A.C.E., Childhood, Education, United Pentecostal Church

A.C.E. Education

The church of my childhood had an A.C.E. school. Accelerated Christian Education. They were big about being in the world but not of the world and so they tended towards isolationism. We never interacted or socialized with people who were not in the UPC church. So it made sense to them that they should have their own school to further ensure isolation. I entered that school with so much hope and soon found out it was nothing like I was expecting. While in public school I excelled at pretty much everything. I was a very bright student and always received good grades. I never had any behavior issues and I enjoyed learning. I left that school with a crushed spirit and believing that I was not very bright.

Below is a link to an article explaining how A.C.E. works along with some photos.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/2014/12/01/how-bad-can-christian-education-get-this-bad/

These schools have a pretty bad track record for traumatizing kids. There are support groups and FB pages where you can go to get support if you attended one of these awful schools.

What I remember most about being at Calvary Gospel Christian Academy is the loneliness. We were required to spend most of our day sitting in a tiny office with slates on either side. You had very little human contact, it was a bit like solitary confinement. My mind would drift to just about anything to take me away from my lonely situation. I am a kinesthetic learner. So reading all day to learn and never having any experiences or debates/discussions did not work for me. I did pretty well from an educational standpoint until I hit algebra. Algebra was misery for me. We had no teachers, and you were expected to figure it out from reading the booklet (PACE) you were given and then work through the problems. The problem I had with that was that none of it made sense to me. I would call a monitor (an adult who was supposed to help you) over to my office for help and usually, it would all end with me in tears and erasing holes into my Paces.

A big problem with these schools is that none of the people working there are required to have a teaching degree. They might have taken algebra in high school but that doesn’t mean they have any idea how to teach it. The adults would get frustrated because they did not know how to teach and that would roll down on the students. Not understanding algebra meant taking the class over and over. It was a nightmare. We had to get an 80% to pass. I would often clock in at 76% and be told to start over. They would send me home with whatever I could not finish in school, this did not help, no one in my home knew how to work these problems. I would return the next day with unfinished work and then be given demerits. These demerits meant you did something wrong. I would have to stay at my office while everyone else went out for recess. I would be punished for weeks at a time for not understanding what they could not teach. These adults knew I was trying but only one of them ever took compassion on me. The elementary school kid’s supervisor came to my office one time and told me to just go out with the other kids, she also helped me some with the algebra. She wasn’t a great teacher but she showed me some empathy and for that I am grateful. Those long stretches without even recess to look forward are really depressing to think about even now. Because I could not get algebra higher science was almost impossible. So then I was struggling with two subjects. On a side note, I went to public high school for my last year of school and I passed algebra with a B+. My algebra teacher told me I just needed to be shown other ways to look at it. He was a good teacher and helped to restore some of my confidence.

I was never spanked in school but other kids were. Spankings seemed to be more of an issue if you were a poor kid or child of color. I knew the score and I find it hard to believe no one else could sense it. Every part of the day was highly regimented. There was no time for asking questions or free thinking. The Bible was the main literature book. We never read any classics or really anything except for the dreaded Pilgrim’s Progress. I went to the library in my free time and read all sorts of contraband. Going to the library was frowned upon, why do you need anything other than the Bible? In order to make the honor roll we had to memorize long passages of scripture, and them repeat them to our supervisor. Some of these were passages were out of Song of Solomon and other weird sexual verses. It was embarrassing reading them out loud together and then having to repeat them to a grown adult man. I often wonder if he picked some of those passages just to make the girls squirm. The UPC is full of perverts so it would not surprise me.

I was in my late 20’s before I realized that I had received a lousy education. The history I learned was tainted with a fundamentalist view so I had to search out the truth. Even my grammar education was lacking. I struggle to this day because my grammar skills just are not as strong as other people’s. Science was from a Biblical point of view not based on fact. I had read none of the classics and had received no geography education. All that being true I have managed to educate myself as an adult. I am a curious person so when I don’t know the answer to something I search for it. I have a love for science which is a miracle considering where I came from.

As a side note, all the adults in my school knew about what Steve Dahl did to me and it was completely ignored.

My Christian school education is a deep well of pain and I’m sure it will come up again. This is just the surface. Do any of you have negative A.C.E experiences?

D

 

Childhood, Holiness Standards, United Pentecostal Church

Holiness Standards

The UPC church is famous for their holiness standards. When I was young (70’s and 80’s) the standard was for women to only wear dresses or skirts, culottes for gym class. You had to have uncut hair and that meant no trims or going to the hair salon. We were not allowed to wear any makeup or nail polish. We were to be “shamefaced.” Jewelry was not allowed except for a wedding ring and a watch. There is more but I would be here all day if I really went into it.

Once I had my salvation experience I embraced this standard with gusto! It was expected, you could lose your salvation if you deviated from these standards. This made me very worried about my mother. She did not embrace their standards, although she would never wear pants to church. That was a leftover standard from her childhood. Because she had short hair most of the time she became the target of gossip within the church and the other ladies did not approve of her. This made my life harder, we were in but not all the way in. My mother felt their judgment and felt bad about it, I don’t know why she did not comply all the way. She had a stubborn streak so it may be as simple as that.

We were very poor. My mother often worked two jobs and my dad never paid child support. My step-dad was disabled so he wasn’t bringing much income in. It did not take long for these holiness standards to become a problem within my family. My mother landed an amazing job driving the city bus in our town. She did not have a college degree and so she struggled to find a good job. When she landed the job with the city that was a big deal! It meant union wages and insurance. There was one big issue with her taking that job. She had to wear pants as part of the uniform. Now she wore pants in her daily life, but for some reason when people found out she was taking this job it became a huge issue. People knew that you could not wear a skirt on that job and they were very critical of her. Some went so far as to tell her she would go to hell for taking the job. My mother took the job because we needed the money and benefits, and so the church never looked at her the same after that. I remember one kind woman, she was also working poor, who told my mother she wore pants to her job too. She told my mother she was doing the right thing by taking the job, that woman was the lone voice of support.

I started the 6th grade right after my salvation experience and I was devoted to wearing skirts or dresses to school every day. I did wear shorts in gym class because that was a required uniform and my mother would not make a fuss about it on my behalf. I had exactly three dresses/skirts I could wear. One was too nice for every day and was really meant to be a church dress. That meant I had two outfits to wear to school. Now I understand that lots of kids are poor and do not have tons of clothes but being UPC did make my situation harder. I could not just walk into Goodwill and buy whatever fit, it had to meet their standard. I was a size 2/3 at the time and so finding clothing was not easy. Plus I had to have pantyhose to wear to school every day. I tried to be very careful and make them last as long as I could, but I was 11 so snags happened. The standard was to have your legs covered, this meant pantyhose or tights.

Halfway through my sixth-grade year, I joined the UPC school. I was being picked on at school for being different and only having two outfits. I was also being picked on for being half Mexican. My family decided that putting me into the Christian school was the answer. My church ran an ACE school. I will post about that at another time, that school needs its own posts. The church school had a uniform and so I hoped that would make my life easier. It did not. My mother had two uniforms made and I had two shirts to wear. The uniform was a navy blue vest and skirt or a red set. She had one of each made. I learned after I started that no one wore the red set so I only had one uniform. This meant washing my uniform every night and then ironing. We were required to wear pantyhose or tights and dress shoes. Then for gym class, we had to wear culottes, I had one gym uniform and gym happened three days a week.

Again I know that being poor is common but I feel it is harder when holiness standards are in play. It is harder to find things to wear when you are living that standard and then layer on the stress of finding the right thing in a thrift store. The other part of this is about compassion. No one ever offered us used clothing or any financial help. I went to school on a scholarship, I never knew who provided it. The church had many people willing to help in that area but not willing to help with day-to-day needs. Then they would judge you for not being perfectly within the standard. To be honest I never remember my church doing anything to help the poor. Their attitude was that if you were poor you should look for sin and see if there is something you need to repent of. Maybe you did not have enough faith?

There was a class system at play. The more money you had the more likely you were to be an elder and given a position of power. The higher your hair the closer to god…lol. Then you can add the race layer onto that. I was half Mexican and so I was never seen as equal to the lily-white kids. I tried to compensate for these issues by being a very pious kid and by being super involved in ministry. I was able to rise a bit out of my class by doing those things. The UPC church I grew up in cared so much about their holiness standards but no so much about caring for the poor or sick. Charity and compassion was not something I learned there.

I’m not sure what I will be posting about next. Does anyone have any questions?

D

Childhood, Fear, Holiness Standards, Rapture, Salvation, Sin, United Pentecostal Church

My Salvation Story

We started attending The United Pentecostal Church in Madison Wisconsin when I was 8. At first we only went on Sunday morning and we rode the Sunday school bus. Someone from the church came by our apartment one day looking for people who might be interested in attending Sunday school. Some Sundays my mother would not answer the door and other Sundays she would take me out to the bus. I think she liked the church but felt guilty about it because it did not line up with her Church of God beliefs. In the end, we went more and more until we were going all the time. We went Sunday morning and evening, plus Thursday night. At this point people were pretty nice to us, probably because they were trying to get their hooks in. Love bombing works.

If you’ve read any of my earlier posts you know that I grew up with a constant fear of hell and the rapture. The seeds of all that fear were planted long before I ever set foot in Calvary Gospel United Pentecostal Church. All that fear was only made worse by the fire and brimstone preaching that often happened on Sunday nights. The night I walked that long road to the altar is burned in my mind. I was 10 years old. We were seated in the second to the back row of the sanctuary. My mother was never a front row woman. Pastor John Grant was preaching about how your name is written on the gates of hell until Jesus takes it off. I was scared out of my mind. When the altar call was given I sat there and debated with myself about whether or not I should go forward. I was a shy child and the thought of walking down in front of all of those people was pretty awful. My fear of hell was worse than my fear of walking forward so forward I went. It felt like it took me forever to get down to the front and when I did I was immediately covered with women. They gathered around me and walked me through the sinner’s prayer of repentance. My only comfort was the presence of some of my Sunday School teachers, although I had never seen them this worked up. After I said my prayer then the rejoicing started. This meant loud wailing and speaking in tongues. Hands pushing me back and forth in a swaying motion. They wanted me to speak in tongues and eventually I did. When I started stammering the sounds of the women around me got even louder. Scary loud. I felt accepted and safe if only for an instant. As soon as this calmed down then they wanted me to get baptized. In the UPC church they get you in that water as fast as they can because if the rapture were to happen or you were to die unbaptized you would not be saved. I knew the drill and got baptized. They let me pick which minister I wanted to baptize me. I don’t know if they let everyone pick or if they let me because I was so young. I chose the minister that was the least threatening to me.

Our baptismal tank was behind the choir pews. Everyone would gather around and watch you get baptized and clap and sing and speak in tongues. After it was all over people came up and congratulated me. I felt high. I know that it was endorphins causing that feeling. I chalked it up to my new-found salvation. That feeling lasted about a week. In the church of my childhood you were never really saved, not for good. You could always lose your salvation through sinning. Over and over I cried out to god for forgiveness. I remember my pastor preaching about a dream he had. The rapture was happening in his dream and he could not rise any higher than the ceiling of his bedroom. Why? Because he was not godly enough. My child mind soaked up all such messages and they fueled my constant fear of what might keep me out of heaven. Our church encouraged us to repent for sins we might not be aware of just in case we forgot something. At ten years old I did not see god as a loving god, I saw him as a score keeper.

Are you seeing the overall theme? Fear. Whether it was the pastor’s sermons, the week-long revivals, or the yearly viewing of those awful movies, my church experience was soaked in fear. Did I forget to repent of some sin? How long had it been since I had spoken in tongues? Was I living godly enough. Tough questions for a 10-year-old. Once I knew the difference between right and wrong I was old enough to be accountable. Pile all of that fear on top of the poverty and my parents marriage issues and life was pretty hard. Being in the UPC church magnified my problems.

From that moment on my life changed. Not in a good way. I embraced the church’s holiness standards with gusto. I tried to live as close to the rules as possible. Next time I will post about that part of my journey.

If you are a UPC survivor I would love to hear from you. Does my childhood experience sound like yours?

D

Childhood, Family, Fear, Rapture, United Pentecostal Church

Beginning

I guess the best place to start a story is at the beginning. My mother was raised in the Church of God. She came from a small town and her parents were very religious and conservative. The church of her childhood was very charismatic. She told me stories about people dancing in the spirit and speaking in tongues. When she moved to the big city (Madison Wisconsin) it was a pretty big shock. She married young and had me quickly after. My mother was always looking for the “right” church. Her and my father attended an Assemblies of God church close to our home for the first few years of my life. Eventually they left that church, although I’m not sure why. In the corners of my memory I think I remember her saying something about not liking the new pastor. I was dedicated to god in that church and one of my earliest memories is of that church. A Thief In The Night was a movie that played a big part in my childhood. That film came out in 1972, at that time I was 2 years old. It was not released in theaters but instead traveled from church to church like a virus. I don’t know when exactly it was shown at our church but I know I was not much more than a toddler. It is one of my earliest memories. I don’t know what scene it was exactly but it was a scene where someone (probably Patty) screams, at that moment I started to cry, hard, and my dad had to carry me out of the auditorium. At the back of our church there was just glass, you could stand outside the sanctuary and look inside. It was probably like that so that parents could take their kids out and still hear and see what was going on. My dad paced the floor with me and I cried because I was scared. I sometimes wonder if the scream I heard was even in the movie or if it was someone in the congregation who was freaked out by the film. That sort of movie was still pretty new for that time period and I’m sure many people had never seen anything like it. It is now considered the grand daddy of all the end time films.

During my childhood we visited many churches and my mother would only stay in a church for a short time (couple of years) until we started attending the United Pentecostal Church in our city. That was when our whole world changed but that is a story for another day. One thing ties all of the churches we visited together like a sinister cord of fear, and that is those damn Thief In The Night movies. Watching them punctuates all of my church experiences. They were a big deal in the 70’s and I could not escape them no matter how hard I tried.

My mother was a church hopper. She struggled my whole childhood to find just the right place. She was never satisfied. I hope you understand that I am not trying to be critical, I understand her struggle it makes sense to me now that I am an adult. My mother grew up believing that her church was the right church. She was raised that you had to be Church of God to be saved. My grandparents were livid when they found she was attending a “Jesus Only” church. In order for church to feel right for her it had to have charismatic worship, fire and brimstone preaching, and a strong belief in end times prophecy. They also had to baptize in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit. The UPC had all of those but not the baptism part. She spent the most time at the UPC but never fully embraced it, because of the baptism question. I think she stayed there because it felt the most like home. My mother struggled with depression and I’m sure that is why she struggled to find a church home that fit. Our life was full of drama, her depression, my father’s cheating, poverty, and divorce, I think many pastors just did not know how to deal with all of those issues. They gave her non-answers and non-help.

She was very talented. My mother could sing and traveled from church to church with a gospel singing group as a teen. She played multiple instruments and often played and sang in church. Because of her religious upbringing and depression, plus our often dire straits, she spent a lot of time in prayer. Not bow your head kind of prayer but weeping and speaking in tongues. I would sit outside her bedroom door and wonder if she was ok. She was always worried about hell and the rapture. She heard it her whole life and then passed it down to me. The fear of being left behind punctuated my childhood. I believe it led to the anxiety issues I have today. I no longer worry about the rapture but I do struggle with anxiety and I can trace it directly back to her.

D

Childhood, Family, Sexual Abuse, United Pentecostal Church

Church Too

Over the last few days, I have been taking part in #churchtoo, which is like the #metoo movement, but specifically sheds light on sexual assault in churches. It has brought some dark memories to the front of mind, things I have not thought about since they happened. I have debated with myself over and over about whether I should tell my story. The thing is, my story is like a poison in my guts that is seeping into everything, and so I am making the choice to talk about what happened to me.

I was an early bloomer. Before I reached age ten, I had already been assaulted twice. The first man was a babysitter’s husband. He groped me while I watched television on his lap, I was eight or nine years old. I told my mother and she confronted his wife. The wife became angry with my mother and I no longer went over there. As a teen when I asked my father why he never told the police about what happened to me his reply was that he did not want to ruin an old man’s life. At that moment I knew my value was not the same as that old man.

The second incident happened when I was around ten years old. I was playing in my favorite arcade at the mall. My dad was sitting just outside talking with some other adults. A man came up behind me and grabbed my breasts while I was playing a game. I shook myself free and the man ran out of the arcade. With my heart in my chest, I ran out and told my father. He went inside the arcade and alerted the manager. I don’t think the guy was ever caught but the damage was done. I paid a price for my early development. I learned that men saw me as prey and I had to be extra careful.

My mother always had trouble finding a church she liked. She finally settled on a United Pentecostal Church, which is like evangelicalism only far more extreme fundamentalist with lots of speaking in tongues. When I was in the sixth grade my parents took me out of public school and put me into the private school our church ran. This meant I was at the church all day every day. It was a very insulated experience. I was a very active young person. I was captain of my Bible quiz team and very involved in various church ministries. My home life was hard, so I tried to stay busy and out of the house as much as I could. As a young girl, my dreams were to go to Bible college and major in music. I loved to sing and took any opportunity I could to learn more about music.

My parents did not attend church regularly. My mother would attend in fits and starts. That being said, they were both in favor of my being there whenever the church doors were open. I would often get rides to and from activities by other adults in the congregation. This is where the trouble began. I was a very bright child and many of the adults treated me like another adult. My parents had always done the same thing. I was accustomed to adults treating me more like an adult than a child. This often left me open to inappropriate situations. I think my parents used my intelligence to discharge them of their parenting responsibilities. One afternoon on a day just like any other day I met Steve Dahl. I was standing amongst a group of adults and I asked if one of them could give me a ride home. I was eleven and in the sixth grade. I knew all of these adults very well except for Steve. He volunteered which seemed totally normal to me.  I knew he had recently joined the church and was married there, I just had not been formally introduced. Once we were in his car he asked me if I needed to be home right away. I said no, my mother was preoccupied most of the time and so my being gone wouldn’t be an issue. We stopped and got ice cream and drove around. We chatted and all seemed fine until it wasn’t. At one point he reached over and grasped my hand and held it like it was the most natural thing in the world. At this point in my life, my father was never around. He would show up when it was convenient for him, mostly when he was between women. I was happy to have a man acting like a father figure and so I said nothing. He was thirty-one and I was eleven.

Things snowballed from there. His job was selling church pictorial directories for Olan Mills and he was often on the road. I became friends with his wife and she and I hung out often. He asked my parents if he could take me along on his long day trips to keep him company and to get me out of the house. We often did not have electricity and so there wasn’t much for me to do around the house. None of the adults around me thought this arrangement was odd. I mean a better solution would have been for the church to help my mother with our electric bills or for some of the women to mentor me.

Things escalated. He began to tell me how unhappy he was in his marriage and other things. I was ill-equipped to understand or help with. At times he acted like a kind uncle who took me for ice cream and spent time with me. And other times he treated me like a lover. Those were the bad times. He took so much from me from me. My first kiss, my first almost everything. He tried to have intercourse with me but he could not do it, it was physically not possible. He acted as though I was some experienced woman and would say things to me that I did not understand. He laughed at my inexperience like he could not believe how naive I was. Somehow in his haze, the fact that I was eleven and knew nothing about sex escaped him. At other times he seemed in awe at how mature my body was for my age. He would repent at the altar and then tell me how sorry he was for what he had done and how he would never do it again, but he always came back for more. I became attached to him as other parts of my world fell apart. My parents divorced, my mother struggled to keep us in food and being in the Christian school turned out to not be what I thought it would be. I started to disassociate and I felt trapped in a life that I did not want and did not know how to escape. Plus there was the all present worry about hell and the rapture. Yep, I grew up always fearing hell and the wrath of an angry god. After he would touch me I would go home and beg god to forgive me. I felt like my very body was a sin, a trap for men to fall into. I thought that something I was doing or saying must have made him do these things. Usually, when I was with him I would try to make myself small., I liked him and wanted him to want to be my friend, but I knew the other stuff he was doing was wrong.

He was very popular. He played the trumpet in our church band. He was friends with all of the adults in my life. Then his wife’s sister came to live with Steve and his wife. She and I were friends. We would mail each other letters like pen pals and I really liked her. I was eleven and so it was all scented pens and stickers. We were kids. When I found out she was moving here I was super excited! But once she moved to Madison she became cold to me and I did not know why. She was about three years older than me. She was very quiet and shy. She came to Madison so she could attend our church school, or that was what I was told. I have no idea if Steve had a plan bringing her to Madison or if things happened between them only after she came here.

After things had been going on for about two years I finally went and told my pastor. I’m not sure why I was afraid of him. He was a big man and preached fire-and-brimstone so that might have something to do with it. I thought he was imposing. I told him and he recorded it. I did not tell him everything because I could barely speak I was so afraid of what was going to happen to me. So he asked me questions and I answered “yes” or “no.” He knew what happened, just not the details. He said he would get back to me and I left his office.

He never got back to me.

He never said anything at all. I waited for the next shoe to fall. When my mother found out she called me a hussy and was mad at me for a long time. I received no counseling, support, or justice. The police were never called nor social services. I was told by some adult that we should handle things within the church so that we would not bring shame, reporters, or cops to the church doorstep.

The order of things become foggy at this point, probably due to trauma. Within days Steve phoned me and told me he had to leave town and it was not my fault. That was it, that was all he said. Soon after I found out that right after I went to the pastor Steve’s wife came home and found him in bed with her little sister, who was fifteen years old. Steve fled to Vegas and I have no idea where she went. I imagine back with her parents. At the next midweek service, I was confronted by Steve’s wife. She came close to me and said that I had to talk with her after the service. I was scared out of my mind! I went with her into the church basement and into one of the school classrooms. She told me she was so disappointed in me for cheating with her husband. She said she trusted me with him. I said nothing but “I’m sorry.” Then she insisted that we pray together for my soul and repentance. All I remember about that was how she loudly spoke in tongues next to me. She didn’t talk to me much anymore after that.

Here is what I have pieced together since then. Steve was sent to another church for restoration. He and his wife divorced. She was allowed a divorce by the church because of adultery. This is where things get really nuts! He then married his ex-wife’s sister, the one who was fifteen when they were caught together. I was told that her parents let her go out to Vegas to be with him.

They are still married and he is pastoring a church in Wisconsin.

I have spoken to him once. Remember he sold church directories? As an adult, I went to a Southern Baptist church and he came by to sell us a directory. My stepmother was helping with the directory and when she saw who it was she alerted me. I was in my early twenties. I went to my church elder and told him about Steve. He said he thought we should talk so I could get closure. He bullied Steve into talking with me but closure was harder to get than I thought. In the elder’s office, the three of us sat. Steve explained to me that I was a very mature eleven-year-old. He said he thought I wasn’t really angry with him but that I was angry with how the church responded to me. He told me all about how Christ had forgiven him and restored him. He told me how my childhood pastor has embraced him with forgiveness. I don’t remember much about what I said., I think I fell under his spell like I was a kid again. After he left, the elder said that he felt Steve did not take any responsibility. I wish I could have that moment with him back. It took me until I was in my late twenties to discover feminism. At twenty-eight I left the church and blossomed into the woman I am now. If I had that moment back I would call him what he is. He is a pedophile. I would want to rage at him for all he took from me. He is pastoring a church in northern Wisconsin. He has a Facebook page where he posts about his church. His church has a YouTube channel where you can watch him preach. In the bio part of his church’s website, there is no mention of what he did to me or the fact that he married his wife’s sister. He has children and I have to wonder if he ever abused them or anyone else.

I left the UPC church at sixteen. Eventually, I landed in a Southern Baptist church. I left that church when I was twenty-eight. I left because they told me that it would be a sin to divorce my husband. He was physically violent towards me along with being mentally and emotionally abusive. I felt I had to go to protect my kids. They told me that I could separate from him, but not divorce. In order to get the help I needed from the state, like benefits, I needed to be divorced. Plus he was threatening me all the time and I knew he would not just get better. We had been together for twelve years. At this point, I decided that if god was going to send me to hell for protecting myself and my kids, then I would pay that price. Hell seemed better than where I was. I tried other churches and just couldn’t stomach it anymore. I stopped believing. I turned towards history and tried to understand how the Bible came about and how women were treated because of it.

What Steve did to me ruined my adolescence. I think the adults in the church viewed me as a slut and adulteress. Some of them avoided me and others gave me evil looks. People have said to me why not just reveal who all of these people are. My question is who do I include in this crime? My parents, who were too enmeshed in their own crap to look out for me? The man who did it? The pastor who did not call the police? The wife of that perv, or any of the other adults who knew about it?  No one ever checked in with me to see how I was doing. I was met with knowing silence. Later at about fifteen, I would see Steve again, at our church’s family camp. I was sitting in a pew with my puppy-love boyfriend and Steve just shows up like nothing happened. Was he removed? Nope, he was forgiven. He sat in the back but I knew he was there.

I can tell you that The United Pentecostal Church had a sex problem. I know of other cases where older men helped themselves to the young and I know of young people forced to marry at fifteen or sixteen years old due to having sex together. Don’t come at me and say I should forgive and come back to god. I have a god and she doesn’t require that of me.