Great Commission church movement
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|Founded||1965 with no official name
1970 as The Blitz Movement
1983 as Great Commission International
1989 as Great Commission Association of Churches
2005 as Great Commission Churches
|Type||Evangelical Christian Church Association|
|Focus||Planting and building churches|
|Slogan||New Testament Christianity In Action Today|
Great Commission Churches (GCC) is a fellowship of independent evangelical Christian churches. The Great Commission church movement began in the United States in 1970. Other associated organizations include Great Commission Ministries (GCM), Great Commission Latin America (GCLA), and Great Commission Europe (GCE). The movement has grown in size and scope through its focus on church planting in the United States and abroad. Between 1978 and 1994, the movement received criticism (see Criticism), which was formally acknowledged by GCC in 1991 and 2010. GCC is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, and one or more organizations within the movement has continuously been a part of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 1992.
- 1 History
- 2 Today
- 3 Beliefs and values
- 4 Partnerships
- 5 Affiliated organizations
- 6 Criticism
- 7 Responses to criticism
- 8 List of campus ministries
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC) is the current name of an Evangelical Christian association of churches that started as a movement in 1965, though not generally recognized as a movement until 1970. The movement at first avoided any denominational affiliation, becoming known in the early 1970s as "The Blitz" or "The Blitz Movement," then as Great Commission International (GCI) when leaders formed a formal organization in 1983. In 1989, GCI became GCAC ("Great Commission Association of Churches"), and Great Commission Ministries (GCM) was founded as the campus and international mission agency for GCAC; the campus ministry prior to this was known as Great Commission Students (GCS), although GCS did not employ full-time missionaries or do international work. Today, the "right hand of fellowship" ministry to international churches and ministries is known as the Great Commission Association (GCA). GCAC generally refers to itself as Great Commission Churches (GCC) in public communications.
In 1965, 20-year-old Jim McCotter (James Douglas McCotter) left his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado and moved to Greeley, Colorado in an attempt to recreate the New Testament Church, a church model he believed no existing Christian denomination was emulating fully.
McCotter, whose family's religious background was with the Plymouth Brethren, has stated that his desire to form the movement stemmed from his belief that God had shown him in the Bible's Book of Acts a strategy instructing Christians on how God wanted to use church planting to "reach the world for Christ" within one generation. This strategy came to be known as the "Heavenly Vision", and was a cornerstone belief of the early movement. McCotter also believed that the Bible was instructing every Christian to emulate the actions of the Apostle Paul's life as he imitated Christ and that this was the model life for all Christians to imitate based upon Paul's exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1.
Early members believed they were returning to the lost lifestyle of the first century Christians.
After arriving in Greeley, McCotter attended and began sharing his faith at the University of Northern Colorado campus. According to McCotter, by the end of the first year 12 people had joined him, after 1966 there were thirty, and in the following years it "doubled and tripled." The movement eventually spread to other cities in Colorado, as well as Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the form of missions or "works".
McCotter dropped out of college to focus on ministry full-time, and was planning to move down to Pueblo, Colorado to continue his efforts; however, in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, he was drafted into the United States Army. During basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, McCotter met Dennis Clark and on McCotter's return from Vietnam in 1970 he met Herschel Martindale. Clark and Martindale would become two of the founders of the movement in the summer of 1970.
"Blitz Movement" Begins
In 1970, under the leadership of Jim McCotter, Dennis Clark, Herschel Martindale, and others, approximately 30 college-age Christians embarked on a summer-long evangelical outreach known as "The Blitz" to several university campuses in the Southwestern United States. These 2 or 3 day events used singing, tract distribution, and sidewalk canvassing to draw crowds and spread the word. As the movement expanded, additional mission outreaches and training conferences took place. In the summer of 1973, nearly 1,000 people attended the movement's national conference. The conference was followed by the "blitzing" of fifteen new campuses and by the end of 1973, about 15 "works" had been established. In the late 1970s, selected newspapers, former members, and select watchdog groups began to publicly criticize the movement's practices. This continued into the 1980s and early 1990s. (See the Criticism section for more information.)
Widmar v. Vincent
In 1981, a freedom of religion case was won by the student group of a church (Cornerstone) which was a part of the Great Commission Church movement. The University of Missouri at Kansas City did not allow its facilities to be used by college students for religious meetings. In an 8-1 ruling, the United States Supreme Court stated that the First Amendment Establishment Clause did not require the university to limit the use of its facilities to religious groups.
Great Commission International
In 1983, Great Commission International (GCI) was formed. Led by Jim McCotter and Dennis Clark, it was formed to provide services such as publishing and fund raising for the developing association. That summer, GCI launched the first summer Leadership Training conference which attracted college students for a summer of intensive training in evangelism and discipleship. The LT program continues today under the leadership of Great Commission Ministries.
In 1985, GCI undertook a mass outreach and expansion effort called Invasion '85. During this effort, teams were sent to 50 college campuses with a goal of starting new campus ministries. While many "works" were successfully established during Invasion '85, most of them did not continue. According to GCAC, "team members were not properly trained nor were they given adequate support."
GCI continued to be scrutinized in some newspapers and by former members of the movement, and in 1985 several conferences were held with the purpose of helping former members of churches that were part of GCI "recover from the emotional and psychological damage they'd experienced" while in the movement. Shortly thereafter, Wellspring Retreat and Recovery Center, a cult and abusive religion recovery center, was formed by several ex-members of the movement.
In late 1986, founder Jim McCotter announced his resignation from GCI, stating a desire to utilize his entrepreneurial abilities in an attempt to influence secular media for Christ. Two years later, McCotter moved to Florida and has not since attended a church affiliated with the movement, with the exception of the 2003 Faithwalkers conference.
At this point in GCAC history, its churches claimed approximately 5,000 members.
GCAC and GCM formed
In 1989, Great Commission International changed its name to the Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC), and is known today as Great Commission Churches (GCC). Also in 1989, Great Commission Ministries (GCM), under the initial leadership of Dave Bovenmyer, was formed. Its aim was to "mobilize people into campus ministry by training them to raise financial support and by equipping them for campus ministry."
In 1996, the Internal Revenue Service selected GCM as a test case to eliminate the common practice known as "deputation," (which allows non-profit mission organizations to raise funds for its activities, while allowing contributors to claim income tax deduction). The IRS reaffirmed GCM's non-profit status.
Approximately 60 churches in the United States are affiliated with GCA, and approximately a dozen internationally in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Together these churches claimed over 43,000 members in 2005. According to a 2001 Ivy Jungle report as cited by John Schmalzbauer of Missouri State University, there were 6,900 college students involved in GCM. GCA maintains an administrative support staff in Orlando, FL.
GCC publishes the periodical "Faithwalkers Journal" and other doctrinal papers, written principally by pastors within the movement. Regional and national conferences are attended by both leaders and members of churches in the movement. Conferences include Faithwalkers, Ignite, High School Leadership Training (HSLT), and National Pastor's Conferences.
Beliefs and values
Statement of faith and core values
Authority of Local Leaders and Church Government Beliefs
According to GCC, its churches are "independent under the Lordship of Jesus Christ", cooperating within the association in conferences, mission efforts and for accountability in doctrine and ethical practices. Being part of the association requires that a church agree to Biblical and ethical standards set by the association. Final authority rests with the pastors of each local church.
GCAC states that it places great emphasis on raising leaders from within its congregation, based on the character qualities detailed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. This is contrary to the more common practice among Christian denominations of hiring pastors from other churches/cities. It is not required that GCAC pastors have formal seminary training. However, a number of GCC pastors and staff have received training from partnering with specific Bible Schools and Seminaries. GCC also founded the Great Commission Leadership Institute (GCLI) in 1999 to support the development of pastors within the local churches. The GCLI program includes teaching materials written by pastors and leaders from across GCC as well as regional "Going Deeper" conferences for discussion of doctrine and values.
Women and Authority
GCC does not believe women should have authority over men in the church, or be in a position where they would teach men in the church. In its GCLI materials, GCC reproduces a part of John Piper and Wayne Grudem book "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism" and endorses the Danvers Statement, an attempt at a consensus among Evangelical leaders representing the complementarian view in 1988, now advocated by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
GCAC, and its associated bodies, is a member of several evangelical organizations including the National Association of Evangelicals, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies, and the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association. GCAC works with a number of organizations that share its aims including Samaritan's Purse, Global Pastors Network, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. GCM maintains a Council of Reference. These members do not run or manage GCM, but affirm their support for the ministry and serve as a source of counsel for GCM leaders. Chi Alpha, the campus ministry of the Assemblies of God, has suggested parents check out GCM, among eight others, if there is no Chi Alpha on their students' campus and counts GCM among its founding ministries.
Great Commission Ministries
Great Commission Ministries (GCM) was founded as the subsidiary campus and international mission agency for Great Commission Association of Churches, and began to serve other organizations without a mission agency of their own beginning in 2006.
In 2004, Boundless webzine (associated with Focus on the Family) published an article listing GCM as one of the "ten top college ministries across the U.S.", saying that their strategy of "seeking to incorporate students into the starting of a church based campus ministry" "has been effective to attract and involve thousands of students." The article also stated that "Their outstanding Board of Directors and dedicated staff are committed to world missions and leadership development and thus supplying the church around the world with a fresh supply of equipped laborers."
Following the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, GCM's Virginia Tech campus church New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF) received widespread media coverage. NLCF pastor Jim Pace, a GCM missionary, was a guest on Larry King Live and Good Morning America, CNN created a video of their memorial service. Several newspapers, magazines, and radio shows carried quotes from NLCF pastors.[note 1]
The largest financial supporters of Great Commission Ministries are individual donors. In 2002, 92% of GCM's income came from contributions of this nature. GCM missionaries are required to raise 100% of their support goal, which includes base salary, benefits, and ministry expenses. Twelve percent of all funds raised goes toward administrative overhead. GCM has been a member of the ECFA since 1992.
Great Commission Latin America (GCLA) is a Latin American outgrowth of Great Commission Ministries founded in 1974 by Daniel B. Sierra, a Cuban-American missionary from Florida Bible College and directed by Nelson Guerra since 1981, a native Honduran and former president of the Honduran National Association of Evangelicals. As of 2007 it consisted of 25 member churches.
Great Commission Churches (GCC) is a fellowship of churches in the Great Commission Association, which helps coordinate ministry activities in the U.S., including Great Commission Leadership Institute (GCLI), GCLI "Going Deeper" Regional conferences, Faithwalkers National Conferences, and national GCA Pastor's Conferences. GCM missionaries Steve and Danelle Nelson have written for Great Commission Churches' Faithwalkers Journal.
GCC has several regional subsidiaries as well, including GCC Regional Ministries (GCC-RM) and Great Commission Northlands (GCN) (which coordinates church planting, leadership training, and church coaching in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin).
Past ministries and organizations
During the 1980s, a number of ministries and organizations were formed and then discontinued by the late 1980s in an attempt to "penetrate key centers of influence," including: Americans for Biblical Government, Great Commission Academy, Alpha Capital, THEOS (The Higher Education Opportunity Service), Communication Forum, and Students for Origins Research. A campus ministry similar to the current Great Commission Ministries (GCM) existed prior to 1989 under the name of Great Commission Students (GCS).[verification needed][original research?]
Under the direction of Jim McCotter in the 1970s and 1980s, the movement started several magazines and newspapers, including The Cause, America Today, Today's Student, U.S. Press, Potential, and the Life Herald. These projects were short-lived or were discontinued in the late 1980s.
Criticism in Newspapers
In March 1978, the first public criticism of the movement and its practices was reported by the Iowa State Daily, after an Iowa State student who was later diagnosed as a manic-depressive spent 18 days in a psychiatric ward, followed by another 23-day stay in another, due to emotional problems his psychiatrist attributed to involvement with the movement's Iowa State campus ministry. Subsequent criticism of the movement appeared eight months later in a front page article by the Des Moines Register, in which campus pastors expressed concerns over "manipulation" and "a kind of brainwashing." Throughout the late 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, similar criticisms were published by newspapers in Ohio, South Carolina, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Toronto, nationally across Canada, and in other locations, particularly those near college campuses where the movement was active. The movement was often accused of authoritarian practices, and some accounts quoted former members and cult researchers who accused the movement's leaders of "brainwashing" and "mind-control" techniques.
Criticism in Research Papers, Books, and Magazines
Two research papers critical of the movement were published between 1988 and 1995, as were three books that included the movement in its lists of "abusive Christian groups", one with a sequel which mentions dissatisfaction with the group's efforts. In a 1992 Group Magazine article by Ronald Enroth, one ex-member described the movement as fostering a "learned helplessness" in members. In light of developments since 1994, Dr. Ronald Enroth no longer has concerns about Great Commission Churches.
Cult and "Aberrant" Labels
In 1988, the movement was classified as a cult by the American Family Foundation (AFF), the (pre-Scientology) Cult Awareness Network, and the Council on Mind Abuse. The Council on Mind Abuse ceased its existence in 1992, while the CAN was taken over by Scientologists in 1996 after years of legal issues. The movement was classified as an "aberrant Christian group" by Martin J. Butz in his 1991 research paper and by Paul Martin, a former leader of the movement, in 1993. 
However, the charge Great Commission has at any time in its history been a "cult" has been dismissed by Great Commission Churches. In addition, William Watson, a writer of the book "A Concise Dictionary of Cults and Religions" defended Great Commission. Watson wrote in a letter dated August 1, 1991, "I am convinced that the Great Commission Association of Churches, formerly GCI, is not, and has not been a cult.
In 2002, ex-member Larry Pile said he would not refer to the movement as a cult, but instead as a "Totalist Aberrant Christian Organization". Pile believed the movement was "Christian because they hold orthodox beliefs", and yet "aberrant on secondary issues." In a 2006 statement, Pile stated that many of the concerns expressed by him in the past over aberrant teaching is "old news" and "no longer characterizes GCAC/GCM, at least not systemically," while acknowledging that concerns, expressed to him from 2000 to 2006 by members and former members, reveal "residual problems at least in individual churches and leaders. Furthermore, many of the old problems have still not been addressed fully or forthrightly."
In December 2011, Larry Pile released a statement of reconciliation. Pile stated that "GCC has resolved to my satisfaction all issues of concern" and he requested that "the past remain the past." Pile went on to say "I urge that current members and leaders of GCC be evaluated fairly, according to how they teach and live out their faith in the present." Along with Pile's statement, GCC released an account of the reconciliation process on its website.
Maryland political controversy
In 1986, 12 members of a GCI church ran for state office in Maryland, prompting attention from the national media, and speculation from Maryland political leaders that it was a concerted effort by GCI to enter the political arena. None of the GCI church members running for office were thought to have had prior political aspirations, yet many filed papers to run on the same day, June 30. In a Washington Post article, GCI leaders denied formal involvement, stating that each person's decision to run was made independent of GCI leadership. On September 11, 1986, The Montgomery County Sentinel reported that none of the candidates won election.
University of Guelph Ban
Responses to criticism
Tom Short, 'Setting Great Commission's record straight'
On April 21, 1988, "The Diamondback" published an article by GCI's National Student Director, Tom Short, in which he defended the movement against an article written by Denny Gulick, professor of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, which charged that the movement was a "destructive cult." He also defended the movement against charges from the Cult Awareness Network that the movement was a cult, stating that CAN was the avowed enemy of anyone who claimed to have a life-changing experience and implying that Gulick had not looked into GCI with an open mind as had his mother.
1991 GCC Statement of Church Error
According to GCC, "During the late 1980s and early 1990s a concerted effort was made to reach out to people who felt that they had been hurt by GCI and its churches. At the initial urging of Tom Short, the GCI leaders and pastors published a paper as part of a plan to follow the Biblical standard of humility and reconciliation in relationships. This effort towards reconciliation, formally called Project CARE, was led by Dave Bovenmyer and was instrumental in building unity with Christians within and outside of Great Commission."
In 1991, GCAC released a public statement acknowledging church error and weakness.  In the statement, GCC clarified its position on many issues, and admitted responsibility for mistakes grouped into two categories; problems resulting from a "prideful attitude", and problems as "a result of a misapplication or misinterpretation of Scripture." Issues discussed in the statement include:
- Failing to distinguish between a command, and principle, and preference.
- Authoritarian and insensitive leadership.
- An "elitist attitude" towards other Christian organizations.
- Excessive and unbiblical church discipline.
- Improper response to criticism.
- Lack of emphasis on formal education.
- A belief that every man should become an elder.
- Treating dating as a sin.
The statement also listed steps taken, or to be taken, to correct these issues.
Response to statement
As of 1994, many former members felt the Weakness Statement was not enough or that it left out other concerns, according to Ronald Enroth's book Recovering From Churches that Abuse. In light of developments since 1994, Dr. Ronald Enroth no longer has concerns about Great Commission Churches. Dr. Paul Martin, director of Wellspring and a former member of GCI, is quoted extensively in the book and also notes his statements are now out of date.
2010 Explanation of Criticisms
In September 2010, John Hopler, Director of Great Commission Churches, posted an Explanation of Criticisms on the GCC website. This document serves to give insight into the continued criticisms of the movement, and specifically those against Jim McCotter. Hopler does not believe the criticisms stand up to examination.
List of campus ministries
Collegiate Church Network
- Cornerstone Christian Fellowship (Illinois State University)
- Illini Life (University of Illinois)
- The Revolution (Ball State University)
- Riverview Church (Michigan State University)
- New Life Church (University of Michigan)
- New Life Church (Eastern Michigan University)
- New Life Church (Wayne State University)
- The Rock (University of Missouri)
- H2O Church - BGSU (Bowling Green State University)
- H2O Church - Kent (Kent State University)
- H2O Church - OSU (Ohio State University)
- H2O Church - Cincinnati (University of Cincinnati)
- H2O Church - Toledo (University of Toledo)
- H2O Church - Pittsburgh (University of Pittsburgh)
- Fellowship Church (Texas A&M University)
- 2.42 of San Marcos (Texas State University)
- Hope Fellowship Church (University of North Texas)
- New Life Christian Fellowship (Virginia Tech)
Great Commission Churches
- REACH, The Firehouse Church (Auraria Campus: University of Colorado Denver, Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University)
- The Rock Ft. Collins (Colorado State University)
- The Rock (University of Northern Colorado)
- Gator Christian Life (University of Florida)
- Awaken Church and Jacksonville Christian Life (University of North Florida)
- Seminole Christian Life (Florida State University)
- The Rock @ COD, Glen Arbor Community Church (College of DuPage)
- Campus Fellowship (Alive), Walnut Creek Community Church (Drake University)
- The Rock, Stonebrook Community Church (Iowa State University)
- Grace Campus Church (Purdue University)
- The Rock (University of Minneapolis)
- Grace at State, Grace Community Church (North Carolina State University)
- H2O (University of North Dakota)
- The Rock (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
- Longhorn Life (University of Texas)
- River City Network, Riverbend Community Church (University of South Carolina)
- The Edge (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
- Emerge (West Virginia University)
- Biblical inerrancy
- Christian right
- Intelligent design
- Jesus movement
- Jim McCotter
- Larry Pile
- Modern methods of evangelism
- Paul R. Martin
- Shepherding Movement
- Tom Short
- Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center
- New Life Christian Fellowship was a member of Great Commission Ministries Churches in 2007. Ecclesia Church Network which claims NCLF as a member, was founded the summer after the shooting. Great Commission Ministries Churches, as of 2012, is known as Collegiate Church Network (or Collegiate). It is a separate church network from Great Commission Churches. NCLF has dual membership in Collegiate and Ecclesia. See campus ministries.
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Jim McCotter: "I had one suitcase and- over a hangup bag, and $400 dollars in my pocket, and that was all I started with back in 1965."
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The Great Commission church movement began in 1970 with a focus on planting and building churches that are devoted to Jesus Christ and to fulfilling the command given by Jesus to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28: 19, 20). ... In 1989 GCI changed its name to "Great Commission Association of Churches." (Today, the shortened name "Great Commission Churches" is used in public communications, in order to promote the central and historical vision of this movement.) ... In 2006 Great Commission Churches was clarified to be a membership association for US based churches and ministries only. The Great Commission Association (www.gcachurches.org) is a "right hand of fellowship" ministry to international churches and ministries which are united with Great Commission Churches in beliefs, values and in the mission of reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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GCM is a member ministry of the Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC) based in Columbus, Ohio, and acts as the international missions organization of GCAC.
- "...And beware of Great Commission". The Diamondback. 1986-09-22.
As someone who has experienced the Great Commission Students (GCS) from the inside, it pleased me to read Sue Ferrera's column warning against cults.
- John L. Guerra (1986-02-06). "James McCotter: How he brought GCI to Silver Spring". The Montgomery County Sentinel.
the "Blitz", as it was known before being renamed "Great Commission International", was started when McCotter and William Taylor, a high school friend of McCotter's, began evangelizing on the University of Northern Colorado campus in the mid-1960s. ... McCotter preached that a goal of the church was to have the gospel heard throughout the world within a generation.
- "Controversies in Iowa Christianity". Des Moines Sunday Register. 1980-03-16.
Taylor said when he and McCotter began evangelizing and proselyting at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley in the mid 1960s, McCotter left Northern Colorado after two years. McCotter, in an earlier interview, said he also spent time at the University of Southern Colorado at Pueblo and at the University of Maryland. ... In 1970 and 1971, according to some of McCotter's associates of the time, there was enough of a group to begin a "blitz movement", traveling in a school bus from campus to campus in the South and Midwest speaking and proselytizing.
- Jim Healey and Sherry Ricchiardi (1980-03-16). "Controversies in Iowa Christianity: The rise of a fundamentalist". Des Moines Sunday Register.
"They're all locked into what Jim calls 'the vision.' Whether it's official or not, he's the one most of them look to for leadership", Schooler said.
- Pile, Lawrence (2002). MARCHING TO ZION: A Personal History and Analysis of the "Blitz Movement" aka Great Commission Association of Churches (2nd ed.). Albany, Ohio: Christians United to Remedy Error (CURE).
Underlying even this basic fallacy of the "team church" was another more basic error, namely the "strategy" or "heavenly vision." ... A similar thing had happened within Great Commission International. In many of the churches associated with GCI the primary focus had been shifted off the full gospel of Jesus Christ and onto the "strategy" propagated first by founder Jim McCotter, and then by his disciples, the current board of directors of the movement, and the pastors of local GCI churches.
- "History of Great Commission Churches". Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- GCAC Executive Director John Hopler. "GCLI Document, Church History: Great Commission". Columbus, OH.
- Maria Agrelo (late July/early August 1973). "Have Bible-will travel". Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State Lantern. Check date values in:
- John Hopler (Herschel Martindale, guest speaker) (2006-12-30). Church planting and the 'ordinary' Christian (Speech). central Missouri. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
- Widmar v. Vincent (454 U.S. 263 (1981)
- "Christian Student Groups Fight to Retain Use of Campus Facilities". Christianity Today. June 6, 1980.
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- Martin, Ph. D, Paul (1993). Cult-Proofing Your Kids. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN 0-310-53761-4.
- Rick Whitney (January 2004). "Letter To Dads "On The Wall"" (DOC).
And Jim and Barb McCotter and their family were a surprise, late addition. It was good to talk with them. Jim wrote, 'How my heart was blessed to hear each of you share what God put on your hearts this last week. I felt so unworthy... and so humbled... and at the same time so overjoyed.'
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- John Hopler (September 23, 2004). "Authority in the Church".
Paul is clear: Women shouldn't be in an authority position over men in the church. Nor should women teach in a way that places themselves in authority over men. One argues, "This makes women second-rate citizens in the church." Scripture is clear: A person's value is in Christ, not their position.
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- "Evangelicals arise on campus". Des Moines Sunday Register. 1978-11-26.
- "Ex-Bible Study member says the group ostracized her". Ames Daily Tribune. 1979-12-10.
- "Ex-members say religious group controls, intimidates its followers". Columbus (Ohio) Lantern. 1982-10-11.
- "'I think I was brainwashed' Religious group criticized as cult-like is now at KSU". Daily Kent Stater. 1982-12-03.
..some members he knew while in the group had nervous breakdowns as a result of the pressure, while others completely turned their backs on religion.
- "Students tell story of cult involvement: Officials work to limit influence". The Gamecock (University of S. Carolina). 1990-04-30.
- "Silver Spring Fundamentalists: Church or 'Cult'?". Silver Spring (Md.) Montgomery County Sentinel. February 1985.
- "New Life policies scrutinized". Towson (Md.) Towerlight. 1985-05-09.
- "Beware of cults on campus... (...And beware of Great Commission)". The Diamondback (University of Maryland). 1986-09-22.
- "Destructive cults eliminate freedom of thought". The Diamondback (University of Maryland). 1988-04-14.
- "Cult debate prompted by group involvement". The Diamondback (University of Maryland). 1988-09-08.
- "James McCotter: How he brought GCI to Silver Spring". The Montgomery County Sentinel. 1986-02-06.
- "Group Members Dispute Cult Labelling by Loomis". Ithaca, New York: The Cornell Daily Sun.
"The cult issue is an issue of human oppression and freedom.… It's not a religious issue", according to Ronald N. Loomis, director of Unions and Activities. Loomis discussed two new campus groups that he considers cults in a recent interview. Members of Great Commission Students and a former member of EST (Erhard Seminars Training), both of which Loomis categorized as new cults on campus, defended their organizations.
- "Cult label follows new church: Cult watcher calls GCI 'shepherding cult' Pastor: 'We're just New Testament Christians;' Critics: 'Subtle danger'". The Sunday Journal (Wheaton, Illinois edition). 1988-11-06.
- "Ex-members label GCI a coercive environment". The Sunday Journal (Wheaton, Illinois edition). 1988-11-06.
- "Evangelical association reviews complaints against church group". The Daily Herald (Dupage City, Illinois edition). 1988-11-11.
- "Church group draws fire". The Record (Wheaton, Illinois). 1988-12-02.
- "Bible club evicted from U of Guelph campus: group accused of authoritarianism, cult-like control over members". Toronto Globe & Mail. 1989-09-27.
- "Extremist fundamentalist groups make inroads on canadian university campuses". The Canadian Press. September 1989.
- "'I think I was brainwashed': Religious group criticized as cult-like is now at KSU". Manhattan (Kan.) Daily Kent Stater. 1982-12-03.
..some members he knew while in the group had nervous breakdowns as a result of the pressure, while others completely turned their backs on religion.
- MacDonald, Jerry (1988). "Reject the Wicked Man: Coercive Persuasion and Deviance Production: A Study of Conflict Management". Cultic Studies Journal.
- Martin J. Butz (1991). "An inquiry into the paradox of aberrant Christian churches: orthodoxy without orthopraxy".
- Enroth, Ronald (1992). Churches That Abuse (PDF). Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN 0-310-53290-6.
- Michael D. Langone. "Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse". W. W. Norton & Company; New Ed edition (June 1995). ISBN 0-393-31321-2.
- Enroth, Ronald (1994). Recovering From Churches That Abuse (PDF). Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN 0-310-39870-3.
- "How to Spot an Abusive Church". Group Magazine. March 1992.
- Hopler, John. "Dr. Enroth & GCC". Great Commission Churches. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Kaade Roberts (April 1992). "Divine Deception". The Touchstone.
GCI along with its subsidiary, Great Commission Students, has been classified as a cult by the Cult-Awareness Network (CAN) and the American Family Foundation. Since the mid-seventies there have been complaints of GCI's authoritarian forms of mind control leaving members at the point of suicide or in psychiatric wards.
- "Cult label follows new church". Wheaton, Illinois: The Sunday Journal (Wheaton, IL edition). 1988-11-06.
- "Just Who Is Jim McCotter?". North & South (New Zealand). April 2002.
- Hopler, John. "Responding to Criticisms". Great Commission Churches. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Hopler, John. "How False Information Can Spread". Great Commission Churches. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Larry Pile (March 2006). "Statement about Great Commission Association of Churches/Great Commission Ministries".
- Larry Pile (15 December 2011). "Statement Regarding Great Commission Churches (GCC)" (PDF): 10–12.
- Hopler, John. "Praise Report: Reconciliations". Great Commission Churches. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Parties Warn of 'Fringe Candidates': Montgomery News Conference Breaks Into a Shouting Match". The Washington Post. 1986-08-30.
A bipartisan Montgomery County news conference held yesterday to discuss "fringe candidates" in the Sept. 9 primary erupted into a shouting match when a handful of candidates rebuked the Democratic and Republican leaders for raising religion as an issue in the election and labeling their beliefs as "cults." ... Bernstein also invited a representative of the Cult Awareness Network, a nonprofit group that monitors what it considers cults, to speak. Nancy Howell, president of a chapter of the group, charged that LaRouche's National Labor Caucus and Great Commission International, a nonprofit religious organization with a congregation in Silver Springs, are groups that have "cultic" natures. ... Tom Short, a member of the board of trustees of the Great Commission congregation, said he believed his church had been unfairly "labeled as a cult by innuendo. In reality, all of the allegations . . . are untrue."
- "Ex-Members Say Md. Church Active in Conservative Politics". The Washington Post. 1986-09-07.
- "Great Commission gets into politics". The Washington Post. 1986-09-07.
- "The End Of The Trail: How the pols partied when the polls closed". The Montgomery County Sentinel. 1986-09-11.
- "Gilchrist concerned over ballots of church candidates". The Montgomery County Sentinel. 1986-09-11.
- "Owens out, blames sample ballots (church candidates)". The Montgomery County Sentinel. 1986-09-11.
- Tom Short (1988-04-21). "Setting Great Commission's record straight". The Diamondback (University of Maryland).
- Great Commission Association of Churches (July 1991). "A Statement Recognizing Early Errors And Weaknesses In The Development Of The Great Commission Association Of Churches" (PDF). Great Commission Association of Churches. Retrieved 2007-02-09.
- "Find A Church". Collegiate Church Network. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013.
- "Find a Church". Great Commission Churches. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013.
- "REACH - campus ministry". The Firhouse Church. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "Partner Churches/Organizations". Awaken Church. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013.
- "College Ministry". Glen Arbor Community Church. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "Campus Fellowship". Campus Fellowship. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "About Us". Campus Fellowship. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013.
- "Pastor Bios". The Rock. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013.
- "Faithwalkers". Grace Community Church. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013.
- "Small Groups". Liveoak Church. Retrieved Jan 3, 2013.
- Great Commission Churches' official website
- Great Commission Association's official website
- Great Commission Ministries' official website
- Great Commission Latin America's English website
- Great Commission Latin America's official website, in Spanish
- Leadership Training Program homepage
- GCM Dad Support Group and Monthly Email
- Daylights Online
- 1991 Statement of Church Error
- Marching To Zion: A Personal History and Analysis of the “Blitz Movement” aka Great Commission Association of Churches By Lawrence A. Pile