The Facade of Praise Chapel , The Testimony of a victim of the fellowship
Date: April 30, 2016 10:44AM
I was first introduced to Praise Chapel in 1978, A man named Allen Cates had come to Chloride Arizona, (Where I was living with my family) to pioneer a praise chapel church. I wound up falling for his daughter, and being teenagers, we wound up having sex (ha ha, yes the preachers daughter) and she got pregnant. It was decided by her dad (Allen Cates and my dad) that we should get married, So I became the preachers son in law. For the next 18 years, I became what they called a disciple in training to become a pastor, (Disciple by the way, is code for slave of the pastor).
Eventually Allen Cates moved the church from Chloride to Kingman Arizona. I was still "being dicipled" During this time, I learned to do all ministries in the church, from teaching bible studies to being sunday school director, eventually becoming "Door Director" Which is responsible for running a saturday night music scene, and is supposed to make you ready to pastor a church.
During my time in kingman, my now Ex- wife began having affairs with leaders of the church, The fellowship meaning Praise Chapel and The Potters house leaders, meaning Mike Nevelle and Waymon Mitchell, also the leaders of the two fellowships, decided to counsel my ex wife and those leaders she was having sex with, They however made the decision to not tell me about all the affairs and not counsel me, Covering up all their affairs, with the blessings and consent of the founder of praise chapel Mike Nevelle and the founder of Potters House Waymon Mitchell. All of the leadership of kingman praise chapel was also in on the cover up.
Allen Cates also took delight in punishing me by taking away ministry for most of my discipleship, when I asked too many or what he considered the wrong questions.
During the time my now ex wife was having her affairs with leadership and men in the kingman church, naturally my ex wife and I were having marital problems. I did not know about the affairs as leadership covered them up, So I asked for counseling. Our assistant pastor Carl Friedrich, Who is the long running Anaheim Praise Chapel founder and member of Praise Chapel Board, came over to counsel us.. This was His counsel to me, He told me " It was all my fault, and that I needed to change. He knew all about the affairs my now ex wife was having and who she was having them with, One with his best friend, who later became the pastor of several praise chapels in the bay area and texas.
So I did all the changing and my now ex wife continued on with her affairs....
In 1986 Allen Cates was ran out of the kingman church, by his bible study leaders, with a non support vote. And who did praise chapel replace him with, no other than a potters house pastor from Alaska and Chandler Arizona, Howard Pennington, So the ones who lie and say praise chapel is not a carbon copy of potters house are just plain old liars.
In 1986 Allen Cates began to evangelize in Praise Chapel churches in Southern California, and as usual his sermons were about the devil, masterbation and of course giving to the cause.
In 1987, Allen Cates moved on to Orlando Florida to pioneer a new praise chapel. In 1988 I went to Orlando and became the Assistant Pastor. I assisted pastored for Allen Cates, and still my now ex wife was having affairs, that only I did not know about. Everyone else knew but never told me..As is Praise Chapel ways, No one goes against leadership. Our church was growing, because I took over pastoral duties, but as always, Allen Cates was tearing the people down. After two years in Orlando, I could not take the dictatorship of Cates any longer and Called Mike Nevelle and told him I was leaving Orlando to go pastor in West Sacramento California. He moved me to the Huntington Park California church, (His Church) and I evangelized for a year in southern california.
In 1990 I was "sent out" to West Sacramento California, to pioneer a new church. My church did well, and grew quickly, mainly because I had already dropped the cult like, heavy handed pastor tendencies and began to fellowship with Pastors outside of Praise Chapel. Those outside pastors helped me to grow as a christian and as a pastor. Mike Nevelle advised me that I should be hanging with praise chapel pastors only, I advised him, that I would pick and choose my own friends.
I was also helping other new pioneer praise chapels in the Sacramento Valley, by sending outreach teams, evangelizing and preaching, holding conferences and providing services from my church band to their churches.
God had been talking to me, about the secrets my now ex wife was holding and what she was doing. About 1994 God spoke to me, and told me to go ask my wife what was going on, I had asked her a couple times a year for the last 15 years, and she would always say "nothing is happening", But I felt she was not being truthful.
At the time God had again spoken to me about my ex wife, her mother Carol Cates was visiting us in West Sacramento, I walked into the living room and my ex wife and her mother were sitting on the couch, I looked at my now ex wife and told her, "God spoke to me, and once again, He wants me to ask you what is going on", Her mother Carol looked at my now ex wife and said " You better tell him" Well then she began telling me about her affairs in Kingman, (She never meantioned all the other affairs she had also been having for the last 15 years) So I heard only about two affairs in kingman (Again they were still lying and covering up), My now ex wife put a spin on this lie however, and told me she was "raped", I would soon find out, that these sold called rapes went on for a year each, and were not in fact rapes, but consented sex with leaders of the church.
I called my pastor Mike Nevelle and everyone else I knew was involved in the affairs and coverup's. The founder of praise chapel, my pastor Mike Nevelle told me to drive up to Huntington Park California with my now ex wife and get some counseling.
We drove to southern california, Mike Nevelle took us to his favorite resturant and then this was his counsel to me, He said to me, " It was a long time ago, get over it, again covering up, her continuing affairs. He said it was the policy of praise chapel in the early days, to only counsel the people involved in the affairs, and never involve their spouses, to literally cover up the affairs.
This so called counseling, lasted a whole 40 minutes, and then my now ex wife and I were headed back to West Sacramento, I was so damn mad, I threatened to kick her ass out of the car a few time.
When I got back home, I called Mike Nevelle and advised him, I was changing the name of my church to Sacramento Valley Christian Center, thus dropping the moniker of praise chapel, and that I would no longer send my gold sheets or tithes from my Church to the mother church. He told me I could not do this, I told him it was already done, I then began to tell all my pastor friends, inside and outside the fellowship about who was involved in the affairs. What leaders who were now pastoring, I was advised by Mike Neville to not tell anyone...Again the cover was to remain intact, in order to protect those pastors in praise chapel who were involved in the affairs.
Six months after learning some of the truth, I could no longer function in my church, Praise Chapel sent me to Wyoming to pioneer a new church, as it was thought a change of geography might help. The day I arrived in Wyoming, Mike Neville advised me, that I was being cut off, ex communicated and dropped from pastoring. He stranded my family in Wyoming, I worked two jobs, long enough to move my family back to California, where we stayed with an Assembly of God Pastor Friend of mine, until I could find a house, I re-formed my church again in my house, I had left my church to a praise chapel pastor, who promptly upon arriving in west sacramento, shut my church down and took our new sound system with him.
After a year in my house, I was struggling to keep my marriage and family together, I was offered an assistant pastorship with my father in law Allen Cates who was now pioneering in Bullhead City Arizona. I took it, six months into this pastorship, I discovered Allen Cates was inbezzeling church funds, I confronted him and he advised me it was none of my business. I called my friend John Pool who was assistant pastor of Kingman Praise Chapel, (He is now senior pastor of Kingman Praise Chapel since the death of Howard Pennington, Both of these men, were former Potters house pastors. They moved me to Kingman, where, my now ex wife and I got one counseling session. After 6 months in the kingman church and seeing the abuse that always goes on in the fellowship, I left with my family and took a job with the state and never looked back.
My youngest child, my daughter Neshelle, committed suicide in 2002, That was the final breaking point, I advised my now ex wife that I was moving out and wanted a divorce, (I only stayed for my kids).
In 2012 My younger brother took his own life, In 2014 My oldest son, Michael took his own life...I directly blame the fellowship and my now ex wife for these deaths, for the hell they put me and my family thru, it cost me two of my children, my brother and a relationship with my now only and youngest son...
I now pretty much reject all churches, all religions, I pray at home, I talk to God on my own, and am working on my life with my Father in heaven.....So I have a heart knowledge of the fellowship Praise Chapel, and the Cult that it is.....
I mostly posted this to let all of you who are finding your way out of the cults, to continue to escape, to not blame yourselves, and to not listen to the twisted lies those who are still involved in the cults say to you....It is scary to leave all you know, to abandon all you have been indoctrinated in, and to strip away the lies, chains and bondage, but you must do this, if you are ever going to be free, and really know your Father in heaven.
I want to close up by stating some signs from someone who has been a victim of a cult...
1. If they separate and encourage you to not associate with friends and family outside the fellowship.
2. If they keep you broke, and slaving for the cause, and always pushing for you to give more, ( By the way,,,Tithing is not New Testament teaching, and is not Godly, It is just another tool for the cult to control your life.
3. If they think for you, and the only opinion you can have is theirs.
4. If everyone but them is wrong, and only they are right.
5. If you have to ask your pastor or leadership permission to have a life and run your own life.
6. if they promote the wealthy into leadership, keep the sheep under the thumb, and demand respect and obedience to only them.
7. If there is no accoutability, either financial or spiritual, either one or both.
8. If there is no platform to question leaders or pastorship
9. If they threaten punishment for you having your own belief's, opinions and voice
Get out, run like hell, and never look back, you cannot fix a broken one sided relationship, You are not wrong, shut out the voices of the cults, and stand up for yourselves.
God bless you, thanks for listening, and carry on my wayward friends,
Former Praise Chapel pastor West Sacramento California