Daniel Layne has criminal past

Note: This church is independent and not affiliated with the Church of God congregations.


November 5, 2001
By Rick Ross

The California based leader of the Ontario Church of God, accused of child abuse, has a troubled past of drug addiction and once served a prison term. Pastor Daniel Lane exposes this personal history within his autobiography "He Lifted Me Out." In the book Layne says, "I shot drugs for 19 years until I had used up every vein in my body. I had shot in the palms, in the back of my hands, in my feet, and in my jugular veins to the place where I didn't have any visible veins left in my body."

Later in the book he describes time in a psychiatric hospital, stealing from Goodwill and an attempted suicide. He tried to chop his arms off with a meat cleaver. Finally, at 36 God spoke to him and he experienced a religious conversion. Layne concludes, "It's only because of the grace of God that I'm alive."

Daniel Layne then joined Church of God in California, but in 1989 left, due to the churches "liberal" teachings. He then started his own church in Aylmer, Ontario Canada. Layne met Peter, Henry and David Hildebrandt, Mexican Mennonites also once associated with the Church of God movement and like Layne they too believed it had become too "liberal." Peter Hilderbrandt, now pastor of a church in Chihuahua, Mexico said, "We [knew] a lot of the bible, but no one seemed to be living it... [Daniel Layne's church] showed with their lives that they lived the bible teaching."

As Layne's flock grew questions were raised about his leadership. People said Layne assumed the role of an apostle and controlled his following too much. Layne certainly had a profound influence regarding the way his flock raised their children. Donny Sharpe, a former pastor once associated with Layne said, "It's become very cultish, the Church isn't about God's authority any more. It's about one man's dictatorship. They treat him like another Moses."

But Daniel Layne denies such claims. In a newsletter last year he stated, "Let it be known to our readers that this work of God is not and has never been under man-rule. We long ago took strong stands against any rule but the rule of the Holy Ghost and the Word of God." Mr. Sharpe disagrees with that statement and claims Layne is intolerant of any other view, but his own. Almost 100 members left an affiliated congregation in Chilliwack, B.C. Sharpe says that Layne "has soured people on God,"



"Leader of controversial Church has criminal past" By Jon Bricker and Mary Vallis, National Post/July 25, 2001


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