It has been roughly 15 years since I attended YC/GC. Renaming YC to GC is fitting considering what I endured there when I was a student at CMU. At the time, I was a young mother of two that was heavily devoted to prayer, serving others, and a dedicated Christian. Months into joining YC my daughters became very involved in children’s ministry events and I started testing out the various ministries I felt lead to participate in. It was at that time that my children and I faced homelessness. My children’s father (lived in Detroit) and a close friend of mine wanted to help me to ensure that my girls and I would not end up homeless but a wife of one of the founding members told me that she felt GOD was telling her to have my children and I stay at her home. It took weeks to be convinced by this woman and another YC member that I should listen because she was most likely being lead by GOD. So I moved into their home. After a few months of being there I became more involved at YC (bible study-small group, etc), but slowly overtime the relationship begin to change. I would go to pray in the morning in a small room reserved for prayer for me and the cofounders wife started going into the room adjacent to the one I was in while I prayed every morning. I was told I had to eat whatever the wife cooked for dinner (I bought my own food) even though the food she prepared wasn’t healthy (potatoes with lots of butter). The breaking point came when I had a meeting with most of the leaders to resolve an issue we were having. I was handed a contract that stated: I had to surrender control of my bank account and personal life. I could only be friends with people they approved of (all of my friends were Christians some just attended different churches), I could not miss any church functions unless they approved of my reason for missing it (I had never missed a function at this point). If I did not sign the contract my children and I would be made homeless almost immediately. After they isolated me from family and friends this was the choice I was handed. After speaking with the head pastor I was told that he couldn’t speak with the cofounder about this situation because it is his house, his choice and because he (head pastor) heard that I said that someone at YC was racist ( I was mistaken as the maid in the cofounders home many times) he felt like I should leave. I left and never returned to Christianity. Maybe a year later I was informed that the cofounders wife was seriously ill. She soon passed away and YC was renamed GC. I suggest young people pray and meditate before joining. Make sure it is a choice YOU are making not a choice someone is making for you.
April, your story is very upsetting. It is disgusting that you were offered ‘support’ at an extremely vulnerable time in your life. I am sorry that you were treated this way – and had to also have the burden of dealing with racism and miscroagression on top of all of the other detrimentally controlling / abusive issues. It is most concerning that you were pressured to turn over your finances. I would like to talk more with you. I can’t help but to wonder if among other things, you were being used to help recruit more POC for that organization… Read more »