Personal Bio



Rita and I were both saved in the early 1970s  at the end of the Jesus Movement era when the charismatic renewal swept through upstate New York, resulting in the conversions of thousands of young “hippies.”  Since then, our lives have geographically spanned North America.  Our church “ministry” experience ranges from janitorial duties to “senior pastor” within a traditional paradigm. Our “secular” work history includes owning and operating small businesses in upstate PA, and employment with different Fortune 500 companies in metallurgical engineering, optical waveguide engineering, and customer service for myself, and as an X-ray technician, and day care center operator for Rita.

I received my undergraduate secular education at Corning Community College in Corning NY, and my BA, MA, and D. Min. through Christian International College and Graduate School at Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Rita received her X-ray training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira, NY, and her BA in Biblical Studies through Christian Life School of Theology.

We’ve pastored and ministered in traditional churches, home churches, organic churches, conferences, and Bible Schools in nations on four continents.  In 2005 we finished a pastoral assignment within a traditional church structure, and began a journey looking for a quality of kingdom life in the Spirit that was defined by intimate relationships in Christ—sharing life with those of similar values—rather than facilitating “meetings” and administrating an organization.

For the last twelve years we have not only had the joy of discovering fellow pilgrims in this way, but have also been providing leadership, counsel, and guidance to many who are in various places in a similar journey: re-evaluating belief systems, value systems, and practical expression along relational rather than organizational lines.  

While we are all about relationship: “one anothering” in a functional community as the foundation for all practical kingdom endeavors, we do have areas of passion and expertise.

We strengthen the ekklesia worldwide through practical instruction of radical grace themes with strong emphases on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ and the outworking of the New Covenant in the life of the believer. We also emphasize the importance of understanding Semitic/Mediterranean basin culture and context when studying, interpreting, and applying the scriptures, especially the importance of understanding Jewish/Semitic worldview and values.

We are also passionate for the manifestation of the full spectrum of “Holy Spirit” issues (gifts, ministries, healings, miracles, etc.) without the latent Gnosticism, baggage, freneticism, nonsense, control, fakery, and hype that so frequently accompany these things.

We have three grown children, and four grandchildren. We have been married for forty years.



19 comments on “Personal Bio

  1. Have you been involved with cults,helping people who leave them, families who are separated due to being cut off etc? Are there legal issues to know ahead of any kind of confrontation? We have a lot of questions. The local cult which we were part of meets at least 90% of the bullet points in your blog “you might be in a cult if”

    • Hello Bruce,

      For almost 40 years, the Lord has enabled and equipped me to help people from around the world extract themselves, and find healing from authoritarian, controlling, abusive religious systems and leaders.

      I have experienced the abuse myself and understand it spiritually, theologically, relationally, and psychologically; I help people recover, or perhaps discover for the first time, the reality of their sonship and relationship to their Father, rather than relationship to the church or Christian religion.

      I don’t do “counseling” as it is normally understood.

      For me, it is not about “fixing problems.” I want to bring healing and restoration through life reconfiguration.

      It is about deconstruction, and reconstruction of a life, according to Christ (not church, religion, doctrine, teaching, etc) . . . according to Christ in resurrection, in power; awakening to Christ . . . . coming out of decades of spiritual slumber and stupor, some of it done to us by others, some of it, our own doing: consciously or not.

      -Christ in Scripture (the LIVING LOGOS . . . not dead doctrines of men based on the Bible.)
      -Christ in heaven (Jesus in his person, experienced by the Spirit, not in theory)
      -Christ in me (individually-the source of life and identity)
      -Christ in one another (the functional community–not typical “church”–treasure in clay vessels)

      All by the reality of the indwelling Spirit.

      That’s my model of ministry.

      If I can be of service to you, feel free to email at While there are always thematic similarities in these situations, the situational differences make it hard to comment about legalities. Depending on the ages of the people involved, specifics of state laws, and the nature of the abuse, there can be legal issues. I was involved in one situation that went all the way to the state supreme court before it got settled (in “our” favor) against an abusive controlling leader, involving cult kidnapping, suicide attempt in a home group meeting (That’s a bad meeting when someone shoots themselves in the head!) professional deprogramming, etc. . . . stuff you would see on 48 Hours or some other true life TV show . . . unbelievable darkness, and I was thrown in the middle of it to try to reclaim lives for some. We did. There’s lots of darkness and abuse out there in what masquerades as “Christianity” and “local churches.”

      God bless, glad the article helped shine some light.

      You are not alone . . . your experience is, regrettably . . . too common.

  2. I am sorry that i didn’t go back here to check a response! I am in the midst of a cult-like situation that I got out of 6yrs ago but still manages a hold on my daughter, son-in-law and two of our grandchildren. thanks for taking the time to answer. I am going to be involved with a conference call with you tonight. Scott Stilson has spearheaded the effort to talk with you, and i am looking forward to it. blessings in our Lord Jesus – the only Head and ruler and Father of His church. bruce

  3. Dear Stephen,

    I’ve read with interest some of your website postings. My wife and I were saved over forty years ago and have been involved in a number of institutional churches and house churches during that time. I thought you might also be interested in our website which I hope encourages and strengthens your faith in Christ.

    In Christ’s service,
    Peter Newman

    • Hello Peter,

      I came across your website and found it very intriguing. I’m still exploring your site; I’m assuming you’re not a 501c3. Since I’ve learned what that means and realized I’ve been listening to pastors apart of the church system for some time up until a video I watched by Mark Taylor. I’ve been trying to get clarity and guidance and re-establish my relationship with God.

      Thank you in advance for your reply at your earliest convenience.

      Brian S

    • I have no problem with NTW. I enjoy his stuff. I can understand how an entrenched Protestant Reformation enthusiast might not like him, but I think he has a lot of good things to say, particularly his perspective of Paul. Does that mean that I necessarily agree with everything he might say, probably not, but hey, that goes for any of us, and I am a pretty poor Protestant myself. 🙂

  4. Dear Steve, thanks so much for being faithful over these years in circulating your studies and notes to me. I have only just got back to that place where feel I can be engaged again with Christian exploration. It’s been a long and hard four years since my wife died and i am not sure I will ever get over it. I married again recently a very fine Christian widow here in North Devon. I moved away from Exeter where I had lived for 36 years. I remember first meeting you and Rita in Plymouth UK. Congratulations on your long marriage. Cherish what the Lord has given to you both.
    It has been very helpful to read some of your comments about Jesus in the Temple.
    Last year I had a triple bypass surgery which has been very successful. Love Barry and Freda

    • Hello Barry, good to hear from you again. Congratulations on your marriage. I hope to get to the UK again in the future, Lord willing. I would like to bring my youngest adult daughter with me if I could make the trip.

  5. Steven,
    Several years ago i found your article “No More Sin Consciousness”. I’m blown away with how your doctrine is spot on in regard to a believer’s relationship to sin and law living. I copied your article and have posted it on my “Christianity Revealed” Facebook page. I did so before i asked you if i had your permission. I’d like to ask for that permission now.
    Thanks for a tremendous article.

  6. Hi, Stephen! So far, I’ve been so blessed by the ministry that the Lord has given you. Is there a way that we can contact you via email?

  7. Hello Eric here any chance you can have any zoom bible study groups I am with a house church much better then the institutional church I watch this woman named r b her Chanel is great does she run any zoom groups I seen your interview with her it was great a lot of truth about these institutional churches here’s my alternate email god bless

    • Hello, Every Monday morning I do brief video class available in the Crosby Cafe on Facebook. As well as on this web page and on youtube. Other resources are available These resources are used by house churches around the world. I recommend the Church Refugee Sanity Guide among others.

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