Potters Field Ministries and the Calvary Chapel Association Disputing

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50 Responses

  1. The New Victor says:

    We just had kids return from the Africa mission with PFM. A few other young people did a more local PFM mission last year. CCSJ. It will be interesting if the church can stay out of it given how close it is to CCA leadership. I have no opinions or knowledge of it. I stay involved at the margins precisely because I can’t stand politics. I liked the Rozell’s testimonies (with the pottery wheel) when I saw them twice.

  2. Michael says:


    It’s my current understanding that if they remain in the CCA they will have to make a choice…

  3. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    Since the CCA so fastidiously attempts to be/do all things Chuck (I can easily picture Don sitting by Chuck’s grave each morning asking for advice), I’m surprised the CCA seems to so easily forget Chuck’s strange “associations” or have we all forgetting all Chuck Missler’s “40 of ____” and “3.5 milligrams of ____” “Bible” studies?
    I personally heard numerous CCSPs for YEARS wondering why Missler continued his CC darling status unquestioned (aside from every movement/decision/thought from Chuck Smith was ex-cathedra).
    Seriously, am the ONLY one seeing how ludicrous this issue is with all the “ordained” ministries in CC’s history?

  4. Michael says:


    We’re just getting started on this story…we’ll see how it unfolds.

  5. UnCCed says:

    Fair point, but if Don-my-way-or-the-highway is NOW going to enforce some sort of house-cleaning because some ministry doesn’t solely focus on cloning Chuck Smiths, holy God!, THAT is really stretching hypocrisy, even by CC standards (if any are left).
    And just to be clear, I could care less one way or the other, I’ve long since moved-on from agreeing with we’re all called to be like Chuck “ministry.”
    I’m only surprised Don seems to be (accidentally) contradicting Chuck (and waiting till Chuck is in the ground to boot) and nobody seems to be calling BS!
    Chuck personally authorized and protected several “ministries” which NOBODY did anything about (or dared), now Don is going portend Chuck’s gravitas to contradict Chuck?
    I think not.
    That’s my only point.
    Interesting how, from the grave (or heaven to be correct), I can hear Chuck “give him just enough rope to hang himself” comes to mind.

  6. Michael says:


    This dispute has nothing to do with Chuck…

  7. UnCCed says:

    Sorry, I guess I misread your statements regarding Don et al as being heavy-handed without cause.
    I guess the “story” is not clear or you can’t say (yet). Also, now with a clearer head, I think I know where this is going and hope I’m wrong.
    Either way, I’m returning to my post-CC world…much better.

  8. Tobe says:

    Could it be that PFM is trying to dance at 2 weddings for funding, both CCA and CGN and Donny doesn’t like that?

  9. Michael says:

    There seem to be many possibilities here…

  10. Kevin H says:

    Potter’s Field has long been a regular ministry promoted and appearing at the CC I attend, even as recently as the last Men’s Conference back in November. Now, whatever messages they had archived on the church’s website have been scrubbed. Seemingly they now have been blacklisted.

    Even though Potter’s Field were a regular at the church, my seeing of them was minimal. From the one message I did hear and other things I was aware about them, I never had a very high opinion of them. With that said, I have no idea what the current problems are and I doubt they have anything to do with the reasons why I already have a low opinion of them. Interesting situation.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Perhaps PFM wised up and gave CCCA the boot.
    Last evening I watched an hour long video of their performance. They actually seemed quite legit and at the same time boilerplate CC. Take away the clay and they are a typical CC pastor and worship lady preaching the to do list which drives that segment of the evangelical market.

    I guess we wait and see, but in the end I see two separate organizations who parted company.

  12. Jessica says:

    Didn’t they originate from CCftl? I think I remember hearing Michael mention that.

  13. Steve says:

    I don’t get the scrubbing of the messages in the archives. Sounds childish. To me this shows more about the state of CC than PFM unless of course PFM asked to be scrubbed which is always a possibility.

  14. CC GONE says:

    Michael listen carefully to all sides. The true colors of Don are obvious and beginning to show. It was only a matter of time before his outright sinful duplicity emerged. Power money power money same stupid circle. What a joke the association is. They are not at all ordained or approved of God. They know it. Chuck picked them so called. Not God. Samsons they are all not realizing the Spirit is no longer with them.

  15. Michael says:


    Yes, they started in FtL.

  16. Michael says:


    The scrubbing wasn’t requested.
    This is a concerted effort to make PFM disappear.

  17. Michael says:

    CC Gone,

    My guts say that there probably aren’t any good guys in this mess…but I concur with your estimate of the CCA…

  18. Jerod says:

    PFM seems kitschy. No big whoop, just a marketing decision.

  19. Michael says:

    PFM is a multi million dollar operation with bases all over the world.
    One does not cut off the main source of income as a marketing decision.

  20. Seeing the truth says:

    Michael, a lot of the people commenting don’t seem to be too familiar with PFM. Although I am not a fan of Don McClure I do believe he is trying to finally address the major issues that are and have been happening with PFM.

    For the record, the CCA Council sent out an email to all regional leaders letting them know that they were no longer able to support the ministry practices of PFM. Unfortunately, they kept the letter short and vague and completely unhelpful for anyone unaware of what’s been really happening.

    The CCA Council (for what their worth) could’ve exposed PFM for their dangerous, cult-like style of ministry but they didn’t. As I’m sure you all are aware that there are so many young, innocent lives at stake and are in the middle of this huge ugly mess.

    Mike Rozell and PFM have verbally, emotionally and spiritually abused students and staff. There have been former students who have left the PFM compound in the middle of the night to flee from cult.

    Anyone who leaves without Mike Rozells permission is completely written off, lied about and is shunned. Mike has a terrible temper and loses it by taking it out on his staff.

    There is SO MUCH MORE to this story. So much to still uncover and we haven’t even began talking about the unethical practices of deceiving these students and staff to work 60 hours a week at their burger restaurant under the banner of “ministry” all while paying them peanuts.

  21. Kevin H says:

    Seeing the truth,

    It would seem you may have quite a bit of knowledge and insight into the situation. From what you share, if true, it would seem this situation may have a lot of similarities to Gospel for Asia. CC had a long history of supporting and promoting GFA and then finally stopped once they were unequivocally exposed for their corruption. However, for the most part, there wasn’t much said throughout CC land about the stop of support and promotion. It pretty much just stopped.

    GFA fooled CC for a long time. I imagine some must have had some knowledge of the wrongdoing or at least had some concerning inklings, but nothing was done until others had utterly exposed them. With Potter’s Field, CC would seem to have an even closer working relationship with them. One would think that if there is as much wrongdoing going on as you allege, that some within CC would have had a pretty good idea about it. If that is the case, then shame on them for continuing to support the ministry for so long, but at least they are finally doing something about it.

    As for their burger “ministry”, just this past November Mike Rozell was a speaker at the Men’s Conference at the CC I attend and the MudMan Burgers came along, too, to raise money for the ministry. The two burger guys were driving a truck in their travel to the conference and it was hit badly by a semi. It would seem that God providentially spared these two young men from death and even injury and that is wonderful. However, when they spoke about the whole ordeal, they also commented on how Satan was out to kill them but that God had saved them. Now, I’m totally on board with God having saved them, but the whole Satan part seemed to be a bit much. So it was Satan who caused the driver of the semi to crash into their truck? Seems like quite a big assumption that they were speaking as if it was established truth. It seemed a good bit unbalanced to me and made me wonder what types of things the ministry was teaching them. Your comments about PFM being a dangerous cult-like ministry would seem to potentially shed some light on why these two men thought the way they did.

  22. Michael says:

    I’ll have more on this story later today.
    Kevin spoke well…

  23. Jerod says:

    Are the drivers cult-like, Pentecostal, or both? That seems standard CC speak for enduring natural consequences.

    Nothing says God is sovereign like allowing the Destroyer to destroy a food truck.

  24. Muff Potter says:

    Please follow up Michael, and let us know what PFM did (or did not do) to run afoul of the old guard at Calvary Chapel.

  25. Michael says:


    I’ve been working this story for weeks…I’ll try to get as much clarity as possible.

  26. Em says:

    I don’t follow this ministry, but am more and more convinced that God doesn’t get His work done through big money operations… some may start out doing His will, but big money corrupts, drawing ambitious oportunists… dunno…

  27. DavidM says:

    Regarding the “Satanic attack” on the burger guys: As sad as that may be, I had to chuckle. Many years ago I was teaching at a school on the West Coast. A woman drove out from New York in order to attend. As she was leaving the registrar’s office, I asked if I could assist her in getting her things to the dorm. She told me that “The devil really didn’t want me to come here. He attacked me all the way from New York”. I asked how. She said that her car kept breaking down. When we got to her car and I saw the condition of it, I told her, “You should be thanking God for the miracle of this car making it 3,000 miles. I think He must have put angels with you to protect you!” She then had one of those “aha” moments that every teacher or leader loves to see!
    Satan gets the blame or credit for so many things that have nothing to do with him. This is not unique to the CC churches but it is common among Evangelical Christians, blaming the devil for accidents, illnesses, missed flights, and more.

  28. Sue says:


    Playing “devil’s” advocate for a moment, lol…How would you read the book of Job?

    (By the way, I don’t really have any preconceived notions about this….I agree with much of what you wrote above).

  29. DavidM says:

    Sue, LOL, yes, “devil’s advocate”! That is a good and valid question. I look at the story of Job as a unique situation from which we can learn a great deal. One thing it shows me is that there is a lot that occurs in heaven of which we are unaware. So, because of the story of Job, I approach interpreting circumstances here on earth very cautiously and carefully. There is much more that I do not know than there are things I DO know. I love the Book of Job, it is one of my favorite books to teach through. What I love is that, at the end, God asks Job’s friends rhetorically, (and I paraphrase) “If you know so much about Job and his suffering, then tell me: where were you when the heavens and earth were created? I didn’t see you there!”. In other words, their interpretations of Job’s sufferings were completely wrong, nothing could have been further from the real truth of the matter. But, I don’t think it is a good idea to build a theology from the story of Job as much as recognize that sometimes there is a rationale in suffering. As I understand what the New Testament tells us about the abilities of Satan in our lives, I see that his powers are limited by what was accomplished on the cross of Christ. That reminds me that I can be assured of the presence of God and that He is for us, not against us. As for Christians so flippantly blaming Satan for things that happen to them, I see that as an attempt to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense. It also seems to indicate that they are not aware of the presence of God at all times in their lives. But, as I said, who knows what is determined in heaven!

  30. Jessica says:

    Where do the youth originate from? Do any of the student who worked on their mission trips through fundraising by working at MudMan attend college? Do any of the youth have goals of getting a degree or are tracked for a career once they complete his ministry? What happens to them? And what is the purpose for the youth who attend long term?

  31. Sue says:


    Thanks for your thoughts on Job, and for getting my joke!

    Agreed, especially: “There is much more that I do not know than there are things I DO know.” And about not building a theology on the story of Job….and the idea of heavenly realities of which we are unaware.

    I love Job’s words are the end of the book especially 42:3 “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

  32. DKDKDK says:

    “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” The church should be joining Jesus and strengthening those who have given everything in their life to serve Him, I am disappointed with church leadership, and am mourning those leaders who I looked up to for years being so unlike Jesus, and so divisive. It makes me questions wether or not I would like to follow Jesus into old age, if this kind of behavior is what it leads to.

  33. Jerod says:

    Not experienced with PFM but

    My experience with CRU was that after my one month mission the doors were open based upon 1. initiative and 2. ability.

    I prayed about it and God used other people in my life to help me see that I wasn’t prepared at such a young age. I don’t know if they had prayed about their offer to me, but it seemed pretty hasty.

  34. Karen says:

    Can someone clue me in on what the problem is/was with Gospel For Asia? This is the first I’ve heard of it.

    Also, where can I ask an unrelated question about pastor’s salaries? I don’t see a search function on this site to see if it’s been discussed or not. My question is- with all the problems we see with mega church pastors and their often luxurious lifestyles, how does an honest pastor decide what he himself should be paid? If there is another forum for this question, please paste it on there, and I would like to get follow-ups. Thanks.

  35. Kevin H says:


    I gave an initial response to you in regards to Gospel for Asia, but it got caught up in the spam filter because I included too many links at once. So I’ll break it into a couple different comments.

    (Michael: If you see this you can go ahead and delete my original comment that is caught up.)

    As per Gospel for Asia, you can find a ton of information here: https://www.wthrockmorton.com/category/gospel-for-asia/

  36. Kevin H says:

    There are a ton of posts there and I imagine it could be a bit overwhelming at first. Here would be a post as a suggestion to start with:


  37. Kevin H says:

    Lastly, here is a post I had written here on this site about 3 years ago:


  38. DavidM says:

    Karen, I served as a pastor for 30 years. I NEVER set my salary. I always left it in the hands of the elders or board. This is where trust and mutual respect comes in. The individuals who served as elders and/or board members were people that I trusted and respected, and I knew that they would always be fair and generous when possible. I remember about 20 years ago when 2 of the elders spent a lot of time researching pastor salaries, based on church size, denomination, experience, education, and more. I very easily accepted their decision because I knew they had done their homework.There was one time when I felt that I was being short-changed but I had a good dialogue with the elders and, in time, things got better.
    Pastors should never set their own salary. If they have a small church and no elders, then they should have a group of objective leaders or other pastors assist him in deciding on a pay scale. A pastor who is able to set his own compensation has too much power and authority. I was always accountable to my elders, and they to me. In looking back on the 30 years of pastoral experience, I am glad that I mostly always had that relationship of mutual respect with the elders and boards that served with me. By the way, I served as a CC pastor.

  39. Michael says:


    Most churches in America are under 100 people and the pastors are scraping along.
    The problem with over paid pastors is simple.
    The congregation usually doesn’t care.
    If they don’t give, no one gets paid.
    Most pay because they enjoy attending a good performance in a comfortable setting and take pride in the fame of the pastor.

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Kevin H,

    Thanks for the links on Gospel for Asia. Am interested in reading about it.

  41. Karen says:

    David M. and Michael,

    Thanks for chiming in about a pastor’s salary.

    I am from So Cal, and “grew up” within the CCCM family.

    I was really disheartened when in the 1990’s I had read an article about Greg Laurie’s salary- which was 150k at that time. (It was from an article in the LATimes). I think he had only one child at the time? And in the 90’s, that was a lot of money.

    What also bothered me, is that instead of living where his congregation is (Riverside) he lived in Newport Beach at the time. I am a firm believer in living where your congregation is. Don’t ask me why; to me it’s like a Congress person living in Westlake Village when their constituents are in Compton. I know there is nothing in the bible that alludes to my perspective, but I feel that really strongly.

    I don’t think a pastor should have to live in poverty. It’s just that I have been seeing lately–when was the last time a couple of elders rolled four new tires down the aisle in church and gave them to an old lady because she needed new tires? Where does all the money go? I’m not even talking about mega-churches. There are people in the church who are struggling terribly. I know the money goes to missionaries, but when congregations are struggling, isn’t it meet to help them first? Then it would make them feel better about giving.

    Please opine -;)

  42. Michael says:


    This is simple.
    Find a church that transparently agrees with your priorities and shun those who do not.
    Many small to medium sized churches do actively serve their people.
    Most people prefer a celebrity.

  43. DawnMarie says:

    I was on staff with these organizations (there are two; Potters Field Ministries of Montana and Potters Field Ranch) for over a decade. There is absolutely emotional and spiritual abuse taking place there. This ministry didn’t start out like this, I saw it, but people change. Michael and Pam changed, for the worse. It’s a sad state and I wish there were more resources that help people hurting from these organizations. God is kind and gentle , I wish human kind would remember that as well.

  44. Michael says:

    Dawn Marie,

    You didn’t answer my email to you…are you ready to actually speak to the matter now?

  45. DawnMarie says:

    I’m sorry, I didn’t get it. Can you try again?

  46. Theresa says:

    Dawn Marie,
    I have seen and heard from other people exactly what you are talking about. The program needs to end. Ignite 2.0 is hard handed discipleship. The environment is controlling and manipulative. I would be very interested in speaking with you if that is possible.

  47. John says:

    Is someone final getting wise to Michael and Pam’s…

  48. Sandy says:

    I’ve given to,potters field for years, this is really a shame fir the kids. Will we ever know the truth, I hope so I really do

  49. Steph says:

    Michael, I clicked on this thread, thinking it was more recent. (Not sure what I did….!)

    I reread. Wow!! Look how far we’ve come in one year. So much has been exposed. The truths that have been uncovered about Pottersfield, Don McClure, Calvary Chapel, etc. whew!! It’s hard to believe that any of them are still holding their head high…..but they all are. Pride and greed are so very ugly.

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