My husband and I pastor a new church and it is called "Praise Chapel". I read the information at your Web site about the Potter's House, [member of Christian Fellowship Churches]. But if I may correct one thing please. My husband and I used to be in the Potter's House. And NO WAY is that organization and ours alike! I am so very glad that I have been set free from Potter's House. I would appreciate it if you took Praise Chapel's off from being affiliated with Potter's House. As we have nothing to do with them.
Potter's House has proclaimed that Praise Chapel is "the enemy". I feel Potter's House is wrong in many, many ways--though despite their faults they have helped a lot of people. But they have also wounded many--myself included. Earlier some of the Praise Chapels were in [Christian] Fellowship [Churches] with Potter's House. During that time there was some mistakes made along the way--we have since figured this out and God has helped us to get a better balance of things. And as many will admit there is no "perfect church". However that is no justification for wrongdoing either.
I do agree with a lot of the comments being made on your Web page. When we left Potter's House for financial reasons we were labeled as "out of the Will of God!" and in "rebellion". But the real reason was because we would not submit ourselves to a new pastor. This took place back in 1989 and we are still supposedly "out of the will of God" to this day!
The main reason for this letter is our Praise Chapel certainly should not be labeled the same as Potter's House. I am not upset or bitter and if I can be of any help to anyone--that is all I want to be.
A few years back Wayman Mitchell [founder and controlling leader of Christian Fellowship Churches, which includes the Potter's House] had some problems with headship [leaders] rising up against him. There was concern about the tithing of all churches that are under the Potter's House name. He wanted them to send 5% to the church that "sent them out" and another 5% to Mitchell's church [in Prescott, Arizona].
Some pastors had a problem with that--they said what about new churches that are receiving support? For example--let's say a church has a rent expense of $500.00 and their mother church sends that $500 to support their ministry--should the church then send a tithe of $25.00 back to their mother church that contributed to their rent and then send another $25.00 to Pastor Mitchell's church. This made it hard for some churches if there was no other income coming in. But Wayman Mitchell had a fit anyway and as a result many churches left the fellowship.
Wayman Mitchell then called the founder of our fellowship. He was told to no longer to have any contact or to fellowship with any of those who were in "rebellion". But our founder refused and said only God told him whom to fellowship with, and not Pastor Mitchell! At that point Wayman Mitchell proclaimed us the "enemy"! Which I personally think is silly! However, this is still what happened. Many families have been torn apart over Pastor Mitchell's proclamation about us.
Our fellowship doesn't control people and label them. One recent example is the news I received from my sister who is still in Potter's House. I was talking to her just the other day about a couple whom we knew from our time in the Christian Fellowship Churches. This couple was badly mistreated by the Potter's House, but had been in this one church for over 13 years! She told me they had left. I asked--why? She said, "I don't know and if my pastor wants me to know he will tell me. Otherwise its none of my business". I just flipped and responded--"I am sorry but if a dear brother and sister in Christ whom had been with mere for 13 years up and left I would demand to know why--I mean my goodness"!
I was shared this with my pastor and his wife and they said the pastor should give a reason or tell them to ask the couple, but to rule over people like that isn't right. My big problem was-- I would at least call out of love, but if they wanted to be left alone I would drop it. But I would let them know I still loved them and my door was always open to them.
I just feel the whole situation with the Potter's House is sad. I think they have potential, but someone needs to be humbled--they seem to have gotten to big for their pants. If they just took out the legalistic controlling spirit they would a little more Grace and could be a great church.
P.S. We at Praise Chapel in Idaho love Santa! I have him in my house at Christmas time! I think he was awesome man of God! God Bless you and the work that you're doing to expose some of this junk!
Note: The author of this story is referring to a specific group of"Praise Chapels" within the United States. It is unclear how many other"Praise Chapels" may still be affiliated with Wayman Mitchell'sChristian Fellowship Churches. If you, or someone you know is interestedin a "Praise Chapel"--you should ask enough questions to clarify thatchapel's affiliation.
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