Barb’s Story: The Potters Field Case
I have just completed reading all the comments and related articles. As I personally know most of you, my heart is grieving.
My husband and I have been volunteers and supporters of this ministry for seven years. Until June 3 of this year I was unaware of the depth and severity of what has transpired over the years. I knew there were issues… I have to go through my own turmoil and journey of not seeing the signs for what was really happening. I want to publicly apologize to all of you who know us for our not having my eyes opened sooner. From the bottom of our hearts please forgive me.
In December 2018 my dear sweet friend who I loved with all my heart and her husband left in the middle of the night. (This is where I beat myself up. Why didn’t I question this more. It happened so many times. These kinds of departures happened so many times, and were either never discussed or lied about. We were given another story or we never even knew they left. When we asked where the individuals were we were told a different version of the truth.)
In January of this year when the Calvary association began to take a stand against the Rozell’s I began to pray constantly. It was as if I couldn’t stop praying about this. The burden was so heavy on my heart. I began to pray for truth to be revealed. I prayed for six months like this. I would wake up in the middle of the night and very early, praying, and continuing all day long.
It was on June 3 when I met with a brave and courageous young couple who stepped forward and this honorable, noble young man stood up to the Rozells and had the courage to tell the truth openly and without malice.
They had become very dear to us and when they shared the truth I knew that God was answering my prayer.
I would like to share the letter I wrote to Mike.
June 25, 2019
It is with a heavy heart that this letter is written. You know that we have given our heart and soul to this ministry. Nearly seven years ago in July, we came to Montana and we were so thrilled to be a part of PFM. We gave whatever monies God had provided through the years to support the ministry. We gave our time, we opened our home always, and we did it all with loving hearts.
Through the years we have seen several things of concern, but we always gave grace. We knew there were issues, and yet we continued to stand by you and Pam. There were good things that we saw and experienced with PFM.
In January, when accusations were made against you we defended you. We defended you and Pam even to some others that we had loved and had good friendships with.
You know that I had been praying and praying night and day. I told you this many times. I often woke up in the middle of the night praying. I kept praying for truth to be revealed, and I honestly thought it would be in your favor.
When I got the call on Monday, June 3, I had just been praying for 45 minutes. My heart was heavy. Again, I prayed for truth to be revealed. Dave told me that Kendra and Derek were leaving. We had developed a close friendship with them. They have proven themselves to be persons of great character and integrity, and I trust them completely. I called Kendra and asked her why and she said, “Do you really want to know?” We went and sat with them that evening and we were shocked by what we heard.
I felt compelled to do my own investigation, for two reasons. I did not want to accept heresay, but find out for myself. Also, I was a teacher for over 20 years, and I took an oath. If I suspected abuse, I would act on it. That oath is still a part of who I am.
I did not call the McClures, as you would suspect. I began to call people that had left and we never heard from them again and I began to hear the same story over and over. The recurring words were “fear”, “manipulation” and “control. ” Since June 3, I have personally spoken to more than 20 former interns [many, many more by now] and I only asked them why they left. I did not try to get them to say anything. I have to tell you that there were many days that I was trembling and physically ill from what I heard.
We have also spoken to pastors whom we trust who have had former interns who have acknowledged that there were similar wrongdoings, but they were afraid to come forward. There are more than a dozen interns in this category.
This is not not even counting other adults who have had bad dealings. I heard that without going to anyone. Regarding my friend ——-; you told her in a meeting [ in December 2018] where my husband was present, along with pastor m that you would help her by paying her $1000 a month in exchange for her creating the website and using her creative talents. As of this day, she has not been paid for her last month, and she worked many more hours than agreed upon. How could you treat a hurting woman like that?
Based upon overwhelming evidence we have made our own conclusions. You have wounded your sheep.
“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;”
1 Peter 5:2-3 – NKJV
You have not displayed, nor do you continue to display the characteristics of a godly leader. Despite the good things from your ministry, there are too many issues. You have cheated these young people financially, under the guise of ministry. You have misrepresented the Gospel in a myriad of ways to vulnerable young souls looking for water in a dry and thirsty world. You have been dishonest with Dave and me repeatedly.
At first I was very angry, but I have come to feel sorry for you. Yes, we are all sinners, but you are called to a higher calling as a “pastor.” This is even more defined as you are responsible for young people, many just new in the faith. Are you aware of how many you have wounded? Some don’t go to church, some have trouble reading the Bible, and those that still trust our Saviour are struggling with the things they have experienced, seen, or the false doctrines you have shown them, either by direct words or your behavior.
As a result, we can no longer be a part of the ministry or church. It breaks our hearts because we have spent the last seven years of our lives there.
We love and care deeply so very much for everyone there, but I am quite certain that no one will contact us as you tell them we are “trashing the ministry.” How do I know this? Because we have seen and heard this time after time through the years.
By the way, as I came to my own conclusion, so did —. I did not share things with him, but we allowed him to seek God, and The Holy Spirit gave him his own discernment. He knew things weren’t right, but he wanted so badly to go into the Ignite program that he was willing to overlook. But after speaking to you in your office on June 12, he made his own decision.
In conclusion, we have experienced lies, deception and cover up, and these have continued long after January 2019. They continued until our last conversation.
We cannot be a part of or support a ministry where such things are happening.
You are not the man we thought you were.
Our hearts are breaking over this. We will pray for healing for you.
Again, my intention in sharing this is to humbly ask forgiveness from so many of you that have been deeply affected by the spiritual and emotional abuse. We know that Pastor Jim Randall and Patti and so many others were oblivious, as were we, to the horrific treatment that went on behind closed doors. I try not to dwell on regrets in my life, but this is a tough one. Believe me, if only I could go back and do things differently, and SEE things differently…
As for those of you from the outside, please be careful not to judge so severely. Listen to all theses accounts of seriously wounded individuals. And I know personally many more who still are afraid to speak out. Many more. I ask you not to be so harsh with your criticisms of who should have done more. We were all lied to, deceived and manipulated. There was a great deal of good, godly people who were associated and involved. Now that I look back, they were all used to promote and to strengthen the facade. I dearly love every staff member, and I can’t imagine what they are going through. These are wonderful, caring, loving people who unfortunately fell under ungodly, twisted leadership. My heart grieves deeply for them. We love them, too, but I’m not sure they feel the same since we left. I hope one day they will realize that it was never them we were against, but the two who caused all this pain.
Again, I ask forgiveness for not seeing this sooner or attempting to investigate sooner. I will pray for you all every day, and we love you as we always have, only now with a deeper sense of concern and care. Please feel free to reach out to me if there’s anything I can do, or just to talk.