The purpose of this site is to provide a place where those who have been negatively affected by their experiences with Grace Church and its leadership can find support and information to help them work through what has happened or is currently happening to them. Also, we hope this site can help to warn people about what can happen if one is not alert to methods used by controlling and manipulative church leaders. Further, this site has now become an avenue for the accountability that Grace Church leaders have lacked.
This site only exists because the unhealthy leadership culture and the pyramid-type church structure in place at Grace Church have made it all but impossible for individuals to effectively express concerns or fully engage in any form of truly biblical conflict resolution. As a result, serious, unhealthy, unbliblical, and spiritually abusive practices have been allowed to persist for decades without any effective means of informing or warning the congregation as a whole.
Those in leadership have been very effective at isolating those with concerns and keeping the full extent of those concerns from the congregation. As a result, the congregation is left with the impression that things really aren’t that bad, and that those who have left are the ones who have the serious problems. It is our hope that this site will finally enable us to collect this information into one place, so that those who have been intentionally uninformed and misinformed will finally be able to see the ungodliness which has characterized much of the church’s leadership and ministry practices over the years.
We hope this site will help bring these leaders to repentance so they can get the professional help they need, and so the congregation can once again experience the true joy and peace and freedom which Jesus desires for them.
Based on what has transpired, we believe that any process of genuine repentance and true restoration should involve the following steps:
- Those in authority should immediately grant the entire congregation the authority to have the final say in church decisions (if they don’t have it already).
- BF should publicly repent of the sinful practices of the organization which he is primarily responsible for, while also privately confessing his sins to those he has wronged and seeking reconciliation.
- BF should also remove himself from leadership of the church and begin receiving professional help by participating in a care and recovery plan at the recommendation of an impartial third party selected by the former and current members of the church.
- The remaining leaders should also step down from leadership until an impartial third party can investigate what has taken place and advise the most biblical course of action for the individual leaders and the church as a whole.
- Until this process is complete, we believe it would be wise for the congregation to bring in outside leadership so the church can receive the care they need to begin their own process of recovery and so sinful structures and patterns of ministry can be removed or corrected in order to promote long-term spiritual health.
- A long term plan would then be adopted by the congregation at the recommendation of the impartial third party and their transitional leadership team.
We would love nothing more than to see this congregation mature into the beautiful reflection of Christ we know they can be. But as long as their current leadership refuses to repent and take responsibility for what they have done, we do not see how this can ever happen.
If you are still involved in this church, or are considering getting involved, we would simply ask you to read these posts prayerfully and carefully and then honestly answer these questions:
- What are the chances that all these people are just making these things up?
- What are the chances that all these people are just blowing these things out of proportion?
- What are the chances that all those red-flags you’ve seen over the years are actually legitimate, and may be even more serious than you realized?
- What are the chances that over time you have become so used to an extremely unhealthy situation that you no longer see things as clearly as you think you do?
- What are the chances that your leaders are intentionally keeping information from you because they know that if you had full access to all the “facts” you would be appalled and unwilling to allow them to continue as they have in the past?
- What are the chances that you have engaged in some of these same practices, and therefore you’re afraid to expose them because it might expose a part of you too, and that’s a really scary thing to consider?
We understand and many of us are sorry for the ways we have helped create and sustain a church culture that is so unhealthy and unchristlike. Many individuals have already tried to address it by going directly to those in leadership, but this has proved insufficient. The ungodly practices continue and people are still being hurt. Now we feel it is our responsibility to get this information to the past and present members of this church, the broader body of Christ, as well as the Mt. Pleasant community and our friends and loved ones across the state who may be sending their college-aged students into what has proven to be a very unhealthy and even abusive situation. We wish there were a better way to do that, and a wide variety of approaches have been tried, but none have succeeded. We hope this one will, and that it will prove to be the best thing for all involved.
Thank you for considering these extremely important issues.