By Pastor Pam Sheppard
My personal testimony of how I came to leave the church is in the first chapters of my book “Come Out of Her, God’s People”. Most of my life I have been open and transparent, caring less about what others had to say about me. Lately, I have become quite private and much more guarded. I suspect that its a matter of “increased wisdom.” I personally wonder today if perhaps in “Come Out of Her, God’s People,” I may have shared way too much about my intimate life. In fact, I recall a few rather ignorant, jealous , ineffectual hypocrites attempting to take advantage of my openness in order to slander me. It did not work. Actually, it is difficult to slander a person who is not bound by the world’s religious standards. Even so, I am more guarded than I used to be. Nevertheless, since readers have reported how much my testimony helped them, I don’t regret writing the book.
In regards to when and how to leave the institutional church, it has been my experience that the Holy Spirit will inform you when it is time for you to make your move. In fact, if I had not heard from Him in 2003, without a doubt, I would still be there. Why? Because the denomination left me alone to my own devices and as a result, I was enjoying myself doing my own thing in ministry. I was deceived into believing that I had the best of both the denominational and the charismatic church worlds.
So at the season that the Holy Spirit led me out of church, I was pastoring a work that I had founded myself in 1996 for about 8 years at that time. Therefore, it had never crossed my mind to leave the church because in my own mind, I viewed myself as “there but not there.” So within my rational mind, it would be a mistake for a minister of the gospel to leave the church system after 25 years of faithful service. I was not about to rock the boat on my own, as such an action was way too preposterous an idea–absolutely inconceivable. I was settled and comfortable in the denomination, in spite of the fact that I had never really been embraced with open arms. Not only did I have spiritual covering from a well-respected denomination that left me to my own devices, I also had almost complete independence to bring forth Pentecostal, word of faith teachings in a cold and dry denominational setting.
So what happened? How was I led out?
First of all, I had a dream. A very clear, significant dream where the Lord actually appeared and spoke to me. I never saw His face, only his feet and the back of His robe. I wanted to believe it was the devil because I didn’t like what I heard and saw in the spirit. I was called by name. the Spirit said “Pam, I cannot use you in this place. You are a light— hidden under a bed. You MUST leave. But let them PUT you out!”
Put ME out? This MUST be the devil, I thought to myself. They can’t put me out. I have been a faithful servant in this denomination for 25 years.!!!!
Well, I did not have long to wait. I was at the Y, doing my afternoon lap swim when my pregnant daughter came waddling in and screaming “they are after you, Ma! The denomination is investigating you.” I got out of the pool, sat on its side and listened to my daughter’s emotional report. She had run into the proverbial grapevine.
Yet this was not gossip. It was true. My dream was confirmed in less than a week. The denomination was setting me up to PUT ME OUT. A hidden religious enemy, a ministerial collleague targeted my website. At the time, I was exposing error among the mega preachers. I was not running a smear campaign but where there was error, I was boldly calling names. The denomination feared that I would cause some multi-millionaire to sue them. Ironically, an enemy that I had personally mentored had secretly planted the seed of fear in the Bishop’s ear. Since he never liked me in the first place, the Bishop grabbed that seed and ran with it. Under the Bishop’s wishes, my colleagues in the district voted to take my name off the rolls, under the pretense that I did not send them the annual dues of $660. I did not send it because I was purposefully facilitating my leaving by not showing up and also not sending them the money!!!! I did what the Lord said. I LET THEM PUT ME OUT!
It took almost a year from the day I had the dream in early July 2003 for the denomination to remove my name from its rolls on June 25, 2004. I remember the day I was “put out” because I had a startling dream that very morning. I saw my head under the chopping block. I was beheaded. With that dream, it was revealed to me that I have the same ministry as John the Baptist: Like the Prophet John, my job is to preach repentance and prepare the way for the Lord’s SECOND coming.
Anyway, I still had my church that I had founded. Since the denomination had not embraced my church, the Bishop had no authority or power to close it. So I continued leading my church, expecting the Lord to send me to another church affiliation or denomination.
Various sects and word of faith churches made me some offers. However, it was quite clear to me that all they wanted was my money as well as my attendance at their various meetings and conferences so that they could obtain MORE money via conference fees. These mega ministries also planned to tax my church and take for themselves a hefty percentage of our donations each month. We were small and poor. I could not rob my own congregation to send hard-earned dollars to an aloof, uncaring mega preacher’s ministry, just to pay to sit on the front row of some televised conference.
So I waited 3 years. My next sign was more powerful than a dream. I was wide awake. I heard a voice in my head ask me this question, “Pam. would you put curtains up at the windows of a condemned building?” I looked around to see if someone was there, but I was alone. I answered in my head “no.’ The voice continued. He talked for what seemed a long time. Then He said “Pam. You are planning to travel around the world to conduct deliverance training seminars in any church that will open its doors to you.” I answered, “Yes.!” I had already been to a church in Lawrenceville Ga and one in Bermuda.
The voice then said “Well. Pam. Conducting seminars in any church is like putting up curtains at the windows of a condemned building, I have already judged HER.”
Now I did not want to believe that my 25 years in ministry was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. So I tried the spirits for one year. Out of it came the book called “The Fake Jesus: Fallen Angels Among Us. Even more books followed. One conversation with the Spirit of God in 2007 led to a total of four more books, well over 1000 pages!!!
So for the next 14 years, I have gladly put 25 years of religious acts without power behind me. In 2008, I closed the church that I had founded after 12 years. I simply put my religious past and all of its fake fruit behind me, moved forward, baggage free– following the leading of the Holy Ghost. For the last 14 years, my life has been filled with peace, revelation, real power and wondrous anticipation.
If the Lord is leading you out and you want to talk about it, give Pam Sheppard Ministries a call at 888-818-1117 or complete the contact form below: