EP 111: My Story: Part 18: How to Sabotage and Kill Your Own Church

Diana Winklerspiritual abuse

We’re coming to the end of the tunnel, a very dark, long tunnel. This week on my story I relive more spiritual abuse related to the church plant that turned into the Twighlight Zone instead of a place of worship. Hear about the untrained pastor with the billboard on the back of his truck, who didn’t believe in small talk, who preached the same message every Sunday, and systematically chased everyone away from his church, including us. At the end of the episode, I feature my new Christmas recording, Hallelujah, Light Has Come.

Transcript below!

Hallelujah, Light Has Come, composed by Barlow Girl, arranged by Mark McClure. Published by Word Music. Used by permission by license.

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Transcript: How To Sabotage And Kill Your Own Church

[00:00:33] Welcome back. We’ve made it to part 18 of my story, almost to the end of this thing. And I’ve been hearing from you guys some feedback on my story, and I wanted to talk about that for a minute. One of the things that somebody had given on feedback on for the podcast is that [00:01:00] my intro is too long.

[00:01:01] I’m a podcaster because I like to talk, so maybe sometimes I talk too much. But I am working on that. And I am working on some technical components that you guys have told me about. I’m getting some help for that. So stay tuned for some improvements if you’ve noticed. Glitchy on the podcast.

[00:01:27] I am trying to provide the best podcast for you as possible. One other, a couple of the things that were mentioned were that I have a monotone voice sometimes.

[00:01:41] Yes, I do. I am trying to be transparent.

[00:01:46] I come to the podcast as I am, this is me. This is what you’re gonna hear when you have a conversation with me. It’s hard to talk to an empty room, talk to a camera. And people have pointed out, once the [00:02:00] guest comes on, then you’re very excited and you’re louder. That’s because I feed off of the energy of the other person. I wanna make my guests feel welcome. And give them a good interview. And so I am working on that.

[00:02:18] With telling my story. A couple people have mentioned that if you’re watching on YouTube, that sometimes I have a dead pan expression on my face, and sometimes it’s just total exhaustion. I come in here and get a lot on my plate. If you guys been listening for a while, I have some medical problems that really wipe me out, but I’m still committed to coming in here and recording the podcast.

[00:02:47] And sometimes it shows on my face that I’m exhausted. And due to the subject matter that I cover, it’s dark. Many of the stuff that I cover is dark. Me [00:03:00] telling my story is hard and it’s triggering. I mentioned that in a couple other episodes that I tell my story because I want to help you. I want people to understand different types of abuse. My story may be different from yours, but I point out different things that are abuse and how I was treated and how you shouldn’t be treated.

[00:03:26] But when I’m going through my story here, sometimes I’m reliving those moments. I’m having my husband edit some of these podcasts and he has noticed that. Now I’ve processed those things. With therapy and Mending the Soul and community in my church.

[00:03:44] They’re not debilitating anymore. I know how to deal with them. So anyway I just like to say that I I don’t like to put on a show like I’m somebody that I’m not, and I don’t have that personality where I’m bouncing off the walls [00:04:00] all the time. I’m very low key,

[00:04:02] Unless I’m around somebody who’s very full of energy, I’m sometimes a chameleon, I will match that energy and quiet people, I’m quieter. So if you have any feedback, be sure to tell me. You can put a note in the comments or email me, Diana@ DSW Ministries dot org. Just be nice. Telling me, Diana, you suck, doesn’t help me. Tell me what I need to improve on. Do you like my guest? Do you want me to talk about a certain topic that I haven’t covered? Is there something you don’t like about the format? You don’t like the music? I hope that you like the music. But any constructive feedback would be fine. . And we’re not talking about sex today,

[00:04:57] I talked a lot about that last [00:05:00] time. And I was looking at my stats on YouTube. And all the podcasts in the video shorts with sex as the subject matter, had like thousands of views, like 35,000 views on some of these videos. And then, my regular posts were not as high. They were maybe a few hundred views.

[00:05:22] Sex sells, I’m not gonna do every podcast with a subject matter of sex, but I definitely cover it from time to time and I have a guest on the show that talks about it. If you want more of that, let me know. We’ll see what we can do. But I’m considering doing YouTube lives this coming year.

[00:05:46] I’m hoping that you guys will come and be a part of it. Show up for the live sessions. I’m still trying to figure out what day I’m going to do it, because it has to be consistent.

[00:05:59] But [00:06:00] we’ve got a lot of new listeners and viewers. Christian Ninja has subscribed to the YouTube channel. Thank you so much. Appreciate that. So YouTube lives will be a Q and A session. You can ask me any question about abuse. You can ask a question about me personally or Brian or, if you got a question about sex, I’ll answer that too, within reason.

[00:06:24] I have the new Christmas recording today. Hallelujah Light Has Come and I hope that you like it. I sang the lead vocals and the trio parts On this recording. We have a full choir and orchestra in the background and they sound fantastic.

[00:06:49] So that will be at the end of the show, the Christmas music, and I’m trying to feature some of my original stuff that I’m recording while I have these [00:07:00] solo episodes.

[00:07:01] So onto our show for this week. I am going to get started on my story. Jump right in here. Last week, the church that we planted in the strip mall died and dissolved for lack of attendance. So now we are looking for new churches, and I don’t know how we found Gospel Road Baptist Church, but you know, I’m thinking it was from the Yellow Pages. I’m not mistaken.

[00:07:35] Remember the phone books? I’m dating myself. So you would just look under Baptist churches, fundamental Baptist churches, and that’s what we had to choose from. and it didn’t matter how far we had to drive, you couldn’t go to any other church. We lived close to a lot of Christian churches, different [00:08:00] denominations, but we would never think of going to one.

[00:08:04] So we visited Gospel Road, a small, established church and Pastor Gary is a tall guy with steel, blue eyes, military haircut. I really enjoyed his preaching. His eyes and his preaching style reminded me of Billy Graham. I know you can’t duplicate Billy Graham by just his mannerisms and his energy,

[00:08:32] the fire behind his eyes just reminded me of that. His wife Tammy, seemed very nice and welcoming.

[00:08:39] I saw a guy from Cactus Flower who left because the church wasn’t strict enough. So right away it was like, okay, what’s gonna happen with this guy? We will call him Brad.

[00:08:53] Brad was the son of a good friend of mine, Joyce, [00:09:00] and he had disowned her when his father died and challenged the will. So Joyce would not get anything from her late husband’s will.

[00:09:13] Joyce’s husband had Alzheimer’s. That’s what he died from. Joyce took really good care of him and they were very much in love.

[00:09:24] And Brad had gotten married since the last time I saw him.

[00:09:30] and He was like in his mid thirties, I think, and not really a bad looking guy. Brad looked really nice and kind on the outside, but as soon as he started talking, you knew that this guy was a jerk. A real prize.

[00:09:49] He had hired a service to look for a bride overseas. Back in the day, we would call them mail order brides. [00:10:00] They don’t do it that way anymore.

[00:10:03] And before you guys start sending me nasty emails, I am not against interracial marriage. I am not against falling in love with somebody from another country. I know that some of you, that has been the case, falling in love with somebody from across the pond. What this situation looked like is a business deal.

[00:10:31] And I asked Brad, we have a singles group here. We have sister churches with singles groups. Didn’t you meet anybody in the singles group here? And he said, You know what?

[00:10:49] The women here, the Christian girls here, they don’t want to get married and have kids and serve their husband. They want [00:11:00] to be educated. They want to have a career, and they’re too independent, and they don’t submit. They have these illusions of equality.

[00:11:16] And I’m trying to bite my tongue while he’s talking, but it was really hard.

[00:11:22] He kept going on with his mouth. Women don’t submit and serve their husband.

[00:11:28] And a lot of times the women are poor, who don’t have very many resources. They’ll marry anybody that will sponsor them to come over here. And I’m definitely against that if there is not a genuine relationship of love, and I wanna marry you, instead of, I need a cook, a maid, and somebody to meet my sexual needs. I’ll pay for you to come over here and we’ll [00:12:00] get married and then you’ll be a citizen.

[00:12:03] We were introduced to Yvonne. Didn’t speak very much English at all. His wife was really sweet. From what our conversation could piece together, she was a Christian and she loved to knit these beautiful scarves. And she even made me one for Christmas to match my coat. So we managed to become fast friends, even with the language barrier.

[00:12:29] But I didn’t really hang out with Brad very much or talk to him because of what he did to Joyce, who still went to Cactus Flower and the way that he treats his wife.

[00:12:44] So anyway, the rest of the church the people, they were very nice and welcoming. The church had a small choir, upright piano and old hymn books.

[00:12:56] Which I don’t mind. I like the old hymns. We had a bus [00:13:00] route and the children’s church was outside because they couldn’t fit in the building. The building wasn’t large enough and they would get a building program

[00:13:11] eventually. When you walked into the church foyer, there was the signature rack of gospel tracks for soul winning visitation on Thursdays and Saturdays. So you would see that in any Baptist church or especially a Fundamental Baptist church. You don’t know what a gospel track is. It’s kinda like a little

[00:13:37] two page booklet usually. And it gives a plan of salvation. And sometimes the tracks talk about like Bible translations or like, you may have heard of the famous Chick tracks, which they have cartoons and some of them are pretty in your face. Go ahead and Google that if you’ve never heard of Chick Tracks, they’re entertaining, if not [00:14:00] offensive.

[00:14:00] But I think they had a couple of those up there too. Some of the classics now. People collect them if you can find them.

[00:14:07] So me and Danny wound up doing the children’s church and the bus ministry. We nearly got heatstroke in the summer because of course we’re outside. And Children’s Church, you do games.

[00:14:21] And it was so hot out there, it gets 118 degrees here in the summer. So we did a lot of games with water balloons and popsicles for snacks. It was really fun actually. The pastor gave me this big, huge sombrero. It was a real sombrero, not the fake ones. And it was heavy, but it kept the sun off my face and my neck.

[00:14:46] And the kids are really great. They were super fun to be around. The bus captain, was a jovial, very positive guy. Oh, but [00:15:00] him, it was like, everything is praise the Lord. Lord have mercy! And he never complained and he didn’t like anybody else complaining.

[00:15:11] About anything. That’s one of my flaws is I complain a lot. Somebody mentioned on the last podcast talking about the church I was on staff, that I complained a lot about my job. Yeah. I’m working on that, trying to complain less this coming year. You guys can hold me accountable.

[00:15:34] The bus captain was very positive and was great in getting the kids excited about, singing songs and giving a lesson and passing out candy. And the bus captain’s wife was a quiet lady with two boys and they were both special needs kids. One had down syndrome. [00:16:00] And the other one had severe cerebral palsy.

[00:16:04] What are the odds that you have two special needs kids in the same family? I know that Kelly, my bible study teacher, she has two deaf children and the girls also have special needs as well. So yeah, she went through that too. And I’m gonna have her come on the show and tell her story here soon.

[00:16:27] But the son with the down syndrome was pretty functional really sweet kid, very social and kind. We would give you hugs, just a joy to be around and a blessing. And everybody loved him. Now, the older son that had cerebral palsy, he was, I think he was almost 18.

[00:16:51] He could walk some with assistance from his mom, but did not talk much. And one thing I [00:17:00] remembered about him was he loved paper. He would just rip any paper that he could get his hands on. And so he had to keep the Bibles away from him.

[00:17:12] And, any kind of like coloring papers, the kids would bring on the bus. You had to keep ’em away from ’em cuz he would tear ’em. So their family did the bus route with us. As you’ve heard on other churches that we’ve been a part of, I have been in the bus ministry many times in the past and enjoy meeting the kids.

[00:17:34] So the snag started showing when an intern came on staff at the church. His name is Scott. I remember that he was very musical and he was going to the local bible college. He turned into our worship leader for the time he was an intern. So here’s the thing. He was required to knock on a ridiculous amount of doors. [00:18:00] And bring a certain number of people to the church, not just to the church, but to go down the aisle and get baptized.

[00:18:09] Wait, isn’t it God’s job to do the converting here? And when you present the gospel at strangers doors, you don’t have any control over whether that person perceives Christ, right? I know this. I have knocked on many doors. This was what I did. I was a missionary and I knocked on a lot of strangers doors and got a lot of doors slammed in my face.

[00:18:36] I didn’t have any control over whether they accepted the message. And then once, Get them to listen to your message. You can’t force them to believe once they believe you can’t make them come to church and then make them get baptized after they’re saved. Those things come from genuine wanting to [00:19:00] know the truth of the gospel, seeking that and accepting it without being coerced.

[00:19:07] And Scott was a very nice guy. He didn’t really like being in your face kind of gospel and, Hey, you need to get saved or You’re going to hell. Being what

[00:19:17] we’re gonna talk about shortly in the next church. So the intern was expected to stay out in the heat and knock on doors in the summer until he met his quota, which I don’t remember what it was. I think he told me it was like 10. And 10 is a lot. Now, when I was at the church, in the inner city, we knocked on a ton of doors and in that one year I got 50 people to pray the sinner’s prayer.

[00:19:45] I don’t know if any of them were sincere or not, because none of them came to church ever and none of them got baptized. But the pastor’s wife at that church, as I was telling you, she would stick her [00:20:00] foot in the door and she would force her way into people’s house, did whatever she could to get them to repeat that sinner’s prayer.

[00:20:08] So I’m totally against that sort of thing. But anyways, Scott didn’t last long at the church because, the pastor fired him for not bringing people to the church down the aisle to get baptized. So my little feelers were up. Of course. I got a new job, which required me to work some nights. I can’t even remember what the job was.

[00:20:33] This is part of telling your story. There’s some things that you don’t remember and blocked out of your memory. But we had to be at church Sunday morning, Sunday night. Wednesday night service, Thursday night, soul winning Saturday, soul winning for the bus route and any revival services.

[00:20:55] Those were really hard because you were going to the revival services every [00:21:00] night, during the week, and then on top of the weekend stuff. So I told Pastor Gary that I had to work Wednesdays, so he told me I could not sing in the choir or sing any special music unless I quit my job or change my schedule.

[00:21:17] And I, here goes my bluntness. I told him that Wednesday night services were not in the Bible, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong. And I wasn’t gonna quit my job. Of course he didn’t like me saying that. He said, I’m part of the leadership team and I’m expected to be at all of the services and every time the door was open.

[00:21:40] But it was okay for him to Shanghai me to play the piano for the church service because a regular pianist who was his wife was in the nursery and they realized that there wasn’t anybody to play the piano. And I hadn’t even practiced. They just pulled me up there because I [00:22:00] was a warm body that could play the piano.

[00:22:02] But the whole thing, while there was a double standard, I’m not allowed to serve in the capacity that I’m good at unless you know I jump through your hoops.

[00:22:13] And during this time there was a preacher and his wife who visited the church and said he was planting a church in the next town over. Pastor Gary gave him a platform to announce that during the beginning of the service. So they were going to a wealthy retirement town that did not have an IFB church.

[00:22:40] We had plenty of other church denominations because I had lived in that town in high school. But to him, there wasn’t a gospel witness in this town if there was not a independent fundamental Baptist church there. Down the street from where this church would be started was a Southern [00:23:00] Baptist church.

[00:23:01] There was a Presbyterian church and there was a Catholic church. I knew that cuz I had gone to the Catholic church as a teenager. So Danny decided that he wanted to leave Gospel Road and go help this preacher start the church. And I think Danny wanted to do that because Pastor Gary would never let him preach to the adults, only to the children. So Danny was kind of mad that his talents were wasted. Of course he is a narcissist. So he wants to have the attention on him all the time.

[00:23:35] He would tell people that he went to Bible college, but you would never tell them that he’d never finished.

[00:23:40] But with IFB preachers, they don’t give up their pulpit easily. Not to outside visitors, not to preacher boys, which Danny was considered a preacher boy. So you had to earn the right to be on that pulpit. [00:24:00] So they would make you work for it. You had to, dig in the trenches and scrub toilets and knock on doors and do what they asked.

[00:24:09] Preach to the kids, preach to the homeless, preach to the bus kids, preach to the the senior citizen home before you got the privilege of getting on that pulpit. So the new preacher who was gonna plant the church, his name was Ty, and his wife Becky, he bought a house in town and he converted the back room of his house into a church.

[00:24:35] So we basically were a house church. Now that is biblical. We read in the Bible, the early church consisted of home churches. They didn’t have the stain glass and the big buildings. Of course they had the synagogues. But in the early days of Christianity, that’s where the believers met, in homes of Christians.

[00:24:57] Some cases they were being [00:25:00] persecuted, and so they had to meet in secret. So we had the chairs and we had, a pulpit and we had a keyboard. What’s worse than a strip mall church? In this town, Well, in this town, a church on the back of somebody’s house in a rich retirement town it doesn’t go together.

[00:25:19] Probably would’ve been better in an inner city, but we were in a residential area, not on the main road. So nobody knew we were there. And there were rules in town that you could only put your signs out on the driveway. We were in the yellow pages too. They named the church Prospect Baptist Church, and it pretty much consisted of me, Danny, an older lady who was one of the first visitors of the church.

[00:25:51] A native couple from the nearby reservation.

[00:25:55] Sarah and Tyler and their two kids. And all of [00:26:00] us profess salvation except for possibly

[00:26:04] Sarah’s husband. He was an alcoholic, been in and out of rehab and jail, and he was addicted to golf. So this is how addicted to golf he was. He named his daughter Titleist, after The golf ball and the golf shirts. But he let his wife and kids come to the church and sometimes he would come too.

[00:26:28] But Pastor Ty was not a Bible college graduate. He was not ordained, nor was he sent out by his own church. His own church told him that he needed more training, but Ty left and started his own church anyway. He and Danny seem to agree that nobody can tell you what to do if God’s called you to the ministry.

[00:26:53] To a certain extent that’s true. Okay. Now, the Apostle Paul was really the only [00:27:00] one that had formal religious training as a Pharisee, but the rest of the apostles, were trained and commissioned by Jesus. Many of them were fishermen. One was a tax collector. Now Luke was a doctor, so he was educated in medicine, of course, but not in the scriptures.

[00:27:22] So in Jesus Day, as you probably know, they did not have completed copies of the scriptures. We would call the Old Testament. The apostles were called to spread the gospel to the known world. So they passed these letters around to the different churches, and that became part of our Bible, the New Testament. Course

[00:27:45] today, our society and our world is nothing like biblical times. We have many copies of scriptures and many translations. Unless you live in a extremely [00:28:00] desolate place, you most likely have a translation of the Bible in your language. We have colleges and universities to train people. We have multiple denominations.

[00:28:14] We have cults. We have ungodly people out there, wolves in sheep’s clothing. You must know the Bible thoroughly in order for you to be in the ministry and survive as a pastor or a missionary. There’s really no way of getting around that because you’ll just get eaten up. Preachers need to be examined for Christian orthodoxy and godly character because there are qualifications for a pastor.

[00:28:43] There are qualifications for being a deacon. So, everybody poo poos on education. But have you done the study? Do you have a call of God on your life or do you just want the attention of being in front of the church[00:29:00] having a lot of power? Do you believe heretical doctrines that would harm the church?

[00:29:05] So we go to Bible college or get training like that because we need to have accountability for our beliefs and what is orthodox, the basic beliefs of the Christian faith that are common denominators in every denomination of Christianity.

[00:29:26] So his lack of education showed. I am not here to challenge his call of God on his life. He definitely loved Jesus. Every sermon that TY preached was about salvation. And everybody in the room was saved. In fact, Sarah went to Bible college, she went to Pensacola, and Ty seemed to think he was the only one who knew for sure that he was going to heaven.

[00:29:55] The rest of us. He would say you could be lost all this [00:30:00] time and you not know it. Just going through the motions. And you think in you’re saved, but you’re really not. That’s really dangerous. Really dangerous to have a preacher do that to you. And he would have these long, drawn out, alter calls, every service, and it gets really old..

[00:30:20] and I was the only one that could play the piano. Sarah could sing, but for some reason she refused to come and sing in front of the church. She would never tell me why, but I wound up doing all the special music and playing the piano as as I have in the past.

[00:30:40] And surprisingly, Danny was permitted to teach the Sunday school because he was the only one willing, and he was the only one that had any training. And because Danny kept begging him, can I teach? Can I teach Sunday school? And so he [00:31:00] decided to teach soul winning techniques.

[00:31:02] I had four semesters of soul winning technique and I still had my school books on my shelves and still do today. And yeah, Danny went to the same school as I did, but he didn’t take the kind of notes that I did. So he borrowed my Bible college notes and my syllabus. And I have to admit, listening to Danny was better than Ty’s preaching, especially because it was the same sermon every single week.

[00:31:28] He never studied to come up with anything else. And I don’t remember if I approached him about this, like he never would preach through a book of the Bible, going verse by verse. He would just pick verses about salvation. But he would definitely pick on Danny’s Sunday school teaching and critique it.

[00:31:52] But there was a lot of other very strange things that would happen in that church. Ty had this pickup [00:32:00] truck and he put a billboard on the back of the truck, and I should have taken a picture of it. Of course, this was back before we had smartphones and you could take a picture of everything. And it said, you must repent or you’re going to hell.

[00:32:17] And it was big, bold letters and it had, fire on the bottom, for effect. And it had our church name on it and our phone number. And I was like, I was embarrassed. Me and Danny would never ride in the truck with him because we were embarrassed to be seen in that truck. It was just a bit too abrasive for the kind of community that we were in.

[00:32:41] Now, he could probably get away with that in inner city, like I said, but he would drive that thing everywhere and people would throw tomatoes at it and rocks. And no wonder why we never got any visitors because he had [00:33:00] this reputation. And Ty would knock on doors and people in the neighborhood knew who he was. And his personality was very fast talking and he had this big smile.

[00:33:14] Hi, I’m Pastor Ty. He had, I think it was a Texas accident, some part of Texas. He was a very smart dresser. He had the very expensive suits and ties, and he was very blunt in your face. He didn’t have a filter whatsoever. And so when we had visitors come, he would never talk small talk, like a normal person

[00:33:41] would. When somebody would come to the church, we like to talk about sports or current events, movies that you’ve watched, music that you like, and he wouldn’t do any of that. Maybe he’ll talk about the weather and he would ask the visitor, okay, what line of work are [00:34:00] you in? And.

[00:34:01] Maybe ask about his family and where he lives. But he would only talk about Bible and Jesus. Don’t take that the wrong way. You know, I love Jesus and I definitely love the Bible too, but you know, you have to have something in common with visitors, with people who are unsaved to develop some kind of a relationship.

[00:34:27] And that’s one of the things that fundamental Baptists don’t ever get right, is this is about relationship. Nobody’s going to listen to your message until they, they can relate to you. They like you.

[00:34:40] How do they know you care about them? By spending time with them and getting to know what their interests are. Right? That’s what I want.

[00:34:48] So here’s what the guests got when they came to church. They would get this hard dose of a salvation message, a little harder than what we get [00:35:00] every week. A super long altar call.

[00:35:03] Ty’s telling people to come forward and pray and ask Jesus to save them and repent of their sins. And, the guests were really uncomfortable because they’re put on the spot. And remember I told you there was, four or five of us in the room and they knew they were being targeted.

[00:35:20] So not a whole lot of people came to the church or even came back.

[00:35:26] Now, Ty got hepatitis from a construction accident. A coworker was bleeding to death from a cut in his stomach and blood squirting out. So Ty put his hands on the guy’s stomach to stop the bleeding, but he didn’t have any gloves.

[00:35:47] He had cuts on his hands, deep enough that the blood got into his system. The guy had hepatitis, but no one knew about it. He never told anybody. And so it wasn’t until Ty [00:36:00] contracted Hepatitis. He’s not a drug user. He’s not sleeping around.

[00:36:03] So he figured out that it was this construction accident that happened many years ago and he did not want to use the current drug treatment at the time, which was interferon. He wanted to go the natural route. And I understand that I work in the pharmacy and the more you know about drugs, the more you don’t wanna take them because, There are side effects.

[00:36:30] And in my own house, my husband has severe side effects from two infusion drugs that he was taking for his his health conditions. And so I understand that Pastor Ty wanted to go the natural route, so this is what he had to do cuz he was using, I think a natural path or homeopathic doctor, I forget.

[00:36:54] But he had to eat this severe diet of [00:37:00] steamed vegetables only and maybe a baked potato. And he took a lot of supplements, just handfuls of pills, like vitamins of every kind and coffee enimas. So the church was on the back of the kitchen, and he would cook the vegetables while we were in church. You could smell whatever it was he was cooking and it was like beets and broccoli and I forget all the vegetables he had, but they didn’t smell really great.

[00:37:29] You could smell it coming through the vents. And I could tell it was really hard on him and his wife. Pastor Ty was always talking about, a big juicy steak and, he wasn’t allowed have butter. I would love to put butter on my mashed potatoes. And it’s a very tough existence to stick with that kind of severe diet.

[00:37:47] His skin had this yellow tint to it, and that’s pretty common with that disease. And one day he bought this, one day he wore this baby poop mustard [00:38:00] suit. I think it was one of his favorite suits. And just that with his yellow hue to his skin, the jaundice, it wasn’t a good mix. And I told him, You are a sharp dresser man, but those colors do not go with your skin right now.

[00:38:16] And he would tell us that he’d have a couple of these accidents where he didn’t rinse the Chlorox out of the tubes for his coffee enimas. And he would wind up in the hospital. And I thought, why suffer so much? Why not try the interferon? And as long as we were at the church, he was not open to that. He thought if he stuck with this regimen that that it was going to work.

[00:38:42] And we certainly prayed, because of the suffering that he was going through. And now they have drugs that cure hepatitis, I mean literally. But that was in the last, 10 years that those drugs have come out. He didn’t switch to interferon until after we left the [00:39:00] church and he went into remission after that.

[00:39:05] And there’s definitely side effects to that treatment of that severe of a diet and probably nutritional deficiencies. He cried all the time on the. . I don’t know if this was from the treatments he was following or if it was depression. I wasn’t trained in any of that at the time.

[00:39:27] But he would cry at the drop of a hat every service. And it didn’t matter. It was usually like, he was talking about God’s love and how God saved a sinner like him. And he would talk about his testimony and, he would start just bawling right in front of everybody.

[00:39:45] And I mean, we were used to it, those of us that had seen it before. But it made a lot of people uncomfortable. And we didn’t say anything though. I mean, he was just a very emotional guy. I. But the fun part of [00:40:00] being a part of that church was that I put on music concerts during Easter Christmas with my voice students and

[00:40:10] we would rent a venue in town and invite family and friends to come. And Danny was in charge of the sound and I had my piano teacher, Paul, play piano for me. And I did have some performance tracks that I had recorded previously and it went really well. I mean, my parents came and Danny invited his coworkers and all of my voice students families.

[00:40:40] And Ty did his usual invitation at the end of that concert and dragged it on forever. I was really embarrassed not for the gospel because I knew they were probably lost people in the audience, but he just dragged it on for half an hour and [00:41:00] my dad told me later that, I was gonna go forward to get saved just so we could go home.

[00:41:07] I said, no, dad, I wouldn’t want you to go forward and just to appease him. And so he would go home. My parents only came to church to see me sing, and I just felt it was a really bad representation of Christ.

[00:41:23] When I would go to work during the week, I would wear culottes instead of skirts or dresses. If you don’t know what culottes are, you should Google that. It’s like a split skirt, when you have to go horseback riding or do any kind of sports, you were allowed to wear because they were more modest. They’re really not that attractive.

[00:41:45] I was working late one night and I didn’t have time to change for church. I thought it was more important for me to be there on time. And it was Wednesday night service and I was modest, and so I didn’t think it would be an [00:42:00] issue for me to wear them to the Wednesday night service. So I got there and he told me I could not play the piano if I was wearing culottes. But I said, but there’s nobody else here that can play the piano.

[00:42:14] He kind of stuck to his guns and so we sang hymns with Ty’s off pitch singing, leading the way. He could not hold a pitch to save his life. And I wish that at least Danny would’ve stepped in and offered to lead the singing because at least Danny could hold a pitch. Later, Ty called me to tell me that I was no longer allowed to use prerecorded music tracks to sing solos.

[00:42:45] He said it wasn’t biblical. He said, it’s not biblical. I could only use the piano to accompany myself. And that was it. It’s difficult for me to sing really well and play the piano really well, which that’s what’s [00:43:00] required in a solo.

[00:43:02] I told him that I can’t really accompany myself very well for a church service. And I pointed out that I had used these conservative music tracks that I paid good money to record so I could use them to sing specials. Because the church plants, I was a part of, I was the only one that had any musical ability whatsoever.

[00:43:31] Who wants to sing everything acapella? Nobody. So when I say conservative tracks, it means that there was no electric guitar in it and then there were no drums of any kind. Most of the time it was piano, or it was orchestra. So I was being a little snarky that day and I said, show me in the Bible where it says it’s unbiblical to use music tracks.

[00:43:56] We don’t have any other musicians. And [00:44:00] he said, I don’t have to give you any Bible verses Diana, you just have to obey. And I was just like if that’s how you feel, then I’m not going to play piano for you and I’m not going to sing for the church services anymore. And he was just as stubborn as I was and says, that’s fine with me.

[00:44:20] And I ended the phone call and I told Danny and he thought it was ridiculous that I couldn’t use the tracks. I had been using them up to the last, few months. That was the nail in the coffin for us because with no music and only a few of us coming consistently, it was really miserable going to church.

[00:44:42] I mean, let’s be honest, you’re not getting fed in the sermons, right? You’re dealing with the pastor’s legalism and his medical issues and,

[00:44:51] His idea of fun was playing Bible trivia after the morning service. It’s fun a couple of [00:45:00] Sundays to play Bible trivia before you wanna play other kind of games.

[00:45:04] But he didn’t want to. I guess he wanted to prove how smart he was. But you know, you couldn’t let the pastor lose.

[00:45:14] The turning point was we went to Denver to visit Danny’s sister and we visited a church on Sunday.

[00:45:24] Soon as we get in there, we realize when we listen to the preaching, and listen to the music, and it was beautiful music, and fellowship with other people, that we were starving spiritually. It was like a buffet line at the restaurant after you’ve starved for a year, and we looked at each other and said, we need to cut ties with this preacher.

[00:45:54] We need to get out of that church because it’s not going anywhere. So we didn’t even go back [00:46:00] to the church and tell him face to face. I just, I told Danny, you’re gonna call him and you’re gonna tell him that we’re not coming back. I don’t wanna go back to that church.

[00:46:09] And he was in agreement with me. So we called him and said, we’re moving on. We’re not coming back to the church. And the pastor didn’t ask for too much details and thinking, you might have known it was coming after I stopped singing and playing the piano. He probably cried when we hung up.

[00:46:32] So we went back to Gospel Road again and I don’t remember who I heard it from, but

[00:46:37] through the grape fine, I heard that he sold the house and he went back to his sending church, which frankly that’s where he belonged. Anyway,

[00:46:46] So I thought that was going to be the end of Prospect Baptist Church. I don’t even remember how long it was. Maybe six months, eight months. We were at Gospel Road and still doing the same things we were before. [00:47:00] Another preacher, Bryce contacted us to restart the same church in the same town.

[00:47:07] I don’t remember how he got in touch with us. They were from Iowa and at least this couple they were college graduates. The husband was ordained and they were actually sent from their church in Iowa. And they were really nice folks very personable and quite the opposite of Ty and Becky.

[00:47:32] They knew how to build relationships with people. And so I felt comfortable, okay, let’s give this church another chance. Instead of doing a house church, because they were an apartment, they rented a building next to the pool store in the strip mall.

[00:47:52] This time, it was on the main road right across from the grocery store, and we had a sign on the street, [00:48:00] so people driving by, they could at least see the church. But we had a lot better potential than the original church.

[00:48:08] Of course I played the piano. I don’t know how it happened, but Bryce had gotten the chairs and the piano from the old church. So I don’t know if he was in contact with Ty or what. I remember we had all the equipment and the h ymnbooks. so I played the piano and as usual and the pastor’s wife could sing and play the violin. So, so that was really great. I had somebody to sing with me and she would do violin solos during the offering. And they had two young children. And Brice was a pretty good preacher. I really enjoyed his messages, which was a relief.

[00:48:53] I can remember he did a great message on the book of Daniel, [00:49:00] and I love the book of Daniel. The newspaper came and did a featured interview for the town paper, and so that really helped that we got some advertising. Brice had a lot more tact in social skills than Ty did.

[00:49:16] So, I think we had a good chance of getting a bunch of new families. We tried to get Sarah and her husband and the kids to come back and we tried to get the Lady that was an original member of Ty’s church to come, but I think they were just traumatized.

[00:49:37] I, I think Sarah visited once. Just to say hello. When you’re treated a certain way and you experience what was pretty much spiritual abuse, then you’re gonna expect to receive the same thing. But we had five families that came. They were really nice people older folks. [00:50:00] We were

[00:50:00] At church again for less than a year. There was a tragedy back home at the sending church where there was a staff member at their church who assaulted a child. And so the staff member was fired and he was of course arrested. They needed an assistant pastor to fill in.

[00:50:25] They asked for Bryce and Amy to come back to Iowa to help with the tragedy at the church. And there wasn’t anything we could do. I don’t think that Danny could have taken the helm.

[00:50:44] I don’t remember if he wasn’t allowed to or that Bryce decided We’re just gonna close the church and maybe we’ll come back if everything settles down. So as far as we knew the church was closed once again. [00:51:00] Down the road, I found out that Bryce and Amy divorced. Amy claimed that Bryce was an abusive husband. I definitely understood because I was going through that same thing.

[00:51:19] So you never know what’s going on at home behind the scenes when you are in a leadership position in a church. We’re all taught to put on that fake mask. Hey you need to act like you got it all together and everything is a okay. Everything’s great. They do a lot of pretending and they hide what’s going on in their home, and that happened in my own home.

[00:51:49] As you have been listening, you’ve been hearing this.

[00:51:56] So back to Gospel Road, we went, [00:52:00] we’re like a boomerang folks, a boomerang. Back and forth. But the church was very happy to see us. I mean, we made some great friends and they liked us. So I decided to go to dental school at the time to be a dental assistant so I could be a dental hygienist, which makes a lot more money.

[00:52:20] They make 50 to 60,000 a year, I believe. So I went to dental assisting school on Saturday mornings, but I found out after graduating that being a dental assistant did not earn the kind of money that the school claimed. You can make $15 an hour, and that was a pretty good wage in those days.

[00:52:46] There was a waiting list for hygiene school here. So I had trouble making good money at the the dentist’s office as an assistant. I mean, I [00:53:00] started out at, maybe 10 or $12 an hour at the most. And I know that I was new, and so I couldn’t really complain because I was a new assistant, but I was trying to get a better paying job, so I wouldn’t have to do three jobs at once.

[00:53:21] This is going to be the time of my life when I would make the decision to leave. It’s 13 years into the marriage. So that is what I’m saving for next week. That topic will be making the decision to leave my husband. So for today, as promised, I will leave you with my new Christmas recording. Hallelujah Light Has Come.

[00:53:54] So we will see you next week. And I appreciate again you [00:54:00] listening to my story and being here with me. And I pray that you have a wonderful week. God bless you.