Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church Rules
This list is an attempt to give the reader an idea of the types of rules and standards that were taught at the Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Junction City, Kansas. It is not a full and complete list. Some of the rules were started while L.E. Westberg was the pastor and continued under Edwin Young, who resigned amidst scandal in August 2012. (To read about that, click here.) Some of these were initiated by Young.
An untold number of people from this church have been hurt in one way or another over the years. People would believe whatever Edwin Young told them about a person or situation. They would stand and cheer him on when he would come down hard on homosexuality or fornication, or when he would tear into a member from the pulpit (an example of this is heard in the video below)...and sometimes even a visitor. A number of people who left the church under his pastorate were pegged by him as homosexuals or fornicators, among other things. Members believed what he told them. Those who remained were subject to a number of rules and standards. Members were encouraged to report those they saw breaking any rules and the pastor would follow-up by confronting the offending party, WHETHER THE ACCUSATIONS WERE CONFIRMED OR NOT. This was considered 'testing the person's spirit', or 'breaking them'.
The Rules: Standards
No cut/trimmed/dyed/permed/straightened/relaxed hair on women, no long hair (below the collar or over the ears) on men. Men's cuts were very standard. Women should wear their hair up, and men should not have side burns or any facial hair. (See an actual Faith Tabernacle Apostolic hair document for more on this topic here. Includes examples of permitted and non-permitted hair styles. Learn what color barrette you may use and how many pony tail holders are permitted.)
Women shouldn't pluck their eyebrows. (There was a debate over whether women could shave their legs and armpits, but neither pastor seemed to have ever taken a stance on that.)
No hairspray for men. (Under Young only)
Women must wear skirts. Women who might be on the platform must wear skirts that come six inches below the knee. No woman from Faith Tabernacle should ever wear a slit in her skirt. She must also not wear pajamas or shorts, even in her own house.
At first women had to wear full hose. Later knee highs were accepted. Finally they were given permission to go without stockings.
Women should wear a shell/camisole/full slip and a blouse over. There should always be two layers on the torso. They should also always wear a slip, full or half.
No jean jackets for women.
Sleeves must be below the elbow.
No gold buttons or buckles on clothes.
No sequins or beads on clothes.
No shorts, even under small girls' skirts.
Men should not wear suit jackets with more than four buttons.
Men will not lend a suit jacket to his wife to warm up-that makes her putting on man's apparel.
Men's suits should not be in bright, trendy colors.
Men's shirts should have a full collar.
Men should wear white shirts and ties to church always. (if you were at work, you were expected to bring a change of clothes to change into before joining service)
No swimsuits allowed.
No ball caps for women (lesbians wear those) and ball caps only if the bill is straight forward for guys.
Collars for men and women should always be above the collar bone.
No denim for men or women at church.
Skirts and other clothes should NOT be revealing, showing the form beneath them in any way. They should not cling or be tight.
No animal print clothing. (Young finally allowed this-and soon after many members arrived to church with animal prints on.)
No see through clothes. Sleeves had to stay below the elbow, even if you raised your hands. Thus the 'pentecostal checks'-if one bought something, they might jump up and down, raise their hands, and take a few steps looking in the mirror before purchase.
No leaving the house with hair uncombed or not put up. No leaving the house in house slippers for a run to the store. No going to pick up something in paint or work clothes-always look your best.
No jewelry. This included wedding bands and bracelet watches. No cuff links or tie tacks.
No makeup. This included coverup, tinted lip gloss, and clear nail polish.
No cell phones for those under a certain age. (Possibly 18)
No internet in houses without special pastoral permission.
No TV or DVD. No video. But many watched YouTube, some from work.
No "worldly" music. Worldly music included Christian rap and some other Christian music.
No "worldly" amusements, including amusement parks and "carnal-vals."
No professional sports or organized sports. No bowling or golf, organized or not.
The Rules: Dating And Marriage
Regarding dating: a man must ask pastoral permission before talking to a woman he's interested in. Later he was expected to ask again before proposing. No hand holding, no kissing, no touching. Phone calls to a minimum. There must be a chaperone with you at all times on a date or when with someone of the opposite sex outside your immediate family. It was recommended that a dating couple take a married couple as chaperone. It was required if you were going to be at one or the other of the dating couple's houses. Another dating couple was not considered adequate chaperones. (most of these rules were posted on the bulletin board in the narthex)
Under Westberg there was no interracial dating or marriage.
If a member 'fell into fornication' they would be kicked out for six months under L.E. Westberg. Then they could return to the church. Sometimes people married without the pastor's consent after they were kicked out. This was seen as 'marrying out of the will of God.' They asked the pastor's permission to talk, and he had approved. They had asked to get more serious, and he had again approved. In some cases they'd asked permission to marry and even 'set the date,' but if they messed up, getting married was out of the will of God. However, there was supposedly a concern that if people couldn't get permission, they'd just do what they wanted, perhaps forcing "the will of God" by fornicating and then claiming they should get married with or without pastor approval. Marrying after fornicating with the person was therefore considered 'out of the will of God,' and Edwin Young intensified the rules to include that he would decide when, if ever, they could return to church after getting kicked out. He also reminded singles that those who married while kicked out would have a 'courthouse wedding,' and would have to explain later to their kids why they didn't have a Faith Tabernacle wedding, thus revealing their sin.
Women were told they couldn't ask or tell their husbands anything, but should "entreat" him (basically flirt him into a decision). Listen to this video. and hear for yourself. They were also told that they shouldn't do certain things because it could reduce their ability to bear children.
Women who had been hit or hurt in their own homes, by their Apostolic husbands, but were told they could not divorce or separate, but had to go back and be subject to him. If she left her husband, she would be in the wrong. But if she stayed with him and prayed, and he was truly wrong, God would change him.
The Rules: Church Related
Tithes of 10% and offerings above that.
No gum, food or drink in the sanctuary.
No giving or receiving money (except in the offering) in the sanctuary. (You have made it a den of thieves.)
The sanctuary should only be used for service purposes.
Cell phones must be turned off in church, or better yet, left at home or in the car.
Single girls/women sat on one side of the church, young men on the other.
If you have a job that makes you miss church a lot, you'd better pray you find a different job.
If you were going to miss a service, you had to call and say you would be out, listing where you would be. If you were going to leave town, you had to ask permission of the pastor. (At least one member didn't do this and missed Christmas with their family.)
Children are not to be spanked in the bathroom (yes, this was on a sign in the bathroom). Boys over three could not be in the women's bathroom, and girls were never to be taken into the men's bathroom (very hard on single parents-there was nowhere to take their kids, also written on bathroom signs). Children were not to go to the bathrooms alone.
If you left service to use the bathroom or get a drink and the preaching started, you would not be permitted back in for 10 minutes to prevent disruption of service. Likewise, no one was to leave in the last 10 minutes of a sermon (kind of hard to figure out when services lasted different lengths of time.)
Children could not be fed anything in the sanctuary. A hungry baby had to be taken to the nursery to be fed, even a bottle. Men did not take children to the nursery. Women did.
Although everyone was expected to "preach the preacher" during service, the ladies in the church were expected to remain in their pews, while the men rushed up to the platform yelling "Amen! Preach it!!" They were not to be loud in or out of church. They were not to "out pray" or pray louder than the men. They were to run the aisles, but stay out of the "brothers'" way, since the brothers ran faster than they could in their skirts and heals.
If the pastor wanted to talk to you after church, you were to wait at his office door until he talked to you, no matter how late it was or how early you might need to be up in the morning.
If you leave the church, you must call Young and ask permission before you will be allowed to return. Even for a wedding or a funeral.
If members left the area and tried to join a church in a new area, if that pastor wanted a recommendation or wanted the former member to "get right" with Young, then Young would require that the former member go back to Junction City. Or chew them out on the phone and call the man (the prospective new pastor) a "wolf"... he did that to at least one person and then bragged about it from the pulpit.
The Rules: Miscellaneous
If the pastor asked you to do something with him, it took priority over other plans.
If you saw someone doing something or saying something questionable, you were to report it to the pastor so they could be reached and there wouldn't be "blood on your hands."
Pray an hour a day. Fast a day a week (24 hours, no food or anything else but water). Read your Bible daily. (Young had members keep a calendar on which they marked every day they did these for a year. He also occasionally had people stand or come to the front if they had done them, or had everyone stand and then sit down if they hadn't done something or other every day.)
Kids should all be sent to Apostolic Academy rather than secular school.
Women were never to preach. They were not to teach men.
Westberg said members shouldn't buy foreign cars, but no one got kicked out for buying one.
At no time was anyone to ever go outside the church for help dealing with a problem inside the church.
Don't spend too much time in front of the mirror; that's vanity. (Consider that on top of all the other rules like how to do hair and such.)
"Women should act like women, and men like men." Men should have low, gruff voices and be rough and tough. Women should have high voices and be quiet and timid and "cute."
People Have Also Gotten In Trouble For...
Having their kids' faces painted at a carnival or getting them a fake tattoo at a carnival.
Going into a carnival to get a roasted turkey leg.
Saying they were going out of town rather than asking.
Being out of town over Easter (the big attendance drive).
Reading the projector screen that showed verses rather than looking the verses up in their Bibles (at a church they visited).
Complaining about the sound being too loud.
Complaining about anything Young did.
Saying anything that someone might construe as negative toward the church or the pastor.
Saying they wished they weren't in the church's school (could get expelled for that one).
Not amening Young when he "preached against" something or called someone out. Not standing and shouting, whether you agreed or not.
An in depth look at Edwin Young and Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church is found here. If you desire to get an idea of how Edwin Young and Jordan Young preached, go here. To read a separate page on Jordan Young, click here.
Posted August 15, 2012 & Updated August 24, 2012
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August 23, 1997
Copyright © 1997-2012 by Lois E. Gibson
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