Kaylyn Herdman's slam poetry and video art exposes the playbook of an abusive pastor like nobody's business. It is a playbook that has played out again and again in Christian churches. The 'beloved leader' carefully lays his web to snare unsuspecting women he is supposed to be shepherding. Then when she realizes what is happening and outs him, the congregation turns their sympathy toward the pastor and their judgement toward her.
Kaylyn Herdman was a wise little girl watching her mother's predicament slowly unfold. She has grown up into an even wiser young woman. What a gift she is.
Kaylyn's mother Lynnae writes a backdrop (below) to her daughter's video and names for the first time the Brethren in Christ pastor who targeted, groomed and abused her.
If your pastor has been accused and you are troubled by it, check out the article "When your pastor is accused" at The Mennonite Abuse Prevention List. -B. Graber
If you do not care to leave a public comment you may connect with Kaylyn through her YouTube Channel or email@example.com.
From Lynnae: The world I had known came crashing down all around me on August 28, 2015. It was a Friday. I found myself in shock, paralyzed, holding a phone in one hand, a bottle of pills in the other, not knowing what to do. In those dark moments, I felt like I had lost everything, that my life was over. Dark thoughts gave way to even darker decisions.
In 2008, I had gone to my former Brethren in Christ pastor, Kenneth Anthony from Altoona, Pennyslvania, for much needed pastoral counseling. I viewed him as a spiritual father figure. I wanted to unburden myself, to confess my hurts, to get some spiritual counseling, to walk closer with God. I counseled with him for two years.
He began to cross many boundaries a pastor has no business crossing. It left me shattered. After enmeshing himself into our family and grooming and gas-lighting me, he continued relentless sexual, emotional and spiritual abuses of power against me.
The Brethren in Christ church did take away his pastoring license. On Sun, August 30, 2015 he stood before the congregation and “asked for forgiveness” and said that he had "fallen from grace”. But there was no acknowledgement by the church that he used the power of his pulpit and his position to take advantage of me. What happened to me was still thought of as an 'affair,' but it was not. It was an abuse of trust we are taught to give our pastors and it was an abuse of power.
I know now that he took advantage of my pain. He manipulated my hurts, the very weaknesses I came to speak with him about. No other spiritual father figure ever put me in a position where I had to say no or where I would become so delusional. I wanted and desired healing, and somehow he made the healing process about his own selfish needs. Instead of bringing me out of my pain, he led my family and me down a long destructive road. If I had been fortunate to have authentic Godly people see what was happening and intervene in those years, healing would have come much sooner.
It was a hard fall and many people were devastated and hurt. I am grateful we are surrounded now by an amazing and supportive church family.
I am so proud of my daughter, Kaylyn. She created what you see and hear here shortly after Aug, 28, 2015 while at college and was afraid to share it with me because she didn’t want to hurt me. I just learned of it a few weeks ago in February of 2018. She too was victimized by our pastor's deception as was my whole family because my children lost their mom emotionally and mentally and my husband lost his wife.
It is my heartfelt hope that many are educated and are informed of those who have perpetrated abuses in their role as servants of God so others do not have to go through the same hell that our family has experienced.
It’s also my hope that congregations will wake up and support the victim instead of the perpetrator which in turn causes more damage to the ones who have been violated. It’s unfortunate that most congregations under such a leader will “forgive” the leader because he is “their king” in their “kingdom” which in turn keeps them blinded and vulnerable to a master manipulator.
If you do not care to leave public comment, you may connect with Lynnae privately through SST at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward her your message.