Glad to find this Forum

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    • #4278

      I’m glad people are speaking out about the spiritual abuse that takes place at BT. My wife and I have first hand experience dealing with JC.

      First for all, don’t cross or disagree with JC.  You will feel the full weight of his passive aggressive fury.  My family was part of his “inner circle”. To us he could do no wrong. When he thought my wife and I would be a perfect couple to plant a church in the NYC area he couldn’t have been nicer. He encouraged me to quit my job and come to work at the church and be mentored by the staff. It was weeks later when I found out he never bothered to tell payroll he hired me. He was going to send me to work at an orphanage in Haiti. When I insisted my wife come on the trip it was cancelled. Instead of being mentored or going to staff/pastor meetings I wound up shoveling dog poop off the sidewalk behind the church on Flatbush Ave. as part of my “training” in the maintenance team. “Obedience is the key.”

      When I talked to JC about his oversight/misrepresentation he told me that I had no faith and that “faith” was not calling his phone number when these types of issues came up. He got quite surly and from that point on got very passive aggressive ignoring me whenever he saw my wife and I. He even went so far as to change the telephone number on his private line.

      I watched another family member go through the same ordeal but only after JC convinced them to take out a mortgage on a broken down former pastors house in Brooklyn to use as a ministry building.  The project was a disaster from the start. In the end they left her hanging with tons of repairs and a mortgage she could not afford.

      I talked to several pastors on staff at the time and was told “that’s just his way. He has a problem following through.”

      Fortunately, one of the other Pastors on staff invited us to breakfast. His advice to us was to cut and run as fast as we could. He said JC had no intention of helping us to start a church. Apparently he had a habit of making grand promises, making people feel “special” and then never following through leaving you to feel like you were the problem.

      We cut and run as fast as we could. Family members did the same. That was over 30 years ago and we never looked back. I have no respect for JC or any of those that covered for him. BT has no real accountability structure. JC is the boss and if you don’t like it you are free to hit the door.

      I’m sharing this now after all these years to encourage everyone who has a story (and I know there are many) to share it. I would have been on this forum long ago had I known it existed. The only way the spiritual and all other forms of abuse will stop is if we raise our voices and let our stories be heard.

      Finally, Paul Brewer, I am heartbroken at what you have gone through. I applaud your courage in making your story known. I pray you find justice.

    • #4294

      @wasthere89to91 thank you for your courage and for sharing what you and your wife went through. I am so sorry for the spiritual abuse and manipulation you both suffered. It’s awful. The number of stories of abuse perpetrated at the at the hands of Jim Cymbala are piling up, but you and your wife aren’t merely a statistic. Every single story is so heartbreaking and personal.

      You were fortunate to find a pastor at BT that wasn’t willing to cover for Jim, lie, and encourage you to stay in the spiritual bondage you have described. You got out. And I am glad for you and your wife in that respect. Like so many others, it could have been decades of you and your family missing out on God’s plan and purpose for your life, usurped by Jim’s whims.

      Your topic title is important: “Glad to find this forum.” That is one of the reasons it is so important to spread the word about the topics in this forum. There is healing in community. And there is danger in isolation. I encourage everyone who reads this to text, email, tweet, share this forum. It could be that someone’s spiritual well-being is at stake, having been abused and left alone. There are more victims of one type or another. I know of some of them who have come to me personally. I believe this site has helped them to know they are not alone. Some have shared their stories here. Some are still reeling from their abuse and have chosen to read other’s stories to gain their strength.

      No amount of carefully crafted books can cover the lives torn down and wrecked at the hands of Jim Cymbala. His pattern of behavior will reach a tipping point; and I believe it has. The years of abuse is now and will continue to be exposed. The Church God Blesses will not be the one where the senior pastor is molesting his congregants. No matter what it looks like on the outside.

      For those of you who have the strength, share your story as I have and as this husband @wasthere89to91 has.

      Evil thrives in dark places.

      Pray for the abuse to STOP. Pray for Jesus, whose name is Justice, would intervene. Pray the victims would find safety and healing.

    • #4296

      Thank you for your compassionate response. My time at BT nearly did me in. I was left so desolate toward the end and felt like I had failed God in ministry. My wife and I had a newborn at the time and we had no idea what would happen to us. But God had a plan and after taking a few years we started a ministry that continues to this day..

      The most important thing I found was remembering that JC is just a man. Plain and simple. I experienced and saw    some of the shady and questionable things that went on behind the scenes. God help them all!

      I remember Roberta and I remember how they exploited her testimony. I was in the prayer meeting the night some guy rushed the platform with a gun. I saw a lot and heard a lot. Step out of line and JC would send his pastoral minions to do his dirty work lest someone think badly of him.

      Folks, be assured , if BT hurt you, make it known. Hold them accountable. People may call you divisive, crazy, or they may stop talking to you all together. It’s ok! Truth will win out in the end. Your sanity and mental health is more important than living life in the shadow of manipulative pastors and church leaders. God has a better way for you.

    • #4297

      Happy to hear desolate times at BT turned into thriving on the other side. I love to hear how God comes through!

      You mention Roberta. Such a sad story. 😢 And such a sweet woman. I still have a recording somewhere of her giving her testimony one Sunday. I never knew the cost it took on her until she was gone. So many suffer silently. I suppose in the end, she wasn’t silent. I saw links somewhere on here from the web page she created. I didn’t know how much she pursued exposure and accountability of the abuses and corruption of the Cymbalas and the leadership at BT.

      God sees. God judges us all, and judges leadership all the more.

      We serve an all-knowing God. What is done in secret will be shouted from the rooftops. It’s a spiritual principle they will not be able to escape.

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