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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: SLK ()
Date: January 06, 2005 12:23AM

Thanks Ulyankee. I appreciate the links and the information. Yes, the Mandeville church is the one that I am involved in. I will check out the other web-site.


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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: January 19, 2005 10:31PM

Champions for Christ was Greg Ball's baby from the beginning. I was in Maranatha Campus Ministries when Champions for Christ was founded. I saw the original brochure. It had Greg Ball's picture on it, not Rice Broocks'. Rice Broocks' role was always minor compared to Greg Ball's. And Greg Ball got most of the media attention, positive or negative. Meanwhile, Greg Ball and Rice Broocks have been friends since college. They were major Maranatha Campus Ministries board members and major Morning Star International board members.

Now suddenly Greg off the board and out of the local church, has Champions for Christ yanked out from under him, and he's starting his own organization. Oh, this is all very suspicious. Brett Fuller, his role in Champions for Chrst was even less than Rice Broocks'. We haven't heard from Mark Brunell about all this, even though he has long been the staunchest, most visible, and most vocal supporter of both Champions for Christ and Greg Ball. Nor have we heard from Darrell Green, a longtime friend of Greg Ball's, a longtime member of Champions for Christ, and longtime disciple of Brett Fuller. Yes, this is all very suspicious.

And where is the media during all this? Where is Christianity Today and Charisma? Where is the Chronicle of Higher Education? Where is Sports Illustrated. Where are the Washington, Chicago, Jacksonville, Nashville, and L.A. media? And since Greg Ball is based in Austin, Texas, where is the Austin media.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: Pisteuo ()
Date: February 02, 2005 10:15AM

I was shocked to hear that Greg Ball has left MSI/Champions. As was said, he was part of it from the beginning and was THE major mover of the Champions ministry.

Was this a parting of ways as far as philosophy or something else? Did he finally reach a point where he could no longer be involved?

This could be a quite revealing development.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: February 26, 2005 05:11AM

Can someone collect the most useful info on Maranatha/Morningstar/Champions from the FactNet forum and post it here? The FactNet posts appear to be more frequent and more recent, but I find the FactNet forum rather confusing. Also, Rick's site is monitored, so there's no opportunity for cult leaders to put a spin on the inexcusable.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 26, 2005 05:33AM

I don't think that's a good idea.

Let's not copy material from FactNet and post it here.

I don't think FactNet would appreciate that.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: February 28, 2005 09:26PM

Well, how about a link to the FactNet forum, and some directions the most current and relevant information. A lot of space is taken up with general discussions about sheparding abuse and mind control. I'm looking for the latest information about Maranatha, Morningstar, and Champions.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 28, 2005 09:48PM

There is already a link to FactNet at the Links page.

Anyone can easily find that link by clicking on "Links" at the top of this page.

If you wish to post links to additional information at FactNet's Forum here at the message board, that would be OK.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: March 18, 2005 01:40AM

"There is a theme in history and literature that has always moved me. It is when a man stands with his friend even when it costs him dearly. I love it, for example, in Braveheart when Stephen—the crazy Irishman—turns to William Wallace after saving his life and says, “Sure, didn’t the Lord send me to watch your back.”

I also love it in Tombstone when the character played by Charlton Heston takes a wounded man into his home and when someone warns him that the bad guys are going to come for the wounded cowboy, Heston says, “Well, to get to him they’ll have to come through us.”

I’ve been the recipient of this loyalty once in my life. I want to tell you about it.

I was the pastor of a large church in Nashville but I had a chronically troubled marriage. It had been troubled since the beginning. Though my wife of that time was a gifted lady, we had both contributed to a soul-killing, dishonoring situation. Finally, the marriage came to an end and I left the pastorate. I found myself out of a job and out of a marriage. I also found myself the victim of the old truth that the Christian church is the only army in the world that shoots its wounded.

It was just at that time that a man named Rice Broocks entered my life. Rice and I had been fellow pastors in Nashville and had traveled overseas together, but when I stepped into a season of crisis, Rice stepped up to the plate.

Rice knew that I had good in me but he also knew I was, in his loving phrase, a “knucklehead.” He told me that if I would let his team pastor me, they would stand with me. I did and they did. I want you to know it has been one of the most rewarding relationships of my life. I would talk about attacking those who were speaking ill of me and Rice would say, “If you don’t forgive others, you’ll never fulfill your destiny.” I’d sink into despair and Rice would take me for a ride, buy me a steak, and tell me my future was bright. I made it through the worst season of my life largely because Rice Broocks would not put up with my foolishness, reminded me of my destiny, stood with me against those who meant me harm, and gave me a spiritual family, the wonderful family of Every Nation churches.

Recently, some friends showed me a web site on which critics were trying to make a connection between Maranatha, a ministry Rice was a part of in the 1980’s, and Every Nation Ministries which Rice now leads. I was shocked. I’m used to heresy hunters who do nothing but attack everything. They are the mental midgets we all have to put up with to do anything of consequence in this world. I was not prepared, though, for the nature of the attacks on my dear friend.

Rice graduated from college in 1979 and went into campus ministry with Maranatha. As both an historian and a minister, I can tell you that there were many wonderful things that happened in Maranatha. The critics seem interested only in the mistakes. It was common in those days for ministries to lack theological depth and to suffer from the absence of worldview and boundaries that a good grasp of history, particularly theological history, provides. Nevertheless, Rice helped guide Maranatha to an honorable end in 1989. Oddly, he has sometimes been accused since of “destroying Maranatha,” which is, of course, untrue.

To learn from the mistakes of the past and to build a ministry in a theologically responsible way, he enrolled in one of the most respected institutions in evangelical Christianity, Reformed Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master’s degree in theology. This helped him wed biblical thinking to the spiritual power he already had and laid the foundation for the good things that were to come.

I don’t need to tell the whole story here, but Rice ended up teaming with Steve Murrell and Phil Bonasso to form Morning Star International, now known as Every Nation Ministries. I’ve never seen anything like it. At the annual conference in LA each year, thousands of athletes, college students, pastors, artists and thinkers gather to celebrate God’s grace and plan for a new penetration of the cultures of the world. There is sound theology, spiritual passion, wise administration, and balanced leadership in evidence, all encased in a ministry wide culture of cool, fun, and Godly challenge to excellence.

I have just recently completed a book on the life of Derek Prince. You may know that he was embroiled in the famous discipleship/shepherding controversy that actually influenced the ministry of Maranatha. I’ve spent two years writing this book and I probably qualify as an expert on this subject. I’ve been all through the various ministries and churches of Morningstar/Every Nation and have never seen anything like the discipleship extremes in this movement. If such things should arise, I know that these leaders are committed to doing things the right way and are very much open to admitting shortcomings.

Finally, I have to say that I have seldom seen a more unified, theologically sound movement. The people have been well trained and well mentored. I have a doctorate in history and theology and I can tell you that the doctrines of Rice and his team are sound Christian truths supercharged by boldness and passion, just the kind of faith aflame our generation needs.

Okay, I’ll stop. I suppose the fire you feel from me is a result of my love for Rice and the Every Nation movement and also the fact that I’ve been a victim of fair-weather friends myself. I have known men who feigned love when I was their boss or could do them good but were nowhere to be found or, worse, were attacking me when I was down and it suited their ambition. I don’t plan to be that kind of man.

One more movie reference. In Tombstone, Doc Holliday is asked why he is fighting for Wyatt Earp. Doc says, “Wyatt Earp is my friend.” The other guy says, “Heck, I’ve got lots of friend.” Quietly, Doc Holliday says, “Well, I don’t.”

That’s me. I don’t have many friends but I plan to be faithful to those few I do have. Rice Broocks is my friend. They’ll have to come through me to get to him."

This guy has a lot to learn. Many other men have said, "I'm a friend of Rice Broocks," "I'm a friend of Bob Weiner," etc. They found out the hard way what these men are made of. Do yourself a favor. Spend a couple of hours reading the material on this site, and the material on the FactNet forum. Since you're a historian, doing a few hours of research should be a snap. What we're saying isn't just critisizm. It's the ugly truth, based on ugly experience. You could save yourself some time and find out the hard way: cross Rice in any way. Or bettter: confront him with the testimonies on these sites. Then you'll find yourself posting a message on this board: "I Thought I Was a Friend of Rice Broocks."

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: March 26, 2005 02:13AM

"I have just recently completed a book on the life of Derek Prince. You may know that he was embroiled in the famous discipleship/shepherding controversy that actually influenced the ministry of Maranatha. I’ve spent two years writing this book and I probably qualify as an expert on this subject."

Let's set the tone with a quote from Derek Prince at a Maranatha conference: "I can't think of a better way to start the new year than with Bob Weiner and Maranatha Ministries."

Prince was one of the leaders of the Shepherding Movement. He later broke formal ties with the other leaders. His official explanation: their practice of extra local pastoring was unscriptural. He later said of the Shepherding Movement: we began in the Spirit, but tried to be perfected in the flesh. Organizational logistics and carnal efforts. Nothing about carnage. Reminds me very much of the revisionist history of Maranatha.

Bob Mumford repented and wrote an open letter to people damaged by the Shepherding Movement, offering this advice: take whatever steps are necessary to return to a Christ centered life.

Charles Simpson has never repented. His explanation for abuses: sure, if you're on the cutting edge of what God's doing, it's easy to step over the line. Cutting edge of what God's doing? Sounds very Maranatha doesn't it. Cutting edge of deception is more like it. Like Weiner, Simpson and others were confronted many times. They couldn't be bothered. They had listened to too much of their own rhetoric. They were convinced they were hearing the heartbeat of God. They were preoccupied with "coming into something." Get it straight: Christ didn't die for your vision. He didn't die for your ministry. He didn't die for your movement. He didn't die for your organization. He died for His people. When His people suffer because of what you do, you are as far away from the "cutting edge of what God's doing" as you can get.

Prince had a serious problem with idolatry. He had a cult following for decades. The idolatry toward his second wife was even worse. And he not only tolerated idolatry toward her, he practiced it and even encouraged it.

In his book, "God Is a Matchmaker," he relates a series of strange, frustrating, and trying events that he interpreted to mean that God was telling him to marry Ruth. But these type of things happen when God is trying to warn someone, not when he is trying bless someone. And when the Holy Spirit is involved in something, the situation falls into place with uncanny ease.

Then there was the pronoun factor. Everything was we, ie, Ruth and I. There is no scriptural basis for wives being co-ministers with their husbands. Wives of the elders of Israel were not co-elders, wives of apostles were not co-apostles, etc.

After his second marriage, he started moving in much stronger healing and deliverance power, but lost his anointing as a teacher. In the 90's, he changed the name of his radio show to "Keys to Successful Living." Go to a secular bookstore, and you will find how-to, how-to, how-to, success, success, success. Go to a Christian bookstore, and you will find how-to, how-to, how-to, success, success, success. Turn on Christian TV or Christian radio, and you will hear how-to, how-to, how-to, success, success, success. Prosperity and victory are part of the covenant. They are even major Biblical themes. But the function of the ministry is maturity, and the goals of the ministry are holiness and righteousness.

Then there was that magazine he published celebrating the 50th anniversary of his own ministry. How vain. How obscene. Imagine the apostle Paul publishing a special magazine with this headline: Paul celebrates the 30th anniversary of his mission to the Gentiles. Imagine the apostle Peter publishing a magazine with this headline: Peter celebrates the 10th anniversary of his sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Imagine the prophet Jeremiah publishing a special magazine with this headline: Jeremiah celebrates the 50th anniversary of prophesying to the nations. I should add the Prince was MUCH more humble than most media ministers, and that introductions to his programs were not flashy.

Perhaps the most obvious of Prince's many distractions was Israel. The Bible tells Christians to UNDERSTAND Israel. It tells us to LOVE Israel. It tells us to WATCH Israel. It doesn't tell us to GET INVOLVED with Israel. Nowhere in the New Testament will you find any of the apostles telling anyone in the first century church to travel to Israel, dress up in Israelite garb, and reenact Israelite feasts, all in the name of "celebrating God's love for Israel." Yes, God still has a covenant with Abraham. Yes, God loves Israel. Yes, He still has a plan for Israel. But Jesus told the apostles to go to the ends of the Earth with the Gospel, not back to Jerusalem to immerse in Israeli culture.

Paul had to same obsession, with the result that the course of his life was drastically altered. How much more ironic can you get than that scene in the Book of Acts: the apostle to the Gentiles being mobbed and arrested after he enters the temple, testifying to a group of Jews, and quoting Jesus as saying, "Hurry up and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me," and "Go, for I will send you far away from here to the Gentiles."

Yes, Derek Prince's books and teachings had a profound affect on me. But I had to reevaluate his life and ministry, and drew some disturbing conclusions. Yes, I had a lot of good friends in Maranatha. I heard a lot of good teaching. I experienced a lot of valuable growth. And yes, I even got a big vision for God's purpose in the Earth and in our lives. But the deeper I looked into Maranatha, the uglier it was. And I eventually concluded that the whole movement was fundamentally flawed.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ulyankee ()
Date: May 16, 2005 12:56AM

Hmm... attempted suicide, psychiatric hospitalization, brainwashing, religious indoctrination...

Doesn't this sound like MARANATHA?

Victory Clubs is part of Every Nation Ministries, formerly known as Morning Star International.


A streaming video is also available through this website.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates:
Parents Say Victory Club Nearly Killed Kids
Posted: 5/13/2005 8:40:00 AM
Updated: 5/13/2005 10:38:34 AM

Thursday, two families filed a lawsuit against their daughters' public high school because of religion. The girls claimed a school club put their lives in danger. It's a lawsuit that may stir up new controversy over the role of religion in public schools.

Jane Doe: "They encouraged me to be saved and take victory over my life, accept the holy spirit and speak in tongues."

You'd expect something like that in a church, but that actually happened at Hillsboro High School as part of a school-sanctioned religious club that, parents now, say crossed the line.

Mrs. Doe: “My daughter could have died.”

The Victory Club, as it was known, was sponsored by the Bethel World Outreach Center, a fundamentalist Christian church based in Brentwood.

Jane Doe: “What really drew me in was the feeling of being loved.”

At Hillsboro, church leaders regularly gave free pizza and sodas to students who met during lunchtime for some prayer and a little preaching.

David Lyons, attorney: “It's a religious pep rally on school grounds during the school day sanctioned by school administrators.”

Bethel church member, Meghan Therrell, who is the music teacher at Hillsboro, served as the Victory Club's faculty advisor.

Parents said she was the one who convinced students to then join the church itself.

Mrs. Doe: “That's not right.”

Jane Doe: “I wanted to hear God's voice.”

This Hillsboro student said, after she was baptized into the church, she was then pressured into speaking in tongues.

Tim Johnson, Bethel World Outreach Senior Pastor: “Speaking in tongue is a way to communicate with God.”

Johnson said it's a crucial part of their faith.

Jane Doe: “They said I'd be closer to God and that my relationship and walk with God would be stronger.”

And after the 17-year-old finally did speak in tongues she insists she was repeatedly warned by church members, including her teacher Meghan Therrell, not to tell her parents about it.

They feared her parents wouldn't understand and would force her to quit the church.

Jane Doe: “The way they said it was we would be persecuted for our religion…by my own parents.”

Bethel's Youth Minister, Shino Prater, said that's just not true.

Shino Prater: “We don't have that type of control over people. That's not, we don't do that.”

But the girl's mother claims that when she confronted Therrell about it, she didn't deny it.

Mrs. Doe: “That's not acceptable and it's especially not acceptable to be done by a teacher.”

Second Mother: “They brainwashed them.”

The second mother said the church turned her daughter into “a religious freak.”

Second Mother: “It hurts a lot because my daughter wasn't like that.”

She said her daughter, an honors student at Hillsboro, became so consumed by trying to recruit and save others at the school that she had a total breakdown.

Second Mother: “If you don't do this, don't do that, you're not serving God and if you don't serve God, you're going to be punished. You're going to go to hell. And that was her worry all the time.”

According to a lawsuit just filed against the school and church, the girl has now spent weeks in psychiatric hospitals and has been diagnosed as suffering from something called religious indoctrination.

Jane Doe said it almost drove her over the edge too. “I wanted to commit suicide and actually tried.”

David Lyons: “It's astounding that this would happen in one of the best high schools that we have in Nashville in the year 2005.

Lyons said there's enough blame to go around, but Bethel Church leaders said while they're sympathetic they're not responsible.

Tim Johnson: “I just can't accept that and will not accept that.”

The Bethel Church said they have 70 Victory Clubs around the country—13 of them in Nashville-area high schools—and they've never had any sort of problem like this before.

NewsChannel 5 tried to speak with Therrell, the teacher and faculty advisor of the Victory Club, but she did not return our calls.

NewsChannel 5 took a look at the Metro school system’s religion and public education policy.

It states "schools may not endorse specific religious practices." But it also states "schools may not forbid students acting on their own from expressing their own religious views."

Metro Schools Religion And Public Education Policy:

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