THE STORY





REASONS

In order to add some context to the articles I have written on this blog I want to designate a page to summarize our story from beginning to end.
  
It is my hope, as it has always been, to expose not only the wrongs that The Preacher was guilty of, but to own the actual wrongs we committed as opposed to what The Preacher has stated publicly using skilled innuendo and out-right public accusations.
  
Since it is obvious that sides have been chosen between our family and The Preacher’s, the resulting division and excommunication of family members to this day is due to much ignorance, misinformation, rumors and even blatant lies about us.
  
This is a fact that I can not tolerate without at least making our story available so that if any families were divided directly or indirectly on the basis of association to members of my family, the ones who chose to believe they were acting in obedience to scripture by disassociating themselves from their own family members for continuing to associate with us, can reconsider just how ‘scriptural‘ that decision and how true their information about us really was and is.
     
I also wish, however, to settle whatever assumptions may still exist....the parts of our story that was either assumed or fabricated concerning my family’s experience in the church and the events that led to our leaving it.
IN THE BEGINNING


We were so very young and idealistic, my husband Paul and I, when we accepted his sister and her husband’s invitation to help start a church in Oklahoma. 

Of course, he would be the pastor and my husband would be the youth director/ second man and anything else he was needed to be.
Life was good for us at the time.  We were living in Houston right next door to my parents.  We had two very young children, a daughter who was nearly two and an infant son who was nine months.  Paul had a steady job working for the Sugar Refinery in nearby Sugar Land and working some for my dad in his pest control business.  The money was adequate and we needed the consistency a steady, fixed income provided, since  we always had trouble managing our finances on the fluctuating income he was getting before from roofing and sodding.
Content and happy though we were, we had no real direction or purpose beyond the repetition of a weekly paycheck, a rather limited youth ministry, and family.  We knew that we would eventually want a more satisfying, engaging, ministry-type occupation in the near future when we were invited by my brother and sister-in-law to help start a church in Oklahoma.  
They gave us two weeks to decide.  At first, we didn’t think we were interested in moving to another state just to help start a church, but when all the pieces fell into place, we took this as God’s leading and accepted.
  
Two weeks later, we loaded up and headed sight-unseen, for the strange land that would become our new home.  It is the place where we birthed and reared six more children, established a church, built a house, started a business and planted the roots of a lifetime.
FAMILY AS NEIGHBORS


At first we lived in duplexes right next door to each other.  Then, both families jointly purchased five acres, divided them equally and each built a house on their two and a half acres.
As more children came, naturally there would be conflicts between theirs and ours which produced conflicts between us, their parents.  This was particularly difficult for me because whenever arguments erupted between them (for instance) over toys or other belongings as to what belonged to whom, my sister-in-law would automatically assume the role as head arbitrator.  She was ‘The Pastor’s Wife‘ which gave her a kind of ‘authority’ to be the decision-maker in the matter.  This usually meant that if ownership could not be established, she would keep the item in her possession until it could be.  
I hated always being expected to just ‘defer‘ to her judgment when the issues involved both of our children.  It was a constant reminder that I was in subjection to her and as it was, not only in the church but also in our private family relationship.
It might have helped if we had discussed these sensitive kinds of issues between us openly but we never did.  I think it was easier for us to just ‘let it go‘ rather than risk bringing up anything that might cause a huge argument since there had been times  earlier in the relationship where issues such as these had caused some pretty ugly conflicts.  Later, this neglect of establishing agreements and boundaries proved to have a snowball effect that was felt most by my children.  This, I believe, awakened feelings of distrust in me towards her, for I could not believe that her judgement could ever be unbiased. 

FAMILY AS MINISTRY WORKERS  
As time went on we found it increasingly more difficult, being in a subordinate position under our brother-in-law, and to some extent even Paul’s sister acted like our authority.  Not only did Paul and The Preacher/brother-in-law minister together, but they also worked for the same roofing company and eventually worked together in the roofing business my husband established. 
They would get annoyed and even downright mad at each other on the job, then since they rarely, if ever, resolved their disputes would have to stuff or dismiss any bad vibes between them to work together at church. 
As much as they tried to stuff, dismiss or ignore the tension between them, it still often carried over, or at least,  I could tell it did.  There were at least two occasions where  The Preacher was mad at my husband but my husband was not there so in his absence, he unloaded his angst on me.  Those occasions, for reasons that I can not disclose here, made profound impressions on my feelings about him as a person, and so much more, as a ‘pastor’.

THE CHURCH WE WERE 


The Preacher and his wife graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.   At the time he attended there, the college was quite conservative.  There were strict rules about dress, dating, curfews, entertainment, music and much more.  
The Preacher actually grew up in Springfield and was a member of a church that was not nearly as rigid in its standards as the college was, so in the beginning of his ministry as pastor, he did not have the extreme beliefs that he eventually embraced later in his ministry.  
It was several years after the church had started and was established with its own building that the more relaxed climate began to change to rigid.  There were several contributing factors.  
The Preacher had always extolled the merits of the old-fashioned preachers, past and present.  The God-loving, sin-hating ones who cried for a return to the value of unquestioning obedience to all authority, days when it seemed that children respected their elders, women knew their place, homosexuality and other sexual sins were crimes, and preachers were not afraid to preach against sin, name the sins and those who committed them from the pulpit.  
He was lifted up by some of these older ‘men of God‘ as one ‘wise beyond his years‘ and ‘called by God‘ to lead a church as a ‘remnant‘ back to the ‘old paths’.  He seemed to also believe himself to have some kind of special leadership qualities that would aid him in keeping his church pure.   At least one of those factors was us. 
There was also an event in The Preacher’s life that became the catalyst for change in our attitude towards him and our position under him in the church.  
The Preacher had a procedure done to get rid of kidney stones that had plagued him off and on for months.  He had some kind of reaction to the anesthesia or something and it was feared he wouldn’t survive it.  It was grave enough that Paul went to see him in the hospital.  There were statements made about the care of his family should he not make it, and Paul felt terribly sorry for him for the state he was in.  He also felt guilty that he had not treated him with the respect that was supposed to be due a man in the position of ‘pastor’.  
So, he made the decision that he would from then on give him the respect he was supposed to deserve as a ‘pastor’.  Up until that time, Paul treated The Preacher no differently than any other person.  Whenever they ‘got into it’, whether it was concerning work, church, or family--there was no consideration for his position.  They would really, ‘get into it‘ not unlike more normal brotherly relationships.   But everything changed in that moment.
THE CHURCH WE BECAME
Paul and I began to be much more attracted to the teachings of ‘old-fashioned’ preachers and evangelists who seemed to be having great success in raising ‘Godly’, obedient, adoring children.  We frequented camp meetings where these preachers and evangelists could be heard.  They were loud, passionate and charismatic pulpiteers who knew how to deliver powerful sermons and lure audiences to surrender. 


The atmosphere at those meetings was electrified by talented singers with bass and electric guitars, keyboards, and sound systems amplifying toe-tapping Southern Gospel songs rich with dynamic, spirit-grabbing lyrics.  We made friends easily with the people who regularly came.  Some were kindred spirits who shared our views about separation and home schooling... also an indirect result of compelling arguments made by those same preachers and evangelists.   
It was by the influences that we got ‘convicted about watching television.  Paul eventually decided to ‘make a statement’ by taking it outside, digging a hole in the ground, placing the TV in the hole and shooting it to pieces with a shotgun while all the kids watched in shocked amazement.  
Since there was no TV, I became an avid listener to Christian talk radio shows as I spent many hours nursing babies.  These shows  decried the subtle ‘Satanic‘ messages prevalent in such things as toys, fairy tales, secular music, public schools, Disney movies, politics, Promise Keepers--ad infinitum.  I wanted nothing more than to protect my children from the lures of ‘the World’, so Paul and I bought into just about all of it--hook, line and sinker and began passing these ideas on to The Preacher, his wife and others in the church.
The Preacher was unimpressed by the camp-meeting styled preaching services we enjoyed so much, and even warned against the appetite for excitement and enthusiasm that was generated by all the sensationalism.  But he came across to us as being more jealous of their success in winning our admiration than any real concern that we would over-indulge in camp-meeting sensationalism.
 Nevertheless, between his propensity toward extremes and our naive attraction to the ‘old paths’ message, a potent, toxic mixture was formed.  A preacher who was a driven authoritarian and who soaked up any support for his authoritarian leadership and praise for his preaching, combined with his ‘second man’ who was willing to accommodate those tendencies.   From that mixture arose a toxic camaraderie that was unified and focused towards a successfully controlled, preacher-dominated church.
Then, at some point in all this, The Preacher had become convinced that our church being ‘incorporated‘ by the State was the same as making the State the ‘head‘ of it thus removing Christ’s position of preeminence.  He also came to similar conclusions about marriage licenses, so after some special meetings where representatives from a group called ‘The Ecclesiastical Law Association‘ detailed the specifics, we voted to dissolve the corporation.  Of course, this action led to making policy that couples who plan to marry in our church,  could only do so by covenant.  The Preacher refused to even so much as open or close a wedding service in prayer if the couple had a marriage license!  To our way of thinking, we were really ramping up the church’s level of commitment to ‘truth’.
The Preacher also decided that para-church organizations were unscriptural and anti-local church, so we pulled out of the Baptist Bible Fellowship meetings, youth rallies, and support of the Baptist Bible Fellowship-run Bible college.  Moreover, the practice of sending our young people away to a Bible college to be trained in ministry was likewise deemed to be unscriptural because in the New Testament churches, it was the pastors‘ responsibility to train their young for ministry.  So, we eventually started our own institute.
Additionally, the youth camp we had attended for 10 years or so allowed too much ‘liberal’ music and since we no longer permitted our ladies and girls to wear pants, it seemed contradictory to continue to attend that camp.  We even stopped fellowshipping with other churches who did not share our standards and beliefs.  Instead, we searched out and found a camp that practiced the same level of separation that we did. 


Around this time, we also became involved with a very militant church and Bible college in Oklahoma City.  This group seemed to share the same beliefs and practices of our growing ‘taliban-istic’ church. In addition to summer youth camp, we took our teens to their week-long youth conferences, which led to our first three ‘preacher boys’ surrendering to enroll in the Bible college under this church’s ministry.  
The ‘truth be known’ it was at the youth conference we took our teens to directly following the week at the new youth camp we took them to, that the teens made decisions to sell-out to God.  Though it could be claimed that it was the Church that chose the events, that got ‘the job done’, it was still those teens who yielded to the teachings.  As soon as we completed those two weeks, they came home and jumped head-first into applying all that they had learned and committed to by getting fully involved in the scheduled vacation Bible school immediately following.  
The teens themselves made the decisions to change their already conservative dress, to what I can best describe as a more ‘Pentecostal-holiness’ style of dress.  It was only later, when The Preacher began to notice slight changes back toward the more up-dated styles (though still very modest by all reasonable standards) that as a knee-jerk, reaction, he began to claim and own their standards as his and the church’s-- regulating lengths, looseness and eliminating even the slightest slit. 
He also insisted that boys hair had to be cut military-short and parted. Ties had to be worn to every service (if their parents were in leadership, if they were in any kind of leadership themselves or students in the Institute).   The Preacher’s only contribution to the change in dress standards before, was to disallow pants and shorts on women and shorts on men.
For every perceived problem presented, a new rule and accompanying belief was added until it seemed that there was no end to them.  But, all these efforts towards regulating our church away from the ways of the world and its liberalizing effects on other churches, seemed to be working.  Nowhere was this more apparent than in our young people.  
Imagine 50 some odd teens and single young adults actively, willingly attending every service, every youth activity, teaching Sunday school, working bus routes, discipling children and other young people, singing and accompanying specials in church.  Sweet-faced girls wearing long, flowing dresses, guys sharply dressed in shirts and ties--sporting military short hair cuts, all cleaning church, working in the Bible publishing ministry, working in the Nursing Home ministry, studying in the church Institute, witnessing to and bringing their friends,  yielding to the altar calls, surrendering to be pastors, church planters, evangelists and ministry wives, submitting to a host of unnecessary and oppressive beliefs and surrendering their futures to the religious dictates of their pastor and parents.  Who wouldn’t enjoy such ‘fruits’; who wouldn’t enjoy ‘glorying‘ just a bit in such splendid advertisement of efforts?  It was intoxicating.......while it lasted.
One would think that the pastor of an ‘on fire‘ group as this would be humbled and gratified to shepherd such a hard-working bunch.  One would think that the pastor of such a group would want to commend, encourage and enjoy them.  Not so with The Preacher.  He preached that easing up on them or the rest of the church, would cause them to “slip”, so instead of preaching sermons praising God for loving and strengthening our young people enough for them to do the work they were doing, he found more to criticize and condemn.  Every sermon was full of warnings and rebuke.  Every sermon was loud, long and angry.  It was as if he was solely responsible for not only the church’s appearance of spirituality but of the actual spirituality of every member in it.  
He spent an inordinate amount of time on Moses and the stubborn, rebellious Children of Israel.  He identified himself with the character of Moses, while identifying the character of the church with the rebellious, idolatrous Children of Israel.  
After about two solid years, three or four hour-long sermons per week,  the spirit of the young people began to change in ways ranging from zealous to rebellious.  Discouragement led to despair which turned in to cynicism, apathy, frustration and disillusionment.  
There had always been a competitive undercurrent particularly between the women, since he continually defined certain behaviors and attitudes such as humility, respect for and unquestioning obedience to authority, submissiveness, contentment, disdain for ‘worldly’ clothes, entertainment and ambitions as well as loyalty to him and the church. These qualities became identifiers for ones truly dedicated to God.  
Naturally many of the women secretly desired their children to live up to his definitions.  They may not have revealed those desires overtly, but they were manifested as jealousy and contention towards each other and intense pressure on their kids to perform well.  There were bickerings and squabblings among the women, particularly the ones in leadership, that trickled down to the daughters causing contention among them.  All this was going on while on the surface, the church appeared to be full of love and unity.  All that ‘glittered’ there, certainly was not gold.
As the disillusionment of many of the young people mounted, so did The Preacher’s anger.  It seemed he saw a demon behind every neutral expression.  If he didn’t see eager, smiling, submitted, unquestioning countenances, he suspected pride and rebellion.  He even said it to my husband, after suspending almost all the young people (for reasons I will explain later) from participating in music specials.  My husband questioned whether this might make them more discouraged, The Preacher said, “They have pride.  I can see it.” This was his rationalization for punishing them thusly. 
While I am certain he thought he was purging the church of the “leaven” so that his church could passionately pursue the ‘cause of Christ‘ unhindered and unencumbered by the weight of the contentious ones, I have to wonder if had he known how messy and how far-reaching the effects would be, if secretly he regrets what he did.  It is now obvious he and the rest of the church have paid a heavy price.

PARTY TIME
It was the end of the 1900’s.  There was much uncertainty in the air everywhere, about what the next millennium would bring.  Would our computer-dependent world come to a screeching halt?  Would there be a shortage of food, water and electricity?  Should we be stockpiling goods in preparation?
If  the ‘air’ everywhere else was unsettling, it was much more so in the church.  If tension was butter, you could cut it with a knife.  The young people were troubled, parents were hyper-alert, Paul and I felt like we were walking a perpetual tight-rope and The Preacher was venting rage through every sermon at our expense.  With that kind of a pressure-cooker climate, something was bound to blow.
As it happened, it came in from the younger group of teens.  The event actually took place on New Year’s Eve, but wasn’t discovered until the end of January.  I don’t want to detail all that happened, since my purpose is to show the progression of events that led to our leaving and eventual division between our family and The Preacher’s, but here’s the gist... 
The Preacher’s middle son and his soon-to-be girlfriend and now wife, along with several other 13-15 year olds snuck out on New Year’s Eve and went to a party at the apartment of an older teen who had visited the church on a few occasions.  There was beer, rock music, and the one girl who went had put on pants (God forbid) and that same girl actually snuck and drove the family car to meet up with the rest of the group to get to the party.  
Someone tipped us off, and over about a two week period of time we tried to get to the bottom of it all, since the parties accused were denying everything.  Finally, one of the younger boys who had participated came forward and told all.  There were meetings to get the offenders to ‘fess up’ and after some long and lengthy interrogations, they finally cracked.  
The perpetrators were broken and subdued, so while they were in this compliant state, The Preacher, my husband and the girl’s dad convinced the main three instigators to spill anything they knew about any evil-doings of the others.  Of course, they had some embellished things to say about the one who blew the whistle on them. After questioning that ‘one‘ most of what was said was found to be untrue.  At the end of it all, severe punishments were administered to the offenders by their own parents, and they were told that they would have to apologize to the rest of the youth group, since everyone knew about it.  That never happened.
THE BIG DANCE
Maybe a month or so later, The Preacher called Paul into his office just before Sunday school.  Paul went there and found The Preacher so upset and distraught, he feared that he was going to tell him something terrible like he or someone close had committed adultery or something.  That was the first impression he got.  
Fact was,  the cause for The Preacher’s disturbance was that he had been told by his oldest son that a number of teens and young adults from the church had danced at a shower he and his girlfriend had attended.  The Preacher’s initial statement to Paul was, “They’ve done it again, they danced at the shower!”  Paul’s unstated reaction considering his fears from The Preacher’s troubled state was, “So.. What’s the big deal”.    There was more discussion and then The Preacher made some reference to considering church discipline.  
Once  word got out to all the guilty ‘dancers’, a good deal of squabbling and finger-pointing was provoked.  Then, some of these ‘dancers‘ came forward and told Paul (who was youth director) that if there was going to be church discipline for this, then there was more stuff going on that needed to be considered, so they told all they knew about other young people’s deeds.  Some of these deeds involved The Preacher’s sons.  
After hearing all they had to say, Paul urged these young people to go to The Preacher and tell him what they knew.  They were reluctant, but gave in at his urging.  They met with him on the Sunday night of the same day Paul was told about the events of the previous Friday night’s shower dancing.  During this meeting, The Preacher dedicated a good deal of time to questioning and validating if what was told on his son was really true (he was accused of holding hands and practically sitting on top of his girlfriend at the party, which is expressly forbidden).  This was the son who had reported the dancing, but somehow didn’t seem to think his violations were significant enough to report, though, these things have always been treated as steps toward ‘fornication‘ in this church.  It is laughable to even think, now that any of this was dealt with so seriously, but the point needs to be made that The Preacher’s son deemed it so important to report what the other’s were doing, but did not bother to report anything he did wrong.  The Preacher had addressed this very thing in a sermon only days prior to this.
As told by those in the meeting, the group was hesitant to verify the son’s acts being that several were in some way related to his girlfriend, and no one wanted to back up accusations of him to his father, understandably.   So, to The Preacher’s thinking, those accused of dancing were simply trying to point fingers at their accuser’s actions instead of grieving over their own guilt.  It is not surprising given he was the father, and this particular son was considered of impeccable character and the one most likely to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Not much chance of impartial judgment here.  
After this, The Preacher informed them that they would be given the opportunity to apologize for dancing at the wedding shower in the service following the meeting.  At the end of the sermon that night, each young person involved in the dancing and even some who weren’t but felt the need to, stood up and apologized from their seats, to the church for their sin.  Then, some of the others involved in the sneaking out and partying incident, stood for the first time and apologized.  
Once this was over, The Preacher announced that all involved would be required to step down from any position of leadership including singing specials, playing instruments to accompany specials, working in the bus ministry and such for a period of time until he determined they were ready to resume those roles.  Then, at some point, he told them not to talk about it.
He ended the service by announcing that one of the other young adults had run away with her long-distance boyfriend.  She was well above age to legally be leaving home, but her life choices and even day to day activities had been severely limited by her parents.  She was gone, but you’d think she had died by the way he announced it.  When all was done, it seemed that most of the young people were genuinely sorry for their actions and there was a good spirit in the church, for a very short time. 
If there was really any wrong done by the dancing, it could only be that those who did, were leaders in the church and did this knowing what the church’s position was.  However, given the fact that only a short time before,  when these young leaders were doing and behaving in all the ‘right‘ ways and expressing all the ‘right‘ spiritual disciplines, The Preacher’s response, if any, was skepticism and apathy.   Given the fact that they knew they’d be ostracized for expressing different beliefs on standards and/or stepping down or going to another church, they should have been given that opportunity to do so before being forced to. I doubt The Preacher ever even considered whether his deficient judgement and understanding might have provoked those ‘undesirable’ effects.
Well, the very next day, before anyone had time to ‘talk about it’, The Preacher began calling the dancers in to his office one at a time.  Word got out very quickly that he was doing this, so naturally there was some bewilderment at why.  What I was hearing from some of the young people and wondering myself was, “Wasn’t this supposed to all be over once they apologized?”  This ‘questioning‘ activity stirred up the ‘talk‘ that he had warned them not to engage in.  Everyone involved was nervous, perplexed and a little angry.  They had already been dealt with, and were tired of the whole thing.
As it turned out, one person had made the statement, “If he is going to discipline us, he’ll have to discipline the others,” referring to the kids who snuck out.  A true statement, since he said he would have them apologize, but never did.  This statement was made just before the meeting with him to expose the others who had committed wrongs.
This infuriated him, and as he stated from the pulpit, “hurt him” very much.  After questioning all involved, he was sufficiently satisfied that he had the goods on that culprit.  Then he found out that everyone was talking against his command not to, so with all of that, somehow at some point--I’m not sure just how it all transpired--made the decision that he was going to ‘church discipline‘ them.  
He called parents in individually and told them what he was going to do, and on the very next Sunday night, held the first ever, actual ‘church discipline‘ meeting with only members present.  
As far as I know, none of the parents with young people involved was given sufficient notice (not that it would have made a difference with any of them, since they would have been in agreement with anything The Preacher demanded) to think anything through, or study up on the practice.

THE SHUNNING






  This ‘discipline‘ as it turned out was not discipline at all, but punishment which had the appearance of one acting to satisfy his wrath against those who resisted or opposed him.  He actually commanded the whole church to SHUN  these young people for varying periods of time from 2 weeks to 6 weeks according to the severity of their ‘crimes’.  There was only one given 6 weeks, and that was for making the statement about his not disciplining them unless he disciplined the others.  This he said was the worst offense of all because that person was, “Making an accusation against a pastor without witnesses”.  This person was also suspended from coming to church altogether for 3 of the 6 weeks.  
This shunning meant that no one was allowed to greet, talk to, communicate by writing--  phone or email, and not even to make eye contact with those being punished inside or outside the church.  The church was almost 20 years old, and nothing like this had EVER been done, not even to ones who had committed adultery!  It was shocking, disturbing, heart-breaking and appalling all at the same time.
Two of our own children were among the shunned including that one who had spoken the words he declared the worst of all.  We were so caught off guard that we were at a complete loss as to what to do.  We did, at least, leave the choice as to whether or not they would go through with this ‘shunning‘ up to them.  Both felt they had no choice but to do it since they would be banished from their friends and possibly even churched, and they were right.  That’s exactly what would have happened.  
It was on the day the shunning would be announced that my husband went to The Preacher’s office and told him we would be leaving.  The Preacher told him he shouldn’t make that decision in emotional upheaval and should give it 6 months.  Paul loosely agreed to this, and we all endured 6 long weeks of watching our loved ones being shunned by the only church family they had ever known, simply because they talked.
There is much more agonizing detail that I will save for another page which will deal with the shunning itself.  But to end this telling of our story, I will briefly tell what happened in the months before we left.
WE'RE GONE
We actually did not stay for the 6 months.  We only stayed for 3 months because every sermon thereafter was directed at our family.  He ranted and raged about fathers who make wrong choices that cause harm to their families for the rest of their lives.  He ranted and railed about what repentance really is and what it is not.  He railed about (my family) having downcast countenances over being chastened using the passage in Hebrews 12 that says to “Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees..” Then, finally, the sermon that answered our need for affirmation--the notorious Panty Sermon. http://baptisttaliban.blogspot.com/2010/08/shedding-burqa-part-2.html  This one was the last straw.  
My husband reasoned that even if he did agree to 6 months, he did NOT agree to have his family subjected to that kind of abuse from the pulpit.  To his way of thinking, The Preacher negated any agreement by using that time to bully us.
There were two meetings set up between the four of us:  The Preacher, his wife, Paul and me, to discuss our objections to the shunning and then at the second meeting, to discuss how this would affect our family relationship with them.  Each meeting went on for about 5 hours.  
In the meeting about the shunning, The Preacher’s main scriptural defense was that the word “withdrew” was used when Jesus departed from the disciples.  He was separated to the degree that there was no communication with them at all.  This is what he used to decide that shunning was appropriate.  
Then his supporting arguments had to do with how church discipline was administered in the days when the church was persecuted.  He talked about how severe it was and that how since they were persecuted they would have been closer to God, so we should  follow their example.  He said that early churches in America would have “laughed” at the mild way these kids were ‘disciplined’.  
That was the gist of 5 hours of discussion.  At the end of the meeting, he admitted that it was a “judgment call”.
There were obligations that we fully intended to fill before leaving.  There was camp   coming up the next week.  Paul taught at the Institute, and hoped he could continue.  Once The Preacher was convinced that we were leaving and there was no talking us out of it, he told us not to come back.  He said he would handle telling the people, and that he did.  
So, we never came back.  We didn’t say, “Good-bye”.  We simply walked away...  


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzcuYGj3VQI&feature=related