Welcome to De-Commissioned, a place for former members of the Great Commission movement (aka GCM, GCC, GCAC, GCI, the Blitz) to discuss problems they've experienced in the association's practices and theology.

You may read and post, but some features are restricted to registered members. Please consider registering to gain full access! Registration is free and only takes a few moments to complete.
De-Commissioned Forum
November 27, 2021, 04:21:26 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home   Forum   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: H2O Church at The Ohio State University  (Read 13067 times)
Ohman
Obscure Poster (1-14 Posts)
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1



« on: August 28, 2016, 09:38:56 am »

Hello,
Reading this site with great interest.  My daughter just started her 2nd year at OSU, discovered H2O Church at a student involvement fair, and is attending her first service and "Kick-Off" cookout today.  My caution and suspicion about this group is turning to concern, as I learn more. 

Does anyone here have any direct experience with the H2O Church at Ohio State?

Thanks!
Logged
Janet Easson Martin
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1101



« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 08:23:10 pm »

Welcome Ohman,

I feel your alarm as a parent of a college student.  I will pray for her that she will feel freedom of choice and personal conviction in how she directs her academic time, free time, money, holidays, friendships, family time, career path, faith and service to God wherever she decides to go.  The bad new is though I am not sure who the particular leaders there are; if they were raised or discipled in the GCx organization or have loyalty to it, they are not likely to genuinely respect and support her individual choices especially in her pursuit of God's plans.

The good news is that I have found God AMAZINGLY faithful to answer our prayers for our children away from home.  He gives us permission to wear him out with our requests - as if he really could be worn out.  I know others reading here will also pray for your daughter.  

What a wonderful parent you are to investigate what your gut told you.



Fighting Their Battles in Prayer With You,

Janet

« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 03:45:14 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2496



« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 09:13:20 pm »

Welcome, Ohman.

While I have no "direct" experience with H2O Church at Ohio State, I might have a couple of bits of information that might be helpful to you as you research the church.

H2O church is part of a group of churches that recently (in the last few years) changed their name from "Great Commission Ministries Churches" to Collegiate Church Network churches.

Great Commission Ministries (GCM) was started by GCC (Great Commission Churches) which if I remember correctly used to be called GCAC (Great Commission Association of Churches). GCC churches were founded by a man named Jim McCotter and ended up on many cult watch lists over the years for their heavy handed high control leadership and commitment for life teaching.

GCM was a "branch" of GCC that was started by elder/pastor Dave Bovenmyer (I think around 1989) as a means of collecting and disbursing financial support for GCC missionaries and in later years did some college church plants. GCM recently changed it's name to Reliant. Bovenmyer sits on the board of GCC and Reliant (formerly GCM).

Let me see if I can summarize:

GCAC/GCC was started by a man named Jim McCotter around 1970. McCotter's teaching was characterized by obedience to elders (over issues like who to marry, where to go to school, commitment for life to the group, obedience to pastors) and he got himself and his churches on cult watch lists.

McCotter left in the mid-80's "to pursue business interests". GCC has never distanced themselves or corrected his bad teaching.

GCC started GCM in the late 80's.

GCM didn't like the fact that this web site is "gcmwarning" (standing for "Great Commission Movement", but I'm guessing parents Googling GCM found this site). They recently changed their name to Reliant.

The churches that were Reliant became Collegiate Church Network churches. There are links between the early GCC churches and Reliant and Collegiate Church Network. Specifically Dave Bovenmyer and a man named Greg Van Nada who is on the board of Reliant and Collegiate Church Network, but goes all the way back to GCC and McCotter.

It was when our high school daughter was asked to commit to our church for life while on a retreat that our eyes were opened. We had been attending our church for 10 years and just kept giving the bad teaching a "pass" because the pastors were sincere and we knew they were "untrained" so we made excuses for their bad theology...until they started teaching obedience to elders and commitment for life.

Hope that gives you a place to start and I hope that your daughter has a great year.

One last thing, I'm just curious as to how you came across this web site. Was there something in particular that you found troubling?

God bless.

Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Janet Easson Martin
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1101



« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2016, 04:27:44 am »

To Ohman & All Checking Out H2O Churches/ Campus Ministries,

Linda's historical recall below is CRUCIAL to your researching this group. Their continual name changing is part of their scheme to detach themselves from continual spiritual abuses that are reported to this day. This very website contains documents and testimony of this organization's harmful counsel and leading of its people.  


"...H2O church is part of a group of churches that recently (in the last few years) changed their name from "Great Commission Ministries Churches" to Collegiate Church Network churches...

GCM recently changed it's name to Reliant. Bovenmyer sits on the board of GCC and Reliant (formerly GCM)...

GCAC/GCC was started by a man named Jim McCotter around 1970. McCotter's teaching was characterized by obedience to elders (over issues like who to marry, where to go to school, commitment for life to the group, obedience to pastors) and he got himself and his churches on cult watch lists... GCC has never distanced themselves or corrected his bad teaching.

...There are links between the early GCC churches and Reliant and Collegiate Church Network. Specifically Dave Bovenmyer and a man named Greg Van Nada who is on the board of Reliant and Collegiate Church Network, but goes all the way back to GCC and McCotter."



Here are some helpful testimonies from this website (bold emphasis mine):

Hello everyone! I was never a member of GCx, but was a member of the International Churches of Christ (ICOC) from 1998-2006. The stories of shepherding/discipling abuses I've read in GCx and the evolution of its theology and systems of control are virtually identical to the ICOC.

I've recently encountered current and former members of H2O churches in my part of the country (Cincinnati, Ohio) and am greatly concerned that the same kinds of GCx abuses are still occurring in these H2O churches. It's similar to what happened when the original leader of the ICOC (Kip McKean) was kicked out of leadership and a new group took over. The same abuses still occurred (and are still occuring), but not to the levels that they did in the past. However, these abuses are abuses nonetheless. This is my fear with the people I know who are involved with H2O, particularly at the leadership level.

What makes it more difficult is that the ICOC's teachings are very easy to pick out, namely one is not saved unless they follow the ICOC's bible studies which as a lost person you start living the life of a saved person so you can be baptized and become a saved person. (Wait, what??? That's what they teach in a nutshell!) It's harder to uncover bad GCx theology unless you really dig into it.


It was encouraging to find others on this forum who have been burned by H20 Orlando: http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/the-worst-of-the-worst-serious-error/msg9307/#msg9307. I too was a part of H2O Orlando around the same time as "bothered." And I also came to H20 Orlando in the early 2000s hoping to find a great experience, instead I encountered a lot of immaturity and dysfunction on the leadership team. No one in the H20 Orlando leadership was held accountable for what happened.

Many people, like myself, came to Orlando hoping to "plant a church," but there was already a church there and it was confusing. Were we planting a new church or just merging with this one? And yes, as bothered points out, there was a fairly big exodus of people leaving the church because of the issues or because they were dissatisfied with everything. In any other healthy business, the leaders would have either lost their jobs or at least been held accountable in some way. But, that didn't happen.

From what I can see they haven't changed their core theological DNA or leadership very much, if at all.

http://www.h2ochurch.org
http://collegiatechurchnetwork.com
http://www.gcmweb.org/


Hi Virginia Parent,

I think that if you are thinking long term, your son should consider involving himself in another Christian Community.  My experience of GCM took place from around 2001-2005. In other words, very recently. Many of the issues in the 1991 apology still very much existed when I was there as late as 2005.

Rather than going through all of the issues I experienced here, if you want to know more about my experience, I posted about it on this forum under the title "H2O Orlando" in General Discussion. But, I will at least post here that the GCM church I was in was not very sensitive (sometimes extremely insensitive) to a student's academic responsibilities or future goals not related to vocational-ministry.

Are there other churches in the area you could have your son check out?
Perhaps understanding my experience, will help you and your son make the decision. God Bless you and your son as you pursue the best place for him.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 09:11:18 am by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.        - Saint Augustine
xray342
Obscure Poster (1-14 Posts)
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 10



« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 02:41:30 pm »

Does anyone here have any direct experience with the H2O Church at Ohio State?

Hi Ohman!

Although I was never part of GCM (I was a member of the International Churches of Christ, which has very similar abusive dynamics to GCM), I did encounter a leader in the H2O Church at Ohio State. Once they stated asking me and a few other Christians for money to support their ministry, I knew what they was involved in. I asked them several questions in a phone conversation and their response was identical to those I've encountered personally from the ICOC, such as "we're not like that any more", "don't judge us for what we've done in the past, things have changed", and so on. I told them I was concerned about them being involved, but they decided to return to H2O anyway. I occasionally receive e-mail updates from them and one was particularly disturbing. It was a testimony from a woman who joined H2O that confessed practically all of her sexual sins in that e-mail in detail. This is the detail required from my time in the International Churches of Christ.

The bottom line is this: unless someone steps forward from these ministries (be it either a leader or regular member) and confirms that abuse is occurring, we can't definitely know if abuse is still occurring. However, with the evidence provided and my experiences with the discipling/shepherding ministries like GCM and the ICOC, it's best for someone to avoid them and join another authentic Christian campus ministry. It's not like there are a bazillion of those at a large campus like Ohio State already. Wink Although that there's only so much we can see from our perspective as an outsider, there are troubling signs that tell me to avoid H2O entirely.
Logged
XianJaneway
Obscure Poster (1-14 Posts)
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 11



« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 08:04:47 pm »

Hi Ohman,

I was directly involved with H20 churches, right before it changed its name, and changed pastors. We still know and love a lot of people who are in leadership there.

(By the way, I'm sorry that I haven't put my introduction on the thread--I just saw this as I was browsing & wanted to help. I will do so shortly. Feel free to find me on twitter @XianJaneway, or read my story at IpreferCaptain.com)


While I was involved, I had *no idea* that it would be considered a "high-control" group. I didn't feel "forced" to do anything. However, the culture of the group strongly promotes giving of all of your time, energy, social commitment, and attention. 

Friendships are formed STRONGLY and QUICKLY, and it can feel like "home." This is called "love bombing."

The difference is, my husband & I were married, in an environment of mostly college students. We were getting the HYPER gender-roles advice. Women submit to husbands, stay home & raise the kids, etc. We were also introduced to the Pearls' books, which have severely oppressive gender theology.

I'm so tired that I can't think straight, but feel free to contact me on Twitter, or using my email that I left open. <3
Logged
XianJaneway
Obscure Poster (1-14 Posts)
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 11



« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2017, 01:28:34 pm »

I should add that H2O was formerly called "Mosaic" .  They first met in a local movie theater, then moved to sharing a building w/a Church/Private School on Indianola Ave (IIRC? I haven't lived there in a few years, so I may not remember all the street names correctly.) 

I was a part of the church as they decided to make the transition from Mosaic to H2O.  The Mosaic pastor, Aziz,  was a believer in gender roles, but he actually made some very interesting & egalitarian-sounding statements during a few sermons! He was vulnerable, open, and helpful.  I liked him a lot. However, he was beyond exhausted, & had three kids with serious, life-threatening illnesses.  He was very servant-hearted. 

They decided to give Aziz a sabbatical, & brought in a new, younger, more charismatic preacher. They also decided to only focus on the OSU campus, so adults had to either join staff, or leave to find new churches. At that point, we moved to another GCM church--and that set us up for a serious level of difficulty.

So, please feel free to message me if you need any information about H20 or GCM. I don't want to get into any more specifics here, because I need to protect my kids' identity.

Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.1.1