jrp

Port Jervis, NY

#21 Jul 17, 2011
I heard Pastor Wagner preach today in New York and what a powerful message he gave. In Jesus words let the man without sin cast the first stone. You should be more interested in what God thinks of you gossiping than what you think of Pastor Wagner.
God bless i wish we could all be perfect and without sin like you.
TPCC former member

Lenorah, TX

#22 Jul 18, 2011
Why do you care? Unless, oh wait, this must be the pastor or his wife.... who else would know to look under topix, slide, tx, for john wagner.....?????
Former CRCC member

Bowling Green, KY

#23 Jul 20, 2011
I was having dinner with a good friend last night. We both worked with John at CRCC and then during the aftermath. We are now both pastors at different churches.

Yes, what he did was wrong. Yes, his actions affected many in a very negative way.

A person's sin shouldn't disqualify him from ministry and trust. Take Paul for instance. He held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen. He then continued to seek out and persecute Christians. Then Jesus changed His life. People were skeptical, but then they witnessed God working through Him.

I'm not saying John is Paul, but no one can judge his past except for God. Now, if he won't admit to what happened before to you when you ask, then there might be an issue. But if you are just upset about him being at your church and doing things that you don't like, as long as it doesn't detract from the gospel (replacing staff doesn't detract from the gospel, and is needed sometimes) you have to look at your own heart.

If you think there is something evil going on, then your course of action is to approach him individually, then with another, and then if there is no progress, tell the Elders/Board/Leadership.

And in all this, you must do this in love. Some of you need to get over yourselves and your preferences so that you can have a Godly and gracious conversation.

I have forgiven him. And I can assure you that I have more to forgive than any of you. Remember, he is still God's child. Held to a higher responsibility, but still a child of God.
TPCC former member

Lenorah, TX

#24 Jul 20, 2011
Former CRCC member wrote:
I was having dinner with a good friend last night. We both worked with John at CRCC and then during the aftermath. We are now both pastors at different churches.
Yes, what he did was wrong. Yes, his actions affected many in a very negative way.
A person's sin shouldn't disqualify him from ministry and trust. Take Paul for instance. He held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen. He then continued to seek out and persecute Christians. Then Jesus changed His life. People were skeptical, but then they witnessed God working through Him.
I'm not saying John is Paul, but no one can judge his past except for God. Now, if he won't admit to what happened before to you when you ask, then there might be an issue. But if you are just upset about him being at your church and doing things that you don't like, as long as it doesn't detract from the gospel (replacing staff doesn't detract from the gospel, and is needed sometimes) you have to look at your own heart.
If you think there is something evil going on, then your course of action is to approach him individually, then with another, and then if there is no progress, tell the Elders/Board/Leadership.
And in all this, you must do this in love. Some of you need to get over yourselves and your preferences so that you can have a Godly and gracious conversation.
I have forgiven him. And I can assure you that I have more to forgive than any of you. Remember, he is still God's child. Held to a higher responsibility, but still a child of God.
I will agree with you that past sin should not be a disqualifying factor for ministry, because if it were, there would be none in the ministry, period, end of statement.
I understand that havoc was wreaked on many lives and you cannot hurt so many people without that coming back to bite you in the keyster. Even if you repent of that sin the consequences of the sin will still happen to you. But when one perpetuates their past sin with deception, there is a question if anyone has actually turned from their sin. The past sin really is not the issue here, it is what has transpired since. Lots of people have been hurt. Lots of people have gone elsewhere. Lots of people have left organized church altogether. Not too different from that which has been posted elsewhere.
From your perspective what he did in Florida was far worse than anything anyone here has lived through, but you do not know everything that has happened or to whom it has happened. The Lord is slowly and systematically removing and allowing the removal of the sheep that love and trust Him.
If you are a pastor then you truly know that you reap what you sow. That which you give in life will be given back, pressed down and overflowing. That does not apply just to the good, it applies to everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Repentence does not short circuit that which you have sown, you will reap the consequences of sins.
MeMe

Saint Albans, WV

#25 Jul 21, 2011
Former CRCC member wrote:
I was having dinner with a good friend last night. We both worked with John at CRCC and then during the aftermath. We are now both pastors at different churches.
Yes, what he did was wrong. Yes, his actions affected many in a very negative way.
A person's sin shouldn't disqualify him from ministry and trust. Take Paul for instance. He held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen. He then continued to seek out and persecute Christians. Then Jesus changed His life. People were skeptical, but then they witnessed God working through Him.
I'm not saying John is Paul, but no one can judge his past except for God. Now, if he won't admit to what happened before to you when you ask, then there might be an issue. But if you are just upset about him being at your church and doing things that you don't like, as long as it doesn't detract from the gospel (replacing staff doesn't detract from the gospel, and is needed sometimes) you have to look at your own heart.
If you think there is something evil going on, then your course of action is to approach him individually, then with another, and then if there is no progress, tell the Elders/Board/Leadership.
And in all this, you must do this in love. Some of you need to get over yourselves and your preferences so that you can have a Godly and gracious conversation.
I have forgiven him. And I can assure you that I have more to forgive than any of you. Remember, he is still God's child. Held to a higher responsibility, but still a child of God.
Ok, I understand what you are saying. However, destroying another church is NOT witnessing Christ moving through him. All of your "steps" on approaching him have been done by several, only to receive lie after lie after lie. As for approaching the elders, well yes that has been done also, to no avail, because they have their head stuck so far up his butt they are seeing out of his eyes! They are snowed by his deception. When you have spiritual leaders, and people whose hearts are souly for the Lord leaving, that is when you need to take a close look at the real issues. John will NOT tell you the truth about his divorce, he will NOT tell you the reason the Florida church fell, he will NOT own up to anything in his past other than his drug abuse. THAT is where the problem is....COMPLETE DECEPTION!!! As for losing staff....yes that is a BIG issue. All of the staff that has left were given the choice of a resignation or a termination on their resumes! Another act of the Wagners! In the 6 months our church was without a "pastor" (the whole time the youth pastor stepped in as acting pastor) there were very few problems withing the church. There was no division in the church, when you walked in there was no tension, there was no running to "avoid" someone, everyone was warm and welcoming. Now, you can cut the tension with a knife, people can't wait to get to where they are going in hopes of not having a "run in" with one of the Wagners. Those that are still there that don't agree with the Wagners are there for other reasons held dear to our hearts. And I have a question for you...How was his sin repented and him being "forgiven", am I right or wrong when I say that if the sin was truly repented he would not be deceitful about it.....
Skip

Lubbock, TX

#26 Jul 27, 2011
No matter what happened in the past, since John has confessed and repented of his sin, our God is faithful to forgive him. After the Apostle Paul's conversion God chose to use him, not continually judge him. I'm not comparing John to Paul, but rather the fact that God can, and does, use repentant humans to fulfill His will. During his entire pastorate in Lubbock, John has always pointed people to the cross of Christ! As a result there have been many people come to know the love of God!
TPCC former member

Lenorah, TX

#27 Jul 27, 2011
God is just, gracious, and merciful. HE will forgive our repented sins. But Skip, the fact remains that there were some inaccuracies in his application about his past. If he has truly repented from past wrong doing, then why did he not tell the truth about his past sin? A pastor needs to be a trustworthy person. If they are not honest about one thing, what else are they not honest about? So even when someone who has not been honest in the past does tell the gospel truth, can it be trusted?
MeMe

Saint Albans, WV

#28 Jul 28, 2011
TPCC former member wrote:
God is just, gracious, and merciful. HE will forgive our repented sins. But Skip, the fact remains that there were some inaccuracies in his application about his past. If he has truly repented from past wrong doing, then why did he not tell the truth about his past sin? A pastor needs to be a trustworthy person. If they are not honest about one thing, what else are they not honest about? So even when someone who has not been
honest in the past does tell the gospel truth, can it be trusted?
I Totally agree with you. In a leadership position trust is a BIG issue. How can we trust someone who is deceitful and is continuing to be that way? It speaks volumes when you are seeing multiple Godly, spiritual people many in leadership positions leaving your church. THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!
Former CRCC employee

San Jose, CA

#29 Jul 28, 2011
I understand the frustration and mistrust. And if he isn't being honest, then yes something is wrong.
But I have some issues with this thread.
1. What good does this do? Is this helping anything? What is your hope? That everyone reads this and then sees the light and picks up torches and pitchforks and run him out of town? There is a lot of accusing and judgement. And I recall the Bible saying something about accusing and judging. When reading some posts, it seems that because of our personal perceptions of justice, we dot practice the gracious attitude that God calls us to.
2. Please stop using the scripture "the truth shall set you free" wrongly. Jesus is clearly talking about His deity and that that Truth shall set you free. It's not talking about facts or telling the truth. Jesus died for ALL of our sins and rose from the dead. That Truth shall set you free.
3. I really think it is unhealthy to talk about someone like this ONLINE. go talk to him yourself. Don't just say "other people have tried". That's a lot of "he said, she said" to throw these accusations against someone. He is your brother in Christ. His sins are no greater than your sins in God's eyes. You should approach him yourself, in a peaceful and gracious way (that's how you get someone to listen to you) and not in a combative judgmental way. And find out hats happening yourself.
Every church that gets a new pastor loses people. It loses staff. It loses members. It is unusual for people that have left to have good things to say about the pastor. I know what he did, and AGAIN, if he isn't being honest about it, then yes it's an issue and something (not talking about it online) should be done. But if you're resting on second, third, and fourth hand information, you should stop.
Former CRCC employee

San Jose, CA

#30 Jul 28, 2011
MeMe wrote:
<quoted text>
Ok, I understand what you are saying. However, destroying another church is NOT witnessing Christ moving through him. All of your "steps" on approaching him have been done by several, only to receive lie after lie after lie. As for approaching the elders, well yes that has been done also, to no avail, because they have their head stuck so far up his butt they are seeing out of his eyes! They are snowed by his deception. When you have spiritual leaders, and people whose hearts are souly for the Lord leaving, that is when you need to take a close look at the real issues. John will NOT tell you the truth about his divorce, he will NOT tell you the reason the Florida church fell, he will NOT own up to anything in his past other than his drug abuse. THAT is where the problem is....COMPLETE DECEPTION!!! As for losing staff....yes that is a BIG issue. All of the staff that has left were given the choice of a resignation or a termination on their resumes! Another act of the Wagners! In the 6 months our church was without a "pastor" (the whole time the youth pastor stepped in as acting pastor) there were very few problems withing the church. There was no division in the church, when you walked in there was no tension, there was no running to "avoid" someone, everyone was warm and welcoming. Now, you can cut the tension with a knife, people can't wait to get to where they are going in hopes of not having a "run in" with one of the Wagners. Those that are still there that don't agree with the Wagners are there for other reasons held dear to our hearts. And I have a question for you...How was his sin repented and him being "forgiven", am I right or wrong when I say that if the sin was truly repented he would not be deceitful about it.....
I wouldn't say you're right or wrong. How are we to know his heart. Just because he is being deceitful, he hasn't repented and been forgiven? 1john 1:9-10. If he has confessed his sin, he has been forgiven. He is human and could be making mistakes.

I'm not vouching for him. I don't know why he's doing, but this is not the way to go about it.

Have you personally approached him to talk to him? Have you prayed for him? These are just things we should be doing. If not, then please do. I hate when pastors do things without concern for how it affects the church. So if he is "destroying" your church do something. Posting stuff online isn't doing anything but stirring strife. Pray that God does something.
Former CRCC employee

San Jose, CA

#31 Jul 28, 2011
TPCC former member wrote:
God is just, gracious, and merciful. HE will forgive our repented sins. But Skip, the fact remains that there were some inaccuracies in his application about his past. If he has truly repented from past wrong doing, then why did he not tell the truth about his past sin? A pastor needs to be a trustworthy person. If they are not honest about one thing, what else are they not honest about? So even when someone who has not been honest in the past does tell the gospel truth, can it be trusted?
The gospel is the gospel. You can trust the gospel. If he is saying that Jesus isn't the way to the Father, then no, dot trust that. But if by gospel you mean: Jesus, Son of God, sinless, died on the cross and rose from the dead. Then yes that can be trusted, no matter whose mouth it comes from.

Can you trust the man who is saying it? Maybe,
maybe not.
Faith Church Member

Brookfield, CT

#32 Jul 30, 2011
MeMe the church is not yours alone so please stop your malisious attack on a man who is truly a gift from God. As Former CRCC employee has stated all churches who receive new pasters have members leave and yes the new paster will change the leaders. You need to find another church that you can worship God in a honest way. You are a hypocrite (one who pretends to have a virtue, feeling, etc. that he or she does not have) and a trouble maker. Have you heard any ill statments of John from anyone at the last church he worked? I don't think so. We were devastated when he left but not because he was bad but because he preached and acted like the man of God that he is. So please don't continue your attack just send him back to us because many at Faith Church would love to have this man teach us and lead us to our eternal life with Jesus. He is flawed like us and he keeps getting up to lead others to the Lord. Who else to lead us but someone like us and someone who knows the good the bad and the ugly of life itself. Sound like a man after Gods own heart (King David)
One less lamb to pastor

Lenorah, TX

#33 Aug 3, 2011
I have read all of these blogs. I was a victim of the fecal matter that is going on at that church. All of you folks who spout, if he has repented of his sin he is forgiven. I am really sick and tired of hearing that... I believe there is a matter of turning from your sin. Didn't Jesus tell the woman caught in the act of adultry that she was forgiven and to go and sin no more.???? That means turn from your sin, don't perpetuate it. Yeah he may have repented, but why lie about it later? The past sin is not really the problem now it is the very bad stuff that they have done lately that is the problem. Do not liken him to patriarchs such as David or Paul. Yes they were men of God and yes they were sinful men, but the difference between the patriarchs and this man is David and Paul both turned from their sin and every time they fell they repented. Repentence is not happening at TPCC, just really bad things happpening to people and they are leaving the body, some of them have left to never darken a doorway of a church again. You know a shepherd is supposed to watch the flock, not drive it off. He was given the job to shepherd this same portion of the body and all that has happened is he has driven the flock off a cliff...... Do not defend this person..... Do not defend this anymore.
Faith Church Member

Brookfield, CT

#34 Aug 3, 2011
When he was with us he excited the members and they came to be ministered to by this man. Noone was leaving because of him. The victim of fecal matter? Please share your what he did to make you a victim of fecal matter. Please do not lecture anyone on repenting. Who gave you power over who has or who has not repented. Our time with Pastor John was nothing short of inspiring. Sunday service or Wednesday bible study was great. I am not making him anymore then what he has earned when he was at Faith Church. Have you told everything about yourself to family, friends and employers without any twists at all? He has not sinned, let him through the first stone. what part of that statement do you fall into. Go to church to worship, listen and learn and everything will fall into place. God does for the better of all.
MeMe

Saint Albans, WV

#35 Aug 14, 2011
I have never refered to it as mine alone. It is our church home to many at one time. We became members if a small homey feeling church. Not to watch it turn into a church that is all about money and becoming a mega church. And for your information I have sat down and talked and got lie after lie after lie.
DJMT

Lubbock, TX

#36 Aug 17, 2011
I've read all 35 posts on this thread, and this is my conclusion...

As someone looking to attend TPCC with my family of 5, I research where I'm going so I don't fall suceptible to things that Satan would mean for my family's harm. I listen to any media I can from the church website, I read any article about the church, the staff, and any other pertinant information I can find. Why? Two reasons. 1) Where my family worships is a responsibility I feel is mine as husband and father. For this reason I seek a place that will provide all things needed for my family, and then pray pray pray. 2) Because I've experienced being burned by the sting of a divided church due to the Pastor of a church or two, I've come to understand what creates bitterness and division in both the church family, as well as my own. And I desire to pull away from these things to protect what is mine.

With that being said, I would like to say this: This thread (whether the intention is for good or for evil) has helped me to see a few things.

First, it has shown me what I already knew...ANY pastor of ANY group has made mistakes. These mistakes are the very reason he speaks. If he speaks of sin, but has none, he speaks on a non-experiential plane, and has no connection with those to whom he is called to minister to.

Second, it relieves me to know that TPCC is NOT perfect...whew! If it were, I would feel LESS comfortable being a part of it. This helps my family and I to relate to those who call it home. I don't want to go to a church where I feel uncomfortable...and a PERFECT church would do that to this IMPERFECT person that posts this today! I was once told that the person that finds a perfect church, should make sure to leave immediately, because that person's imperfection would taint and stain it instead of help it out!

Third, Pastor John must truly be a man I can relate to, instead of a man everyone tries to place on a pedestal. Would you listen to ADAM (the first man) preach a word on forgiveness? Adam (which means Man) would be known, not for the man he lived his life out as, but as the man that made the largest mistake in the history of mankind, and yet I am sure we would have no problem listening to this "father" to us all so we could glean from his mistake...why would Pastor John be so different? Because he hasn't continually gone to each and every person on this thread and begged forgiveness, or tried to come clean to you personally?

I can only speak for myself in this matter, but I know that once I've asked my Father in Heaven for forgiveness for my wrong doings, I do as Paul..."Forgetting those things behind, I press forward..." Why should I expect Pastor John to do what I will not?

Sure, I could try and point a finger or two, but the end result would only be further back-biting and bitterness. We are called to a higher purpose than that, and I for one will do what I can to trust in the LORD, with all my heart, and lean NOT on my OWN understanding, but in all ways acknowledge Him, and HE will direct my path.

In my heart, I can sympathize with all who've posted, but I only understand what's right for my family.

I believe the Father would have me visit TPCC, and give FAITH a chance before placing judgment or bitterness on a man I've yet to know.

May God bless each of you as you work through how you react, one way or the other, and know that I personally will be praying for those who've been hurt, but still haven't found peace that only God can give. Though I know you not...I love you with only the love our Jesus could give, and my heart reaches out to you with all sincerety and love.
Liberty

Kendall Park, NJ

#37 Aug 30, 2011
Pastor John Wagner went through years of restoration while working under Pastor Frank Santora, Sr Pastor of Faith Church in New Milford, CT; it is also where he met and later married Ilena. Amongst his peers in the Northeast, who worked with and knew him years before the Florida church, who did not abandon him (not his former wife Margie) nor throw stones, but sought his restoration, John was verrry honest about all that transpired...and he has repented and humbled himself. The gifts and call of God are without repentance. If King David, the adulterer, was remembered as a "man after God's own heart;" who are any of us to say the blood of Jesus is not good enough and that God is in the restoration business, just not for Pastor John! Sow what you want to reap - mercy! If you have issue with the man, pray for God's perfect will to be done in his life and go to a different church! Remember our battle is not with people; use your words, time and energy to help folks, not tear them down.
Truth only please

Lubbock, TX

#38 Sep 4, 2011
Liberty wrote:
Pastor John Wagner went through years of restoration while working under Pastor Frank Santora, Sr Pastor of Faith Church in New Milford, CT; it is also where he met and later married Ilena. Amongst his peers in the Northeast, who worked with and knew him years before the Florida church, who did not abandon him (not his former wife Margie) nor throw stones, but sought his restoration, John was verrry honest about all that transpired...and he has repented and humbled himself. The gifts and call of God are without repentance. If King David, the adulterer, was remembered as a "man after God's own heart;" who are any of us to say the blood of Jesus is not good enough and that God is in the restoration business, just not for Pastor John! Sow what you want to reap - mercy! If you have issue with the man, pray for God's perfect will to be done in his life and go to a different church! Remember our battle is not with people; use your words, time and energy to help folks, not tear them down.
I'm sorry but your version of John and Ilena story did not match up with the other post so I looked up a few dates on the internet. According the the Miami Herald news articles, John "sued to end his 18 year marriage to wife Margie four days after admitting to an extramarital affair and resigning from his church in disgrace." Other articles stated that he resigned Christ the Rock Community Church in Cooper City in March 2003 and in a few weeks started the Church of Abounding Grace in Pembrooke Pines. Public records of Broward County Florida show that John J Wagner married Ilena Astrid Fraticelli on 01-01-04. So is the Ilena that he met after his long restoration at Faith Church another Ilena?
Jordan

Lufkin, TX

#39 Sep 17, 2011
I honestly don't care so much about the extramarital affair, past history, divorces, etc. of John Wagner. I am so hurt, angered, and saddened by how he has thrown accusations at staff and/or put more pressures on them to "weed them out" so that he can hire his own crew. A long-time secretary whom my family new very well was accused of money embezzlement and we know for a fact that she would never do a thing. It is a FACT that John is causing division and strife within TPCC, which IS very sad, because the founding pastor started the church with a genuine shepherd's heart.

John even went as far as to change the church by-laws and he is now "President and CEO of Turning Point Community Church, Inc." This is a CHURCH...NOT a business! That action alone should be plenty of evidence that he is power and money hungry. Sorry folks, I know pastors make mistakes just the same, and I know God uses all kinds of people for HIS glory, but at this moment, John is a "wolf in sheep's clothing." He is charismatic, charming, friendly....and that is what wins people over. Maybe he will change some day, to be more genuine.

For me, the bottom line is that I am sad at how he has thrown accusations at people I know and love, which has hurt them, and thus caused division and strife.
Dee

United States

#40 Nov 8, 2011
I attended CRCC for years. Wagner's affair with a member of THE PRAISE team, was a blow to his congegration who loved & trusted him. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning!! His refusal to repent, the lies and decit that followed was painful and hurtful. I will NEVER forget his attitude, his arrogance, and his refusal to acknowledge his sin. He turned a lot of new believers away from the Lord. The bible is very CLEAR on the requirements of a pastor. He should NOT be parroting ANY church and does not deserve trust. If he were a true man of God, he would repent and find another way to serve the Lord. According to God's word, he is no longer eligible to serve as a pastor. Those following him blindly, are not following God, buy man. He can start a church in any state he wants, but God is NOT going to bless it, or God is not God!!

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