Letter to George Regarding David Oct. 31, 2000
From Mark Miller and Dan Notti, Fullerton Leading Brothers
Dear Brother George:
We trust that this letter finds you rejoicing in the Lord’s provision and blessing. We have been praying much for you and have rejoiced in the reports of the Lord’s working on every stage of the journey.
It is with great regret that we must write you regarding the situation with David and Judy.
In your absence many things have transpired that have given us cause for great concern. We assume you have heard that Judy has left David. While her leaving was surprising in some ways, it was not totally unexpected. She had made it known to different individuals that David was exhibiting increasingly unstable behavior and that she was concerned for her safety. She left a letter with David, when she came to get her possessions, that gave a candid assessment of David’s spiritual condition while leaving a door open for possible reconciliation -- given David’s agreement to certain conditions. We would prefer to leave a discussion of those conditions for a later time as our burden regards what has transpired since she left.
We have had several conversations and meetings with David since that time. The brothers in SLO have tried to go out to him, without much success. In fact, they went to his house the day after Judy left and he became quite angry with them and threatened Kirk physically, after blaming him for Judy leaving. He has rejected any input from the Brothers and considers them to be, at best, of no help to him and, at worst, his adversaries.
Mark visited San Luis Obispo for itinerant ministry the week after Judy left (October 1). At that time Mark met with the brothers in SLO regarding several issues that had been raised about David’s behavior and example. Some of those issues were the result of information that had passed from Judy to those she confided in before she left. Other issues were raised by the saints in response to contact they had with David. Mark called David to try and arrange a meeting between David, the Brothers and himself. David was not willing to meet with all of them under any conditions. He was also not willing to meet with Mark and one other brother. Finally, he reluctantly met with Mark to discuss the issues.
The result of the meeting was that David denied any wrongdoing on his part, stating that he was "being persecuted for righteousness." He had an excuse, explanation or denial for all of the issues that were raised including: David’s involvement with pornography, misuse of the money given from the work for his support, implied threats made to Judy, multiple instances of physical abuse, his drinking, smoking and various other things. Mark was not convinced of the truth of David’s responses.
The following week the Brothers asked David not to preach on Sunday mornings (he had already stepped down from the Leading Brothers and had been removed from the ministry schedule.) This was with the agreement of Mark and Dan. We all felt that there were too many questionable things surrounding his behavior and that it would be inappropriate for him to be preaching at that time.
Dan visited SLO the weekend of October 21. It was decided that he should talk to David about finding a smaller house, getting rid of some of his cars and beginning to look for a part time job to help support himself. His response was very emotional and he made a variety of accusations and statements about his intentions. He again raised the issue of your fidelity in the past to Betty and to your current faithfulness to him in the work. He also made accusations against the brethren in San Luis. He indicated that he may have to move to another country rather than be forced to tell the truth about you and your past, should Judy file suit. And he also stated that he may have to find another ministry to be associated with so that he could preach (which he feels is what God has called him to.) He repeatedly expressed an unwillingness to submit himself to the guidance of his brethren. Needless to say, his response was very disturbing and he repeatedly denied his culpability in anything that had happened. He repeatedly maintained that, “I haven’t done anything wrong. I have been faithful and stood when no-one else would.”
David was supposed to go to see Chuck Solomon during the following week but was unable to go due to the fact that Chuck had surgery to remove a tumor. David claimed that he had talked to Chuck and had been counseled to leave the fellowship and work and be involved with another group of believers for a period of 6 months to 2 years. E-mail correspondence with Chuck confirmed that he had not given this counsel.
Later in the same week David called Mark and said that he was willing to look for a smaller place and get a part-time job even though he did not feel he was qualified to do anything. He was encouraged to call Mark to let him know how things he things were going and to be accountable. Following up, we repeatedly left messages on his answering machine that were not returned. During that time he made repeated calls to Roger and Betty in Chicago, and Wes in Santa Barbara.
One of the most disturbing events took place on Monday evening, October 30, in SLO. David Michael and Rachel Steepleton asked to talk to Kirk about David. After Judy left they had been taking care of David by bringing him meals, doing his shopping and helping with the housework. This went on for several weeks. During that time they personally experienced several things that substantiated the previous allegations of David’s drinking, smoking and involvement with pornography. They also expressed concern about David’s misuse of money (he has repeatedly maintained that he doesn't have money for the basic necessities like food, gas and the phone bill) and confirmed his physical abusiveness with Judy in the past. They also told Kirk that they had cut off all relations with David in part because of their concern about their physical safety when around him. (It should be stated that Rebecca also moved out of the house within a few days of Judy's leaving.) They are planning to move to Southern California as soon as possible. They also told Kirk that their understanding is that Judy does not intend to divorce David, but that she is just trying to get him to face his spiritual condition and take responsibility for his life and their relationship.
Prior to these events but subsequent to Judy leaving, we have taken the following action with David:
- He stepped down from the leading brothers meeting in SLO.
- He was relieved of responsibility for all ministry in SLO and involvement in the itinerant ministry.
- He was directed to find a part-time job to help meet his needs (we told him that we would help him during the transition period.)
- He was directed to find a smaller, less expensive place to live.
- He was directed to sell the extra cars and car parts that he can not afford to store.
- He was encouraged to participate in the meetings as a brother among brothers.
- He was encouraged to continue to come to the Workers meetings.
In view of the present overwhelming evidence of David’s serious spiritual condition and his continued denial of that state, we are strongly suggesting the following:
- He be prevented from partaking of the Lord's Supper for a period of time.
- That he be given a leave of absence from involvement in the Work.
- That he return to Fullerton as soon as possible. (The brothers in SLO can assist him in selling his extra cars and whatever possessions he does not want to bring back.)
- That he stay at the home of a responsible brother for a period of time to help him get his life in order and to make the transition to getting his own place. (There are those who would be willing for this.)
- That he be accountable to another brother for his financial arrangements and decisions.
- That he receive guidance from the brethren on seeking reconciliation with his wife.
It is with great heaviness of heart that we write these things, knowing that this will be a burden to you as a father as well as the Lord's servant. However, we believe that David is in such a perilous spiritual condition that immediate action needs to be taken. Therefore, it is necessary to get your input on these things as soon as possible.
You can reach us by phone or by e-mail.
Again we are truly sorry to have to bring these things before you at this time.
We remain your faithful companions,