Welcome to Church → Exiters!!

This website explores the issues of people who have experienced spiritual abuse in their local churches and how they have, over time, recovered.

Every year dedicated Christian people leave churches because of spiritual abuse.  What factors contribute to dedicated and active believers in Christ leaving their churches and becoming exiting statistics?

The spiritual abuse stories of people who have left their home church because of a negative and hurtful experience paint a picture of a widespread occurrence, which beckons consideration by church leaders and church congregants alike.


With SPECIAL THANKS to Anne Wipf of France for her permission to use this excellent image.


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Let’s take a moment to consider what you may be feeling and experiencing as you check out the Church Exiters Website:

  • Are you grieving over circumstances in your home church?
  • Have you been hurt by the church-particularly by a church leader, like a pastor?
  • Do you feel like: you have no one to turn to in your church?
  • Do you feel like: you cannot talk about your church or leadership concerns or people will brand you as a gossip or a troublemaker?
  • Do you feel that: if word gets out to your leadership about your concerns, that you might be shunned or disciplined?
  • Do you feel lonely?

One of the downfalls of spiritual abuse is the extremely solitary and lonely position that the abused find themselves in.

If there is bereavement or loss of various kinds, it is likely that a church community will rally around the one suffering and provide comfort and encouragement.

But when spiritual abuse wounds individuals or couples in a group, there is total exclusion, even to the point of shunning or expulsion from the community.

The feelings of loss and aloneness are magnified and the intensity of the emotional pain is excruciating. 

Ever feel totally uprooted? You are not alone!


The information on this website can help you to process what you are feeling and what you are seeing in your home church.

Consider some of the following statements and see if this fits you:

  • A disappointment with and distrust of the church leadership
  • A sense of grief regarding the overbearing methods of church leadership
  • A disappointment with some theology and practice
  • A distrust of the church as a system
  • A desire and/or a decision to leave your local church
  • You have been asked to leave your church by the leadership

After considering the elements described above, you may realize that you need to consider these questions:

What is Spiritual Abuse?

How do I know if I am experiencing it?

Click here to read more and find answers to those questions.

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Church Exiters Website Article Titles

The Topics on this site are organized by two main categories: 

            A. “Spiritual Abuse and (Topic)”

            B.  Bible and Church Related Topics

A.    “Spiritual Abuse and  . . . ”

  1.   The Book of Galatians

  2.   Why Do I Feel So Alone?

  3.   Why These People Left Their Churches

  4.   Coping, Finding, Counting, Peeking         

  5.   The Road to Recovery

  6.   Their Journey

  7.   Trust to Dust

  8.   Healthy or Toxic?

  9.   What Kind of Leaders Are We Looking For?

10.   Our Problem Is Authoritarianism and Not Legalism             

11.   Zeal—Going Right or Going Wrong?

12.   Hypocrisy

13.   What Spiritual Abuse Is and Is Not

14.   Churches with Troublesome People

15.   When Do I Need a Professional?

16.   Linking Other Abuses

17.   Patriarchy

18.   Rest for the Weary

19.   Pursuing Christ–The Example of Bartimaeus

20.   Why Are Toxic Leaders Allowed to Remain in Power So Long?

21.   Barometer People

22.   How It Can Lead to Other Abuses

23.   Hearing the  Voices of Women in the Church

24.   Where Is God Now?

25.  Shamed Into Silence

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B.    Bible and Church Related Topics

1.   Preaching–What I Need to Hear:  Sinner or King’s Kid?        

2.   Colossians:  What Kind of Gospel Have You Heard?

3.   Can the Blind Lead the Spiritually Abused? John 9

4.   Gleanings from the Gospel of John

5.   Listening to Voices (Women in Church Ministry)

6.   Christians for Biblical Equality

7.   Women in the Church and the Silence Issue

8.   Women in the Church and  1. Timothy   2. Priesthood

9.   Divorce:  When Does the Bible Permit Divorce?

10.  Women in the Church and Headcoverings 1 Cor. 11:7-16

11.  Women in the Church–American History, Slavery, and Feminism

12.  Women in the Church and Evangelical Feminism

13.  Women in the Church and Luke’s Teaching from Acts 2, 10 and 11

14.  Women in the Church and Purpose, Calling, and Role 


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Several colleagues and friends have chosen January as:

Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month.

** JANUARY is Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month. **

There is a public page at:  http://facebook.com/SAAwareness

There is hope and healing yet there is a work to do in raising awareness and telling truth to free people from abusive congregations. Help pass it on.

Facebook page is sponsored by Sisterlisa Bertolini of Soul Liberty Faith www.SpiritualAbuseAwareness.com.  You have support.  We believe you!


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