by Allen Getz, Jr. (aka Anon357)
Posted on FactNet Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 11:25 pm:
Hello---I have been watching this board with much interest, and feel comfortable in adding "two more cents" into the pile.
I live in the Fredericksburg area and was meeting with the folks from approx. May of 1991 to May of 2001, when I left of my own volition following the cancellation of an engagement to a girl out West. When I began questioning the reasonings behind some conduct prior to the cancellation, (not intending to absolve myself from the errors I made, but an attempt to learn what was done incorrectly in order to not repeat the mistake)
I received a lot of runaround. After a few words spoken in public by Mr. Harrison regarding a visit by both herself and her parents to the Richmond area pursuant to unrelated legal matters, I left.
I was at the camp (December 2000??) where Mr. Grove and others leading out (both in teaching and in counseling) decided to incorporate themselves, but was unable to attend the meeting. It was a typical men's meeting, and several announcements were made regarding its purpose. (Looking back, I wish I had attended) I was told this change was due to a modification of a law that was supposed to be resolved back in the 50's I think (a book was published consisting of the transcripts of the court case. It is titled A Federal Court Acknowledges Christ's True Church---I almost got a copy of it). At least one person walked out of the meeting, feeling betrayed. This person talked to me later, saying once he got himself under control, he understood what was going on. I did not attend the meeting, so I have no idea what was said.
The portion of the posting involving the ownership of property by the corporation is interesting. I know that a few years ago, a place called Merrie Meadows (a 30-35 acre tract of land outside of Charlottesville, VA. formerly owned by someone living in the Charlottesville area) was placed in some form of trust, the property to be reserved for use as a meeting place. A big point was that property was to be kept in the hands of individuals, not absorbed by an entity.
What has been said sounds similar to incorporation.
I believe the doctrine of "followship" may have originated in the minds of some based on a conversation I had with one individual several years ago at his place of employment (located in Fredericksburg, VA.) where we somehow got on the subject and his response to one of my comments was,
There are those that are "over us" in the Lord.
My response to him was that, just because they are in positions of leadership, that doesn't make them any better than us. The verse which says, "Ye have one master, even Christ, and ye are all brethren" came to mind, as well as I Cor. 12 which speaks of the one body, of which all Christians are a part---which used to be emphasized quite a bit. It disturbed me greatly.
I do remember hearing on more than one occasion Mr. Grove expressing concern that folks weren't "getting it"--in the sense that he was concerned the folks there had grown up in it, and were in this bubble, and may not have a faith in Christ. At least that is how I took it.
Hopefully this ramblings will be the first (of many, if the Lord tarries and keeps me fit) regarding my experiences. I am writing this "off the cuff", so please forgive my meanderings and wanderings. For purposes of any investigations, I have copies of several Bible Studies and related literature gathered during my ten years, and would like to be of any assistance regarding getting to the bottom of the shenanigans (if any) and get to the root truth of what is going on.
Posted on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 7:36 pm:
Hello once again......
I have been viewing the postings since my last writing, and it seems that are some very interesting observations come to light.
Is marking to be avoided a legitimate behaviour?
Yes, if it is done for the "right" reason---the person is engaged in blatant, unrepentant, unremorseful sin (i.e. I Cor 5 -- a man engaged in an open act of fornication with his fathers wife) or someone bringing in heresies and all kinds of falsehoods which stir up trouble (Rom 16:16/17). Then it would only make sense to stay away from someone like that.
Marking people in order to solidify a position or preserve a "seat at the table" so to speak is WRONG! In all cases, this form of "discipline" should only be engaged AFTER Matthew 18:15-17 are enacted.
Maybe I am wrong (and folks like Mr. Johnson and others can correct me) but I seem to remember hearing that Mr. Adair Grove was marked at one time. He traveled to Arizona for some reason, and came back. Am I correct on this, or is it a rumor?
From what I am reading, Mr. Hudson was not given the opportunity to present his side of the story. It seems he was pigeon-holed, without an attempt made to understand, and get to the bottom of things. And with that statement, I will attempt to get to my point.
I have had several talks and spent time with several folks listed as leadership. I guess the person I spent the most time with was Mr. Harrison. I was encouraged to seek him out due to some area of my past that, I was told, would make him a better counselor than others. As I reflect back, this one event keeps coming back, and I guess I will share that now.
I was in the Harrison home (this was before all his sons were married) and we were all sitting around reading the Bible. the text in question was Psalm 119---and each person in the circle would read a verse. The interesting thing happened when we came to verse 98, which reads:
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me.
and THEN verse 99:
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditations
and then verse 100:
I understand more than the ancients, because I have kept thy precepts
This was the only time I have ever seen Mr. Harrison become quiet---I mean pin-drop quiet.
He just sat there and stared at that verse, and didn't say anything. I have only seen one other person like that, and haven't really seen it since.
It really had an effect on me.
Granted, Mr. Harrison spent a lot of time with me trying to straighten out some things that were bent (I was a rough case then) but now it makes me wonder why. I must admit that, in all the years that I sat in meetings, I don't remember hearing many salvation messages (folks said that they were becoming Christians, but I made an assumption that it was happening at home).
I guess that is all for now, and I am thinking that if it seemed right in the sight of all, my next postings may become more pointed (i.e. name names, use dates if I can remember them, etc)
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 10:14 pm:
It seems that my last posting has generated a few questions. These questions, coupled with the recent postings, have prompted me to respond.
My observations concerning the response Mr. Harrison received concerning Psalm 119:99 have the place in my mind that they do for no conscious reason. The act of him sitting there just staring at the page, and saying nothing, really sticks out for some reason. This may have been shortly before the work was begun on the tract named "Authority, Order, and Motivation."
The context in which the "organized sports" comments were made revolved around a family in Sacramento, California ( I believe the name was Swanson) who has sons heavily involved in high school athletics. These activities kept them away from Bible study, and in constant companionship with very ungodly people, the team coach simply using the son for the benefit of the school. This conduct was encouraged by the dad, the mom was very concerned about the behavior. When it was all said and done, the son had become involved in very sordid behavior, and according to my memory, he is now marked to be avoided. Mr. Grove made this announcement shortly before I left. A tract entitled "How High School Athletic is dangerous to the Family" (or something like that) was published in direct response to this tragedy.
I am sure that some, looking at the contents of my postings, are wondering why I left. That subject will be the content (hopefully) of my next few postings. The synopsis would be:
Was engaged to a girl, while trying to learn a new job working for a Christian in the Fredericksburg assembly. Didn't do and wasn't doing a good job, and resigned. Due to trying to buy a house, and work several more hours a day than I was being paid for (salaried employee situation) I wasn't calling her as much. Due to some stupid things that happened to me (some deliberate, some circumstantial) I did not call her concerning job resignation. After job disappeared, her dad called to cancel the wedding. Published a letter nation-wide regarding why it was cancelled. I sent one too, acknowledging my errors (if you want a copy let me know). After talking with my folks, my mom asked me why she didn't try to get in touch with me. I asked Mr. Harrison, Mr. Harrison said there were "other issues". When confronted later, he didn't remember saying anything. Stopped going to as many meetings. Was called by a friend out West asking why I wasn't going to meetings, and why wasn't I talking to Mr. Harrison. After 30 minutes of him talking to me, I stated that I didn't want to talk to Mr. Harrison because of the aforementioned. He told me I was speaking evil of leadership and he was going to call both Mr. Harrison and Mr. Grove. I became suspicious --- when I confronted Mr. Harrison later concerning this--he couldn't remember what he said (I do remember Mr. Grove was nearby). Mr. Harrison took the liberty to mention things concerning my ex-fiance's travels in VA for other matters--also said he had not told them he was going to mention they were coming. Seemed heavy-handed to me, so I left.
Then had several people call me (some messages I heard before the machine broke, some I was just told about) who I had not spent any time with for years. Really bothered me, so I walked away.
Come to find out later (a few years matter of fact from a very unlikely source) the reason it was all cancelled was because mom didn't like me.
Seems like a long synopsis, I know. Thank you for your patience. Although it doesn't seem like it, I am planning to go into more detail, as I collect my thoughts and organize the memories.
Thank you all for allowing me this opportunity to express myself. It is appreciated.
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 7:33 pm:
Hello once again.
I originally meant for this posting to be used to inform everyone that I am planning to write a series of letters reviewing my experiences with the group---and place them in the Articles section of www.batteredsheep.com. Due to the amount of contributions (and hopefully, more and more), the letters would take up too much space, and detract from the flow of the conversation.
However, Mrs. Dutton, it is your comments that have motivated this posting.
You see, Anon 214 is writing about me. Many things that were taught by the leaders I hold to, it is the conduct that I witnessed that repulsed me.
For example, I remember Mr. Harrison at a Camp Meeting (after he finished preaching and a few gave public testimonies) that he said "This is where its at!"
I thought he was referencing the physical location (i.e. Merrie Meadows--the informal name everyone gave the property used for the camp. This area is used by the Charlottesville assembly for regular meetings) but I put it out of my mind by saying to myself, "He means the Lord is where it is at---this is just a silly building" After much reflection, I came to the conclusion that he DID mean the building. So sad.
While at work today, an idea came to me. Why not all of us try to get together and have a meeting, or a retreat, or something? If others can do it, why cant we?? We will see who we are talking to, and be able to fortify the bond that we all have in Christ.
Posted on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 9:09 pm:
Hello once again.
It seems that my posting once again has caused more than one comment. One of my weak points is the ability to communicate what is on the mind. Hopefully, this correspondence will do a better job of explaining what is on my mind.
The truths that Mr. Johnson stood for, and the other men that were with him, are NOT the sole property of Mr. Grove and company. Simply because someone is "marked" because Mr. Grove, or Mr. Langford, or Mr. Somebody says that such and such should be marked, does not give those who were marked WRONGFULLY the excuse to go out and join up with so and so Baptist, or so and so Methodist, or so and so Bible church. The Bible still says what it says, and although the Lord doesn't like what Mr. Grove and company are doing, he may not like our conduct either.
I wish I didn't have to go to "man-made religious organizations" to find other Christians.
I don't know how to say it any better than that. If it sounds like I am frustrated, I am.
Thank you once again for the time and attention.
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 8:01 pm:
Hello once again:
To bring the board back on track, I do remember how Mr. Grove came to prominence within the Virginia assemblies. This came from Mr. Grove himself---I believe the meeting was a regional one in Charlottesville.
Mr. James Cox was leading out in the Virginia area (I understand he moved from Texas to Fredericksburg, and eventually made his way to Charlottesville) and took a beating in the early 70's by a few men (the one in particular escapes me at the moment). According to Mr. Grove's testimony, Mr. Cox was in bed on night, going over the events of the previous days men's meeting The comment made by this particular individual and regarding some division and arguing that was occurring. He sat straight up in the middle of the night, and said, "Its all my fault". It was stated that Mr. Cox had some form of nervous breakdown. At times prior to this time, Mr. Grove had visited the Virginia area, and due to Mr. Cox's state of mind, relocated to the Virginia area. He chose Fredericksburg, because of it central location.
Either himself, and/or his sons purchased several tracts of land, King George and South Stafford. Houses were built (both single family and duplexes) that are rented out to those inside and outside the assembly. These properties are used to help finance their perspective ministries. I understand that Jeff Grove relinquished his assets in VA (including the home he built) to finance his relocation to Texas.
COMMENT BY RICHARD HUDSON
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:31 pm:
I asked Robert Grove on a visit he made here to Texas why he chose to move his ministry to Virginia. He replied - "For a fresh start. The people in California have long memories."
I took that to mean that Robert may have caused some problems those in California could not overlook and so would be unable to minister there because of that. So, he headed to Virginia where people didn't know him or his past.
I didn't ask him what these problems were that people in California remembered. Looking back, I should have.
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