This is the story of how I became a whistle blower at Fairfax Community Church. Back in 2014 while involved I stumbled across information that Rod Stafford’s church concealed a dangerous situation from the congregation. Their Care Director at the time – Eric Nickle – was on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. This post is about how I went public, how I struggled with it, and how coming from a church in Milwaukee – Elmbrook, which had a sexual abuse situation with their youth pastor committing suicide in 1999 compelled me to tip off the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. My conscious is clear and if something happens at Fairfax Community it won’t be because I stayed silent. Continue reading
Over the past few years the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana has written a number of puff pieces about Rod Stafford’s Fairfax Community Church in the Washington, D.C. area. Several articles are pure fluff and come from Carl Stagner who does writing and editing for the Church of God denomination. This post is designed to challenge Carl to actually do some legitimate journalism. After all when you have a church doing questionable financial campaigns, employs a violent sex offender and mislead the congregation there are more important articles to write about. Continue reading
Recently on Twitter there was a hastag of what you could tell yourself at the age of 25. Many people posted a lot of ideas they wish they could advise their younger self. This is my open letter to my younger self. This is coming from someone in their 40’s. The basic theme of the letter? Dave, stay away from Evangelical Christianity. If you stay away you will spare yourself a lot of pain and trauma. This is what l would say to myself if l could. Continue reading
Spiritual abuse is not something you will understand unless you have endured it. My hope is that you can dismiss this post. But those of you who have been through hell will understand what I am writing here today. This is about how spiritual abuse touched my life. From several churches that dealt with issues from child sex abuse to mishandling a sex offender; to an Air Force Officer who tried to get me involved in the last church plant of Sovereign Grace Ministries in the Washington, D.C. area called Redeemer Arlington. Its the story of a false accusation that threatened my life and hurt my family and even popped up in a hospital room in a medical crisis. In my view spiritual abuse is the equivalent of rape. Continue reading
At the Baptist News Global there was an op-ed by Mark Wingfield. The article looked at why the evangelical Christian church needs to admit when its wrong. This is a theme I keep bumping up against here. In addition Mark addresses areas where there should be discussion. This article raises some issues that honestly need to be discussed.
Fairfax Community Church, a mega church in the Washington, D.C. area I would contend follows a business model. This is why the church is deeply troubled and has issues. The fact that Andy Gingrich who worked at Fairfax for 9 years transitioned from one business model to another shows how evangelicalism is a business. But in light of the fact that Andy also coaches people and talks about leadership did Andy Gingrich do the right thing during his tenure and raise the issue of the church employing Eric Nickle, a violent sex offender, with Senior Pastor Rod Stafford? Or did he just go along with take orders and stay silent for years?
This is an article that reflects on an older post from Mike Anderson who led The Resurgence at Mars Hill in Seattle. What do you do when religion leads you to places that are dark and to behaviors just as destructive as alcoholism or drug addiction? This also reflects on what I have seen in my own life. Continue reading