Exit and Support Network

Openly Threatened by
Philadelphia Church of God Minister

I was openly threatened by a PCG minister to the point where hotel security almost had to get involved. The meeting was in a quiet part of the hotel but the minister's shouts that I had a "problem with authority" became so loud that the hotel security came into the area and walked past twice to ascertain the situation. I'm sure the meeting looked very suspicious, due to the fact that another member sat off in the distance in the dark watching the whole episode. I was told that the other member was there as a "witness."

After this incident, I was very shaken and asked the manager on duty to thank the security who felt the need to patrol that area. I spoke to a close friend (non church related) who is a police officer and he was ready and willing to send a squad car by the hotel to question the minister on his behavior and the threats he made against me and my family, if we didn't "straighten up." Even though this would not ordinarily be a police issue, having friends in high places in a small town unfamiliar to the minister definitely helped at this time. I'm sure with the collaboration of the security guard on his weird threatening behavior, that would have definitely been reason for them to question and detain him, just for the mere safety of the other guests in the hotel.

I came back home in shock looking for comfort and was basically told if the minister was upset, it was because of something I had said and I deserved the scolding. My family was more concerned about their faith at the hands of this minister than how this so called "man of God" acted in a public place.

At the time this happened, I was no longer attending services as I had been asked to leave after a series of misfortunes in my life, which the ministers felt were due to some "deep dark sin." I was told I was "too secretive; living a secret lifestyle." It got so bad that my family was instructed not to attend my college graduation. This was punishment for me not being the sweet and open little girl that I was expected to be. I felt defeated and eventually called a minister at headquarters to ask to meet and counsel with. He informed me he would be in a nearby town for a particular function. So the meeting occurred when he visited the area. My family were all of sudden pleased to accept me back into the fold. Unfortunately the meeting did not go well. I had heard about the scare tactics of the ministers but had never experienced them upfront.

Every so often I guess the ministry instructs my family to mess with my mind. (I have even been told that if a child goes against the "church" they are virtually dead.) Now it has less affect. So I guess I am learning to deal. I hope this will help others to see how these people really are.

By Ashley - Child Survivor of PCG
March 14, 2008


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