On my western fence is a tree considered an invasive species.  I have removed this tree four times. Each time it just grows back. Each time it grows back it sends up even thicker trunks and the branches form an even more chaotic pattern. This tree provides me no shade, it shows no fruit, and it has never produced a single blossom. Yet, it is still a tree, it is still life, and it is still a part of nature. It's just not a useful part of nature. This tree saps the water and nutrients from the soil around it, which then starves the roots of plants more useful to me.  

I once rented a root grinder and ground out the root of that invasive tree deep below the surface. It took  longer to grow back, but soon there was an even thicker set of multiple trunks, and an even greater chaos of green leaves.

I have two other trees near this invasive that provide me shade and keep my house cool. These two trees pull moisture from deep in the soil then expel this moisture out into the air through their leaves, giving comfort to the garden surrounding it. All three trees I mention are of a different variety, but they all have one thing in common. They have roots.

Luke, in his gospel, says Christ spoke of trees which bear both good fruit and bad. Immediately after, He then speaks of digging down deep to lay a solid foundation. The foundation of any tree is its root structure and everything above is just a result of that root. A tree with a solid root is able to stand for a thousand years without attention from any man. What man builds only remains if it is continuously tended to and there is an entire TV show which illustrates what happens to man's creations when they lack the attention of maintenance. Complete decay.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.


For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.


“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 

There is only one true tree, an olive tree, and this tree is planted by living waters. If we have been grafted into that one single tree, we are  then nourished by these living waters. It is possible to put one's complete faith in, and be grafted into, a religious movement, rather than into that true olive tree. 

The letter to the Romans juxtaposes the salvation of Israel with the salvation of those who followed after Christ:

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

When the scripture tells us to “examine ourselves whether we be in the faith” this is exactly what it refers to. We must ask ourselves, "Have we been grafted into that true olive tree, or have we been grafted in elsewhere?" That tree in my yard may put out many chaotic green leaves, and seem alive and fresh, but it is a non-fruitful tree and a burden to all the vegetation surrounding it. Look carefully at where you have been grafted. See if that tree you are attached to provides you with nourishment from living water and bears fruit. Look to see if that tree is perhaps invasive and is drawing it's life from those around it, instead of drawing deep water which nourishes the air with a cooling mist. If the  fruit is not there, it is time to reexamine.

The doctrines of the ABC have been drawn from the teachings of Ramon A Haas, my father. His teachings were derived from other sources, over a period of many years, and this has given the ABC multiple roots. The tap root, the primary root, I will show, sinks directly into the doctrines of William Marion Branham and the “Latter Rain Revival” movement, as formulated and adopted at the Sharon Orphanage in Canada and was then passed along through James A Watt and others. These doctrines of the ABC are partially rooted  in the doctrines of other men, and movements, that came before it's creation. Some of these men and movements that came before were later proven to be formulated for earthly gain, or esteem, and did not grow out of that true olive tree.

Despite my father’s assertion one should not listen to “Christian Radio” he listened in frequently. He, at  times, used premises given by radio preachers to formulate some of his own teachings. I was in the car with him the day he listened to a man teach on “Wells”. He then adapted this into a teaching for the ABC. The same for the “Horns of the Altar” teaching. Both of these teachings were derived from men he listened to on Christian radio. 

Many other teachings in the ABC were derived in this same manner. The “Mystery Babylon” teaching came straight from a booklet produced by an individual associated with the Sharon Orphanage, as well as a teaching by Bill Branham. The Foundation Principles doctrine came straight from the teachings of Derek Prince, James A Watt, and a team of other persons associated with Broadway Tabernacle in Seattle and in Canada. 

Other doctrines had root in the Sharon Orphanage. The men at the Sharon Orphanage were greatly influenced by William Branham at a revival meeting in Vancouver BC. Most of these men, who created these teachings, have passed on now, but there are still many references found online.

There is nothing new under the sun. I take no issue with the fact these teachings were passed from one person to another. This is knowledge, some sound, some not so much, and this is how knowledge is passed between generations. However, the ABC presents these teachings as being indigenous to them alone. They are not. My father drew them from many different sources and one need only Google search “Foundation Truths, Prince” to find the source of just a few of these principal teachings. The “Foundation Truths" teaching can be found in book form, written by Derek Prince, and  easily available for purchase on Amazon for about fifteen dollars. 

Derek Prince was a major influence for James A Watt at Broadway Tabernacle in Seattle. My father then adopted everything James A Watt created, after he was forced out of the Broadway Tabernacle church and started his own church. First on San Juan Island, then at the Wilcrest Apartments in Seattle, later in Snohomish County and beyond. This, after abandoning nearly half of his family.

The scriptures say in every house there are articles that are precious and those that will burn. My father was no exception. He was incorrect in many of the things he spoke. Many of his notions were wood, hay and stubble that would not survive the fire, but there are still some things that can be gleaned from the things he taught.

Humans are born, are given a life, and the scriptures tell us we can be born anew. That is only possible by being grafted into that true olive tree. If we have been grafted into another tree, with a different root, we are not truly born anew.  This is not to say an organization can have no value. We are social creatures. An organization, if it is functioning correctly, can build a person up and fill the air with life. If it is not functioning correctly, it tears down and, like my chaotic tree, saps life from the plants around it instead of gives.  It is possible to find good fellowship in an organization, but if one grafts themself to that  organization, as the source of their salvation, they are misguided. That organization can never impart life. To find life we must be “grafted in” to that living tree, with a living root which feeds from living waters.

Some point to past abuses of the ABC and say, “we’ve changed now”, "that was then and this is now", "we've grown since then".  I have heard this many times, over many decades, yet the turmoils reappear again and again.  Each time I cut down that invasive tree in my yard, the landscape changes, looks fresh and new, and there is no sign left of the ugliness of that invasive tree. However deep below the surface that root is still active and it will once again push to the surface in a chaotic display of branches and leaves that have no value and are robbing the valuable greenery around it of peace and safety. People can change, people can grow, but institutions and corporate bodies see little change because they are as immovable as stone and not rooted where the living waters flow. Only people, not organizations, can be grafted in.

Early on in the history of the ABC, one of my siblings, also an “elder” in the ABC at the time, watched in horror as the events unfolded in Jonestown on November 18, 1978. This is the day many hundreds died at a religious compound operated by Jim Jones in Guyana.  This event would become known as “The Jonestown Massacre”.  More than nine-hundred individuals either took their own lives that day, by drinking poison Kool-Aid, or were murdered by Jim Jones if they refused to drink. Jim Jones too committed suicide once most others were dead. A tiny handful escaped to tell the story. This is the origin of our expression “drank the Kool-Aid”.

In the aftermath of the Jonestown Massacre, my sibling reviewed the path of the ABC, and that of Jim Jones, the leader of Jonestown, and saw too many parallels to the path the ABC was following. He walked away. This is not to say the ABC is currently a suicide cult intent on moving its members to a commune in the jungle to drink kool-aid. There was never a time in the history I experienced this as an issue. However, I cannot know who will guide the ABC in the future. Given the parallels, under new leadership, anything is possible. Just like "The People's Temple", Jones' church, there is a root of being secretive in the ABC as well.

There is actually a dotted line connection between the ABC and Jim Jones. It's a dotted line connection in that there was no direct collaboration between the two during the forming of each church, however they grew on parallel tracks. A solid line connection exists between Jim Jones and William (Bill / Brother) Branham. Both churches sprang from similar doctrines laid down by Branham and the "Latter Rain Revivalists" at Sharon Orphanage. There are other similar connections, but it is not possible to list them all here. I will give resources later that spell out some of those connections.

Branham is a man my dad spoke of often. He had enough respect for him that he placed one of his tapes top of the list in the ABC library. (See Illustration).

One of the stories of Branham told repeatedly was of Branham being able to use "the power of God" to tame a bull.  Rev. Lens Jones in  Australia recounts this same story in 1954:

"One day he was crossing an open field when a ferocious bull rushed him. There was no tree to climb and no fence to get through, for he was in the center of the field. There was no hope but God. He said a strange peace possessed him, and he knew the animal could not hurt him. The bull pawed the ground for a time and then charged him at great speed. There he stood, helpless, in the middle of the field, with a charging bull coming toward him. All that he did was to stand there and quietly say, as the bull got closer and closer, "You can't hurt me, and I don't want to hurt you-now just go over there and lie down." On the bull came, until it was within three feet of him, when it just stopped in its tracks and did exactly as he said. Our minds went back to Daniel in the lion's den.

Branham told many such stories of miracles, always without any witness. Multiple investigations by reporters and even the U.S. Government either disproved these stories or could find no evidence.

There is a great deal of information regarding Branham in books, and on the web. I list below just a few. At the end of this post I will list a few more references but this is still but a small bit of what is available. I encourage the reader to read up on Jim Jones and Branham. This  post is not able to discuss this subject in full detail because, to do so, would run on for hundreds of pages. Identifying the direct link between Branham and my father, and the parallel track between Branham and Jim Jones,  will identify some of the roots that supported the ABC during its initial forming. This is critical information. 

These are two books that give excellent background:

Jim Jones, The Malachi 4 Elijah Prophecy. ISBN 978-1548102630

Preacher behind the White Hoods.  ISBN 978-1735160900

There is also extensive research on Bill Branham, his connection to Sharon Orphanage, and James A Watt on the web at:


This is an enormous site, still a work in progress, and it carries the tale of Branham’s roots all the way back to a man named Frank Sandford. For our purposes, we don’t need to research that far back to get a flavor for the character, and doctrines, of Branham and those who came before and after him. More on that later.

The ABC teaches they have a perfect baptism because my father had a perfect baptism by a Spirit-Filled Believer and this was then the catalyst that began the ABC. This is simply not true. My father was baptized in the late forties, or early to mid fifties, then remained in several mainstream churches for quite a few years teaching a "sinner's prayer / personal savior" salvation. No one knows for certain who  baptized my father, or what doctrine this person taught. No one knows if this was a baptism of Repentance, or one to receive the Holy Spirit. It is only assumed it was correct, per ABC standards, because no one ever questioned him to find out.

I inquired of my father several times on who baptized him. I got several different answers, none definitive, and so, over the years, I repeatedly asked. Most times he would mention a man named "Brother White" who was connected, in some manner, to the Branham inspired Neo-Pentecostal movement which then forged the "Latter Rain Revival" movement at the Sharon Orphanage. James A Watt, from Broadway Tabernacle, a man who would later be a large presence in my dad's life, was a principal player at the Sharon Orphanage. More on that later.

I discovered a man named "Brother Wyatt", in Portland Oregon, who was connected directly to the Branham movement. This may be the person my dad referenced and I may have just heard “White” instead of “Wyatt”. I can't say for certain. 

Wyatt was the pastor of the "Wings of Healing Temple" in Portland Oregon and worked closely with George Hawtin. Hawtin was a man my father knew personally and would call on occasion. Wyatt traveled across the globe, holding revival meetings for Branham, so it is very likely he would have traveled the few hours north from Portland to Tacoma to hold meetings there as well. There are enough connections between my father and this man Wyatt I can reasonably assume he was the man who baptized my father. But, there is no way to know for absolute certain.  

Branham was the inspiration for, but not one of the direct founders of, the Sharon Orphanage. His teachings, in Vancouver BC, inspired a group of men to start this new Pentecostal movement. These men would return to Saskatchewan and begin the “Latter Rain Revival” movement at the Sharon Orphanage. There is more to be said about the beginnings of the Orphanage and this can be found in the books mentioned above.

One of the principal players in the “Latter Rain Revival”, at Sharon Orphanage, was James A Watt. Watt would leave Canada, at the behest of Derek Prince in Seattle, and continue his ministry in Seattle by way of the Broadway Tabernacle church. This church had just been vacated by Prince who went on to start a "tape ministry". My father would join Watt in his efforts at Broadway Tabernacle then later take all of Watt's work to use as his own creation in order to start a new church movement, originally called just "the group", then later named "The Assembly of the Body of Christ".

My father and Watt were close friends and spent a great deal of time together. The ABC adopted, in its entirety, the study method used by Broadway Tabernacle, including the “Daily Reading Card”. Many assumed this was the work of my father, but it can be entirely credited  to James A Watt.

Not long prior to his passing, Watt was still prophesying the Latter Rain Revival would come, beginning first in Canada, then to the US, then to the rest of the world. He passed away before that prophesy was ever fulfilled.  

To verify the doctrine alleging the ABC has a baptism superior to all others, we must track the lineage of my father’s baptism back at least a few steps. We must examine the persons in that lineage. Per ABC standards, it must be proven this person was filled with the Holy Spirit and was baptizing to impart the Holy Spirit in order for this baptism to be considered valid. While I can't be certain Wyatt was the man, I do know for certain the individual was directly connected to the Branham ministry and it was either at a revival in Tacoma or Portland. This was the one common thread anytime I inquired.  Below is an order from the Branham playbook.

Now, we believe in water baptism in the Branham Tabernacle, by immersing in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the apostolic teaching of the Bible. And may all members of us, or comers to the Branham Tabernacle, who desire such, may at any time (requesting to) be immersed, in the Name of the Lord Jesus. May he consult the pastor; if they have repented, and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, the pastor will, as soon as possible, even at... then if he can, baptize them immediately. This does bring them into the fellowship of the believers. We believe that by water baptism we are brought into a fellowship. But by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we are brought into the members, being members of the Body of Jesus Christ, which is all over the world.

I have traced individuals in this lineage back to the 1910’s, but we need only go back as far as a man named Roy E Davis and examine this man's life.  

Roy E. Davis is the man who baptized Bill Branham. This is recorded in the historical record in several places. Per my father’s statements, he was either baptized in Tacoma Washington, or Portland Oregon, after a revival meeting held by Branham. As I say, I asked multiple times but always got different answers. I don't hold that out as subterfuge. Memories can meld multiple events into one and it was many decades earlier he was baptized. 

Here are a couple quotes as shown on the William Branham Historical Research site.

"I am the minister who received Brother Branham into the first Pentecostal assembly he ever frequented. I baptized him and was his pastor for some two years. I also preached his ordination sermon, and signed his ordination certificate, and heard him preach his first sermon."  Rev. Roy E. Davis.

“Well, I remember Dr. Roy Davis, a—a—a personal friend of mine, who baptized me the only time I've ever been baptized. And he said that John was meaning, I remember this in their school, he said, "John knowed that he had never been baptized, himself, so he... Jesus. John suffered Jesus to baptize him." Well, that, I—I different with the—the great doctor there. 20 Not for controversy, but for the sake of Truth I might say this. No, there was two men, the two leaders of the hour, the Messiah and His prophet met in the water. Branham, 63-0721 - He Cares Do You Care?”

Branham held regular meetings in Portland, Seattle and Tacoma in the late forties, as well as into the fifties and sixties. I was born in 1955 and, not long before I entered elementary school, my father attended seminary in Eugene, Oregon.  There were multiple meetings in all three cities conducted by Branham, with Wyatt present, during the mid-fifties so it is very likely they crossed paths. This is also about the same time we became connected to Noti Pentecostal Church. Prior to this, my dad attended a more staid denominational church in Tacoma Washington and worked as a youth pastor. I was very young, so I do not  know the exact details on how we left Tacoma and  became connected to Noti Pentecostal. This church was affiliated with the same faction of Pentecostalism as Branham so this may have been the influence. It was a very small, very rural, church so it is unlikely Branham ever visited personally.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is a parallel connection between the ABC and the Peoples Temple, founded by Jim Jones. I will illustrate this connection further, but it's important to first  look at the life of Roy E. Davis. It's important to determine if his doctrine, and his baptism, are sound. He is nearly for certain in the direct lineage of baptizers that preceded my father’s baptism. At the very least, those who followed Davis, and adopted his doctrines and theologies, would have baptized by the rules he taught. These rules were passed on to Branham when Davis fell out of favor. Or was arrested.

Roy E. Davis was born in 1890. In 1915 he became a leading founder of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) movement and was considered to be a National Imperial Wizard. He worked as one of their recruiters and  posed as a traveling evangelist. Davis' efforts increased the numbers of KKK members, and also increased their influence in politics and society, by melding the two roles; Wizard of the KKK and Pentecostal evangelist. He did this through an offshoot of the KKK he named  “Knights of the Flaming Sword”. This organization melded his racial hatred with highly emotional religion and by 1959, Davis had become the national leader of the KKK. At the same time he continued to hold Pentecostal revivals. 

I am grossly paraphrasing all of this history. More of this history can be found in Wikipedia, with references notated, or there is a short video here:  https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x87yg3l

Roy E. Davis is the man who baptized Branham, and “ordained” him, in 1929. Those who followed after Branham, or were "saved" at one of his revivals, like my father, were most often baptized by Branham, or a follower of Branham, that same night. In my father's case that may have been Wyatt.

Roy E Davis was not close to being a model citizen. Over the years he was charged with multiple frauds, thefts, forgeries, sex trafficking, cross burning and more. This is all confirmed in court records and he served several long prison sentences for these crimes. There is considerable research on the life of Roy E Davis and it can be conclusively proven his ministry was not in line with the words of Jesus, or a sense of decency or good moral character.

The Neo-Pentecostal religious fire begun by Branham ignited many other smaller "Neo-Pentecostal" fires around the globe. One of the largest was the Sharon Orphanage movement which, in turn, began the “Latter Rain Revival” movement. From there other movements were spawned, then disappeared, such as the Florida Five. Many of these groups, roots deeply embedded in Branhamism and "Latter Rain Revival" doctrines, like the ABC, still exist but take many different forms. Over the years there were multiple splits into factions, doctrines were abandoned, and none follow exactly the words of Branham now. Many, like the ABC, have reduced, cut, or deny the ties to  Branham and the "Latter Rain Revival" roots from which they sprang. Denial aside, the roots of these organizations are, in fact, deeply embedded in “Latter Rain Revival" theology, as well as Branham doctrine. They are just not openly labeled as such.

There is much that could be written about the start of the “Latter Rain Revival” movement at Sharon Orphanage, but that would make this post run quite long. There is a good encapsulation of this history told by James A Watt, one of the original seven present at the beginning, and a link below leads to a taped interview in which he briefly references Branham’s initial inspiration. There is much more to that story than is told in this interview and that information can be found in the book "Preacher behind the White Hoods.  ISBN 978-1735160900".  

Here is the link to that interview. It runs about thirty minutes.


Here is a link to a visual representation of the Chronology of the Latter Rain Revival movement:


Below are links to information about just a few of the individuals my father either knew personally or followed after: 

When Jim Jones entered the religious scene, it was Branham who gave him his start. There is no direct connection between the ABC and Jim Jones, however they are connected in parallel because both my dad and Jim Jones were tutored in the same doctrines espoused by Branham in the the forties and fifties. Like many others, my father later abandoned some of the more unusual doctrines of Branham, but then still clung to others. One of the most egregious doctrines my father maintained for most of his life was the “serpent seed” doctrine. This doctrine stated persons descending out of black Africa were not fully human and so could not achieve salvation. My father abandoned this doctrine only after a black man visited a meeting, and asked to be baptized. The usual practice when one asked to be baptized was to immediately find a pool and baptize but, in this case, a meeting was held later to “determine if this man was human and could be baptized”. I was present, David North was present, and a few of the other men were present in San Diego at the Casa Grande. I was vocal in my contention a dark skin color did not indicate a person was "non-human". 

In the ABC, my father did not teach this doctrine using the term “Serpent’s Seed”, as Branham did, but rather referred to black people as “Beasts of the Field”. Not quite human, not quite animal. He was not sure a black man had a soul that could be saved. This "beast of the field" term is one my father picked up from a woman named Vivian  in Paradise California, a Branham Pentecostal follower by church affiliation, and not a member of the ABC.  I am not sure how they crossed paths but I drove my father to her house one weekend, at his request, and stayed the night. She was an excitable woman that sang church songs without a break. In between she spoke in tongues or would become somewhat trance-like as she praised Jesus. There were very few breaks from this continuous "praise". I had spent those years as a child in a "holy roller" Pentecostal church so I was familiar with her mannerisms. When we were at her house, she spoke of various doctrines she espoused. Her analysis of Genesis 2 and 3 is that God created man but he also created "beasts of the field; black man, as animals. This is a doctrine my father quickly adopted once again.  

Most of the players in the “Latter Rain Revival” movement, at the Sharon Orphanage, received their initial inspiration from Branham.  A good accounting of this can be found in the book Preacher behind the White Hoods.  ISBN 978-1735160900”.  

The Sharon Orphanage, Jim Jones, Ramon A Haas and, by extension, the ABC, all have roots in Branhamism and the "Latter Rain Revival" movement. This is never directly acknowledged, and I am not sure the current leadership has ever understood, or researched, these connections enough to know they even exist. I was unaware of these connections since childhood an only discovered them when I was ex-communicated for the last time. I can say for certain, the ABC has no official connection to the current Branham organization, but has many roots in the same theologies and doctrines.

There is a link below that will take you to research the connections between Branham, Jim Jones, the Sharon Orphanage and others. This extensive study was conducted by San Diego State University. The information is lengthy, but the only proof one need look for in this is the connection between Jim Jones and Branham. That connection is undeniable. 

Had circumstances not played out as they did in my father's life, with his adultery, followed by abandoning his family, and in turn losing favor with Jim Watt, Derek Prince, Philadelphia Bible College and others, it is likely his name would also appear in some of this research. For as long as I can remember he was intensely motivated to rise as far as he could in mainstream churches. He had many connections to Branham, the Sharon Orphanage descendants, Demos Shakarian and Full Gospel Businessman's Fellowship, and many other Pentecostal and Assemblies of God teachers, preachers and movements. It was only when he was rejected by these organizations, and was faced with starting his own church if he wanted to continue "in the ministry", did he choose to rent a church building on San Juan Island (shown below), completely isolated from the groups in Seattle he once affiliated with.


This church was ultimately not successful. Only afterward, is when he took his church movement mostly underground at the Wilcrest. This is a similar  path Jim Jones followed when his own movement ran into conflict. Here is the link:


So, back to my original point. The ABC relies on a “pure baptism lineage” to prove they have a better path to salvation than all others. If you look into the life, and doctrines, of the persons my dad followed, prior to the ABC beginnings as “the group”, in the late sixties, at the Wilcrest Apartments, there is no proof this “pure lineage” exists. 

Many, but not all, of the persons associated with the movements my father participated in, or followed, have been proven to be charlatans, liars, thieves, and scoundrels. There were a few who renounced the Branham teachings, and some of the "Latter Rain Revival" doctrines, then moved more toward a ministry built more on faith and tolerance. There can be no question, Branham, Roy E Davis, Jim Jones, and others used their “ministry” as a source of financial gain and power through deliberate deception and trickery. Others were more sincere in their intents.

There is not enough space to discuss these topics completely.  I encourage all readers to question, and examine, all of this evidence for yourself. Determine if you have grafted yourself into the ABC, or any other similar aberrant church, or directly to that true olive tree. If the organization you are involved with has a doctrine stating if one leaves it they are jeopardizing their salvation, this is proof one is grafted to an organization, not to that true olive tree.  A wander through the voluminous data at the links provided will prove what I say here conclusively. 

My thanks to John Andrew Collins for his incredibly extensive research on this subject, all found easily found online, and in his books on Branham and Jim Jones. His research is backed up by copies of letters, newspaper articles and the like. He continues to gather information and his work has allowed me to fill in  a lot of blanks from the time I was a child.

Collins was part of Branham's “The Message” cult since childhood. As an adult, like myself, he began seeing through some of the fallacies and myths. He has spent countless hours poring through newspapers, books, court records and the like to find the truth about Branham and the spiritual arson fires he sparked globally. The ABC is just one of those fires.

Additional resources:





There are many other books available on this subject at Amazon. 




Walk away, just walk away

Below, in green lettering, is an excerpt from an article named Pastor Sues for Bad Reviews written by Dan Foster on Medium (emphasis added). The complete article can be found at:


Or complete details of the lawsuit can be found at: "Spiritual Sounding Board"

I add this article because it demonstrates the doctrine of shunning the ABC follows is actually much more common than we realize, and is an ungodly practice. If we use the Bible as reference point there is really no sound justification for this doctrine. And, in fact, those in leadership are admonished they must not lord it over the flock, the opposite of shunning and bullying.

Psychology Today describes shunning as, “an act of control and aggression, with powerful consequences”(1).  Shunning is really nothing less than formalized bullying.


"When Julie Ann Smith of Beaverton, Oregon, walked away from her church, she was unprepared for what would follow. Suddenly on the outer, she found herself and her family being inexplicably shunned by church members who were told by church leaders not to associate with her or her family anymore.

“If I went to Costco or any place in town, if I ran into somebody, they would turn their heads and walk the other way,” said Smith.

And while Julia Ann Smith was shocked at receiving the cold shoulder, this kind of story is an all-too-familiar tale from people who have walked away from churches. Suddenly, those who thought were your closest friends — your spiritual family, even — treat you as if you are a leper.

The Church in Smith’s case was the ironically named “Beaverton Grace Bible Church,” although, according to Smith, the “grace” was non-existent. In fact, Beaverton Grace Bible Church was famous for shunning former members/attendees or anyone who dared question the authority of the church leaders. Of all the things a church could be famous for…"


This is "spiritual abuse". On this woman's website can be found one of the best definitions I have seen for the term "spiritual abuse". It is reprinted below.

Spiritual Abuse:  Spiritual abuse is a spiritual role-reversal where a shepherd, instead of clinging to and emulating the Great Shepherd by shepherding God’s people (Acts 20; 1 Peter 5; 1 Timothy 3; Ephesians 4), subtly demands that members exist to meet the shepherd’s needs (James 4:1-4). Rather than relating as a servant leader, the pastor “pulls rank” and “lords it over others” (Matthew 20:20-28; 1 Peter 5:1-6), not for the benefit of the flock, but for the benefit of the pastor. Rather than speaking the truth in love and rather than ministering grace and truth (Ephesians 4:11-16, 29; Colossians 4:3-6; Titus 2:10-12), the spiritually abusive pastor intimidates, judges, condemns, shames, and blames the sheep without regard for the spiritual wellbeing of the sheep (Jeremiah 23:1-4; Matthew 23:1-39). Definition from Bob Kellemen, Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition

The only thing I might add to Dan Foster's article is those who have been "pushed or driven out" as well, not just those who have "walked away". If one were finding peace and safety where they fellowshipped, they would likely not be "walking away" from it looking for a pasture that actually had green grass and safety.

I find the treatment she received mirrors closely the behaviors of the ABC toward those it finds "unacceptable" or of the "unapproved". As I have mentioned previously, the things I write on this site relate mostly to the ABC, because that is my direct experience, but this is an issue among many aberrant churches lost in a sense of self-righteousness. These churches encourage submission to the doctrines of a man, instead of to God, which leads to these false doctrines being implemented.