We are not coming back to church and we believe that we have been given the OK by God to go. Last night was Jackson and Reid's last night at Awana.
There is just not that sense of caring about others, overall, that there was 18-months ago. Because Steve is so self-centered and the cause of situations of conflict himself (as well as his wife), the flock overall has a tendency to follow the leader. That Wednesday night after the Heather's dad's service, very few said anything to Heather as to how she was doing, what is left to do, etc. when she was there for Prayer Meeting. Not even Steve. All he said was "Glad you're back." Only one person during that week sent her an email asking how she was. That whole week between getting home from the service and then turning around again that next weekend to go back was chaos. We needed to get to the store but had household things to take care of, work, kid activities, etc. That really was the week we needed supported but no one was around and that hurt. (EDITORIAL: that statement is not directed at anyone but just as a example of the bigger issue) To see what Steve has done to this church in just 18-months is incredible. Plus Steve has had another run-in with someone chewing them up and down over the phone and Donya talking down to Heather while yet saying she was sorry about the whole Angelia issue last summer when she should have been speaking in humility. It is not there. And when someone who has no ties to the church says "Oh, is that the one that is going Calvinistic like Highland?", that is not good either. The word is out.
I and others have tried to handle our conflicts as biblically as we could and came no where. The cold-treatment that we have been receiving by people because we have stood up combined with everything else just pushed the limit of tolerance. There are people who will not talk to us anymore! What is wrong with this picture? If it were just Heather and I, we would try to stick this out but we have to look at what is best for Jackson and Reid. Jackson is the only boy in his class and Reid is the only 3-year old. The last two Sunday's we have visited First Baptist and was just amazed at how distracted we had become and how nice it was to listen to a sermon that was teaching; not condemning. To have that weight lifted was huge.
This is not to say that there are not people that we still love and care about there and that we don't want to come back, but we just can't. It is bad when going through preparing for and dealing with a death is less stress than the situations we were in.
We are not moving our memberships for now. But it will take years to undo the damage Steve has done. And we don’t have the luxury of time to wait for the sake of Jackson and Reid.