I grew up in the WCG. Subsequent to the WCG breaking up, I attended the United Church of God and later the Philadelphia Church of God. I could tell you so many stories that would make you gasp. I never really took the time to investigate into the “church” any further until it completely ruined the relationship that I had with my father. (I actually just did a research report about the Philadelphia Church of God for a college final.)
I got kicked out of the PCG at the Feast of Tabernacles because Craig Winters declared that I was “immature.” He wouldn’t talk to me about the issue at hand (no, of course not). Instead, he talked to my father. He knew that my father would not question him. I actually got kicked out because I informed the minister of an incident in the Women’s restroom in which a mother was beating her child simply because it would not go to the bathroom. This was ironically on the day that they had the “Blessing of the Children.” I felt sorry for the young one and, of course, I was going to say something. This was a brutal attack on this child and the child was screaming. I saw the entire thing and it made me very emotional knowing what that parent was actually doing to that poor child. It goes so much deeper than a bruise. Parents in the PCG don’t know how to discipline their children in the right manner. Come to find out it was actually a Deacon’s wife and she and her husband had a ranch and more money, so they won.
Upon research of my father’s “church,” so many things are coming together. Everything makes so much more sense now. I find it ironic that the PCG has this huge emphasis on family, yet at the same time my father refuses to come to any family functions because he is reading. He wants to be together as a family, yet exerts no effort in that direction. My father still loves me, but I am so glad that I will be 18 in two weeks. I don’t tell my father anything. I lived a very sheltered life and I fear my father (which is a really sad thing to have to say). It is unfortunately true. Living the majority of my life in the PCG, it seems as though some of the same concepts haunt me although they are not true, and I am fully cognizant of the fact that they are not true. When I see younger people in the PCG, it makes me very sad because they have no idea what they are being subjected to. I want to let people know that this group is just a bunch of nut cases that don’t put anything into perspective. My father doesn’t even listen to reason. He will just say, “Prove me wrong,” then he will deny all the facts that you put in front of him without any reason. It’s difficult. My father tells me everyday that the world is “ending soon” and that “we’ll go to the Place of Safety.” He constantly encourages me to drop out of school and enjoy my life while I can because “it will not be long before education is irrelevant.”
I could go on and on and on. The PCG played a huge role in my life.
By Stacy – Child survivor of PCG