Singleton, Russell, Lesa, Lora & Jeffrey

Dear friends and family, 

We are writing to let you know that we will no longer be attending meetings or having them in our home. This decision was not made easily or in haste. Our families have been in this fellowship for three generations. We have believed in this way all of our lives. That has made this an incredibly difficult decision for us, but we feel guided by what we believe is a clear call from God.

 It has been a year since things have come to light regarding child sexual abuse and sexual abuse in this fellowship. At first it was a distant problem in another part of the country that didn’t affect us. Then we gradually learned of quite a few (approximately 20) people that are very close relatives and friends we know personally that have suffered horrible sexual abuse as children at the hands of workers. 

Our initial anger has turned into deep disappointment by the continued lack of acknowledgement and by the willingness to cover it up and go on as if this hasn’t been happening for decades. We feel hurt by the ministry’s dismissal of our family and friends’ accounts of abuse as lies. 

We no longer believe in the exclusivity of this way and that this ministry is the only way to God. Nor do we accept all the dogma and “traditions of men” by which some measure righteousness and determine worthiness. We are also concerned about the lack of financial transparency and the mistreatment of some workers by their companions and overseers. We have learned of immoral behaviors by those that we hold to a higher standard because of their calling and position, and we feel the refusal to address these matters with compassion and honesty is unacceptable. 

Our conviction is stronger than ever that salvation is not by works but is only through faith in Jesus, the price that was paid for us, and by God’s boundless love and grace. We have appreciated the fellowship in our meetings, but since we can’t support the leadership of the ministry and would hesitate to invite anyone to meetings (especially in light of FBI involvement), then we feel we can’t in good conscience continue attending. 

To our meeting, we want to assure you that our decision is unrelated to any of you.  We love you all and have greatly appreciated our friendship and fellowship. We hope to remain friends with everyone, but we feel that continued attendance supports the leadership and the doctrine that is promoted.

With love for all, 

Russell, Lesa (Gates), Lora & Jeffrey Singleton
Sumter, South Carolina USA
March 6, 2024