“Never hide things from hardcore thinkers. They get more aggravated, more provoked by confusion than the most painful truths.” ― Criss Jami link
An overview of the ARC church system
Once again, TWW visits the ARC (Association of Related Churches.) We have written a number of posts on this group. If you have not heard of them, it is time you do. This is the most ambitious church planting group in the world today, beating out the SBC and Acts 29 by a long shot. Here are some background posts for new readers.
- Building the ARC – An Overview of this Church Planting Network (History)
- The ARC’s Church of the Highlands Prayer Force Leader’s Guide and Analysis (The removed manual from the next post-demonology)
- Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Demons, Tongues, and Healings at Chris Hodges’ Church of the Highlands (ARC) (Peculiar beliefs)
- A Closer Look at Pastors in the ARC (Leadership structure)
- Pastorcentric: Looking at the ARC and Robert Morris Thru Chris Hodge’s Church of the Highlands (Leadership/beliefs)
- ARC’s Robert Morris: Paul Preached “Under the Influence” (Strange beliefs on the frequent need for demon exorcism)
- Personal Experiences with ARC’s LifeWay Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Concerning questionable basic beliefs)
- Dino Rizzo, Stovall Weems, and Steven Furtick: Banking on the ARC? ( Quickie restoration for Rizzo who housed his mistress in an apartment while a pastor.)
That should get you started or at least get you to understand that any story about the ARC at TWW will most likely be filled with oddities and concerns. This post is no different.
You, too, can learn to be an ARC church planter in one weekend.
One of our alert readers picked up on this interesting fact. It is important to understand their methods because the subject of today's discussion involves an ARC church plant.
GIVE US 2 DAYS – AND WE WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO START A LIFE-GIVING CHURCH
ARC Launch Training Events center around two days of teaching, equipping and covers the nuts and bolts of church planting. In this training, you will hear from successful church planters, have Q&A discussion panels, and also build relationships with others that share your passion to start a church.
ARC Launch Training is also available to those starting a new campus for an existing church, as well as for existing churches that simply want to learn the ARC model. So whether you’re planting a church, starting a new campus, or looking to strengthen your existing church, ARC Launch Training is available to you. Below you will find a list of upcoming ARC Launch Training events for you to choose from. The cost is $599 per couple.
Quick overview of ARC theology
These thoughts are what I have gleaned from reading a number of their websites. I will link to one of them today. They are most definitely not Calvinists. They are heavy on the gifts of the Spirit, believing in a second spirit baptism. They also are really into demons- exorcizing them regularly and multiple times from people as well as doing *prayer walks* to get rid of them in communities. After TWW featured their *Prayer Force manual*, it was removed from public view but I have reposted it above. Always download copies and take screen shots of weird stuff.
On a positive note: The Dream Centers serve the communities.
A Dream of Changing Lives
Dream Center is a volunteer-driven organization that finds and fills the needs of over 40,000 individuals and families through approximately 70,000 encounters each month, with many accessing multiple services.
We do this through mobile hunger relief and medical programs, residential rehabilitation programs adults, a shelter for victims of human trafficking, transitional housing for homeless families, foster care intervention programs, job skills training, life skills, counseling, basic education, Bible studies and more. We work to meet people where they are at, to bring them hope and a way off the streets.
We’re also equipping others to serve. The Dream Center’s record of success has attracted urban missionaries and Christian leaders from across the U.S. and the world. As they volunteer with us, they gain insight and skills that they can take back to their own communities.
In this way, more than 100 independent Dream Centers have been launched nationally, as well as internationally. Many more churches and ministries have become more effective as we teach those who give their time and talent to do what we do. Many who once needed our services also go on to help others.
What are the beliefs of Building Church, Madison (Huntsville) AL-the subject of today's post?
Here is a link to the beliefs page. As you can see, they have a charismatic bent along with an apparent belief in some form of the health and wealth gospel. Here are a couple of examples from that page. Also here is a screen shot to prove they are part of the ARC system.
JESUS CHRIST INDWELLS ALL BELIEVERS
Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him, thus making Jesus both the Lord and the Savior of their lives. They put their trust in what Jesus accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead (John 1:12; John 14:17, 23; John 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelations 3:20).
BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
Given at Pentecost, it is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His Ascension, to empower the Church to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth (Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6).
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The Bible's list of these gifts is not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of biblical parameters (Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11,12 :4-8; Ephesians 4:16; II Timothy 1:5-16, 4:14; I Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; I Peter 4:10).
HEALING OF THE SICK
Healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus, and included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. It is given as a sign, which is to follow believers. It is also a part of Jesus' work on the Cross and one of the gifts of the Spirit (Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; I Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29)
GOD'S WILL FOR PROVISION
It is the Father's will for believers to become whole, healthy and successful in all areas of life. But because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God's will while on Earth. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ's provision in order to better serve others.
1. Spiritual (John 3:3-11; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10).
2. Mental and Emotional (II Timothy 1:7, 2:11; Philippians 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3).
3. Physical (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:17; I Peter 2:24).
4. Financial (Joshua 1:8; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 34:10, 84:11; Philippians 4:19).
What in the world happened to David Pursifull, senior pastor of Building Church.
A reader who once attended this church alerted us to the following statement on the church's website. Read it carefully. See if you figure out what happened. I have a few ideas but no firm answers at this point. This has to be one of the more bizarre church resignation statements I have read. I've highlighted a few things that jumped out at me.
For those of you who haven't gotten caught up on ARC lingo, the Overseers is a group of ARC leaders who flew in for the occasion and determined *what would happen.* Restoration is their byline. They restored Dino Rizzo very quickly which you can read about that in the above links.
Overseer Statement Building Church – January 1, 2017
“It is with great difficulty we announce a leadership transition for Building Church. The founding pastor, David Pursifull, has offered his resignation to the Board of Overseers.
David has had a 9 year tenure at Building Church. He and his wife Stephanie have brought the church from a small start-up to a portable location to a permanent location. We thank them for their vision, their hard work, and their devotion in raising up a powerful church plant in Huntsville.
The opening of the new building in May of 2016 evidently had a very far-reaching effect on Pastor David. Though he was excited, he began to collapse inwardly, emotionally and spiritually. This often happens when a person has become physically exhausted and spiritually spent.
The subsequent fallout of this collapse exposed some deep issues in Pastor David’s marriage. These issues reached back almost 20 years. They came to a head recently and were observed by both staff members and members of their own family.
As Pastor David’s marriage entered a crisis, he became attracted to an innocent church member. There was no physical contact between them. However, David’s actions toward this individual made it clear he had become infatuated with her mentally and emotionally. The church member contacted the appropriate authorities to report David’s indiscretion toward her. We repeat that she was, and is, totally innocent in regard to David’s issue.
David and Stephanie have been in marriage counseling with a Spirit- filled local therapist for a number of weeks. The overseers consulted with this therapist and interviewed a number of staff members and core leaders. It became clear that David is not able to continue in a leadership capacity. His personal life and family life must be totally rebuilt. He must come into alignment with pastoral accountability.
Effective today, January 1, 2017, David is tendering his resignation. The overseers are placing he and Stephanie into an extended weekly marriage therapy program that will last indefinitely. A new interim pastor, Pat Perkins, is being installed.
The overseers search will begin immediately for a new senior pastor or church that will help Building Church move to the next level. Pastor Pat, the overseers, and other guest speakers will fill the pulpit during this important search process.
We regret that leaders are human and flawed. Their humanity always disappoints people. The goal of all leaders is to be, as the Scriptures say, a “vessel of honor.” We continue to show our love and support to David and Stephanie until their marriage is restored and a new life and ministry can begin for them in another location.”
Letter from David and Stephanie Pursifull Building Church – January 1, 2017
Building Church Family,
Stephanie and I want to let you know that over the last month we have been praying and talking with our Overseers and Pastor concerning our future at Building Church. We both feel that it is time for us to step aside as Lead Pastors. Stephanie and I need a break to recharge, focus on our family and also prepare for the next season of our ministry. Our Pastor and Board of Overseers have been extraordinarily helpful to us and we are so grateful for them.
I want to apologize to you for letting you down as your pastor. I realize I have made some mistakes that will require a time of restoration. I am truly sorry for any hurt this brings to you and your family.
Building Church will remain under amazing leadership and will continue to impact and reach our community. We are so grateful for each of you and your many years of labor reaching and loving people in our community. It has truly been an honor to serve you and serve with you. We love you all deeply and you will forever be in our heart! Thank you for letting us be part or your life. Thank you for praying for us as we step into our next season of ministry. We love and honor you all.
Forever grateful! David and Stephanie
- What did Pursifull do to that innocent church member that was not physical contact but required a report to authorities?
- Were the authorities that were mentioned law enforcement?
- What is meant by developing an infatuation?
- Was he stalking this individual or doing something else equally creepy?
- What happened 20 years ago in his marriage that affected his actions today?
- Was an agreement made with the victim which caused the Overseers to emphatically state she was innocent?
- Why are the overseers already talking about restoration?
- Why do they mention ministry in a separate location?
- Do you think they already have plans for where Pursifull's next position will be?
- What do they mean by a *spirit filled* therapist?
- Do they plan to do the demon exorcism stuff?
- Did the devil make him do it?
- Why is the word *sin* not mentioned instead of the word *mistakes?*
- Pursifull himself seems to believe he is going to a new ministry so is this a done deal?
- How do they know that he is not a man with a serious mental illness?
- Pursifull seems to pat himself on the back by saying the church will *remain* under amazing leadership?
Pursifull holds a leadership position within Surge Project
What is the Surge?
The Surge Project
Surge is a part of a new paradigm in missions. Beginning in the early 90’s, we have seen a sharp turn in world missions. In the traditional outreach model of the past, missions organizations focused on sending people into remote parts of the world to preach the Good News. Although this model met with success, the obstacles posed by differences in language, culture, and distance made this model relatively slow and expensive. There is now a concentration on partnering with key apostolic leaders in the nations of the world. The emphasis is on investing in these leaders and helping them to train and send new leaders to reach the lost in their part of the world.
The paradigm of world missions has shifted from sending individuals across the world to evangelize, to partnering with established leadership to prepare and send church planters into the harvest. This model is being reproduced worldwide. Our strategy is to mobilize and train the local leadership willing and able to take the Gospel to their own people. Surge has accepted the task of training and partnering financially to help send these national workers into the harvest field.
The Surge Project, first and foremost, is intricately connected with the ARC. Chris Hodges is de facto supreme overseer of ARC.
Pursifull is still listed as part of the leadership for the church planting effort for Central America. (Special thanks to Cobber for this info.)
In a book, The Surge: A Global Church-Planting Initiative, written by Larry Stockwell, the leader of the Surge Project, this is what is said about Pursifull and his wife. (Thanks again to Cobber)
Why does any of this extra stuff matter?
I believe that David Pursifull did something highly creepy and scared someone so badly that reports to authorities were made. It is my opinion that the statement by the ARC Overseers stressed the innocence of the victim due to the involvement of authorities and, perhaps, lawyers. I predict that Pursifull, like Dino Rizzo before him, will be sent for a nice long rest in Hawaii on the ARC dime which is provided to the tithers who would most likely not be sent to Hawaii if they had problems. He will then, like Rizzo, be moved into a position of leadership immediately so that he can continue his work with the ARC. And they will work like maniacs to conceal what Pursifull did.
TWW hopes some brave soul at Building Church will tell the real story of David Pursifull. Also, be prepared for him to be back in some form of ARC leadership inside of 6 months.