I was part of a Tampa/Dade City church for twenty-four years. If I sat at this computer for a year and typed continuously, I couldn't begin to record the horror perpetrated on me and those I love.
My history begins with my parents attending the church when I was pre-school age.
The pastor at the time tried to 'sever ties' with the movement called the 'Body'; being a young child, I didn't understand what this meant.
There was a woman in the church who was the 'youth-pastor'. I understand this was very 'unusual' for this organization of churches as women were generally repressed and thought brainless.
I was too young at the time to attend the 'youth' meetings (THANK GOD!!!)
However, the congregation would hear at the Saturday night meetings how 'amazing' the meetings were- they were so 'Spirit'-packed they would last until four in the morning! Oh, holiness was reigning!!
What they mostly consisted of was the 'youth' minister or her 'favored' young people sensing demons in the other young people and then hours of 'casting' said demons 'out'.
It is my belief that the Salem witch trials got a great revival in Tampa in the 'West' wing of the church. Had execution been permissible, these 'zealous' 'Christians' would have obliged the world in wiping out a few more heretics!
|photo by slapshot in flickr|
When I came out of the church, I heard from the 'young' people who had also left that the senior pastor had repeatedly warned this 'youth' minister that she was not to keep the youth over an hour. So, she told the young people that they would keep the length of the meetings a secret between themselves.
BIG RED FLAG HERE! Anytime someone wants seemingly 'normal' things kept from those in authority (i.e. when and where meetings occur, length of meetings, who was there, etc.) please do yourself a favor and spread the word- there is danger somewhere.