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Pastor Kelley et al

May 9, 2005



To Pastor Stevens; the Board of Elders and Fellow Affiliate Pastors;


It is with great sadness and a broken heart that I find myself typing this letter.   I am in my 28th year of being part of G.G.W.O.  As many of you, I too, have stood with this ministry through its diverse trials.  Reputation and evangelical acceptance mean nothing to me, as long I am convinced that my feet are firmly planted on truth.


This latest ‘trial’ that we face as a corporate ministry, is not due to some outside persecution, or a group of carnal, mean-spirited pastors on some authority trip.  God is not “purging” the ministry of tares. This trial is all a fruit of sin, our sin. We have brought all this upon ourselves. When there is sin without repentance for any of us, there will be judgment.


I determined when this trial started about18 months ago, that I would believe nothing from anyone unless it could be documented. I did my best to live by the principles of Matthew 18.  While voicing my concern on the issues at hand, at no time did any leadership in Baltimore even attempt to correct me. Neither could they defend their actions biblically.  I was shocked at the casual and consistent lies as well as the “protect Pastor even at the expense of truth attitude. In some cases, “because Pastor said” replaced “thus saith the Lord”!   I do not say these things with a vindictive or a self-righteous spirit.  For 1½ years our church has been dealing with the ramifications of numerous wrongful events. I have endured the loss of seasoned and skillful church members.  There is now ‘air’ between our precious young people whom we have sent to M.B.C. & S. and their pastor.  I owe it to those who have trusted me all these years to provide a detailed explanation regarding why I am redefining my relationship with G.G.W.O.


This has been a painful process for me. I had hoped that the Sandy Cove meetings would bring in the changes that so many see and deem necessary.  But nothing has changed.  The Sandy Cove findings, though extremely Biblical and agreed upon by all present, have been ridiculed, denounced and ignored.  I have prayed and fasted.  My decision has not been rash.  I have begged God to show me my error or where I might have strayed, yet He continually confirms my path.  Hence, I can no longer with clear conviction, promote or embrace G.G.W.O.  Repentance for wrongs of the past must be clear and fully resolved before I can with renewed persuasion co-labor with this ministry in the future.


Previous well-circulated letters have spoken of various and diverse issues ranging from pastoral accountability, the one Pastor/Teacher doctrine, the Roger Stenger election debacle, and even Pastor Steven’s health issues.  Though I acknowledge these conflicts, there are two particular issues concerning me and our local church that I believe I must elaborate on:


1.         There is an unspoken system that has been prevalent in G.G.W.O. for years. The general Body of believers is probably unaware of it, but those of us who were close to ‘the center’ of the ministry know it to be true. There is an exclusivity that is subtly required to be embraced. There is no room for disagreement without being marked or slandered in small groups or raps. The principles of Matthew 18 are quickly dismissed.  People are consistently talked about without being present. People are labeled as ‘evil’ because they dare speak the truth about a matter. People’s failures and past sins are constantly revealed in these small groups or raps. In my young years as a pastor I was just as guilty of this.  I was part of this system.  I have already repented to God.  I want to repent right here for any hurt or pain I might have inflicted on any one. I want to repent for listening to countless people being slandered; their life’s secrets often being revealed. I should have said “stop” until those people were present. But I didn’t.  I listened. The system makes you feel important while you are close to the center.  You think you are trusted and privileged with this secret and private information!   Then you realize lots of people know the same things, and then in time it’s now your turn to be the subject of a “rap session’!   People who have left the ministry were always classified as ‘enemies’, when in reality they were not.  We preached the Grace of God, we claimed to be a finished work ministry, but we were at times simply cruel, vindictive and judgmental.


2.         This is my final and primary reason for redefining my relationship with home base. In December 2004, due to the stance I took concerning the problems in Baltimore roughly 20 people left our church; some of these, my dearest friends. I found in the ensuing month that Pastor Stevens and others had contacted these people and met with them.  These people, by their own confession, told people in my church that they were ordained by Pastor Stevens as the G.G.W.O. remnant in Florida!  I was told that they were counseled by individuals at home base to leave our church. In some cases they were even lied to; but I was made to look like the liar!  They never contacted me; home base never contacted me.  Although anyone is obviously free to leave our church, there was no biblical reason given to me.   The only reason communicated to me was that they felt my relationship with Baltimore had changed.  Again, the principles of Matthew 18 were ignored.


On February 2005 I wrote a letter to Pastor Stevens asking him to explain this to me.   I requested that he call me as I posed this question in my letter, “If it is true, that my covering ministry actually was behind many of these people leaving my church, then what is the value of my affiliation?  I received no response.


About 3 weeks ago, I wrote a second time.  Again, I wrote to Pastor Stevens personally.  As I understand, it was he himself that counseled these precious people to leave our church and ordained them as the new Greater Grace remnant.  My letter was hand-delivered to him.   I once again begged him to call me and respond; this time I added, “Pastor if you don’t respond, I will take that as sign that you don’t care whether we come or go.”  I have received no response. There has been no movement to correct the situation here at all.  No one has called me.  No one has asked what my ‘issues’ are.  Once again I received no response, just a deafening silence.  My conclusion must then be that our home base ministry has disaffiliated from us! What else are we to think?   Our church is hurt and offended at this betrayal.


Again, the purpose of this letter is not to hurt or criticize, but to be truthful to the word of God.  There is no malice in our hearts.  I want to thank Pastor Stevens and so many others for many wonderful years. I thank God for the gospel of grace that I gleaned in G.G.W.O.   This gospel has changed my life. I thank God for the missionary zeal that was always before our face.  The world-wide mission field was laid before us on a regular basis.  I mostly thank God for the people I have met, the relationships born and the many life long friends. I thank Him for the sea of names and faces that I could never seem to remember, yet they always imparted kindness and love.  I pray that not one more relationship is jeopardized by this decision, though I have already lost life long friends for my “sin of disagreement”.


In closing, the answer to this entire situation is extremely simple - repentance.  We cannot simply stop what we have been doing all these years.  There are far too many lives that have been affected.  This repentance should reach back decades, as these practices are not new.  They have been going on for years.  There must be a cleansing.  There must be repentance for the sins and folly of the past and a commitment to bring this ministry down a new path in the future.


God bless you all, and thank-you for the years of fellowship.


Because of Grace, this letter is signed by


_________________                  _______________________________________

Date                                                 Pastor Timothy J. Kelley – Chief Elder


________________                    _______________________________________

Date                                                Ted Williams


_________________                  _______________________________________

Date                                                Pastor Blake Burnside


________________                    _______________________________________

Date                                                Pastor David Lefler                                         


 _________________                 _______________________________________

      Date                                                Pastor Michael Gardner


 _________________                 _______________________________________

      Date                                                Pastor Rob Howland  


_________________                  _______________________________________

Date                                                Pastor James Chase


_________________                  _______________________________________

Date                                                Steve Brooks                                      


 _________________                 _______________________________________

      Date                                                Dennis Smith  




**Enclosed are the two letters sent to Pastor Stevens dated January 13, 2005 and

    April 9, 2005.




cc:        Pastor Schaller

            Pastor Love

            Pastor Steve Stevens

            Pastor Marr