Faith Tabernacle Church: A Pastor Speaks out about Spiritual Abuse

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At the end of last year, I published an article listing the ten most popular posts of the year.  I was shocked to discover my post about Edwin Young and Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Junction City, KS, to be the most popular article – more than even articles on my lawsuit.  Here is what I wrote about that Number 1 post of 2012:

This was a huge surprise to me.  I took a detour on this article after reading the Edwin Young story in the news.  This type of church is foreign to probably most of my readers and this post on Pastor Edwin Young and Faith Tabernacle has received the most hits of any blog posts and continues to receive hits on a daily basis.  Lois of spiritualabuse.org probably the most  information on this group on the internet and she has told me that the people in these churches are searching for answers.  You’ll notice that many of the comments are anonymous.  These people live in fear, yet they know something is wrong at their church and are looking for information.  I praise God that He has used this disturbing and snarky post to reveal the truth and hope that people will not settle until they find the Truth.

I just checked the blog stats on my now shut-down blog at BGBC Survivors.  I continue to receive hundreds of hits there despite the fact that it has been closed since 12/31/12.  Guess what is still the most popular search I have seen on a daily basis?  Yes,  Edwin Young, Faith Tabernacle, and Jordan Young.

 

If you go to spiritualabuse.org, and I hope you do because it is the site with the most information on this church, you will find this summary of events of Edwin and Jordan Young and reference to the new pastor, Nathan Dudley.

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From Lois of SpiritualAbuse.org

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There’s no doubt about it, by indication of the hits on my old blog, the amount of comments on that article and others I have done, there is something funky going on in that church.  This is an environment where you simply do not question God’s anointed, the beloved pastor.  Women have strict rules on how to dress, how to wear their hair.   People are told what they can and cannot do in their leisure time.  I’ve been told no televisions, no internet, so the fact that these people are searching on the internet  to find sites about Faith Tabernacle is revealing.  I hope and pray that those who search and find my blog will read my articles on Faith Tabernacle/Edwin Young and see that there can be freedom and grace found in discovering the truth.

Even though most of my regular readers have never experienced a church like Faith Tabernacle (FT) , I hope that by including FT stories, we can identify the typical patterns of spiritual abuse.  They are all the same because they all went to that Creepy Spiritual Abuse School (CSAS).

Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a former FT member who is now a pastor.  He gave me permission to share his story anonymously.  I’m so glad he sent me an e-mail.  I hope that his story helps others to have strength to get out of this destructive environment.

Before we read from the pastor, here is a sampling of preaching by Jordan Young, former Pastor Edwin’s son, who at this posting has been charged with at least 10 counts of sex charges against children.  He talks about the greatest weapon is “our testimony.”  Yes, indeed it is, Jordan.  Your testimony is a stench to the Christian church.

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Story by Anonymous Pastor, Former Member of Faith Tabernacle

I have been following these posts for some time and it’s apparent that most of the people have had some contact with religion of some sort.  I was a member at FT and found it to be excessive in its approach to good Christian living. When the pastor presented himself as someone that never do any wrong, I couldn’t accept that (I am not talking about adultery, fornication etc…). When he made the proclamation that “some of you think I am just a man, well I am not just a man.”  I realize that I had to leave with my family before things really got out of hand.  I informed the pastor that I will be moving to another state to which he strongly disapproved and stated that I would go “down, down, down.”  I was hurt because he thought I was not able to live for God anywhere but there (FT).  He made it seems as if Junction City, KS was the only place in the world that I could be saved.  He also made it seems as if the only reason we (me and my family) were still living this Christian life, is because of him.

There were young men at FT who had aspired to the ministry.  When they found out that I was leaving, there was an endless barrage of negative preaching coming from the pulpit.  Some of them never spoke to me again.  I remember one young man got up and said, “I heard some of you are talking about leaving; go ahead and leave.  God will bring in two to take your place.”  I thought to myself, I am doing an injustice to the church by staying.  If God will replace me with two, I should leave and allow two more to take my place.  Needless to say, when I left, I was the subject over the pulpit for a few years.   The lies and sensual things that were said about me and my family were unbecoming of a minister.   Truth had no privilege in that place and neither did love and understanding (It almost seems as if God had left the building).

While I was at FT they call me brother, but as soon as I left, I was no longer a brother.  Ms. Westberg would call me by my first name whenever I visited.  Mind you, I did not commit any sin and no one could point their finger at me for any wrong doings.  I worked in a servant capacity, paid tithe, gave in the offering and supported the foreign missions.    I had a lot of friends that I truly love at FT, but they had made their choice as to how they would live their Christian lives and I decided for myself.   I wanted to live free of constant brow beating and negative preaching.  I wanted a church where the sacred place call the Pulpit would not be used as a place of hatred, for bulling, to beat up on the members, or speak evil of any that does not agree with what is being said.

It was a very trying time for me.  For about four or five months after I left FT, all I could do is cry and moan and groan in a closet (figuratively) when I think of the hurt and pain and all the lies that were told about me and my family.  If I did not have a relationship and an experience with God, I would have turned my back on all that which is call religion.   It is safe to say that religion is what did this to me and not God. Although I was deeply wounded, I knew how I felt about my God.  I wanted to live for the Lord more than anything else in the world.  I knew that it was not God that hurt me; it was man.  You see, the experience that I received would not allow me to hate and to harbor malice and bitterness.  My experiences lead me to seek a deeper walk with God.  Like a tree void of water on the surface, its roots grow deeper and to find water, thus making the tree stronger.  It made me to want to know Him for myself.    It made me want to understand my Christian experience even more.  They wanted to keep me in a box, but the God that I serve is so much bigger than Faith Tabernacle and so much bigger than the UPC organization.  He is so much bigger than religion.  He is the great I AM.

I see all what’s going on at FT and it does not make my heart glad, but rather sad.  I don’t like it when people stereotype pastors and put them all into the same bundle and declare that they are all alike.  I know that there are good people out there that desire to do the will of God.  That is what I want to be.

I think FT has forgotten how to love and forgive. Yes, I know they say they have love one to another, but what reward is it if you love them that love you.  Take your love and compassion outside the doors of the church.  I have personally seen them strain gnats and swallow camel.   They talk about how long your sleeves and dresses should be.  They make clean the outside.   They display disdain for everyone that doesn’t believe what they preach (even though they don’t have any bible to back it up).  They tell you to do things that they will not do themselves.   They paid tithes and are present at every church service, yet the weightier matter of the law they have omitted which is to show mercy, love and faith.  To be tender-hearted one to another.  To be patience and kind, but the greatest of these is LOVE.

Today I am the pastor of a small church and refuse to have all the “hoopla” that went on in FT.  I don’t want any special recognition or be put on a pedestal.  I don’t want the people to think that I am some superman with God and that I am on a level that they will never attain.  If we need to do something special, let’s find someone in the church that is in need and do it for them.   I don’t believe in putting people out of the church and oh by-the-way, I do make mistakes and I am not perfect (I don’t mean adultery and murder etc…).  May the God of heaven bring peace to heart of everyone that has been hurt by these institutions.

The God of Israel said,
the Rock of Israel spake to me,
He that ruleth over men must be just,
ruling in the fear of God.
2 Sam 23:3 

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JA note:  Scripture was chosen by Anonymous.  Isn’t it fitting?
I would also encourage all current and former Faith Tabernacles to read the articles at Through Grace Alone, a former FT member who shares her heart.

49 comments on “Faith Tabernacle Church: A Pastor Speaks out about Spiritual Abuse

  1. Hey, Julie Anne! I haven’t been able to keep up much here of late, but I do try to skim. Unfortunately, the issues of Faith Tabernacle are far from being over, though some members of the church may try and act like they are. Jordan’s court cases continue to very slowly unfold. No trial dates have been set.

    Little by little, I have come into contact with more people who have been involved at that church or who have been invited to attend. I made a trip to Kansas last fall and was in the courtroom for one of Jordan’s hearings. While there, I was able to meet up with two people who had been involved in that church and spoke on the phone with another whose relative had been involved.

    It appears that the pastor who wrote you was there during the days of L.E. Westberg (deceased) and not Edwin Young. I do not point this out to negate in any way what was shared, but rather to emphasize that the control and spiritual abuse did not originate with Young. It goes back to the long-term pastorate of Westberg. This is an area I wish to develop on the spiritualabuse.org website when the time is right.

    The Westberg issue is a difficult one as he is held in high esteem by some and is not liked at all by others. At Faith Tab, there is a shrine of sorts dedicated to his memory, where a room is set aside to honor him. His widow, though not a member there, was at the open house and installation services this past fall. She called the church and encouraged people to remain there when all the news was breaking regarding Edwin & Jordan Young. There are numerous reports of how mean she could be. When some have tried to talk online about problems with L.E. and his wife, they have often been shot down and silenced by those who place him on a pedestal.

    So it is important to note that the trouble didn’t originate with the Youngs and to realize that the Youngs sat under the teachings of the Westbergs.

    Some may want to listen to what a former member has shared about her experience there. Her videos are summarized here: http://www.spiritualabuse.org/experiences/upci/videos.html These were filmed by me during my trip to Kansas. On the site there are also other preaching examples, including a fear filled one from L.E. Westberg.

    Thanks for this article. (Oh, the link to my website is mixed in with the link to this blog.)

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  2. Ah, memories….

    As a junior leader, when I announced that I was leaving our gulag, a common sermon theme arose: “…the danger and evil of leaving the place where God has appointed you to be…” and, “…the tragic loss of opportunity when a person “defects” from the community of God’s people….”

    By that time I was immune, and even found such treatment confirming, but as I look back on it, it was drag that my wife and kids had to hear me alluded to like that in church. The girls became aware that their Dad was a persona non grata, and didn’t understand why that was so… made for some stress in their lives that makes me sad now, but so JOYFUL to have been delivered by our gracious Lord!

    How cool to hear the story of another pastor who is a survivor of an abusive church! Maybe we should take it on the road and start a conference circuit and publishing house!!!!

    Okay, not.

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  3. Lois – Thank you for letting me know about both the non-working link and that the anonymous pastor was there under long-time Pastor Westberg. I appreciate the correction. Now that I reread the paragraph referring to Mrs. Westberg, it makes better sense. You mentioning that the trouble did not begin with the Youngs if of particular importance to me. Those of us who have been following the SGM church situation need to also realize that just because C.J. Mahaney may have stepped down as president, the culture he created will likely last a long time, too.

    Ken – What I appreciate about both of you is that you as current pastors are sharing your spiritually abusive experiences. It shows humility for a pastor to say they were caught up in a dangerous church. Also, it shows compassion and a shepherd’s heart, too. I hope you both keep talking publicly (anonymously or not). I’ve been dealing with pastors on a forum today who just can’t seem to stop defending C.J. Mahaney. They can’t see what the problem is: even after a 600-page document, 5 years and hundreds of testimonies of current members and former members on two blogs, a civil lawsuit that has been amended to add more complaints, 20 churches leaving even before polity is revised, many pastors writing letters, etc. My question to them was: what would it take for you to be convinced? The Bible talks about 2 witnesses, right? ::::::::::JA goes in her crazy room to bang her head against the wall ::::::::::::::::

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  4. Julie Anne said: “Those of us who have been following the SGM church situation need to also realize that just because C.J. Mahaney may have stepped down as president, the culture he created will likely last a long time, too.”

    Yes, this is important. In the Faith Tab situation, Young watched and listened to unhealthy teachings. He saw how people were used and encouraged to tattle on others, causing people to be fearful of not “obeying” the pastor. When he was asked to pastor after Westberg’s death, he carried on what was already in place and then added his own thoughts and more rantings and control. And those attending were already used to the atmosphere there and the pastor worship and it opened them up to even more troubles.

    So just because an unhealthy leader is no longer in charge, it doesn’t mean that the problems will disappear. And sometimes those attending can help keep the abusive atmosphere in place, too.

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  5. JulieAnne, I hear ya! I have a large dent in my brick wall from banging my head against it for years. My former pastor was paraded before the congregation and he “admitted” to some improprieties, only to later find out he left out large amounts of seriously incriminating evidence (Improprieties with 4 women, $260K out of the church till, lots of spiritual abuse, etc…) Yet, some people still supported him and followed him to his next community Bible study and defended him in the grocery stores, Walmart, and wherever they ran into people. It was unbelievable!

    When we went back and confronted the assistant pastor, his wife, and a few other leaders for their complicity, they just blamed it all on the pastor and declared themselves victims, even though we were in the same rooms with them when they backed the pastor in his abuse, and continue the same practices to this day.

    The blindness is a choice. They want it. They use it to hide. They don’t know another way to act. Their pride insists they have to be right. And worst of all … they refuse to be teachable.

    I’m sorry for all the stress and warfare that comes from defensive, prideful “tools” who are blinded to the truth and empowered by their arrogance. I know this is harsh, but I’ve seen it for so long and people’s true colors come out when they see the wounded lying in the street. They can’t be bothered, they defend their right and need to not deal with it, and then they attack those helping the wounded.

    Litmus test: How one responds to the wounded.

    I don’t care what great things a person says or does, I want to see their attitude towards the victims of abuse. This is very telling.

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  6. I am particularly interested in this story. My former church is doctrinally oneness Pentecostal and was a splinter group from the UPC. Some, not all, Pentecostal churches have a strong propensity toward authoritarianism due to their “covering” doctrines. The Shepherding Movement has remained alive and well in many Pentecostal churches. Internet access was forbidden for us, as was television, so it’s difficult for most people in these movements to gain access to “outside” information as to what is going on. My heart is with these people. If you could see me, I still look Pentecostal/Mennonite. I struggle to sift through teachings of my faith that I hold dear. But, I have spent the last two decades around women in dresses and buns that are some of the most spiteful human beings I’ve ever met. “Holiness” dress is not what makes someone a Christian. Our love is what should mark us as Christians. God help us all. I’m so discourage by what the collective church has become.

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  7. Ken said, “As a junior leader, when I announced that I was leaving our gulag, a common sermon theme arose: “…the danger and evil of leaving the place where God has appointed you to be…” and, “…the tragic loss of opportunity when a person “defects” from the community of God’s people….”

    Sorry that happened to you, Ken. It is common in groups that have controlling bad cultures. I was leaving a Bible College (IFB with serious legalism issues,) and the Vice President told me that if I left, I’d never be used of God again. What a scary thing to say to a 21 year old who didn’t know much. But like you said, it was almost a confirmation for me … and more so as the years past.

    Hope your kids understand now. One of my kids is still trying to wrap his mind around how so many people were so complicit in the pastor’s abuse? It’s tough.

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  8. BeenThereDoneThat, I wish you a speedy and complete recovery! You are brave to break free and look at things honestly.

    I had a neighbor in a Pentecostal church that required certain strict dress codes. She was a new believer trying to figure it all out. She didn’t do it well enough and the women ostracized her. The last I saw her, she couldn’t figure out what was Jesus and what was an unnecessary rule? Keeping her faith was challenge after they expelled her for so called “gossip,” their go-to card.

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  9. BTDT – I had no idea that was your background and I also didn’t know the Shepherding Movement also was connected in these groups as well. I love your statement that our love is what should mark us as Christians – – – – that is what I hope new visitors will read loudly because that is what is lacking in such a strong emphasis to rules.

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  10. Julie Anne, I’ve never heard Oneness Pentecostals that tend to authoritarianism connect themselves to the shepherding movement, but whether the connection is deliberate or not, it is definitely and strongly there.

    “I thought to myself, I am doing an injustice to the church by staying. If God will replace me with two, I should leave and allow two more to take my place.” This is such a great response to the oft repeated statement that if one of us left, two would take our place.

    Anonymous, thank you for sharing your story.

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  11. I got kicked out of FT years ago…and I know something about Mr,lew no one knows.. he wasn’t so perfect himself….and if I would have know what I do…I would have had a little chat with him years ago….

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  12. thrugracealone, thank you for your the ministry and heart for the people of FT. Your blog can be a refuge to so many who have been struggling and searching for truth. You speaking out, sharing your FT experience makes you very credible. My prayer is that people searching do find the truth.

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  13. Sorry to hear that, John. It’s rough getting kicked out. But you had the goods on him and that’s how it rolls … Same with me. But God sees … none of this is lost on Him.

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  14. Julie Anne,

    Outstanding post. The discussions here are exactly what I was trying to engage Wesley Roy in, but he wasn’t biting.

    I really liked Grateful’s litmus test. Unfortunately, the attitude of Wes is, “What happens in another church is none of my business”, so he would refuse to get involved, citing, apostolic authority.

    Wes, if you are listening, if there is a church down the road from you that you know that the preacher/teacher/pastor/reverend/bishop/priest/elder/apostle/deacon/etc. is teaching that would cause spiritual abuse of any kind, would you get involved in the body of Christ by saying/doing something, or would you mind your own business, citing apostolic authority?

    If you know something, and do nothing, doesn’t that bother your conscience?

    The conversations on this post confirms that Wes should listen and learn.

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  15. BTDT – Thanks for that link. It’s a good one.

    Ed – If shepherds don’t understand the concept of protecting hurting sheep, they should not be shepherds. This seems so basic. The idea of not defending someone just because they are not in your “jurisdiction” is baffling to me. No, I’m just going to walk by that person getting raped and not get involved because they aren’t connected to me or my family. Nope – not going to get involved. I’m sorry, but as Christians, we are in the same community. We are all children of Christ. We must defend all sheep who are hurting.

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  16. This is a serious corporate challenge for the Body of Christ: “. . . if there is a church down the road from you that you know that the preacher/teacher/pastor/ reverend/bishop/priest/elder/apostle/deacon/etc. is teaching that would cause spiritual abuse of any kind, would you get involved in the body of Christ by saying/doing something, or would you mind your own business, citing apostolic authority?”

    I have continued to consider Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s insightful admonition about how to deal with injustice. See what you think.

    “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

    ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    May each of us be engaged in seeking ways to drive spokes into the wheel itself.

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  17. thrugracealone,

    First, nice to “meet” you here.
    It’s difficult to find an online article that delves into the history of the Shepherding Movement in the Penecostal church. The Wikipedia article on this movement mentions the Pentecostal involvement only briefly, then goes on to expound on the “Fort Lauderdale Five.” One of the “five,” Ern Baxter was a Pentecostal evangelist.
    I did find this on Google books: http://tinyurl.com/aut2j94
    If you scroll down to “What Covering Is” it makes the connections.

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  18. Chap I am always listening. 🙂 It is one of the best ways to learn. I can tell you that much of what was referenced in this article would not be tolerated by the people I know and associate with. Among Baptist churches in the African-American community the heavy-handed leadership that is sighted in this article is just not tolerated or even attempted. There is a measure of respect shown to pastors and preachers but there is nothing on the level that this article references and any pastor/preacher who overreaches is immediately corrected. There is no belittling from the pulpit. No bullying. No attempts at intimidation. No controlling people’s homes or free time. No one would tolerate that behavior. There have been no child molestation within ministries but there are no children ministries that are not lead by women that I know of. There have been instances of adultery and the responses have varied from these guys being removed from their duties at the churches to physical altercations. Maybe I am living in a strange place but it is the place that I live.

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  19. Wes, thanks for sharing more about your church and denominational context. Good to hear that there are places where church leadership is fairly sensible, to say the least.

    It is also important, from your perspective, to have an appreciation and a recognition that there are many problems and distressing ways of ‘doing church’ in other places. It is important to recognize, to affirm, and to be ready to help those wounded as well as to challenge those who are perpetrators of ridiculous and grievous church leadership practices. This is all our task.

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  20. Chap no need in all the formality. I feel like we are old friends (or something like that 🙂 ). Wes is perfectly alright and you are quite welcome.

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  21. It appears that the pastor who wrote you was there during the days of L.E. Westberg (deceased) and not Edwin Young. I do not point this out to negate in any way what was shared, but rather to emphasize that the control and spiritual abuse did not originate with Young. It goes back to the long-term pastorate of Westberg.

    Would it be appropriate to refer to that long-term pastorate as “The Westberg Dictatorship”?

    And your references to the Widow Westberg makes me wonder about these Dictator-types. Despite their usual Patriarchy, I wonder if the Pastor’s Wife is the REAL Power Behind the Throne, that Pastor Macho Woman-Submit Patriarchy is really being P-whipped behind the scenes. The shame of that secret could drive a Pastor-Dictator into being even more overbearing and controlling, just to prove to himself he’s really in charge.

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  22. HUG wrote: “Would it be appropriate to refer to that long-term pastorate as “The Westberg Dictatorship”?”

    I am unsure if it was that way from the very beginning, but IMO it became such later.

    She has been said to have had a sharp tongue that hurt many, even doing so at very inappropriate times. Despite this, the church was very much a “the man rules” one and women were even later referred to as heifers by Young. Young boys would sometimes tell an adult woman they were going to teach her about submission. It was definitely without love from what I have heard. A very warped and unbiblical teaching of submission/men rule.

    However, while you might indeed have a point in some instances (as to the wife being the real power), I don’t know that the thought would hold true in this case or with the Youngs.

    Here is how I have viewed those ministers who are extra harsh (and may harp on certain things in sermons)……I believe that the majority have some hidden sin that is unknown to all or most at the church. In the case with Edwin Young, allegations of being with young (but of age) women in the church was made as was taking money from the church. As to L.E. Westberg, I will just say that I do not believe he was without a hidden area.

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  23. As of August 2012, I became a victim of spiritual abuse in the church where I have been a member for 50 years, when the pastor of that church called me, basically removed my rights as a member because I had distributed Bible and church literature to neighbor women who were bullying me, calling me horrible names. One is a member of that church and she called the pastor and threatened to sue to church for harassment because I had left them church literature and wrote a note that we were praying for them. He told the congregation that I was lost and the gang mentality took over, my character was assassinated, the whole community has turned on me. I am looking for justice and to regain my dignity within the community. Can you help me?

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  24. Hi Cheryl: Welcome! What a terrible story and how very, very sad! I don’t know how you can change a whole community’s thinking when they are blindly following someone who is evil.

    I don’t know how you can get justice. Maybe there is not justice on this side of eternity. Is there anything illegal they have done? Can you share more details? Feel free to contact me at spiritualSB@ gmail dot com

    Julie Anne

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  25. For anyone following this case, I found out that the hearings scheduled for today and tomorrow were previously pushed forward to April 4, 2013.

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  26. There is nothing worse than a mean pastor. NOTHING!!!!! I love God and I love people but I have such a bad taste in my mouth right now concerning preaching that is hard and harsh and unloving, coming from someone that claims to speak for God.
    I do not in any way believe in sloppy agape preaching, where anything goes and as long as we are saved it doesn’t matter what we do…..but neither do I believe in preaching that mocks people that have a different opinion about things that do not matter in eternity. Even making jokes about not allowing “ugly” people in the doors,
    and an obsession with appearance over substance.Doesn’t the bible condemn that kind of talk, and attitude? I’m just saying………..

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  27. L.C. Welcome! I’m pretty sure the bible does indeed speak of unwholesome talk. For some reason, some pastors must have their own version of the bible that we are not privy to and they have their own set of rules . . . or something.

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  28. I knew Edwin Young personally. He was the drummer in my band years ago. In the 70’s. It saddens me that this is what has become of him. I went to FaIth Tabefnae church and I knew the former pastor Westberg and his wife. I could tell so many different reasons wby I did not contnue as a member. They preached against racial mixing. I am bi racial so that did not fly with me. Edwin Young was dating a white girl at the time he was going and they were very much in love at the time but they broke up and both stayed in the church. Later he married a black girl in the church and Debbie married a white man. The pastor at the time wanted it that way. The girl he was dating was Debbie Coryelle. I believe until Edsin Young resigned that she and her husband were still members there. I am glad that I left that church. My husband and i have been married for 33 years and 35 years together. If we would have stayed we would not be together today.. We pray at home and Bible Study at home as well. We love our God and we pray for strength and wisdom thank God everyday!

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  29. Welcome yvonne!

    Thanks for sharing your experience at Faith Tabernacle. You have to wonder why a pastor has different rules for himself than the congregation, don’t you? I’m glad to hear that you and your husband were able to leave and are doing so well. ~ja

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  30. Wow. You guys are pretty pathetic. I have never been to this church, but you give it so much gravity! Just don’t go! Easy as that. You say that those “hateful and judgemental” people hurt you. You bunch of hypocrites are doing the same thing back to them. Get your thumb out of your mouth and move on.

    My God, write against strip clubs, ACLU (your mortal enemies) or rampid child abuse or something. Nobody makes those people go there. If they want to, WHO CARES!!!?? I don’t hear you talking about the poor abused, starving kids in Atlanta.

    “I hate that my family had to endure the reproach before we left…” Well you should’ve left then dufus. At least those people have the guts to stand up for what the believe in.

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  31. Short version Leave!!! Don’t walk, Run. I did and never regretted it.

    I went to Faith Tabernacle back in the 1982 to about 1998.
    This included working in the office and perhaps seeing things that grieved me.

    I have seen a lot of people hurt and verbally beaten down. I have seen people in need, and the cold heart of the church.

    Tithing was used to make the Westburg’s rich, very rich.

    The Young’s are somewhat victims of that church; much like an abused child grows up to become an abuser. Not justifying what was done, it should be dealt with in the full force of the law.

    The bible is very clear that if a man offends one these (referring to children) then it would be better that he tie a stone around his neck and cast into the ocean. My idea punishment for those type of crimes would not be so kind.

    I have witnessed members who’s children died in an auto accident and the church of about a few hundred could only come up with about 360 dollars, 168 came from my family which was a lot back then. A few months later one member pledged $8,000 and other very high dollar amounts for the preacher’s new house. The old one was in a very good neighborhood over by the hospital in junction city. The Westburgs had a lust for nice things and used their people. I asked Mr. Westburg if he thought that was correct? he actually didn’t see anything wrong.

    While working in the office I watched as the Westburgs had members of the church bring in bags for groceries to pay tithes while on government assistance (food stamps and subsidies). I have seen the elderly taken advantage of, one pertaicular was called grandma owens.

    I watched as lies were told on Edwin’s brother-in-law for leaving the church and recorded then on tape. Eventually when I left the same lies was preached about me, not a big deal any more it took a few years to get over and I’m glad I got out.

    Well I left the Church before my wife did and the Westburg’s was trying to talk my wife into leaving me because I was influenced my the devil (I started thinking for myself.)

    In the end it is very sad first to the children.

    Who knows the damage that was caused to them

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  32. David – Thank you for sharing your personal experience at FT. Your story lines up with other personal stories sent to me privately. You are absolutely right – people should run from that place.

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  33. I quit my job at my church and asked to meet with my pastor a few days later. He was under the assumption i was there to repent, arrogant eh? I told him it was a situation worth hearing about holistically(deep seeded race issues), he told me there was no need and there was no other interpretation of my actions.(assuming i called them prejudice). **i called them unprofessional** Furthermore, he went on to tell me i went against God, the Holy Spirit, and the congregation.(x_x) I eventually explained the situation and his look was nothing more than amazement at my ability to express myself articulately.
    I prayed for understanding and also that I wouldn’t become bitter. I was lead to Collosians and even found a prayer journal from weeks before which said it was time to move on my job was done at that post.(“I used to be a lucid dreamer as a youngster and i was able to witness to another youth about how God delivered me that.”)
    Since then his teachings have changed from “God will beat your brains out” to “we must operate with grace and mercy”…but ultimately the overspiritualization and “tithe so you can be blessed” jargon has taken its toll on me.

    I continue to pray and sing in the spirit and have a closer relationship with the Lord than ever, i encourage those in similar situations to pray and be pragmatic.

    I’m also embarking on a journey to get out of the tradition of pagan holidays, pray for my strength because the dogmas surrounding Christianity are more than severe. God Bless!

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  34. In the middle: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. There’s quite a difference between beating brains out and operating with grace and mercy. I, like you, choose the latter.

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  35. I am researching the disappearance/kidnapping of Beverly Ward from Junction City, KS who was a member of FT at the time, under Pastor L.E. Westberg. I would like to hear from anyone who knew Beverly, or the Ward family. I’m not interested in discussing the Young’s (though they are in this family), but I very much want to discuss rumors that circulated at the time regarding who may have known about, or been involved in her kidnapping. She was thirteen, and was taken from her bedroom window 37 years ago yesterday. Please contact me via email at du.reporter2@thedailyunion.net or leave me a message at work 785-762-5000 ext 144 if you’d like to talk. It can be confidential and completely off the record. I just need to be sent in the right direction. Thank you!

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  36. Does anybody know what happened to Edwin Young? These type preachers rarely just go to ground. They typically resurface somewhere else leading gullible people who want every aspect of their life micro managed I have googled Edwin every few months when I think about it and have come up with nothing.

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  37. Julie Anne: by the way, have you read “Cages of Pain by Gordon Aeschliman”? wow what a read; haven’t finished but it brought to my mind an article “exploiting the need to belong by Stephen Parsons. Hey, found this site: repentbethelredding.com, is that the same Tony Miano (doesn’t know/understand role of woman in ministry) that came against you? If same, he needs to read: 10 lies church tells women/10 lies men believe by L. Lee Grady and When Woman Were Priest by Karin Jo Torjesen. Trust your doing great.

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  38. I am looking into the references above. Sorry, Julie Anne and all on here, I have not responded since 2012. I had no working computer for 6 months and am slow dialup. It took me over a year to mostly recover from the spiritual abuse at the local church. And I will never be back there. This was the most difficult to recover from as it attacked me at the very core of my being human and loving God and my need to belong. I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspapers summer 2013 after a former policeman with Huntington’s was escorted out of another local church for requesting to speak in front of the church. He went home and within a few weeks he committed suicide. This hit me hard and that is what prompted me to write a letter to the editor and mentioned how this man was likely very wounded from his being escorted out of the church. I did not mention names or places but I got my message across what happened to me. My county paper would not print it, but an adjoining county newspaper did. After that I was able to recover somewhat, but I have a different view of people who call themselves Christians and I am observant of their behaviors.Also have more problems with trust. I have not been in a church since. I am beginning to think that the organized church is one great deception. I’m getting ready to check into the idea above “exploiting the need to belong”. That pastor just walked out the door about a year later. They got a new one who sent me a letter inviting me to church. I wrote him a short note, told him I wouldn’t be back, why I wouldn’t be back, and ask him if he planned to rehabilitate them or pacify them. About a year later, he just up and walked out without notice. I went to high school with the one they have now. He and a member of that church drove up about a year ago and announced he was new pastor at ……… and invited me to church. I told him they had a lawyer write me a letter to stay away from them. I told him I was spiritually abused there and that I would not be coming back. I also told him from my observations of things, it appeared to me that several of the ones in charge there are sadistic narcissists. He left and hasn’t been back, but he is a friend on my FB.

    I also learned that my sister-in-law as well as several other people there had a lot of input into them getting rid of me. A person I thought I could confide in and was my friend also deceived me. I also wrote them a letter to inform some of them they were not perfect. That preacher actually read it before the church and it insencsed some of them so much they paid a lawyer $150 to send me a letter warning me to have no more to do with them. Believe me, I’m not. I know I am a Christian and I have come out from among them. I also believe my differences from likely Asperger syndrome and ADHD was scarey to them. I also didn’t have enough money to suit their taste and am single.

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  39. What all this means is you people will actually get an education,career opportunities.I know alot about the Kansas district and two thing they love to put down is an education and making a life for yourself;like thinking for yourself. You suppose God worried if Adam was going actually use what do they call it on yeah the brain thing:that’s the mind.I mean of all the things God created its what he worried about the most that Adam and Eve might actually think for themselves in which case:we should ask these pastors the actually use their minds.Do you suppose every word that comes out the mouth is the word of God.I’m sure when fall in love with their wives:I’ll just say it “making out with their wives” that it’s God speaking in the bedroom too?I mean the pastor needs to know to all the details of the saints sex lives.Don’t you people for one minute read your Bibles.What I do know when the bible has it written that they have eyes full adultery they can’t cease from sin its talking pastors.It also in the Bible:If a man looks upon a woman to lust after her in his heart once again the pastor when the preach to the women about tight clothing :paraphrasing one pastor said it like this” some of you women wear your clothes so tight”..wonder why you have the thought in the first place pastor. Another place in scripture it is written not to put a stumbling block before your brother preaching on women and their clothes is indeed a stumbling block for some brothern.My point here is this we should not have to go to church and put up with garbage coming out of the pulpit but that which edifys and brings grace to the hearers of the word .

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  40. I know about Edwin young and family.We’ll the church I used to attend the pastor allowed homosexuality in the church I was apart for 24 yrs of course it didn’t start that way but then pastor had the opinion he was the pastor God had chosen we were told to submit to his authority:of course the pastor.Tithes were more important than people.The pastor choose who could stay and who couldn’t stay. Usually the most loyal were in the “will of God “. A phrase the pastor used.In which case after noticing how corrupt it was becoming I took my family and left.

    So i completely understand the hurt of leaving.Freedom is my goal now I have no education, my mother kept me out of school because I might find a girlfriend.Eventually I married (pastor’s choice). A year later my wife left me. A year after my divorce, slowly I’m beginning my social net. One thing is I choose who I associate with and befriend.You know to this day as in any other day, the world is continued to revolve around the sun after all big bad God is disappointed I disobeyed his man. I can say this because the word rebellion was used for anyone who didn’t” submit “to pastoral authority. This time the who is me. Do you suppose if a hottie walked by I might see ball lighting: Don’t look at the hottie a voice might say!

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  41. DRA, that is a great question! I have done repeated google searches and could not find a trace of him. Hopefully somebody who knows will answer your question.

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