July 2001, by a former member of The Door Christian Fellowship
I am a former member of The Door Christian Fellowship in Tucson, Arizona. In 1981 I accepted Christ as my savior at a park conference in Tucson. I started going to The Door and eventually met my husband there and was married by Pastor Harold Warner. I received excellent teaching in some areas, but others left a lot of concern in my heart.
We were members for 10 years and gave our tithes and offerings faithfully. But when a situation came up in which we needed help, there was none. But this wasn’t the reason we left. I had a close friend who learned that her husband was molesting her daughter. He was arrested and given a court order to stay away from the child. The husband continued to attend the church and out of concern for the child, I talked to the pastor. His response was, “Well, John (made up name) was not the only guilty party here.” I didn’t care who the “guilty party” was. My concern was the victim, an innocent child, who deserved to be protected from her predator! There was no support offered to the mother of this child and she ended up suicidal. I took the child into our home and raised her.
The focus of The Door ministry was often to send out people to start more churches, but in the meanwhile, our own church was overlooked. Another of my friends also learned that her husband had been molesting their children and even manipulating the scriptures with a child to do so. This man was likewise allowed to continue to attend.
I guess the biggest thing I saw was when women came to “headship” for help they were told that they were too emotional and just needed to get behind their husbands. I saw the needs of families neglected in the name of “commitment to Jesus.”
We were led to believe that we were to stay in the church where we got saved at that if we didn’t we were in “rebellion.” When I left I struggled with things like this in my mind for a long time.
I read through your Web site about pastors I used to hear preach at The Door and how they have since left . That helps me to see that the problem was not with me. There are some good biblical truths that are taught at The Door, but the biggest deception is to think you are “the place” and that you are “the best.”
I called Pastor Warner once to ask his advice about a certain situation as a result of a church split in my area. His comment to me was that my problem was that I was spoiled at The Door. For years I witnessed them speak negatively from the pulpit about other ministries and how that there is no place like this place so this must be “the place.” This seemed to me the height of spiritual pride, very destructive to the Body of Christ at large and it puts up fences, barriers and divisions.
From all that I have read, the walls are now forming within their own fellowship amongst one another. It is my prayer that they are not devoured by this, that they learn to have love for one another and that the world may know they are of God. Without love we have nothing.
Today my husband and I are a part of a small church where we are growing, learning more and experiencing healing in our lives. Our pastor here is truly a man that has shown a heart of mercy and forgiveness towards people. He hates the controlling spirit, which is prevalent in some churches today. We are truly free to express ourselves and to be open and honest without the fear of being rejected. I am very thankful for that.
I just wanted to share my testimony and to that there is truly life outside of the walls of The Door Christian Fellowship!