Letter of Resignation

January 13, 1996
By Peter Belaustegui

This letter is to inform you of my intent to resign my credentials and to withdraw my church from the Victory Outreach Ministries organization effective immediately.

I feel that the Ministry of Victory Outreach in many ways is manipulative, controlling, and abusive in its authoritarian leadership style, which is scriptural and in good conscience, I can no longer submit myself or my congregation to. I can give you a detailed list of what I believe and know is destructive spiritual abuses taking place in Victory Outreach if you would like. My phone number is listed below—but I would personally rather just move on and forget about all of this after this letter. I am prepared to explain myself further. I do feel however that I must share several things with you in this letter.

Pastor Sonny—I only hope that you will seriously consider what I am saying and that you will realize that these kinds of things that I am mentioning to you, left not dealt with, could in fact and in time eventually effect Victory Outreach! Sooner or later God will bring them into the light. People will not keep their mouths shut forever even under the manipulative tactics that are often used in Victory Outreach to keep people loyal and under submission.

There are many people outside of Victory Outreach that I have discovered and several organizations that work with people coming out of abusive church situations. They are aware of the abusive things that are taking place in Victory Outreach. Sonny, I am not making threats, but simply telling you the facts with the intent to help, not to hurt you or the Ministry of Victory Outreach.

Hopefully you will not view me as a threat, label me disloyal or rebellious. I have been labeled in this way in the past by several other leaders in Victory Outreach. I am sure that I will be again by some after I leave—that has been my experience. Pastor Sonny that is the the type of behavior that is spiritually abusive and harmful to people—not to mention the intentional misuse of power and authority to undermine and destroy a person’s reputation and ministry. I have had to battle with this for years and it is still going on to this day, but it is subtler now and behind my back.

You have some abusive men in your organization that look and appear very successful outwardly, but who are in fact I believe false, ego driven shepherds who are devouring their flocks (Ezekiel 34:2-4). Using them to promote themselves, their agendas, and their ministries, rather than serving people (John 13:1-15, Luke 22:23-27), which was the example set by Christ in His lifestyle and ministry. The sad fact is this that many people are being destroyed in the process, and to cover up this fact so that the truth will not be made known they are labeled, slandered, and discredited as disloyal, unfaithful, and rebellious people who have always been a problem. This practice of what I would call labeling is a very common practice that I see used against people who speak up, do not agree, or leave Victory Outreach.

The Apostle Peter teaches us about spiritual leadership in (1 Peter 5:1-3), my experience for eleven years now with Victory Outreach has been anything but this and in fact has been outright oppressive and destructive. The kind of spiritually abusive men that I am describing are bringing reproach to the name of Christ and to Victory Outreach by the manipulation, control, and the abuse of spiritual authority in the lives people. The churches and rehabilitation homes of Victory Outreach have an excessively high turnover rate because of these abuses, which could be easily monitored and tracked. I have done this and discovered seen it is true.

In regards to the financial pressure that is put on the Pastors of Victory Outreach I would like to show you by using my own church how out of balance this is, using figures from my 1995 budget—

$6,057.00 - Tithes - mandatory
$5,000.00 - Corporate building fund - mandatory
$4,800.00 - 1995 world conference - mandatory
$1,500.00 - U.W.C. - not mandatory but expected
$1,200.00 - Ministers license fee - mandatory
$1,200.00 - Men’s rehab. home fee - mandatory
$635.00 - Misc. - mandatory
$625.00 - 1995 youth conference- mandatory
$450.00 - Women’s home - mandatory
$21,467.00 - from my 1995 budget went to the Victory Outreach Ministries Corp.

Offices in mandatory required giving , I believe that this is wrong!

NOTE: This figure is way out of proportion compared to what is normal in most ministries that I looked into.

I believe that this, coupled with an oppressive style of leadership, and the fact that many of the Pastors have not really been called by God at all, (they have been pushed out into the field by their ego driven Pastors), is the real reason why many of the Victory Outreach churches remain small and struggle financially. Pastors are often blamed, but many simply just cannot produce and deliver what is expected of them. You can look into my church records to find out that I have always done what was expected of me and been faithful in the financial area. My church has done well even under these circumstances. I am not just speaking out of anger and frustration, but for my concern for those Pastors who I feel are being used. I can no longer agree with this.

I suppose that I could have made up a nice sounding reason for leaving, which would be much easier for me but I need to tell you the truth in regard to this matter whether I am believed or not. I do not leave with bitterness, unforgiveness, or malice towards you or the leadership of Victory Outreach, but with great regret and concern for the many people that Victory Outreach has and is negatively affecting. I do realize that there is good that Victory Outreach is doing though, and I hope that you will re-evaluate and make the necessary changes to insure the future success of your ministry.

Peter Belaustegui

Copyright © 1996 Rick Ross
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