In 2017 I received a flyer from the pastors son (who I’ll call Jake) The first service my mom and I attended I noticed there were no crosses hung up on the walls of the church, only earth symbols and three large portraits of three elderly men they called their “founding fathers” which I thought was odd but brushed it off. After attending the church service with my mom, Jake began flirting with me from day one. Staring at me during church services, looking at where my bra would be when I wore a dress, etc…. I ended up developing a crush on Jake because the flirting had been going on for months at the church and adult outings. It was to the pointed I was waiting for him to ask me to be his girlfriend. Elle, Jake’s younger sister and I were hanging out one day and she proudly told her friend and I that Jake had finally asked a girl he had been talking to for a long time to be his girlfriend. I was shocked and hurt, I stayed quiet however not wanting to draw any attention to the situation. The church services continued and so did the rules. No crosses, no wearing crosses, jewelry had to be little to none as well as makeup. Piercings and tattoos were a sin and if you had either you needed to take out the piercings and cover your tattoos. Heels had to be “kitten heels” and no taller, dresses and skirt were to be worn and only to come below the knee and to the ankle. You could only talk to people who went to The Potter’s House churches and only date within the church, dating had to be nine months and at the end of nine months you could either break up with that person or you had to get married. Women had to sing at the back of church, men could sing in the front, women had to ask the men for permission before singing for speaking solo. Tv and social media of any kind were said to be a sin and since we were “not of this world” we couldn’t do the things of the world. Elle had sent me a text one day asking me if I wanting to go out to eat, I agreed. When I went outside to get in her little blue car with tinted windows, I saw the figure of two people in the front seats so I got in the back. Jake was driving and Elle and her mom we’re in the back seats. Jake turned around giving me a very smug smile, a blonde girl smiled happily turning around and sticking her hand out for me to shake, she introduced herself to me as Jake’s girlfriend. I was completely stunned and I felt as if I had been ambushed but I shook her hand and remained polite. During the entire time at the restaurant I was horribly uncomfortable, Jake had continued staring flirtatiously at me throughout the entire time even with his new girlfriend sitting right beside him. I wondered how no one else noticed this. This had gone on for months after, when Jake’s girlfriend would come into town he would continue flirting with me and looking me up and down during the church services, it made me feel upset and disgusted. One day Elle sent me a message in a group text, it was a video of Jake proposing to his girlfriend and her saying yes. I cried from being so frustrated and hurt at Jake. I didn’t understand why he continued to flirt with me, I didn’t understand why I had developed feelings for him, and I didn’t understand why it felt like he had lead me on for months and months only to get a girlfriend and continue this flirting that now made me feel awful. Eventually, I began to distance myself from Jake and everyone at the church, I stopped going to adult outings because I could no longer mentally handle Jake’s stares and flirtatious comments toward me while his fiancé was around and his mom constantly talking to me about her daughter in law. I stopped texting and all together contacting the members of the church after they began harassing me through text messages for months on end. The other members that weren’t verbally harassing me would show up at my house inviting me to adult outings with them which I declined. Eventually, they’ve left me alone altogether but I still occasionally see them around town. There are many other things that happened while I went to that church but it would take paragraphs to write. Do not go to The Potter’s House, they are a cult.
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