Mike Walker Open Letter To the Brethren Open Letter To The Brethren

This is the place where you can talk to everyone at once.You can testify to how God is getting glory thru you today, after all these years. Or you can raise questions and concerns that you want everyone to address. Don't worry about speaking loud.Everyone can hear you.

Email: montoya@integrityonline1.com

Subject: RE: hey - here it is... Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 06:30:22 -0400 From: "Walker, Mike" To: 'Michael Montoya'

My name is Mike Walker. I got saved in 1974 and was with COBU during my last year and a half of High School. After graduating 1976 I moved to MTC (Manhattan Training Center) and subsequently spent some time in Montreal, Boston, and Philly. I finally had enough and left in 1979. In my shame, I left during my shift of nightly guard duty at 515. Moving back to Virginia, I spent several years in a who-cares, backslidden state until God started tugging at my heart. It was He and He alone that brought me back to Himself.

My life has since gained a sense of normalcy, I was married in 1983 with two kids, now 7 and 8. In 1988 I graduated from college with my Bachelors degree. I even did an 8 year hitch in the Army Reserve. I currently attend a Bible church in Springfield, Virginia. But, I STILL find myself hesitant in relating to other Christians, especially those in authority. There is always that underlying fear of getting blasted for some minor or unknown evil lurking deep within myself. My time with COBU was only five years, but it had such a lasting impact. There are so many memories, feelings (can't trust them!) and other stuff that it's hard to put them all into words. Now I see hope for some closure which I never got after I left.

It is confusing, sometimes, looking back. The doctrine of salvation was as right as could be. Everything was done by the Bible. So, how come they had this style of leadership and all the emotional abuse? Mike Montoya's testimony brought back to mind all the terms that I haven't used in years and also some painful memories of getting come down on by Stewart. I remember the name-calling and humiliation and although I still can find little fault with the Bible teaching, the practical application to daily life and the leadership methods still mystify me.

When thinking of why God led me to COBU, I thought of Mike Bove. His family was deaf and he led of couple of deaf people to Christ. Having grown up with a deaf family on my street, I told Mike I would like to learn sign language. I learned basic communication skills from him at the MTC. In my current church, there are interpreters and deaf people who regularly attend. I began taking sign language courses in 1981 and have even done some interpreting. It seems that wherever I have been, God has been leading me toward the deaf. That's where I will continue to serve, until He tells me otherwise.

You can visit my web site (secular) at: http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/1059 It has a few pics of me, my family, and other misc. stuff.

What do I hope to get from (and give to) this page? Closure, fellowship in knowing that I am not the only one who still struggles from this, and perhaps re-assurance that my leaving was for the best. Of course, there may be the temptation to lash out at Stewart as the "antichrist," or the source of all our problems, but I think that is neither warranted nor proper. I believe that God is still God despite my past and that He is still Lord of all. I will try to remain respectful and Christian in my comments, even if they are about areas of deep hurt within me.

Mike Walker