Doucette-Dickson, Denise

To: Overseer Titus Lehman and Sister worker Mary Weeda:

For me, this past year has been a disastrous one of disillusionment and depression. I open this letter with a grieving heart. My sense of loss is profound: as if I am suffering the death of a close loved one. This church has been the embodiment of my relationship with God and Jesus for approximately 30 years. So, I guess it makes sense I am mourning.

Initially, I was shocked regarding Dean Bruer’s betrayal. Next came the outpouring of reports of thousands of cases of Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault amidst us, combined with a myriad of cover-ups. In response, I mustered hope that our ministry would unite to set a repentant and corrective course.

For my part, I acted to assist the ministry by providing numerous consultations and professional training to the workers on The Nature of Sexual Perpetrators. The training provided up-to-date research, timely criminal justice information, case examples, and a plan for a functional path forward to protect victims and appropriately manage perpetrators.

Sadly, it appears that the preservation of power and money, coupled with saving face, are more important to this church’s leadership than is God’s written word. The corruption, aligned with false doctrine (which created a foundation for the sexual abuse and subsequent cover-ups), specifically demonstrates how they manipulate the fellowship.

The manner in which the ministry operates makes for an unsafe environment for existing victims and future victims. In hindsight, it is now obvious that our hospitality has been an open invitation for members of this ministry to savage the most vulnerable amongst us. The ministry’s protection of predators, both pedophiles and rapists, is nothing short of nefarious. While retaining legal counsel is a logical, worldly approach, it is the opposite of electing to be victim centered and striving to hold criminals accountable.

Some in leadership have suggested that in lieu of a formal CSA/SA policy, we should apply Matthew 18 as protocol for addressing the sex offenders in this church. Undoubtedly, they are not advocating for us to gather millstones, so they must be referring, in part, to Matthew 18:15-17. This would indicate that a victim is expected to confront their assailant! This suggestion is the very opposite of trauma informed care! This scripture is for informal and civil matters, not criminal matters. Again, genuine care for the victim is non-existent.

Matthew 18:21-35 addresses forgiveness. That is the victim’s prerogative, in their time, if ever. These “guidelines” speak nothing of perpetrator accountability, authentic repentance, nor reduced perpetrator meeting privileges for victim safety.

I am not the first person, and undoubtedly will not be the last, that has left this church due to the ministry’s mishandling of sexual crimes, financial dealings, and poor decision making. Speaking truth to power, while bold, is costly. * But Jesus paid the ultimate cost on the cross for our sins.

* A pastor once said: “All we bring to our salvation is our sin.” It’s not the good works, nor which group or church we go to — it’s what Christ did for us on the cross.”

My greatest desire is to walk in an integral manner within God’s will and way. Thus, I hereby tender my resignation from membership within this church. For my conscience, if I were to remain, I would be complicit in supporting the corruption of harming existing victims and future victims.

Before all of this crisis came to light, I was very content. But since my eyes have been painfully pried open, I cannot choose to turn a blind eye now.

Lastly, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the open homes that I have had the privilege to meet in.


Denise Doucette-Dickson
(*Updated July 6, 2024)