My story starts in the 5th grade.  That’s when my parents enrolled me into an ACE Christian school.  Shorty after that they started to attend Beth Haven Baptist church in Greenville, MI.  This was the sponsor church of the school.   It was a rough start.  Just getting me culottes to wear was a chore.  Nothing I wore seemed appropriate enough for them.  However,  we made it through and we began to “fit in”.   I stayed in that school until I graduated in 1983.

In 1983 I went to college to none other than Hyles-Anderson College.   That was when I started to question a few things.  I was deeply immersed in the bus ministry.  In fact, I believe the college thought I was there more to be a part of the bus ministry than I was to go to college!!  I did love it though.  I did have a major problem with their soul winning tactics.  Especially the Phoster Club.  People were winning 100’s of people to Christ with no thought of discipling them.  Hey, if they said a prayer that was all it took!!   I remember one incident in the bus ministry.  My boyfriend had bought tickets for a school sponsored activity for us to go on.  It happened to fall on the same night as the bus banquet.  Darrell Moore called me into his office and told me that I was to attend the bus banquet.  If I did not, he would put “Disloyal” into my permanent file.  Are you kidding me???  There is so much I could tell about HAC.  Btw…we went on the other activity.

My boyfriend and I married right after I graduated.  He then joined the U.S. Army, and we moved to Colorado Springs.  Guess where we ended up for church!  Cornerstone Baptist Church pastored by Dean Miller.  Thank GOD we were only there for one year!  I quickly became the church pianist.   We had made plans to go back to MI for Christmas to be with my family, and He actually preached from behind the pulpit that it was wrong to step away from your responsibilities as a pianist just because it was Christmas!!  I was mortified!! And, yes, we still went home.

We were only in CO for one year.  We did end up moving back to MI after our 1st child was born, and we went back to BHBC.  I became the 5th & 6th grade teacher there, (Now the school is an Abeka school) and I passed along to my students everything that had been taught to me over the years.  My husband HATED it.  He resented it.  He hated the dress standards, no movies, etc.   Of course, I followed what my pastor said instead of my husband.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not blame the church for our marriage problems.  Trust me, he had his own issues that had nothing to do with the IFB church.  As you can guess, he walked out of our 20 year marriage and left me with 2 teen daughters to raise.  I now find myself in a position of making all of $175 a week (I was a female teacher.  Only the men got paid a decent salary.)  and a degree that wasn’t worth the paper it was written on!  The church was quite supportive, UNTIL….  I started to date a man that wasn’t from my church.  He went to the Congregational Church in town.  Once they learned I was dating him (My divorce wasn’t quite final yet.  .Never mind that it had been 2 years since he walked out and was now living with another woman) I was fired from my teaching position AND they took away my ministry as the church pianist.  I was officially being disciplined.  Truthfully, it was the best thing that could have happened.

I married the man I was dating.  He started to attend a GARB church in town, and that’s when I moved with him.  NO longer living under a microscope.  No more legalism.  I still struggle a bit at times.  I have a gay step-son whom I love dearly!  I had to come to terms that Jesus loves him even more than I Do!!  I remember the first time I went to the movies.  I kid you not!  I was totally expecting there to be drug deals going down, prostitutes around every corner, gross sin everywhere I looked.  When I walked in I saw GRANDPARENTS with their grandkids!!!  Boy!! I sure felt lied to!!!

God Has been so good to me.  I now have a husband who loves me, My kids (even thought they graduated from PCC) are thriving successful women, I have a church where I don’t feel like every move is being watched, and I now have a job that I absolutely LOVE.  I work in the public school system with migrant kids or any kids that English is a second language.

Thank you for your podcast!! It has been a blessing to me.  It’s so good to hear from people who have left the IFB movement, and still love the Lord and are doing great!! THANK YOU!!!