"You get a master and you become a servant"

May 2004
By a former member of JPUSA

When I came to JPUSA I did not have a winter coat so I spoke with the person appointed over me about getting one. He laughed and said that that if I promised to stay in the ministry, then I would get one.

Upon arriving it was decided that "God" wanted me to wash dishes and clean bathrooms.

This lasted for a few months, 8-9 hours per day and included taking out the garbage and cleaning the dining room.

The filthy living conditions were appalling. Bathrooms were often left dirty, roaches and mice infested the building for the single men.

I contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized at Cook County. No one from JPUSA sent a card or visited me while I was there.

After being at JPUSA for one year I wanted to take a two-week break. No vacation was available.

Why does a pastor have a $30,000.00 truck in the parking lot?

I asked one of the pastors for information on the finances of the ministry. he told me no information was available.

One time I wanted to leave to go to my brother's birthday party, but was told that I should talk to my "covering," which is the man that served as head of the family I was in. My family covering leader told me that I could not emotionally handle seeing my family.

You get a master and you become a servant. And any criticism is immediately considered "divisive."

While working night phones I found a note left for me. It instructed that I was not take any calls from the family of one of the brothers. His mother was trying to contact him and the ministry wanted all her calls blocked.

You are told who you can spend time with and who you can talk to.

You are told who you can "court" and who you cannot.

It all seemed so coercive and manipulative.

But is JPUSA really accountable to the Evangelical Covenant Church? I rarely saw anyone from that church when I was there.

But the leadership is not meaningfully accountable because the general membership cannot remove a pastor.

What will members do when they become senior citizens?

Will they receive any Social Security?

Will there be a senior citizen program?

Many members left. And in most cases bad things were said about them after they were gone.

I felt like I was in hell.

When I left JPUSA a pastor told me that the coordinators had already said that I should leave.


No answer was ever given.

Copyright © 2004 Rick Ross.

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