BH Called to Freedom WM verse white

July 28–29, 2023
Simpsonville, KY

Jeremiah Roberts

Decon Andrew of Apologia Church Utah sq

“Super Sleuth”

Andrew Soncrant

The Hosts of

Cultish Logo White

Called to Freedom is a conference for the purpose of rebuilding theology, faith, and community for those who have left or are leaving hyper-fundamentalism (or supporting those who are).

While the hosts’ personal experiences are in Oneness Pentecostal and Trinitarian Holiness Pentecostal groups, we look forward to welcoming attendees who have backgrounds in the Conservative Holiness Movement, Branhamism, Independent Fundamental Baptist churches, Bill Gothard’s teachings, Mennonite churches, Seventh Day Adventism, and more!

Leaving exclusive church groups where extra-biblical rules are priotized often results in loss of community, loss of identity, and even loss of faith—especially when spiritual abuse was endured. The thought of finding a healthy church and starting over is overwhelming. Where do you begin?

At the Called to Freedom Conference, we are going to grapple with this question head-on. We are looking forward to two days filled with:

  • Powerful speaking sessions,
  • Thought-provoking panel discussions,
  • Inspiring testimonies of thriving after hyper-fundamentalism,
  • Relational table discussions (small group style),
  • A night of games and fun!

Join us for a weekend of learning from the hosts of the top-ranked podcast on cults and world religions, making new friends, and encouraging one another in Christ—all while focusing on the grace, love, and freedom found in the gospel!

Register Today!

Venue

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

— Galatians 5:13 —

More About Our Speakers…

We’re honored to have Jeremiah Roberts and Andrew Soncrant, hosts of the Cultish show, as our speakers! The Cultish podcast lauched in October 2018. In the 4 1/2 years since, it has been consistently ranked in the top 100 podcasts under religion and spirituality. Last fall, World Magazine published an op-ed about Cultish, “Off the Narrow Path: Understanding the Cult Mentality.” In their 200+ episodes, Jeremiah and Andrew have interviewed a wide variety of guests, from Warren Jeffs’ 65th wife to Mike Rinder from Scientology and the Aftermath. They have personally made several appearances on Relatable with Allie Beth Stuckey, among other shows and podcasts.

Cultish, podcast, cults, escaping cults, Jeremiah Roberts, Andrew Soncrant, hosts, hyper-fundamentalism, leaving cults, apologia studios

Given Jeremiah and Andrew’s years of research into high-control groups and extensive interview experience with cult-survivors, they are the perfect speakers for breaking down red flags of an unhealthy group, discussing the process of finding healthy faith community, and helping us better understand how to establish our identity in Christ (in contrast to finding our identity in a church group). The Cultish hosts don’t speak on the road often, so this is a special treat. ‘See you in the live audience, July 28-29!

Guest Panelists

We’re honored to have Naomi Wright and Aurelio Lessey as guest panelists in our discussion regarding recognizing and recovering from spiritual abuse. We pray their insight and wisdom on this sensitive topic will strengthen you on your journey of healing.

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Naomi Wright, LSW, MA in Progress

Founder & Executive Director of beEmboldened

Naomi is the daughter of a pseudo-Christian cult leader. She was raised, yet hidden, within mainstream culture and public school education, where no one knew—or the few with a sense of something, stayed silent. She did not know this was the case until she was 28, from which point she has sought after truth with a questioning mind, adamant to never find herself so lost again.

Naomi holds a Master of Science in Social Work from the University at Buffalo (Summa Cum Laude), is licensed in the state of Colorado, and completes a Master in Arts in Christian Studies from Denver Seminary this summer. Her areas of specialty include death and dying, grief and loss, spiritual abuse, including cult abuse, as well as biblical studies.

Naomi Wright is founder and director of beEmboldened, a nonprofit ministry. beEmboldened exists for those impacted by religious trauma by providing support for the prevention of victimization and revictimization, creating a safe space to ask questions and to heal. You can learn more about beEmboldened resources here.

Listen to Naomi’s appearance on Not Ashamed, episode #6, “What is the Role of Faith Community?

Aurelio Lessey, UPCI, ex-UPC, former UPC, former UPCI, keepin it in context

Aurelio Lessey

 Keepin’ It In Context YouTube Channel

Aurelio Lessey is a minister of the gospel, devoted husband, and proud father of three kids. He was formerly a licensed minister within the UPCI, which he was a part of for sixteen years. You can find him on his Youtube Channel, Keepin’ It In Context, where the goal is to empower Christians to experience a healthy relationship with Christ and a balanced understanding of God’s Word.

Here at Berean Holiness, we greatly appreciate Aurelio’s volunteer service as an assistant community group leader.

Sharing Their Stories

We’re honored to have Tracy Bowen, Jennifer Brallier, and Anna Bledsoe coming to share their stories of transitioning out of hyper-fundamentalism and finding freedom in the gospel of grace. We pray their testimonies of God’s stedfast love and faithful guidance will encourage you in your pursuit of biblical truth.

Tracy Bowen, Hobelman, subtle power of spiritual abuse, chm, conservative Holiness movement, testimony, story, hyper-fundamentalism

Tracy Bowen

Tracy Bowen was raised and married within the Conservative Holiness Movement. She knows what it’s like to experience soul-crushing abuse, to the point of believing that God could never love her. She knows what it’s like to feel such discouragement that she didn’t see the point in going back to church, and only did so for her children’s sake. But Tracy also knows what it’s like to be “loved back to Jesus.” She has experienced the goodness of God when He not only repaired her marriage, but wrapped her in His love and restored her heart. 

Tracy and her husband, Matt, have served in full-time ministry for over eight years at Christ Fellowship Church in South Florida. She feels deeply for those who are impacted by abusive and toxic religious environments, and is passionate about sharing with them the healing, hope, and joy she has found in Jesus. You can find her at “The Hard Work of Hope” on Instagram and Facebook, and listen to her appearance on Not Ashamed, episode #3, “What Does it Look Like to Distort the Gospel with Fear and Shame?

Trinitarian, Holiness, Jen, Jenny, Brallier, Pentecostal, Testimony, Story

Jennifer Brallier

Jennifer Brallier was raised within the Independent Holiness Pentecostal Movement. She did her best to measure up as a “good Holiness girl”—she didn’t cut her hair, wear jewelry, makeup, or pants. But even with all outward rule-following, she was still immodest in the biblical sense. She testifies now that God opened her eyes to see that she was full of pride and self-righteousness. As Jennifer began to study the Bible for herself, the Lord transformed her life. He convicted and delivered her from sin, and showed her that she did not have to earn His love—it was freely given. She now walks in genuine relationship with Christ, rejoicing in the peace and security He brings.

You can follow Jennifer on Instagram at @jenbrallier, where you’ll find her sharing her journey from legalism into the freedom of the gospel, her testimony of surviving type 1 Chiari Malformation (a rare chronic brain condition), and the biblical gospel of grace.

Listen to Jennifer’s appearance on Not Ashamed, episode #7, “What Does it Look Like to Have a Personal Relationship with Christ?

Oneness, Apostolic, Anna Bledsoe, Holiness, Pentecostal, Testimony, Story, UPC, UPCI

Anna Bledsoe

Anna Bledsoe was raised in the United Pentecostal Church International (Oneness Pentecostalism). As a teenager, she became exhausted with the confusing rules. Thinking that her desire to wear pants must mean she didn’t truly love Jesus, she gave up on faith and Christianity entirely. Anna found herself in a dark place as the years passed; she turned to paganism, witchcraft, and the LGBTQ lifestyle to fill the spiritual void. God wasn’t done writing her story. He was faithful to call her to Himself, using the book “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel to open her eyes to the reality of Jesus and her need for Him. Transformed and willing to do anything for her Savior, Anna returned to the only church she knew—the United Pentecostal Church. But, the more she learned of UPCI teachings, the less sense they made.

Anna’s faith journey corresponded with her battle to beat cancer. In her testimony, she’ll be sharing how God was faithful through the darkest of seasons, and how He led her into a biblical understanding of the gospel of grace and a right relationship with Him.

Hosted By

Berean Holiness Team

Berean Holiness exists to guide believers out of fear and shame and into the gospel of grace. This mission is accomplished through seasonal community groups and Bible studies via Zoom, private discussion forums, website articles, a podcast, social media, in-person events, and other educational and community-oriented resources.

Nathan and Abbie

Nathan and Natalie (pictured with their spouses, Cole and Abbie) founded Berean Holiness in 2019, after transitioning out of Holiness Pentecostal churches and into mainstream Christianity. Their stories can be found in their team bios and guest interviews. Nathan currently serves as the Network Director for True Charity Initiative. Natalie is completing her Master’s of Biblical Exposition.

Amateur Faith Night Podcast

Amateur Faith Night Podcast Hosts

Gary, Jereme, and Jennifer are the hosts of the Amateur Faith Night Podcast. Jereme and Jennifer came out of the United Pentecostal Church in 2016 and have been ministering to others who have left ever since. Jennifer is the author of Free, From Legalism to Faith: Breaking Out of the United Pentecostal Church, as well as “Finding My Freedom Doing My Life” blog. She was also featured on the Cultish Podcast in 2019.

Called to Freedom Schedule

Friday, July 28

10:30 AM, Doors Open/Registration Begins

12 PM: Jeremiah Roberts: Transitioning to a Healthy Church 

1:45 PM: Freedom Story: Tracy Bowen 

3:15: Panel Discussion: Recognizing & Recovering from Spiritual Abuse

4:45: Freedom Story: Jennifer Brallier

6:30 PM: Catered Meal & Game Night

Saturday, July 29

9 AM: Andrew Soncrant: Identity in Christ

10:30: Panel Discussion: Walking in Freedom

Break for Lunch: 11:50 PM – 2:00 PM
Live Cultish Podcast Recording During Lunch Break (Optional)

2:00 PM: Q&A Session with Jeremiah Roberts and Andrew Soncrant

3:00 PM: Freedom Story: Anna Bledsoe/Berean Holiness Ministry Update

FAQs

Local Airport:

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport – SDF ~31 mins from the venue

If you are flying into the Louisville International Airport and staying at the Simpsonville Hampton Inn, let us know if you are interested in carpooling possibilities. We may be able to connect you with conference guests who have generously offered to give rides to those who are unable to bring or rent their own vehicle. (If you accept their kind offer, please bring cash tips to help reimburse for time and gas.)

Recommended Lodging:

Hampton Inn Simpsonville ~12 mins from the venue

 814 Aristocrat Ct, Simpsonville, KY 40067

Will There be Childcare?

We apologize for the inconvenience, but at this particular venue, we are unable to provide childcare and we are also unable to provide a separate room for parents to care for their children. There are hazards around the venue property, including a pond and a private in-ground swimming pool (across the driveway), so for their safety, we cannot allow children to be outside without adult supervision. Conference hosts and volunteers cannot be held liable for the safety and wellbeing of your children.

Please take into consideration that it’s possible sensitive topics will be discussed, or at least mentioned, in conference content (e.g. references to sexual abuse). We encourage you to arrange for childcare elsewhere, but understand this is not always an option. If you believe your child(ren) will benefit from attending the conference with you despite our limited facilities, we have discounted tickets for children (ages 4-12 years) to be bought with parental discretion. Children ages 3 and under are free.

What to Wear?

Wear what you are comfortable in! Shorts, jeans, a jean skirt, dress slacks, a homespun dress… There will be variety and that’s okay. Whatever you choose to wear, we highly recommend dressing for warm weather. Our venue is air-conditioned, but with peak summer temperatures, we cannot guarantee we’ll be able to keep the venue as cool as some would prefer. Thanks for understanding and packing accordingly!

What’s Included?

Tickets include two, day-time conference sessions on Friday, a fun time of games, food, and fellowship Friday night, and two, day-time conference sessions on Saturday. Snacks and beverages will be provided during conference sessions (complimentary), but not full meals with the exception of Friday night.

The first conference session will begin Friday, July 28, at 12 PM (Eastern Time). We highly recommend guests eat a full meal before arriving. The last session will end by 5 PM, Saturday, July 29. We hope starting later on Friday and ending earlier on Saturday will be beneficial to those traveling in from a few hours away. For those coming/leaving the 27th and 30th, consider enjoying the extra time for relaxation and/or exploring the local area with new friends! Either way, we’ll all make the most of the time in between 12 PM Friday and 5 PM Saturday. We are looking forward to two days packed full of equipping one another in our journeys of rebuilding faith!

Tickets are non-refundable. Cancelled tickets will be donated to our scholarship fund, so please contact us for cancellation if you are unable to attend.

Buy Tickets


Apply for a Scholarship

Do you believe you could greatly benefit from Called to Freedom but are hindered by finances? Apply for a scholarship here.

Called to Freedom Sponsors

Desert Road Ministries is Sponsoring Game Night!

We’re so grateful to Desert Road Ministries for making it possible to provide a catered full meal for all attendees, as well as games: cornhole, giant Jenga, table games, group trivia, and so much more. Game night is an incredible opportunity for us to relax, be ourselves, and connect with believers who can relate. We hope and pray supportive friendships will be formed that last long beyond the event itself.

“Desert Road Ministries exists to enrich the spiritual health of ministry leaders and their families. We envision a worldwide spiritual awakening led by ministry leaders and their families who have encountered God on their personal desert roads. We are here to meet ministry leaders and their families where they are. That includes church division, parenting, couples therapy, mental health issues, crisis events, infidelity, addiction, empty faith, jail/prison, developing healthy teams/staff, etc. Our team is dedicated to meeting you on your desert road – wherever that may be. Our team prayerfully carries out its mission by providing three core services: Ministry Burnout Prevention and Recovery Program, Family Support, and The Oasis Clinic.”

Learn more about Desert Road Ministries and the resources they provide here.

DRM Logo, desert road ministries, counseling, counselors, licensed, professionals, mental health, burnout

Covert Enterprises, Inc. is Sponsoring the Snack and Drink Station!

We’re so grateful to Covert Enterprises, Inc. for sponsoring complimentary snacks and drinks—from coffee and tea, to lemondade and Gatorade, to trail mix, Milanos, granola bars, chips, cookies, fresh fruit and more. Given the summer weather, keeping beverages at hand will play a key role in keeping everyone hydrated and focused. The complimentary snacks will not only keep hunger from becoming a distraction, but also create a natural hang-out spot between sessions. A huge thank you to Covert Enterprises, Inc. for making this possible.

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Questions? Contact us!

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