Open Discussion

Last post was going crazy with comments….I’m not putting up a post, but feel free to comment here (closing down the other one)


  1. keepinstep says:

    From the previous discussion:

    RE Sandy #1302: “What happened to her also robbed the church of one of the most compassionate and sincere pastors to ever grace the doors of CLC. Chuck has been robbed of his calling to ministry”. SO TRUE. Chuck was one of the good guys.

    RE #1346: QB’s mention of Dobson means nothing. I was a CLC member for many years, and my family listened to his program every day on the radio. Loved him and his books, which were very helpful in child-rearing.

  2. Glad i am out says:

    Just the beginning – regarding the queen bee – good point!! a real SGM loyalist would never quote dobson. It is unthinkable. And if she did love dobson, as i did, while at SGM, then she would not probably be making the arguments here, as all-things-dobson definitely went against the SGM grain.. Along those lines, all things “non-SGM” went against the grain. I remember being rebuked because i like the end-times series by Tim Lahaye – forget what it was called – fun and interesting reading – but poo poo’ed by SGM pastors.

  3. Oswald says:

    Re: Chuck T. — Strange how men leave and we never really know why. A story is given that may not sound valid, we accept it as true because we have no other choice. At CovFel, Stefan B left about a year ago to go to a church in Ft Laud. Did that church need him or what? He had not sold his house before going. Brian V left CovFel last month with an explanation that did not sound valid, Brian said it was true, we accepted it as true because we had no other choice. This has happened several times throughout SGM. Joe McMullin left CovFel and we were told Joe could just not see himself anywhere except Philly and when another opportunity comes, he’ll be sent somewhere. Soon we hear (through the grapevine) that he’s starting a new church (not SGM) with Don S. CJ told a story about Larry T when he left(not recorded) saying he’d rather die than do what LT did. And now we hear that people at CLC wondered why Chuck T. was gone. And also B Wood. There seems to be a pattern throughout the churches that leaves suspicion to linger un-addressed. If we hadn’t read it here, we wouldn’t know the difference.

  4. Wizer says:

    Whew! Was I the only one to notice that one of our longest running discussions was ironically entitled, ‘Snippets’? I’m sure you didn’t intend it that way, Kris, just that it was kinda funny.

  5. Oswald says:

    Glad @2 — The ideas of Dobson and LaHaye were poo-pooed by SGM because CJ didn’t come up with them first, and they were not SGM branded.

  6. Oswald says:

    The series by LaHaye was titled “Left Behind”.

  7. Dr. Pepper says:


    It was a real shame when Stefan B was laid off. Very sad. IMO, he had the most heart for the lost and needy. But I will say Jim D also has a heart. The rest of the covfel pastors could learn a lot about how to care for people.

  8. OutThere says:

    Just fyi, consider the possibility that Queen Bee works for (or is related to) one of the lawyers representing the defendants. This would explain the legal knowledge and case references Queen Bee makes, would give Queen Bee access to knowledge about death threats, and would even give Queen Bee a reason to be reading the website in the first place – looking for people to say things that can be used against them or to support the defendants in a court of law, even baiting people to say something damaging. Really…

  9. BoughtTheField says:

    I knew Stefan B very well. He is absolutely genuine in his faith and has a heart for the needy of all types. I saw him out of love care for people who could never pay him back in any way. I also saw him courageously confront wrongdoing when others were remaining silent.

  10. Persona says:

    Oswald 5

    Maybe Kris can entitle this one ‘tome’ and see how long it gets?

    Regarding Dobson, it is true that CJ likes the write his own ‘book’ on child-rearing.

    The pride of the pastors also came in play when you tried to share curriculum, a book or CD with them and ask them later if they ever read it or listened to it…not! They always wanted to be the end all and be all. The congregations’ only role was to fund their initiatives and follow hard after them.

  11. It's just the beginning says:

    I just noticed this link from Lemongrass, #1270 on the previous post .. it is written by Heather in March 2010.

    If any parent has a teen or young adult living in overt rebellion, I highly recommend this redemptive story:

  12. BoughtTheField says:

    As everyone knows, there is a tremendous amount of buzz at CLC regarding all the accusations in the lawsuit. Actually there is so much buzz I would compare it to a forest full of 17 year cicadas! As I sift through all of it, especially from people I know well, I have come to several conclusions:
    1. There is more than one more shoe about to drop.
    2. There are some courageous people (not pastors) behind the scenes really working to see the guilty brought to justice.
    3. There are also courageous people (again, not pastors) who love the church and are praying and working to make sure that God’s people will be cared for and not destroyed by whatever collapse may or may not happen.

  13. Persona says:

    Bought the Field 12

    Good to know the sleeping giant is awakening. Praying. Thank you for the update.

    If collapse happens, I want to assure you there are lots of healthier churches out there for the diaspora.

  14. BoughtTheField says:

    Persona 13,

    Yes, I know some of those churches and I agree. I have been gaining many new Christian friends outside CLC lately and it has done me a lot of good.

    I still care about CLC and have no plans to leave. We have not seen the end of the story yet and I am actually looking forward to some of the good that will be left after the shaking. Although some people should leave, I honestly think it would be better for some to stay and repent.

  15. It's just the beginning says:

    BoughtTheField: yes, Christian friends outside of CLC are so very important. I never understood why people at CLC seemed to insulate themselves with CLC-only / SGM-only friends. It’s not healthy. (there is much ingrained culture that needs to be identified, analyzed and corrected..Josh has started this, but there’s a long way to still in my opinion)

    And what about other local churches? Over the past 25-30 years, how many times has CLC done any sort of local missions or outreach or anything with other churches? Maybe more than I am aware of, but I bet it’s close to zero. I was happy to hear Mark Mitchell I believe it was who shared ideas/plans to link up with other local churches in the future for local missions–what a novel concept!

  16. MaryMelissa says:

    It’s just the beginning 11
    I did read the H testimony, it is very touching to all of us who have children in rebellion to God. That brings the question that maybe some of H allegations are very real in her mind but might or might not have happened. I deal with issues like that with my own daughter and found that drugs makes them believe things that never happened or if they happened they are distorted in their minds. Even the prescription drugs that are used to help them deal with a day to day life have side effects. My daughter put herself in a position where she went to the police on a rape charge but the case could not stand in court, I will never know what really happened. She tells stories about her childhood that never happened not any allegations of sexual abuse, thank God. My prayer is for God to reveal the truth in H story and for my daughter to be heal.

  17. Stunned says:

    MM, you seem to be saying that if someone is in what you term rebellion to God, then they somehow have the tendency to not remember what happened to them accurately. Am I understanding you correctly?

  18. 28 years gone... says:

    It’s just the beginning 15:
    I never understood why people at CLC seemed to insulate themselves with CLC-only / SGM-only friends. It’s not healthy.

    It is not just CLC. Once PDI/SGM dug into your church, you had to question EVERYTHING. The music you listened to, the clothes you wore, when you took your wife out, what you were to talk about, how to deal with every situation, what worship songs were good (SGM of course would be exclusive) and on and on.

    I was at the 2002 worship conference at CLC with Mark Altrogge and Bob kauflin. That year they had Stuart Townend as a guest artist. Stuart was speaking at one point and made a off the cuff joke about how maybe he should be submitting his songs to Mark or Bob before releasing them to be sure they were spiritually accurate. I understand how odd that must have been for him. I am sure they had met by that time.

    Years before in Orlando just as Metro Life was becoming a PDI church, there was a group of churches in Orlando that got together to have a night of worship, open to all the churches who participated. One night, never again. I asked about why we are doing that again and the answer came back fuzzy about how the other churches didn’t share our beliefs, so we didn’t want to mix it up with them.

    That is just 2 of many examples I have personally witnessed. Off limits were Dobson, anything in the Christian counseling movement, Armenian speakers (We used to have Winkey Pratney speak at MLC until I guess he was just too far outside the reformed direction the leadership was going in.) The church taught “The Principal Approach” for a while I guess until even that was too much legalism for them.

  19. MaryMelissa says:

    No, that is not at all what I am saying. I am saying that drugs side effects have a tendency to give us a certainty of things that may have never happened or they are exaggerated in our minds. Taking something like that to court, it won’t stand unless there are reliable witnesses.

  20. Dr. Pepper says:

    I was thinking, even if the plaintiffs are lying and they were not molested, I’m still disgusted with the T4G guys and TGC guys who stood beside CJ just by how they acted in support of him.

  21. Persona says:

    Call out to all witnesses! Please share with Susan Burke, anything you know about the incident that H spoke about that allegedly happened at Celebration East.

  22. Kris says:

    Oswald said,

    Re: Chuck T. — Strange how men leave and we never really know why. A story is given that may not sound valid, we accept it as true because we have no other choice. At CovFel, Stefan B left about a year ago to go to a church in Ft Laud. Did that church need him or what? He had not sold his house before going. Brian V left CovFel last month with an explanation that did not sound valid, Brian said it was true, we accepted it as true because we had no other choice. This has happened several times throughout SGM. Joe McMullin left CovFel and we were told Joe could just not see himself anywhere except Philly and when another opportunity comes, he’ll be sent somewhere. Soon we hear (through the grapevine) that he’s starting a new church (not SGM) with Don S. CJ told a story about Larry T when he left(not recorded) saying he’d rather die than do what LT did. And now we hear that people at CLC wondered why Chuck T. was gone. And also B Wood. There seems to be a pattern throughout the churches that leaves suspicion to linger un-addressed. If we hadn’t read it here, we wouldn’t know the difference.

    This here – this – is one of SGM’s besetting problems, and one of the reasons why the leaders have lost so much of their credibility. It used to be more speculative, but after Brent’s documents got out there and others spoke out about what happened to them, it is now an acknowledged fact that leaders frequently shaded or twisted the truth in the explanations they gave for why this or that pastor left. Even in cases where the “leavers” themselves took the stage and spoke, what was shared wasn’t the full story – or even necessarily true. Some of these guys were given what amounted to a script ahead of time and told that if they did not stick to the script, they would not have access to severance pay or even their retirement funds.

    The same sort of coercion (and subsequent untruthfulness) CJ pulled with Larry T happened in several other situations throughout the years. No, it didn’t typically involve threatening the departing pastor with revealing a child’s confessed sin, but the underlying motivation appeared to be the same. The guiding rule seemed to be that the stories always had to be spun so that the church’s or other pastors’ problems were never revealed or addressed honestly. If there had been a conflict, everyone was now supposedly in perfect unity over the solution (which was that Pastor X was leaving). Pastor X was always joyful and in total agreement about the decision, too.

    I think at some level, those in leadership in SGM understood that their church members had too much invested to want to risk disrupting things by asking too many questions. That’s how they pulled off these deceptions for so long. They knew that nobody (or next to nobody) would push too hard for the real details. They also knew that the departing pastors would be too shell-shocked and too desperate to speak out.

  23. Lemongrass says:

    Brent, your 48 hours have come and gone, guess I’m going to send my plea to the 77 leaders you sent yours to. Anyone surprised that Brent isn’t transparent with us? Several people have asked a simple question and he’s refused to answer. Brent, this is one of the reasons that you come across as crazy.

    I’ll ask it again just in case he missed it. Brent, did you have permission from any of the alleged victims of the L family to post their story?

    Follow up question of mine. Brent, did you have permission from the correct civil authorities to post that story? Also, did you have permission from all of the alleged victims in the L family, especially the minors that might still be there, to post that story?

    Persona – 21,

    I doubt any witnesses would be reading here that aren’t already aware of Susan Burke. It’s interesting, Mrs. T sounds like she said that no witnesses have confirmed to date what allegedly happened at Celebration East. I’m not trying to over analyze everything she said, but something just doesn’t sit right with me. She said she would have heard her daughter leave the room, and remembered that at times they slept in rooms with friends. How about the obvious question of being able to tell that something this horrific happened to your daughter? How in the world was that missed at the time? Also, I just don’t understand walking into your former church with your daughter to confront someone at a Sunday service. Then to talk about how everyone greeted them so warmly, just doesn’t compute in my mind. Also, HT went back and was involved at CLC once she was an adult. I know that she regularly attended church their and was involved in a care group.

    Kris – 22,

    So many good people left CLC over the years. This type of twisting happened with leaders and regular families. Nobody left because they had problems with CLC, it was always something wrong with the leavers.

    For those of us who grew up at CLS it was particularly difficult to navigate the always twisting lines of what was expected of us.

    Glad I’m finally out, trying to keep some faith. Thankfully, I don’t ever want a church to replace CLC for me, I just want God to help me trust Him.

  24. Stunned says:

    MM, I appreciate you answering my question and clarifying your thoughts.

  25. 28 years gone... says:

    Great article from Boz Tchividjian:

    Boz brings up a VERY GOOD point here regarding the T4G folks:
    “The reality is this: since when have evangelicals ever looked to the law in determining whether they should speak about evil?”

  26. Persona says:

    Kris 22

    Another rewrite of history happened when a pastor at CLC told members under him, that the church in Richmond was having ‘difficult times due to the recession.’

    Hmmm…I might have bought that lie, had I not already learned on Survivors, of the kerfuffle in Midlothian over the mistreatment of the church planter and the ensuing church split. That is the real reason for their loss of revenue.

    Sadly, by default, this blog remains one of the few repositories of truth about the life and times of SGM.

    Lemongrass 23

    Chuck was not greeted by leadership with joy and gladness that day but, some of their oldest and dearest friends in the congregation were elated to see them and, rightly so.

    They continue to be much-loved by their old friends even though, I doubt any of them knew precisely why they left.

    As far as sleeping arrangements at Celebration East, big kids often slept in other quarters with friends, instead of with family. The dorm rooms were small and came with only two (highly uncomfortable!) single beds. So, it is possible H may have relocated to be with friends, at that time. Still, I don’t know why S has not gotten all the details from H by now.

    But, the fact that there was a hidden ‘fortress’ under the dorm in question, makes this kind of scenario, at least possible. If someone wanted to do something creepy like that they could definitely get away with it in an huge underground bunker.

    In order to understand how and why something like that can remain hidden for so long, you really have to understand the bone-crushing system of control within SGM churches. Over the years, members would do just about anything to stay in the good graces of their leaders. It was an environment that would cause grown men to loose their minds or, young men to prefer death over life or, beautiful young women to slash their arms, in despair…anything but suffer the shunning of their families or the condemnation of the leaders.

  27. Dr. Pepper says:

    If you ever want to learn the truth come to the blogs. It’s really sad that members of sgm have to read blogs to know what really happened

  28. whattodo says:

    Can anyone speak to the financial condition of CovFel. No word has been mentioned about replacing DH and BV. Instead they are added four deacons now. Many of the big tithers have left and many are no longer tithing.

  29. Dr. Pepper says:


    I’m curious about that too. I’m a member so I could probably get an answer. However, I don’t even think ill believe the answer. I’m not even sure about the deacons. At other churches that have deacons, don’t you usually run for it and then people vote for you?

  30. NotEvenAGlimmerifHope says:

    Hebrews 13:7 encorages us to consider the outcome of our leaders’ lives.
    I just did that and concluded that I don’t want to end up like them:
    C.J. Mahaney; control freak who demands total fealty; needs men’s praise to feel OK; pathetic hypocrite.
    Brent Detwiler: Pitbull who can’t see his own role in building the dysfunction that defines SGM; unemployed, with the specter of future ministry all but gone.
    Dave Harvey: De-gifted, dis-fellowshipped, and to date un-repentant for his role in propping up Mahaney.
    If you’re reading this and you are still loyal to SGM as a brand, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. The fruit — the outcome of their lives — is brokenness and heart ache. Break free now rather than later.

  31. Stunned says:

    Are the deacons paid or unpaid?

  32. Dr. Pepper says:


    I believe they are not paid. They already have jobs outside the church.

  33. Todd Wilhelm says:

    I humbly make a motion that you de-gift SGMNation from your Link Love. The last post there was on 18 November. It hasn’t been serving your readers well!

  34. PB&J says:

    Last week I have been accused by my former Sr. pastor (SG of Fredericksburg) of Biblically slandering him in my previous posts. He wants a public apology – “sorry”. Today I have received an email from a CFC pastor who barely knew me when I was there asking for forgiveness for the hurt that I must have experienced at CFC/SGM and hopes of finding my place in Christ’s Body. Contrast on where a pastor can look. DH of CFC thank you for looking at the sheep and caring.

  35. PB&J says:

    Clarification: post 34 DH is not Dave H, but Doug H of Covenant Mercies.

  36. Help4Abused says:

    In thinking about Celebration East’s Lawrence and Scranton Halls, I’m hoping that others might comment on my memories of how much noise there was in just opening/closing/locking doors of the dorm rooms there. Since there weren’t rugs and little noise-dampening items in the rooms (like a typical college student’s room), it would be very difficult to open/shut a door (even if unlocked) without making a lot of noise. That’s one of the reasons I stayed at hotels a few times (in addition to car alarms that went “off” and stayed “on” way too long). If the windows in a room were open, the door closing would even make an even louder noise.

    I remember Celebration ’88 as being comfortably warm as I walked around campus with some friends without a jacket. I would imagine that most went to sleep with some windows open and maybe even fans in their rooms but still not loud enough to circumvent the noise of a door opening/closing.

  37. Dr. Pepper says:


    Can I ask what you said that slandered your former pastor? I don’t have time to go back and look. Also, if it wasn’t slander, then why are you saying sorry?

  38. PB&J says:

    Dr Pepper. Just shared my testimony of my experience and opinion…
    “sorry” is not the SGM way of apologizing ;)

  39. Dr. Pepper says:

    Since when is someone’s opinion and experience called slander? Maybe someone should start a list that says, “you know your from sgm when”

  40. Persona says:

    Help4Abused 36

    As loud as it got in the dorm halls and, we once had a room across from the noisiest part: a women’s rest room w/ showers, where many children tagged along with their moms. But, we still kept the door ajar (for ventilation) and a floor fan to provide white noise.

    As tired as we got at Celebration, I doubt a siren would have waken us and, we are light sleepers.

    What we really need right now is other witnesses to step-up. I wonder if anyone in the Indiana church knows about it? They hosted the conference each year.

  41. SMP says:

    You know your SGM when:
    Everyone you go to church with is from a SGM church but your not actually part of SGM anymore.

  42. Guy says:


    And you read all the time, even though it’s nothing but slander and bitterness.

  43. 5yearsinPDI says:

    1963 Report of fallout Shelters at Indiana Univ

    There were 52 buildings at Indiana Univ in 1963 set up as fallout shelters. Not sure how many were underground but I assume all or most. (scroll down to Civil Defense, click on link)

    Here is a description of one such shelter at an academic building. I don’t have time to search for more information, but with 52 shelters one would assume all the dorms had a basementor sub basement shelter, in the event of a night time nuclear war beginning.

    University Archives:

    Fallout Shelter
    Categories: Topics

    In the 1960’s a fallout or bomb shelter was created in the sub-basement of Kettler Hall. The sub-basement is located in the wing where the PIT studio theater is; the other wings are on concrete slabs. The shelter only held about 30 people; there was no provision for electricity in case of a nuclear attack, so everyone would have been in the dark; there were no windows, no water no toilets. The room was assigned but never fully made usable, although there were some card board barrels with dried food in them. As one faculty member said, it created the aura of security, although everyone realized it really would have been of little use had there been a nuclear attack.

    Sounds like a perfect sort of place to rape a little girl to me (where is the barf icon, and the angry face one?). Nobody would hear or see a thing. Heather, I believe you.

  44. Dr. Pepper says:

    Sorry should say, “you MAY be from a sgm church if”.. I don’t want to make anyone upset by saying it only happens at sgm.

  45. jb says:

    5 Years 43: that’s Indiana University, not Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    As an alum of the school, it’s a mistake I have to fight all the time. It’s so easy to make: and IUP doesn’t make it any easier by more or less having the same color scheme.

  46. 5yearsinPDI says:

    oops, very sorry about that!!!

    Wait- I can’t say “sorry. PB & J is correct”. Looking you right in the face I say that I posted false information. I sinned. Even if I did it in ignorance I am still the worst sinner I know.

    But, there were 50 fallout shelters in the County. I would think some must have been at the Univ don’t you think?

    I am sure Burke’s people are already on this……

  47. 5yearsinPDI says:

    oops, wrong link!!! sorry!!!!

    I’ll have to call the Univ and ask…..

  48. StateTheObvious says:

    I am re-reading some of the comments once discussed already concerning Celebration on previous topic threads. Someone named Ellie posted these two links:

    1st link talks about an underground fortress:,36952/
    Last comment on 2nd link discusses connecting basements between Lawrence & Scranton Halls:

  49. Lemongrass says:

    So what is the point of saying that there were old WW2 fortresses on the campus. Even if that were true, she said that it happened on the floor she was staying on. So we’re to believe that multiple children were raped (I cringe to type that) and then their assaulters just let them walk to bed (without any parents noticing). Why are you folks so hung up on bunkers? Seriously?! If any of you attended Celebrations back then you would know that Scranton and Lawrence had a basement level game room (Pool tables and ping pong tables) with a connecting hall. Who cares if they had underground bunkers when you are ignoring all of the other information. Several children were supposedly assaulted by several adults and their are no corroborating witnesses… and your talking about bunkers!? It’s not about believing or not believing, lives have been destroyed! H’s own mom confirmed that she was a meth and coke addict.

    I’m so surprised that Brent hasn’t responded to our simple questions. Brent, what is your plan? Are you going to get a normal job like all of us, or are you going to continue to reveal victims and their families for a job? Why can’t you let the civil authorities do their job?

    Notevenaglimmerofhope #30, fantastic post! sorry Brent, the people were paying attention.

  50. Olivia says:

    He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.
    Micah 6:8