I have recently presented evidence against my former church home Grace Fellowship Church (GFC) of Davenport, IA, and the pastor Mike Reid. My concerns are the doctrinal stances of the church. My family worshiped here for nine years, and I served for approximately four years as a Deacon. I have written three articles previously on this church, but the most recent events have included my involvement on the podcast Apologetics Live.
Part 1 – Dangerous Church Doctrines, Mike Reid? You Decide!
Dr. Anthony Silvestro talks with Kevin Jandt to discuss the “pastoring” practices of Mike Reid.
Part 2 – Dangerous Church Doctrines, Mike Reid, Part 2
Dr. Anthony Silvestro talks with Pastor Chuck O’Neil to discuss the “pastoring” practices of Mike Reid.
Part 3 – Dangerous Church Doctrines, Open Q&A
Andrew discusses how to spot tactics of avoiding an issue with Mike Reid for the first several minutes of the show, and then open Q&A with Kevin Jandt the former deacon and long-time church member who agreed to an interview 2 weeks ago, and Pastor Chuck O’Neal.
Part 4 – Dangerous Church Doctrines Exposed with Kevin and Jen Jandt
Anthony will be discussing the teachings, actions, and treatment that Kevin and Jen Jandt received from Mike Reid and GFC.
Part 5 – Dangerous Doctrines of Mike Reid Exposed with Special Guest Pastor Chuck Scott
This will be the first of a series of shows over the next 6-12 months where we interview a former GFC church member or attendee who has decided to come forward and share their experiences and the dangerous doctrines of Mike Reid and his elders at GFC.
Part 6 – Dangerous Church Doctrines, Is Tony Miano in a Cult? You Decide!
This will continue the discussion of Grace Fellowship Church with Pastor Mike Reid. Tony Miano is a member of this church and his website states that all donations to his ministry are to his church. This show will hear Tony in his own words explain the dangers of a cult but many of those dangers are true for his current church with Pastor Mike Reid.
The trail of destruction left in the wake of Grace Fellowship Davenport is deep and wide. In July of 2019, my family moved away from Iowa. In our leaving process, we, along with other former members and attendees of GFC, hosted a going away gathering. There were over 60 in attendance. There was no bashing of GFC. It was to rejoice in what God has done. God set us free from the heavy-handed leadership, from the suppression of joy in the Christian life, and most importantly, God set us free to worship him in Spirit and in Truth. What cannot be denied in this gathering was the amount of destruction in the lives of these people that has occurred at the hands of the leadership. Scripture provides a level of protection to these leaders, in that there must be at least two or three witnesses to establish a charge, yet when you have well over sixty people saying the same thing, the seriousness must not be ignored.
What is essential to establish first is my disagreement, and speaking out, is not intended to make any of these men my enemies. I have hope they will see their errors, repent of their errors, and seek forgiveness from those that have suffered under their leadership, which has systematically hurt people over an extended period.
I’ve written extensively on the problems at Grace Fellowship, and those articles are linked here, and I encourage the reader to examine these claims carefully. Additionally, I have participated in the Apologetics Live podcast to spread this to a wider audience and encourage a full investigation.
Articles, podcasts, and other forms of information abound on the teachings of Mike Reid of Grace Fellowship Church in Davenport, IA, and their elders. I am here to represent my personal experience and those that I know personally.
There are three primary doctrinal issues I will briefly mention here, and then commend the reader to my testimony on Apologetics Live for more detail regarding these practices.
Authoritarian Style Leadership – The leadership style of GFC is authoritarian by nature and by design. Authority is a primary theme in the church. Authority flows out of the eldership; the eldership carries the heavy stick of keeping the sheep in line. The primary text is Hebrews 13:17, and the congregation learns very early on they need to trust the leadership with almost blind loyalty. What they say becomes gospel truth, and therefore, submission becomes the standard by which you are judged. Read more here.
Sin – In order to help control the sheep, the sheep must have a reporting system, and the practical way this works itself out is by calling each other out on sin. The primary text used to support this is Hebrews 10:24. Here the call is to “let us consider how to stir one another to love, and good works,” and the leadership would stress the word stir means a rider spurring his horse. The failure in the exegesis forgets the “love” part of the passage. The church calling to stir one another to “love” and to “good works,” but the effect the spurring has on the congregation is everyone afraid of being called out on some inadvertent sin they may have done. The outworking of this teaching is a fearful and joyless assembly of people that feel as if they live in a fishbowl. Read more here.
Submission – As mentioned under authoritarian leadership is submission to the authority. Submission is discussed ad nauseam, from the pulpit, in private meetings, and in group studies. Hebrews 13:17 can be applied with almost unlimited reach. The design of this submission is to break down the women so they will be entirely subject to their husbands, with almost no voice whatsoever. The long term effects cause the men to be authoritarian in their households. The measuring stick for the men is how submissive their wives appear to be. This has a devastating effect on the women as they strive to please their husbands and, ultimately, the leadership. Read more here.
The ramifications of these teachings are immense. God has designed and called for different roles within a biblical home. Women are to submit to their husbands, AS TO THE LORD. The submission here flows out of love for Christ, not because they fear a heavy-handed authoritarian. Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ loved the church by laying down His life for His bride, and men should do likewise. They should consider the God-given wisdom wives have, that quite frankly, men often will not see.
The podcast I participated in linked here, one of the hosts, Andrew Rappaport presented a list of twelve questions they, and I are seeking for Mike Reid to answer. These are listed below. Please protect the church by asking them to answer these questions if you know them. If not, please pray that truth would prevail.
- Do you meet with women alone on a regular basis?
- Do you ask for details about spousal intimacy?
- Have you ever said “to not trust the elders” is “to not trust God”?
- Have you ever said whatever the elders would counsel you for your life is perfect?
- Have you ever said that GFC is the only true church in the Quad Cities?
- Do you believe the elders have “nearly” unlimited authority in the lives of their congregants?
- Have you said if someone owns a gun, is in the military or police, they have pre-meditated murder in their hearts?
- Do you share details about counseling sessions with other members?
- Did you ever imply that men and women should be able to kiss someone on the lips that is not his/her own spouse?
- Have you ever shared details of your own sexual intimacy with any of the people in your counseling sessions with members of the opposite sex?
- Do you believe you are infallible against sexual immorality?
- By name, what specific pastors, theologians, and/or teachers have condoned the practice of meeting with women alone in counseling sessions?
As Christians, we must strive to be truth seekers. It is my experience the leadership of GFC has swerved from the truth in many areas. My concern is for the future generations growing up in this fundamental style of legalism and abuse and that these children and any future attendees would grow to despise the God that has been twisted by their doctrine. I don’t speak from hatred or malice; only a desire to show God’s glory belongs to Him alone. Not the leaders of GFC or anyone else.