Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: August 25, 2022 01:29AM

Reep wrote:
Some days I wish that I could wake up from the nightmare that is TLWF and never have known any of them. Since that is not possible, I will keep speaking the true facts that I know.


Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: August 25, 2022 09:06AM

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: August 27, 2022 11:30PM

Posted by: fool me twice
Date: June 28, 2019 05:32AM

Changedagain posted:
Date: June 28, 2019 12:20AM

Walk history would have been radically different if John the Kingdom Apostle had simply owned up to being unfaithful to his wife and mistress--and admitted his being transported from Dec. 1972 to Dec 1979 to witness the coming Kingdom was a fabrication. Maybe the entire organization would have imploded, and I would have finished my college education (half-way through before dropping out).
Of course, there is always the possibility--God being unpredictable and all--He did choose to transport John on a day he was spending quality time with his girlfriend. The vision was true. I guess you could look at it that way, assuming you are devoid of a "religious spirit" and are desperate for the facts to line up with what you want to believe.

We were always told the cabin JRS went too, every week, was in Holy Jim Canyon. Who knew that Marilyn went there too? Maybe it actually was in Unholy John Canyon. Honestly I did not know that JRS had a spiritual wife back then, other than Martha I mean. Also more than one G/f on the side. After all we had no way to Google what he told us were his revelations. Are you saying that if we only had a few more red flags then all of us would have been spared another 40 to 50 years of this? That is a 'revelation' I could live with trust me!

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: August 28, 2022 02:27AM

And then there is this from Saw Enough:

Posted by: Saw enough
Date: September 27, 2018 10:21PM

In December 1972 Brother Stevens disappeared for an entire day and a few days later he went to the Valley Church and claimed that he'd been caught up in the spirit and taken 7 years into the future where he saw the Kingdom. As he explained his vision and his sense of losing all track of time that day, some of the young prophets speculated about black holes and time warps in the spirit where time did not matter. That vision of the Kingdom became the basis for a lot of the preaching for the next 7 years.

Many people and churches dedicated their lives and their survival planning and their life decisions around that 7-year date and the revelation that John was the apostle to the Kingdom. Twenty years later a woman from the Valley church got word to Gary and Marilyn that she had been with John on that December 12th in 1972. A lot of people around the Living Word building gossiped about the story, but nobody said or perhaps knows if John actually had his vision that day or if he was just with someone not his wife for the day. Aimee McPherson once disappeared mysteriously and later claimed that she'd been kidnapped and taken to Mexico or somewhere -- it's not that uncommon for ministers to try to cover their tracks.

It's like a Mormon hearing that Joseph Smith hadn't really found magic tablets and translated a new version of the Bible for latter day saints. How do you say, okay maybe that didn't happen but the rest of our church is still the true church of the end time. Joseph Smith's vision was not confirmed by others and John's claims were not really confirmed by others -- he was the leader and knowing that he had a special insight into the Kingdom was a draw.

Nothing about this disclosure was mentioned to the churches -- other than a few veiled words about how John's real problem was disobedience -- and not giving himself enough to Marilyn. (Another warning for people to shape up and get with the program.) Gary warned cryptically that things might be coming down that would shake people's loyalty but it would only be proof that they never had a revelation.

One of Rick's escapades also surfaced sometime in the 90s but he was not the only thing that was wrong in the fellowship. Going back to the 70s there were dozens of accounts of financial and sexual abuse by the pastors of many of the large churches, along with mistreatment of the people. After Gary & Marilyn took over, there was still large scale psychological abuse and reckless shepherding that left a lot of casualties. Marilyn had anger issues and would often lash out violently at those she felt were violating her spirit or offending her. This was interpreted as how the Lord felt about those people, especially since she was being promoted as the Lord in the earth and there was no "God in the sky" or "God in your brain" that you could trust. Submission to her as Christ in the flesh was the order of the day.

For every young person who came forth as a talented and accomplished adult, there were many more who were cast aside or labeled or discarded. Amazingly, Gary Hargrave has continued to promote John's vision as the plumbline for the fellowship even after he knew the background. (He might know something that no one else knows.)

Maybe the fellowship is in its death throes and is winding down due to dwindling membership, an aging congregation and the urgent need for finances to support the many facilities on an annual basis. It is also harder to isolate people from the world around them since they have so much access to what's going on outside the church walls. The messages follow the same pattern of Feasts and winter months and Purims to celebrate Marilyn and Passovers to leave Egypt and summer camps to be the prophets who rule the nations, along with reaching out to other churches and groups. But while the messages may be getting more orthodox in their delivery, their claims about how they are changing the whole earth are -- who knows?

For sure there is a crisis of confidence and trust -- similar to the Catholic church where the highest leaders are saying "We had no idea of the extent of the corruption in our midst." But the corruption was institutionalized through the years -- which is why it's kept repeating itself.

It's possible that the whole movement has just run its course and the world is waiting for others who can find a way to make a difference without hurting so many people in the process. They might not even come out of the Christian world

We've still been given a precious opening to move on. The past abuses were painful and for sure left scars but it doesn't mean some of your best days are not still ahead of you, not behind you.

The name I chose for this forum is Saw enough -- I don't want to focus on the past that much and I'm no expert with an inside track but I saw enough to feel that it is better to be out of there than in there.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: September 01, 2022 01:54AM

Posts by Aleutian and Reachingforward:

Posted by: Aleutian
Date: January 10, 2019 12:12PM

I recently recalled a time I was volunteering working on ¨G and M´s¨ luxury home on Oahu in Hawaii. It was a hot summer day, and I didn´t bring any sunscreen.

I had the nerve to ask for some. After all, I was working for free. Instead of them helping me, they called for their ¨handler¨ at the time to help me. He was quite flustered that I didn´t ask him first and chewed me out, telling me to follow ¨divine order.

It was a good light-bulb moment for me. After that I said "F%$K this" haha.

Posted by: Reachingforward
Date: January 11, 2019 12:20PM

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 APCO.

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.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: September 06, 2022 02:14AM

Reposting this that I originally posted four days after Shalom's viral post. Obviously, the link on my post has all content removed. And even more obvious, this whole written "apology" was a crock of...something.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: October 29, 2018 02:52PM

The Response of Living Word Fellowship to the Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by a Member of our Leadership

We take seriously any reports of mistreatment of our staff, congregation or visitors within the Living Word Fellowship of churches, and we strongly condemn sexual harassment and misconduct of any kind. Such damaging activity should never take place, period, let alone in any church location, and yet we have received credible reports of such inappropriate behavior. As leaders of a fellowship, we recognize that any such occurrence without a strong and immediate response could produce a systemic problem within our church culture, so leadership practices must be addressed.

As a result, we are heartbroken over this, and we deeply apologize to anyone who has been hurt by a member of our pastoral team and by leaders who knew you were hurt but did not properly respond to inappropriate behavior.

We know that no apology can truly make up for such hurts, and that’s why we are taking decisive action. We have already removed leaders who have been involved in misconduct or did not call out or sufficiently address such issues.

In particular, Rick Holbrook is no longer involved in any aspect of leadership or involvement with The Living Word Fellowship, and he will not be allowed back as either a minister, leader, or member of a congregation of The Living Word Fellowship. We are also taking a deep, critical look at our leadership organization—in both structure and specific personnel—and we are taking steps toward necessary changes.

Know that we are taking this very seriously, and we are emboldened that this is the Lord’s church—He will hold us accountable if we do not address these issues. Therefore, our first response is deep repentance and prayerfully seeking the Lord. We are also engaging outside professional advisors to investigate how such situations were allowed to occur and provide us with direction to change the culture that permitted this, and to develop safeguards to prevent misconduct and abuse from occurring ever again.

In addition, we are reaching out to those negatively impacted by this behavior, to offer our apologies as well as counseling with outside professionals.

We believe that as damaging and hurtful as these revelations have been to our fellowship, this has caused us to take a serious look at our policies, procedures, and leadership culture. As a result, we believe this is a new day for The Living Word Fellowship, and our greatest priority now is to help all who have been hurt and see the power of God bring healing and restoration.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2022 02:16AM by Reepicheep.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: puddington ()
Date: September 06, 2022 12:28PM

A “new day” !!! Gimme a frickin’ break.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: September 07, 2022 07:12AM

puddington Wrote:
> A “new day” !!! Gimme a frickin’ break.

Wasn't that line (It's a new day!) repeated often in Groundhog Day, too?

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: September 21, 2022 11:11PM

A sordid history of deception and power plays, indeed:

Posted by: larry bobo
Date: August 08, 2018 10:41AM

My sister is married to Vere Thomas' son, Bruce. As a result, I've heard Vere's version of John's last days before he died. Vere also passed away a few years ago. Some posting here may know that John asked to see Vere many times in his last days, but G & M would not allow it. Finally, when Vere was allowed to see John, he was not allowed to be alone with him. Some thought this was because John might give Vere a leadership role, since they had been close since the early days. Vere was concerned about the way G & M were constantly huddled off together and thought their relationship was very inappropriate. There was obviously some future planning going on, even though they were both married to someone else at the time. Vere was sent out of the country, and when he returned was stripped of everything he had built in Des Moines, including a house that had been given to him personally by one of the members. He moved back to Hawaii with nothing.

Posted by: Lilith
Date: September 27, 2019 05:14AM

Onion Wrote:
> I have also posted my personal knowledge that JRS
> NEVER commissioned Gary and Marilyn to take the
> Apostolic mantle.

I wonder what would have happened if just one person would have stood up in a service during their power grab and said that what they were doing wasn't what John wanted. Not to say what John did was really any better but would it have rocked the boat just enough. Would they have been murdered, because people were pretty crazy back then. Would anyone have listened?

Posted by: changedagain
Date: September 27, 2019 07:17AM

Lilith wrote:
Not to say what John did was really any better but would it have rocked the boat just enough. Would they have been murdered, because people were pretty crazy back then. Would anyone have listened?

It's nuts that violence against a 'whistleblower' would even be considered. But you're right, that approach may not have been ruled out by certain members of the fellowship, especially during that time period--after many of them had recently participated in years of death prayers against John's wife. The transition for a zealous, unhinged believer from 'prophesying' something to implementing it is not necessarily a big leap. Most of the time, however, those who spoke out were just shamed, ostracized and put on a 'disciplinary' work program...and that was sufficient.

Posted by: Reepicheep
Date: September 27, 2019 09:48PM

Unfortunately, any person standing up and telling the truth about the power grab for "the mantle" would undoubtedly have been ridiculed, harassed and alienated. Anyone attempting to speak the truth at that time was publicly demeaned to such an extent that the implied warning was "stand with this person and you're next. And by the way, we have your children, your friends and your family. Don't think you'll get out of here with anything but yourself. And that's if you're lucky".

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2022 11:14PM by changedagain.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Liamthomasusa ()
Date: September 25, 2022 08:44AM

I was watching the online video of the torching of Shiloh and began thinking of all the folks that lost their place…. I had heard a North Liberty group had been meeting. Does anyone know if they are officially connected to TLWF? Who is shepherding the flock?

Thank you for any info … feel free to private message if you feel more comfortable.


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