Exit and Support Network

Philadelphia Church of God is a Sick System!

The PCG members are told over and over again, "If you have a problem, go to your ministers for help. They love you and will help in any way they can." But if you have questions about something that was said by the ministers, you are put out. If you speak up when you see any injustice, you are put out. If you talk to anyone that has been put out, you are out. As Dennis Leap said a few years back, "If you don't tithe, you are out. If you date people outside the Church, you are out. If you miss services more than 3 times, you are out." But they are not really interested in whether you obey God; they are interested in you obeying them, mere men. They have gone way past teaching religion to wanting to run your entire life.

There was a woman in the DC congregation that had cancer. She wasn't well at all and had missed about 3 or 4 Sabbath services. The minister called her (he knew already that she was sick with cancer; in fact he had anointed her) to talk about her missing services. She told him she was feeling a little better and would come the following Sabbath. He told her the only way she could return was if he and Cal Culpepper came and counseled with her because she had missed so many services. Well they arrived about two months later. She died within the same week they visited.

The ministers are tyrants and only interested in their own aggrandizement. It's a sick system. There was a letter that was read to the congregations by Wayne Turgeon from an anonymous person. The letter spoke of the ministers in his area intimidating the congregation and said everyone was frightened by the ministers that acted like the KGB. Turgeon made fun of what was being said in the letter and said we don't have any ministers that act like that. How did he know? Was he in the congregation? Did he investigate? He went on to read how the person said they knew they would be put out of "the church" if they came forward with this information. Well, Wayne said the guy did come forward, and guess what? They disfellowshipped him. What an ungodly system is in place in the PCG. Gerald Flurry always says, "I have an open door. If you want or need to talk to me, just come by." Well, you can talk to him, but the minister is always right and you are always wrong.

Many of the members have very bad attitudes and bizarre personalities. It appears that a large percentage of the people are just wicked. Many of them look and act okay on the surface, but if you saw how they live, that's another story entirely. Many are not who they pretend to be. There are a good number of alcoholics in there also and people with serious psychological problems.

The PCG is so small, yet the wives of the ministers in PCG are dying all the time. Wilson Magruder's wife (Martha), Gerald Flurry's wife (Barbara); the late Gordon Davis' first wife; Brian Davis' first wife (Brenda); Leroy Keith's wife (Gloria); Marvin Campbell's wife (Micki)--all deceased. And Gary Rethford's wife (Mary) is sick.1 I'm sure there are others.2 But has anyone noticed how the wives are treated? Like they are servants to their husbands.3 Many are treated like the women in third world countries.

At one of the feast sites, I was sitting at the hotel (in the car) talking to someone when a van pulled in beside us; a man got out of the driver's seat (looking sharp, he put his suit jacket over his shoulder) and walked to the front of the van. His wife got out on the other side and proceeded to walk around to his side; got his briefcase out (she was already carrying her Bible case) and gave it to him. He turned to walk up the stairs and she kind of shuffled behind him with her head down (her dress was shabby and her hair was pulled back in a pony tail). I said those are Philadelphians, I can tell look how he treats his wife. Sure enough there was a feast sticker on his bumper.

When you talk to any of the men that lost their wives, they will mention how they now have to do for themselves. They don't say they miss her company or her beautiful self, but just the services she provided for him. I heard it more than once. If you are having marital problems and go for counseling, all the man has to say is "she won't submit" (whether it is true or not) and from that point the marriage is in trouble because of the wife. There are many marriages in the PCG that are in serious trouble. When I asked the wives why they don't get counseling, it's the same answer every time: "I don't want to get put out of the Church."

Hey, go ahead, get put out and look at it all from the outside, where you can see and think clearly Don't be afraid, they are only mere men. I have read many letters on Exit & Support Network™ that were sent in. People will say things like "you wouldn't believe what the minister said." Or "there were things going on that I won't mention (about Dennis Leap and Tim Thompson)." Why won't they mention it? There are people that want to know the truth before they get caught up in this life threatening organization.

There have been several suicides but they are not talked about very much. I knew one woman that killed herself. I loved her. There have been several written about on this website. How many more do you think there was that we never heard about, or which were intentionally kept secret?

The women in PCG are given absolutely no help at all. The ministers as well as the husbands (in many cases, both) want you to think you are nothing. One of the ministers actually told a wife, that is the way a wife is suppose to think, "like you are nobody and your husband is everything." The mental abuse in perpetrated against the women in PCG is horrendous. What is wrong with these people? Why so cruel? It's like you died and woke up in hell! There are sermons about the wife ruling and how men have to take a stand, but there are no sermons on how a man should love his wife as his own body. What a hateful institution for women.

Consider this: If we are not allowed to talk to whomever we want, or to those that had problems in the group and who were put out, they (the ministers) can get away with anything. They even tell you, when you are counseled by them, "Not to tell anyone" what was said. They subtly take away your rights as individuals. We have already fought for freedom of speech, haven't we? They insist that your friends (your only friends) should be in the PCG. So when they do put you out, you have absolutely no life, no friends, no family. These are the actions of a cult, even though they continually say, "People on the outside of group call us a cult" and they laugh, but then they go on to deny it. Guess what, the things they do are the actions of a cult.

I believe if I tell what I've seen and experienced first hand, it will help others. We were made victims, not because we wanted to be victims but because it is all so subtle that you don't realize the undertow until you catch a glimpse of the unjust way members are dealt with. You are told how special you are to God continuously and how the ministers are servants to the members. Instead they want to intimidate you and to have you serve them (the ministers). The members are not treated like they are special; the only special ones are the ministers. They took our need for wanting to know and obey God and used it against us. It's not being in the PCG that will get us to a place of safety; it's not believing a man that will insure our salvation. Our salvation doesn't depend on a man, it's God Almighty and His sweet Son that will save us.

John 12:47: "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." If Christ Himself made this statement, who are we to decide to separate ourselves from our families and friends because the PCG said so??

For those that have left, look back--look at those people. Something is very wrong with all of it; it's a Matrix.

There is so much more I need to tell you. I was in for many years.

By Dotty
October 28, 2009

Footnote by ESN:

1 As of January 2013, Mary Rethford has been in a wheelchair and not doing too well. Her husband, Gary Rethford died February 20, 2013. He was a preaching elder at PCG HQs in Edmond.

2 David C. Pack's wife Shirley (died of ovarian cancer in 2007). Also read April 6, 2008 letter to ESN which tells how several wives of PCG ministers and deacons have died of several forms of cancer, or various illness and maladies.

3 Read: These People Remind Me of the Characters in The Stepford Wives


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