Matt Felton and David Chung were sent out by Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma to plant Trinity Church Loudoun County. Mike McKinley’s Sterling Park Baptist as well as The Summit Network and Mclean Bible’s New City Network are also involved in this plant. This is a look at a diseased church plant taking off in which the question is asked, is this what the Washington, D.C. area and Loudoun County need? This article looks at all the problems with this plant, including the issues with 9 Marks, which must include the way C.J. Mahaney fled Covenant Life and hid behind Mark Dever’s ass. If you could ever make a theological case for aborting a church plant, Matt Felton and David Chung’s creation is it. This is the first of many posts about The Trinity Church of Loudoun in the course of time.
“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.”
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
Hebrews 12:28 NIV
The name and logo of the Trinity Church of Loudoun. (From Trinity’s Twitter feed)
There is a new 9 Marks church plant in the works that is coming together in the Washington, D.C. area through a number of sources. The Wondering Eagle is going to follow and write about the issues of Matt Felton and David Chung’s church plant going forward. But before we get into the Trinity Church of Loudoun County, let’s look at the churches and organizations sponsoring this racket.
Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma
The sending church of Matt Felton and David Chung is Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Edmond is in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Henderson is a Southern Baptist Church that was started in 1959 according to its history. It appears as if Henderson Hills was theologically hijacked in the late 1990’s and was caught up in the Neo-Calvinist hijacking movement inside the Southern Baptist Convention. Henderson Hills Senior Pastor Dennis Newkirk left the congregation and gave his final sermon on April 23, 2017. Today there are about 2,800 people in the congregation. Henderson Hills is a 9 Marks church that is hard core Neo-Calvinist where Mark Dever is God and C.J. Mahaney is adored. In the 9 Marks church search it says the following. “Henderson Hills is of about 2,800 attending members who a contemporary worship style and exegetical teaching. Our commitment is to become a thoroughly biblical church.” You can look at the recommended reading list to see what is pushed in this 9 Marks church. You see all the usual suspects from Mark Dever, RC Sproul, and John Piper. Then you see the other resources held by the Neo-Calvinist movement from John Owen to John Bunyon. One of the books being pushed is John Owen’s “Mortification of Sin.” When I was writing about the problems in Mark Mullery’s Sovereign Grace Fairfax (now Redeeming Grace Church) one of the teenagers who allegedly sexually abused an infant stopped the assault because he couldn’t hold an erection. After the alleged rape the Mark Mullory’s church allegedly had assailant read John Owen’s “Sin and Temptation” as a way to show his repentance. Plus Sovereign Grace Fairfax allegedly did not inform law enforcement of the issue. Hopefully Henderson Hills does not operate in a similar manner with how they recommend John Owen. You can read more about that in “What Matt Larson, Anthem Thousand Oaks, Anthem Ventura, and Anthem Camarillo can Learn from Taylor, Noel and Sovereign Grace Fairfax/SGM “Family of Churches” C.J. Mahaney is also held in high esteem at Henderson Hills. Yes, this is the same C.J. who boasted of demanding sex from his wife Carolyn when she was pregnant and hugging the toilet and puking her guts out. This is the same C.J. who published Humility (which is on this reading list by the way…) who also practiced “Gospel Centered” blackmail against Larry Tomczak. The fact that C.J. Mahaney is being promoted reveals what a winner Henderson Hills Baptist Church is. Its nice to know that its duplicating itself in the shadow of the nation’s capitol. The fact that C.J. Mahaney is being promoted reveals that Henderson Hills has no ability to practice discernment or critical thinking skills. I would also suggest that this is further proof that Mark Noll is correct about the “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” I have a lot more to say about this below. When you think of a Neo-Calvinist church plant, think of it in terms of a virus, like the Ebola virus to be specific. But now that we have looked at Henderson Hills let’s look at Sterling Park Baptist.
Matt Felton and his wife at The Summit church planting residency. Matt and his wife are in the center of this picture. (From Summits Twitter feed)
Sterling Park Baptist and The Summit Network
Another church that is helping to launch Trinity Church Loudoun is Sterling Park Baptist and the Summit Network. Sterling, Virginia is on Leesburg Pike which runs from Tysons Corner to Leesburg, Virginia. In researching Sterling Park Baptist there is not much information on this church. But here is some history as to how Sterling Park came to be. Sterling Park Baptist merged in 2013 with Guilford Baptist Church. Guilford Baptist was founded in 1857 as Lebanon Grove Baptist Church. It later changed its name to reflect its community. In 2005 when membership was dwindling Capitol Hill Baptist Church sent a team of people led by Mike McKinley and the church was allegedly replanted. On a quick side note this sounds similar to Garett Kells Del Ray Baptist, or as they say at Capitol Hill Baptist, “Kell Ray Baptist.” Sterling Park is a 9 Marks church. Here is how it describes itself on 9 Marks. “At SPBC, we’re about three things: God, Community, and Mission. God comes first because in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we find salvation, acceptance, and new life. Community comes next because God’s love for us in Christ makes us a new people. Being reconciled to God makes us reconciled to each other. Mission comes next because God’s love drives his people out as messengers of his grace and mercy. We invite you to visit with us and participate in the work that God is doing in us and through us.”
Mike McKinley comes from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. He received a B.A. in Religion and Classics from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and then a Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Mike went on staff at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church as a church planter in 2004. In 2005 he came to Guilford Baptist and brought a group of people with him. An English translation of that is the following, the virus had to infect the host which took place. Then the virus had to infect another host, which would be Sterling Park Baptist. Sometimes I feel that in order to understand Neo-Calvinism I should have gone to medical school and studied infectious disease and immunology. By learning how infectious diseases spread, one could get a better grasp on how Neo-Calvinism works.
Mike is married to his wife Karen, and they have five children. Mike is also an accomplished author which in the Reformed Industrial Complex is substantial. The books Mike published include the following titles, “Am I Really a Christian“,”Church Planting is For Wimps“,”Luke 1 – 12 For You“,”90 Days in Ruth, Jeremiah, and 1 Corinthians” (with Mark Dever), “Luke 12 -24 For You“,”Church in Hard Places“,”Did The Devil Make Me Do It.” , “The Resurrection in Your Life“, and “Passion.” Mike McKinley has also authored 35 articles for 9 Marks. Mike McKinley also comes up 84 times in The Gospel Coalition website, and that includes a number of things from interviews, to articles to book reviews. Before I move on it should also be noted that Sterling Park Baptist appears to have a close connection with Henderson Hills Baptist Church. Seth Wachtel was a Pastoral Resident at Henderson Hills for three years.
The Summit Network is the brainchild of J.D. Greear. It is a Neo-Calvinist network of churches that comes out of North Carolina. So far Summit Network has planted 32 churches in the states of California, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and the District of Columbia. The Summit Network subscribes to the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message as well as the confessional statement of The Gospel Coalition. The Summit Network works with the North American Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, International Missions Board, North Carolina Baptists, Fellowship Associates and Acts 29. The Summit Network claims that their three distinctions are the Gospel, balance and multiplication. Their end goal is to try and plant a thousand churches in the time span of a generation. The leader of the Summit Church, J.D. Greear ran for the president of the Southern Baptist Convention before withdrawing. It should be noted that The Wondering Eagle wrote already about Fellowship Associates, which is John Bryson’s work as he is a partner in that organization. John Bryson leads Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and they had one of the most disturbing scandals that I have covered, and am still writing about. At Fellowship Memphis, which is in Memphis, Tennessee the worship pastor Rick Trotter was into voyeurism and he allegedly recorded over one hundred women in the church restroom. Due to the age of at least two of the victims, it is The Wondering Eagle’s belief that child pornography was manufactured in a church restroom. Fellowship Memphis forced the victims to forgive their predator, did not notify law enforcement, and allegedly decided to destroy all evidence. You can read the sordid story in “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” In the Washington, D.C. area there are two Summit Network churches that exist. They are John McGowan from Restoration City Church and Allan McCullough from Grace Hill Church in Herndon, Virginia. Joe Carter from The Gospel Coalition is involved in Grace Hill Church. I always find it interesting as to how many pastors who were once involved in McLean Bible (MBC) then try and deny their history in that organization. Both John McGowan and Allan McCullough have roots in McLean Bible. I remember John McGowan’s “Puritan” preaching quite well from my days there. It would have been far more pleasant to listen to a cat being strangled. Allan McCullough I believe went with Justin Pearson to launch Sojourn Church in Fairfax, Virginia. This blog writes about that Acts 29 church as well. Allan was on staff for a few years I believe, you can see him in this internet achieve. Justin Pearson was all about being a man. I still recall him screaming at me in the lobby of MBC when I raised concerns about the small groups program at the time. The fact that he is an Acts 29 pastor really doesn’t surprise me. He was always a wanna be Mark Driscoll, even though I still wonder if he preached about the Biblical basis of blow jobs like Mark Driscoll did. Trinity Loudoun Church will be the third Summit Network church in the Washington, D.C. area.
McLean Bible’s New City Network
New City Network is the church planting arm of MBC. It came about due to its marriage with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), New City Network popped up on the scene toward the end of 2015. The very existence of Clint Clifton’s New City Network indicates how far MBC has fallen as its been theologically hijacked. New City Network has tragically partnered with 9 Marks. I wrote about this issue in “Why is McLean Bible’s New City Network Promoting 9 Marks’ Church Revitalization Conference?” New City Network would then cooperate with Acts 29 and Fellowship Memphis in helping to plant Kenji Adachi’s All Peoples Community Church in Fairfax. One of the questions I would like to ask Clint Clifton is he believes child pornography is part of the Gospel especially when you consider some of the churches that New City Network has worked with. I addressed some of these issues in an “An Open Letter to Kenji Adachi.” So now that we looked at all the churches and networks involved in the planting of Trinity Church of Loudoun, let’s look at the pastors of this church plant, Matt Felton and David Chung.
Matt Felton preaching Henderson Hills Baptist Church.
Matt Felton and David Chung and Going Forward
Matt Felton grew up in North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University. Upon graduating he went to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Matt also was an intern at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church in the fall of 2010. He then became the associate preaching pastor of Henderson Hills Baptist Church where he served for over six years. Matt also over saw the pastoral residency program. On the May 7, 2017 church meeting of Henderson Hills Matt Felton announced that he was going to be participating in a church plant in the Washington, D.C. area. Matt Felton has not authored any articles at For the Church, Desiring God, or The Gospel Coalition. He has written four book reviews for 9 Marks.
David Chung is originally from Seoul, South Korea. He moved to Los Angeles when he was young and attended UCLA for college from 2005 until 2010. He picked up a Bachelor of Arts in International Development, and Global Studies. In 2012 he attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary from 2012 until 2014. Gordon Cornwell is outside Boston, Massachusetts. He also was an intern at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church in the spring of 2015. David Chung came from Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, where he was a pastoral resident. He left Henderson Hills to be a part of the Trinity Church of Loudoun church plant. On his Twitter account you quickly notice that David follows the usual cast of characters from 9 Marks or Capitol Hill Baptist to include Mark Dever, Deepak Reju, Jonathan Leeman, Seth Wachtel, Alex Duke, Matt Merker, and Bobby Jamieson. In looking at various websites David Chung has not published at 9 Marks, Desiring God, For the Church or The Gospel Coalition.
The Trinity Church of Loudoun County started out as Project DC. There have been a couple of articles that have been written about this church plant. At the McLean Bible blog entry for October 26, 2017 you can read Matt Felton’s words in ““Partnership in the Gospel” – Meet Church Planter Matt Felton.” Matt also wrote an article for the alumni blog at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary about how God is using him. You can read that post in “Where is God Using You?” Matt Felton left Oklahoma in June of 2017 to move to Washington, D.C. Matt’s goal is to officially launch Trinity Church of Loudoun in the fall of 2018. Here are some of the tweets and announcement at Henderson Hills Baptist Church that was made.
In an update from Matt Felton he said the following in a late September 27, 2017 church planting update.
These last 4 months have been crazy, challenging, & wonderful. I’m full swing into 2 Plant Residencies: I train with New City Network (of McLean Bible Church) here in D.C. every Thursday, along with David; & I travel every other week to train with the Summit Network (of Summit Church RDU). Those times have been incredibly profitable, & I already can’t imagine trying to plant without these cohorts. Between trainings, I spend most of my time either working with Dave on church-related stuff (right now it’s budgets, strategies, target locations, etc.), & trying to network with as many people & pastors in the area as possible.
Our family has adjusted well to life in Northern VA. We love the area – fast-paced & packed with diversity (Our “neighborhood” is filled with people that don’t look like us – a new and wonderful experience!). Harper (6) has begun school right across the street, and loves it. Emersyn (4) keeps us all entertained with constant silliness. And Iris just turned 1, and is full of smiles, tears, & just generally into everything. We’re thankful that our girls seem to have adjusted so well – praise God for kid-resilience! Natalie parents our girls masterfully, and still finds time to build relationships with neighbors, and test her ever-expanding baking repertoire on me weekly.
Personally, I feel like God has packaged a lot of sanctification into these few months. I’ve already been through several “phases” of our new reality: honeymooning, crashing hard, and being rebuilt again. God is (re)teaching me some of the basics: utter dependence upon Him (We cannot do this on our own!), humility, & a recapturing of an evangelistic zeal (We aren’t planting this church because other churches are “doing it wrong” – we want to plant to reach new people!). This has been hard, rich, & abundantly rewarding.
In that same update David Chung wrote the following about his time in northern Virginia.
It’s been about 2 months for me out here, but I only now realize how it’s felt like much longer. There has been a lot to adjust to (for starters, I have 3 new roommates, & I go to and work at a church with 10,000+ attendees), and simply getting comfortable with everything is, I sense, on the horizon. After a brief stint in a different ministry, my days now consist of helping manage the various leaders and ministries under the Young Adults pastor here at McLean Bible Church (if you’re confused, I am planting a new church with Matt – but we’ve both been hired by MBC for this year to provide some part-time help as they help us to prepare). It’s been a new experience for me, and I trust that God is using it for good.
At the same time, it’s hard to believe I’ve already been here a couple months, outside Washington DC, preparing to plant a church. That means, Lord willing, we’re a couple months closer to a church being established here – and that’s exciting. Indeed, it’s still very early in the game, but the prospect of beginning a church here has only gotten more compelling. That’s not to say there haven’t been hiccups and growing pains and more questions than answers, but our convictions for starting a healthy gospel witness have deepened nonetheless. As we meet skeptical strangers and irreligious baristas and wrongly-religious neighbors, we’re more burdened for God’s name to be known here. And as that burden has increased, we’re also sobered by how dependent we must be upon God, the only one who can make this happen. Neither Matt nor I have ever done this, nor could we in our own strength!
Thanks for coming along with us. We hope to have much more for you in the coming weeks and months. In the mean time, please pray for us!
As this church plant is planned for the fall of 2018, let’s remember some of the issues with 9 Marks.
Remembering when C.J. Mahaney Fled and Hid Behind Mark Dever’s “Gospel Centered” Rear End
9 Marks as a church system is one that is absolutely worthless. At both Mike McKinley’s Sterling Park Baptist and Henderson Hill Baptist Church they should have Mark Dever’s 9 Marks of a Healthy Church lined up in the stalls to use as toilet paper. Because honestly after the Sovereign Grace Ministry scandal toilet paper is all 9 Marks is really good for. Before I continue let’s look at a dark scandal that hangs over the Neo-Calvinist movement that forever taints Mark Dever’s ministry and especially 9 Marks.
In 2011 the scandal inside Sovereign Grace Ministries was peaking. There was a lot of corruption that was brewing inside the organization. Much of this corruption was already being talked about at the blog SGM Survivors. In August 2011 thousands of internal documents were dumped on a website that subsequently became known as SGM WikiLeaks. In the document dump people learned about how C.J. Mahaney allegedly practiced blackmail of Larry Tomczak, and how he refused to reconcile and make a wrong a right. People learned of the problems and scandals that were coming forward. If you would like to read about Mahaney’s blackmail you can read the transcript of that in “Has God Foreordained an Alleged Child Sex Abuse Cover up in Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches? Is that why CJ Mahaney is so Sacred?” Now C.J. Mahaney in a veiled reference to Charles Spurgeon once called the church the “dearest place on earth.” The church was supposed to be the happiest place on earth and Mahaney willfully enforced church discipline even on smaller infractions. Then Mahaney fled Covenant Life and went to Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Mark Dever let Mahaney hide behind his rear end and in the process he violated at least five of the 9 Marks. The Wondering Eagle believes that the following 9 Marks were violated by Mark Dever. Those 9 Marks include membership, The Gospel, leadership, church discipline, and discipleship. What Mark Dever should have done is give C.J. Mahaney at good strong kick in his ass and sent him back to Covenant Life. You can read more about this in “9 Marks: What is it? How Mark Dever Undermined it and Made it Worthless.” Mark Dever undermined 9 Marks and showed how favoritism ruled over the alleged 9 Marks. In the 9 Marks system neither Mark Dever, Mike McKinely or any other 9 Marks pastor will ever face church discipline. The favoritism that Mark Dever showed in the end I would suggest illustrates how church discipline is for those in the pews and never for the leadership.
Does Loudoun County and the Washington, D.C. Area Need Another 9 Marks Church?
Does Loudoun County and the northern Virginia area need another 9 Marks church plant? I have a number of things to say, and let me start with Henderson Hills Baptist Church. Dennis Newkirk retired this past April. I listened to a good chunk of his sermon. I also examined his Twitter feed. When John Piper describes what a wasted life is John Piper is wrong. It shouldn’t be, “Look Lord my sea shell collection!” No a wasted life is one that promotes that bastard – C.J. Mahaney – despite all the criminal allegations dogging him. Dennis Newkirk is an example of a wasted life. The fact that Dennis Newkirk is retiring may be one of the best things to happen to Henderson Hills. How a senior pastor can promote and follow people like C.J. Mahaney is quite disturbing. It also shows that Dennis Newkirk struggled with discernment and critical thinking skills. Dennis Newkirk never should have been a pastor. For him to promote Mahaney would be like the following situation. Bernard Madoff went to prison for 150 years for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded a number of people and is considered to be the largest financial fraud in United States history. The size of the fraud was at $64.8 billion from 4,800 clients. One of the investors who lost $1.4 billion committed suicide. Now for Newkirk to still promote Mahaney and have Henderson Hills use his material after all the allegations of child sex abuse cover up or other criminal activity come forward; that would be akin to a financial investor recommending and pushing any surviving products from Bernard Madoff. In many other segments of society criminal allegations is dealt with appropriately. Why can’t evangelicals follow suit?
Another issue that also is revealing is that for 9 Marks to be pushed in light of the SGM scandal reveals that Mark Noll is correct about his thesis of the “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.” 9 Marks was discredited by Mark Dever when he let C.J. Mahaney run and hide at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. How 9 Marks can still be touted by someone like David Chung, Mike McKinley, Matt Felton, or anyone from Sterling Park Baptist or Henderson Hills Baptist just baffles me. What it reveals is that many of these churches are not only deeply corrupt and in the Neo-Calvinist camp because of the Reformed Evangelical Complex and money. It also shows that many of these places struggle with discernment and critical thinking skills. If there is ever a case that can be made for aborting a church plant, Trinity Church in Loudoun County is it. For a corrupt church in Oklahoma to duplicate itself and spread the DNA of an organization that is still consuming C.J. Mahaney is downright sick. The Washington, D.C. area needs another 9 Marks church about as much as SE D.C. needs a crack house. What church planting is all about it job creation and jobs for young people coming out of seminaries. That is all this is about. This post marks my first post about David Chung and Matt Felton’s church planting efforts. The Wondering Eagle will be writing more about this and other coming church plants out of the New City Network. That is it for the day guys, know that I love you.