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The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: louann ()
Date: October 22, 2006 10:19AM

This is in answer to "recoveredfinally". I do not know when you were at Shiloh. I was there 1978-1984. I did my stint with kitchen and housekeeping, as well as working on a hymnal (which was never really used, BTW).

The showers were not timed -- we were asked to limit the time of a shower, but they were not metered. And, the services were not as dreadful as you make them out to be.

That said, this group was exceedingly dysfunctional (and, I think, probably still is). There were lots of wierd things that went on, wierd things we were expected to believe, etc.

That said, I took away with me things that I learned -- positive as well as negative. There is no use being bitter, and whining about the past is not useful. What are you doing now to integrate those experiences into a healthy spiritual and emotional life? It CAN be done!

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The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: recoveredfinally ()
Date: October 30, 2006 07:25AM

I was involved in the young adult summer program from 1992-1994. What I write is true.

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The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: louann ()
Date: October 30, 2006 11:44AM

I not a bit surprised, actually. Marilyn always scared me to death. Much too ruthless, I think. Yes, they did use us. I would have hoped that by then, 10+ years since the death of JRS, that they would have gotten his mindset, if ever they would have been able. This group was and is a cult, and too many fine people have had their spirituality and dedication abused and exploited. God bless you as you continue your journey.

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The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: November 13, 2006 07:05AM

Yes, they did use us. This group was and is a cult, and too many fine people have had their spirituality and dedication abused and exploited.

I think it was Larry Bobo, on Factnet, that mentioned Gary and Marilyn's salary...sometime in the 90' being $90,000 a year ($180,000 total). This, of course, does not reflect the amount of donated or discounted services they received from members of the fellowship.
Their healthy annual income isn't troublesome in itself. They definitely put in the work. But in the context of many members of the TLWF, living well short of a middle class lifestyle, donating much of their free time in service --it's a little more disturbing. And then add the fact that many of the local churches were sold out from underneath people that had labored many hours on these facilities...with, what I hear, very little input (if any) from them....and it's not difficult to conclude that a few members of the 'body' were/are far more equal than the rest.

Note: if any of the above info. is incorrect (i.e. the leader's salary, whether most of the people had something more than a token say in what happened to their local churches etc.)...feel free to say so.

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The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: ben there ()
Date: February 19, 2007 11:48AM

Administering the Kingdom.... that says it, now doesn't it?

The 98% good food/2% poison is a good analogy... I was there too. It was more my wife's choice to be involved, I think it did a lot of damage to my family and to others too.
It all sounded very good, the excess love, the intensity of worship and the word, the breaking away from traditional church to be a real effective warrior prophet of the Lord??? ... for a few weeks.

But I think it was when I started hearing entire groups (like the catholic church, government officials, businesses, etc) 'judged' as being satan in the earth, the whore of babylon, the Nephilim, or whoever the bad guy of the night was...and all sorts of death and destruction 'prophesied' to their detrement, it seemed a bit hitleresque, very violent and had little to do with concepts of God and Love that i had found to be real so far in my young life at the time.

It was not hard to retrieve my own mind and disconnect. It was twisted. My wife got more into it and I became the bad guy too.

When I saw couples put together, taken apart... how people had to be mindless.. (the goal was to be a "zero with the rim rubbed out").. a willing pliable servant. People sought counsel (being expected, as one person mentioned to "submit it to the elders") about things such as what job to get, what car to buy, when/if to move, where, who to date, and any number of normal choices people make for themselves. There was a very strong 'us and them' feeling about anyone outside of the 'Body'.
There would be 6-8 services per week. When one was missed, you would often be questioned. These are only a few things I think of now to write. We were invovled in a church in another state from
'75 to '82 or so. I'd rather not say where.

I moved away, with my wife but we never could repair the damage to our marriage. ... this is my perspective I admit. Yes I feel wiser for it, like I'll never do that again. Friends invite me to their 'teacher' and I can smell it an eternity away..and I'm not above being taught.

I still have a few friends I met from the Walk that I treasure... None are still involved but we stay in touch. It's only today that I've researched and found all of these posts and other sites talking of this group... thanks to all for sharing your stories.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: bobalou ()
Date: November 26, 2007 11:57PM

Hi. My step Grandmother followed John Robert Stevens for awhile, then she did not think he was "ok" any more -I didn't know why at the time, by then we were in the Living word fellowship church & fully dedicated. I was a kid at the time. I lived in Gainesville, and later Cedar Key -Florida. They held church meetings in a house. I think they have disbanded now. (That was when I was in 2nd & 3rd grade). Then we moved to Detroit Michigan. Near Detroit they had an actual church building, the church was called Beracha chapel -if I remember correctly. A couple of times we went to house held meetings in Canada. I've visited Shiloh, in Iowa several times. When I became a teenager I left the cult, then most of my family did as well. All except for my (our close family friend, although I used to call her my aunt) -she moved to Iowa directly into shiloh at first. Now I think she has bought her first home near shiloh. She is still very committed to that cult & denies that it is one. She moved away from her entire family. Although she is not totally inaccessible. The church in Detroit collasped & everyone either quit, knowing it to be the sham that it was, or moved to another location in order to remain in that cult.
There was an additude of that church being "IT", like if you left it -you left God. So thats what I figured I did when I left, & I wanted to. Now thankfully, after many years of healing -I have a recovered & much better relationship with Jesus. "Jesus" the name they rarely ever said....unless it was something which is public or open to a larger group of listeners (especially if the public will see it)....Their current web page still models this bait & switch tactic. A few correct services (sounding very Biblically correct)....then once you're in, a whole bunch of Biblically incorrect sermons. Its very suddle though....then you slip further & further into the abyss of this very deceptive form of witch craft. They have lots & lots of tapes that the public will never hear & they protect them, even from many members of their own cult. The member has to be "safe" for them to expose their most core beliefs to.
When John died there was a lot of grief, which is expected. But they used the pulpit to express it in a very bizarre manner. I've been through a lot of grief in my life, but I have never wanted to "rent the veil" that Jesus already rent "from the other side". They were calling out to all these dead people (they're dead! who does that in a legitamate church?) (no one). Regardless of if they were in grief or not, they were ALWAYS trying to remove the diety of the Messiah -Jesus christ- & give that position to whoever they were worshipping at the time (John Robert Stevens, or themselves...etcetera). The reason they rarely said the name "Jesus" is because they did not have a personal relationship with him. Christ -is his position, not his name. When somebody has a personal relationship with a person they call them by name, if they don't know them very well they might call them by thier last name -but people don't label other people by thier professions all the time unless they don't actually know them at all.
Well its been awhile since anyone has been on here. It was nice to find this site, I will check back again. If there are any members or ex members out there who want to chat, my email is

Faithful TO JESUS,

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: mirgildea ()
Date: October 05, 2008 02:00PM

hey. so did i. we know eachother... it's me m.

Ya. I have good and bad memories of the church in Anaheim. Lot's of control amongst my family. My Dad was "stationed" to help open the church in Anaheim.. Similar to a military family we moved from Colorado to California for JRS. A chosen one/ prophet... was what they called my Dad. .. ya. WE left when I was five. My Mom was in the dark about what was happening in the circle of the "apostles". My Dad later told me that other men in those groups would sit around and discuss why the others should, and had a right to, molest their child.

This is a cult. Stay away from it. Even though we left when I was five - I was affected by it. I am having to deal with the possibility of being molested by a church leader when I was a little girl. This is sick and this "church" and it's current leaders can go to hell!

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: June 11, 2009 02:54AM

hi, im new to this forum. i have relatives deeply involved in this church and we recently attended a wedding at one of their facilities. most of the people that i met were very kind, but the ceremony was a bit strange to me. the use of scripture sounded distorted and out of context, and the "worship" song also sounded much more like self-worship than "worship to the Lord". i did hear the term "lord" used alot, and jesus only once, maybe twice. i also noticed that for a "non-denominational christian church" there were no crosses anywhere. another question i have is the term "designated relationship", i saw this maybe on this forum or somewhere else and am curious if anyone who has come out of this group can clarify for me what that means/entails.
i am sure i will have more questions in the future, i went to the wedding with an open-mind, trying not to be critical as i had heard different things about this group previously. there are however things that i just don't understand and i would like to be able to understand where my relatives are at a little better, as this is apparently a very sore subject in our long-term family dynamics so no one really talks about it anymore. thanks!

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: mirgildea ()
Date: June 11, 2009 04:53AM

Mr. Ross-

My parents met in Colorado, at the Church of the Living Word or the Walk. They were told that it was "Gods will" that they marry. All I can say is that any orginization that is associated with JRS is going to be a strange one. My family was told by the leaders of the church that we would all be following the Devil, if we left the church. My Dad was one of the head worship leaders, they told him that he was a profit! They are way out in left field! I mean, I love my Dad and all but....

Honestly, I would keep a very close eye on your family member that joined the church. Try to invite them to go to another church...see what happens.

If they decide to have children - they must be very careful. When I was a kid, the church leaders molested the kids from the inner circles. The more popular families that were invited to parties and such.. This was back in the 70's. My Dad told me that one time they were all sitting around talking about it. The history / foundation of this cult is disgusting! Stay far away, and warn your family of what could happen. Maybe even print out some old literature by John Robert Stevens and they show it to them. TOTAL QUACK!


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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Amos ()
Date: August 30, 2009 09:42AM

Perhaps late to reply ...

Its a little difficult to respond to some of your observations since the details are a bit vague. If you clarify what you meant by worship seeming more like self-worship and distorted or out of context scripture quotes, I will clarify what I can. As to your other questions and observations:

Lack of Crosses

Churches in the fellowship tend to avoid relics and symbols like crosses. People in the fellowship do not believe that outward symbols like that have any significance, and from a strict reading of the scriptures -- they are correct. To them, what is important is what you believe and how you live -- not the outward symbols.

Designated Relationships

A designated relationship is a term that arose many years ago to signify the individual or individuals you should be working with in your daily walk with God. The fellowship believes that people need a working relationship with someone who is alive on earth and that it is not enough to simply claim that you have a relationship with "God in the sky." They believe that simply having a relationship with an invisible God does not result in any real spiritual growth since in practical terms an invisible God does not do much to stop people from doing whatever they want. As a result, the local shepherds in a chuch will usually pray and assign a person or two for every congregant to work with, or the local shephers will work with them directly. Thus the term "designated," because they believe that the Holy Spirit will lead them to designate for people the right individuals to work with in a spiritual walk. In fellowship parlance, if you are married, your spouse is one of your "designated relationships."

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