Olson, Gordon & Megan

Dear Friends & Family,

We want to preface this letter by saying that we love you. We do not judge those who choose to remain within the fellowship. You will always hold a special place in our hearts and, if you choose to remain there, in our lives. Never in a million years did we imagine that we would find ourselves writing this letter. But here we are. We are not bitter. We are not leaving because we stopped praying. Or because we have stopped reading our bible. Or because we are turning away from Jesus. Rather, we feel that our eyes have been opened. We are disappointed and brokenhearted.

Almost a year ago, the death of Dean Bruer began to expose the crisis of abuse within this church. He was just the tip of the iceberg. Mounting evidence of widespread child sexual assault, sexual assault, psychological abuse, spiritual gaslighting, financial dishonestly, false doctrine, and more have been revealed with each passing week. Now, over 700 perpetrators (40% workers) and thousands upon thousands of victims have been reported and an unprecedented FBI investigation (on child sexual assault within THIS fellowship — yes, THIS fellowship) was announced on Feb 21″, 2024.

In the beginning, we believed that child sexual assault was a black and white issue; that the overseers would deal with it decidedly and immediately. They did not. And they still have not. In fact, the silence is deafening. The lack of meaningful change over the past 11 months, the lack of transparent, proactive, or honest communication from the ministry, and the lack of compassion for wounded souls has been heartbreaking and deeply concerning.

Unless things within the fellowship change drastically, we cannot continue to support this church and its leadership. Of course, no church is perfect. But criminal activity of such a vile nature, spiritual indifference and complicity within the fellowship, and the safety of our children is where we draw the line. This was not a sudden decision, but one made with much meditation, deliberation, countless tears, and desperate prayers. We have peace in this choice, confident that Jesus is leading us out of this form and into true fellowship with Him.

Where do we go from here? If you would like to remain connected with us, please feel free to reach out. We can talk together about our choice if you’re comfortable, or not if you aren’t. As fellow Christians, we would love to continue friendship and fellowship with you outside of meetings and conventions.

However, despite a church that professes the love of Christ, we recognize the culture of exclusivity within meetings and some peoples’ discomfort with associating with people “outside.” We understand that everyone is on a personal journey. Feel free to reach out when you are ready. We won’t pester you, if you’re not. Thank you to those who have already reached out in kindness and care.

Also, if you are a victim of abuse, please know that you are not alone. If you are a worker trapped with an abusive companion, please know that you are not alone. We believe you and stand with you.

Advocates For the Truth (www.advocatesforthetruth.com) is working with law enforcement to give voice, protection, and justice to survivors. Please contact AFTT at 1-503-334-6866 if you need help or need to report a past or present crime. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading.

With sincere love and sorrow,

Gordon & Megan Olson
March 6, 2024