To our dear friends,
I am writing to let you know that Kelly and I are separating ourselves from this religion that we have known for our lifetimes as “The Truth” and “The Way”. We have spent a lot of time in prayer, searching Scripture, and meditation about this decision. It is not a decision we have made in haste, and it has not been an easy decision to make. We will no longer host meetings in our home.
During the past several months we have been moved to question and consider very deeply, “what is our faith and trust really in?” Our faith and trust has never been more firm that our salvation is only made possible by the shed blood of Jesus that washed away our sin and by the grace and love of God.
We were taught from our youth that this religion was God’s only true way on the earth and that professing and going to meeting was our only hope of salvation. We were taught that the workers went out preaching the Gospel according to Scripture. We no longer hold these things to be true.
When the news of Dean Bruer’s life reached us, we were shocked. When the news of Leslie White (Kelly’s uncle) reached us, we were appalled and embarrassed. As it has come to light how far spread Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Abuse, emotional abuse, and immorality have been in this religion, and how many years these issues have persisted, I feel greatly betrayed by many that I have revered and trusted from my youth.
Knowing that this religion is not God’s only true way in the earth, but rather a religion constructed by man, we cannot in good conscience be a part of something where so many in trusted positions have committed such atrocities (many of them criminal) and others have hidden these crimes and allowed them to continue. We respect those who are fervently praying that God will cleanse this religion; however, we feel a very strong call from the Lord to separate ourselves from it and to just follow Jesus.
We appreciate so much the fellowship we have enjoyed and the encouragement we have received in our little meeting over the past 32+ years. We have had an open home for the workers for our 43 years of marriage. Our home will continue to be open to any of our friends that would like to come for a visit, fellowship, or to study the Bible together. Our home will be open to any workers who either choose to separate themselves from the ministry or are forced out because they choose to stand for what is right and true.
To the elders copied on this letter – we would appreciate it if you would each share with your church as we do not have email contacts for everybody in Maine.
As Kelly put it, “Our love for you is huge”. We appreciate the help from all of you through the years. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We are open to discuss this decision should any of you have questions.
With love and care for each of you,
Brad & Kelly Graves
Sent on September 21, 2023, to Barry Barkley, Ray Hoffmann, Mark King; all of the elders in Maine, our meeting, our families, and several other close friends.