Mike's Non-Denominational Church Experience
My name is Mike and I am blessed by your website. Like yourself, I also have a burden for those who have been abused spiritually. Being a Pastor for over 10 years now......I have counseled many whose lives have been hurt by a Pastor and/or church group. My heart hurts for the people of God who have been beaten, wounded and abused spiritually.
My Christian background is not UPCI or Oneness, though I have a burden for those who are caught therein. My Christian background is Assembly of God and I have been a part of other Pentecostal/Charismatic denominations as well. Having been a Christian for over 20 years, I have seen abuse in the non-denominational churches as well. Some churches I was involved in were abusive or controlling to some extent.
My biggest head-on collision with spiritual abuse happened last year with a "Founding Pastor" of a non-denominational Church. This Church was founded by a woman minister who is an ordained minister with a well respected Pentecostal denomination.
This woman minister was up in age (70's) and wanted to retire from ministry. The plan was that she wanted to back out of the ministry and that I would be taking over the ministry. Under the Founding Pastor (woman minister), I was Senior Pastor at this non-denominational church for 3 years. At the time me and this woman minister got along fine although she had some controlling ways about her.
Before I go on, I must tell you that I am single and not married. And that I started seeing a girl last year and we were waiting on God concerning marriage. When this woman minister met her, she did not like her at all and let me know about it. I told her that I would not marry her unless God led us to do so but if God leads us we will.
This woman minister started spreading rumors among the Women's Ministry group and some others in the Church saying that my girlfriend would "not make a good Pastor's wife and that she would destroy the Church". This really hurt me as well as my girlfriend.
It became evident real fast that this woman minister was jealous to the point of acting like a scorned woman. It was also around this time of dating that this woman minister would make "come on" comments like: "I wish you were 30 years older, or me 30 years younger". She would also try to give me a kiss (like most old ladies do on the cheek) but the difference was she would ALWAYS aim for my lips not my cheek. However, I NEVER let her kiss me on the lips!! Yuck, boo hiss!!
When this woman minister saw that I would not break up with the girl I was seeing, she threatened me by saying if I continue to date her my pastoring would be in jeopardy. I still refused since I was not going against the Word of God in any way by seeing this girl.
The congregation on the other hand liked the girl I was dating and they were praying that God's will would be done in our lives. Even though the congregation liked her, this woman minister didn't care. She wanted my girlfriend gone and out of my life at any cost. This woman minister called a secret meeting with the different departments of the Church to get their opinion about the girl I was seeing. They didn't have a problem with my girlfriend and made it clear that it's in God's hands. The "department heads" told me that this woman minister was so upset with my girlfriend that she was willing to pay her money just to leave town!
I could go on cause there is more to tell....but it is still painful to talk about it, and I don't want to take up more of your time as I am sure you have others to e-mail and talk too. In short, I was let go from this church on the basis of bad mouthing the "Founding Pastor" (woman minister).
What is so crazy is, even after she fired me, she called me up on the phone and still wanted me to drop by from time to time and have dinner with her and the family. I could not believe my ears. I realize this whole things sounds nuts and almost unbelievable......I wish it were untrue. I wish it never happened, but it did.
In the months that followed God began a healing process (which is still taking place) and I am getting better all the time. Since my last pastorate I have been doing some interim pastoring up in the Northwest area and soon will be back in full-time ministry. Still, it has been very hard to work through things I experienced last year.
I don't want to get bitter cause I know that is will mess up my walk with God but it is hard not to get upset about it. I thank God by His Grace that He is getting me through and will use this bad experience for His glory and honor.
Well I guess I have said enough. I didn't mean to write all this but well maybe I was supposed too. Again, I think it is awesome what you are doing by the power of God to help those who have been abused spiritually. Keep the good work up. Will write you again in the future. If I can be of any help to you and your support group, let me know.
God bless you richly in all things and in every way.
Ps....Please keep me in prayer.
Posted September 1, 2002
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August 23, 1997
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