Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: January 11, 2019 01:06PM
> I have been reading this forum for several years
> and am finally making my first post. I was in
> TLWF for 22 years. It's been 20 years since I
> left and I still have a difficult time explaining
> this experience to anyone. Like so many on this
> forum, my family and I gave everything to TLWF.
> We attended services 3 times/ week, mustered out
> for Saturday work days, assisted APCO on numerous
> "kingdom" projects, made dozens and dozens of
> trips to Shiloh and gave of our finances. We had
> no time left for anything and were working the
> equivalent of two full time jobs. I still
> struggle with why I believed God was in this and
> that the leaders had integrity. It makes me
> question my own intelligence and sanity.
> I struggle with why I stayed so long. Why did I
> waste that part of my life and sacrifice family
> and personal relationships to remain in TLWF. I
> was never comfortable with the rock star treatment
> enjoyed by JRS, Gary and Marilyn and the control
> and authority the church exerted over it's
> members. Eventually we did get burned out and
> left. We were also fed up with being used by
> What freedom after leaving! It felt like a weight
> was lifted off our shoulders. We moved into a
> different city and started a new life. And
> eventually I stopped worrying about the lightening
> bolt that was going to hit us. However we had
> trouble finding a new church since nothing seemed
> to fit our expectations. The problem was us.
> I was an atheist as a teenager and was looking for
> meaning in my life. I thought I found it in
> TLWF. I was one of the elite who was bringing in
> the kingdom. Now I needed to be deprogrammed.
> After we left, I had to start over and reevaluate
> what I thought about God, Christianity and
> organized religion. I reexamined everything from
> the ground up starting with arguments for the
> existence of God. I studied apologetics and
> started reading my bible. Jesus Christ is now
> the center of my life - not JRS, Gary or Marilyn.
> Thanks for the posts made in this forum and the
> insight you all have provided. Hearing about what
> went on behind the curtain was especially helpful.
> It confirms what I suspected for a long time. I'm
> sure your postings haven't always been easy but
> I'm grateful for your honesty, candor and wit.
> I'm especially grateful for the courage of those
> like Shalom who have stepped forward and have
> shown a bright light in a dark place. God bless
> you all.
Welcome Reaching Forward! I, like yourself, read this site for years (we left 36 yrs ago!) before actually coming forward to post. And also like you, Jesus came alive for me through reading the Scriptures. I don't know what to tell you about not finding a church--my hubby & I have tried so many yet nothing seems to stick, or as you point out--it's not them, it's us, lol! God bless you, too!