Recently this blog had a conversation with a former member of Fairfax Community Church. She was suicidal and allegedly reached out for help and Rod Stafford’s church ignored her. She went elsewhere for assistance and left disappointed by the direction Fairfax Community Church has gone. In addition to looking at the care ministries at this church we must also remember the Faustian bargain that Rod Stafford, Kathleen Otchy and others took to support the evangelical industrial complex – often at the cost and value of people’s lives and identity.
“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
“Know your worth. Don’t settle for anything less.”
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
Ephesians 2:19 NLT
There are more issues coming out of Rod Stafford’s Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, Virginia here in the Washington, D.C. area. This church is a part of the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana denomination. If my memory serves me correct it is one of the larger churches in the denomination. You can read more about Rod Stafford at the denomination’s website right here.
Ministries that Help People at Fairfax Community Church
This is a church that states that it has a number of ministries that help people. These are some of the programs that Fairfax has listed on its website.
- Bereavement Counseling is a ministry that helps people with grief through the death of a loved on or acquaintance. Lynn Lundberg is the point of contact for this ministry.
- Budget Coaching helps people with budgeting and Christian financial stewardship. Eric Nickle is the contact for this ministry.
- Counseling Referrals and Lay Counseling. Fairfax Community does refer people to local Christian counselors. One bright aspect is that this church has no problem with psychology. That also claim that they can do lay counseling that is supervised by a licensed psychologist. Lynn Lundberg is the contact person for this ministry.
- Dave Ramsay’s Financial Peace is also offered through Fairfax Community Church. Dave Ramsay’s programs are popular in evangelicalism and is a staple of many evangelical churches. Eric Nickle is the contact for this program.
- Divorce Care is also done through this organization. Divorce Care claims to help people who have recently divorced. Lynn Lundberg is the contact for this program.
- Dynamic Marriage, which people can contact Lynn Lundberg. This is a marriage program that supposedly helps people in their marriage.
- Emerge is a mental health program. This program helps people who deal with anxiety, depression, bi-polar and other forms of mental illness. Again Lynn Lundberg.
- HEROS is a program geared towards veterans, active duty military, police, fire and other first responders. This is a program that helps those who deal with unique and stressful situations from their job. Eric Nickle is the contact for this ministry.
- Jacob’s Ladder is a 12 step alcohol and drug addiction group that meets regularly. Again, Eric Nickle is the go to person for this program.
- James Club is a sex addiction group that deals with issues such as adultery, pornography, etc. Eric Nickle is the point person for this ministry.
- Looking Toward Marriage is a pre-marriage class at Fairfax Community Church. Lynn Lundberg is the person to contact.
- Nearly Perfect is a women’s ministry program that helps women with general issues. Lynn Lundberg is the contact person.
- Transofrming Your Story is an abortion recovery program at Fairfax Community. Again Lynn Lundberg.
This sounds impressive. This all sounds like a robust and healthy church does it not? Well don’t be fooled as looks can be deceiving.
A Troubling Discussion with a Former Member
From time to time I have interacted with someone who was formerly involved in Fairfax Community Church. What usually happens is that they process out of the organization and wonders what has hit them? They Google and find my blog and read through all the posts that I have written and continue to write. Recently I had someone who reached out to me who was distressed and upset. They were heartbroken about what had happened at Fairfax Community. In a long conversation they explained to me their history. Plus they discussed some of what went on behind the scenes at Rod Stafford’s church. This person felt like they were used for financial purposes in that all Rod Stafford and the leadership cared about was their money. Then I learned something that was troubling. This female then spoke about a mental health crisis they were dealing with. They went through a very challenging time in their life and this person was dealing with suicidal thoughts. She reached out to Fairfax Community for help and was met with silence. Actually, according to a source that interacted with Kathleen Otchey, the average wait time for a person to get a response from Fairfax Community is allegedly three months. When this person couldn’t get help from Fairfax Community she went through other methods to receive support that she needed. She walked away from Fairfax Community dispirited, broken, and frustrated. I felt awful for her experience. One thing that stood out for me when I spoke with this former member from Fairfax Community Church is one thing she said. “They don’t care about you there….” I walked away from Fairfax and I also had to be the whistle blower who let people know that the church employed a violent sex offender. That was not fun for me and I lost a lot when I pushed back. But to withdraw from a place and lose contacts is hard and difficult. And in that context I empathize with the person who walked away from Fairfax Community Church.
Fairfax Community Church is a Business
Here is the deal with Rod Stafford’s church. This is a business that is operating in Fairfax and nothing more. Fairfax Community Church is interested in you if you have deep pockets and can give money to this organization. If you don’t have money then this church has little interest in you. This church which decided to pursue the evangelical industrial complex made a Faustian bargain. From its original location on Hunt Road to its current presence on Braddock Road Rod Stafford and the leadership made a deal with the devil to have this current building and operation. Individuals like Kathleen Otchy has sold out her soul in this sad situation. Kathleen went from a caring, gracious and kind individual who would let people stay in her basement 15 to 20 years ago to become a cold individual and shunning people today. One of the issues is that Fairfax Community Church over-extended itself in doing a church plant in Clarksburg, Maryland. From what I have heard Fairfax Community Church is struggling to work with both locations. And some people are tapped in being responsible for both locations.
Now here is what is troubling about these issues with Fairfax Community Church. You step back and look at the bigger picture and you see a church that is a blight on the Fairfax area. Fairfax Community Church is very much like a cyst in the Fairfax community. When you consider the flow of people from Redeeming Grace Church (formerly Sovereign Grace Fairfax) and some of the other Acts 29 and Harvest Bible Chapel which are also in the area; people who migrate over to Faifax Community Church are going to hit a wall in time. This is a church that doesn’t know how to assist or deal with people. I recall when I met with Rod once and I told him my background he didn’t know what the Evangelical Free Church of America was. That was odd for me. But at Rod’s church you will not find intellectual depth. You can’t have deep discussions about the problem of evil or many other theological issues. What you get instead if Chris Kim jumping around on stage trying to imitate a U2 concert with smoke machines and more. That is how the organization is designed to function. People rotate in and out very quickly. Andy Gingrich has left Fairfax Community but my next post is going to deal with manipulation and control in the small group program. If any former members want to tell their story of spiritual abuse or problems here this blog will give them a platform to do so.
If you read this post and you are at Fairfax Community and are suicidal then reach out for help through a licensed organization that actually cares for you. They leadership of this organization does not care. Contact a trained mental health counselor or go to an emergency room. Or you can contact the National Suicide Hotline. Don’t try and attempt to get help at this church. You are much to precious and while Fairfax Community Church does not care, others do. That is it for the day guys, please know that you are loved.