International Churches of Christ (ICC)
An Alphabetical Index of
Stories about ICC Recruits, Members, Family, and Friends
A | B |
C | D | E | F | G | H | I
| J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S
| T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Encounter with the International Churches of Christ, by
Tony Adams, former member (1992)
- Tony Adams was a college student in Brisbane when recruited into the
Brisbane Church of Christ. This is an intensely told, detailed account of his
recruitment, months in the group, and process of recovery.
Seven Years in
the Boston Movement, by Jane Akshar, former
- Jane was a convert in the London Church of Christ. She was converted
in 1986 and left in 1993 with her husband, Ayman Akshar, and their daughter.
The London Church of Christ has had a number of serious problems, even by ICC
standards. This story illustrates many of them.
Story (under "Medrano")
Nashville Story, by Debbie Campbell, former
- Debbie's husband was recruited by the Nashville Church of Christ in
1992. For some time Debbie resisted, but in 1993 she agreed to go to a marriage
retreat in hopes of finding something to help with their shaky marriage, agreed
to "study the Bible", and was baptized a few months later. This is the story of
her four years in the ICC, including a painful and brutally honest account of a
"breaking session" she endured at the hands of a leader in the Nashville Church
kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven
rules, a letter to ICC leaders by Jose
Casanueva, former member (1999-2002)
Jose Casanueva was a member of the Houston ICC congregation when he
wrote this letter to ICC leaders. He starts by expressing admiration for Kip
McKean for stepping down in late 2002. He then shares his observations of
similar sins in the Houston leadership. By the time Jose finished writing this
letter, he had decided that he and his family needed to leave the
Leaving and Journal, by Ian E. Charleton,
- Ian was recruited into the ICC during his freshman year in college,
in 1995, and was a member for about six months. During his short membership he
experienced a typical pattern of recruitment, discipling, and disruption to his
plans and his life, and tells about these things with unusual clarity.
New Clothes, by Sue Condon, former women's
- Per Jim and Sue Condon's request, Sue's diary extract titled
The Emperor's New Clothes has been removed from the REVEAL site.
The original request has been posted here.
Story, by Randy Cooper, former member
- Randy was a member of a Crossroads movement congregation for four
years, and had sporadic contact with the movement for seven more years before
leaving it entirely. He was recruited from the mainline Church of Christ during
college, in 1981, and was actively involved through his graduation in 1985.
During his time in the movement he was a member of the Athens, Georgia Church
of Christ, and several mainline Churches of Christ which had some contact with
the Crossroads movement and, later, the ICC.
in the Headlights, by Lauren Covarrubia,
recruit and ex-girlfriend of member (1999-2000)
- Lauren was a college student in California when her boyfriend became
a member of the ICC at Cal State Long Beach. She tells her poignant story of
losing a boyfriend to the ICC, and feeling she nearly lost her identity in the
Story, by Matt Cramer, former recruit
- Matt spent several months attending the Greater Cleveland Church of
Christ, and went through most of the "First Principles" Study
series, but in the end chose not to join the GCCC. In this story he tells of
his time with the GCCC, and how he came to see it as a cult.
- Matt gives his reasons for ceasing to attend the ICC and deciding not
to join the group.
Left the ICC, by Dutch Dasanaike, former
- This is Dutch's "open letter" on leaving the Triangle Church of
Christ in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
The ICC Took My
Son, by Mark Davis, father of an ICC member's
- In 1988, during college Mark met, dated, and fell in love with a
young woman whose family were ICC members. She became pregnant. The family and
the church refused to allow Mark any contact with his child, threatening to
"disappear" unless Mark consented to the child's being given up for adoption to
church members. The church members who adopted him have not kept in contact, as
they promised, and Mark has had no news about his son since 1989.
for Truth on a Path of Lies, by Linda
Estabrook, former member (1997-1998)
- Linda was recruited by the New York Church of Christ's campus
ministry at Purchase College, and joined during spring of her freshman year at
college. This is her story of this process.
The Second Truth, by Lois and Gordon
Estabrook, parents of a former member (1997-1998)
- Lois and Gordon's daughter Linda was recruited by the New York Church
of Christ's campus ministry at Purchase College during her freshman year at
college. This is the story of her recruitment, conversion, and months in the
group from her parents' point of view, and of how they found out what she'd
gotten involved in and helped her extricate herself from it.
The Story of
John Eubanks, by John Eubanks, husband of an
- John Eubanks tells the story of how his marriage fell apart when he
persisted in refusing to join the ICC, of which his wife was a member.
Perspective: Dealing With the International Church of Christ, by
Pamela Foust, parent of a former member (2001)
- When Pamela's son was recruited into the ICC, she decided to take an
active role in getting him to leave the group. She chose to hold a
professionally-run intervention. Her story provides a rare glimpse into the
preparation and execution of an intervention.
to Boston Elders, by Ron Gholston, former
- Ron Gholston was a "mainline" Church of Christ minister for several
years before moving to Boston to work with the Boston Church of Christ in 1985.
He wrote this 1988 letter to Al Baird and Bob Gempel, then the elders in
Boston, pointing out "Anti-biblical" teachings and practices regarding church
authority and asking the Boston elders to change these things. Rather than
acknowledging the issues raised by him, Gholston says he was fired and
"disfellowshipped." Fifteen years later in 2003, after many ICC churches had
apologized for their teachings on authority, Gholston allowed REVEAL to post
his old letter to demonstrate how long senior ICC leaders had been aware of
The Story of Aaron
H., by Aaron H., former member
- Aaron was recruited as a high school senior in Orlando, Florida, and
remained a member of the local ICC congregation for two years. His story was
unusually difficult to tell, and he asked that his last name not be used in the
public story, although he told us who he was. Read this, and you will
various LAICC leaders, by Amy Haight, current
- This current member of the Orlando Church of Christ wrote this letter
to Los Angeles International Church of Christ (LAICC) leadership, saying among
other things that the LAICC apology should be extended to other churches in the
ICC, not just to the LA congregation.
Kingdom Mountain, by Catherine Hampton,
former member (1977-1987)
- Catherine was recruited from the mainline Church of Christ in 1977,
while a junior in high school, into the Crossroads movement, and remained
affilated with the movement for ten years, through college and for some years
afterward. During her time in the movement she was a member at churches in El
Paso, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. She was a rank and file
member for most of her time in the movement.
of Andrew and Amanda Hart, by Andrew Hart,
former member (1998)
- Amanda was recruited by a London Church of Christ member who was
waiting in front of of her Catholic parish. The woman invited Amanda to a
women's event without telling her that it was not sponsored by her church.
After "studying the Bible", Amanda joined, and after a few months left, having
become convinced that the LCC was a cult. After a few more months, she and her
husband decided to rejoin and gather information about the London Church of
Christ. This story contains accounts of both periods.
on the Wall, by Athena (Carreiro) Higgins,
former member (1988-1998)
- Athena was recruited in Paris in 1988, shortly after graduating from
the American University of Paris and while working at the University. During
her ten years as a member, she was part of four local ICC congregations --
Paris, New York, San Diego, and finally Seattle. She went through three
reconstructions, was discipled by prominent leaders in the movement, worked in
campus ministry, worked in the fledgling media and arts ministry in New York,
and dated and got married in the movement. She saw much of what there was to be
seen in the ICC over this ten year period.
- This is a long story, almost book-length and the longest bio in the
REVEAL library by a substantial margin. It's worth every word and every minute
you'll spend reading it.
Marci (Hooten) Parker's Story
with the Manchester Christian Church, by Tony
Hoyle, former member (1991-1993)
- Tony was recruited into the Manchester Christian Church in 1991.
Shortly after he became a member, he had to break off a relationship with a
girlfriend who was a committed Anglican, and therefore not acceptable to the
ICC. During his time as a member he saw most of the usual ICC routine,
including a "zero membership" reconstruction.
Story, by Kristine Hughes, former member
- Kristine was recruited by the San Francisco Church of Christ in 1992,
while playing softball with an amateur league team. At the time she was living
in a homeless shelter, and was struggling to find work and a stable life after
an extremely difficult childhood and adolescence. This is an ugly story, much
of the ugliness the work of one disciple who was definitely NOT behaving as the
ICC teaches its members to behave, but the San Francisco Church of Christ's
behavior towards Kristine made an ugly situation much worse, and showed an
utter lack of love and concern about her. :(
Nothing here yet...
Story, by Gintas Jazbutis, former member
- Gintas joined a mainline Church of Christ during college in 1983. A
number of the college students were influenced by the Crossroads movement and
introduced Gintas to it. After graduating from college in 1985, he visited the
Boston Church of Christ, and then moved to San Diego and joined the
Poway/Mission Church of Christ, where he remained until he was kicked out
during the reconstruction of the Mission Church in 1987.
Wanderers, by Carlene Johnson, former member
- Carlene, a former ICC member at Triangle (North Carolina) and
Nashville, compares former ICC members to the Israelites in the Old Testament,
who were also once held captive by an enslaving system. After a time of
"wandering in the desert," Carlene discovers that "God has been leading day and
night, loving me along the way."
Story, by Brian Jones, former recruit
- Brian Jones spent several months attending the Boston Church of
Christ. Brian had led a severely emotionally deprived life, and tells how the
church attempted to recruit him through emotional manipulation, and the abuses
he saw which eventually convinced him to leave.
Testimony, by Tom Khoury, former member
- Tom Khoury, a former member of the Washington D.C. Church of Christ,
tells the story of his time in the movement. Tom was a young professional in
his late 20s when recruited, and tells a typical story of awakening slowly to
the nature of the group he'd joined with such great expectations.
The Verdict Is
In: An Open Letter
- Tom's open letter on leaving the Washington D.C. Church of
Truth, by Yun Kim, former member
- Yun Kim, a former member of the Greater Philadelphia Church of Christ
who joined in 1994 and left in 1996, tells the story of her time in the
- Yun Kim gives her reasons for leaving the ICC in this letter. There
is more doctrinal content than personal, but Yun Kim addresses a number of
questionable ICC interpretations of Scripture, which will probably make this
letter very helpful to those who need help identifying some ICC-specific
beliefs about the Scriptures which are never questioned inside the ICC, but
which are flawed when examined outside its influence.
Why We Left The
Boston Movement, by Joe & Louise
Krainock, former members (1980-1992)
- The Krainocks joined the movement in 1980 in San Diego, at the Poway
Church of Christ. They went to Boston in 1988 in hopes of joining the Milan
Mission Team, and in 1990 were asked to be part of the Los Angeles Mission
team. In Los Angeles, Joe lost his job and they moved back to San Diego for
financial reasons. They left the movement in 1992.
Warp, by Kim Krecek, former member (1987;
- Kim Krecek joined the ICC in 1987 in Denver, Colorado, largely (as
she reports) to get access to a support group for survivors of sexual abuse.
During her few months membership, the Denver Church was "reconstructed". She
grew increasingly impatient with the obsessive control the church exerted over
her life, and after a talk with a friend outside the church, left. Nine years
later, while living in Kansas City, she ran into a KC Church of Christ member
while having lunch, visited the KC church, hooked back up with an old friend
from her days in Denver, and started the process of being "restored". After
finding the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.christian.boston-church, though, and
talking with other former members, and after some eye-opening experiences with
the KC Church of Christ, she decided against it.
What is Right, by Kuo Soon Yong, former
- Kuo Soon Yong joined the ICC's Central Christian Church in Singapore
in 1995, as a sixteen-year-old high school student, and was a member for
slightly over a year. During this period he became a leader in the youth group,
discipling several people and leading Bible Studies. His story shows the kind
of pressure the ICC puts on young recruits.
In the Lion's
Den, by Chris Lee, former member
- Chris was recruited in his softmore year at MIT in Boston, in fall of
1991. Soon thereafter, through the efforts of some friends who knew about the
Boston Church of Christ, and his own Bible reading, Chris began to have doubts
about what the ICC taught and practiced. He spent much of the next seven months
resolving those doubts, and eventually was able to put them behind him briefly,
at which point he began to move up through the ranks rapidly. In the next six
months he was made an assistant Bible Talk leader, then a co-leader, and then
given a Bible Talk of his own to lead. His problems with some of the group's
beliefs and practices resurfaced, though, and his attempts to raise these
issues got him removed from leadership, and a few months later, from the ICC.
He left the movement in early 1994.
Will, by Steve Lien, recruit and former
boyfriend of an ICC member
- Steve Lien, a cousin of one of the original "Twelve Apostles" who
planted the Taipei Christian Church, tells how he and his girlfriend were
recruited earlier this year by the Taipei Christian Church in Taiwan. Steve did
not choose to join the ICC in the end. His girlfriend did. As others around the
world have found, relationships end if one partner chooses to join the ICC and
the other does not.
And So it
Goes..., by Rachel Lindsey, former member
- Rachel was a member of the ICC in Seattle and Los Angeles who years
later came to grips with her experience in the church. Her story is full of
many of the details of her life in the ICC: repeated control and change
emanating from leadership.
My Marriage and
the Boston Church of Christ, by Jodi Llacera,
former spouse of an ICC member
- Jodi tells the story of how her husband Ned's involvement in the
Boston Church of Christ destroyed their decade-old relationship and four year
marriage. This is a raw story, one of the harder to read in the REVEAL library
since it describes emotional and mental abuse in graphic detail. Jodi clearly
realizes that there were probably other factors involved besides the BCC in her
failed marriage, but her story makes a good case that the BCC was largely at
Thoughts on the International Churches of Christ, by
Marc Malafarina, former member (1997-1998)
- Marc was recruited into the Montreal Igliese du Christe (Montreal
Church of Christ) in May 1997. These are his thoughts on the group -- it's
doctrines and practices and how they compare with those of most other
evangelical Protestant groups. Marc includes a lengthy analysis of Kip McKean's
comments about the Indianapolis Church of Christ and its leaders after they
were ejected from the ICC.
The Empire Dies
Screaming, by Lucas Mboya, former member
- Lucas was recruited into the newly-planted Nairobi Christian Church
in 1991, along with his girlfriend (now wife) Sigrid. He was promoted rapidly
into leadership, and eventually there was talk of his going full-time into
ministry. After three years, Lucas began to have some doubts about various
doctrines taught in the Nairobi Christian Church, particularly required tithing
and the focus on numbers and statistics, which he believed was legalistic and
unhealthy. When he started to question these things openly, he was rebuked and
then ostracized by the NCC leaders, eventually being disfellowshipped. His
story is not unusual, but it happened recently (spring and summer of 1997), and
it shows the movement's ongoing pattern of attempting to deal with honest
dissent by attacking and demonizing those who persist in disagreeing with the
Like Beasts of
- A follow-up message with more information on both Lucas'
disfellowshipping and that of his colleague, Joseph Owade, former intern at the
Nairobi Christian Church.
- The story of a Nairobi Christian Church member's unpleasant
experience at his wedding this summer.
of Christ or the Movement?, by Francis
Mbugua, former member (1996-1997)
- Francis Mbugua was a convert last year in the ICC affiliate Nairobi
Christian Church in Nairobi, Kenya. He quickly found that the Nairobi Christian
Church wasn't what he had been lead to believe it would be.
Later, by Fred McConnell, former
- A former member who left in late 1996 writes about his first three
months outside of the ICC, and what he learned about himself, the ICC and how
it had affected him.
Letter on Leaving the ICC, by David
Medrano, former Evangelist, (1990-2000)
Alves, former Women's Ministry Leader (1994-2000)
- In 1990, David Medrano joined the International Churches of Christ.
In ten years of membership, he rose to become an evangelist, and also became
engaged to Natercia Alves, who had joined in 1994. In 1999, they were made
leaders of the struggling Madrid Church of Christ, and were in line to be
formally made Evangelist and Women's Ministry Leader after their wedding. They
also oversaw several other small churches in Spain and Portugal.
- In February 2000, at the request of his mother, David began reading
the accounts of those who had left the ICC, particularly of other leaders who
had left. At his request, Natercia also read this material. As a result of
their reading, and of talking with several of these former leaders, in February
2000 they also decided to leave the ICC. They wrote this letter to explain
To Learn the
Hard Way, by Dan Murphy, former member
- Dan is a former member and Family Group leader in the Los Angeles
Church of Christ who left with his wife Tammy in autumn of 1998. Here he tells
about his time in the LACC.
Letter, by Tammy Murphy, former member
- Tammy is a former member of the Los Angeles Church of Christ who
left, with her husband, in autumn of 1998 after three years of membership. In
this letter she gives her reasons for leaving.
Nothing here yet...
Story, by Catherine O'Neill, former
- A former member of the Missoula Christian Church tells about her year
as a member and the effects of her discipler and church encouraging her to stop
treatment and medication for depression.
An Open Letter
to Evangelist Richard Alawaye, by Joseph
Owade, former member
- A former member of the Nairobi Christian Church outlines his reasons
for leaving, and makes some strong statements about leadership abuses and
attempts to cover these up and prevent the members from learning what was going
Story, by Marci (Hooten) Parker, former
- Marci was converted through work -- Marci told a coworker that she
was looking for a church and the coworker had cousins attending the Phoenix
Valley Church of Christ. She put Marci in touch with them, and the usual
occurred. In this, Marci goes over her increasing doubts and questions until,
after a vacation and time to think, she decided to leave.
Reasons for Leaving the International Churches of Christ, by
Jack Pelham, former member (2002)
- Jack spent seventeen years in and around the movement before leaving
in March 2002, after being in six different congregations in four different
states. Jack describes 53 issues that concern him about the ICC and which led
him to leave. He discusses these issues in great detail, from a biblical
perspective. You can use the article's index to browse this substantial work,
or read it all.
Has Set Me Free, by Jennifer Porter, former
- Jennifer was converted through work -- a friend she made on the job
invited her to study the Bible. Jennifer agreed and was baptized in June of
1996. After over two years as a devoted discipler, Jennifer went on a family
vacation with her parents, in January of 1999. Unbeknownst to her, her parents
had spent over a year researching the ICC, growing increasingly concerned at
the effects it was having on her life. They arranged an intervention during the
vacation. Although angry that they hadn't warned her of their intentions in
advance, Jennifer agreed to talk with the former members and minister her
parents had invited along. After three days she agreed to do more extended
research into the ICC, and went to Wellspring, where she decided to leave the
ICC. She wrote this open letter to explain why she chose to do this.
Nothing here yet...
Left, by Gustavo Sassano, former
- Formerly the ICC's top leader in the country of Argentina, Gustavo
Sassano writes about his recruitment, rise and fall from leadership, and
ultimately coming to grips with the idea that he had been a cult leader. First
published on the ICC Discussion Forum, this brutally self-honest letter was
written after Gustavo had left the church in the aftermath of Henry Kriete's
letter in 2003. In it he gives much insight about his own leadership abuses,
and those of the leadership in the ICC's CSA (Central/South America) World
Deux, by "Dana Scully", current
- A current member of the ICC tells a story of struggling to work with
handicapped people in the ICC. Because this is a current member, REVEAL agreed
to post her story under a pseudonym.
The Ghost and
the Darkness: a prologue to "Folie a Deux", by
"Emily Sim", current member
- A current member of the ICC and second member of "Dana Scully's"
household tells her story as a handicapped person struggling to grow and heal
in the ICC. Because this is a current member, REVEAL agreed to post her story
under a pseudonym.
Whither Healing?, by Bryan Slatner,
former member (1994-1996)
- A former member of the ICC posts about his first few months after the
ICC, and learning to live with the consequences of having been a member. There
are some raw emotions in this piece -- you might not want to read it yet if you
Nothing here yet...
Nothing here yet...
Nothing here yet...
Story, by Pierce Watson, former member
- Pierce and his girlfriend (now wife) Tanya were recruited by the Los
Angeles Church of Christ in late 1993. Pierce was a student at a local college
at the time, and remained a member for about a year. During that period he
moved quickly into leadership (was "raised up", in ICC terminology), and for a
time was a family group leader for his region. He grew increasingly concerned
about the intense control exerted by the movement over its members lives, and
its emphasis on money and material things, which eventually led to him
Saved, by Karl Williams, former
- Karl was recruited into the London Church of Christ in 1986, and was
a member there for four years. His appears to be a typical story of a young,
single, college age rank and file member.
Nothing here yet...
Watch -- The Story of Tony & Julie Yorke, by
TOLC (Triumphing Over London Cults)
- Tony and Julie Yorke were a young professional couple, not yet
married but living together, who were recruited into the London Church of
Christ, and left three months later. This story, unlike most of the other
personal stories in the REVEAL library, was not written by the people it is
about. Someone writing for Close to the Edge, the newsletter of
the former London CofC members group TOLC, interviewed them and wrote this
story. It contains a considerable amount of background on the ICC and the
London Church of Christ, in addition to the Yorkes' story itself.
Nothing here yet...
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