Anonymous Story: The Potters Field Case
I’m a former PFM intern. I’m writing this because I recently became aware of the situation regarding Mike and Pam Rozell and the treatment of so many employees and interns, and I’m horrified, mostly at myself for not speaking out about what was going on, though I had no idea about the extent of the problem.
I don’t have a dramatic story about verbal harassment or anything like that. I went to Potter’s Field with my family to go through their internship somewhere around 2010-2011 I think. My experience was, quite frankly, great. The pastors taught solid missions principles, I didn’t mind the work of helping clean the buildings or otherwise keeping up the property, and the free time we had was amazing. The staff were real people, but the behavior I saw was that of genuine Christians seeking to train up evangelists.
Of course, there were warning signs that not all was well. Employees came and went, but that didn’t seem unusual in ministry. I dismissed stories of why they left as gossip. Maybe I was just a clueless kid. I’ve never been very social or good at reading people. Looking back, I feel horrible for missing what was going on. I didn’t experience any of the abuse of power that so many others did. Maybe it was because Mike and Pam were on tour during almost all of my internship. I don’t know. There was one instance that stood out to me. Near the end of my internship, Mike and Pam came back and the whole intern class went up to one of the lakes. There, Mike insisted on the intern class cliff jumping as part of a team building exercise. (Being deathly afraid of both water and heights, I chickened out. I think I wasn’t pushed into it because my parents were also there.) Later, one of the interns hurt their back seriously as part of the same kind of “team building” exercise.
There were signs later on, when my brother and sister went to work for the ministry after finishing the internship. They returned with stories very similar to those your site has already shared. Those are their stories to tell, so i won’t go into them. They’re the reason I’m kicking myself right now. The practices I heard about should have made me contact Don McClure or other leadership immediately. Maybe it was me being a self-centered kid again. Maybe I didn’t realize the extent of the problem. At any rate, I want to apologise to everyone who experienced the verbal and spiritual abuse it seems was so common at PFM. Maybe, if I had spoken to someone when I first heard about things like this going on, so many people wouldn’t have been hurt.
There are those who are shocked that it took so long for Calvary leadership to become aware of the situation. I’m not. I didn’t know the whole story and I went through the program. I thought that what my siblings went through was an abberration. I was wrong. The face of PFM that I saw was one of genuine ministry. It seems that the leadership of PFM was very good at maintaining that facade for the right people. Don’t blame the leadership of Calvary. Pray for them, and for the former and current employees, interns, and members of PFM.
That’s all I wanted to say.