Public Statements concerning the Church of Wells

The Church of Wells, in attempt to attain some credibility, have falsely associated themselves with historic & contemporary reformed preachers and their theology. In response to their theology and practices which are contradictory to the men of faith (Spurgeon, Baxter, Edwards, Ravenhill, Barnard etc.) the following Christian voices have provided public statements concerning the Church of Wells.

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

These public statements concerning the Church of Wells were personally provided for use on this site. The people below are all personal acquaintances or friends of the Discerning the Church of Wells team.

ravenhill

Mack Tomlinson
An authority on Leonard Ravenhill

Baptist pastor, revival historian, friend of Leonard Ravenhill for 17 years, and authorized biographer of In Light of Eternity: The Life of Leonard Ravenhill.

From 1977 until his death in 1994, I was closely associated with evangelist Leonard Ravenhill, hearing him often, and attended his Friday night prayer meeting consistently for approximately ten years. I was in his home a number of times, prayed with him numerous times, and shared close fellowship with Ravenhill during those years. After his death, I had the privilege of writing an extensive biography on his life, the only biography that has been written about him.

As a result, I know, without any hesitation, that Leonard Ravenhill would not appreciate or allow the Church of Wells using his name and image to promote their group. Ravenhill never allowed himself to be used in such a manner by a church for self-promotion purposes. Neither would he condone their conduct, example, or ministry. On the contrary, he would in no uncertain terms view them as having defected from the path of orthodox evangelical historic Christianity.

ravenhill An appeal to the Church of Wells

David Ravenhill
An appeal to the Church of Wells

David Ravenhill and his brother the sons of Leonard Ravenhill has privately asked for the removal of the portrait of their father Leonard Ravenhill. The Church of Wells have not done according to the wishes of the family who uphold the theology and testimony of their father.

David Ravenhill is in opposition to the teachings of The Church of Wells. The Church of Wells teaching is inconsistent with the teachings of Leonard Ravenhill.

barnard Church of Wells

Mack Tomlinson
An authority on Rolfe Barnard

Baptist pastor, revival historian, who personally knew men who knew and preached with Barnard.

The Church of Wells also claims Baptist evangelist Rolfe Barnard as one of their heroes and has his picture on the home page of their website. As one who has been familiar with the life and ministry of evangelist Rolfe Barnard for years, as well as personally knowing men who knew and preached with Barnard, it is grievous to see the Church of Wells using Barnard’s name and sermons to promote their error-filled cause. Barnard would condemn their entire group and its practices. But they misrepresent Barnard on their website when they say of him: “who though he was ‘termed’ a Baptist, stood against most of the Baptist conservatism of his day.”

By making such a statement, the Church of Wells is clearly trying to make Barnard look like he was not a Baptist, implying that others were only “terming” or calling him a Baptist. In other words, this group is distancing themselves from anything called by the name of Baptist and is trying to distance Barnard himself from that heritage. Such a presentation of Barnard is certainly revisionist history that is not accurate or honest.

The fact is that Barnard was always a Baptist unashamedly, having been educated in a Baptist college and seminary, and served all his ministry as either a Baptist pastor or evangelist, conducting the majority of his entire ministry in Baptist churches. My friend Ernest Johnston, who has written the only existing biography on Barnard, reveals this in his work on the great preacher. Barnard did expose and preach against that which was compromised in Baptist churches, but he did not distance himself from being a Baptist, as the Church of Wells falsely represents him. Barnard did not say to others, “I’ve been termed a Baptist, but I’m really not one.” The simple truth is, that is what he always was and he did not shy away from that identity. The Church of Wells evidences their dishonesty and/or ignorance in presenting Barnard as they do.

In fact, to put all such pictures of Ravenhill, Barnard, John Bunyan, Spurgeon, and other godly giants from Christian history on their website is to give the impression that those men from the past would condone and approve this church group. The truth is, none of the men in history they show on their website would be in agreement with the Church of Wells. The Church at Wells cannot claim them because those men would not agree with or worship with the Church at Wells. If the Church of Wells leaders were genuinely holding to the truth and walking with God, they would not do this. But they do so to build an image of historic orthodoxy when, in fact, the group is anything but orthodoxy. Every person who knows about the Church of Wells ought to avoid it, as would C. H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan, Rolfe Barnard, and Leonard Ravenhill.

spurgeon Church of Wells

Phil Johnson, Spurgeon.org

Serves with John MacArthur as director of Grace to You (gty.org), and served as board member of The Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust (UK).

A voice against the CoW use of Charles Spurgeon as a witness to their teachings.

I regard The Church of Wells as a classic mind-control cult.

Although they apparently grew from mostly orthodox roots in the open-air evangelism community, they are not well taught; they refuse all accountability; they consider themselves the only reliable bastion of truth in existence; and they show no respect for the faith of our fathers.

They have no regard for (or true knowledge of) historical theology, and even though they claim to view certain men of God from the past as heroes (Spurgeon, Edwards, Whitefield, etc.), The Church of Wells has stubbornly spurned the true example those men gave us. If the pattern holds true, it is only a matter of time before the leaders in the Church of Wells start manufacturing strange doctrines and veer into even more dangerous realms of error.

They despise authority. It furthermore seems to me that unlike the apostle Paul (Acts 17:10, 14) they are deliberately trying to foment violence in Wells. See, for example, http://www.ktre.com/story/25186231/church-of-wells-breaks-their-silence-after-weekend-brawl (and watch the video of the guy preaching. He is purposely provoking unbelievers who are already seething with extreme anger. This is in flat disobedience to Matthew 7:6.) They seem to be trying to cast themselves in the martyr’s role by artificial means. They are following precisely the same path blazed by Jim Jones, David Koresh, Darwin Fish, and other disastrous false teachers. In no way would I ever endorse them. They are a dangerous influence to be avoided at all costs.

Public Statements concerning the Church of Wells

Paul Washer, heartcry.org

A voice against the CoW under-handed use of Washer’s name and materials to promote their unbiblical agenda.

The Church of Wells have refused to take my video off their website. Understand that we oppose their decision, doctrine & practice.

Others include:

Tony Miano (Founder of Cross Encounters Ministries), Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity, and Matt Slick (President and Founder of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry), Charles Leiter, author and pastor, Tim Conway or I’ll be Honest.

Others have not spoken against the Church of Wells yet because the cult is a young one and relatively unknown. Although the Church of Wells is still relatively insignificant, the hurt and damage that has been caused by their heretical teaching is very real.

If respectable, godly and proven men are aware of the Church of Wells’ unquestionable cult status, then we should heed their warning. Witnesses have spoken, but not in support of this group – but unanimously opposed to the dangerous teaching of the Church of Wells.

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