Marcella Hovatter's UPC Experience
This is the first time I've shared my experiences with anyone but the founders of Open Arms Internet Ministries, but if it can help just one person it's worth it.
I really wasn't raised in church; going to church or not was a choice that I made. Growing up I was a Navy brat, and would come back to West Virginia on vacation. That is when I first became involved in a Oneness Pentecostal Church, more specifically a United Pentecostal Church. But I grew away from it and went to other churches growing up across the country.
When my dad retired to the little town we live in now I met up with an old friend from Junior High School who I hadn't seen in over three years. To meet him I agreed to go to church with him, at a UPC church. The first time I went I was hooked. Little did I know what heartache this would cause in the future.
Over the years I've tried different things including witchcraft and satanism. But the things that the UPC had drilled into me from the beginning had me scared to do anything else. Nightmares were a recurring theme in my dreams of a night. And they all centered around one theme: Christ had returned and I was left behind. I had messed up that day and hadn't asked for forgiveness. So in my mind I was doomed.
Many times I was told I was full of demons, and have had so many people try to deliver me from these demons. I've almost had my neck broke because of refusing "to submit myself unto the power of God". If I wasn't slain in the spirit when they thought I should be, then someone always made sure I went down. God forbid I disobeyed God's anointed one who was doing the deliverance.
If I would dare question something that the minister said, I was rebuked. And the scripture was quoted about touch not mine anointed.
Five years ago this July I was introduced to a great group called Open Arms Internet Ministry; OAIM for short. I didn't personally go there for help but wanted to meet the people who were helping out a friend. By this time I was totally miserable in the church I was involved in, and knew something wasn't right.
This is when I started talking to parepidemosOAMpastor. Pare, as we lovingly refer to him, started to point out scriptures that showed how wrong the UPC were in their beliefs. But being stubborn as I am I wouldn't listen. I still continued to go for months afterwards, and would come home and get online, telling pare they did this or they did that. I was being emotionally and spiritually abused there but it took the love of pare and others at OAIM to make me realize exactly how bad it was.
By the grace of God and people willing to be used as vessels of God to reach others across the net, I can now say I'm free of this bondage the UPC put me under. There are still days that I doubt if I did the right thing, the old training popping back up, but I'm happier now then I was then. I can honestly say I can't see myself going back to that situation.
In Christ's Love,
Posted March 13, 2003
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August 23, 1997
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