This is the email that I received from Casey Schmidt who leads one of the young married community groups at First Free Church in Onalaska, Wisconsin. First Free is outside La Crosse, Wisconsin. Casey’s email contains some deep problems and it reveals why this Evangelical Free church has deep systemic and systematic issues. This is the first of two posts on First Free Church. My next post will be an open letter to Casey Schmidt and a response to what he has written below.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
“Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.”
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
Below is an email I received from a person in a position of leadership from First Free Church in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Onalaska is outside La Crosse, Wisconsin. Casey Schmidt leads one of the young married community group on Sunday nights in south La Crosse. Casey Schmidt is married to Megan, and Casey is a HR Recruiter for a credit union located in La Crosse. I will not reveal the name of the company, but with a quick Google search one can easily find out which one it is. This email says a lot about the health of First Free Church. Now 99.9% of the time I usually don’t publish emails. The only exceptions are when they are rude, angry, or more. This email falls in that category. For example in July of 2016 I got a nasty email from an Acts 29 pastor based in Frederick, Maryland. I took his email and published it in “Redemption City Church in Frederick, Maryland and an Email from Jeff Estes.” This is the first of two posts. In the next post I am going to write Casey Schmidt an open letter, and respond to his thoughts below. This email shows some deep problems with First Free Church, and raises deep concerns about the health of Shane Holden’s church.
Please take me off your mailing list. I am not interested in this. I would encourage you to find a way to uplift and instead tear down. All this discussion does is spread half truths with little context. Maybe some of what you say is true. Jesus said he came to heal the sick. Church’s ARE sick and have messed up people in them. I am not condoning actions that are truly wrong. But all you do is tear people down. You do not lead them to the gospel nor is Christ the center of your work. I read your articles and no where did I see it provide help to people or help lead others to the gospel.
1 Timothy 2:8
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.
1 Timothy 6:11-17
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilete made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.