Please Note: The owner of this site
(Rev. Allan F. Wells-Goodwin) passed away on March 27, 2007.
is for pastors called or appointed to serve churches after previous clergy
misconduct has occurred. Clergy in this position have been referred to as
?after-pastors.? Assistance, resources and training are available. For a more
complete definition of an after-pastor church, see below.
APART is for those clergy/pastors serving after a previous clergy/pastor
has resigned, been fired, or been removed because of misconduct. Misconduct can
be of a sexual nature, harassment, a violation or abuse of power, financial
mismanagement, or any breaking of the trust relationship. Unhealthy dynamics
often persist in churches after clergy misconduct, for decades. The violation of
trust by a previous pastor is often transferred to the incoming pastor, who then
must work toward restoring the integrity of the pastoral office. This may not be
accomplished by the clergy immediately following the misconduct, but that pastor
becomes an important part of the healing process in after-pastor ministry.
Because this is a very stressful and often painful task, APART offers special
assistance to those serving in this complicated ministry.
A. Two day intensive course on after-pastor ministry. CEU credits
awarded through Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary. This course explores the
common dynamics usually found in an after-pastor church: distrust of pastors,
distrust of denomination, poor communications, sabotage of administrative
decisions, and intensive, destructive conflicts. Participants will present case
studies, both current and cold, and examine the differences. The role and
benefits of response teams and listening sessions will be discussed. Clergy
self-care will be discussed as an important aspect of after-pastor ministry.
Cost: $100.00 per person. Limited to five to nine students per course.
B. After-pastor retreats for clergy and spouses, offering support, reflection,
spiritual direction, and nurture in a mountainside setting, near a lake.
Participants will prepare a case study and submit it prior to attending the
retreat. At the retreat each person will, in confidential sessions, share how
this experience has impacted them, their family, their sense of calling,
professional performance, self-worth and general health. Ample free time for
self-care and access to recreational surroundings is included in the retreat.
Meals, bedding, and towels are included. Cost: $150.00 per person, financial
assistance is available. Limited to four to seven participants per retreat.
C. Supportive consultations in person or on-line for pastors and clergy who are
struggling with serving churches wounded by previous clergy misconduct.
Listening, guiding and supporting after-pastors is central to this ministry.
Assistance is offered to enable after-pastors to work toward healing the church
and restoring the trust in the pastoral office without further damage and
division within the congregation. Costs will be negotiated on an individual
D. Resources for more information.
Web site offering information about the dynamics of after-pastor churches,
suggestions for assistance, spiritual resources, bibliography. Access:
http://afterpastor.org/. Includes links to contact Rev. Allan Wells-Goodwin and
an after-pastor blog.
E. Contact Reverend Allan F. Wells-Goodwin. Retired, United Methodist Elder in
Full Connection with the New England Annual Conference. Served after-pastor
churches for thirty years in different states. Resume available on request.
Reverend Allan F. Wells-Goodwin
155 Mountain Road,
Denmark, ME 04022.
WHAT IS AN AFTER-PASTOR CHURCH?
After-pastor churches are defined as local churches in which previous clergy
violated the trust between pastor and congregation, abused the position of
authority and responsibility, or sexually abused, molested or harassed members
of the congregation or community. Sometimes charges are filed with the
denomination or local law enforcement. Usually the suspected clergy is
suspended. The residual violation of trust and abuse of power have lasting
effects which need to be addressed. Members of the church may feel
disillusioned, angry or, in some cases, will not believe the allegations. Many
resort to blaming the victim rather than coming to terms with the behavior of
the pastor. Some churches have experienced multiple violations and are severely
wounded, as are the folks attending them. After-pastor church symptoms may
include distrust of the pastor and/or denomination, poor communications,
sabotage of administration, and symbolic fights. The current clergy may become
very frustrated and angry due to the destructive dynamics of what appears to be
a very unproductive ministry. Assistance and resources are available to those
set apart in this complex situation.
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