Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: December 11, 2020 07:55AM
More October 2018 posts:
Posted by: larry bobo
Date: October 22, 2018 06:38AM
It has been Gary’s MO to direct the activities of TLWF and then remove middle management to take the fall when obviously wrong behavior has come to light, instead of taking personal responsibility himself. To suggest that he had no knowledge of Rick’s activities – after four marriages – is absurd. I agree with onion that those who allowed Rick to continue in this type of behavior, are also responsible. I would suspect Rick had dirt on TLWF leadership or they would have never allowed him to continue in ministry. In most church organizations, fallen leaders seldom recover after one indiscretion, much less four - plus those affairs that have been alluded to, but not made public. TLWF is finally getting to be like the Catholic hierarchy they so admire after all - and experiencing the same problems.
Now the battle over money begins – as in a divorce - and I suspect the true colors of those involved will come to light – unless all this was worked out prior to publicly banishing Rick. I would also be curious to know if there is a legal clause or strategy that would cause Rick to lose everything for moral indiscretions – a great card for Gary to play at this time. What would be really nice is if the local churches, whose finances and labor built the facilities, could gain local ownership of them - as would be the case in a nondenominational structure. There are oversight bodies that provide protection for congregants in nondenominational churches - my church belongs to one. The other side of the coin will become apparent when a few with unethical motives can legally take the money and run without any oversight.
Posted by: changedagain
Date: October 22, 2018 07:08AM
Yes, it will be interesting to see if this next phase involves a battle between Gary and Rick--both motivated by self-interest--or if they have worked something out where they can each get through this unscathed. Both have mastered the art of placing blame on their victims and escaping accountability, so this present challenge should be interesting. I've learned never to underestimate the deviousness of TLWF leadership.
Posted by: Onion
Date: October 22, 2018 10:53AM
Apparently, there is a letter from Rick and Lorena that will be read aloud to each of the churches still in the fellowship. It's a sorrowful apology for hurting people and contains the statement that they resigned permanently from the fellowship.
As soon as I heard about this letter my skepticism kicked into overdrive. Before I heard of the letter I had a wait and see, "could it be true?" attitude that I now think was overly optimistic.
Knowing that the statement was made that people still in TLWF would continue having contact with Rick, knowing that Steve Seboldt will be in charge of TLW, it's all too convenient for Rick to continue to exert control. Steve Seboldt has always been Rick's puppet and there is no reason to think that will change.
My Hope: People who have been staying in TLWF for whatever reason will finally realize they have been horribly duped all these years and will decide to leave. I want to see more recent victims of Rick's sexual misconduct come forward and take a stand. It's time (or past time).
Things are still percolating. Protests about sending Scott McDonald (Rick's apparent accomplice) and his wife to Grants Pass are already being generated.
We shall see....
Posted by: changedagain
Date: October 22, 2018 11:04AM
Good. It appears (for now) this thing is a whitewash--all the perks remain with little accountability. The fellowship should demand better. If that doesn't materialize, now is as good a time as any for members to make their exit. Enough games.
Posted by: puddington
Date: October 22, 2018 01:00PM
I suppose Gary will next bring a series of sermons on forgiveness. He’ll tell Rick’s victims to drop their bitterness and forgive Rick. Any of you reading this that were abused by Rick, I’d think twice before forgiving Rick. I think he needs to earn it. In some cases, he shouldn’t ever be forgiven.
Posted by: changedagain
Date: October 22, 2018 02:04PM
Yeah, let him at least publicly own up to what he has done, before the people are required to forgive him and move on. What is the probability of that happening? Perhaps this will be the one time in TLWF history when a major scandal involving leadership doesn't result in another heavy burden being placed upon the rank and file. But as it has often been said here by the vets--don't hold your breath.