Friday, January 6, 2012

Should Former Jacksonville Pastor Convicted of Sex Crimes Return to Christian Service?

Today's Florida Times Union Article by reporter Jeff Brumley
Read Here:

news:jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-01-06/story/should-former-jacksonville-pastor-convicted-sex-crimes-return-christian

A note from my heart:
Many of you believe me to be a hate filled, angry, vindictive woman because this blog exists. If you knew me personally, you would not think this way.

And it doesn't matter what your opinion of me is, this is not about me.
It's not about forgiveness.

I forgave Darrell L. Gilyard one night back in 1991, in a moment of prayer and realization that hating him would never be helpful for me. That I needed to forgive in order to be set free. I didn't want to give him power over my life - I wanted to seek victory through the knowledge that the one who granted me life, could someday use the pain and circumstance I was in to bring good. It developed my charachter and made me a very strong person, grounded in faith. I have never lost sight of the love of the Father. I began to see man as just that, no matter their position, just a human trying to reach Godliness. I didn't hold people on pedestals. For that I am grateful, it saved me a lot of heartache.

I have never done this with an ounce of hatred or even really anger, though you may not believe it. Truthfully, I become angered sometimes by the covering up of sin by people, than the sickness of the man producing the sin. Because that really just gives him more power and allows him to be blinded to the effects of his actions.

If the opportunity arose, I would greet Darrell on the street, I would not be angry. I would not be fake. I do not hate.

Many, many people have let me down in life - it just is the natural course of life. If I allowed them power over me, I would be bitter and angry. But that would serve me no purpose in overcoming. It is not who I am. It is not God's plan for my life.
I got a precious gift for Christmas - a sign with one of my favorite sayings -

"Life isn't about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

Apostle Paul taught us that we can have joy in the midst of suffering.

This blog is only a source.
People who choose to read it, do. Those that hate it, shouldn't fuel their hate by reading it.
I do not post here often as it is simply a source of information. I did not comment for the news article because I saw no point and felt it only fueled more hate. My position is not about me. It is not for attention or to see my name. In fact, having my name attached is in some ways damaging to me. If I was anonymous, people would call me a coward. I am not ashamed. This happened. I have forgiven. God has a plan. He doesn't need me for the plan.

My only hope and prayer is for knowledge, for knowledge produces wisdom and wisdom produces understanding.

Someday, if Darrell continues a path into ministry - or any other field - and somewhere a person gets a little uneasy feeling...just happens to google his name...they will be warned. What is done with that knowledge is up to them. It is up to you.

If I had known of his past in 1990 - which there was a vast knowledge of indiscretions covered up - then I would have been armed, I would have had wisdom and understanding that he was not a safe person. He could have chosen to take the same knowledge of his weaknesses and not placed himself in positions with girls and women as a mentor. He chose not to - I didn't have the ability to make such a choice to protect myself. Neither did these victims. In fact, their parents, like mine, were totally unaware.

Someday - one person, one girl, maybe many, will be protected - simply by this knowledge.

***Darrell, whatever you choose to do, no one can stop you. Whether in the light or in the dark. If you have allowed God to reach those places in you that are broken, those places that have wanted to have power over others to make you feel strong. The need to take from people. If you have allowed healing - true healing. It will show in your choices and how you live out the rest of your life. There is no doubt that God can use you, your story, your crimes for good. That is never a question in my mind. But what God can do is not to be confused with what He desires to do - and you have free will to edit His plan. What man plans is not always in alignment with what God plans. I forgave you years ago, I do not stand in judgement of you and you have no power over me. I have no desire to be consumed with you or thoughts of you - as you once told me in your perversion of scripture - but, I will pray that God keeps you from being able to violate one other female soul in your time on earth. I pray that every possible opportunity is available for the girls/women in your future path to not be confused by your charms and your misuse of their trust. The purpose of this blog is for knowledge, to lessen your power. Not to intentionally harm you.
If you have overcome this and are healed, I pray blessings over you and give God all the glory for your healing and it will be known as you move forward in life. And God alone would be glorified! It's not about you anymore Darrell.***

You see, we as believers have become a mockery to the world. We have confused forgiveness and blindness. You who are followers and supporters of Darrell, God bless you for your unfailing love. He needs people to be supportive, to be prayer warriors, to love him, to council him, to mentor him. Just use wisdom in this devotion. Your council should reflect that of the Father which is wisdom - there should be time and a level of trust established. Time for restoration, time for accountability, for healing. Not a rocket ride back into power...but it is your choice obviously, so if you all choose that this is the path....

There are girls and women out there that have not healed from his crimes - one reason is that he has never shown them remorse or repentance. There are children born out of this pain. There are lasting ripples in the lives that will not stop with one girl, it will be passed into her relationships with men, in marriage, with her children...with her family. Pain and scars of betrayal and loss of trust...even a desire to detest all things spiritual. Pain that you can never understand. Some are stronger than others, some heal and others just can't seem to get past it.

Darrell, if you ever decide you want to apologize to these women, girls and children - to start the chain of healing - let me know. thefamilycircus8@gmail.com I will post it on the blog. Surely you could humble yourself to that, if your heart is repentant. To tell them that your weaknesses had nothing to do with them, that they deserved more. That it had nothing to do with them but was all about you. It would go a long way to healing for many.

I have written this blog for the girls out their with names and faces, real people whose lives have been forever altered. That have not healed. I have read your stories, your letters, your emails, I know most of your names. You are on my mind and in my heart as I started this blog, as I chose to leave it up all of these years. None of this is about me. I found healing years ago. This is all for YOU - to hopefully keep knowledge alive, to keep others safe. YOU are martyrs in some ways, YOU were the warning cry...YOU are now the lighthouses that show that depite man's hurt, you can overcome! YOU can! YOU are not what he used you for - YOU are not who he told you that you were and you are definitely NOT his victim!

Whether or not he ever heals, YOU can! Find power in that...find healing.

God be glorified! To the world - we as believers are a laughingstock - God is not who we reflect most of the time. Please don't let this become your reflection of who you think God is. Dig deeper. I am a broken person that is trying to find her way, I desire to reflect God's love as I desire to be loved that way as well. I am not perfect - I do not feel I am better than him or anyone else...in fact, truth be known, I am really hard on myself. But I do believe there is a God - one God - and I have a personal relationship with Jesus, who I desire to be like...though I will never achieve it :-/
I am not a super christian or a throw it in your face believer - I believe everyone has a choice to believe as they wish...I only wish in some ways through my day to day interaction to people for them to see something different in me. It is not me they see...but the goodness of Jesus shining through. And Jesus unconditional love of me when I am not showing his goodness...

23 comments:

Hilda Silva said...

Bom voce esta completamente certa pois a a palavra de Deus nos diz .Se teu irmão pecar até 70vezes 7 perdoa ;mas porem ,há pecados que quando uma vez cometido e a pessoa repete é porque ela é sem vergonha e não teme a Deus pois esta escrito .vai e não peques mais agora o ser humano peca ,peca e depois volta a igreja e depois comete coisa pior essa pessoa esta tomada de espiritos enganadores de demonios

Hilda Silva said...

Devemos perdoar e observar a conduta dessa pessoa se realmente se arrependeu e se não esta fazendo novamente mas se estiver repetindo os mesmos erros a palavra de Deus nos diz afasta -te porque senaõ voce estara concordando com os erros dela;sendo partcipante porque Deus é amor ,mas ele é justiça tambem.E a palavra fala fala acerca dos escanda-los ;mas também fala ai dos que causarem escando-lo

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Not all are perfect, even the servants of the lord commit sins.

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

Anonymous said...

Tiffany,

Thank you for your words, through your blog I have been able to deal with wounds that have lingered over a decade. You are correct; Darrell's deceit has caused so much pain in so many lives. I spent several years with him before he married his 2nd wife and I can tell you that your understanding of him is right on point.

When I was in a relationship with Darrell he would use the scripture to try to confuse my mind, I was young (but an adult), and he was my Pastor. Tiffany, thank you for helping me heal. Thank you for giving all of us a voice.

I too pray that he has opened his heart and allowed God to heal all of those broken places.

Former Victim (1993-1997) who has found Victory!

Anonymous said...

"I wan't to make this as clear as possible.

Darrell Gilyard has not changed! Don't fool your self!

Anonymous said...

Who appointed you God, when the Lord wants to stop Darrell Gilyard, He will.
Move on with you life. Why are you letting one man take over you life? Put you faith in the Lord, and live you life. We all make mistakes in life. Let the Lord judge.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 6:37: Ms. Croft doesn't pretend to be God. She is trying to warn the rest of flock against getting fleeced (again!) by D.G. If she knew someone was breaking into houses and robbing them of valuables, would you say she is playing God if she reported them to police and warned the neighbors to watch out for him? Well, Gilyard has done something worse: robbed countless young women of their innocence, and claimed that God and Scripture told him it was OK for him to do so! His sexual escapades have resulted in divorces (his own) and at least once child born out of wedlock (that we know of). People like Gilyard get worse, not better, over time if not stopped. He began with grown women; he did jail time because he started getting involved with minors (teenage girls). If he has not decided to deal with his sin, he will next be hitting on little girls (elementary/middle school). Tiffany, keep warning folks against this robber of innocence, and betrayer of the One True God. God has never endorsed such sin, and He never will.

Brazos Lady

Ben Croft said...

Although he did serve his time for his conviction he still has a very long way to go to prove that he has been rehabilitated. Until then I think that he should not be allowed to participate in the same environment that he abused and manipulated previously.
He's an addict and everyone knows that an addict shouldn't be tempted with their addictions......

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am getting this right! 1. The church doesn't allow children in the sanctuary during service because the man who is so-called bring forth the word is a convicted child predator. 2. He decided to go back to the ministry because he needed money. 3. The Church knew he could draw people because of what he did when he was pastoring at Shiloh. They only had maybe 10 people attending before Darrell started preaching there. The first Sunday he preached they had about 150 people. The next Sunday 200.

This is a total disgrace! It is a slap in the face to all of the victims.

It's total lack of respect to the christian faith.

Forgiveness! Has Darrell sincere asked the victims to forgive him. His pattern is the same since the at least the 1980's lies, deceptions, manipulative and self-motivated. He preys unpon the weak. This church is broken,weak and vunderable. A perfect place for him to prey on. This is his MO. PREY ON THE WEAK!

Anonymous said...

Tiffany--I admire your bravery. You are doing the right thing. God bless you.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Anonymous on Feb 4th -

Could you please email me at thefamilycircus8@gmail.com
I'd like to respond to you privately.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Anon Feb 8th -
Thank you for your kindness. :-)

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Anonymous said...

Thank you. God can and is using you to help some you may never meet this side of glory. I am across the country and in no way connected to the people you've mentioned except to share their pain. The truth you've shared brings me hope and freedom from my own pain. Thank you.

Denise Hunt said...

Tiffany thank you for your bravery in confronting this outrage. You put me in the mind of Ida B. Wells and Harriet Tubman, who was mocked by their own, while trying to lead our people from the onslaught of oppression. I have been on the fore front of sex offense issues for years, I owned and operated a re-entry home for sex and ex-offenders. I worked with over 365 sex offenders with a recidivism rate of zero. This man has not changed and he is a threat to woman and children, because he has not even apologized to the victims. The Black church is in turmoil, it is run by a patriarchal dominated hierarchy that does not care about woman and their rights. Black people confuse religion and justice. His main supporters are Black woman, because we are fragile and seeking attention from men. We live in desperate times. This man is demonic and time will tell that, but the church members who supported him and turned backs on what was happening is the worst. It was done for money. Remember, Hitler could not have rose to power if good Christian Germans had stood up for what was right, instead they kept silent, due to money and racism, and allowed 6 million Jews to be slaughter. God will see you through this, and may God have mercy on Daryl Gilyard and his flunkies.

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