Here is a cross post from the group, Escape From the Fellowship
Here is a message by bapta_costal, who was quite active on the message boards a few years back, and had his own message board, Slam the Door Forever, on Yahoo. He attended the same church as our friend, Denis, and it was interesting to have two ex members from that church give an account of their stay in that church.
bapta_costal is responding to a post by Naboth concerning the attrition of members in the church. Naboth had noted that by the time he left his fellowship church, everyone who had been in the church when he started attending were already gone.
Now there is a coincidence. I remember during one service my last
year at VC I too stood there and noticed that with the exception of
Pastors family, I had been there longer than the rest of the entire
254 member congregation. Of the only two other men that could claim
a longer stay, one was a hit and miss attender and the other had been
launched and brought back twice.
Had Pastor allowed his children to grow up and think for themselves,
I'm sure that at least one and possibly two would have left by now.
However, since any attempt to think outside the box was quickly and
severly crushed, they fall in line mindlessly. Its a real shame
too. He had two sons and three daughters.
The oldest child, a daughter, really could be a nice person when she
wanted to be. However, in hindsight most of the time it was to get
what she wanted...just like daddy. While I think she would love to
leave, I really don't think she is willing to go at life without
Pastor as a safety blanket. Her husband has left at least twice.
Each time he has come back he was welcomed back, but was always kept
at a distance. He was treated as sort of a black-sheep. I remember
the first time he left; pastor prayed every curse he could on him and
even threatened to break his spine if he could get his hands on him.
The second child, the oldest son and current assistant pastor, was a
genuinely decent guy. He had, and still has to my knowledge, a real
servants heart. He would regularly go out of his way to make sure
others were successful even at his own expense. He was solidly not
CFM atypical. His only downside is that he allows his fear of daddy
to mold and manipulate his life. If he were to ever take over as
senior pastor, the piranahs (disciples) would eat him alive. He
isn't near mean enough to hold the place together in CFM fashion.
Without the fear and manipulation form Pastor, the VC core would
largely move on, and without the core in lockstep, the place would
The next kid, daughter, was alot like her older brother, while she
might well throw someone else under the bus to save herself, she
would be slow to do it. She was enjoyable to be around. Her husband
is also a real nice guy. In fact I would think that if any of
pastors kids were to pull out, it would be this couple. Her husband
is very capable of independant thinking and will eventually mature
enough to get fed up with the garbage.
The next child, daughter,... I'm not sure she knows who she really is
herself. She married a guy that spent a few years as Pastor's
personal paid servant. I was never so disappointed as when I saw her
husband be with Pastor. When this guy got out of the Navy he went to
work for Pastor. He was Pastor's personal "Step and fetch it". He
was a dynamic, energetic, incredibly enjoyable person to be around.
After three years or so as Pastor's man servant he was dull, lifeless
and unsure about making any decision on his own. The only time he
really sparked to life was when he was defending Pastor. He was
groomed to be the youngest daughter's spouse.
The youngest child and son was about a year older than my oldest
son. He used my son to get out of trouble so many times that I lost
count. From the time he was about 12 he had the hots for this cute
young blonde in the the teen group. After a couple of years she
realized, like alot of girls did with the older son, that the ideal
place to be was in Pastor's family. So she led this guy on until he
turned 18 and they could officially start dating. Keep in mind she
is 4 or 5 years older than this guy. Will they ever get married?
Who knows. pastor has changed some over the years. His oldest son
married the only girl that he was allowed to date; the virgin
daughter of a CFM pastor. If he holds the same standard for the
youngest son, this girl is toast. However, since there aren't any
other CFM outposts within 200 miles, compromise is possible.
I watched these kids grow up from the time my oldest and Pastor's
youngest were in nursury together. I watched my oldest take a back
seat to his son by the butt kissing people that surrounded pastor.
My son felt second class his entire ten years in that pit. Amazingly
he idolized Pastor's son the whole time. Not until we got out could
he see the favoritism and manipulation.
I know that my oldest will be 18 in Oct. God help that group if they
approach my son. I would launch an information offensive that would
make the STD website look like a hand drawn flier for a donut shop.
They know who I am and they know my abilities. Unless they want
their little cult party in the news on a regular basis, they will go
out of their way to avoid me and mine. They've done a pretty good
job so far, I hope they continue. I have often dreamed about making
a flier that details VC's fit into the pseudo Christan cult mold and
putting it on the very doors they outreach. Their approaching my
family would be sufficient motivation for such an endeavor.
June 29, 2006