Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: Pyjamas6 ()
Date: October 31, 2011 04:53AM

bea's very disturbing report tells of practices which are obviously illegal as well as wrong. I can't tell whether "two cars and a 3-bedroomed house in a nice area" is inappropriate for a church leader - it depends on the context. The whole of the rest of that report is abhorrent and the opposite of Newfrontiers values. Does the NF leadership know about these stories, which would appal them? Are you sure we are talking about the same group? Again I ask, where are the checks and balances and the accountability? It was for these things that we joined a NF church - or at least without being sure they were in place we would not have joined.

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: allanclare ()
Date: January 10, 2012 04:52PM

Bea - please tell us the name of the church. I find your account rather difficult to believe. It seems a travesty of everything New Frontiers believes in and stands for. You should also inform the police about the church as it's clear from your account that there is illegal abuse going on.

I came on here as I was interested in whether the episcopal structures of New Frontiers (being from a Restorationist background) lend themselves to certain misuses of authority - or at least a controlling 'one man band / lead elder' model - especially when young men in the mid twenties to mid thirties are more often than not the recruits for being an 'elder' - (similar to what has been recently been revealed about Sovereign Grace Ministries).

I've found rather more balance (and insight) on the ship of fools website that Eutychus so helpfully linked to. And, Eutychus, I was sorry to hear about your experiences on your own site.

In Christ,

ATC, Bristol.

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: bea ()
Date: January 11, 2012 01:20AM

I can't tell you the name of the church on here precisely because of police investigation. I reported my experiences to the CID as did my sister. Why do you find it difficult to believe? Abusers come from all walks of life, "Christians" are not immune. Child abuse is a lot more common than you may think - 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.
The church is actually near to where you say you are from.

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: kayjay12000 ()
Date: January 11, 2012 06:10AM

SO terribly sorry to hear of your appalling experiences. I left an NF church about 10 years ago now, but my experiences with them are as nothing compared to yours.
Best wishes, K J Budworth

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: allanclare ()
Date: February 15, 2012 06:10AM

Hello Bea,

I really hope I didn't come across as harsh in my response or cynical to you with my 'finding it hard to believe.' My wife and I were heavy shepherded in an independent charismatic church in 2008 and have been in a NF church since then. We've found it a real place of love and healing with some genuinely humble 'leadership' who are part of the Body.

If you could email me I'd appreciate it as I'd want to avoid that church! I'll make no bones about telling you which church to avoid. It's a 'thriving congregation' in Kingswood, Bristol. Easy to find if you google it. My email is my username and I'm @

God bless,


Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: CarlKolchak ()
Date: March 14, 2012 12:06AM

New developments prompt me to update the story I told back in early 2010 on this thread (page 1) about the NFI church, Church in the Boro, in Statesboro, Georgia, USA.

I posted some info about goings on at that church back in 2010, I was angry with the abuse of young people and twists of scripture I saw. Pastor Wilkerson, the pastor there, jumped on the forum after he found out what I'd posted (I know not how he discovered this) and had a lively, damage-control exchange with some regulars here (he left with the opinion that those on this forum who were calling him to task were deranged--or words to that effect). I won't go into all the details of the abuse I saw, I gave only a partial and cleaned-up version here back in 2010, but it's the typical white gloves, nice-sounding phrases abuse and manipulation that goes on in your average NFI or SGM church, with the gloves only coming off in private if they have no more reason to be "nice".

My family left our church (which had once been a growing church with 70 regular attenders and climbing) soon after I posted the message in 2010. A couple of the younger single members (against whom the abuse had been most acute) had already left. Multiple families left shortly after us, one the most prominent families beat us out the door by a week. Within 6 - 9 months virtually every couple over 35 had left. When I heard from them, they told the same story of exasperation with the authoritarianism of the leadership with attitudes varying from confusion to resignation to rage.

Then a smaller exodus of younger individuals and couples began. They took longer, in their inexperience, to see what was going on, but eventually many of them saw what was happening. The group was whittled down to a few who'd joined the church after most of the older familes left, a handful of young families, most of them founding members, and the pastor. The right-hand man to Wilkerson, Ballard, in a surprise move, also left with his family, in disgust with the leadership. He and I have since had something of a detante.

Some time in 2011, the small church group that was left met with the leadership, including Wilkerson, to have a "Family Meeting". They apparently pleaded for change, expressing how they felt "spiritually dead". It must not have happened because another small exodus occurred after that. By one account I heard, by early 2012 the church was down to "Bible study size". Around this time, Church in the Boro changed its name to City Church of Statesboro.

Finally, on Friday the 2nd of March, 2012, the members met for the last time and decided to dissolve. So another NFI church is no more. Last I heard, the leaders intended to head to Atlanta. The other members, I don't know.

In retrospect, there are a lot of things I've done that I wish I could change, I dealt with a lot of situations in anger, I've struggled to forgive the ones who bullied. That's my problem, and possibly a greater sin than what I was fighting against. But I've told the truth about the church and the leaders should be thankful I didn't tell more. We are commanded to expose evil. I hope I'll learn in the future to do it in love, because that part's my fault, not theirs.

God bless, and those of you who say you've abandoned your faith as a result of NFI abuse, please don't let the works of man turn you away from the Lord who loves you.

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2012 12:33AM by CarlKolchak.

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: crashov3ride ()
Date: August 10, 2012 02:02AM

I know this is an old thread but as the church i was trapped in since 2001 is a new frontiers church in Horsham where the silver ring thing was being run, i may as well post here rather than start a new thread.
I say trapped in as i was not allowed to leave and leaving has meant the abuse i was going through in the church just got worse.
It started of very friendly and my child was 6 at the time i was invited to a party at first and love bombed to the max. The church leaders broke up my relationship with my child's dad as they said he was no good, we had been together for 11 years. They wanted me to marry some one in the church but my child would not settle in the children's group and he got annoyed with my child so i stood up to him and said she had lost her dad and was still upset. I stopped going out with him and then the abuse started.
I was then told single mothers were bad and all of a sudden they stopped being nice loving people. when my child was 9 i stopped going to church and i was stalked everywhere i went if i went to the shops a few members would follow me around. I didn't understand what was going on at the time i thought i was going to hell it's like i had been hypnotised.
Three years later i decided to go back to the church as that seemed to be my only chance of having any life as they would not let me move on.
I was in quite a lot of cell groups and felt uncomfortable in them so i kept going to a different one, it would start of ok but then they would start using the bible like a weapon. My child hated the place and felt sick alot of the time and when attending to youth group would say that they just kept taking about make up and boys all the time and it made her feel sick.
I joined one cell group and they had meals for a few meeting and then in one meeting all the men sat round me and it felt uncomfortable as all the women were on the other side of the room and the group leader started touching me and i ran to the toilet and when i came back i sat as far away from the men as possible.
There were other times from then on as well when a man who i knew was married would make advances towards me so i went to the leader of the church and told him i got a woman i trusted to go with me, he was so horrible and made it look like it must be my perception.
I was watched by members constantly and found out that one member had got remote access to my laptop computer which i turned off as soon as i found out this happened for over a year and i was bullied really badly by quite a few members. I had stopped eating and was plunging into anorexia.
The police turned up at the train station as i was trying to go under it, unknown to me my child had been talking to the police about the church.
I had a few friends in the church but i found a photo of children and some adults naked and i didn't know what to do i was terrified then my child opened up and told me that some of the women were being escorts and they are abusing the children. When they knew i knew and i was against it they would mock me and the sermons got really abusive and personal the paster even abused one of his sons. some of us would just sit there crying.
I sent social services the picture of the abuse and other pictures of different children i found, i didn't care about the adults to be honest they are old enough to get help but the children aren't so i was more worried about them.
They started having people act like security guards and had the men and women sit separate. no one was allowed to sit next to me and they took my friends away. One a few occasions they tried to run me over when i was crossing the road.
I was threatened that if i went to the police they would have me done for slander.
My child had known for years what was going on but couldn't tell me as i was droned up. I joined another group who i thought was against the church but now i believe they are just pretending as they slipped up and i can see crystal clear what they are like now i know the signs.
I went to the police and reported them for stalking and child abuse and the police are watching them but it won't stop them from following me. I didn't go back to the police as i was threatened even worse and there are solicitors at the church.
I think i'm starting to recover but i have nightmares about them coming to get me.
New frontiers international say they have one set of values but they are rotten to the core. They are obsessed with money and look like they are all middle class but it is all a facade a lot of them are in debt and they are constantly paranoid.
I don't care if they work out who i am by my post as they have already caught me trying to expose them before so what the heck, who cares the only reason i get attacked is they are very scared. They say they are persecuted by the world and want to get rid of gays, push marriage having babies, a house, car and repeat it is all just an act and very shallow in conversation they talk as if they are all reading off a set script. they want to set up their own school but it got turned down this time thanks goodness.
I am free now, i found that out the full picture.

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: Rob Wilkerson ()
Date: January 12, 2017 10:21AM

This is probably the strangest post on this thread, by far. But when common sense and cooler heads prevail, amazing things happen.

Last week marked the 2 year mark since I was "church disciplined" from the very NewFrontiers USA church which had helped us in our Statesboro, GA church... the one to which the poster Carl Kolchak referred in previous posts on this thread. His real name is Dr. Michael Wiggins. He was a former church member (and PT pain in the ass) at our little church plant in Statesboro, GA... one which my wife referred to as the closest to heaven on earth during our first two years.

My own insecurities as a man and a pastor had led me to a place of desiring to "be somebody" and to see our church grow and have a solid impact on society. As if the affirmation and confirmation of the people I led wasn't enough, I reached out and invited NewFrontiers USA pastor, Carl Herrington, into the work. That was in 2009. In 2011 we were officially adopted. In 2012 we closed up shop and disbanded.

I then moved my family to Jubilee Church of Atlanta, pastored by the same person who'd helped us in Statesboro. By the fall of 2013 I was on staff with both the church and the consignment store business run by the church. In October 2014 I was terminated from my staff position at the church for failure to meet existing leadership standards regarding a 10% minimum financial giving level to the church. My issue was having a "spirit of independence" and not promoting the value of team. I had failed to seek the leadership's input on reducing my giving levels, which my wife and I decided to do in order to pay a $9,000 hospital bill, which we'd only been paying interest on up to that point.

My spirit of independence had also been reflected in my visit to an outside counselor, due to the psychological trouble that had culminated in my efforts to work with Carl Herrington and his other lead elder, Jonathan Eftychiou. My visit to an outside counselor was problematic since the help I received did not stem directly from the teaching or methods which the church held (a view espoused by Dave Devenish in his book, Demolishing Strongholds). I retained my role at the church's consignment store, however.

My termination included a required cessation from my teaching activities, small group leadership (I was overseeing all the small groups at the time), mentoring, etc. This was noticeable to some who questioned the sudden change. Out of frustration, I admittedly gossipped to two individuals. I was justifiably chided and I stopped. There were others however, who sought me out, asked me questions, and my answers subsequently resulted in my wife, myself and our children being removed from the membership of the church.

This act was preceded by a secret meeting of church leaders and ministry team leaders who were gathered for two hours to hear from two people (one of whom I personally discipled for 2 years), conduct a smear campaign which one attendee publicly called gossip to everyone else in attendance. I was not notified of the meeting. At least two couples who were present later reported to me the events and subsequently left the church. Multiple stories were shared, all without my permission, in an effort to discredit me, yet disguised as pastoral care and concern.

All of this happened at the behest of the pastor, Carl Herrington, while he was away on a three month paid sabbatical leave. He has not talked to me about all of this personally to this very day. The first week of January 2015 he communicated my excommunication via text message. I have since reached out to him twice via email, and have sent a video to those I left behind sharing my side of the story.

The important bit is this: in 2015 I had the privilege of returning to our group in Statesboro, GA to confess my own insecurities and resulting injuries that I had caused to so many people. This resulted in a reuniting with my friend Mike Wiggins (Carl Kolchak on this thread), and his family. Even more rewarding was the deep honor I had in performing the wedding of his daughter and another young man (referenced in earlier threads) whom I had deeply hurt in my spiritual manipulation and abuse disguised as pastoral leadership.

I now pray for those who are left behind at Jubilee Church of Atlanta. So many deep friendship were forged there, almost all of whom find deep trouble in resuming friendships with me. Two in particular whom I reached out to in order to have coffee and catch up informed me that I should be restored to the church and then they can resume fellowship. Such a move, in addition to other reflections I experienced, revealed that the church meets many of the criteria of a cult. In the very least, they are cultic. And my friends who are still there carry an unfortunate mindset I myself had while I was there... one which brainwashes you into believing that the way things are done are the way God wants them done.

Except... Jesus never acted that way... toward anyone. This is a church led mostly by a handful or fewer, that has been deceived into believing that manipulation and authoritarian control look like discipleship and accountability... that has overstepped its boundaries in understanding the limits of spiritual authority and the freedom of the conscience... that disconnects its people from those who disagree with it... To say you follow Jesus and then do what Jesus never would is anti-Jesus.

The most important tool we have in this world is unity and reconciliation. If you've been an abuser, seek reconciliation with those you've abused, even if you didn't know you were doing it at the time...even if you strongly believed at the time you were doing it for Jesus. If you've been abused, seek out your abuser (if it's safe) and see if that person may have come to their senses and want to pour out their heart in confession, seeking forgiveness.

The most important tool each of us possesses as individuals is common sense. If it starts to field weird, don't let church leaders rationalize it by teaching bullshit that sounds biblical but is actually antithetical to the life and teachings of Jesus. You can trust your own brain. I should have. Take it from me.

Thanks to Rick Ross for providing a place where this story had an opening and a now has a closing.

P.S. not all NewFrontiers USA or NewFrontiers International churches are exactly the same. There's no textbook or template. There's just the strong, opinionated, and authoritarian leaning of John Lanferman, the leader of the USA family of churches. I've met several men who are the exact opposite, and I wish I still had a close friendship with them today. I miss them dearly. Proceed with caution.

P.S.S.: for those interested, here's a recording of my testimony with our church reunion which was the highlight of blessing in this whole ordeal. []. Every single friendship has been restored!!!

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: Eutychus ()
Date: January 13, 2017 05:54AM

Thanks for sharing this Rob. It so matches my own experience, including the degree of restoration of some relationships years down the line and the caveat that mileage may vary between individuals and churches.

My story can be found at [] . I get about one email a year in response to it, many with similar stories.

Re: New Frontiers International
Posted by: fazor ()
Date: February 07, 2017 06:52AM


This story does not unfortunately surprise me.

I have attend 6 new frontier churches over +20 years and have acted as an associate pastor in several. Having left several years ago I reflect that at the end of my time I was challenging a number of issues I believed unhealthy in the general culture of the leadership of many new frontier churches.

Whilst New Frontier is a family of churches with theorised autonomy I think this is something of a half truth because their are cultural norms and a strong emphasis on apostolic oversight which tends to bring conformity.

I recognise your story of the strong giving emphasis with the 10% minimum and the way this is used as a yard stick of leadership credential, even when credible reasons for paying debt are given the failure to meet giving expectations is treated 'subtly' as a disqualification.

Other worrying aspects:
1) financially new frontiers churches 'subtly' use giving as a yard stick for commitment and leadership credentials.
2) A strong overemphasis on leadership gifting create a culture where questioning is seen very quickly as challenging behaviour. My last dealings with a new frontiers church leader was at a new church I was thinking of attending (not sure why in reflection but anyway) the conversation went like this - me "I promise that if I attend one of your cell groups I will be well behaved and not cause any trouble" (after 2 hrs I thought we had a rappore, he responded thus "well if you put a foot out of line be sure that I will find out about it, I always do and you will be getting a visit" needless to say those words went straight through me and I decided I was going nowhere near the church.
3) Leaders are seen as God appointed and very easily questioning them can be seen as opposing God.
4) I suspect that often issues that should be escalated publicly are not to protect the church credibility.
5) There is a narrow view of theology, wider para-church organisations are frowned upon and only supported ministry and individuals get input.
6) Leaders have little accountability to their members and leaders mistakes are often brushed over (if they are in favour and are seen as faithful servants), the opposite however can be true for those who are not and I have seen witchhunts in at least 3 or 4 occasions.
7) Leaving is not easy in the sense that leaders can make it painful to leave and have often put big quilt trips/questions on those who have left without consulting them because they got a job somewhere else or they felt unused in the church.
8) Those who leave under church discipline will be disconnected from church members who will be told not to speak to them,

I know this sound terrible and certainly for my last 2 years before leaving I found myself arguing again and again over these issues, I had stayed where I was to try to change the culture and I had thought it was just the churches I had experienced but over the past year I have found my views marry up with other who I know were around leadership in New Frontiers. I still have many friends in new frontiers churches and I keep contact (I managed to leave without discipline) there are many good people and well intentioned leaders but the culture of new frontiers and the theological positions around leadership and apostolic gifting make for a dangerous combination.

Thanks to all those who have shared on this subject

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