This blog is going to write about the Matt Chandler and Steve Timmis situation. But before I get into that I want to reflect on the issue of control inside Acts 29. From Hawaii, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Virginia, and Missouri this blog has told and been aware of the issue of control at Acts 29 churches. This blog is equally concerned with organizations like the Sojourn Network that splintered off Acts 29 years ago having control issues as well. Control is in the DNA of the Acts 29 network and that is why it should be rejected.
“Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.”
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:6-7 ESV
Acts 29 Remnant in Richmond, Virginia.
Its never a dull moment in evangelicalism. This blog is working on a series of articles about James MacDonald’s comeback. In that process the news of Steve Timmis and Matt Chandler broke. In addition this blog is asking for stories or sources to step forward if you would like to share more about the situation with Steve Timmis and Matt Chandler. This blog which writes about Acts 29 also is adding that to the pile of articles that need to be worked and studied. So this post is an attempt to address the greater issue of control inside Acts 29.
Acts 29 Deals with Control Issues
The control issues with Steve Timmis are not isolated nor are they new. The stories of control form Acts 29 are plentiful. For the stories I have written there are countless more of what people share behind the scenes who don’t want to tell their stories publicly. But the issue of control is core to the network. The reason why Acts 29 struggles with control goes back to its roots in Mars Hill Seattle. Mark Driscoll was all about control. And the issues stem from the failed model of Mars Hill. This blog believes that the issues can not be resolved because of how this failed model was transferred from Mars Hill over to Matt Chandler. These are some of the issues that this blog has told or situations I was approached about over the course of time.
- Here in the Washington, D.C area an Acts 29 church which is also part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) has problems which have spilled out onto social media. On a Google review a two year attender explains why they left Redemption Hill and leaves a stark warning. Bill Riedel, who is the pastor, practices Lordship and the church has some domineering issues. You can read about that in, “A 2 Year Attender Leaves a Concerning Google Review of Acts 29 Redemption Hill in Washington, D.C. and This Blog Would Like to Get More Information.”
- In the Kansas City, Missouri area there exists an Acts 29 church known as Redeemer Fellowship. Redeemer has two locations in the Kansas City area, one on Baltimore Ave and another in the Overland Park, Kansas area. A while back this blog was approached about a situation that occurred. It was about an authorterian pastor who told a father that they were not welcome to attend Redeemer Fellowship. This father was stunned that a church would act like this and get in between a father and daughter’s relationship.
- The problem of control and domineering exhibited itself at The Journey in St. Louis, Missouri. The lead pastor Darrin Patrick was removed by the elders for issues related to domineering, control and misuse of power. When this happened in 2016 this blog wrote about it in, “Darrin Patrick is Removed from The Journey in St. Louis Amidst Questions; My Main Question…Will One of the Key Charges Also Be Applied to Matt Chandler?”
- At another Acts 29 church in Columbia, South Carolina another dark story played out. This own affected Matt Boedy. Riverside Community Church is a part of the Acts 29 network and the Evangelical Free Church of America. When Matt’s marriage failed and he sought counseling Riverside used money as a bait and switch. The pastor James Waldon tried to find out what was being discussed in confidential counseling. The situation developed into a lawsuit in the course of time and Riverside tried to practice church discipline against Matt Boedy in an excommunication. Matt’s story reveals what happens when a pastor violates counseling rules and regulations. Its about control and why one should not get counseling in an Acts 29 network. You can read more in, “Matt Boedy on James Walden’s Alleged Ethical Violations: The Overall Perspective on the Evangelical Free Church of America” and “Disturbing Allegations of Spiritual Abuse at James Walden’s Acts 29 Riverside Community Church in Columbia, South Carolina.“
- In Richmond, Virginia there is Acts 29 Remnant Church which is led by Bryan Laughlin. Bryan Laughlin is a pastor that at one point was on the board of Acts 29. As a leader in Acts 29 he is responsible for Acts 29 churches from Virginia to Maine. Remnant developed a cult like reputation in Richmond. The church hemorrhaged members who showed up fried at other churches. This church was known for being controlling. For example it told a female who wanted to work in law enforcement that if she was going to be at Remnant then she could not pursue law enforcement. Remnant intervened in people’s situations when it came to work and pressured them about accepting jobs. In addition Remnant also pressured people about marriage and more. Many people left Remnant as they felt uncomfortable. You can read more in, “The Disturbing and Cult-Like Behavior of Acts 29 Remnant Church in Richmond, Virginia is Adversely Affecting Lives.”
- Out in Honolulu, Hawii there is another Acts 29 church which is part of both the Acts 29 network and the Evangelical Free Church of America. Matt Dirks’s Harbor Church on Honolulu. On social media Harbor Church is very controlling and aggressive. You can read more in, “Why Acts 29 Harbor Church in Honolulu Will Not Reach the People of Oahu.”
Daniel Montgomery of the Sojourn Network
The Sojourn Network Has the DNA of Acts 29 and is Also About Control
The issues dealing with control don’t just remain with Acts 29 but also organizations that splintered off the well known Neo-Calvinist church planting network. Take for example the Sojourn Network out of Louisville, Kentucky. Sojourn at one point broke away from Mars Hill when Mark Driscoll was in charge. Though the organization originally started in Louisville, Kentucky. At Sojourn stories have emerged about the controlling network of the organization. Church discipline from what I have heard has been threatened upon people. In addition there was also the shady way Daniel Montgomery left the organization. It was reminiscent of how Mark Driscoll left Mars Hill. The control issues in Sojourn I would suggest come from the legacy and history of Mars Hill. You can read more in, “An Overview of the Sojourn Network out of Louisville, Kentucky” and “Why Daniel Montgomery Left the Sojourn Network in Louisville, Kentucky and How the Shadow of Mark Driscoll Hangs Over Neo-Calvinism.”
Control is to be Expected and its a Reason Why Acts 29 Should be Rejected
The Acts 29 network practices shepherding theology which is why control is such a problem. This is a network that is all about control and abusing people. This blog knows it will tell more Acts 29 stories because of how the network is set up. That control will be an issue when it comes to leaving a church, or getting married. It will affect family relationships and friendships. It will affect other churches nearby who avoid the domineering push back of a Neo-Calvinist dude bro who claims to know everything. My advice? If you are going to take answers from someone who is 25 to 30 you are in for a world of hurt. Some of these people have not lived enough to experience life and at that age black and white thinking is natural. This blog is encouraging people to avoid Acts 29. If you have any stories you want to tell about Acts 29 this blog would love to give you that platform to tell them.