I’m a former member of Grace Fellowship Church in Davenport, IA. The current church home of Tony Miano.
Sunday, February 4th, 2018, my family and I walked out of the doors of Grace Fellowship Church (GFC) of Davenport, Iowa, for the last time. We had been members there for nine years, but it was time for us to go. It is never an easy decision to leave a church; at least it shouldn’t be. Leaving a church should never be done in haste or without legitimate reasons and contemplation. We had come to the end of the line, and I had made a firm decision my family’s spiritual health, among other things were at stake.
Of course, you don’t just leave a place like GFC. Ultimately it ended in our ex-communication, more about that here. You know the sin of leaving a church. After all, it is far more egregious than protecting the ones you love the most. There is a lot to be said, and I’ve said a lot about GFC in the last couple of years, but it didn’t come easy for me. I had first to try and figure out what are the issues there. In the almost three years since our departure, the fog has lifted, the education has been valuable, and I can see with a much clearer vision the issues at hand. I’m grateful to Striving for Eternity and how they’ve provided a broader voice to what I could do independently. The podcasts have provided voices to those hurt by GFC, and there are almost too many to count.
I write today to confront an issue. It is one of hypocrisy, and I dare say Scripture twisting, that requires confrontation. I’m sure it’s an issue of grasping at some disappearing straw that once had tremendous hopes and dreams.
Tony Miano has hitched his wagon to Grace Fellowship Church in such a way that it is complicated for him to pull back now. He moved his family from California to Iowa, hoping that GFC was the place he dreamed it would be, but he found himself in an evaporating pool of support and controversy in reality. Tony recently published an article titled Something to Think About: God Hates Divorce in the Church.
I have written a more extensive response to Tony’s article here, which I view has two significant problems. Tony’s hypocrisy in leaving his previous church, Grace Community Church, and his treatment of the Malachi 2:16, drawing a comparison between the statement, “God hates divorce” and comparing divorce to leaving a church.
Tony’s article comes upon the heels of increased pressure on him and GFC. The Apologetics Live podcasts recently highlighted the Church of Wells’s expose as a cult and comparing it to Grace Fellowship. All those podcasts have links in my previous article here.
In Tony’s own words, he describes what he is now a part of, and not only a part of, but a supporter, evangelist, and apologist for Mike Reid and the Church of Davenport. I do not doubt that Tony feels the pressure as support has dwindled. Many of Tony’s former friends and associations ask questions but are promptly blocked or unfriended for their inquiries.
I must declare publicly, as I have before, that I don’t desire to hurt Tony, GFC, Mike Reid, or any of my former friends, people that I love at GFC. Unfortunately, I’m sure they view this as a personal attack against them rather than standing for the truth and the distortion of that truth that occurs in this church’s walls. Instead, I seek reconciliation, healing, and repentance. That must come with an acknowledgment of the wrongdoings that have hurt so many that once attended GFC. Tony understood this when he did his interviews against Wells, and sadly he isn’t making the connection.