Letter to the Editor: April 13, 2015
Most of us who are behind this letter are alumni of the UA. All of us are former members of Faith Christian Church. Among our number are people who experienced spiritual, emotional and psychological abuse at FCC during the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. We represent just the tip of the iceberg of the number of people who have been hurt by FCC. We are writing to express our heartfelt gratitude to the wider UA community that is beginning to listen to our stories.
About five years ago, a Facebook page (Former Members of Faith Christian Church Tucson and Its Offshoots) was created in order to provide a place for former members of FCC and its offshoots to reconnect, to be informed, and to find healing and a way to forgive. As the page took on a life of its own, we recognized that it is an excellent vehicle for exposing the past and ongoing abuses at FCC. Our Facebook page has come to serve three distinct groups of people.
First of all, we want former members to realize that they are not the only ones who have been hurt by this church. Often, former members feel extremely isolated once they leave, because during their time in FCC, they cut off their relationships with friends outside the church. Also, when they leave, they are shunned by current members. Furthermore, due to the brainwashing that occurs in the church, former members feel like they have committed some grievous sin by leaving and that their eternal salvation is in danger. We want former members to realize that they are not alone. They are not going crazy. They are not going to Hell for simply leaving this abusive church. Many former members have found deep healing by reconnecting with other former members.
Secondly, we want current members who are beginning to recognize red flags in their experiences at FCC to realize that there is life beyond FCC. There are many healthy Christian churches that are safe places for believers to experience the love of God through Jesus Christ and his followers. Current members need to know that it is possible to leave FCC and still be pleasing to God.
Thirdly, we want students at the UA who may come across FCC’s recruiters to be able to search for information about FCC and find our stories. We believe strongly that students should stay away from FCC in order to be spared potential years of abuse. There are many other Christian organizations on campus where students can learn about the Bible and find a deeper relationship with God in a healthy environment.
Recently, the Arizona Daily Star reported on the abuse that we experienced at FCC. Because of this coverage, the UA Dean’s office has opened an investigation into FCC and what can officially be done to protect students. Also, the University Religious Council recently voted to revoke FCC’s membership on the council. This week, ASUA will hear from a former student body senator who is also a former member of FCC.
We are so thankful that these groups are giving serious attention to our stories and our warning of abuse at FCC. The actions of the UA community in response to our stories have given us a deep sense of validation and have gone a long way in helping further the healing process for us. Thank you, and bear down!
— Jason Bell, Connie Cohn, Matthew Maynard, Scott Moore, Jeremy Morgan, Kevin Mullis, Rachel Mullis, Cody Ortmann, Julie Peterson, Jeff Phillips, Lisa Phillips, Helene Regalado, Lora Wiggans and Carrie Woolley