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.Read More…
While we have touched on this in other places, we thought it would be good to lay out some of the reasons why we believe it is biblical to make our stories and our call for repentance public at this time.
We should start by saying that many individuals have repeatedly addressed these issues with BF and many other leaders in person and in writing on multiple occasions.
Some people are reluctant to discuss these issues because they believe the way we are going about it is a violation of Matthew 18, and therefore it fundamentally invalidates or discredits what we are saying. This stems from a misunderstanding of the primary application of Matthew 18 as well as an oversimplification of this situation. Unfortunately, this is a passage and a tactic that leadership at Grace Church has often used to its advantage. Read More…
This is the first email from one of the church elders to the pastor along with the rest of the elders and deacons and their wives. For multiple reasons we have removed all names from the email. Hopefully you can can still follow it.
Date: October 28, 2015
Subject: Re: Life and work
Dear XXXXX, Elders/Deacons and Wives;
I am sorry to inform you that my family and I will be leaving Grace Church, as of today. We are leaving for reasons of neither sin nor shame in us, but because of erosion of trust, over years of time and most immediate as a result of the method and content of our recent meetings. Read More…
This is a second email which RB sent to the same group of people after a response to his first email was sent from BF to everyone on the list but him.
Date: Fri, June 29, 2012
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am growing in my understanding that the Lord may be calling me, too, to help bring clarity and instruction to the Body of Christ in this moment. Please read my words as words arising from a heart of love and deep concern for all of you, including the Grace Church leadership. Whether or not these words are directed by the Spirit, time will tell I suppose, though the inner wrestling and anguish of heart I’ve felt as I’ve composed them feel a lot to me like what Jeremiah talks about…”a fire shut up in my bones.” I acknowledge that my tone is strong and direct, but I feel that I cannot, at this moment, sacrifice clarity and precision out of a fear of offending or being labelled, whether explicitly or subtly, “ungraceful”. I am responding here to B’s response to my email that included an invitation to you all to meet with the elders last Sunday. Read More…
This email was sent by a former staff member who was at the church from 1998-2009 and worked on staff most of those years.
From: ML | To: BF | Date: Mon, Apr 6, 2009
Hey there. In our last meeting I mentioned that God has been clarifying some of the growing tensions and personal concerns that influenced by decision to step out of my staff and leadership roles. When I resigned I think these things just combined into one large, somewhat nebulous tension that I couldn’t fully explain but nevertheless knew to be real, significant, and something I didn’t feel I could adequately process in my staff position. Here they are (in condensed fashion)…
Lack of consistent God-centered, Christ-centered, cross-centered, gospel-saturated teaching.
Lack of a clear means by which the body can support and hold its leaders accountable which has resulted in what I believe to be an unhealthy concentration of pressure and power upon one person – BF.
Lack of respect for an individual’s direct responsibility before God for the decisions they make regarding highly personal issues and situations nowhere specifically or clearly addressed by Scripture – combined with an expectation that when opinions differ on these things, God wants the person to do what a select handful of other people think they should do. I find it disrespectful, hurtful, manipulative, and an unbiblical abuse of authority.
Lack of intentional consistent theological training for the church’s leaders.
An over extension of staff’s time and energy that makes it all but practically impossible to consistently love and shepherd people in personal and direct ways instead of managing them and using them to accomplish something.
We would just like to take a few moments to draw your attention to some of the most obvious and concerning inconsistencies between what Grace Church has said and what they have done since the Morning Sun articles have been released. The first post they put on their website after the initial Morning Sun article, contained an email which BF had sent to the reporter after his interview but before the article had been published. Read More…
Recently BF posted a public apology to four people who went on-the-record with the Morning Sun reporter in her first article. And while this site does not speak for those individuals, we would like to make a few observations regarding what seems to be taking place here and how this affects things moving forward.
For many of us, we are far beyond the point where the appropriate next step would be for us to sit down with BF so he can listen to us express our honest (but probably very unbalanced, in his mind) concerns about personal sins he has committed or institutional sins he is responsible for, in the hopes that he might offer an apology for what he has done. Read More…
The qualifications for those who may serve in the church office of an elder/pastor/overseer (they refer to the same thing) are laid out explicitly in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and they are referenced in 1 Peter 5:1-3 as well. Let’s take a closer look at these passages so we can get a better idea whether or not the elders/pastors/overseers of Grace Church are qualified or unqualified to serve in that role. Read More…
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.
This is the Grace Church that is located at 1217 S. Mission St. in Mt. Pleasant (Mount Pleasant) Michigan (48858) just a short distance from CMU (Central Michigan University). It was formerly known as The Young Church and is also the same church which houses Twelve17 Coffee Roasters. It also owns and frequently meets at The Ward Theatre on 218 S. Main Street.
Remember, even though the comment form requires a name and email they don’t actually have to be yours. That is just a technicality. You can fill that info in with whatever you want. It can be totally anonymous.
As you can see by the site statistics, the information contained on this site is being disseminated to an enormous amount of people. We are so thankful for those of you who are reading, linking, and contributing to this site. Please continue to do so as you are able and feel comfortable. Your involvement here and in other places is making a difference.