• Report: #973019
Complaint Review:

Ocala Foursquare Church

  • Submitted: Sat, November 24, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, November 24, 2012

  • Reported By: John — Atlanta Georgia United States of America
Ocala Foursquare Church
114-118 Tuscawilla Av. Ocala, Florida United States of America

Ocala Foursquare Church Mentally and emotionally abusive and very controlling Ocala, Florida

*General Comment: Agreed, 2017

*General Comment: nothing new

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Do not go to the Ocala Foursquare Church in Ocala, Florida in which I was a member of for many years. They are running two ministry houses on the side of this church known as the Sheepgate ministries in which they bring in people in that are in need.  It started out to be a very good idea. They tell you how much they love you and consider you part of their family which is acceptance at first and convince you that they love you unconditionally. The people are then put in mental and emotional distressing positions, for instance I had to be hospitalized three times in the last few months with chest pains. I have personally lived in this house several times. One of those times was for two years strait. 

The Pastors wife is the ultimate authority there striping her husband of any and all authority and almost everyone in the congregation sees it. I have personally witnessed the present manager of the Sheepgate Ministry houses scream at and correct the Pastor in public and the Pastors wife allows him to do so. They convince people that they cannot survive anywhere else but there. I have personally been taken into the office where the Pastors will throw things around with no regard of safety to anyone in there, cussing and screaming at me and I was not allowed to say a word. I have never been belittled like I have there. I would be taken into the office by her , the Pastor, and the manager one to two times per day for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours per time every day instilling fear into me accusing me of things I didn't even know about or did not do or say. I am not the only one who will testify to this because they would also do this to others in front of the congregation to further belittle the person.

The Pastors also allowed men and women live in the same house. There has been at least three women get pregnant there. One of them that got pregnant when she was 17 and the man was 36.

The Pastors wife uses the pulpit for correction to those in the ministry to instill her will, not Gods. If you were to talk to the people on the streets they will tell you that she has turned more of them away from God than to Him. She has been seen during church throwing things around on the stage, cussing, belittling people, screaming at them and calling them names. When a couple has problems in their relationship she convinces them that the other person is no good and that they should not be together. My bible says that God is a God of reconciliation not division. Right now the people in the ministry house will defend her and them completely because of their fear of her. 

I know out of experience from being there for so long that they control who you talk to and if they do not like the person they will verbally, emotionally, and spiritually abuse you. They will go through your cell phone and read texts and look at the call log to see who you are talking to. If they see anything they dont like then they will take your phone away from you for a period of time. They took mine away for three days at a time on two occasions. I was also told by the manager that per the Pastors wife after two very close family members passed away that I was not allowed to mourn their deaths and that no matter what, I had to keep a smile on my face. That is not biblical at all.

During the years I was there I did a lot of work there which I do not regret because I did it for God. They would work us sometimes till 3 or 4 AM and sometimes all night then require us to be ready by 7 AM to start our day again at the church with little or no sleep then tell me that I never did anything for them or the church and I was worthless. She would make a person feel like they were worthless and suicidal and then start kicking me when I was down. I was to the point that I wished I were dead than there.

My bible tells me that God is a God of love, forgiveness and reconciliation, not of resentment, hate, division and condemnation. She is never wrong. Ever! She is feared by almost everyone. To disagree with her is the same as disagreeing with God according to her. She will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. Questioning her or the so called program is seen as a sign of rebellion.

Guilt will be used to control you. If you seem to have problems of any kind, which everyone does from time to time it's always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for making a mistake. When you do exactly as you are told you still get in trouble because she will say she changed her mind but wont tell you till you get done. She has told me and others she does that because she can. She says she is the ultimate authority placed there by God and you will do exactly as you are told, right or wrong. You have no choice because most people that are there have nowhere else to go and she knows that and uses that as a tool.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/24/2012 03:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ocala-foursquare-church/ocala-florida-34470/ocala-foursquare-church-mentally-and-emotionally-abusive-and-very-controlling-ocala-flor-973019. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Agreed, 2017

AUTHOR: Ionela248 - (USA)

  I was a renter here for a little over 4 months, I will be moving out this month. The property is broken down into the church being right next door to the house where they offer rental units to the public. At one point, for a brief period I was volunteering at this ministry. When multiple allegations were made regarding food stamp card fraud (activation of FS cards without knowledge or consent of those who are or were within their treatment program) I separated myself from this ministry. Speaking as a renter, When I moved into one of their rental units (their are 3 rental units available to the public) it was not brought to my knowledge that there was an ongoing bedbug problem and within days after moving in and paying $1,000 upfront, $600 being the deposit (that they are refusing to return), I experienced the bedbug problem first hand. It would later come out during my time here that one of the pastors who was the initial landlord is active in a drug problem. Because of him being unavailable, my next point of contact would be Carolyn Peters holiday, who is the co-founder of Sheepgate and who took over as landlord in the wake of her sons active addiction (who she has refused to acknowledge despite numerous signs, accounts and physical evidence). When doing business directly with Ms Holiday, I requested and received a lease agreement with a forged signature of the initial landlords signature. During my rental period, even after paying rent on time every month and her refusing to provide her direct number as landlord, the hot water was turned off for 2 months straight by the ministry, the bedbug problem was still ongoing (the actual nest was right behind my wall on the other side of the house where the men in treatment resided), my stove and microwave never worked, the power was turned off multiple times for hours by the power company for non payment by the ministry, and there were many times the police were called out for issues ranging from noise disturbances to overdoses to drug deals being made on property. Further, in regards to the bed bug issue, the pest control guy advised that this has been going on for years and that it would require thousands of dollars worth of work to eradicate them. This is knowledge that this ministry had all along when they accepted my deposit and marketed their unit for rent. I have personally had to throw out furniture and linens due to the infestation. Carolyn has had knowledge of all of this and has never attempted to intervene. Matter fact, Ms Holiday has made it a point to make herself unavailable to handle these issues on a consistent basis. The only mailbox on property is located directly in front of the house next to the church and it's in a locked box that only she and her assistant Debbie James (who handles food stamp card activations) has access to by unlocking the lock. I had no knowledge of the mailbox until after moving in and being in a lease. I attempted to have a bank card mailed out to me on the 24th of May. I never received it in a timely manner and it wasn't until a week ago (the week of July 26th) did I receive numerous pieces of mail that Carolyn had been withholding from me by physically picking up the mail daily and dropping it off at a different house and hiding it there (I only know this because once it was discovered my mail was on their property it was returned to me ASAP by that party). Also in regards to the power and gas being turned off for non payment by Sheepgate, when you factor in the rent payments from myself and 2 other tenants, multiple men in the program making monthly payments of $400 per month, the tax break of being registered as a church, and weekly offerings, this ministry received on a monthly basis between $2,700 - $3,200 dollars a month yet they consistently have issues keeping the power and gas on. Who is pocketing the money? Speaking as a volunteer, I began volunteering shortly after I moved in because I wanted to do a good thing that was positive. I saw that some of the men in the program were sincerely trying to get their lives together and I wanted to assist them in being successful in making positive life changes. As stated before, when allegations were made that Sheepgate was activating and using the food stamp cards of men who were in the program and after receiving knowledge that the local police department did a walk through of the church with a plain clothed LE and K-9 unit (without the k9) while making it clear they weren't looking for someone, I separated myself from them. I can only speak of what I saw and experienced as a volunteer first hand. The co-founder, Carolyn Peters Holiday, goes by the title of Pastor. I have personally watched her force one of the residents family members (who was at the time a designated payee) make extra payments of rent because she received knowledge this resident was owed back payment from his SSI check. She did this by threatening the resident by stating he would be thrown out on the streets if he did not pay her extra money for that month. Further, with this same resident, as of now, the manager (who lives upstairs in the church without access to a shower), is designated as this residents sole payee. Most of the men who come into this program have been institutionalized. They have no money, no where to go and they are desperate. Carolyn preys on these men by making them pay her their SSI payments and hand over their food stamp cards immediately before accepting them into their program. She operates by instilling fear and intimidation into these men if they express concerns for their wellbeing. Not only that, she publicly ridicules these men loudly in front of their peers and the church by resorting to yelling, threats, and name calling. There are men who enter this program who are detoxing and they will not allow them to go to the hospital for supervised detox forcing them to work while undergoing active withdrawal. In addition, Carolyn will go to great lengths to prevent the men from seeking or receiving outside employment so that they will remain solely dependent on the ministry without outside resources. She does not want them to have any autonomy. She is very vocal when threatening the men who are defenseless, yet not vocal or available when confronted with landlord and tenant issues. It wasn't until I had the full picture that I was able to step away and separate myself. It is an extremely toxic environment she produces and she is the sole authority who rules with an iron fist in fear and intimidation. If you look up the definition of a cult, you will find Sheepgate ministries. I say this because 4 years ago, they stepped out from under the denominational covering of Four Square and declared themselves as independent operating and changing their name to Church of the Sheepgate. Further, in being a ministry, and one that has operated for years, and out of over 500 churches in the Ocala area, I do not believe they are being sponsored by any church which should make a statement enough because most churches are apt to financially sponsor a ministry who is supposedly active in the community. I empathize with the men in this program because though they have made mistakes and have paid for them, they are trying to make it right and change their lives. I've had many conversations and interactions with these men and they have always been extremely respectful to me and have never once treated me in any manner unbecoming. Unfortunately, because of the situation they are in with this ministry, they are being taken advantage of by Carolyn Peters Holiday and their is little or nothing they can do. Their options consist of risk being thrown out onto the streets with or without access to their EBT cards. Which is absolutely a shame. I would encourage anyone to see for themselves how things are done here and develop your own conclusions.

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#2 General Comment

nothing new

AUTHOR: hubcap144 - ()

From experience this is how it goes:

I have nowhere to go and I need aplace to live.

I am an addict and theres nothing I want more than help.

Becoming a disciple of Jesus is my number one priority in life.



What do you mean I have to get up at seven in the morning?

What do you mean I have to do chores?

I have to follow rules. Are you serious?

Well theres not really anything wrong with me. Its this church. Its this pastor.

This ministry has hurt me so bad Ive got have a drink.



Ive got to find the rest of the complaints because a place this horrifying must have a bucket load.
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