Monday, July 4, 2011

Ardmore Family of God -- Don Preston's Personal Cult

Don Preston, perhaps THE mouthpiece for hyperpreterism as Preston is the most published hyperpreterist author and the most widely followed hyperpreterist debater had also been a "minister" of a congregation.  The "church" was originally called the "Ardmore Church of Christ" in Oklahoma.  But in 2007-08, after 16 years of leading the congregation Preston delivered a farewell speech which was more of an admission that his congregation failed and that he was leaving due to lack of financial support.  Listen to it yourself (source).

After Preston left, to pursue more money making opportunities, another hyperpreterist named Jack Scott took the helm.  Scott spoke at a few hyperpret conferences but was never the big name that Preston had been. Scott resigned in 2010 but not before further deluding the poor folks attending that congregation. (More on that later)

But what is revealing is the REASON Preston resigned.  From the ACTUAL speech that Preston gave at the time, he CLEARLY stated he resigned BECAUSE:

1. The congregation wasn't meeting its "hopes & dreams".
2. The congregation was failing to grow.
3. The young people were abandoning the congregation.
4. The congregation was not making it "possible" to financially support Preston's plans.

The audio and the text of the speech can be accessed here, since the congregation website itself has all but cleansed itself of the embarassing episode, not even telling the visitor the history of the "church".  Since the focus on his speech, Preston and his apologists have ATTEMPTED to spin what happened.  To this end, one of the congregation's administrators recently responded in part saying:

"Perhaps a blip of truth thrown into the heresay testimony given here may be helpful. My name is Brett McNeill. To establish some credibility with the readers, I was an officer of the Board of Directors of the church where Don Preston was the full-time minister..."

HOWEVER, we have Preston's own recorded speech and text to go along with it.  The "truth" is there was no HEARSAY, it is was Preston's own words that his defender now wants to revision.  There is no bitterness, simply reporting and reporting that let's the reader access Preston's ACTUAL words -- not the puditry of opponents or supporters of Preston.  And whether a person likes or dislikes Preston or his teaching, Preston's OWN WORDS show that he resigned for the 4 reasons listed above.


Jack Scott only "ministered" to the congregation for about 3 years before resigning.  Why?  who knows, but perhaps the answer can be found in the "sermons" of  July-11-2010 or July-25-2010.

In Scott's resignation speech he states:

"I know in someways many of you feel I've let you down and in reality that is probably the truth" --  July-25-2010
So, once again this congregation gets dumped.  When will they learn that these men are using them?

The personal cult that Preston had turned this congregation into, passed to Jack Scott who also dumped them and eventually it appears turned it over to a man named Oscar Miles who is as much a radical, Christianity-hating individualist, private-interpreter as had Preston and Scott been.  This poor congregation will probably experience the abandonment by this man too.  Perhaps they should consider that God is trying to tell them something?

1 comment:

Roderick_E said...

Oscar Miles, who seems to be the new "minister" for this hyperpreterist congregation took offense at this article and among calling me "bitter", "hateful", and in need of a "counselor" also threatened legal action. Oh how "Christian" of him.

I replied as follows:

Oscar you threaten, "I will not hesitate to call my lawyer and take legal action. You have already crossed the line."

Well, I knew it wouldn't take long to prove you AREN'T a Christian that lives according to the Bible since we know 1 Cor 6 SPECIFICALLY speaks to this matter:

"If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people?...Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you...The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already."

It is YOU who without knowing ANYTHING about me have LIED and called me bitter, hateful, and now obviously since you suggest I need a counselor, that I must have a mental issue. All of this from a man such as yourself that is leading a group of people into believing 2000 years of UNITED believed and practiced Christiantiy is wrong and instead that the private interpretations of Max King and like are correct. Look, I don't have any "personal" issues with any of you. You may well be the most loving husbands and fathers ever, but you are certainly teaching a heresy that needs to be opposed and I know this is what REALLY makes you bitter and hateful towards anyone who dares oppose you -- to the point of you threatening legal action. I urge Brett and the others to consider how Oscar has responded here. Is this threat of legal action REALLY the behavior of a supposed "Christian" minister???

Take care,