would put a jar on the counter for donations, and that he was not going to permit the shop.  I told him that was fine as long as they were not retailing. 
The coffee shop was finished along with a new expensive cash register and was now ready for the grand opening.  At this time, I was working in the sound booth and was pretty upset with the Pastor’s decision to put a cash register in the coffee shop when I told him it would be required to be permitted.  I shared my frustration with one other person, which was probably a mistake, other than my wife.  On the night of the Grand opening I told my wife I would not go into the coffee shop because I knew it was an illegal establishment.   
The next day the Pastor stopped my wife in the hall at church and asked why I didn’t attend the opening of the coffee shop.  She told him that I was upset that he didn’t permit the coffee shop as required by law.  On Monday of the following week, the Pastor sent instructions home through my wife for me to step down from all ministry work at the church and advised me to find another church where I might find Godly counsel on how to handle authority.  
Two days after I was told this, my wife called me from the church and told me that because of all that was going on between us, we would have to separate.  She left town for five days and when she came home,  asked me to move out of our house.  
I moved in with my daughter and the first thing I did was schedule a meeting with the Pastor.  This time when I met with him, I told him everything I knew about the sewer and the coffee shop.  He denied any wrongdoings at the church and only knew that the proper permits were pulled to install what was there.  He went on to say that there was nothing he could do to help with the separation of my wife and that I needed to seek Godly counsel.  
At the Wednesday night service, he announced from the pulpit that a member of the church had brought up false accusations about illegal activities about a sewer system that had been installed at the church. 
I stayed away from the church for two months and was finally allowed back home when I agreed to sit down with the Pastor and apologize for everything I had done.  This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do because I knew in my heart that I was right and he was wrong.  But I went and apologized and told him that I was finished with the coffee shop and the sewer.

Three months rolled around and I sat on the front row of the church and acted like nothing was wrong, but inside I was dying.  It was hard to listen to a Pastor preach the Bible knowing what I knew about him, but I sat there to support my wife who led the praise and worship.  
 
It just so happened that an independent sewer operator showed up at the church out of the blue looking for work.  He asked if he could look at the sewer system which was servicing the church and discovered the same thing I did.  The Pastor asked him if I had sent him there and was told that I had not.  
Because of the complexity of this situation, there is plenty I am leaving out, but I did find out that the Engineer who sized the sewer system down, sized it as a favor to a friend of the Pastor who was representing the church.  I found out about the independent operator because he is a friend of mine and he called to inform me how bad the situation was at the church.  He didn’t know I already knew.  
I tried to inform my wife of what had happened so that she would know that I had nothing to do with the Operator showing up there.  She told me that she believed me, but three days later came home and told me that we had to separate again because I still had ill feeling towards the Pastor.  I stayed away for a week and when I finally sat down to talk to her, she told me she was going to file for divorce because she had had enough.  I tried reasoning with her, but her mind was made up.   That is the day she  filed for divorce.

Hurt, confused, and depressed, the anger inside me finally surfaced and I called the State office and told them what I knew.  There is now a full investigation in progress to determine what laws were broken and how to fix the problem.  The Pastor was told that the coffee shop must be permitted and as of this typing, a decision has not been made as to the size of the sewer plant that will have to be installed.
 
I have left the church and now I'm trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered life.  My soon-to-be ex-wife has remained loyal to the church and to this day still makes excuses for the Pastors actions.

  


105 comments:

  1. Thank you, 'Paul', for allowing your story to be posted. We appreciate your vulnerability at this very rough season in your life.

    Praying that the Holy Spirit continues to comfort, guide, and lift you at this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barb you have been a great comfort to me...Thanks

      Delete
  2. This is nothing short of heartbreaking ! Where are the elders that are biblically tasked with holding pastors accountable ? The lying and deceit from those behind the pulpit must end.These seems to be everywhere nowadays. Today I spoke with several long time friends at lunch. All three are church shopping because the pastoral staff has been dishonest. The thing that is troubling is they all three go to different churches. I hope everyone will join me in putting Paul and his ex-wife on their prayer lists. Bless you Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no elders or church board at this church. The Pastor has positioned himself with total control. All of the staff members have been hand picked by him because of their loyality to him. Sadfully one of those is my soon to be ex-wife.

      Delete
    2. Wowie. Paul, what is the membership of the church?

      Delete
    3. If you are talking denomination, there is none if you are talking number, when I left 6 months ago it was about 700.

      Delete
    4. Paul sent me the church website and I just took a look.

      Under the tab "our pastors", it lists ONE pastor. There are no elders or deacons listed.

      The staff includes: worship leaders, missions pastor, youth pastor, children's pastor

      I was wondering if there are church by-laws, but don't see any. I may send an anonymous e-mail.

      Their structure is a complete set-up for abuse. It truly is a one-man show talking about this amazing pastor who started a church in his home and the church grew and grew. I found the story to be arrogant focusing primarily on the pastor.

      Paul - just a careful warning from someone whose traveled this path - it's easy to get caught up in the guilt about "I should have seen this". There is truth to that, but at the same time, you need to cut yourself some slack - you came into this church after a "nasty" divorce. You weren't clear headed. You felt safe there because you had friends there. You were ready to start fresh and move on with your life.

      We have had to do the same thing: why didn't we see the obvious signs. It's good to take a look at that, but don't dwell on it. Learn from it and move on.

      What you are doing here by sharing your story and looking deeper at the situation will definitely help others to know what to look for. We will never know how many people your story has touched.

      Delete
    5. PS - I will not disclose the name of pastor/church. That is Paul's decision, not mine.

      Delete
  3. Paul, I am so sorry to hear/read your story. Wow, how painful!
    Yes, this is abuse in every sense of the word. It is sad that your wife is so confused and blind to the truth. I will be praying that God helps her to see truth for what it is AND that she begins to understand who she has made a commitment to in her marriage vows, yet you and not the pastor or church. Do keep us posted as to the outcome of the investigation and your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A good question is why would Paul's wife be so confused and blinded to the truth? What happened in the relationship between the pastor and Paul's wife to cause this?

      Delete
    2. I would guess the environment at Paul's church is similar to BGBC, that anyone who challenges the pastor needs to be cut off because they're in sin. If Paul's wife is a paid worship leader, she risks much by standing with him. She would lose not only her church home but also her job.

      Paul, please know that I am not justifying her behavior, only trying to understand it. Not only could she be subject to a pastor who is doing a mindmeld on her, but she may have some fear about even letting herself question things.

      Many of us will be praying for you as you go through this difficult time. I'm very sorry for the hurt you've experienced. Keep your eyes fixed firmly on God. He will see you through the storm.

      May the Lord bless you.

      Delete
    3. The State did go to the church and investigated what I had uncovered and I was told that they found the same things I found. I was also told by the State that because a State Engineer was involved that they were going to work with the Pastor on a new building that he was proposing to build and have him make the changes at that time. This way it would not look like anyone did anything wrong.

      Delete
    4. This statement is so telling...… "This way it would not look like anyone did anything wrong."

      When are people going to step up and be accountable and let the truth be released and realize that they have to quit doing the cover up for these wicked wolves??? This is what I cannot understand.
      Why aren't they being fined for doing something that didn't meet code? Instead the officials are joining in with the fraud. It is exactly why they continue with their dishonest life; because they can and they get a pass because they are 'the church' or 'the pastor'. That doesn't make them god (even thought in their minds they think that they are). And my God wouldn't be deceiving the people!!!

      Delete
    5. PS: Sorry, the cover up that goes on is one of my 'hot buttons'.

      Paul, you are in my prayers. I cannot imagine what you are going thru. My heart is breaking for you.

      My husband died in his early 50's and it was then easy for the pastors/ church/ elders family to take advantage of me. In my grief, I was blind too long to what was happening. I am praying that your wife wakes up to the truth. If she doesn't see it now, she may be in store for some of what I experienced…. Even though she isn't a widow, she is allowing herself to be led astray by the ungodly words from a false teacher.

      Delete
  4. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 7, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    My heart goes out to you. I am so, so sorry for what you've been through. Through all of the church abuse I have been dealt - I have come out thankful each time that my husband and I stood together at the end of the day. Even though he and I were on the same page, it still had ramifications and caused tensions. Sometimes I just really needed to talk about things at a time when he really needed to put it all aside. At one point he told me that whenever he was struggling with anger towards those who had wronged us, he was going to count his blessings - and how much it worked for him. I don't want to drag him down, so that is partly why this forum is so good for me. It gives me a place to work through things that he has moved on from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beloved - I can relate with some of what you have written. Your experience might be very helpful to someone else. Would you be interested in writing up a brief paragraph on how spiritual abuse affected your marriage? I want to do a follow-up on this post on how spiritual abuse affects marriage and obviously it happens in many ways. No pressure, but I'd love it if you would consider :)
      ~ja

      Delete
    2. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 8, 2012 at 3:11 AM

      Let me try and do that ... brief will be difficult, but it's good discipline for me :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Julie,

    Paul has an extraordinary story of a church that is going wrong. It is difficult to believe that an organization of that size can thrive without oversight or checks and balances to prevent problems like those described from cropping up. Let alone that this church is certainly not set up within the framework of a Biblical based church structure that we find in Acts.(Judas I believe set this up) Where is the board of deacons or trustees? Ushers doing the bidding of the pastor? A church ran completely by staff?

    Wow! God has a plan and it is so amazing to see how he can use sewage to remind us to stick to his plan for church organization.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rennaisance Guy I was just as amazed as you. Out of the 700 plus members that attend that church I was the only one that would have known what was done. A sewer system is not something that someone driving by would say" wow I think we should attend this church because it has the legal size sewer system. But a stripped concrete parking lot with great landscaping turns heads.

      Delete
  6. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 7, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    What amazes me the most, is that these people can sleep at night. Maybe they don't - I was making an assumption. Where is the fear of God? He's more concerned about his agenda than a marriage breaking up? Did he forget that the church is not his? That it is His? It get so "about them" that they lose sight of what is right and true.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Paul,

    Not only does your story bring tears to my eyes, it also evokes for me some significant anger. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry, I'm deeply sorry. Men like your pastor must be accountable to the Body of Christ!

    I know it's a delicate situation and there are no shortage of wolfish lies that have been spun for the sheeple there to keep them compliant and in line with the pastors autocratic demands, webs of silky lies that veil the eyes, blinding them to the whole systemic web of bondage they most likely don’t even realized they’re trapped in.

    I get this impression that the ushers who came out to you in the parking lot were being puppeteered from above by invisible strands of silk. In such a large church I doubt the pastor is a lone wolf, he’s certain to have a whole pack of loyal beta wolves and blind sheep doing his bidding and maintaining the status quo—“all to the glory of God,” of course.

    I know it’s a delicate situations, but to counter such popular lies as attached to biblical expressions like “Touch not My Anointed”—let me remind ourselves of 1 Timothy 5:20-21, “As for those [elders] who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these instructions without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”

    Yes, I believe it a good and biblical thing to openly name this man and the church he pastors. In doing so you may very well save others from falling into his church-trap. Your stories may even help others get extricated from this sticky house of bondage.

    Paul, are you alright with providing a name of the church and pastor?

    David

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul,

      I am not going to persuade you one way or another, just offer some thoughts to consider.

      I know that when I am going through heightened emotional times, I find it better to sit on things, so please consider that.

      Keep in mind when you are dealing with a spiritual bully, they may continue to behave like a bully long after you leave (ie, what happened to me was lawsuit, etc). Think through the possibilities and determine if you are willing to go that far. Once I got the subpoena, there was no turning back, period. Even if I would have shut down the blog (was not an option to me), I still was legally required to deal with it. There is an emotional/physical/spiritual/financial toll.

      Just an FYI - I have been informed by my attorney and others that I am only legally responsible for the words I write, not the words of others. So if you do choose to disclose, don't worry about me.

      Delete
    2. Julie Anne I do appreciate your concern and wisdom in dealing with such matters. I prayed today when I read this post and what I heard was, would you withhold the name of a child molester if you know it was happening and told the authorities but withheld the persons name. I have nothing to hide by making known the church that has "in my opinion" caused me Spiritual Abuse. So David the church I used to attend was Eagle Heights Community Church in Hammond, Louisiana.

      Delete
    3. Paul,

      I found it interesting that the profile information of the pastor and his wife details how “Lisa graduated with honors from Southeastern Louisiana University” but doesn’t mention where “Pastor Kevin went on to play college baseball before receiving a degree in church ministries.”

      This omitted information may be helpful in discerning where Kevin is coming from. Do you know where the man received his christian education?

      http://www.eagleheights.net/aboutus/pastor.html

      Delete
  8. Paul, my heart breaks for you. Thank you for sharing your story. My hope is that even though you are currently still experiencing the devastation with you divorce, you will begin to heal. This will take a lot of time. Don't be afraid of your thoughts or emotions. Let them be real to you and to others who are willing to listen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathi words can't express the appreciation of someone like yourself that would take the time to read my story then express your feelings. It's people like yourself that God has placed before me to encourage and lift me up. I thank you and I do pray that through communication like this others might be spared from the suffering that comes from Spiritual Abuse.

      Delete
  9. Paul sent me a quick e-mail during his lunch hour saying he will respond to any comments after he is off work at 4:30 Central time.

    ~ja

    ReplyDelete
  10. Paul, just a thought, do the right thing...Follow Matt 18. Once the blinders are off a woman who loves the Lord would want to be married to a man of integrity. I think we all understand that doing the right thing is not easy. Yep you may feel alone but know you are not. We are here. We will pray you through. Today my prayer for you is Isaiah 43:5, I pray that you will find treasures in and through your dark times, riches stored in secret places and that you will truly know that Jesus is your Lord, the God of Israel who has summoned you by name.

    Paul, I believe that God hand picked you to expose what has happened. This pastor has failed to surround himself with elders. He knows the principles of Matt 18. He should be EXPECTING to be found out.


    I will also be praying for your wife. Praying that she will see the truth. Praying that she will not take lightly the marriage vows she made to God. Praying that God tends to her heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JLM I can't tell you how many times over the past several years that what you just suggested went through my head. I truly believe that I was hand picked by God to expose what was going on. As I mentioned in a reply above, out of 700 plus people that attended that church there was only two people that would have known what had happened, me and the Pastor. Of course the Pastor said he had no idea, that as far as he was concerned everything he had ever done at that church was by the law. Problem is not only was he the Pastor but he was also the General Contractor.

      Delete
    2. Paul, who owns the church? Who does it belong to, the pastor or the people? Do the people even know?

      Delete
  11. Paul,

    It give me great sadness to read your story. You are in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craig thanks for the prayers...I will see you in heaven buddy, if not before

      Delete
  12. Paul,

    My experience is very similar to yours. This has also become a common occurrence in the church. I was married to Shirley for 24 years. The divorce devastated my immediate and extended family. Growing up, I went through several divorces with my mother and never dreamed it could happen to me as a Christian--especially over doctrinal disagreements. Of course, I know exactly how you feel, and of course, I am crying while I type this.How could I not. You can read my story here http://wp.me/pmd7S-1ic and here: eldersresolution.org
    Also, Paul, I would like permission to repost this on my blog.
    God bless you my brother. You will be ok, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Your brother, paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul Dohse, I was struck at the pseudonym that Paul selected and could not get you out of my mind when I first read his story. I was going to pass along the story to you. I'm glad you found it because you can offer support in a way that most of us cannot having experienced the loss of a marriage.

      Delete
    2. Of course you have my permission Paul. My thoughts and prayers will also be with you.

      Delete
    3. I guess i just learned something. How the wounds just lay down there. I can't stop crying. They broke up my family and they are totally unrepentant for it. Like Paul, I tried to appease them. I took the jobs they wanted me to take, I allowed them to hold me hostage for 4 months. The more I worked on what they wanted me to work on, they added to the list. They were obviously just trying to break me down and destroy any self-confidence that I had. The other pastors in the association admitted that they were wrong, but told me I had to submit to elder authority. One pastor tried to get Peacemakers involved, but they wouldn't go against "elder authority."

      My daughter, son-in-law, and myself, we begged so many to get involved. My marriage could have been saved if one of the pastors we contacted would have taken a stand. I have news for any pastor reading this right now: if you won't lose a friend to save a marriage, you don't care about any marriage--stop fooling yourself.

      I have set my face against spiritual tyranny in the church. They are exactly as Peter called them: "brute beasts, and without compassion and feeling." I will do my duty in contention against these junkyard dogs till I draw my last breath.

      Delete
    4. "brute beasts, without compassion and feeling."

      Delete
    5. Paul Dohse - my heart breaks for both you and Paul. Thank you for sharing your pain here, Paul. We must not be silent about this travesty going on in churches that destroy marriages and breaks up families. The business of not getting involved drives me crazy. It is so sad.

      Delete
    6. What's ironic about both Paul stories is that most churches, especially controlling churches, boast that the family is the mainstay of the church. Families are usually referred to as the driving forces behind what makes a church work. In these two cases, you have churches that have no problem with breaking up families and marriages. It just doesn't make sense.

      Paul, my heart breaks for you as well. I'm on my 20th year of marriage and I can't imagine someone coming in and breaking our marriage apart. I know it would be devastating. I pray for healing for you as well.

      Delete
    7. Kathi, we are going to be discussing more of this. This is where the rubber meets the road for so many people. You're right - it can cause the breakdown of the foundation of families. It's wrong. It sucks!

      Delete
  13. This is exactly why I say to come out of this harlot religious system. She is Babylon the great - the mother of harlots. We are the body of Christ. The religious institution has been infiltrated by Rome. She was a tyrant in the days of Luther, and she remains so today. God is not going to reform this harlot religious system - He is going to judge her. Read Revelation chapters 17-18. Come out of her if you belong to Christ. Come out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Headless Unicorn GuyAugust 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      TBOLF, the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Reformation Wars in 1648. It is now 2012. Note how you have hijacked a thread about Spiritual Abuse to a denunciation of "harlot religious system" of Rome. Is that your pet rant?

      Take your comments about Catholics (AKA the "harlot religious system" of Rome) back to Jack Chick. The only reason you have a Bible to quote ("Read Revelation 17-18") is the bishops of my church forcibly prevented the local Shirley Mac Laines and Madame Blavatskys from rewriting it in their image back when years AD were in the low three digits.

      Delete
    2. Headless Unicorn GuyAugust 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      Hit "send" too soon...

      TBOLF, "Bible zip code" recitations like yours were part of the spiritual abuse that messed me up in the Seventies. The "Harlot religious system of Rome" was the Church that duct-taped my head back together after Born-Again Bible-Beleiving Christians (TM) broke it apart.

      Delete
    3. dude. the harlot religious system is very much alive and well in rome and throughout the good ole united world of babylon.

      Delete
  14. So sorry to read your story, Paul. It's a terrible shame and a stain on that congregation that you were forced to go through all of that. Take good care of yourself, my brother. Get plenty of rest and surround yourself with people who care for you. I will be with you too, in spirit, as much as I can.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am completely DUMBFOUNDED.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard to wrap your head around this crazy stuff, huh, Kevin?

      Delete
  16. NYTN,

    I just watched your YouTube analysis of Eddie Long. Thank you, Kevin, for taking the time to break it down for us. He indeed is a dangerous man. Kevin correctly observes how Eddie Long “makes full use of witchcraft tactics and cult dynamics to maintain power and control”—schemes “designed to enforce behavior control; thought control; emotional control, and information control.” Yes! Eddie Long is indeed a “dangerous man,” a false teacher, a false prophet, and a servant of Satan masquerading as a “minister of righteousness” (1 Cor. 11:13-15).

    In your YouTube profile you write: “I believe in living the life Jesus the Christ demonstrated and commanded, and I am dedicated to COMBATING SPIRITUAL ABUSE and DEFENDING THE INTEGRITY OF THE 'AUTHENTIC' CHRISTIAN FAITH.”

    Kevin, I’m glad to have you as a brother in arms.

    Fwiw, here’s a little more Eddie Long insanity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about power, control, money (or Dollars if you're in Creflo's camp), being worshiped and praised. It's about practicing the sort of sorcery wherein the basest lust and pride working together can find their fullest expression. It's a whole lot more than a mere fleshly endeavor—it's demonic to the core. New Birth is a dwelling place of demons, a stronghold for every foul spirit. Don't let anyone lay hands on you there, the transferable anointing is demonic. New Birth church is absolutely Babylonian to the core!

      Delete
  17. Paul, the pastors at Bethany World Prayer Center need to know about what's happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your pastor is accountable to this group.

      Delete
    2. Did Kevin Dunn graduate from Oral Roberts University?

      What's the connection?

      Why would Pastor Kevin be accountable to this ORU related megachurch?

      Delete
    3. I called the church today. I said I was considering the church. I asked what type of church it was and how it was governed. I was told that it was a pastor run church and that the pastor was held accountable by the pastors at the Bethany World Prayer Center. I was told that the pastor meets monthly with them. I think this is something for Paul to ponder and pray about. It might be worth meeting with a pastor or two at Bethany. Don't worry Paul, I said nothing about your situation. I would never do that. But do know there are people who care about what has happened to you!

      Delete
    4. One who gets it - Thank you for your info. So, I'm guessing that the only way the Pastor Kevin can be "held accountable" is if he discloses to the Bethany pastors. Obviously the Bethany pastors cannot see the ins and outs of his behavior at his own church, so they must rely on his honesty and integrity. Would a controlling or abusive pastor be honest about their behavior?

      I wonder if the congregation knows that the Bethany pastors are supposed to be holding him accountable? How accessible are these pastors to the congregation if Pastor Kevin has issues? Is this system formally set up? Frankly, if I were Bethany pastors, I wouldn't want to hold Pastor Ken accountable without having proper accountability IN the church set in place (ie, elders).

      Delete
    5. ATTN: Paul

      Do you perhaps know where Pastor Kevin Dunn received his christian education? Oral Roberts University?

      Delete
  18. One who gets it... Larry Stockstill is a frequent visitor to that church

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon - this comment got stuck in my spam box for some reason - sorry for the delay in posting.~ja

      Delete
    2. Here is part of his bio, "Stockstills emphasized simplicity, sincerity, and sacrifice as the guiding principles for the church, and under Larry’s leadership, Bethany World Prayer Center now has three campuses throughout Louisiana. Larry has also written The Remnant: Restoring the Call to Personal Integrity"

      Delete
    3. It looks like he was also part of an oversight board of pastors dealing with the Ted Haggard scandal a while back. In this article, he seems to handle the issue quite well - not brushing things under the carpet. Maybe he would be a good person to contact.

      Delete
    4. Who knows, maybe Larry and the other pastors at Bethany have no clue that Ken thinks he is accountable to them. But, I think if I were fighting for my marriage I would pack a suitcase and get a meeting with Larry and co. I would go asking for help in restoring my marriage and situation with Ken. I would also bring a list of dates of what happened and when. You bet, I would pray and fast before I went... Paul if you decide to pack your bags, let us know, we can fast and pray too!

      Delete
    5. Paul, Larry wrote the book, "Restoring the Call to Personal Integrity." I've never read it, but if you go and meet with Larry and a pastor or two, I would suggest you reading Larry's book before you go. I might also consider asking for a meeting with Larry and another pastor.
      When we were told that my daughter could not attend the youth group because she was a diabetic, we tried to resolve things with the man in charge as we had a interim pastor. We also tried to meet with one other part time pastor. The man at the church had warned this part time pastor about us and the pastor would not meet with us. (Long story, but this part time guy knew my family had been members for 35+ years, the man at the church was newer. The part time pastor has since apologized to my parents, husband and me, not our daughter--oops) Yet, the pastor did not want to override the man’s decisions.
      When the doctor's wanted out story to go public we said no as we did not want to harm the church and we did not think our daughter could take much more. We wanted to concentrate on restoring her. We also knew that a new pastor had been called to our church and the man would soon be demoted. So we quietly left the church and looked for a new one.
      All this to say, is that we were wrong. We did not follow the principles of Matthew 18. And our daughter to this day struggles with her feelings about church. Instead of it being a warm accepting place of worship, it brings back deep hurtful feelings. A place where no one stood up for her, a place she feels rejection.
      Yes, we should have gone to the full elder board and then to the presbytery of needed. Not to get the man in trouble, but to get the man guidance and wisdom. Yes, he was worried about the liability of having a diabetic, and what he needed was education. (Believe me; I know how scary it was to bring a premature baby on a heart monitor and a 6 year-old-diabetic on 4 shots a day home from the hospital on the same day. I get being afraid. I also know what it feels like to need the body of Christ and not have the support.) But he was wrong. The church needed to figure out a way for our daughter to attend. (Yes, I offered to sit in the parking lot, be a sponsor, you name it. My husband offered too. )
      Paul, I believe that there are blessings that follow being obedient to God’s Word. I also know that just as you have been called for a time such as this—God will bring good out of your situation.
      Matthew 15-18 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

      And know that Jesus loved the tax collectors! Not shunnnn them :)

      Delete
  19. Paul,

    I managed to listen to about one and a half of his sermons. He is a rather gifted “motivational speaker” and it’s clear to see why some people would be drawn to him. The phrase “Ego Heights” came to my mind, though when he talked about eschewing ANY kind of denomination (not to mention…elders!!!????). I hope this does not sound cruel, but it’s rather a glaring display of putting oneself above any
    checks or balances.

    He also kind of mocked doctrine…which is a huge RED FLAG to me. I heard a lot of “repent”, but what I did not hear was much about the HOLINESS, and other characteristics of God which are what makes this broken human being tell her Creator some foul thought or deed I’ve let slip oh…about every 30 minutes or so! It’s not a set of rules to be obeyed, it’s a relationship to be cherished and nurtured…and I cannot tolerate anything coming between my Lord and myself. It’s a full time job to approach boldly the throne of Grace!

    But isn’t that what Martin Luther said it should be? The first of his 95 theses was :

    “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

    The most troubling thing of all to me though is that I would think any minister
    of the gospel would take a bullet or jump in front of a train rather than let the marriage of one of his sheep go down in flames. It seems from your story that he
    put his worship leader’s “job” ahead of her marriage and dare I say more or less facilitated an unbiblical divorce. At least this is the impression I got from reading your story.

    I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this, and I will put you down in my trusty Filofax prayer pages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OM - Since posting this story, I've encountered more similar stories. This definitely needs to be discussed. It is a very big part of spiritual abuse. If one spouse is against another, the home's foundation is shattered. Healthy pastors understand this and will go out on a limb to save a marriage.

      The other issue you mentioned "repent", with little relationship or grace - that is a common theme in a church where a pastor is controlling. The repent issue is used to beat people down, it makes people feel lowly like a worm, they lose all hope and try any formula to make it better. It becomes about works, instead of grace. And of course when you are beaten down that low, you feel stuck and it wouldn't even occur that the problem is with the pastor, so you remain a battered sheep in the congregation - emotionless and robotic. You comply, but there is no hope, no joy.

      I discovered something interesting fairly recently. A reporter asked me if I had any pictures of the time I was at the church because she wanted to use one in the news story. I remembered I had some on Facebook. I looked through those 4 pictures and in each picture, my expression was a blank, almost sad look, no joy. Wow, was that ever shocking to see. I was spiritually dead and my face showed it.

      Delete
    2. Julie Anne,

      I think it’s hard to completely understand what it’s like for someone that has not experienced this sort of church dynamic. When I was 17, I walked away from the largest Christian denomination in the world and begged God to show me Himself apart from the only church I had ever known because I was not finding Him there. He sent me a roommate who was different than anyone I had ever met and pulled out her “Four Spiritual Laws” tract when I asked her how to “get” what she had. I laugh at this now, because I dislike tracts, but the Lord certainly used that one on my heart! But, more than that that, He used the life of this girl who lived the gospel in front of me before she tried preaching it to me.

      Probably then, because I began my Christian life on the heels of leaving the church of my childhood, it was always very easy for me to not get attached to a building or a pastor, and I was/am always on the lookout for “baloney”…..having grown up with a whole lot of it. And that is why I always read these stories and ask “why did they not leave?”. I’m learning, though, that it is not always that cut and dried for some people because they have very different backgrounds that I do. My mother went to her grave not forgiving me for leaving the catholic church and while I felt sad for her pain over this, I was always bolstered by the fact that I had to obey God and not my mom. And I guess, that set me up for a life of not believing ANYTHING that any preacher said without checking with Scripture and trusted mature Christian friends.

      Sorry for your sad face photos…must have brought back bad memories…which I hope are fading.

      Delete
    3. Julie Anne, to your point about churches that harp on repentance without expressing grace, it seems that they are confused about which party needs to repent.

      A shepherd runs after the sheep; he doesn't wield his slingshot against them.

      Delete
    4. @ Joy.. WORD!

      @ JA.. So telling those photos, huh? Thing is when I'm sad everyone else can see my face but me, and I love the friend who tells me, 'you look sad.' Personally, sister, I'm not one who is able to wear a mask, I can’t hide my sadness or happiness very well.

      However, there are some people—even some high profile church people—who seem to be always wearing a happy face. But I know it to be a mask, and deep down inside they are some of the most loneliest and saddest people I know. They somehow feel they have to keep up appearances.

      One time I saw a photo of Richard Wurmbrand, the Romanian Jewish Pastor who was imprisoned for 14 years for his faith, first by the Nazis and then by the Communists. He tells his story in Tortured for Christ and founded Voice of the Martyrs. Well I saw a photo of RW in the VOM literature a few years before he went to be with the Lord. In the photo he looked so sad, and I remember thinking, Why does he look so sad? And as I studied his face I became quite comforted by his apparent sadness.

      George MacDonald once said, “Beauty and sadness always go together. Nature thought beauty too rich to go forth upon the earth without a meet alloy.”

      You know, many many ago I was so sad and depressed that I rarely smiled, and then something happened and I began to smile and laugh again. At first it hurt to smile, I hadn’t used those muscles for awhile, my laughing-muscles got wondrously sore.

      I look at pictures of when we were kids. There's one with the four of us lined up for a photo beneath one of the trees in the front lawn. My brother had just got smacked around by my father for whatever infraction, so you see his beat-down red teary-eyed face. My sister looks pissed. My younger sister looks oblivious and happy. And I looked happy too. But it was a front personality—I had dissociated so much of the abuse. And this allowed for a happy childhood. It was a gift from God—my childhood dissociation.

      Delete
    5. Scripture is clear that if a believing spouse married to an unbelieving spouse should stay if the unbeliever is willing. Paul is a believer, so it's even more egregious that this pastor is endorsing the dissolution of their marriage.

      How can his wife and pastor ignore what scripture says? It defies logic. It also grieves me so badly for Paul. This is wrong, wrong, wrong.

      If the church is affecting your marriage, you leave that church, not your spouse.

      Ugh, I'm so sickened by the wicked advice his wife has received, and I am heartbroken for Paul.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    8. Stephanie: Even false teachers can give good sermons.

      Delete
  20. Paul, I feel much empathy for you after reading your story. Though my details are different than yours in terms of the type of abuse and in church governance, the result was the same: divorce. The stories are similar in that both of our spouses were weak and held faulty allegiances. Though mine happened over a decade ago, it still hurts very badly. If it would help you to correspond with me, I'd be happy to give Julie Anne my e-mail address off-blog. Sending prayers in your direction, Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matthias - I'd be happy to connect you two if Paul agrees. (bgbcsurvivors@gmail.com)

      Matthias, you're also welcome to send me your story if you'd like to share. I can't believe it - another broken marriage.

      JA needs to let out a little steam: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

      I'm so sorry, Matthias. Ugh.

      Delete
    2. Julie Anne send my email address to Matthias

      Delete
  21. Paul, I am so sorry for what you experienced. God's grace and mercy to you.

    My former church is known for the people whose marriages break up over leaving (or not leaving) the church. Some people I know actually want to leave, but are afraid, because the leadership has taken this and spun it into a superstitious warning the 'if you leave the church, you will get divorced.' Off the top of my head, I can think of 5 marriages that ended in divorce over the pastor's demands....or outright abuses...

    I'm so sorry you had to experience this.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 56 years a Baptist, mostly SBCAugust 8, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    My marriage fell apart for other reasons, a mental illness that exhibited itself in my spouse having sex with at least 15 other men, and breaking up two marriages of friends in the process. But more than two years after the marriage had died, and with friends and family saying that I was clearly not created to live as a single man, I prayed that God would show me his will, and put out a fleece if I were to be married again. A couple of months later I met a young lady and she fulfilled the fleece in every particular of background, behavior and faith. And I heard a word from God that was unmistakeable, did not believe it, but then the crowning requirement I had put before God was fulfilled. That was over 30 years ago.

    My healing came about through a person God brought into my life, my heart, and my home. We are still madly in love with each other, get over the rough spots through times set aside for conversation every day.

    The right church is a great place to meet a future spouse, just don't push too hard; let God show you his choice for you. It does work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, a relationship with the right person can mean all the healing in the world!

      Delete
    2. 56 years - What a wonderful story. I could learn a lesson or two from you about setting aside time each day. Your story should bring hope to Paul amidst this difficult time. Thank you for sharing it.

      Delete
  23. Hi, Paul,

    You can contact me at thewitness57@gmail.com. I decided I could set up an account just for this and post it on here. I will not post anything more on this forum about your situation. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Paul,

      I want you to know that I still want to communicate with you. Julie Anne has not given me your email address so I cannot write to you. I am sure you would want to know what I have to say before deciding if it of use to you or not. I am sorry I cannot give this to you unless you send your email address to me. My main motivation is to give you support and encouragement to make your own choices and have confidence in what you decide. I have pointed out to Julie Anne that you asked that she share our information. I do not need you to write anything more to me unless you want to. If you send me your email address, I will send you support and you can decide what to do with it. You will never be required to talk to me again unless you want to either way. I have been where you are and I will understand your decision whichever way you choose to go. I hope things are well for you, Paul

      Delete
    2. Readers. I'm putting on my moderator hat here. The above comment is not from Paul. There have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes. The commenter above is The Witness who also goes by Mea Gray. I have lost track of how many e-mails I have received from this person. She wants to connect with Paul. I gave Paul her e-mail address and he can also contact her via the e-mail address she posted above.

      If and when Paul contacts her is Paul's choice, NOT hers.

      I will be removing any more posts concerning this matter.

      Delete
    3. Paul or the Witness?August 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Hi, Julie Anne,

      Sorry for the mistake. I just put the wrong name on it. Who would send an email to Paul from Paul on purpose? Thank you for letting it stand so that Paul will know I have not just decided not to contact him.
      Read it again. We said the same thing. Have a nice day! I'm fairly sure that you will take this one off. I am just hoping you will read it first.

      Delete
    4. Ok, fair enough. Thanks for the explanation. Again, I think Paul knows loud and clear that you want to talk to him. The ball is in his court. Will you respect his choice if he decides to not contact you? I sure hope so.

      Delete
  24. Julie Anne,

    That is what I said--and I really don't have a choice. I thought a request for you to share information meant that someone wanted the email addresses to go in both directions. I will absolutely not tell anyone if Paul decides to contact me or not. I used two different names because I am learning to witness in difficult situations. Mea Gray came on a little too strong so I wanted a chance to start over. I've never been in a forum where I could do that. It was very nice. Usually one bad mistake and you are out. I'm sorry, Julie Anne, but I am not sure Paul will want to talk to either one of us again :) . Hopefully he is having a good conversation with the person who volunteered to talk to him first.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Paul its so sad to hear about your case. My prayers go out to you. God I'm sure will show you light at the end of this tunnel somehow. You are unfortunately not alone. I know of several cases where couples, both saved were encouraged to be at odds depending on which one of them supported their leadership. God is not in this type of allegience to any man. The home is the first church and God wants families to stay together. I hope things work out for you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Update to the activities at Eagle Heights Church. A couple weeks ago I received a call from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality stating that they had contacted the church to investigate my complaint about the church discharging fecal. The church indicated to the DEQ that they were in the process of upgrading their system and would be tied into a community system within 2 months. The sad reality of this is that it has come several years too late and the Pastor's attempt to cover up his mistake has cost me my marriage. Now the people of the church will have to pay for the cost of the new system and the money spent on the illegal systems will be lost. No one will even question what happened and why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raymond, Thanks for sharing an update on this situation. That is not the kind of resolution we had hoped for. The sad reality is that people who are there right now probably don't care about the truth because they have drunk the Kool-Aid. You are labeled as the bad guy (or evil, or Satan, or divisive, or slanderous, or who knows what else).

      The good part about this story is that you have shown great integrity during this whole ordeal. You know the truth and exposed it. And by you being vulnerable and bold to share your story, anyone doing a quick internet search can find that truth.

      I'm still so sad/angry about the loss of your marriage :(

      Delete
  27. I am and have been a member of this church for about 6 years. I also know this man's ex wife. She is a faithful, loving, wonderful woman of God who I know did not take lightly her decision to divorce. She also stepped down as worship leader only until the last few weeks has she made a return. I believe there are 2 sides to every story, with only 1 side being told here. I know a lot of the people involved, the plumber, his wife, etc and his story does not entirely match what he is saying. Pastor Kevin speaks regularly about honoring God in all areas of our lives. I find it incredible that someone would accuse him of not getting a $100 permit to sell coffee. Also, permits are a matter of public record anyone can request to see them. I have searched and asked about investigations and have found nothing. Also, I never heard mention of him saying in church that he was being accused of anything illegal. He makes mention of being made at one time to sign a covenant to work the parking lot, again I never recall that. I do know that once a year we have sign ups for various ways to serve within the church and you are expected to pray about it first bc you are agreeing to commit for a full year, not bc they want to control you but rather bc there are others inside the church that are depending on you to keep your commitments. If you agree to work children's church but you don't show up, someone has to fill in. I have never felt like I had to do anything in this church. We are encouraged to do community service during our service weeks. They have sign ups with many options and time slots available and encourage you that if you need a different time or need any accommodation to simply call the church office. He regularly encourages members to calland speak with him or his wife if they have any issues. I have met with his wife and felt the situation was resolved and a good solution given. I felt our issue was taken seriously. And it was just a small thing. Listen to as many sermons as you can, he speaks about loving one another, honoring God, serving one another, making God a priority. I've heard him speak maybe twice on tithes. It was mentioned in someones post that they didn't see a list of any other pastors, well it's there under staff. There are children's pastors, youth pastors, missions pastors, administration, and worship. Pastor Kevin never gets up and claims to be the know all of the Bible. He even admits that he gets it wrong on occasion. That he has missed the mark on what God wanted to say. But he owns it and I must say it hasn't happened often. I leave every Sunday and Wednesday feeling refreshed. I leave looking at my own life and determining where I need to apply what I learned. I have seen my life and the lives of my husband and children dramatically changed as a result of this church and its leadership. I have come across only 2 stories of "abuse" out of a church of 1000 or more members. People leave churches. They even leave good churches for what they feel are good reasons. I know some of these people. I've seen them go from church to church bc they have a problem with ABC. I call them church hoppers. They go from church to church and pack up and leave for whatever reason. The music is wrong or too loud. They don't like what the pastor preached, etc. people leave for all kinds of reasons.Pastor Kevin has addressed this very issue in his sermons. He tells us if we have a problem with something to bring it to their attention before they leave. Perhaps it can be resolved. The biggest issue being that if you leave with not dealing with it chances are you will have similar issues in the next church you attend. He has left his door open to anyone who needs to speak to him for any reason. I just know in my heart that these accusations are unfounded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Stephanie: Thank you for your comment. I can tell that this post has stirred up negative emotions for you, understandably. I hope you will read my words from my heart and that you will not settle until you find the truth. We all can easily get caught into relationships, emotions, etc, that sometimes blind us from the truth. The truth will set us free.

      You mentioned that you have not seen paperwork regarding permits. You also mentioned that there are 2 sides to every story. Have you contacted Raymond? If you haven't, why haven't you? First of all, Raymond is not a plumber, but a State inspector who grants permits for sewage systems. I don't know where you looked, but I am sure Raymond would make it available to you if you really want to see it and he can probably put you in contact with neutral parties who would have access to this information. I have no idea why you haven't been able to find them. Raymond has been completely forthright in presenting factual information and I have seen some of the documentation. I can contact him and forward it to you via e-mail if you contact me: bgbcsurvivors @ gmail.com

      There is another issue that you raise which has struck a deep nerve with me and it involves Raymond's marriage. Can you please tell me what the biblical justification was for the divorce? You mentioned that Raymond's ex-wife is a loving, faithful, wonderful woman of God. What faithful, loving, wonderful woman of God would divorce a godly man who adores her? Was there infidelity on his part? Not that I have heard of. Who encouraged this divorce, Stephanie? And why? What biblical justification is there for this divorce? I have spoken and e-mailed with Raymond. I have heard the pain in his voice as he shared his sorrow and grief. He did not want this divorce and if you are so set on defending your pastor, I suggest you find out what reason your godly pastor would encourage someone to do something that God does not like: divorce. A pastor should be the one to encourage families to remain together, not divorce. A godly pastor would do everything possible to keep families together. This makes absolutely no sense to me at all unless the pastor needed to remove him because he knew too much info. Furthermore, as a praise and worship musician, I could not be up in front of people leading people into praise and worship knowing I had divorced a man who still loves me and wants to be married to me without biblical justification. That is utter hypocrisy and a disgrace to the institution of marriage which God created.

      I'm sure it is difficult to read a story that paints your pastor in a negative light. We all want to defend people we love and respect. I challenge you to question whether you want to only defend OR find the truth. That is the real issue. If you are drinking the Kool-Aid, you won't contact me and you will have no desire to find the truth. I am challenging you, Stephanie. Please know my firm words are said in love. I desire that people know the truth, even when it hurts. Let's put this in the light.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    4. Stephanie:

      Give me the proof of the other side. Have Raymond's ex-wife contact me: bgbcsurvivors @ gmail.com. I'd love to have the opportunity to hear her side or even talk with her. As I said, Raymond has provided crucial permitting documentation which backs up his claims.

      What you seem to be forgetting is this: Raymond still wants to be married to his ex-wife. What can you say about that? How do you get around that biblically? Stephanie - deal with THAT issue.

      And also, I noticed that you haven't e-mailed me. I've been checking. If you want to see the truth about the permits, you would be e-mailing me. Let's quit playing games. I am not convinced that you really want to find the truth, sadly.

      Delete
    5. Stephanie, if you are happy with you church stay there and grow. But I have to question someone like you who admits that they don't know me but will say what I am saying is a lie based on absolutely nothing but you own opinion. Please tell me what in the world would Eric or myself or the others that have spoken out against Kevin have to gain. It's already cost me my wife and most of my church friends. For what? Recognition? Status? Monetary gain? Please help me. This has been by far the most painful, depressing time of my entire like. I been a Christian for probably longer than you been alive and I have spent the last seven years pouring my heart and soul into EHCC six of which I was married to the praise and worship leader. So please help me understand why I would purposely attract the very source of half our family income.

      I can tell by your comment you have no idea what had happened and continues to happen at that church. But if you really want the truth and I mean the real truth it's out there. But I will warn you, before you start digging around you need to prepare yourself for what you are going to find if you really want to know. I challenge you to take anything I have said or accusations made and prove me wrong. If you really want the truth it's not hard to find. What you need to understand is that I am a professional at what I do and I never accuse someone of wrong doing unless I have positive facts. I also do make mistakes and am not afraid to admit it when I do.

      What I will say and this is going to be hard for you to hear, is that Kevin made decisions while building the church that I believe are in violation to the law. I don't make statements like this without having the knowledge and or proof to back it up. The problem with people like your self, Carla and hundreds of others is you really don't care to know the truth. It's so much easier to say someone else is being dishonest and never really find out the real truth. This is going to sound cold but its true. I really don't care what you think about me, Eric, Bob , Eddie Joe, Denise, Matt, Brenda, Kelly, MaryAnne, Larry, Tammy, Fran, Mike, David, Mandee, and many many others, abuse is taking place at EHCC.

      Until it affects you or your family, you can make excuses and keep your pastor perched up on a pedestal. If it only happened to one person it's too much. Jesus left the 99 to find and bring one back to the flock. Kevin is willing to leave 10,15,20 or more to protect his church. I think Kevin is anointed and I told him myself but he had surely lost his first love. I would love for you to go ask him how much he took for contractor fee knowing that most of the church was built with free labor. But you won't go ask those kinda of questions. Just ask him a simple question, like: did paid employees from the church work on building your house when the church was paying them? You probably don't see anything wrong with that. Well I do and so does God. Well I gave you plenty of things to research and find the proof you need to put me in my place. I morn everyday for the loss of my beautiful wife that I love with all my heart. But if I had it all to do over again I would change nothing because one thing that I am is a God-fearing honest man and when I see something is wrong I am going to speak up no matter what the cost. And this cost me more than you will ever know.

      One word of caution from someone that's been around the block a few times. Be very careful when you come on a public forum and call someone a lair when you don't have all the facts. Some people have been know to take legal action. It's called defamation of character and it can cause legal problems.

      Delete
  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie I admire your courage to do what you are doing. Just prepare yourself for what you might find. I was a member there since 2004 and spent countless hours working on all the building on the grounds. I too had the utmost respect for Kevin until I saw what he was capable of doing. I have had the unpleasant opportunity to go behing close doors with Kevin and saw a side of him not many people see. I will be the first to tell you that I have not handled everything as Christ would but again I challenge anyone to dispute what I have brought to the light. Carla was my world... I love her with all my heart soul and mind. Other than some disagreements with her boys we were great together. Just weeks before all this happened we had people over to our house for prayer and council on the seriousness of divorce. So you can hopefully understand why this has forever changed my life. I pray for Carla everyday all day that God will continue to use her to reach hurting people. I pray for Kevin that he would return to his first love and quit chasing becoming the biggest church in the area. Those things that I have disclosed to you are all available to you if you care to search them out. Again I really do admire your courage to question those things that are important to you. This is exactly what I did because I too was concerned about my family and wife. It came down to Carla had to make a decesion to follow me are follow her Pastor. She felt like God was calling her to stay there. I disagree with her choice but am forced to pick up my broken heart and move on. I have cried countless nights and questioned God as to why me. He hasn't given me all the answers but I know that he is there for me. You and your family will be in my prayers and when you see Carla please give her a private hug for me and whisper to her that she is truely loved and dont tell her its from me.

      Delete
    2. I promised myself I would stay out of this; it looks like I am breaking my promise now. Stephanie, just a few quick notes:

      1. Kevin was Carla and Raymond's pastor at the time of their initial separation right? A pastor is a shepherd, someone who loves his flock dearly right? Your loving, caring pastor did ZERO marital counseling with them. ZERO! There was not one single counseling session with Raymond and Carla both there. Why? Because the ultimate problem was not between Raymond and Carla; it was between Raymond and Kevin. What type of pastor puts himself between a man and his wife? And to top that off, Kevin persuades Carla to divorce her husband without any biblical justification; NONE. Raymond would have & and still would do anything for Carla; he treated her like a queen. Raymonds problem was that he questioned "Pastor Kevin."

      2. I BEG YOU to make an appointment with Kevin (or a staff person) and ask for three years worth of "detailed" financial statements. Don't accept only the past 12 months because we started speaking out in the past 12 months and he probably cleaned up his act a bit. Ask for 2010 and 2011's detailed records; including all the money that passed through the church during the building projects. I am begging you to; -if you really want the truth. Kevin does not need to be in town for your to do that. Go ask the current administrator. ANY legitimate church or not for profit the size of Eagle Heights should have financial statements ready to present to contributors.

      3. Think about this, most of the people who have left are successful professionals. Small business owners, registered nurses, an engineer, accountants, public health inspectors, etc. In other words, "sharp" people. People who Kevin could not pull the wool over their eyes. (BTW, I am not picking on you for being there right now because I stayed for over six years myself.) Also, why is he the oldest person on staff? Why all the young staff? -because no one will question him. Everyone has him on has pedestal.

      4. You mentioned not seeing the signs of spiritual abuse. I can totally understand you saying that. I am a very sharp person; and I have the resume to back that up. (Please forgive me if I sound prideful or arrogant, but I need to prove this point) IT TOOK ME OVER THREE YEARS (AFTER WE LEFT) TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO US AT EAGLE HEIGHTS. THREE YEARS! As I am sure you can tell, I have a very strong personality but I was an absolute basket case at times during those three years. The hold that Kevin had on me profoundly affected me. It was unbelievable. Before we left, I wanted to leave the church for three years and he was able to hold me there with a combination of guilt, fear and making me think my life would fall apart. The symptoms of spiritual abuse at EHCC are subtle, but they are most definitely there. And the damage has the potential to be devastating. I have the scars to prove it; I deal with those scars everyday.

      5. Stephanie, if you go down this road of starting to ask questions, I beg you to prepare yourself. And as soon as you have enough information to validate our stories (and if you dig, you will find it) Please get your family out of there.

      Delete
    3. Eric - It needed to be said. Love compels us to speak when it is not comfortable and to warn. That is why this blog is here and I'm so thankful that Stephanie is asking the tough questions.

      Stephanie - do not stop asking. Go to neutral parties. Ask the tough questions if you want to know the truth. If someone is preventing you from seeking answers to your questions, you must ask yourself why? Truth should be plainly revealed. I pray that God will guide your path as you seek the truth.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    5. Stephanie and whoever GOD is Good I never said EJW left with ill feelings towards PK. I simply said go ask him why he left. For him to tell you he did not leave because of ill feeling you had to have told him that I said he did. I would like for you to show me where I said that. In the comment posted on this blog his name was mentioned with a group of names of people that no longer attend EHCC and the fact that I didn't care what you thought about me are those people. I didn't say anyone had ill feeling towards KD. Followed by the list of names was a statement stating that abuse was happening at that church. You even validated that statement in your first post when you said and I quote "I have come across only 2 stories of "abuse" out of a church of 1000 or more members. (Just a side note: 2 out of a thousands now that not bad??? How many abuse stories would it take out of 1000 people for it to be to many in your mind. 10,20,30 how crazy is a statement like that) You know it's happening or heard stories that it's happening but because it's only 2 out of a 1000 its ok.

      Delete
    6. yes, that is the stinking, wretched and unholy problem with S.A.; it is only a problem for you when it happens to you or someone "you" love and care about. And the motto of EHCC is "Loving God and Loving People" How appropriate...

      Delete
    7. Note: Stephanie's comments were deleted at her request.

      Delete
    8. I can understand that...I just found out who she is so now much of what she said makes since to me. I sould have never listed EJW as someone that left the church, even though he has. Seems Stephaine is related to him. I hate that people from there do this but in it's own crazy way it helps me understand the hold someone like Kevin can have on people that are afraid to ask or seek the truth. Helps me understand how someone like Carla can be ministering to people not to divorce then do the very thing she told others was sinful. Kevin is going to have plenty to answer for when he stands before God. And he is going to have to do that alone, and not send someone else to answer for his dirty works.

      Delete
    9. Sometimes that's the only way any of this stuff can make sense, huh, Raymond? When I think of the numbers of people I know who have turned away from God (at least temporarily) and their church after suffering abuse at the hands of an abusive pastor, it makes me very concerned for those pastors.

      Delete
  30. -I am not sure how EJW was brought into this, but here are a few helpful facts:

    -Fact, EJW was not trusted by Kevin -for various reasons. He and his wife were small group leaders but that was it. He never was fully in the "know" and was not on the board. He has no clue of the full story, unless he was clued in by someone like a board member. He was close friends with a former board member who has left the church. I do not have time to read this entire comment thread, but if Raymond used him as an example it was a terrible example.

    -Fact, EJW & SW were adored members -by many in the congregation, were in middle leadership AND LEFT THE CHURCH. Why??? Steph, you yourself talk about church hopping; why did they leave if EHCC is such a wonderful church? My wife and I left the church and it took me four years to get honest and begin to speak out. We continued to visit the church (when we were in town) for those four years, even having meals with Kevin and Lisa & consulting with the church staff on building projects. Again, the undercurrents and dynamics of the relationships in this situation is simply mind boggling. EJW's reply does not surprise me one bit.

    -Fact, most of my "opinions" can be proven if you ask the right questions. If you do not want the answers to those questions, that is fine. -But just know, the truth is there to be found.

    Blessings

    Eric

    ReplyDelete

Please refrain from using "Anonymous" as your user ID. Instead, click on Name/URL. In the "name" field, type your pseudonym, ie, Fred Flinstone.

You may leave the URL field blank. Thank you for commenting!

I reserve the right to remove or not publish disruptive and/or rude comments.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.