Predators Lurking In Our Churches And How Our Family Was Forever Changed

I have been so conflicted about writing what you are about to read. I finally went to my daughter to ask permission to write about her traumatic experience in the church.  Yesterday, she gave me permission to tell her story.

Seeker Friendly Church

Back in the early 90’s, we had heard of a church in our area which had a large and very active youth program.  We have 3 kids, and they had even heard about this church and wanted to attend – and so we did.

Our daughter was 12 years old when we first went to the church.  I am not naming the church in this article.  They were made aware of what happened about 3 years ago (when we found out from our daughter).

We noticed immediately in the service that the pastor and praise team were attempting to appear “cool”, and I felt unrest in my spirit. One Sunday they said it was “Crazy Hat Sunday”  and the pastor and praise team wore silly hats.

The next Sunday they did a skit from Seinfeld. The skit was based on the “Soup Nazi” episode.  They laughed – actually the whole church laughed at the mention of the “Nazi” and “No Soup for you!”  I didn’t laugh. Again I had that bad feeling in my spirit. I did call the church during the week, and asked to speak to pastor or an elder.

One of the elders did call me back. I told him that it was offensive to me on so many levels to mention the soup Nazi during service.  He began to lecture me and told me that I was just the kind of Christian who turns off other people to church. He said that I had a “Holier than thou” attitude.

New Age 3rd grade Sunday School teacher

I am very observant of my surroundings. You might say that I am hyper-vigilant. I had noticed a woman who was a Sunday school teacher to kids, and she wore a crystal around her neck. As we were having coffee and snacks, I overhead her speaking to another woman and it was clear that this woman was not only unsaved, but she was into new age practices.

The Meeting

One Sunday a person approached me in church and asked if I would attend a special meeting regarding the church. I had no idea why they asked me, but I saw it as an opportunity to speak about the things that were troubling me.

During the meeting I was asked if I had anything I wanted to contribute. I spoke about being very offended as a Jewish believer at the “Soup Nazi” skit. Then I asked if they had a process when choosing teachers for the kids – an interview of that person to make sure that they were born again believers.  The room went silent.

Our Daughter and the Youth group

At that time our daughter was almost 13 years old. She was active in the youth group. We noticed that she began to dress in all black. One night she pierced her own nose.  She became a different person and I didn’t know what was going on with her. She then showed signs of the desire to kill herself.  We were all devastated. We took her to a psychologist – the first of many.

Our daughter began to run away. We would be sick at heart, not knowing where she was for days on end. She even had to be hospitalized because of wanting to kill herself.

There was a lady who helped out with the youth group. She took a special liking to my daughter.  I had no reason to think that she had anything but good intentions towards my daughter.

One evening when our daughter was on one of her run aways, this woman came to the house.  She wanted to see our daughter’s bedroom. Her behavior was a bit odd, but I thought that it was due to her worrying about my daughter.

Fast Forward to 2014

Through the years our daughter had an aversion to attending any church.  When she was elementary school age, she loved the Lord Jesus with all of her heart. I have kept all of my kid’s artwork through the years. I have large envelopes for each of them, with all of their art from the time they could hold a crayon. My daughter’s envelope was filled with pictures of Jesus – she talked about Him all of the time.

One day in 2014, she came to me and told me that she needed to tell me something important.  She began to tell a story which made me sick – physically, emotionally and spiritually.  She asked me if I remembered the lady who liked her from the youth group.  She then told me that this woman had taken her to her apartment and would touch her inappropriately.

When I calmed down, I wrote to the Youth pastor who was a FB friend. I told him about what had happened to my daughter. I asked if this woman was still part of the youth program. This pastor was shocked and saddened by what had happened. He told me that this woman had stopped helping with the youth. He told me that he did know where she lived, and wanted to know if my daughter and I would come with him and the head pastor to confront this woman.

My daughter told me that she could not look at the woman. She said that she just wanted to put this behind her, and that seeing her again would be more harmful to her.

I told the Youth pastor what my daughter said.  He told me that he had been tracing where this woman had been through the years. He said that she had hopped from church to church – helping with the youth. He was absolutely sickened by the whole thing.  He even contacted me again to see if my daughter would change her mind – but she wouldn’t.  I hoped that this pastor would go and speak to this woman anyway.  I hoped that he would call each church where she had been “helping.”

The pastor did tell me that years after we had left their church, they realized that they needed to do back ground checks on prospective helpers in the youth and children’s ministry.  They began to ask for many references and they would interview the person at length to make sure they were truly Christians. It was too late for us, but I was grateful that this was being done to keep other kids safe.

Brethren, I know that this was not an easy article to read. Believe me – it was extremely hard to write.  There are people in this world who do very evil things. They are child predators.  If you have your child in a youth program at your church, please ask if leadership has vetted the volunteer helpers.

I know that we are supposed to think the best about people, but in a world filled with sin, we cannot take a chance; we MUST protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Please pray for our daughter.

MARANATHA

 

 

11 thoughts on “Predators Lurking In Our Churches And How Our Family Was Forever Changed

  1. Sister in Christ, please don’t trust the “church” to vet their people as anything meaningful with which to make a decision. You must go in and know for yourself if the Holy Spirit resides there or some other spirits. I left several churches because the Holy Spirit was completely absent. Truth lies beyond our senses too, which Satan is so good at deceiving.

    Only through knowing scripture and fervent prayer can we know the will of God and how HE wants us to worship and with whom to fellowship. Also please read the 4th Commandment in the KJV. If you are obedient in following 9 Commandments, ask yourself why not the 4th?

    The only Commandment (4th) that is Holy, Blessed, Sanctified and what Jesus reminded us again to follow in the Book of Revelation was eliminated by the RCC and not by the original author, our Father, who wrote the 10 Commandments with His finger and then sent his only begotten Son so that we will write them upon our hearts.

    Amen.

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  2. Thank you for writing what had to be such a hard article. Yes, I will be praying for your daughter.
    My own daughter went to a youth group at a church we were newly attending. She loved Jesus. It was not long before she started questioning everything. It was not long before she became suicidal. There were “situations.” I gathered what little courage I had and confronted the youth group leader.
    He refused to check in to anything and did not believe me. This was at the same time that my daughter also listened to a “Christian” psychiatrist on the radio at night, that allowed children to call in to the program and voice their “feelings/troubles.” He would then basically encourage them to rebel against their parents. Today, my daughter, who could memorize entire chapters of the Bible, has a prayer language, etc., is not a believer. I pray she comes back to the Lord. I believe she will. I believe your daughter will, also. We left the afore-mentioned church as soon as I found out what was happening…but, at the time, it was too late. The damage was done. I believe GOD Will get a hold of both our daughters, and their hearts…it’s what I hold on to….🔥

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  3. I will pray for your daughter and your family. What a shame that this innocent child to be victim in the place we should be able to trust. But what better venue can Satan get then to attack from the position within the church where you least expect. As days grow darker and evil fills the world, we must be vigilant not only of the world but of the church. Sad.

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  4. This is something I can identify with because a dear friend was also abused in Church by a man professing to be a man of God, the Vicar and leading youth camps. Unfortunately this dear friend was so affected by this experience and trauma that they remain unsaved, although there has been some progress made spiritually it has taken many years to overcome some of the harm caused to them as a vulnerable child.

    Luke 17:2
    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

    Maranatha!
    Chrissy

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  5. There are ministries that can help you to heal. One woman has a blog to talk about how to recognize if someone is “grooming” your child and also how to set boundaries. Her website is http://www.findingahealingplace.com/ Her son also has a ministry focused on churches to set boundaries and also provide healing for children like your daughter. God bless you and am praying for your healing

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  6. Wow! I’m so glad you spoke up with this story. I think it’s needed. Too many perverts in the churches getting away with horrendous behavior and it needs to stop. Years ago my ex husband and I attended a Church in California and one of the members befriended us. He seemed like a nice guy, had his own business and was involved in the church.

    I noticed he took a particular liking to my two daughters. At first he seemed like everyone’s favorite uncle. When we invited him to our house for dinner I noticed him looking at my youngest daughter in a way that made me uncomfortable. When I told my ex husband about it, he passed it off as it all being my imagination.

    My youngest daughter had been a nail biter (stemming from her babyhood days when she sucked her thumb… she switched out the thumb for nail biting after being teased by the kids. She is still a nail biter to this day! Anyway, our new friend told me he thought our daughter Jessica had some emotional issues and wanted to know if he could take her out for the day to talk with her, stating that “sometimes kids don’t tell their parents when things are bothering them, but might confide in another friend”. Mind you my daughter Jessica was and has always been a ‘happy-go-lucky’ kind of kid. She was about 14 then, but we had a very good relationship and I felt fairly certain that we had pretty good open communication with her.

    His invitation to “take her out alone for the day” was unsettling to me and just about every bell and whistle was going off in my head! Of course I said “no”. As I began to pray about it I felt a very distinct impression that he was a predator. I asked God to expose him. It was right after that, within a few days, that a few women in our church came forward saying that he had made sexual advances at them. One in particular, a friend, went on a date with him and thinks that he slipped something into her drink. She remembers him raping her and telling him “no” but not much else!

    My pastor connected with us because he knew that our family was on friendly terms with him. He told us that he found out this man had jumped from church to church. We also found at that he had daughters who would have nothing to do with him. Needless to say, we stopped all communication with him and sat down with our daughters to tell them to stay away as well.

    I always say if your gut is telling you something, to listen to it! That’s likely the Holy Spirit speaking to you.

    My mother also went through something similar when she was a young teenager with a Priest! It traumatized her for many years. I think it’s probably the reason she left the Catholic church eventually, became a Christian and raised me in the faith.

    I also suffered sexual abuse as a child at the hands of my father. It tormented me for years until Jesus healed me well into my adult years. Sadly, sexual abuse has has been a part of my family lineage, but it’s a curse that I broke, so I’m sure you can imagine this is a subject near and dear to my heart Geri.

    It’s important for parents to be wise and talk to their Children about pedophiles, yes, they can be found even in the church! Please, please thank your beautiful and courageous daughter for allowing you to share her story. In doing so, she may have helped someone else avoid abuse. The bible is clear that we need to bring evil to light!

    God bless you sis and thanks so much for sharing your story.

    Love,
    Jenny

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    1. In recent years, the “choir” has been either replaced or added to by “Praise Teams.” They are usually made up of about 5 people – some play guitars and other instruments; and others sing songs – a mixture of old hymns and contemporary Christian music.

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  7. ok. First, I cried, for all of you.

    Second, when my daughter makes cracks about youth ministries and basements, I know she saw ..stuff go on. She is late 30’s now, We abandon our children trying to make them feel grown up, we think church is safe.

    and I would have been offended by the soup nazi even without a Jewish person in the congregation,

    It seems to me you did due diligence as a parent and a christian you questioned, you just didnt get out of the church fast enough, but that is the nature of predators, to know when to attack…

    God bless and keep your family. May your daughter heal from her experience, may that pastor and that church learn from their mistakes ,In our case, the church took the side of the pedophile, endangering us ( he had guns) we truly stand with you,

    God Bless
    Maranatha

    Faith

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  8. Pingback: Predators Lurking In Our Churches – by Geri Ungurean – Living His Word

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