Jump directly to the Content

The Widowmaker Repents

After decades of dysfunction, one church publicly confessed its mistreatment of former ministers.
The Widowmaker Repents

Roving journalist Charles Kuralt once called Madison, Indiana, "the most beautiful river town in America." It's a little place—just 13,000 people—across the Ohio River from Kentucky. If you walked along the riverfront, you'd see quaint shops, a marina for passing boaters, and established trees lining the street.

For decades though, the beauty masked an ugly truth. Madison First Assembly of God, one of the town's key congregations, was rife with toxic church politics that hurt and expelled minister after minister. Four successive pastors had come and painfully left the congregation. The church earned a reputation—in their town and denomination—for backstabbing and hypocrisy.

That's hardly news. But unlike many similar stories, there's more to this church's tale.

I first heard of Madison First Assembly after the town's local paper reported on an unusual church service: a reconciliation event in October of 2012. The church ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Christian Singles Aren’t Waiting for Marriage to Become Parents
Christian Singles Aren’t Waiting for Marriage to Become Parents
As more unmarried women and men foster and adopt, how can the church provide what some nontraditional families cannot?
Editor's Pick
What Sanctification Looks Like
What Sanctification Looks Like
The Bible’s diverse narratives help us disciple those entrusted to our care.
close