February 1, 2000
“Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the Gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15
Many of us became involved in the pro-life movement through the courageous actions and writings of young warrior for Christ, Randall Terry. God’s call and gifting upon this man to call the Church of Jesus Christ to repentance and move her to the very “gates of hell” were obvious for all to see. I have personally been greatly blessed by his ministry and moved to join him in the Gospel battle that is savaging our nation. He fathered many of us into the Kingdom of God and into the pro-life movement.
Therefore, it is with a profound sadness that I report to you that Randall has separated from his wife and family, from his church, and from all of us who have been running the race of faith with him. It is a self-chosen path. He has been confronted time and again by those who truly love him (wonderful friends who have been battle tested over time to be true to Christ and to him) to repent and return to his first love, his wife, and his church – all to no avail! Randall has dragons to slay and funds to raise! All the while his family, his church, his testimony, and the children he has been ordained to protect, are being slain by the real dragon of his soul.
The steps of Matthew 18 have been meticulously followed. Many precious friends on several different occasions have sought to restore our brother. “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6. Unfortunately there are those who would rather kiss Randall than love him enough to wound him with the truth that, if heeded, would bring healing. They are making excuses for him and enabling him to live a lie. I speak specifically of the Charismatic Episcopal Church whose leaders have, for whatever reason, deemed it appropriate to accept Randall into its fellowship knowing full well the censure and church discipline Randall is presently undergoing.
When I was first made aware of Randall and Cindy’s separation and other personal problems several months ago, I immediately contacted Pastor Dan Little and have been in consistent communication with him since. Pastor Dan has been the Terrys’ pastor for the past 15 years and he continues to care for Cindy and the kids while dad is gone (slaying dragons?). Randall has always given great credit to Pastor Dan as being a mighty man of God who is unafraid to stand for Christ no matter the cost. He has often praised his pastor publicly and made statement that he (Randall) is under the authority of a very Godly man.
I have spoken to all the leaders of Rescue concerning this matter in November 1999 via telephone conference. It is now my duty to inform you of our efforts. I am enclosing a letter Pastor Little sent this January to all who were inquiring about Randall’s status in his church.
To: The inquiring supporters of Randall Terry
From: Pastor Dan Little – The Church at Pierce Creek 1980-1998/ The Landmark Church to date
Because of the number of calls asking for my perspective on Randall Terry I have undertaken to write the following:
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of recent events as regards Randall Terry. As many of you know I was his pastor for 15 years and I considered him to be one of my closest friends – a peer in the ministry.
Last August Randall left his wife of 18 years, set up an alternative residence in Windsor, and has told numbers of persons that he intends to divorce, annul or otherwise break covenant with his wife. This we earnestly pray he does not do. We have waited these many months to write in the sincere hope of seeing a change in his intentions. Many of his longtime friends (with whom he no longer associates) are shocked and bewildered that a man who has traveled the country pleading with Christian people to think and act biblically is now thinking and acting so anti-biblically on a number of fronts. When asked why he is doing what he is doing to his family, the reason that he gives is that he isn’t happy being married to Cindy.
It was in the Spring of 1997 when I noticed what to me were signs of Randall’s spiritual deterioration – chiefly anger and self-will which manifested itself in what I would characterize as a lack of purity in speech and lifestyle. By August of 1998 I asked him to resign his long held position of Elder, and by August of 1999, having been told by him of his intentions to move out of his house and leave his wife, I asked him to resign as a member of the board altogether. In November of 1999 the church wrote a formal letter of censure (included below) and admonishment, calling him to repent, and dismissing him from the membership of the church as per his request to withdraw his membership.
Cindy (Randall’s wife) and children are still with us. We are offering them as much emotional and spiritual support as we are able, but what they really need is for Randall to repent and return to loving his family. Splitting the children’s time between two residences is certainly not an acceptable substitute for a Biblical patriarch-father, a father who trains his children by word and example to know what it means to think and act Biblically. Nowhere is such training more important than in showing them what it means to be a husband who loves his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave His life for her (see Ephesians 5:20 ff). It is through the fathers, more than through any other person, that children learn (or don’t learn) about sacrificial love – love that dies to self, love that saves.
Most of Randall’s former associates, while attempting for many months to be gracious and kind to him, have simply not been able to support him in what he is now doing. He has rejected their counsel and accused many long time friends and supporters of treachery for their attempts to speak correction into his life as regards his announced plans to break covenant with his wife, Cindy. Christ Himself assures us that biblical love is not the kind of love that supports or stands idly by sinful actions. Rev 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Where kindness and mercy fail, godly love will reprove, rebuke, correct and admonish. Many of Randall’s longtime friends have made use of the full orb of godly counsel, from loving kindness to rebuke. This we have done as a church as well. This I have done as a pastor, and for my efforts on Randall’s behalf I have been vilified, slandered, defamed, and denounced by him. His reviling remarks have failed to do anything but to bring further damage and shame to his own reputation.
Meanwhile it seems to many observers that Randall is altogether a different person than the one we knew and supported so many years ago. He still uses much of the old rhetoric, still attempts to fund raise as if he were the same man, but he himself does not appear to be the same man. The Psalmist wrote: “When with rebukes you correct a man for iniquity, you make his beauty melt away like a moth; surely every man is a vapor. Selah” I believe Randall is under the gracious but difficult dealings of God.
Please pray for Cindy and the children as they endure through this time. Please pray for Randall that God would change his heart toward his wife and toward the family over which God has called him to be the head.
God’s grace abound toward you,
Letter of Church Censure: Randall Terry
The Landmark Church, 126 Court St., Binghamton, NY
November 6, 1999
In keeping with the language and intent of chapter 30 of the Westminster Confession we write: “Church censures are necessary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for the deterring of others of the like offenses, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honor of Christ and the holy profession of the Gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God which might justly fall upon the church if they should suffer His covenant and the seals thereof to be profaned by obstinate offenders.”
Letter of Church Censure: Randall Terry, November 6, 1999
1. For leaving his wife in preparation to divorce, annul or otherwise dissolve their Christian marriage, and for his unwillingness to repent of this sin we do hereby censure him.
2. For a pattern of repeated sinful relationships and conversations with both single and married women we do hereby censure him.
3. For presenting a letter from his attorney threatening legal action against the Landmark Church, thus threatening to place the Church of Christ under civil authority for performing their Christian duty toward him we do hereby censure him.
4. In addition to those things mentioned above we are concerned that Randall’s personal and theological transformation over the last three years has left him altogether a different Randall Terry than the one who now solicits funds from his donors. For example, in sending out a recent fund raising letter he wrote, “I know that you believe what I believe.” This lacks integrity since the vast majority of his donors have no idea what he now believes nor the liberties and license in which he now walks, and in our opinion would hardly agree to support him if they did. For this we admonish him to cease soliciting funds until such time as his public persona and his true manner of living are known to be the same.
For all the reasons above, but not for any single one of these reasons, the undersigned Elders and Members of the Landmark Church Board do hereby censure and admonish Randall Terry, and further declare that for conduct far short of Christian standards of behavior he shall be kept from our communion table, and we further judge that he is not a fit candidate for communion in any true confessing Christian Church until such time as he repents of his sin. “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (1Corinthians 11:29 NKJ).
Finally, being fully aware that the Landmark Church exists not independently, but within the context of the entire body of Christ, should Randall Terry desire to appeal this our judgment we are willing to stand before such Board of Appeals as might be formed by selected and agreed upon Clergy of the area in which we and Randall Terry live and function. Reverend Doug Hill, a long time friend of Randall Terry’s and a long time resident and pastor in this locale is agreeable to oversee this matter.
Daniel J. Little Mark Leber Loretta Joseph Gary Leber Gary Little Mark Graham Chris Parker Seth Little
I spoke with Randall in November of 1999 in Dallas as he was preparing for a Leadership Institute Seminar. We had a wonderful talk and he assured me that he would be pulling back in all ministry areas at the beginning of the New Year. It was my sincere belief that he was going to get alone with God and allow Him to do business with his heart
Since January, however, he has announced possible plans to run for U.S. Senate, he is storming the gates of the homosexual agenda in Vermont, he is selling his mailing (donor) list, and is engaged in yet another fund raiser. He never had nor does he now have any intention of pulling back. As long as he can find those who will support him he will continue on. He will continue to neglect the covenant he made with his wife by being “brave” in other areas. Brothers and sisters, character does count in God’s economy! Because we fight the good fight in one area does not excuse us to sin all the more in other areas .
Leaders have the responsibility to lay down their liberties so as not to cause others to stumble. It is a call upon all of our lives but it is especially true of Christian leaders. Randall’s new-found “liberties” in speech and action have caused the consternation of many and stumbling of more than a few. He is in desperate need right now of hearing and receiving the rebuke of our Lord into his life. His wife Cindy, his children, his pastor, his friends, and most importantly Jesus Himself love Randall Terry. We are all praying for his repentance and return to the Church of Jesus Christ. Therefore we will in no way finance his continued waywardness nor will we enable him to continue in his willful separation from his Lord, his family, his church, and the children he has been called to protect. We cannot make him do right but we will speak the truth to him in love and we pray that you do the same.
It is our fervent prayer that one day we will be able to hear Randall speak the same words the Apostle Paul spoke as he ended the Scripture we began with:
“Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Corinthians 4:16-17.