This is an open letter to Fairfax Community Church’s (FCC) Community Life Pastor Kathleen Otchy. In this letter I just share that it is time that FCC have a special service and inform the congregation that Eric Nickle is on the Virginia Sex Offender registry. I also explain what Elmbrook church in Milwaukee lived through in regards to a child sex abuse scandal. Plus I share other thoughts about ongoing issues at FCC. Here in the Washington, D.C. area FCC is the theological equivalent to Mel Brooks Spaceballs
“Prepare ship for ludicrous speed! Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, secure all animals in the zoo!“
Quote from Spaceballs
“Any church — any organization — would have difficulty dealing with the overwhelming tragedy that has struck Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, where seven boys have said that youth minister Daniel Varga sexually abused them. As the investigation was beginning, Varga committed suicide.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 5, 1999
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 NIV
I hope you are doing well. I just want to write you an open letter and communicate my thoughts to you. First I know Andy Gingrich has left. In the near future I plan to write a post about him leaving Fairfax Community Church (FCC) and also another post that will come in the near future as an open letter to Andy. Its pretty sad that a pastor who allegedly knows leadership can’t do the right thing in the end. But that is for another day, and another long post. Kathleen the purpose of this letter is to let you know that FCC needs to have another special service and let the congregation know that you have a violent sex offender that is on staff and works for the church. The last time you had a service was in 2015. Here in the Washington, D.C. area the turnover is very high, and you probably have had some people come to the church since you last notified people that Eric Nickle is on the Virginia sex offender registry. So its time.
Kathleen, did you know I came from a church in Wisconsin that had a major child sex abuse situation? The next time you have your Blue conference and if you have Mel Lawrenz or Jason Webb from Elmbrook in Milwaukee down here, sit down and have a long talk about the child sex abuse situation with Daniel Varga in 1999. I have written about it in “How I Learned Evangelical Christianity is Struggling with Child Sex Abuse: An Incident at Milwaukee’s Elmbrook Church in 1999.“ I saw a church live with deep scars and saw how it adversely affected a congregation. I came to Elmbrook about a year after everything tragically happened. I do not want to see another church go through what happened at Elmbrook. That’s why I blew the whistle when I did at FCC. I was really disgusted that some of this fell on my lap. When I learned that Eric Nickle was on the sex offender registry I was deeply troubled. And I was trying to rebound from a false accusation from someone trying to get me involved in a Sovereign Grace church. We spoke in the lobby at FCC once about SGM, so you knew what I stayed away from Kathleen, and how the organization was cult like or a cult. I blew the whistle Kathleen on the situation with Eric Nickle because if something would have happened and I stayed quiet, do you know how much guilt I would have had? Guilt knowing that I could have prevented something from occurring. Guilt from knowing the scars some people could live with? Guilt from not learning from a prior experience which I saw the effects play out? Its awful that Rod Stafford chose to do this and its worse that this was concealed from the congregation in 2015.
Kathleen I don’t enjoy writing this letter to you. Just as I do not enjoy writing this blog. I enjoy meeting some of the people and I have made some neat friends. But I don’t enjoy the dark themes that I keep coming back to. All I wanted was just to be content and be in a safe place that was friendly and stable. FCC was not like that at all. You know Kathleen I remember when you guys were on Hunt Road in 2005. You were much better, stable, and things were healthier. You may have had the Eric Nickle situation then but many of the other problems at FCC just did not exist. No problems of a mega church. No problems of instability. Yes the building was small and parking was difficult. But let me ask you…when you think of all the problems you have had in becoming a mega church which was better? For me it was the smaller version. Rod Stafford led FCC off the rails, In addition when I see Rod greedily reach for more Kool Aid and be obsessed with church growth, I think to myself. Why? Rod can’t even pastor a church now? I remember watching your face and studying Rod’s “A Better $tory” and the look on your face when you stood on stage and gave money really told me that you did not want the church to go in the direction that Rod was wanting to take it. You were right to be concerned. The tragedy is that in situations like that many people who are drawing a paycheck from the church can’t speak their mind. They can’t disagree or go against the decisions being made. Its suicide especially if you want to be in Christian ministry. Kathleen you struck me as one of the more level headed people at FCC. You struck me as being kind, loving and compassionate. So I don’t write posts like this with the goal of malice. After what I have gone through in my life I would never wish hardship upon other people.
But its really time for FCC to have a service and inform the congregation that Eric Nickle is on the Virginia sex offender registry. Kathleen when I think of churches here in the Washington, D.C. area I kind of look upon FCC as being a theological version of Mel Brooks Spaceballs. You have Chris Kim jumping around on stage acting like worship is a concert. Light shows and fog machines. Coffee in the lobby that sometimes comes out bad. Then you have people falling through the cracks and you had a sex offender walking more freely in the place at one point. That was until I blew the whistle. FCC is like the circus here in Washington, D.C. The scene, culture was kind of like the movie Spaceballs. If people weren’t at risk it would be a Mel Brooks comedy! So I hope you guys can do the right thing and notify the church again that Eric Nickle is on the sex offender registry. Until then I will let you guys go into ludicrous speed being led by the fearless
Dark Helmet whoops I mean Rod Stafford. I will continue to write about you guys long term.
Please take care of yourself Kathleen,