This is an open letter to Neal Brower who leads the Western District of the EFCA. This blog would like to ask him, why can’t he take spiritual abuse in the Acts 29 network seriously? As the Western District is working to plant an Acts 29 church in San Francisco this blog has deep concerns.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 1:12 NIV
EFCA District Superintendent for the Western District Neal Brower
I need to address an issue in your EFCA District that came to my attention recently. Its my understanding that the Western District is working to plant an Acts 29 church in NE San Francisco. I researched and wrote about it in, “Deep Concerns About Acts 29 Plant The Porch in San Francisco Which is Being Supported by EFCA District Superintendent Neal Brower.” So in hearing that I need to ask you the following question. Why don’t you or the EFCA take spiritual abuse seriously? Let me go thorugh a number of situations with Acts 29 and the EFCA that my blog has broken or written about.
In Acts 29 Riverside Community Church in Columbia, South Carolina you had the story of Matt Brody. Matt’s Acts 29 church violated counseling laws and ethics in trying to obtain information that was shared confidentially. The response by EFCA SE District Superintendent Glen Schrieber was horrific. When Matt gave me all the documentation and emails and I sat down and studied them I couldn’t believe how badly the EFCA failed. The EFCA went against the counseling profession and kicked someone to the side of the road. Problems are still occurring in Riverside as people still approach me about issues. You can read all the posts about Riverside in the blog’s directory.
In Brian Farone’s North Central District in Minnesota I learned something that was deeply troubling. And as fate would have it I actually know someone involved in this situation, which grieves me. Trinity City Church which is Acts 29 would partner with Fellowship Associates which is John Bryson’s ministry. John Bryson’s Acts 29 church covered up a voyeurism and child pornography situation in Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. The Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper broke part of the story and this blog worked with people caught up in the situation to tell the rest of it. You can read about this Acts 29 plant in Minneapolis in, “Acts 29 Trinity City Church Plants Immanuel Fellowship in Minneapolis with Fellowship Associates. Is the Culture that Led to the Alleged Cover-up of Voyeurism and Child Pornography in Fellowship Memphis Being Duplicated in the Twin Cities?” In telling that story the one question on my mind is the following. Does the EFCA takes subjects like child pornography seriously?
Here in Washington, D.C. problems in another Acts 29 church spilled out onto Google reviews. I saw the situation and wrote about it. In Bill Riedel’s Redemption Hill hard core complementarianism spilled out onto Google. You can read more in, “A Female Encounters Fundamentalism at Bill Riedel’s Redemption Hill in Washington, D.C., and an Acts 29 Church Goes into Damage Control.” The Acts 29 church swept into damage control in trying to contain the situation. And these are but a sampling there are many other Acts 29 churches that I have written about that had dark stories of spiritual abuse. Acts 29 churches in Virginia, Missouri, California and more.
So this blog has to ask you why don’t you take spiritual abuse as a grave matter? Do you take issues like breaking the law, child pornography and more seriously? Do you realize the gravity of those topics? If you are focused on numbers as a district superintendent then I would suggest to you that you are in the wrong profession. You should go to Wall Street or go in a similar career. That is how a business operates. This blog is going to work at keeping people away from The Porch. And no its not bitterness, its someone who is experienced in the dark side of religion who feels compelled to raise these concerns. This blog writes stories like this because organizations like the EFCA often fail at theirs. The reality is that people on the outside should not have to worry about these topics. But as the EFCA fumbles this issue, yet again, then its imperative that people step up and raise this issue. this blog gets emails from people who tell me how they were thinking of going to XXXXXX church and then they see something that I wrote and they reconsidered or stayed away. As those emails start to reach me from people in San Francisco this blog will take comfort in the fact that some people are being spared from abuse that is to come. This blog is clear on Acts 29 and the EFCA, its my intent to drive a wedge between the EFCA and Acts 29. Too many people are being hurt and this issue can’t be ignored. So I hope this open letter to you gives you something to contemplate. This post is a lot and yes while I know you will not be happy the fact of the matter is that these issues need to be addressed. I w ill be writing about your district again soon.