I thought that some might be interested in reading old guest book entries I have received in response to this web site. I have partially removed the e-mail addresses since these writings are old and many are probably now invalid. Typos have not been corrected.


Friday 06/16/2000 8:43:32pm

Name: Pastor Tom Murphy

E-Mail: mpbc@

Referred By: Net Search

Location: Toronto, Canada

Comments: We have put your page on our referral list. God Bless.


Friday 06/16/2000 2:28:38am

Name: Connie

E-Mail: CSchmoll1@

Referred By: From a Friend

Location: Minnesota (Ohio-originally)

Comments: Hey Lois! Great site! :)

I have been to your site so many times and just realized that I have never signed your guestbook. I think it is just wonderful what you have set up here. Your site has helped so many people, including myself. I appreciate your friendship and it has been great getting to know you better. Thanks so much for being an encourager to those who find themselves in a spiritual abused situation. Thank you also for allowing me to share my story and my devotionals on your site! Keep up the good work. And hey! Now you have to sign MY GUESTBOOK!! Catch you later, SARGE! hehe *salutes*

God bless you richly,

Connie


Friday 06/09/2000 5:30:59am

Name: David Bishop

E-Mail: dalbishop@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: St. Petersburg, FL

Comments: I want to say how much I enjoy your site. I am what would be a 3rd generation UPC member. I left the denomination as a teenager due to the strict standards set forth by the "articles of faith" of the UPC. I came back to the Lord on Feb. 7,1999 along with my wife at an Assemblies of God church [Of course, not by the views of my parents (active UPC members)]. I was drawn to this particular denomination because of its Pentecostal roots. While visiting this church (prior to my conversion) I noticed that the church members were obviously Christians in that they exhibited true charity and selfless love. I knew that there was a genuiness to these people. That made me hit the "Book" and after reading the New Testament 3 times I noticed errors in the teachings from the UPC church I was raised with. There seemed to be a problem with the teachings on the God-Head and no real basis for the standards as set forth by the UPC.

I truly have a relationship with Jesus now and am growing every day. Resources such as your site helps me to see that I am not alone.


Wednesday 05/24/2000 6:37:07am

Name: Pete

E-Mail: mrmud4x4@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: New York

Comments: I'm a former three god (man did I get confused) worshipper. Got baptized in Jesus' name!!! Been studying the word very much!!! Oneness and Rapture mainly.(not a pre-tribber) I attend a great, loving, Jesus only, United Pentecostal Church! Haven't been spiritually abused yet. Been there two and a half years. We've been growing, people repenting! get'n baptized!, get'n filled with the Holy Ghost!!! I like your sight, plenty to study and bounce off my King James! One last thought before I go... Any church can be abusive, after all there are trinitarian churches that pass rattler snakes around! Stick with Jesus, He'll keep you!!!


Saturday 05/06/2000 1:39:07am

Name: G. N.

E-Mail: LifeIsSoGood3559@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Beautiful Earth

Comments: Wow, I just checked out this website. Boy, you must be an unhappy woman.

The sooner you forget your past the sooner you will be happy again.

Life is just too good to hold onto grudges...besides, grudges only hurt the offendee.

Take some mature advise, move on....


Saturday 04/29/2000 12:00:01am

Name: Anthony Duncalf

E-Mail: Ant.TrueLightMin@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Leeds, UK

Comments: Really interested in what you have to say! I was a member of an abusive church set up here in Leeds for several years, and have set up my own web page dealing with the issues of abuse and 'when does a church become a cult?' etc., so its good to see similar stuff on your site! Tho' sad to recognise again how widespread the problem is. Just to remind folk - God loves you very much, whatever you may have been led to believe, and has a plan for your very best. There is a way out, and others who have made it to help you on the way!

Anthony


Friday 04/28/2000 2:25:41pm

Name: Alicia Matthew

E-Mail: Stang98akm@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: TEXAS

Comments: I am UPC. And I want to say...THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE!

The enormous amount of great information on the doctrine of the UPC is absolutely wonderful. I have used this site as a resource to win people to the Lord! Thank you for compiling our beliefs and allowing us to further the work of the UPC! =) [Editorial note: Good sense of humor, Alicia! The site is not to take people from 'the church of God' as you wrote in a personal letter. Fortunately the UPC does not have a monopoly on the church of the living God. Please continue to send all the people you want this way.]


Monday 04/10/2000 10:37:05pm

Name: Randall

E-Mail: rlm1943@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: ohio

Comments: Find yourself another church and put all this behindyou...


Monday 03/20/2000 9:37:04pm

Name: M. D. Davis

E-Mail: dylan13@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Iowa

Comments: I'm curious if you would add my website, http://www.gospelassembly.com to your list of links. This website exposes an alleged pentecostal cult based in Des Moines, Iowa. I have done my best to make it not only informative, but easy to navigate. Thank you.


Sunday 03/19/2000 7:47:06pm

Name: chris r

E-Mail: none

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location:

Comments: I found your site by accident and came in to see what it was. I am 16 years old and have been attending a UPC church for just over a year. I have been in penticostal church {not UPC} since I was about two years old. I feel sorry for what you have expierenced in the church you went to but I do not belive it is representitive of the UPC orginazation. Not every UPC church is in the will of God but neither is every non-affiliated one. I belive if the UPC was really as bad as it is presented here you would have many more complaints than you have now. There will always be a few bad churches but dont let them make you predjudiced against the whole UPC. That is just what satan would want to happen. He wants everyone so confused by looking for the "perfect church" that they will not be able to see what is right.


Saturday 03/11/2000 3:38:24am Name: Lewey R. Ferris

E-Mail: leweyf@

Referred By: AOL

Location: Shelton, WA

Comments: I am a former UPC Home Missions Pastor, Asst. Pastor, and sectional Youth Director. After many years of zealously debating in favor of Oneness doctrine, the Lord helped me to come to the realization that I could no longer support what I had argued for for so long. I happened accross your site and began reading your article on spiritual abuse. After reading only a few lines I began to realize that what you were saying is exactley what my wife and I went through for many years and what my daughter and her husband are going through right now. I intend to have them both read your article as it remarkably fits them like a glove! I've bookmarked your site and intend to draw attention to it as much as I possibly can.

Regards,

Lew Ferris


Wednesday 02/02/2000 2:16:00am

Name: Dale Osborn

E-Mail: daleosborn@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: NE Ohio

Comments: Greetings from a word-of-faith pastor in NE Ohio. It's amazing how one can start out at the New York Times Navigator website and in a few clicks here and there end up at your site. I'm looking forward to that day when all believers in Christ will celebrate together at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.


Saturday 01/29/2000 10:09:01pm

Name: Leunemieke van't Riet

E-Mail: dlvtriet@

Referred By: Net Search

Location: Soest, The Netherlands

Comments: Dear Lois,

Maybe my english is not perfect, because my speaking language is Dutch (I 'm from Holland). Recently I discovered your homepage and I 'm very glad about that.

We finally found out that we suffered from spri :-) ual abuse.

25 years ago my husband and I joined a christian organisation and it was our full time job. We did it with all of our heart.

When the years went by, something was happening that we could not give a name, nor identify, but somehow we felt uncomfortable by it.

At first we thought that we didn't pray enough for our leaders: they had a hard time in working very hard and wanted us to follow their example. We didn't like this example, because our 4 children did need our attention and time as well. So we had a problem: we were not "dedicated enough" and we felt put aside.

Many more things p :-) ed and each time we tried to forgive and continue to love and respect our leaders.

In 1994 a friend gave us the book of Jeff VanVonderen about the subtle power of spiritual abuse.

Now we finally discovered that we were not the ones who crazy in our uneasy feeling about the situation and the book helped us a lot.

Since 1998 the christian organisation was declared bankrupt and the workers were jobless. Happily all have found new jobs. We discovered that we had been much more damaged by the manupulative system then we originally thought.

It has had its influence in our at :-) ude towards our children and in our family- communication and in our own behaviour and mindset.

Last year I 've discovered that I got various mindsets that have been (de)formed by this system.

In this period of time I was very much blessed by everything on spiritual abuse that I could find on the Internet ( we are connected only ten months now).

I tried to find out how it had been possible that something good could turn into something bad, while nobody intended to do so.

In that search I found your homepage and I'm very thankful for it: you did a great job in sharing your experiences and those of others!!!

In the Neherlands I haven't seen much about this subject, only just recently a woman published a book in a diaryform about her experiences: that was the first time that I could read something in my own language about it ( it is a very good and lovely book about her way-out and she called the book : "rediscovered: Gods smile".)

I suppose more books will follow, because many more have suffered from it, but I think that the subject of spiritual abuse is not yet generally known.

So I am trying to do something about it.

But first of all trying to recover and we are on our way-out.

I have forgiven the leaders.

I also know they didn't perpetrate by purpose.

I see that they were also victims in a delusion thinking that in their dedication towards God they didn't need to be accountable towards men.

And even they would have meant it by purpose in a certain way, I forgive them and I give away my judgment into the hands of Him Who has a rightful judgment and Who sees all our motives.

Because if we do no forgive, God does not either. But He helps us to do so and He restores our feelings on this item.

It is not in vain that we became acquainted with spirtual abuse and we know that God does turn everything into good for those loving Him.

Dear Lois, the Lord bless you.


Thursday 01/20/2000 7:55:55pm

Name: David J Thrower

E-Mail: djthrower@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: st petersburg, fl

Comments: I really like the work you are doing on this site. I was at one time involved in an abusive Foursquare Church, and can relate to the experiences you share here. My story, as a matter of fact, can be found on the Maronite Research Council site under the heading "Maronite Voices" (I am a convert to the Maronite Church, but that's a whole other story!) I encourage you to look it up, and if it can help someone be free, please feel free to use it. God be with you and the great but much-needed challenge you have taken on.


Friday 01/07/2000 4:39:49am

Name: Shanawanikki

E-Mail: wanikki@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: The Valley of Rabbits,California

Comments: Greeting Sister Lois,

It is good of things that I have read, your heart can only speak truth for I know that He dwells in you. Many moons ago I also was in this way, and saw many things, and heard hard things that many precious human being were hurt and lost. oH may the Great Spirit have mercy upon them that hurt these little ones. I would like to speak more on this, but some other day. Thank you precious Sister His Blessing be upon you and yours. Shanawanikki


Monday 01/03/2000 8:28:33pm

Name: Stephen Boursy

E-Mail: boursy@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Boston

Comments: You did an excellent job of laying out the problem and you're furtunate to have survived with your sanity. The dangerous of religious cults are not the ones we read about in the press--they are the mainstream religions which demand obedience not to ideals but to their own church. The very worst of it, and hopefully someday it will become illegal, is that they are allowed to indoctrinate innocent children with what can only be viewed in an objective sense as a psychotic belief system filled with fear. Those kids can't even develop morally as everything is reduced to heaven and hell and when the illusion is taken from them as they learn on their own they are often left without a moral system to fall back on.

I was raised by the Roman Catholic cult and they where quite vicious in their threats of eternal damnation and the necessity of obedience to their pope. It was honestly insane. They actually believe their way is the only way approved by god. (edited) I think most who profess to believe really haven't read the thing.

Thanks for your site--it helps.


Friday 12/31/1999 3:53:03pm

Name: Rev. W. C.

E-Mail:

Referred By: Clicked on our Banner Advertisement

Location: Toronto, Canada

Comments: Hi!

I am a former Pentecostal Pastor.

I enjoyed the site.

After 23 years of pastoring, I could no longer agreed with legislation by bylaws rather than relationships. I no longer know how many constitutions, bylaws and resolutions there are at the various levels of The Pentecostal Assemblies Of Canada.

Pastors become institutionalized when they start young in these fellowships which have now become American Corporations. A pastor better be ready for abuse flack if he disagrees with the church Matriarch, Patriots, or Founding Fathers. Money does talk. There is much sexual abuse and homosexuality in a good number of in name "Pentecostal" churches. I receive calls many times from pastor friends whose family get sexually abused by good church members.Voting gives entitlement to place your near relatives in power or your adled friends. Voting is God's punishment for not seeking His will but trying bylaws and truth by Public opinion and consensus.

I got out. I got out hurt but sane. I find people every where who can't get to Jesus because of the church. I now lead people to Christ outside the "Church" organization. If you call the 1-800 number for Emerge Counseling for the A.O.G. you will find that the damage control admits that Pentecost is one of the worst offenders of spiritual and sexual abuse. (edited). Many of the A.O.G. officials as executive groups seem to be the worse kind of beasts.

My District superior paid out $70,000. to keep another case quite. This is the money of working people, widows, and orphans. In my case, the same official tried to make a hidden appeasement with my enemies by allotting $10,000. from District coffers. These same officials were getting a salary of some $85,000.00 from the church offering some 5 years ago. This was told to me by an executive who quite in protest of yet another raise for the "Superintendent".

God forgive us all. He gets His work down in spite of myself and others. Do not judge each church by its denomination. There are many good leaders left. Excise the power hungry, name hungry, vote hungry weaklings who can't even wait with the Lord for one hour unless they are seen of men.

I am survivor of Pentecostal abuse after serving God in that venue since age 16. I am now 49. I made an Exodus. It is equally as bad among "No Name" fellowships. Human nature must be crucified. It must start with mine.

We had better remember that God uses everything, including Church Abuse, to make us like Jesus. We just have to wake up and be aware of what is going on around us. Those of us so abused must not "get on with our lives". We do not have one. We must get on with His will.

You have been abused? In the church of Christ? That is really a sad commentary on the state of the churches. But lets realize this---the church (with is struggles) is still the best thing going on planet earth. Learn to separate "religious people" from the true "Church", i.e., not believers but keepers-doers of His Word.

In summary, go on with God. In the end might it not even be a higher calling to suffer abuse from religious system rather than the "world"? What will we ever say to Jesus if we do not serve Him regardless of who abuses us? Further, just down sit there and wallow---turn your misery into a ministry and don't waste eternity's time on earth's trifles .Jesus shall reign!

Your site would be greatly enhanced by starting at the current dates and leaving the first visit to the end. This would give a sense of both updatedness and history.

(edited)

I remain yours in Christ, a happy victorious survivor,

Rev. W. C.



Monday 12/27/1999 2:37:35am

Name: Linda

E-Mail: Plottl@

Referred By: Net Search

Location: Texas

Comments: I, too, have been disallusioned about a lot of things associated with the United Pentecostal Church. I was not raised in it and I am the only one in my family in it, but I became involved in it when I was l9 years old which was approximately 33 years ago. Up until about a year or so ago, I was sold on it , but things have happened that I just do not understand and there is no one to help me understand. I have tried going to another UPC church but it is too far and with the questions and doubts I have within me I don't know what to do. I do know that pastors of UPC churches stick together no matter what so you cannot turn to another pastor. I love the Lord with all my heart and all I can think of is that He knows my heart better than anyone. I do feel spiritually abused and I know that I need help spiritually, but I have no one to turn to and whatever I decide to do will have to be my own decision. Please pray that I will make the right decision. I have no desire or intention of hurting anyone because I know how it feels to be hurt by those you thought were your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Remember me in your prayers. Thanks.


Tuesday 12/07/1999 0:29:19am

Name: Ruth

E-Mail: rpletcher1@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: California

Comments: I have read some of your articles about spiritual abuse.

I just want to say that Spiritual abuse is a condition that is in the leadership of any church. It can be in any Denomination or Non Demonational church. It is the Heart condition of a person who has not learned, to trust in God's Grace!

They are trying to control God's people. It is usually about people wanting to live under the Old Testament law. Rather than except Christ's New Covenant of Grace. In other words they are legalistic.

I can tell from your writings you are very hurt. I will pray for you. God Bless you very much.. Many people have been spiritually abused you are not alone.

Ruth


Monday 12/06/1999 5:13:44am

Name: Michelle

E-Mail:

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location:

Comments: Hello

You have a very interesting website. Although I do not have the same oppinion as you do about the Apostolic Pentecostal Faith(or UPC).

I was a member of a trinitarian church for many years. I believed on Jesus,repented,was baptized and even spoke in tongues all of that. But I found out by reading the Bible that I was not saved. Because I wasn't baptized in Jesus name.

I was baptized in Jesus name almost 6 years ago. I love the Lord and the truth. No I do not agree with some of the teachings of the UPC(like the no Tv thing).

But I believe that repentance baptism in Jesus name and the Holyghost with speaking in tongues are necessary to be saved.Why? Because the Bible says so. I done much studying of the Bible and I know that that Act2:38 is God's plan of salvation.

Michelle


Monday 12/06/1999 1:52:47am

Name: Jesse Herb

E-Mail: ZANoaHH@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: wv

Comments: I have had a pretty rough experience through my Christian walk. I have had alot a trouble with the Oneness/Trinitarian debate. Im glad your Web site is here to help me with my struggles. I am a former UPC member.

Thank You for your research it is helping....Thankx


Sunday 12/05/1999 7:03:44pm

Name: Bart

E-Mail: bbenson@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Tennessee

Comments: For 21 years, I was a member of the UPC (3 different locations). In each location, I found the information on your site is applied. However, it is more pronounced in a smaller town which was the first location which I attended. In the smaller, we were forced to live by "special rules and regulations" which included women not cutting their hair, no television, no association with anyone not UPC, the tithes went directly to the Pastor (that's 10% of everyone's income which went to the Pastor and not the church), and total control of a person's life. When I left the small town church in order to attend college, I was "disfellowshiped" because I attended a college not located near my home town. However, I was gladly accepted by two other churches which did the same things but not as openly and not as strictly. Since returning to the same small town, I have not spoken badly of the UPC but merely pointed out the truth about the legalism which binds one spiritually. It is truly amazing that one in the UPC does not see the legalism until it is pointed out to him/her by someone who used to be an activist for the UPC. It does hurt when you discover that the group of people who have become your family only wants to hurt you.


Sunday 11/28/1999 5:24:22am

Name: Sarah

E-Mail: cutiesarah@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: CA

Comments: I have been a member of the UPC church for many years and know that everything that we do is God's word. Go forth and be ye separate is a verse no one in the world likes. It means separating yourself from the world.God tells us not to conform to the world and the fashions of the world.This wasn't made up.but what does anyone care how we dress?The biggest deception of the devil is to make people overlook certain scriptures they don't like.But it's the word of God. The way to be saved is repent,be baptized in Jesus name,and recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost.To live righteously is what the Lord wills for our lives. You cannot serve God and mammon. What have you given up for the Lord?

It says take up your cross and follow him. Just as Jesus said sell everything and follow me.


Wednesday 10/27/1999 2:04:11am

Name: Patty

E-Mail: Patty83@

Referred By: From a Friend

Location: midwest/US of A

Comments: Lois-It took me quite a little while to read your interesting pages on Spiritual Abuse. I got it from FOETID a few weeks back!I certainly could add to your stories--but choose to leave that-and many other forms of abuse --behind me now!!Thank you for sharing this detailed information with others.I have an 11 year old grand daughter who has a 'friend' at school who wants her to attend her church; which I will not name here. But my own experiences have taught me to be very very wary of any organized religious movement and rely more on the GOspels as teaching tools in these cases.May God Bless you & Yours!Patty


Sunday 09/26/1999 5:26:56am

Name: Adrian Mathews

E-Mail: webmaster@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Oregon

Comments: Hello, you have a wonderful site do come by and visit us. We would like to extend an invitation to everyone to come and exchange links with us so others can share in your website and while your there sign our guestbook. God Bless...


Sunday 09/05/1999 7:02:02pm

Name: Lois Deragon

E-Mail: lderagon@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Hutchinson, MN 55350

Comments: My husband and I were members of a pentecostal full-gospel church for ten years. We were sovereignly released by God in September of 1998. We left with tears and blessings from our pastors and church body. We had an open door to return whenever we were able to. The Lord released us to a church right next door - across the parking lot in fact - which was a NAB Baptist church. Quite a change! (Edited for brevity) Since leaving the two churches, God has opened our eyes - sovereignly - not through any hearsay or suspicion - about the spiritual abuse that we had lived under in the full-gospel church. We have been able to respond in the right spirit and pray and bless them. We are beginning to see the answers as people from the full-gospel church are crossing our paths regularly. fit". (Edited for brevity)I could walk up to our former full-gospel pastor and hug his neck and love him without any aught in me. My counsel for those who have recognized the spiritual abuse or are suffering the effects of it would be to find a counseler that is familiar with spiritual abuse and can pray you through it. Someone that can reconnect you directly to the heart of Father God where there is no short circuiting of his unconditional love and acceptance. I know that hate will empower the enemy to even greater deception in the lives of those who have harmed us. Refuse to take his hand as the Destroyer because it is through us that he is the most successful at his killing, stealing and destroying. He needs us to do his dirty work. Refuse! The Scriptures tell us that LOVE CONQUERS ALL! My greatest joy is deflating his power through the love of God. Take the hand of God in agreement with His Word and become His witness. God's richest blessings to you the Church, His Bride, His Testimony in this earth.


Monday 08/30/1999 0:50:15am

Name: Larry N Grams

E-Mail: Grams@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Tofield Alberta Canada

Comments: I also was unfortuneately a victim of a form of spiritual abuse. Mine happened while working for an independant evangelical church by the name of Calvary Community Church in Edmonton.


Sunday 08/22/1999 7:56:17pm

Name: David

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: Georgia

Comments: Thanks for an informative lesson. I take away more understanding of my best friend who has struggled with this abuse for his entire life. He is no longer involved in the church his parents are devoted to, but The mental scars are far from healed. We can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and work every day to reach it. Out of these faithful God fearing people, 4 of there 6 children have commited suicide, one is in and out of mental hospitals, and the one, "my friend" is finally climbing out of the hole. The threat of hell no longer condems him , as he has lived it already on earth. Thankyou.


Thursday 08/19/1999 5:37:47am

Name: ALMA, JUDITH & PHILLIP

E-Mail: AGRACE5555@

Referred By: Just Surfed On In

Location: BUFFALO, NEW YORK

Comments: VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE UPC AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WHICH OPERATE IN THE SAME MANNER. I PRAISE GOD FOR DELIVERANCE (RESTORE, RESCUE & SET FREE). I PRAY FOR MANY WHO ARE BOUND IN RELIGION, CREEDS, CUSTOMS, DOGMAS, ETC. I DO HAVE A TESTAMONY--KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.


Tuesday 08/10/1999 11:05:04pm

Name: Karl

E-Mail: crsmci@

Referred By: Yahoo!

Location:

Comments: Dear Ms Gibson:

You have every right to be critical of any church which denies that our Salvation is obtained by FAITH only in the Finished work of Christ (John 3:16,20:21, Acts 16:31, Eph 2:8-9). Any teaching that adds a human (or divine) ritual or work to obtaining Eternal Salvation is outside the Will of God. If those who believe the way I do stay in churches that dont, then thats their concern. As for me, I'm not intimidated by churches like the UPCI, or the Boston Church of Christ, no matter how many scriptures they twist to 'draw away disciples after them' (Acts 20:30)

In the Name of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the Great Three in One...AMEN

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August 23, 1997
Page added June 18, 2005
Copyright © 1997-2016 by Lois E. Gibson
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