Remnant Church in Richmond, Virginia is a key Acts 29 church in Virginia’s capitol and the East Coast of the United States. This is a look at a church that is allegedly trying to control communication with family members, as well as members accepting solid-paying jobs. In addition college students are stuck in harsh membership covenants where they are giving money to Remnant while struggling to make rent. This also looks at an Acts 29 church that allegedly does not believe in military chaplains at all. The Wondering Eagle poses the question as to why the Southern Baptist Convention is planting churches like Remnant? Who is going to help those forward deployed in combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq? What does the SBC Chaplaincy believe about churches like Remnant that are discouraging people from becoming military chaplains?
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
John 21:17 NIV
Acts 29 Remnant Church
The Acts 29 network is known for having systemic problems. After all its intrinsic to the DNA of the organization. I keep finding myself writing about questionable Acts 29 entities. From Matt Chandler’s The Village Church to John Bryson’s Fellowship Memphis. The Wondering Eagle is going to write about another Acts 29 church situation that is deeply troubling. Remnant Church in Richmond, Virginia has a number of issues that are affecting quite a few people. This is a story of an Acts 29 church that is deeply cult like. Its about a church that is adversely affecting careers of young African-Americans in the Richmond area. This Acts 29 church has become so cult-like that it is allegedly trying to control communications between church members and their family as you will read in this post. You are also going to learn that the Acts 29 network because of its warped theology of “the local church” does not believe in military chaplains in the United States military. For me its revolting that the Southern Baptist Convention would plant churches that do not believe in supporting members of the US Army (USA), US Navy (USN), US Air Force (USAF) or US Marine Corps (USMC) who forward deploy into combat zones and ultimately into harms way. In the heart of the former capitol of the Confederacy slavery is alive and well. That slavery exists in the form of the Acts 29 network. But before we proceed we need to learn of a 26 year old African-American man from South Baltimore, Maryland and of the challenges he overcame to become a member of the United States Army Reserves.
Growing up in South Baltimore
Travis Jones was born into the Cherry Hill neighborhood area of South Baltimore. This neighborhood was built in the post World War II era. Sadly this neighborhood is very condensed and has a high crime and poverty rate. After all 78% of the children who grow up in this neighborhood do so in poverty. Cherry Hill was one of the neighborhoods affected by the Freddie Gray riots in 2015. Travis has family that were affected by the domestic uprising. Sadly, Travis was born into a dysfunctional environment where drugs were a major problem. When he was young his first cousin was shot in the head and allegedly killed by the Jamaican mafia. Gun-fire, prostitution, drugs, and gang activity went on around him. In the neighborhood he grew up in there was an absence of fathers for many African-American youth. Many people grew up in public housing and unemployment is high in Cherry Hill. Because of his parents drug addiction at a young age he was forced into the foster care system. In his youth, Travis grew up in nine different foster homes in the Baltimore area.
It was in one foster home that he converted to Christianity. Travis was 16 and accused of rape. He was framed and the social worker allegedly falsified the report. It was at this time that he started to go to church. His first church was a Pentecostal church called New Life International Fellowship in Maryland. Today this church is know as Destiny Harvest. In the years of 2007 until 2010 he did a Bible study, youth group, and participated in retreats and revival. The revival was called “Bootcamp.” In this African-American church nepotism was a problem. After all Ron Chandler passed on the church to his oldest son, Stephen Chandler. Five members of the Chandler family were employed by Destiny Church. In 2010 Travis moved out of foster care, his great uncle went to bat for him and convinced the judge that he could stay with him. His great uncle then poured his life into Travis and raised him and gave him stability. Because of this Travis would look up to his great uncle as a father figure. In 2009 Travis Jones applied and got into Virginia Union University (VUU) in Richmond, Virginia. However, his foster care situation delayed entrance until 2012. In the meantime he attended Baltimore City Community College.
Train station around the corner from Remnant
Logo and welcome to Virginia Union University
The main historic building at Virginia Union
Richmond, Virginia and Virginia Union University
Richmond is the capitol of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has a rich history that includes the area being explored after the founding of Jamestown in 1607. It was in Richmond at St John’s Episcopal Church in 1775 that an impassioned Patrick Henry gave a speech saying, “Give me liberty or give me death!” That speech helped propel Virginia to join the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. Richmond became the capitol of Virginia in 1780. After penning the Declaration of Independence in 1776 Thomas Jefferson would become the Governor of Virginia. In the 19th century the issue that tore the nation apart was slavery. After the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the United States on April 17, 1861. The first Confederate Capitol was in Montgomery, Alabama, but it was eventually moved to Richmond. As war waged between the north and the south, President Abraham Lincoln had long wanted to capture Richmond to put down the insurrection in the South. Richmond became key to the Confederate war effort, and attempts to break through to Richmond failed in the famed Peninsula Campaign. However, the situation changed in March of 1865 with the Petersburg siege outside Richmond. For those interested in military history the Petersburg siege foreshadowed a new form of warfare – trench warfare which would feature prominently in the battlefields of France and Belgium in World War I. On the morning of April 2, 1865 the Confederate President Jefferson Davis was in church when he got a note from Robert E. Lee who commanded the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee stated that Richmond could no longer be defended and in a church pew Davis knew that the Civil War was lost. That night Davis along with the Confederate government fled the city of Richmond by train. They set fire to Richmond as they retreated so that material would not fall into the hands of Grant’s Army of the Potomac. 25% of Richmond was burned. The following day April 3, 1865 General Godfrey Weitzel accepted the surrender of Richmond. Black troops from the Massachusetts 5th Cavalry helped secure the city. Many of the slaves in the Richmond area celebrated and hugged each other and welcomed American troops who were moving into the city. On the next day April 4, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln toured the captured Confederate Capitol.
Richmond would grow in time and today has a population of over 223,270 people and the greater metropolitan area is at 1,260,000. Richmond is home to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the University of Richmond (UoR). Richmond has a thriving legal profession and is home to the United States Court of Appeals the Fourth Circuit. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is also located in the city limits. Other major companies that have a presence in the vicinity of the Virginia capitol include Capitol One and Philip Morris. The Richmond area is home to six fortune 500 companies to include Sun Trust Bank, McKesson, DuPont, and UPS Freight which is a part of UPS.
It was during the time after the Civil War that a pressing need came to be realized across the South. There were four million slaves who were about to become American citizens. And as they were slaves many were denied education, and could not read. The American Baptist Home Missions Society founded a school in Richmond. Initially the goal was to train African-American men who wanted to enter Baptist ministry, however education was expanded to other disciplines. The name at the time was Wayland Seminary. Another school that would make up Virginia University University eventually is the Colver Institute. It was founded in an African-American slave jail. It was known as the “Lumpkins Jail.” Mary Ann Lumpkin is the African-American widow of a deceased white slave owner in Richmond. It renamed itself in time to become the Richmond Theological Institute. In 1899 it merged again with Wayland Seminary to become Virginia Union University (VUU). VUU is a historically black college that has educated and trained African-Americans in many different specialties for well over a century. At VUU, African-Americans are taught in both education, and black culture to embrace their heritage. VUU is a rigorous school that is educationally demanding. VUU is to Richmond, what Howard University is to Washington, D.C. VUU is a fine university that teaches and trains some incredible individuals. These are some of the more well known alumnus from VUU. You had Henry Walsh who was the first African-American mayor of Richmond from about 1978 until 1982. Another well known alumni of VUU is Douglas Wilder who became the first African-American governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1990 in which he served until 1994. Many talented athletes have also come from VCU to include Terry Davis, Pete Hunter, Herbert Scott, and Ben Wallace.
Matthew’s Table and Questionable Acts 29 Activities
Travis Jones got into VUU and started working on a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice degree in 2012. He finished his degree in 2015. He also joined the Army ROTC and was involved from 2012 until 2013 but then decided that he wanted to be an Army Chaplain and dropped out to focus on obtaining a direct commission. In 2015 Travis earned a Samuel DeWitt Procter of Theology from Virginia Union Seminary in 2015. In 2012 Travis became involved in a house church in Richmond that was called Matthew’s Table. Matthew’s Table was planted in the 2009 and 2010 time frame. It was planted by both Acts 29 and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). However Acts 29 allegedly never told the public that Matthew’s Table is an Acts 29 church. Matthew’s Table was a house church that was aimed at reaching African-Americans in Richmond and VUU. Ricky Love was the founding pastor who led the church which averaged about 10 to 15 people. Ricky is from Berkley Springs, West Virginia and he attended seminary at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Wondering Eagle believes there is a dark operating strategy to Acts 29 churches and ministries in the Richmond area. Churches are planted, not so that they can thrive, but instead to ensnare people and eventually get them involved in the mother-ship. In this case the main Acts 29 church is Remnant which is led Bryan Loughlin. What happened to Matthew’s Table in time also occurred to Aletheia Ministries which was located at VCU and led by Josh Soto. What was happening is that these ministries and churches were being planted and then eventually closed and rolled up into Remnant Church. It is almost a bait and switch when you think about it, because in time many people ended up at Remnant Church in time due to how ministries would be closed down. Now early on Travis thought that Matthew’s Table was a good church, and to this day he admires Ricky Love. But at Matthew’s Table he began to notice some issues that bothered him. One of the main issues was a profound amount of pressure on young people to get married at 22 or 23 years of age. As an African-American who knew the role that women played in spirituality and African culture Travis was also bothered by the fact that at Matthew’s Table women couldn’t teach in any capacity. When someone became pregnant at Matthew’s Table the church quickly shunned and kicked out someone from the congregation.
There is another situation that was brewing as well. Ricky Love wanted to do prison ministry in the Richmond area. In this case he started to work at the County Jail in either Henrico, Chesterfield county or the city of Richmond. Ricky then began to clash with the Jail Chaplain. They started to fight over Neo-Calvinism, and the regular Jail Chaplin stood his ground and refused to give way. Disgusted, Ricky Love quit his job doing prison ministry and allegedly claimed that the Chaplin wasn’t a Christian and that he was not teaching Christianity. Since Ricky quit he was also out of a job. Remnant stepped up and paid him a salary of $3,100 a month. But Matthew’s Table was failing because Ricky Love could no longer pay its bills. When Matthew’s Table closed in December of 2012 a number of women left and found refuge at Don Philips East End Fellowship. One woman showed up on the verge of a mental health crisis because of Matthew’s Table culture. Another woman was treated in a very authoritarian manner and is allegedly struggling with trust today. One of the females allegedly got into fierce fights with Ricky Love and out debated him on theology and kept raising questions about the church culture. She knew her theology better than Ricky Love did. But at Don Philips church many people found a place of comfort and refuge from the abusive Acts 29 culture.
Doug Ponder and Josh Soto at Remnant
An Overview of Acts 29’s Remnant Church and Our Narrative Continues
Remnant is an Acts 29 church in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood. It was planted in the 2008 time-frame. Remnant grew out of a small group Bryan Laughlin led in the basement of Tikvat Isarel at Grove Avenue and the Boulevard. The church had outgrown its location and moved to its current location. Its my understanding that the prior occupant was Laser Quest. Today Remnant Church has four services and about 600 to 800 people involved. It is one of the more strategic Acts 29 churches on the East Coast of the United States, I will explain why later in this post. Remnant is also affiliated with The Gospel Coalition, and 9 Marks. Remnant Church has been involved in supporting Restore Brazil down in South America, Epiphany Fellowship of Wilmington, Delaware; Epiphany Church in Brooklyn, New York; The Well in Nelson, Virginia; and City Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The key people running Remnant are Brian Laughlin, Josh Soto, and Doug Ponder.
Bryan Laughlin is from Mechanicsville, Virginia. Mechanicsville is the location of several key Civil War battle sites in the 1860’s that today make up Richmond National Battlefield Park. Bryan’s family is quite wealthy and Bryan allegedly said that he made $150,000 to $250,000 while attending VCU. The family company I believe is Mid-Atlantic Installers which is located in Yorktown, Virginia. Mid-Atlantic has done a lot of school supply and has done a lot of wholesale trade. It appears that Mid-Atlantic has expanded its business into technology, security services and now conducts a lot of business with the federal government. The business has been operating since 1990. The Wondering Eagle expresses its condolences to Bryan as he recently lost his father. Bryan graduated from VCU with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Afterward he attended Southeasten Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina where he picked up a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Theology. In addition to leading Remnant Bryan teaches philosophy which he has done since 2008 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Bryan has not published any articles at The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, 9 Marks or Desiring God. It also appears that he has not published any books, and that was deduced by checking both Amazon and Crossway. Bryan is married to his wife Paige and they have four children.
Bryan Laughlin is the Network Director for Acts 29 North Atlantic Network. He overseas and is responsible for Acts 29 churches in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania. West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. For example Justin Pearson’s Sojourn Church in Fairfax, Virginia submits to Bryan. So does Eric Simmons and Jordan Kauflin’s Redeemer Arlington. Acts 29 Redemption Hill in Washington, D.C. which is led by Bill Riedel also submits to Bryan Laughlin’s North Atlantic Network. To read more about the last two Acts 29 churches which The Wondering Eagle writes about you can do so in “The History of Eric Simmons’ Redeemer Arlington: Formerly of Sovereign Grace Ministries now of Acts 29” and “Acts 29 Bill Riedel’s Redemption Hill in Washington, D.C.; How Healthy is It?” In the end about 80 Acts 29 churches are under Bryan Laughlin’s authority.
Josh Soto and Doug Ponder
Two other key individuals at Remnant are Josh Soto and Doug Ponder. Josh Soto is from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Josh from my understanding didn’t have much of a family growing up. His Dad left him when he was two. His grandparents ended up raising Josh. In high school he was evangelized by his high school quarterback. Josh I believe doesn’t have anything beyond a high school education, nor is he trained in a seminary. He dropped out to head Alethia Ministries at VCU in 2008. Josh is married to his wife who did go to college. Josh to the best of my knowledge hasn’t published any material at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, 9 Marks or For the Church. Today he is the Pastor of Community Life. Doug Ponder is from Colonial Heights, Virginia. He attended college at Liberty University and went to seminary at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Doug used to write for the Docent Research Group which is based out of Austin,Texas. Doug Ponder has not published at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, or 9 Marks. But he has published 32 articles at For the Church. He also writes for The Intersect which is a publication from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Today Doug is the Pastor of Teaching and Training at Remnant.
As Matthew’s Table was closed Travis Jones was transferred to Remnant in January of 2013. Travis was originally in Ricky Love’s community group which varied in size from six to twelve people. From 2013 until 2017 Travis was in several community groups. In those groups people practiced accountability and Travis knew in time that people were not being honest. In the community groups they were told to read C.S. Lewis, J.I. Packer, Tim Keller, John Piper and Mark Dever. Travis raised issues about how they were reading books instead of studying the Bible. He pushed back at times saying, “Mark Dever and John Piper are just men, why are you elevating them over scripture?” There were some issues in the community groups at Remnant. For examples one married couple left because they believed Remnant was too demanding and not respectful to their working situation. Church conflict also drove other people away. People at remnant would just disappear and Travis would run into them in the grocery store or other settings around Richmond. Travis was frustrated and depressed by the constant pressure to get married at age 22. He had his education and career he was trying to organize. The other aspect that troubled him is that married people were not hanging out with single people. In time Travis began to feel as if married people were discouraged from associating with other people. In addition Travis believed in evangelizing and tried to get other African-Americans into Remnant. His roommate at VUU who was not interested told him directly that Remnant didn’t engage African-Americans at VUU because “the whites were afraid of the blacks.”
In 2013 Travis met up with Bryan Laughlin and had a conversation with him at his home in Cary Town in south Richmond. Travis and Bryan would discuss VUU and Bryan had plans to pick up a degree from the historic African-American college. In a discussion Travis talked about the closing of Matthew’s Table and Bryan tipped his hand and allegedly hinted that he was involved in the closing. In the conversation Travis realized that several people that he knew from Matthew’s Table were shunned and Bryan was also allegedly involved in that process as well. About a year later for the first time Travis learned from another person that Matthew’s Table was Acts 29. In the process he realized that the goal of Remnant was to allegedly plant churches like Matthew’s Table with the goal of having them fail so that they could be rolled up into Remnant. The long term goal by doing this is to make them covenant members at Remnant.
Acts 29 Rejection of Military Chaplains
At Remnant Travis was depressed. He found the church controlling especially the small group. Ricky Love told him that his finances would improve if his small group practiced accountability. It was during this time in fall of his junior year in 2013 that Travis’ life changed. In order to understand you need to comprehend his family history. The Jones family has a rich history of serving in the United States Army (USA). It started with his relatives being part of one of the Massachusetts Colored Regiments in the Civil War. The most well known colored regiment is the 54th which stormed Ft. Wagner in South Carolina. This was the subject of the 1989 movie Glory. The second generation of the Jones family served in the battlefields of France during World War I in 1917 where he was wounded in the conflict. The third generation of the Jones served in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Travis’s great Uncle, of the fourth generation, also served in the Korean War and upon coming home to the states became the first African-American Judge in Maryland traffic court in the segregation era. Finally a close relative, of the fifth generation, served in the jungles of South Vietnam where he was battle promoted to Lieutenant. Travis wanted to be a continuation of his family’s history. Therefore, he planned to be the sixth generation and to walk in his family’s footsteps and serve in the USA by serving as military chaplain.
This did not go over well with Ricky Love. Ricky responded by telling Travis that he was to focus on the church and to “be your own man.” As a part of that process Ricky told Travis that he was to cut back his communication with his great uncle who got him out of the foster care system. Ricky wanted to control his communication with his family and allegedly have him speak to his great uncle only once a week. Ricky allegedly told him that his real family is Remnant. In response, Travis refused to cut back his communication with his 66 year old great uncle and chose to violate Hebrews 13:17 by being close to a relative he loved. He pushed back and in return Ricky allegedly told him that he should get married in two years, if not sooner.
As Travis pursued the military chaplaincy he asked for help from Remnant. After all Remnant was a Southern Baptist Church (SBC) as well. Travis asked if the SBC could help him become a military chaplain. In the fall of 2013 Travis was told by Ricky Love that they had the resources to help Travis get started on becoming a chaplain. When questioned Ricky said, “I’m not saying that you aren’t called to preach.” Travis at this point was encouraged and believed that Remnant would help him become a military chaplain. But behind the scenes Remnant had other plans and allegedly decided to discourage him from seeking that path. Later in the fall of 2014 Travis raised the chaplaincy issue again with Josh Soto, after all he was in seminary during this time. Josh Soto who could be quite bitter, complained about his efforts to become a military chaplain. Josh told Travis that he is “not called to preach, be we here at Remnant are.” Josh, who is Hispanic, is believed by many former attenders for wanting to emulate a white person and culture. Josh further explained to Travis that his desire to be a chaplain is “ineffective.” He also told him that he was not called to preach and held old sin that he confessed against him. Josh told him that he is not “blameless” to be a pastor and in his put down, Travis got the subtle feeling that Josh believed that single people cannot be pastors. Travis found this ironic that even the apostle Paul would have been rejected from a leadership role in Remnant as a pastor. When Travis raised the issue of Remnant being a part of the Southern Baptist Convention and pointed out the military chaplaincy in the SBC, Josh shot back at Travis that “we are not Baptist.”
Women Can’t Be Police Officers and Preventing Another Person from Leaving Remnant to Accept a Solid Paying Job
In 2013 there developed a unique situation at Remnant. There was a woman who was strong into Neo-Calvinist doctrine, complementarian in her marriage and was submissive in her theology and to the church leadership. Its my understanding that she was also a covenant member at Remnant. She also had an opportunity to become a Police Officer with the city of Richmond. There are many benefits to having women in law enforcement. In some cases they can frisk the prisoners of the same sex. They also can do a good job in working with sex crimes, or police investigations. Many police departments across the country recruit females as they fill a critical need. At Remnant this person was allegedly approached by church leadership and told that the she could not be a police officer because she was a woman. She left this Acts 29 church dispirited and crushed.
Then there was another situation that became disturbing to several people. In October of 2014 Travis Jones moved into a house with two other members from Remnant. Those other two were Jake Milani and Jeffrey Young. They had graduated from college in Richmond or were in the process of graduating. Travis slept on a mattress on the ground of his house for three years. The house was run by a slumlord, and the pipes froze and burst and the house lacked insulation. In his bedroom Travis sometimes could see his own breath in the cold Richmond winter. Jake was a covenant member of Remnant and he was struggling to pay his bills and was barely getting by because of the $150.00 he was giving each month to Remnant. He did this while making minimum wage and because of the membership covenant that he signed. In 2015 Jake had a major break through in his life. Chic Fil A corporation had recruited him to become a member of their workforce and to help run a new franchise in the state of Georgia. Jake told Remnant that he was offered a good job and Remnant became concerned over the church situation. It turned out that there wasn’t an Acts 29 in the part of Georgia he was going. Some people in the church told him that he should turn down the job opportunity and stay in Richmond. When he persisted a couple of people from Remnant allegedly pulled him aside and spoke to him about being committed to the church and turning down the Chic Fil A opportunity. Josh Soto was one of the people allegedly involved in this situation. As a result of all this Jake was deeply upset. After another talk by the church Travis and Jake were sitting in a car and Jake said frustrated, “It’s not [Remnant’s] call or their decision!” The job that Remnant was encouraging Jake to turn down had a starting salary of $50,000 a year. Jake took the job and left and he stopped going and avoided a number of people. Some people from Remnant in response shunned Jake and questioned if he was committed to the Gospel.
The Chaplaincy Issue Re-Surfaces and Concerns with the Celebrity Pastor
In early 2015 the military chaplaincy issue returned as Travis was trying to pursue his goal. In a community group setting Josh Soto asked him again why he wanted to be a chaplain? After all he told Travis that he is not “theologically inclined.” Josh and Travis got into a verbal argument and Josh stated that Travis is not called to preach. Travis pushed back and hard and Josh who was used to subtle manipulation could not deal with someone being direct. As the argument escalated Josh accused Travis of being a “black liberal.” Plus he was upset that Travis wasn’t reading individuals such as John Piper or Mark Dever. Travis shot back and said the following. “How can you quote some of the white evangelical preachers who owned slaves? Has it ever occurred to you how a black person feels about it?” Travis was angry. He was tired and upset at Remnant creating obstacles to him becoming a military chaplain. He was also upset as to how the community groups spent all their time reading celebrity pastors and not the Bible. Why is that he asked? Travis then told Josh, “To hell with John Piper!” After that episode he left Remnant and went to Don Philip’s East End Fellowship.
Since Remnant had blocked Travis from becoming a military chaplain he went to another Baptist church outside the SBC and received his commission. The SBC lost a talented African-American individual in his late 20’s who is now in the process of becoming a military chaplain. But Travis believes that Remnant blocked him from becoming a military chaplain because it was inconsistent with their theology. They had such a warped view of the local church that they excluded and didn’t believe in para-church ministries. As Travis was getting his commission he graduated from VUU with honors. Despite all that happened he went back to Remnant in the fall of 2016. In September of 2016 he started dating someone that he met through a Christian dating website. The person that he was dating was a Christian here in the United States from Ghana on a student visa. She was deeply mature and they connected well. So a month later they decided to get married. Remnant had problems with how Travis got married, after all he got married without the churches permission. Despite that Travis felt like the church actually respected him because he did get married. It was during this time that he heard from Remnant that they had a problem with his direct commission for the Army Chaplaincy.
In the fall of 2016 the final fall out would take place with Remnant and Travis would permanently separate. Josh and Travis had a sharp disagreement over the phone. Josh lectured him as to how he obtained his chaplaincy without the church’s permission. Likewise he also gave Travis flak about getting married without the church having the final permission. Josh invoked a controlling verse from Proverbs and Travis hung up on him. At this point Bryan Laughlin avoided Travis, so did Doug Ponder. Travis was upset that Josh was telling him how to run his own home. In February of 2017 Travis wife moved down to Richmond from Pennsylvania. There was a stressful situation that developed in the marriage. There was a misunderstanding that happened due to his wife coming from a different culture. It led to a marriage crisis. Remnant told Travis that he needed to submit to Biblical counseling through Remnant. Travis and his wife refused and instead moved where their marriage blossomed and grew. Travis ignored the Acts 29 church and moved on with their life.
Travis had three problems with Acts 29’s Remnant.
- Travis was troubled that Remnant would try and control his personal communication with his great-uncle. Attempting to control family communication is very cult like and out of bounds. Years later it still troubles him that a church functions in this manner.
- Remnant was misleading on the military chaplain issue. Travis was troubled that a Southern Baptist church did not believe in military chaplains. All he wanted to do is serve the troops in harm’s way and spiritually support them. Who could object to that? Who but an Acts 29 church?
- The final issue that ate at Travis is the way the church wanted to control his marriage and even getting married. That was too much.
In writing this story I spent some time in Richmond and poked around and sought out people that I could speak to. I had a number of discussions with different people. While I was in Richmond I learned that many churches in the area look upon Remnant as being cult-like or too controlling. People are leaving Remnant and going to other churches burned out and fried. The spiritual refugees are flowing in different directions and people are ending up broken and crushed in other churches. In addition Remnant allegedly rejects other churches in the area and is condescending to them. In addition to looking down upon them the question must be asked, if Bryan leads the key Acts 29 church on the East Coast are these problems being duplicated in other like minded churches in Acts 29? Does this issue apply to Acts 29 churches in the Washington, D.C. area to Philadelphia and New York City? After all Remnant is the model and its influence over other churches raises questions about other Acts 29 churches from Virginia up to Maine. These are questions The Wondering Eagle would like to find out in the course of time.