Henderson, Amber

Dear friends and family,

I’m writing this now after a lot of time, consideration, prayer, and tears. As much as it grieves me to write these words, I feel very strongly that I need to make my feelings known.

The revelations of the past eight months have been incredibly disturbing, and although it hasn’t shaken my faith in God’s righteousness, it has very much shaken my trust in the ministry and meetings as a whole. The curtain fell, and some very alarming truths were revealed about abominable things that have been allowed to fester within our church. Despite my initial disgust and horror, I resisted the urge to make a rash decision, and decided to give church leadership an opportunity to take biblical action, repent, and make changes to prevent these evils from happening again. However, there has been a deafening silence, minimal effort to change, and already a push for things to go “back to normal.” But “normal” wasn’t what we believed it to be. “Normal” meant the most vulnerable among us being terrorized.

The scripture is explicitly clear about God’s thoughts on the safety and protection of children (Matt 18; Luke 18; Mark 9, etc.). There is absolutely nothing that should be prioritized over a child’s spiritual, mental, and physical safety – especially not the preferences of abusers. If the safety of a child isn’t prioritized in meetings, how can the Spirit of a Child within me feel safe? How can I one day stand before the throne of God, speechless, when He asks, “Did you love and protect the least of these?”, knowing that I willfully turned a blind eye to as they were abused, manipulated and harmed? No, I cannot have peace with God under the leadership of men who are complacent with the care and safety of God’s little ones.

My decision to leave is not so much due to the shock that these things happened in the first place – I’m not naive enough to be surprised that evil people might permeate a church body seeking access to the vulnerable. However, I am shaken and betrayed by the lack of biblical response by men who profess to be led by the Spirit and the scriptures. The events that have transpired since March have shattered my former belief that these men are, as they claim to be, true servants and ministers of God. I do believe there are a few honest souls among them, and it pains me to imagine their heartbreak. However, I feel I can no longer be complicit with or supportive of the decisions being made in the name of Jesus that clearly violate the most basic fundamental principles that He taught. Ultimately, I no longer have peace in meetings.

There are elements of meetings that are still dear to my heart. I have a deep love for many of the friends, and I want to be clear that I don’t harbor resentment toward those who remain in this fellowship. I sincerely hope that I might preserve those relationships and continue to have friendship and fellowship outside of the structure of meetings. I am happy to discuss my decision in more detail, and I hope you are comfortable asking questions if you have them. It grieves me to know there are relationships that may be severed due to this decision, but I’ve realized I must ultimately follow my peace with God, because without Him I am nothing.

In love,

Amber (Ford) Henderson
Wasilla, Alaska
December 8, 2023