Tag Archives: Kings Way Baptist Church

I am Angry

angry

I can’t sleep. I am angry tonight. I am probably angrier tonight than I have been in a long time. I am having a hard time even writing these sentences.  An attempted discussion today with a woman who says she is a member of Kings Way Baptist Church, the church accused child molester Bill Wininger pastored, has reached down into my being and found an anger that I thought I had long since moved beyond. I like to think that I am beyond being angered by people who defend the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement and its abusive pastors. But, as my present  anger shows me, I am still able to be passionately moved by the actions and words of IFB church leaders, pastors, and members.

Just tonight Polly let me know about a young family we are close to having their four young children baptized in an IFB church. I thought, four more children primed and ready to be indoctrinated and ruined by the IFB church. These children are the fourth generation to be brought up in this particular IFB church. I know what they will be taught and I know how they will be manipulated and indoctrinated. I weep for them, but I am also angry, so very angry.

I am angry over what the IFB church does to almost every person it touches. Those unscathed by the IFB church are those who got out early and avoided a life of mental and emotional abuse, along with intellectual vacuity.  They are lucky to have escaped from, as one commenter put it, the prison.

While I do not write that often on the IFB church movement, when I do write, my writing attracts apologists for the IFB church movement. These people see me as a servant of Satan, an evil man out to destroy the one, true IFB faith. (I plead guilty on the last charge)  Their attacks are personal and, at times, threatening. I have yet to see one apologist who  is a decent human being. They say they follow Jesus, yet their response to my writing is anything but Christ-like.

Over the past year, I have been getting hammered with comments and email from people who attempt to defend IFB churches, institutions, and pastors like Bill Wininger,  Kings Ways Baptist Church, North Sharon Baptist Church, Jack Hyles, First Baptist Church in Hammond, Hyles-Anderson College, and  Jack Schaap. Their comments and emails are vicious and hateful. I will readily admit that their comments and emails get to me.  They remind that I was once a part of the IFB madness, that I once was a part of a group that is, dare I say it, quite cult-like. Even the best of the IFB churches have authoritarian tendencies that are harmful to people emotionally and mentally. I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a good IFB church. (see my post, Why I View the Bible Like I Do a Garbage Can)  Six years and hundreds of comments and emails from people who have been irreparably harmed by the IFB church has led me to conclude that while there “may” be a morsel of edible food in the IFB garbage can, the offal and stench in the IFB garbage can taints any edible morsel that might be in the can.

Defenders of the IFB church movement continue to tell me their pastor and their church is different.  They are NOT like other IFB churches. Yet,  theologically they have the same beliefs, send their children to the same colleges, and worship the same big-name IFB preachers.  I am reminded of the old adage, birds of a feather flock together. If a church and its pastor REALLY isn’t like the other IFB churches, then why do they continue to swim in the same filthy water with them?

I thought my writing on Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap brought out the worst of the worst in the IFB church movement. But, I was wrong.  The defenders of Bill Wininger and Kings Way Baptist Church have taken the offensive to new heights. (though, to their credit, no one has threatened to kill me, yet)  I have been getting comments on the Bill Wininger post that I did not approve and I have also gotten emails that were quite offensive. (and some that were quite polite and respectful) I decided to not let these people continue to pollute the comment section and I deleted the comments on the Bill Wininger post. (and I know some of you won’t be happy with this but I hope you will try to consider this from my perspective for a moment) Not only did I delete the comments but I do not intend on approving any further comments from apologists for the IFB church movement.

After I deleted the comments and refused to post the aforementioned commenter’s comments, she went ballistic.  Here are  her comments after I cut her off.

Comment One

By the way, the reason I’m not standing up for Bethany Leonard and others who have now come forward is that I don’t believe them. I’m not saying they are lying. I’m saying I don’t believe them. I have not seen any evidence that would confirm their allegations are true. BW was our pastor for more than 17 years, and not one time in all those years have I ever seen or felt or heard that he was inappropriate around any of the young people (babies, children, teens, or anyone else not considered an adult) in our church. You’ve said yourself that child molesters don’t just stop. If that’s true, there would be victims in Georgia. My own children adore BW. We have discussed with them in depth the allegations against our former pastor, and we have asked them multiple times in multiple scenarios over the last month if they have ever felt he touched them or talked to them in any way that was wrong or inappropriate. They have said without hesitation absolutely not. We have asked them every possible way to make sure they felt safe confiding in us, and they have vehemently denied any possibility of any such conduct. I agree with you that child molesters don’t just stop, but nobody here can find a single kid over the past 17 years who feels he said or did anything inappropriate to them or with them. How could that be if he truly were a child molester? Based on your own opinions, a child molester can’t just stop. Either that’s exactly what BW did, or he was never a child molester. I pray the latter is true.

As for women victims? I have my own opinions on that too, but I’m sure you would greatly enjoy disputing my thoughts on that so why bother?

I don’t stand up for Bethany and friends because I don’t believe them. I know my disbelief doesn’t negate their validity in your opinion; it is merely my opinion.

Comment Two

I find it interesting you deleted all posts on the previous thread right after my last comment. Did I hit a nerve or a nail on its head? Just curious. Why didn’t you allow my last few responses to post?

Comment Three

(sent four separate times in a matter of a few minutes)

God is real. Your unbelief does not change that fact. You know I’m right. That’s why you won’t let me post to your blog. Now who’s hiding something?

Comment Four

Bruce, why won’t you let my post go on your blog? God is real. Your unbelief does not change that fact. You know I’m right. That’s why you won’t let me post to your blog. Now who’s hiding something?

It’s funny how I’m getting under your skin.

Comment Five

(sent four times, with slight variations,  in a matter of a few minutes)

Bruce, why won’t you let my post go on your blog? God is real. Your unbelief does not change that fact. You know I’m right. That’s why you won’t let me post to your blog. Now who’s hiding something?

It’s funny how I’m getting under your skin.

What’s the matter, Bruce? Cat got your tongue?

What did I say that caused you to delete your entire thread?

Did I strike a nerve?

Comment Six

Why, oh, why, Bruce, won’t you talk with me anymore?

Comment Seven

Did you post earlier that you lived up the street from our former pastor?

Comment Eight

You know, for someone so distressed over the trauma of being molested as a child, Bethany sure does use a lot of happy emoticons in her posts.

Comment Nine

I’m guessing you’re hiding something since you won’t comment, or is that only true of IFB churches?

Comment Ten

On second thought, maybe you and Bethany have the hots for each other, and that is why there are so many smiley faces going on between the two of you?!?!?

Comment Eleven

Uh oh, I just accused you and Bethany Leonard of having a secret affair. I guess that accusation makes it true. I hope your respective spouses don’t oust you both immediately. I’d hate for anything bad to happen as a result of my accusation.

Comment Twelve

Goodnight, Brucey-Wucey, I’ll be back!!!!

After deleting the comments, this commenter, from two IP addresses, both originating in Douglasville, Georgia, left 20 comments on two different posts in a short amount of time.

I can no longer give one more moment of my time to those who continue to defend the IFB church movement and its churches and pastors. While I will continue to write on the IFB church movement and my time in the IFB church, I will not approve one more comment or respond to one more email from a person trying to defend the IFB church movement, its churches or its pastors. I am done dealing with their filth.

I am not even sure why I am posting this. I needed to write this and I need you to know this. And now I am going to bed.

See ya tomorrow. I have some great NON-IFB posts planned for this week. Stay tuned.

Published: November 11, 2013 | Comments: 45

Accusation is not Proof Says IFB Defenders

i didnt do it

Any time there is a scandal in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement, the defenders of the one, true and holy IFB faith, quickly remind people that just because someone makes an accusation it doesn’t mean it is true. On one hand, this is correct. People are accused of things all the time that they did not do. We should be careful when we publicize an accusation against someone.

But…

When it comes to the IFB church movement, a movement built on a foundation of secrecy, deception, distortion, and lies, must we wait until the court says GUILTY before we dare talk about the accusations? I think not.  Rarely is the IFB church movement forthcoming about the sins of their pastors and leaders. Instead they lie, obfuscate, cover up, and deny. They pretend it didn’t happen or they couch their objections in justifications like:

  • If you didn’t see it happen it didn’t happen (a justification made famous by Jack Hyles)
  • If you weren’t there how do you know it happened
  • The Bible says touch not my anointed (my anointed being the pastor)
  • The Bible says not to receive an accusation against a pastor unless it can be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses
  • We shouldn’t rush to judgment…
  • That was a long time ago
  • Until the court finds the person guilty I am not going to believe anything happened
  • I know ______________, he would NEVER do such a thing

When it comes to claims of sexual abuse, the defenders of the accused often go after the victim. I am sure people remember how some IFB defenders went after the girl Jack Schaap was accused of having sex with. She was a slut, she came on to him, she is just as guilty as he is…on and on it went.  Tina Anderson went through similar attacks a few years ago. (Tina was raped and impregnated by an IFB church deacon)

Take the newly revealed case of Pastor Bill Wininger.  IFB defenders are quick to suggest that the charges are just wild speculation. Using the tactics I mentioned above, they demand people cease from talking about it. However, unlike the IFB church before the days of the internet, IFB defenders can no longer contain stories and accusations like they once did.  They can leave all the nasty, self-righteous comments they want on blogs, forums, and news sites…but this will not stop the stories and accusations from being spread far and wide.

Is there a small, small, small chance that Bill Wininger is absolutely innocent of what he is being accused of? Perhaps. But, there is enough evidence to suggest that the accusations have merit.

Take the letter written by the mother of one of the victims. She didn’t write an anonymous letter. She put her name to it and named her daughter.  Ask yourself, would a woman write such a letter, put her name to it, and put it on the internet, if the accusations and stories were completely false?  Would they go to the police and ask for an investigation knowing the accusations are false? I highly doubt it.

Why has Kings Way Baptist Church scrubbed their website and the website of their Christian school of any mention of Pastor Bill Wininger? Why hasn’t North Sharon Baptist Church issued a statement?  I know if I was still a pastor, I would want to get out in front of such a story. Saying nothing is NOT an option.  Yet, in case after case, IFB churches do exactly what Kings Way and North Sharon are doing now. They say nothing. Their silence is a sign that they have something to hide. (or their insurance company/lawyer is telling them to not say anything)

After this article was written I received the following email from someone at North Sharon Baptist Church:

Our current pastor did do something about what Bethany ________ told about Bill Wininger. He went to the Michigan police about it & reported it. The police are the ones who are not doing anything about it.  What would you have the current pastor say to the world about something that happened when he was not there, and didn’t know about until years later? Our church is not covering up for Bill Wininger. We were the ones who turned him in.

I replied to the question, what would you have us say to the world:

I would have them, on their website, say EXACTLY what you said here. Saying nothing is not an option.

I have been blogging for six years. Over this time, countless IFB pastors and Southern Baptist pastors have been accused of sexual misconduct. I can’t think of one instance where the accusations were later shown to be false.

Here’s what I know. Every week or so a woman or a man emails me and details the perverse or despicable  actions of an IFB pastor or church leader. Often they painfully write of sexual abuse as a child. Why would these dear people bear their soul to me? Why tell me the deep and dark secrets of their past?  I am a nobody. I am an old man with a broken down body. Yet, they write and I suspect they do so because they know I will listen to them, believe them, and protect their privacy.  I let them know if they want to pursue outing someone who sexually abused them I am here to help. There is a vile sickness in the IFB church and unless it is exposed to the light of day it will never go away.

When I first started writing on these issues, I met some wonderful people who were sent off to IFB boarding schools as teenagers. At these schools they were mentally, physically, and, at times, sexually abused.  These homes were run by people I knew well, men who were pillars in the IFB church movement. As I began listening to their stories, I found myself thinking, how can these things be true? How can these abhorrent behaviors go on in plain sight and with the approval of men and churches who say they are following after Jesus? But they do…and the only way to put a stop to it is to expose it, talk about it, and support those who are willing to share their stories. As long as this broken body of mine is sucking air I plan to stand on the side of the victims.

Published: October 25, 2013 | Comments: 18

IFB Pastor Bill Wininger Outed as Sexual Predator

bill wininger

An Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) mother tells the horrifying story of her daughter who was sexually abused by Bill Wininger, then pastor of North Sharon Baptist Church:

If you will bear with me, I’d like to tell you a story. It is a true story of a little girl with incredible blue eyes. The church her family attended voted in a new pastor the same year she was born. Her family was very excited about this new pastor, and the little girl became very fond of him as well. She was a delightful child—very smart and tender-hearted. At a young age she expressed an interest in the Gospel, and at her mother’s knee, prayed to give her heart to Jesus.

When she was still quite young, unbeknownst to anyone else,something very terrible started to happen. Her pastor, whom she loved and trusted, began to take advantage of her on numerous occasions, violating her little body in unspeakable ways. Because of her tender age, she did not understand this at all. Since her young mind was incapable of processing these terrifying events, the dark memories of these assaults became sealed in the deep recesses of her conscience. Though she did not speak of the things that had occurred, she carried an overwhelming heaviness in her little heart,a pain that she could not put into words…

The pastor moved away, and years later:

Finally she reached the point when she knew the only hope for her survival was to face what was at the bottom of her festering wounds—the truth of what had happened to her as a little girl. Very gradually her memories surfaced, and she bravely, though timidly, started to talk about them. As she recalled details of these life altering events, her mother soon recognized and remembered  specific opportunities for their occurrence.

Over time, as more details were remembered and shared, the pieces of the puzzle began to fit together and make sense.The courageous little girl, who for many years had been unable to tell, had finally found her voice. The silence had ended.This same little girl is now a beautiful young woman, our beloved daughter, Bethany.It didn’t take long for us to learn that there were other young ladies, as well as adult women, who had been victimized by the  same man. All their stories agree together and have a ring of  similarity. The truth is undeniable. The perpetrator, unfortunately,was Pastor Bill Wininger. The time frame was when he was our pastor at North Sharon Baptist Church from 1988 to 1995.

I wish I could say that this heartbreaking story is unusual but it is not. Just in the last two weeks alone, three women have emailed me about being sexually assaulted as a child or teenager by a deacon or the pastor of the IFB church they attended. Quite frankly, these kind of things are far too common and every bit as scandalous as the sex scandal of the Catholic church. (we should be grateful that, through the internet, women and men can now tell their story of sexual abuse at the hands of men of God)

kings way baptist church

In classic IFB fashion, Bill Wininger, now pastor of King’s Way Baptist Church, Douglas County, Georgia, has miraculously disappeared from the church’s  website and the website of their Christian School. Jeri Massi at the Blog on the Way writes:

All videos and sermons from him have been removed. The church, following the IFB practice of defiance against the Scripture, is maintaining a curtain of secrecy, even though Paul directly commands that elders who fall into sin are to be rebuked before the entire church. It is not to be a secret. And yes, the goal is to make miscreants afraid of abusing church office.

The good news is…thanks to the internet and those of us who refuse to allow these predators hide, we can hopefully keep them from molesting and harming other children and teens. More and more women and men are coming forward, willing to tell their story of sexual abuse. Telling their story takes great courage because I know the hell that the IFB church movement releases on those who dare tell their secrets.

This is not an issue of Christianity vs. atheism. This is about sexual predators hiding in plain sight in Christian churches. They abuse their way through the church and then move on to another church of prey. They are the lowest of low and they deserve every bit of scorn and ridicule they receive. They also deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (many avoid prosecution for lack of evidence or the statute of limitations runs out. Public shaming is often the ONLY recourse)

Several days ago, a friend of mine told me about a recent service at former IFB pastor, now convicted felon, Jack Schaap’s church, First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana. It was mentioned during the service that Schaap had led someone to Christ in prison! Praise Jesus. Soon his despicable acts will be forgotten, just like those of his brother-in-law David Hyles and his father-in-law Jack Hyles. In time, we will hear of souls being saved and the life of Jack Schaap being rehabilitated to the glory of God. As I mockingly told my friend, by the time Jack Schaap is out of prison, he will be pastoring the largest prison church in America.

Notes

Here is a link to a local news story on this issue.

You can read the mother’s entire letter via a link on Jerri Massi’s blog.

Someone from Sharon Baptist Church sent me the following:

Our current pastor did do something about what Bethany ________ told about Bill Wininger. He went to the Michigan police about it & reported it. The police are the ones who are not doing anything about it.  What would you have the current pastor say to the world about something that happened when he was not there, and didn’t know about until years later? Our church is not covering up for Bill Wininger. We were the ones who turned him in.

I replied to the question, what would you have us say to the world:

I would have them, on their website, say EXACTLY what you said here. Saying nothing is not an option.

All of the churches mentioned in this post are Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, King James Only, Separated, Soulwinning churches.

If I remember right, there were students from North Sharon Baptist Church when Polly and I attended Midwestern Baptist College in the mid-1970’s.

Ironically, Bill Wininger wrote a book while he was pastor of North Sharon Baptist Church

church falsely accused

Revival Fires, the ministry of Dennis Corle carries the book. Their website says this about the book:

In a country church two male workers are accused of committing horrible crimes against children while running Sunday school bus routes. What should they do? How should they react in the midst of a county-wide scandal? How does a pastor keep from seeing his ministry, at the least, paralyzed and, at the worst, destroyed? How does he deal with the accused and their accusers?

Pastor Bill Wininger tells the amazing story of a church which experienced just such a traumatic event and amazingly, survived the ordeal with minimal damage done to the church. A Church Falsely Accused is the astonishing story of the North Sharon Baptist Church, a country church whose commitment to Christ and to the lost in its community saw victory through a vicious scandal.

Published: October 25, 2013