This piece by Mercy Survivor Christan shares of how without the approval of Mercy Ministries, she was deemed abandoned by God. This piece was originally published on her personal blog and can be viewed at Pretty Pink Koolaid.
Please hear me out.
It is not, in any way, easy speaking out against Mercy Ministries.
It is not enjoyable,
It is not fulfilling,
…and it is not without pain.
I was a Mercy Success Story for many years after my graduation. I spoke in the US homes to girls in the program; I helped Nancy write for the Mercy Magazine, I shared my story at Girls of Grace Conferences, and more. Nancy Alcorn went as far to have her staff call me and tell me I was her “favorite Mercy girl,” and ask my opinions on things like the Mercy website…all of which made me feel incredibly secure and loved.
I stayed in Nancy Alcorn’s/Mercy Ministries good graces until the summer of 2006 – that…is when things started to unravel.
I had been attending an Assembly of God church that was “Mercy approved” since my graduation date in 2003. In the short time I had been attending, I was not only “adopted” by the Pastors as their daughter, but led Praise & Worship, wrote songs for the church, and (to Mercy’s great joy) was given a place of authority amongst their four walls.
Note: Being a Mercy Success Story gets you a lot of attention amongst pastors/ministers who desire to rise to “Christan Superstardom.”
The Pastors at the church I was attending were more than willing to trampoline off of my relationship with Mercy Ministries in forming a connection with Nancy Alcorn, even bringing her to the church. The Pastors of that church kept me even closer as their “daughter” as I developed connections with Joyce Meyer Ministries. I was so focused on “living God’s plan for my life” that I failed to see I was a stepping stone in their journey of “Godly” fame and fortune.
As a part of the authority granted to me within the four walls of the church, I served as the Worship Leader and Youth Pastor…even starting a non-for-profit Worship organization of which the Director of the Monroe, LA Mercy Ministries home was on the board of.
My “downfall” in the eyes of the church (and Mercy Ministries, in my opinion) started when I chose to step down from being the church’s Worship Leader/Youth Pastor.
At the time I stepped down from my ministry position, I felt that God was “leading me to focus more on my music” – plus, I desperately needed a break from the ruthless schedule I was kept under day in and day out. Not only was I working at the church, but also a restaurant to make ends meet…I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
After I was no longer on staff at the church, I started being treated differently. Although I was supposed to be a “daughter” to the Pastors, they stopped making time to communicate with me – and I was no longer invited over to their house for dinner.
Mercy Ministries also started treating me differently. Once I was away from the “spotlight” of ministry…phone messages went unreturned, emails were fewer and far between, and I was no longer invited as a guest to the Mercy facilities.
The period of complete alienation from Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries came months later, however, after I was instructed by the Pastors that I was no longer welcome in the church that had become my “home.”
Why was I excommunicated from the church?
I had committed a grave sin by sleeping with my fiancé before we were married.
I had embarrassed the Pastors by sinning, and now…they wanted nothing to do with me. I was no longer their “daughter” – but rather, in their eyes, someone who had a chance at “living a Godly life” and blew it. To them, I had “turned away from God” by sinning…and in turn, those “Godly people” now had to turn away from me.
At the time I was excommunicated, the Pastors were certainly more intuitive than I…for they realized long before I did that Mercy Ministries would distance themselves from me due to this transgression. I was completely and utterly convinced, however, that Mercy Ministries would still “love me unconditionally,” as they claimed they always would. After all, I was their star. I…was Nancy Alcorn’s favorite.
After being excommunicated from the church, I attempted to contact Mercy Ministries. Up until that point, I had been told over
and over again that Mercy Ministries was my family now. The Pastors at the church had told me over
and over again that they, too, were my family now. Nancy Alcorn herself, while visiting the church, had held me tightly in her arms and said, “Christan, this is where you’re supposed to be trained up for Christ (at the church I was attending). Follow the Pastors lead and you won’t go wrong. They are your family.”
Yet Mercy Ministries remained silent during my recurring cries for acceptance and help.
While I begged for forgiveness, understanding and direction…they refused to answer my phone calls; and emails.
I was alone with no family to call upon, and the church and Mercy Ministries had turned their backs on me.
I had become a sinner, a horrible person, and unworthy of God’s grace. I was completely and utterly destroyed.
Mercy Ministries and the church had told me for years that they had my best interest in mind, and I fully believed them. It was so, very heavily engrained in my mind that they were God’s voice and direction in my life. Not only had I spend 9 months at Mercy Ministries from 2002 – 2003, but I continued in their training after coming back home in order to “keep my healing” – as they had instructed.
If I started having doubts that there was another way to live life, separate from their teachings, or if I doubted the “revelation” of abuse that distanced me from my family…I would be instructed to listen to Nancy Alcorn’s preaching series.
I was also instructed, as were all Mercy Ministries graduates at the time, to continue reading Mercy’s “Godly Beliefs’ (that Mercy themselves had constructed) over myself daily, including Charles Capps “Speaking God’s Word” book. I literally went to bed
for freaking YEARS
with Joyce Meyers or Nancy Alcorn’s preaching in my ears. During my drives to work and back, I would listen to nothing but Praise and Worship music. I tried so, so hard to stay in God’s will and to keep the “healing” I had received at Mercy Ministries.
In trying to follow Mercy Ministries instructions to “keep my healing”…I completely alienated myself from the outside world, as I was convinced the devil was lurking everything, waiting to get me. For it was by following their instructions and living under their authority that I would remain “healed and set free.”
Now that the church and Mercy Ministries had cast me aside, what would happen to my healing? What would happen to the “call of God” on my life? If Mercy Ministries didn’t believe I was worthy…if in their eyes I had sinned to the point of no return….then certainly God thought that I had too. After all, they were God’s authority over me; they were God’s voice to me.
Without Mercy Ministries and the church, I was without God. And without God…I had nothing. No hope, no future, no healing.
It was the beginning of a very, very dark time for me. I plummeted to a level of darkness much deeper than anything I had experienced prior to entering the doors of Mercy Ministries.