Aggressive Christianity Missionary Training Corps

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The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps (abbreviated ACMTC; also known as the Holy Tribal Nation, the Free Love Ministries, or the Life Force Team) was a Biblicist, theocratic intentional community. The ministry, founded in 1981 by James and Deborah Green (sometimes collectively referred to as the Generals; James is often called General James and sometimes Jim; Deborah is referred to as General Deborah, formerly Lila), still retains its military structure, partially based off the original pattern of the Salvation Army. [1] Moving from its starting location in Sacramento, California, it has now settled east of the rural town of Fence Lake, in Cibola County, New Mexico. It is in the vicinity of Gallup, New Mexico. They also have a branch in Colorado Springs, Colorado[2][3][4]

Background[edit]

James Green[edit]

James Green was born in 1945 and was raised in Kentucky. As a teenager, he hitchhiked to California where he later became entwined in a hippie lifestyle and the 1960s revolution, and met Deborah.[4]

Montana prayer[edit]

During the Greens' time with the Bear Tribe in California, they went to scout out land in Montana. The Greens converted to Christianity in 1971.

Kentucky[edit]

James and Deborah moved to Kentucky where they started attending a local church. James soon began training for a ministerial position. He was trained four years under a pastor.[4][5][6]

After a missionary journey through Central America, the Greens ended up in Miami, Florida.[4]

Salvation Army, Miami[edit]

In the late 1970s, James and Deborah worked at the large Miami Salvation Army center, participating in inner-city mission work. ACMTC may have taken its name from a sermon by Salvation Army co-founder Catherine Booth titled "Aggressive Christianity".[7]

Ministry[edit]

Free Love Ministries / Life Force Team[edit]

In the early 1980s, the Greens moved into a house in Sacramento, California. The Greens' public ministry started out as the Greens taking people in, as well as printing and distributing Gospel tracts. ACMTC eventually secured more houses and started using the name "Free Love Ministries".

Lawsuit[edit]

In 1988, Maura Schmierer and several others filed a lawsuit against Free Love Ministries for abusive treatment. asking for 20 million dollars in damages.[8]


The Greens lost the case by not appearing in court and went on the run from the law. The court ordered ACMTC to pay Schmierer $1.2 million. After losing the lawsuit, all buildings they owned were seized by the court. The ministry destroyed the buildings, left Sacramento and settled in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and added another ministry name, "Life Force Team". [9][10][4]

In 1993, ACMTC secured an old school building in Berino, and established another camp in Gallup, New Mexico.[10]

Beliefs and practices[edit]

Primary beliefs[edit]

In their 1987 "Responsibilities of Command" officer's manual, the ministry states its beliefs:

We Believe: In the divine inspiration of the Bible (2nd Tim. 3:16). That in the One God there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (1 John 5:7). That Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty, Creator of all things (John 1:1-3, 14, 29-34; Rev. 1:5, 6) In the virgin birth (Luke 1:26-35) That Jesus Christ died for our sins (Hebrews 9:15, 22, 28). In the baptism of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking tongues (Acts 2:4). All the supernatural gifts (healing, miracles, deliverance, tongues etc.), and practicing them (1 Cor. 12).[11]

The ministry also states its spiritual beliefs that can be found in some of the earliest writings done in 1986 by James Green,

(1) His grace is demonstrated that we might be free from captivity, but this freedom is to be used for and unto His ultimate intention. (2) God always asks that which is impossible to the natural man in order that His people will be dependent upon divine, spiritual resources. (3) God designs all things to function properly under His control. He is not content to merely set us free, but longs to "turn our capacity"; that is, He longs to bring us back into His captivity. (4) Man must either submit to God's purpose or become captive to some other law. God's plan will not allow us to live long in liberty apart from law. (5) God's pattern is not spurts of consecration and dedication, but a consistent walk leading into a continuous unfolding revelation of His plan and purpose.[1][11]

In the media[edit]

Aggressive Christianity Missionary Training Corps is often regarded as a cult.

In 1989, Jodi Hernandez was part of a group of newspeople that reported on the Aggressive Christians from March to September through KOVR-TV, CBS channel 13 Sacramento. [9]

In December 1999, Darren White, former secretary of the Department of Public Safety for New Mexico, and then reporter for KRQE, CBS channel 13, Albuquerque, reported on the Greens.

On November 4, 2005, Jim Maniaci, of the Gallup Independent's Cibola County Bureau in Grants, reported that a co-leader of a religious group was jailed on an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge. [12]

In June, 2006, Annie McCormick of KRQE, CBS channel 13, Albuquerque, NM, also investigated the Greens with reports from former members and families.[13]

In April 2012, National Geographic Channel featured Maura Schmierer and her daughter Rebekah’s accounts with the group. [14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "What We Believe". ACMTC. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  2. ^ "On the Frontlines-Ministry with the Native Americans". Royal Regiment Raiders. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  3. ^ [http://www.aggressivechristianity.net/articles/ads/All%20Tribes%20Spirit%20Army%20Messenger.htm Cospgs-aggressivechristianity.homestead.com "All Tribes Spirit Army Messenger"]. All Tribes Spirit Army. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ministry Facts". Life Force Team. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  5. ^ "Stinking Rotting Corpse". ACMTC. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  6. ^ "Emergent Church Ideophrenia". ACMTC. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Trinda, Pasquet (1988-03-16). "Mother of 3 sues cult- tells of life in shed". The Sacramento Union. 
  9. ^ a b [2] Jodi Hernandez. Bay area NBC Report on the Greens.
  10. ^ a b Dan, Williams (1995-06-25). "‘Soldiers of God' have New Mexico town abuzz". El Paso Times. 
  11. ^ a b Responsibilities of Command. Free Love Ministries. 1987-01-01. p. 31. 
  12. ^ Maniaci, Jim. "Religious leader bonds out". Gallup Independent. November 4, 2005.
  13. ^ [3] Annie McCormick, KRQE, CBS channel 13, Albuquerque.
  14. ^ Kiger, Patrick J. "I Escaped a Cult – Inside the Greens". National Geographic Channel TVblogs. April 9, 2012.