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IFB Pastor Bruce Goddard and His Bait-and-Switch Tactics

bait and switch

Bruce Goddard pastors Faith Baptist Church in Wildomar, California. Faith Baptist is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church. Here’s how they advertise themselves:

Malls are trendy, churches should feel timeless. With the forceful current of constant change sweeping over every part of our lives, people have the need to connect with something enduring and firm. We believe Christ designed the church to fulfill that need by representing an eternal kingdom and ageless truth with no need to imitate the culture. We want you to know that there is still a church that feels like a church. It will not feel like a rock concert, comedy club, or motivational seminar. It is not old-fashioned, as in 50 years ago, it is timeless, as in 2000 years ago.

IFB churches are noted for bait-and-switch methods used to lure the uninitiated into their group. Often, they advertise themselves as being the friendliest church in town, and outwardly they often are. But, once a person becomes a part of the church, they often find out that things are not as they first appeared to be. Let me illustrate this with several paragraphs from Faith Baptist’s website.

On the I’m New page (this page has been deleted), we find this:


There is not a dress code at FBC for members or guests. Our ministry leaders and many of our church family dress in more traditional “Sunday” dress; however, our main goal is that you would feel welcome and comfortable on your visit here at FBC!


No. We do not invite you to FBC for your offering. We want our service to be a gift to you. We hope you will find a warm, family spirit in this place, truth from God’s Word, and a place where you can grow in God’s grace. Please do not feel any obligation to participate in the offering as a guest.

A literalist, normative, King James reading of these two paragraphs would lead a new person, one not initiated in the IFB way of life, to think that they could dress any way they want and the church is not interested in their money. Yes, I see all of you former IFB church members laughing and rolling on the floor. This is what I mean by bait and switch: we love you just as you are, but once we have our claws into you we are going to rip you apart and remake you into what we, uh what God, wants you to be.

There’s an Evangelical church not far from where I live that prides itself in being tolerant and accepting. Why, they have two gay people attending their church. But, here’s what the two gays might not understand. The love, tolerance, and acceptance are a ploy. They have no intention, over the long-term, of accepting them as they are. The church is willing to put up with having two vile, wicked sodomites attending services because they confidently believe that through preaching and the fake “we love you just as you are” schtick,  the two gays will get saved and realize that homosexuality is a BIG, BIG, BIG sin. In other words, Evangelical salvation turns LGBTQ people into heterosexuals. Praise Jesus!

Here’s how the two gays can prove the sincerity of the church’s love, tolerance, and acceptance. Just ask to join the church or work in the nursery. Tell the pastor you’d like to work with the youth or in junior church. I hear you former Evangelicals snickering. Stop it! I guarantee you, this church will not allow two gays to become members or allow them to be anywhere near their children.

Bruce Goddard and Faith Baptist Church want first-time visitors to see the “good” side of the church, the loving, tolerant, accepting side of the church. Come as you are, Bob and Mary, they will tell them, thinking to themselves, “when we, I mean Jesus, get a hold of you, he’ll let you know that wearing the clothes you have on today is a sin and an affront to God.”

Bruce, perhaps Goddard and Faith Baptist are different. After all, you’ve never visited the church, so you can’t KNOW how they really are. I wish that was so, but IFB churches are quite predictable. Go to the church’s photo page and take a careful look at the pictures. This should tell you exactly what the church’s dress standard is.

Still not convinced? Here’s an article Bruce Goddard wrote for Old Paths Journal, (link no longer active) an IFB website that features the writing of men such as Bob Gray Sr. and Allen Domelle:

Forgive my sarcasm, it simply fits this morning as I read and laugh at how messed up some men must get if they read their Bible. It makes me smile. This Book will mess with your mind unless you surrender to it. Amen! Just how do contemporary preachers read their Bible at all without gagging?

Proverbs 6 brings up some very uncomfortable issues. If God knew the politically correct times in which we would be living, I just do not think He would have written some things in the Bible. Consider these few verses:

Proverbs 6:23-25, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.”

So, here is a matter of Bible reproof and a what the reproof deals with. Take a good look at how “off” God is in our contemporary world.

First of all, God thinks our preaching should contain reproof! Wow! Is that ever out-of-date! Then, the reproof should deal with these four things, can you believe it?

1. The wrong crowd: to keep thee from the evil woman.

2. Wrong speech: flattery.

3. Lust: now it is hard to have lust for a woman without it having to do with her looks. So this indicates preaching and reproof on appearance and what a man looks at.

4. The draw of a woman’s eyes: take thee with her eyelids.

That sure sounds like God wants some serious instruction on how a gal looks, how she acts and warning a young man about that woman. It appears God is so archaic that He thinks we ought to warn young men about the danger of flattering words and forward woman. It appears God is so out-of-touch that He wants us preaching to young men about what and who they look at. How 1950ish!

If God only knew the times in which we would be living, I am sure He would have dropped this kind of thing about 1950 and changed our instruction to simply loving God, loving people and getting rid of the foolish “do’s and dont’s.“ Oh, well! When your God never changes I guess He is bound to be old-fashioned and out-of-step with the times.

Maybe God can read some modern blogs and visit some big name conferences to catch up with the men who really know what is going on. If only God had not said that His Word would not change, then I am sure God would drop this “legalism” and pushy stuff. Man! That was a mistake. Now, God is stuck with these old-fashioned statements. I guess it is good most modern preachers are not stuck on the Bible. Good thing they have enough sense to ignore the Bible when needed and do the “appropriate thing.”

Where would we be if we only had an old-fashioned Bible, and we were having to find our path without these men who know better than to preach on appearance, flattery, forward women and the things at which a man looks? I am sure it was not God Who brought us these modern enlightened prophets, but whoever it is, our world owes him…

Did you see the bait and switch? The church website says:

“There is not a dress code at FBC for members or guests. Our ministry leaders and many of our church family dress in more traditional “Sunday” dress; however, our main goal is that you would feel welcome and comfortable on your visit here at FBC”,

Yet Goddard says in his article: (link no longer active)

“That sure sounds like God wants some serious instruction on how a gal looks, how she acts and warning a young man about that woman. It appears God is so archaic that He thinks we ought to warn young men about the danger of flattering words and forward woman. It appears God is so out-of-touch that He wants us preaching to young men about what and who they look at . . .

Where would we be if we only had an old-fashioned Bible, and we were having to find our path without these men who know better than to preach on appearance, flattery, forward women and the things at which a man looks?”

Need I say more?

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar
    Matt Martin

    Sigh. Gay christians. What is that all about? As a poof I’ve never understood how others of my kind can take up with the talking snake cult.

    Seriously if you’re gay and a christian, you’re not paying attention. Read the fine pint.

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    I’ve heard church members actually say, “Yeah, we say come as you are but you’re not supposed to stay as you are.” ‘Nuff said!

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    I attended that church between 2000-2004

    They were indeed friendly and welcoming. Until you spent enough time there to be admitted to the “conform or be shunned” club.
    They were nice to your face but preached about you behind your back.

    We were deep in the koolaid in all things but one: my siblings were homeschooled and thus we didn’t enroll in the church school. So that put us on the stink list.

    The youth group (and the youth leader) was the most horrible bunch of rude, mysogynistic, conceited bullies that I have encountered anywhere. My sister is still scarred from our time there.

    There were a handful of very sweet people who genuinely cared about us, but for the most part, when we left, I was happy to never look back

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    Also, there was a sexual harrasment incident in the highschool, the details of which were hushed…and the predator, who happened to be church staff of course…is still there. Surprise!

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    I have attended this church, and you write some very generalized (and malicious) misinformation about this church. Some show up every week in whatever clothing, I myself wore casual while others wore their Sunday best, why do you act like people of IFBs claim to be perfect or want us to be perfect, not even the people of a church are perfect, not IFB, not Southern Baptist, not Roman Catholic… In fact, the church is a place where we come knowing that we are all sinners. We come because we are seeking God in our lives, not to conform to a certain Pastors theology and standards. I would have left immediately if I ever felt forced to dress a certain way or even change any part of my life, but something ‘crazy’ happens when you actually read the bible! See the thing is, it actually says that we should, as Christians, separate from those who do not seek God, that’s right, the bible preaches standards and convictions that most preachers will shy away from in fear of losing members. Some people are easily offended, those people write these articles and leave the church when they feel offended. Those people never find a place of their own. this church did not ever change in standards or doctrine in the ~ 7 yrs I attended. In fact, doctrine and standards have been the same since it was founded. Read that again, can’t be said of any of the other churches in the surrounding area. Don’t like it, go ahead and take your pity party to the casual praise worship show down the street.

      • Avatar
        Becky Wiren

        I notice too that, while being so defensive, this person isn’t very empathetic. This commenter is definitely “in the holy club.”

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          Nope, don’t even go anymore but I find it pretty darn dumb that you point to Bruce and hold him accountable for the standards he holds for dress, they are not his standards, but the bibles, maybe read it for yourself. You find yourself so offended because he preaches from the bible, don’t believe me? Read it again(or for the first time?), and correlate his statements with the actual books doctrine. Remember what I said about separation, that’s a bible doctrine Bruce talked about ALOT. I know this, and trust me, you aren’t the first to have your feathers ruffled over this issue.

          • Avatar
            Bruce Gerencser

            Just because Goddard talked about it a lot doesn’t mean that it is taught in the Bible. IFB preachers confuse their personal opinions and interpretations as the very voice of God that must be obeyed by everyone.

            The IFB church movement is inherently cultic and often causes emotional and mental harm. I would NEVER recommend someone attend an IFB church. After almost 8 years of blogging and interacting with a number of current and former IFB pastors, evangelists, and church members, I tell people there is no need to be a part of the IFB church movement because there are kinder,gentler expressions of Christianity, expressions that won’t rob you of reason and personal freedom. Why submit to abuse when you can attend a church that allows you the freedom to be who you are?

            By all means object, but I spent a lot of years in the IFB church movement, as a child, teen, college student, and pastor. I know what I know. I hope you will spend some time reading my writing. If your mind is open, I think you might find it helpful.

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        You chose some choice words from this man and make major generalizations about him, his doctrine, and his church. Have you met this man? Do you believe you know all his personal beliefs from the carefully selected statements you chose? Please, stop fooling yourself and the others who read this toxic article. You see justice in your own eyes, I see apostacy.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          You seem to think I give a shit what you think. I don’t. If you have not read the comment rules, please do so. You will then understand why this is your last comment. I hope you said everything you needed to say.

          • Avatar

            I am sorry, did not see your comment rules until now, and also fixed my email. I also did not intend to make you give any sh*its about what I think, as I also couldnt care less about what you think you know about preachers and they’re ‘bait and switch’ ministries, but unfortunately found myself here and commenting. This is my last comment as you wish.

          • Avatar
            Bruce Gerencser

            You do know I was a pastor for 25 years, yes? That I went to an IFB college, pastored 3 IFB churches? I know the movement inside and out. I know its secrets. Again, I encourage you to read my writing. If you are open minded, I think you will find it helpful. If you have questions, by all means email me.

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            Sarah C.

            Obviously you did not attend for very long, and if you did you never came to see the truth about the IBF movement. I went there for 19 years, and graduated from their “school”. I even still have family that still go there, and are blinded. And I will tell you that everything this man’s blog says is exactly spot on truth. I wish more IFB members could see this, and come out of the church. Everything Bruce Goddard says is always negative, and he bashes so many people constanly. So no, it’s not just sometimes Bruce Goddard talks about things of this nature it’s all the time. Especially when it comes to “standards” on dress. I personally was suspended time after time at the school for dress code violations, and was warned that I wouldn’t be able to work in ministry at church if I didn’t straighten up in that area. They even had people watching me 24\7 whether I was at school, church, or at the local grocery store for Pete’s sake (talk about the control factor) that would report back on what I was wearing and give me demerits that would add up to a suspension. Mostly it was the church staff men that were the ones put on “watching” duty. Now tell me if that ain’t so wrong and so hypocritical. Aren’t the men supposed to be the ones that need the be shielded from inmodest women according to the IFB church? Yet the Pastor, and the principal of the school told them to purposely look at the girls to “expose dress code offenders”. Even if your shirt was even a little bit lower than the 3 finger rule, or if your skirt didn’t perfectly cover your knees at all times you would be reported. It was straight up getting ridiculous, and it was straight up sexual harassment, and total legalism. They are lucky they haven’t had a lawsuit yet. They use the verses that talk about dress, and twist them so much and add their own meaning to them. So that they make it like as if that is exactly what God was saying in those verses, and don’t dare question it because it wouldn’t matter anyway if you did question it because you were automatically wrong because God’s Word (really the IBF’s interpretation of it) is law. So don’t try to tell me that they don’t have a dress standard that they push because I know for a fact that they do. This is just one issue of many in the church. And this is the very Faith Baptist Church that this article is about. Contrary to the way this may sound, I am not bitter. I was for a time and I was very hurt emmotionally, but then I realized what a testimony this is. I can share my experience with others to either keep others away from ever joining the IFB church, or help those who are hurt and wounded as they finally come to know the truth. What an awesome thing God gave me! Praise the Lord for that!

  6. Avatar
    Aaron Lanning

    What Bruce on the blog is saying is spot on as stated before. I was engaged to Goddards youngest daughter. I knew the man well, spent hundreds of hours with him through the years, but he had no damn idea what his daughters did in the dark. He blamed me for everything wrong with the relationship and kept his head in the sand about his own home. I thought by not telling him the truth I was protecting his daughter (youngest one). I should told him the truth and MAYBE he would be more humble when his daughter “couldn’t” wear a white dress at her wedding. Doubt he would have been humbled. Probably blame me for me shit. I then was used as sermon examples. This place is one of the worst. Goddard ignores the truth and sees what he wants to see.

    • Avatar
      Sarah Cleary (Sarah C.)

      That’s so sad Aaron! I remember when this happened to you. There were so many rumors about you, and all of them painted this picture that you were evil and she was so innocent in it all. People thought she was the lucky one to escaped marrying you. Well I think you were the lucky one actually. Because had nothing happened, you’d be stuck married in to that family. She should have told the truth, but she was too scared to face her father. That’s something she’ll have to live with for the rest of her life. She lost the man who truly loved her because of fear. I have a hard time believing her current husband loves her nearly as much or really at all. That’s mine opinion based on what I observed of them. Anyways, all that to say I hope your not discouraged, and I hope you know it wasn’t your fault. God’s plan for our lives never has mistakes in it. He will always take care of you, and guide you to where you should be. I hope you can take comfort in that, and also comfort in knowing not everyone thought it was your fault. I could see way beyond all the false information and the rumors all along. I hope this comment encourages you! Have a great night! 🙂

      • Avatar
        Aaron Lanning

        Thanks Sarah. It was definitely some tough and dark days for me. I appreciate the kind words. My parents are going back to the place. I will never go back. I still have some people I love there as I’m sure you do too but you know….you can’t be there and not conform. I personally did mess up and I by no means blame anybody else for my mistakes but me. I just finally came to my senses a few years ago and said why the fuck am I letting her and her family blame me for her mistakes. Hell no.

        I was very lucky I was able to see (forced to see haha) a license therapist for two years who helped me put my head on straight. I thought he was trying to make me “lose” my faith in my Higher Power. I struggle with saying the word “God” to this day because I use to classify people in two categories “saved” and “unsaved” based on if they have “accepted” God or not. Total bullshit. I am removed from that therapist I saw but I keep my balance in life in part because of blogs like this and people like Bruce Gerencser. I never met him but I enjoy his articles and find strength and guidance that I can be a help to people but I don’t have to drink the koi-laid of the IFB movement anymore.

        Wish you and your family well!!!

        • Avatar

          Before I was a pastor, I had been hurt in church, lied to, lied about and disappointed. As a pastor, the disappointments have not gone away, if anything they have increased… But that in no way has hindered God’s truth or my belief in God. God’s Word is still true. God is still good. I have realized several things over the years that have helped me maintain my sanity and keep my focus:
          1. Men at their best are men at best. This I learned from God’s Word that even someone as close to Jesus as Peter can falter and disappoint, more than once.
          Therefore, my faith is not stayed or settled upon whether those I look up to stay faithful and do not falter.
          2. Standards do not make one holy. While I believe that as Christians we ought to be separated, the true purpose of standards, at least in my thinking, is to keep us from sin, not to make us holy. The Pharisees had plenty of standards, but they were nothing but dead men’s bones inside. The test of real holiness is what comes from the heart…but, I must say that what comes from the heart eventually reaches the outside,
          but I have learned to be very careful in how you judge what is on the outside and make sure it is biblical judgment.
          3. Even in the Valleys, God is still good. I’ve been through some very low times in life. And I’ve learned that God is still there and if I stay faithful and true, I can look back and see the grace of God and the purpose of God very clearly.
          I recall where as an assistant pastor, I was very, very disappointed at my Pastor and was about ready to have a nervous breakdown, the story is too long to go into.
          But my feathers were very ruffled and I knew I had to leave, but I didn’t know where to go. It was at that point where God called me to a place that I never really wanted to go before.
          Had everything gone just fine, there is the distinct possibility that I may never would have left to do what God wanted me to do…Pastor where I am at now.
          4. Just because someone fails me or is hypocritical doesn’t give me the excuse to ‘abandon’ the faith.” Truth is still truth whether someone lives it out or not and that does not give us license to sin and walk away from God.
          Paul is a prime example of faithfulness in spite of great difficulties, set backs and discouragements when he talks about his experiences in 2 Cor. 11
          I also love the book of Philippians where Paul, while in jail, doesn’t get bitter because of his predicament, but he uses it for the glory of God. Read the first chapter, it’s awesome.
          Anyway, enough yapping for now.

  7. Avatar
    HoldThe ProfanityFool

    Faith Baptist Church in Wildomar California just celebrated its 35th anniversary last weekend. The church founder, Pastor Bruce Goddard has been there since day one. Your criticism of our church and its pastor is bewildering, and frankly it provokes only pity. You are uninformed and wholly unpersuasive. And you apparently spent about 24 years too long before wising up enough to realize that you were NOT called to be a ‘Timothy’. Or at least to pastor in any one place for more than 35 weeks, much less for 35 years. I feel sorry about how unhappy, angry and self-destructive you are, Bruce.

  8. Avatar

    When my oldest child started riding the church bus to FBC, I never dreamed it would end the way it did. My family attended this church and the school for several years. We were always looked at differently, maybe not on purpose, but it’s not hard to see when people treated us differently, possibly due to the amount of money we didn’t have to tithe…or the fact that we were just different. My kids tried so hard to do right, but none of are perfect and we made mistakes along the way.

    We served…day in and day out…sacrificed and went without in order to follow what we thought was biblical…my eyes have since been opened, after we were ostracized and my kids were no longer able to attend the school, (one of them expelled in h.s. from a non-accredited school…know what that meant? yeah, she was screwed)….my kids no longer see “church” as a safe place which breaks my heart.

    the clothing issue, yes it matters there.
    what you make $$$, yes it matters there.
    whether or not you follow their rules to a tee, yep that matters there too!
    This church is a cult…bottom line, they hook you, reel you in and make you conform. Be cautious.
    if you don’t comply, don’t fit in, forget about it.

    And if you think you are among a bunch of “good people” remember, WE ARE ALL SINNERS…but some of us hide it better than others. Keep your guard up, be cautious and trust NO ONE, not even your bff from church!

  9. Avatar
    John Handsal

    Yes and not the Yourh Pastor has allegations of sexual impropriety with several teenage girls. (Old Youth Pastor) and all appears as it has been covered up and the same incident happens 20 some years ago with a Youth Pastor there named Paul Fox and that was covered as well.

  10. Avatar
    EL Santiago

    Thanks for filling in the gaps. I’ve heard negative comments about Fox throughout the years, but never knew why he left.

    The Times Up/ Me Too movement has arrived at Bruce Goddard’s church as it is currently under investigation for sexual misconduct. It looks like there are multiple victims and they are as angry as hell (rightfully so).

    I’m a bit confused,though. Goddard claims he was not aware of the abuse. Yet, about the time that people claim to have informed him of “the situation” was when the employee was “transferred” to a new ministry.


  11. Avatar
    Sarah C.

    Bruce, Victor Montiero was the youth pastor of Faith Baptist Church for many years. I personally knew him well as he was my youth pastor all through high school until he mysteriously stepped down for no apparent reason, and was moved to another church. I was very disappointed about that at the time because we all looked up to him so much. However years later I’m finding out the real reason he was moved, and that Pastor Goddard knew about him and didn’t turn him in to the police instead tried to cover it up.

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    Bruce Roberts

    I love an old fashioned church with old fashioned standards. The problem is that people really have a problem with God. God hates sin. We shoud hate sin. God is holy. We should be holy. Arguments about dress codes and sins such as sodomy should be taken up with God. Bruce Goddard is a man of God. Human. Not perfect. But a man of God. No different than Peter, James and John. How about we stand with the man of God who is proclaiming the Word of God. Let’s line up with Scripture concerning sin and biblical standards. I’ll stand with Almighty God and the man of God before I’ll side with someone “sowing discord among the brethren”.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser


      “Old fashioned” meaning 1950s.

      Pointing out Goddard’s hypocrisy is not “sowing discord among the brethren.” First, I’m an atheist. Second, Goddard uses the Bible to control people. He says one thing, as this post shows, but he really believes something different.

  13. Avatar
    John Jacobs

    He was the youth pastor for over 20 years. He did not step down Sarah C. It was told to the church that we were loaning him to Pay Cook to help start his church. There was never any indication that he was stepping down. The congregation was all lied to so that it would be covered up. Later they said it was because he rode in a car alone with a girl. But the truth is he tried to make a move on a girl who denied him and then ratted him out.

  14. Avatar
    EL Santiago

    Hello Mr. Bruce Roberts,

    I ,too, am very much against sin, which is precisely why I applaud the victims for bringing a sexual predator to justice. When you have the courage to speak out against wrong to protect innocent girls from being sexually violated in the most heinous of ways, that’s called LOVE! (A Biblical concept).

    Mr. Roberts, are you aware that at least THREE child abusers are now affiliated with Faith Baptist Church of Wildomar?All have served on staff at the church. One was convicted and served jail time; VM was just arrested, the other is named in the current lawsuit. I don’t remember Jesus having that high of a pedophile ratio on his ministry team.

    The issue at hand is not “sowing discord among the brethren” or being a human, imperfect leader. The real issue is this: A Pastor, willfully and negligently, failed to comply with the law as a mandated reporter. He enabled monster(s) to have their pick of victims in what should have been the safest of spiritual sanctuaries.

    Final thoughts: There were 3, yes THREE, pedos on staff at various times in the church’s history. They all sat under the Pastor’s preaching at least 4 times a week: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and Saturday soulwinning.
    If your “man of God” is as fabulous as you claim he is, why couldn’t his preaching transform the hearts of the abusers?
    And why wasn’t he close enough to God to know that there was evil serving side-by-side with him for over 30 years?

  15. Avatar

    First of all, I happen to know 2 of the victims in the youth pastor case, they are absolutely true. I also know a former teen that is now a grown woman, who very recently (before Victors wife left the marriage) had a sexual affair with Victor. There is much much more that will come to light in the coming days. Bottom line is that it was an ongoing problem at this church and many many others. The IFB churches along with multiple other denominations are filled with perverts who use the church as their personal “hunting grounds”, it’s easy to prey on someone when people’s guards are down.

    I agree with El Santiago, why didn’t the pastor know what was right under his nose? HE DID KNOW, he used to preach from the pulpit that we shouldn’t condemn a man for his sins….really? I choose to protect my children first, let the perverts rot in hell for all I care. One of the former youth pastors, Carl Hammond, is a convicted sex offender, and he started a church in Northern CA. What the hell is wrong with this world? Why was this man allowed to start a church where there were DEFINITELY going to be children? SMH

    I recently read the first hand account of a former FBC church member (since she was a teen) who the pastor himself set up on a date (when she was 17) with a 29 year old “preacher boy” who was visiting from out of town, she ended up spending a week with the man, AS A TEENAGER, and he had his “liberties” with her…shame on Mr. Goddard…..shame on him.

  16. Avatar
    Keith Stewart

    Interesting that a lot of posters won’t be bold enough to use their own names.
    IFB churches sound pretty much like the Presbyterian Reformed Church.

    • Avatar
      Michael Mock

      It’s not always a question of courage, Keith Stewart. Keep in mind that there are a variety of very good reasons why someone might choose not to use their real name online before you cast asparagus – er, aspersions – on them for doing so. An awful lot of what gets called cowardice is actually just people protecting themselves in ways that other people don’t approve of.

  17. Avatar

    In regards to using my real name, I DO have a family and if you knew any of the people who go or went to this particular church, you would know that they are not above lashing out at people and for the sake of my family, they did not ask me to give my opinions so I am protecting them from said backlash.

    In regards to the allegations that have been made, again, I know more than one of the victims and have actually been told that the youth pastor in question has actually admitted to the charges he is accused of. How this plays out will be interesting. The pastor of FBC of Wildomar remains silent and refuses to own up to his role of ignoring/covering up these crimes. He failed to report as a MANDATORY REPORTER, a law that went into affect in 1980 and the first crime taking place in 1982 by the previous youth pastor who was sent away within 48 hours of being discovered by the pastor. This is him KNOWINGLY covering up the crime of child abuse/molestation.

  18. Avatar
    Daniel Applegarth

    I also attended this church from the time i was born until i was a senior in high school. I attended the christian school all the way up until my senior year. I was basically forced to leave the church due to people turning there back on me and my family. My mother had an affair with a deacon in the church. My family at the time was very involved in the church and so was the deacons family.

    I remember my last Sunday there was when Bruce Goddard praised the deacon for being in the military even after this man, as well as my mother destroyed 2 families with there actions.

    I believe the deacon and his family still attends the church and last I heard he is still the schools football coach.

    Bait and Switch tactics only apply to outsiders coming in. If you are part of the core than they have no problem not only hiding your sin but also publicly praising you in front of the entire church.

    This Victor thing is also not a surprise to me. He was my youth pastor from 2002 – 2006. I never really thought he would have crossed any lines but you always could tell he was a little to touchy feely with the girls. There were multiple times I remember him picking girls up for Wednesday night teenager soul winning. He would also take 1 girl with him to pick up other teenagers. A couple of us would make comments about it but would never ever speak out about God’s Man.

    I feel for the victims. At least 1 of them I knew her and her family very well.

    These are the types of situations that happen when men in the church have to much power. Everyone is taught to shut up and listen to God’s man and never contradict or question him. It gives a man like Victor a playground with all of the young girls that are to afraid to talk.

    I hope Victor as well as Goddard get what they deserve through this and victims can get some peace.

    • Avatar
      EL Santiago

      Daniel, I’m so sorry about the heartbreak and humiliation you had to endure. I remember your parents’ divorcing, but never knew why.

      The public praise from the pulpit for that deacon who had the affair; that’s also a bait-and-switch tactic. It takes a lot of work and time to get a visitor to come to church, get them faithful enough to attend all services AND TITHE, get them to like the UNACCREDITED Christian school enough to enroll their kids, and transition them into the gazillion ministries that never had enough workers. The praise isn’t random. It’s calculated. It’s verbal seduction in a very public space to convince the family not to leave. And in this case, his family filled an entire pew. Remember, it’s a numbers game. Each graduating senior that goes off to Bible college fills a quota which in turn fuels bragging rights.

      Regarding the pedos, it’s not three. IT’S FOUR!!

      Google the Christian school principal before Fox’s time. He was convicted and served jail time.

      I would encourage you to reach out to the victims on FB and you’ll find the arrest record of the fourth.

      You’ll also find documentation on the two lawsuits filed against the church regarding VM. One of the victim’s mothers wrote that there are more forthcoming.

      Most importantly, I encourage you to reach out to friends and find support. Many of us who are ex-members have found great comfort knowing that we weren’t the only ones who were spiritually abused. We’ve shared our stories and found support, healing, and strength. I wish that for you too. Trust me, you are not alone.

  19. Avatar

    HOW CAN THIS BUSINESS STILL BE OPEN? Reads like a pedo collection point for southern Riverside County. The D.A. should be thrown under a church bus for failing to bring Pastor in front of a jury of his peers. A pastor like this maybe can bring Jesus into prison, where Jesus is needed and Pastor can serve his sentance. I hear no repent from Pastor or his wife. now that the cat is out of the bag, why they not contrite? Put them in front of a Jury, or throw-out the D.A. and any judges, too! crooks are o.k., but when you got a pedo-hiding pastor, … hard to imagine anything more corrupt.
    BTW 20 + yaers ago there was talk all over nearby high school of some pedo stuff at same… can’t remember exactly.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Uh, weird? The top left corner of every post says the author is me, former Evangelical pastor Bruce Gerencser. The top right of the sidebar tells inquiring readers that I am the owner and author of the posts on this site (with the exception of occasional guest posts).

      So, to answer your question, I am the author of this post. Why do you ask?


  20. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    The church and a particular church in this case, is a real wolf in sheep’s garb. How odd it is that the believers posting here do no see what big teeth they have… As the years go by since my deconversion from evangelicalism, I become more and more amazed at ho out of touch people become when taken by the church, by sweet Jesus and changed into a generic product. The Cross Factory wrecks people and often leaves them victims of a sort of lobotomy, part of their lives and freedom completely submerged in woo.

  21. Avatar

    Not just IFB.In the late 90s I joined a Willow Creek-modeled “ultra-contemporary” church, where many in leadership had advanced degrees, and “Don’t check your brain at the door” was an informal motto.
    But scratch the surface… sure ‘nough, homeschooling was encouraged, as was “modest” dress, and in the Newcomer classes, it was explained that pastors, elders & deacons were all men because Jesus’s 12 disciples were all men, so… (the pastor smiled, shrugged and went on to the next topic).
    I didn’t feel comfortable in any religious community until I became an atheist and joined the Unitarian Universalist Church four years later.

  22. Avatar
    dale m

    This kind of philosophy works its way into every niche and cranny of society. When I started dating as a teen, I was always attracted to much, much older women. My family was very much a church going family (United Church), anti-Catholic, racist and especially against their children dating older girls. I refused to date girls my own age. I had no interest. So, come holiday dinners of a Christian bend, I was always without a partner. It was so embarrassing at dinner when my father would ask my younger brothers if they could find a girl for me. My father thought I must be of the other “persuasion”. My mother even lined up a very pretty girl (same age as myself). I was 19 at the time. I felt so sorry for this young girl (a friend of the family’s). We remained very good friends to this day.

    I think back and laugh at all this today but couldn’t at the time deal with it very well. I felt rejected by my family. So. I did everything to please them.

    So why mention it?

    After my parents died, I came across this little blue book that was given every new parent in the 1940s-50s from the central hospital who had a baby boy. It was titled “How to Raise Baby Bub”. The pink ones were for the girls. The so-called “Doctor” at this hospital was a minister from the local church. He wrote the book. In it, I discovered this guys “wisdom” in “dealing with women”. It was a philosophy from the Victorian Age … from another century. In particular, what stood out to me was the chapter devoted to protecting young “Bub” from the “clutches/ claws” of older women who were laying in ambush to enslave young Bubba to their will.

    For the very first time, I understood my parents fully. They were living through this book, chapter by chapter. It all made sense to me. Now I fully understood. Religion does poison everything.

  23. Avatar

    Oh, ugh. It’s pretty clear from the photos, and from the “I’m new” answered questions, that this is a standard “No pants on women, and if men are ‘led into sin,’ it’s all some female’s fault” kind of IFB church, no matter what they tell you in the beginning. As Rachel Maddow cautions about our current secular leadership, “Watch what they do, not what they say.”

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Bruce Gerencser