Community Groups

Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here. If you come from a church group known for extraordinarily strict standards, primary emphasis on outward appearance, an “us vs. them” mindset, authoritarianism, and pressuring conformity via fear and shame, then these groups were made for you. Our primary purpose is to help you parse out the historic faith from hyper-fundamentalism and remove the weights that extra-biblical tradition have added to the genuine gospel of grace. 

We understand that moving away from hyper-fundamentalism often results in the loss of many friendships. As such, it can be an extremely lonely season. Our community groups are designed to connect you with fellow believers who have walked where you walk and who will provide compassionate support and encouragement. May you find strength in knowing that you are not alone and find courage to unravel truth from falsehood under the illuminating light of God’s Word. 

Small Group Photo, Bible Study, Holiness Standards, Community

Please note: Community groups are part of our premium content, and as such, are on a donation basis (any amount, $35 suggested). Scholarships can be applied for by those who are not able to make a donation. All donations go towards the ministry of Berean Holiness. We greatly appreciate your generosity as we grow into a nonprofit organization and endeavor to better serve/support fellow believers through difficult transitions.

To complete a Fall 2023 community group survey, tap here. Thank you for your time!

 

Community Groups: Fall 2022 

The Oneness Apostolic Gospel Vs. The Biblical Gospel

—GROUP FULL—

Brock & Jenna Carroll

  • Tuesday at 5 PM (Central Time)
  • Start Date: September 6
  • End Date: October 25 (8 weeks)
About the Group: The Bible is clear there is only one true Gospel and to preach another one has major repercussions (Galatians 1:6-9). Oneness Apostolics and similar groups teach a version of the Gospel that is quite different from orthodox Christianity. It can be tough to navigate which is true when you have been taught to think so narrowly for such a long period. To even consider that the entirety of the Gospel does not hinge on Acts 2:38 can be extremely difficult. This small group will give you an opportunity to work through the tough questions surrounding this controversy with people of similar experience.
 
Is speaking in tongues required for salvation? Which formula of baptism is correct? Does the doctrine of “justification by faith” as held by mainstream Christianity mean sin all you want? If Acts 2:38 isn’t the plan of salvation then what is it? If holiness isn’t a dress code then what is it? Do I lose my salvation every time I sin?  If your background is in the Oneness Apostolic movement, tackling these questions with critical thought can feel like the world is falling beneath your feet. Joining this group will give you a support system to work through these questions biblically while fighting off traditions and biases. 
 
About the Leaders: Brock and Jenna have been married for three years and reside in New Brunswick, Canada with their maltipoo puppy and beautiful baby boy who they welcomed into the world in July 2022. They enjoy hiking, biking and going to the movies, since this was a restricted activity in their former life. They are former youth pastors and assistant pastors in the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), the largest Oneness Apostolic organization worldwide. They were heavily involved in many UPCI ministries. In June 2020, God opened their eyes to the many issues with the Oneness Apostolic teachings and practices which lead them to the painful yet greatly rewarding decision of leaving behind all their ministry positions and many relationships to truly follow Jesus. This is a decision they have not looked back on with an ounce of regret.
Brock and Jenna Carroll, Bible study, UPCI, UPC, Oneness Apostolic, Bible study, community group

Holiness Standards: What Does God Require of Christians for Personal Holiness?

Aaron Beverly

  • Thursday 6:30 (Central Time)
  • Start Date: September 1
  • End Date: October 6 

About the Group: Have you ever wondered why you believe what you believe? Are you uncertain about Holiness standards? This group will enjoy an overview of the most widely held beliefs amongst Holiness and Pentecostal churches commonly referred to as Holiness standards. If you are curious about the origin and biblical precedent, or want to know the true standard of holiness that all Christians must follow, please join us for a weekly study of these topics. You can expect us to look intently at various passages of scripture commonly used in relation to Holiness standards and study them in their original historical and biblical context. At the conclusion of our study, we will learn that Christ is himself the ultimate standard of holiness before God, as well as how to love our brothers and sisters in Christ whether or not they differ from us. This will aim to be a safe place for you to explore answers to questions that many would say ought not to be asked. Questions are encouraged and love is required!

About the Leader: Aaron Beverly is a 30-year-old husband and father of one. Raised in a devoutly Pentecostal Holiness home from birth, Aaron began a true and consistent walk with God during his first year at community college around the age of 19. Shortly thereafter, he surrendered to preaching ministry and continued to minister regularly to churches, youth groups, and nursing facilities. Immediately after marrying his wife Amber at the age of 25, Aaron served as the interim pastor for a small church for the span of a year and a half. During this time, issues Aaron had with Pentecostal Holiness doctrine compared to what he found in his personal study of the Bible came to a head. After careful consideration and seeking wise counsel, Aaron and Amber left their Pentecostal Holiness church after a respectful discussion with their pastor and began attending King’s Cross Church in December 2020 and became members in December 2021. He has recently been recommended by the church elders for Aspire, a program designated for raising up men to qualify for leadership roles in the church and to be effective servants to the body. Aaron is passionate about teaching and preaching the word of God and yearns to bring help and healing to those in the Holiness movement(s).

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Galatians Bible Study: Saved By Grace Not By Works

Abigail Mayo

  • Tuesday at 6:30 PM (Central Time)
  • Start Date: August 16 
  • End Date: September 20 (6 weeks)
About the Group: In this group, we will be studying the book of Galatians and learning techniques to study the Bible for ourselves. Get ready to get your pencil out and do the work of digging into Scripture for yourself to see what God really has to say and not what someone wants you to think He is saying. God’s Word is full of things He wants you to know and we’re going to have the privilege of study that in this session!
 
About the Leader: Abigail Mayo married into the Mayo family 7 years ago; Nathan is her husband and Natalie is her sister-in-law. Having not grown up in a restrictive church background, it was a major and scary step to take to marry into such a family, even though Nathan had left the movement years before. It’s been an interesting journey, to say the least, learning more about Holiness, Apostolic and other similar movements but it has been a joy to learn and participate and see people she cares about grow in their faith and become healthier Christians since leaving these movements. She is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, majored in Biblical studies and is passionate about seeing others be able to study the Bible for themselves. 
 

Recommended Resource: PDF or Physical Copy

Abbie, Holiness Standards, Galatians, Bible Study, Small Group

Unraveling The Threefold Cord of Apostolic Identity

—GROUP FULL—

Jonah McElhaney

  • Monday at 6 PM (Central Time)
  • Start Date: August 15
  • End Date: October 3 (8 weeks)

About the Group: The purpose of the group is to dismantle the 3 main distinctives of the UPC (United Pentecostal Church). A very famous sermon listed Holiness Standards, New Birth, and the Oneness of God as the threefold cord of Apostolic Identity. 

About the Leader: My name is Jonah McElhaney, I spent 14 years in the UPC, 11 of those years were spent involved in different ministries. I was a youth pastor, a hyphen (young adults) director, and I served in various assistant positions within the church.

In late 2019 and into early 2020 I began to realize that I had some serious issues with the Holiness Standards that we taught. By March of 2020 I began questioning everything. During the covid shut downs I was able to study more than I usually can and it was during this time that I can to realize that the teachings of the UPCI were false. My wife and I left in September of 2020 with our two kids and are now involved in a healthy non-denominational church where we are continuing to learn and grow.

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Book Study: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse

—GROUP FULL—

Tracy Bowen

  • Thursday at 7 PM (Central Time)
  • Start Date: August 18 
  • End Date: October 6 (8 weeks)

About the Group: “Spiritual abuse occurs when someone is treated in a way that damages them spiritually. As a deeper result, their relationship with God — or that part of them that is capable of having a relationship with God— becomes wounded and scarred. As this book unfolds we will illustrate various ways in which this happens and offer help to those who have experienced this form of abuse.” —The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen 

About the Leader: Tracy Bowen was raised, and married, within the Conservative Holiness Movement. God has faithfully led her family to where they are today as Pastors at Christ Fellowship in South Florida. Over the past few years she has become increasingly aware of the importance of helping those impacted by abusive and toxic religious environments.

Resource: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse (David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen)

Due to this group being a book study, having access to the book is important. You may be able to find it at your local library or through an online library.

Tracy, small group, subtle power of spiritual abuse, book study, chm, conservative Holiness movement

A Time to Heal: Finding Healing from Church Hurt, Spiritual Abuse, and Disillusionment

Jeff Mayo

  • Tuesday at 6:30 PM (Central Time)
  • Start Date: August 30
  • End Date: October 4 (6 weeks)

About the Group: In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon wrote that there are many different times and seasons to life. One of the seasons he mentioned is a time to HEAL. When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He stated that among the many things He came to do was to heal the broken hearted and to bring liberty to those that were in bondage and captivity. 

Maybe you’ve become overburdened with performance based dogma and religion. You may find yourself feeling disillusioned with church; perhaps even with God, and you’re on the brink of giving up. Maybe you’ve done your best to live up to every standard and follow every rule, yet you still don’t feel accepted and loved by God. 

The aim of this group is to be a safe place to connect or perhaps reconnect with a loving Savior who offers abundant grace and mercy through relationship with Him. We will explore topics such as emotional healing, mercy and not sacrifice, and freedom from performance based acceptance together over a period of six weeks. 

 
About the Leaders: Hello everyone, I’m Jeff and here’s a little about me and my story. My journey and initial experience with the Lord Jesus began in the United Pentecostal Church when I was 13 years old all the way back in 1984. My maternal grandfather was an ordained minister within that church for over 50 years and he and my grandmother raised me for most of my teen years, so I was basically a PK (preacher’s kid) raised within strict holiness standards. As a young man, I preached in a few UPC churches and even led a few people to Christ. I also attended a UPC endorsed Bible College in the early 90s for two years and I am very familiar with the entirety of their teachings and the oppression that can often accompany hyper-fundamentalist dogma.
After Bible College, I went through a rough time of confusion and resentment; much of which was rooted in a faulty concept of God and issues from my childhood that had never been properly addressed.
 
I finally concluded around age 29 that if I was going to hell, as they said, then I might as well enjoy the ride. Throughout all of my 30s and most of my 40s I descended into a lifestyle of sin and depravity that involved working in bars, casual drug use, and several toxic relationships. In 2018, at age 47 I found myself totally broken and a shell of a human being. I had a life changing moment one evening when I cried out to God for mercy. What followed that moment was a period of reconciliation to the Lord, emotional healing, and discipleship. That was four years ago, and my experience with the Lord is deeper and richer now than it ever was in my younger days. One of my heart’s deepest desires is to help others who have had similar experiences as mine with hyper-fundamentalism and extra-Biblical standards that can cause horrible pain and despair. There is no place we can descend to where God is unable to reach us. There is HOPE, MERCY, and immeasurable LOVE in Jesus Christ. 
 
This book can also be found secondhand on Ebay and may be available in some libraries as well.
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Community Groups

Community groups are part of our premium content, and as such, are on a donation basis (any amount, $35 suggested). Scholarships can be applied for by those who are not able to make a donation. All donations go towards the ministry of Berean Holiness. We greatly appreciate your generosity as we grow into a nonprofit organization and endeavor to better serve/support fellow believers through difficult transitions.