Church Check: One Place Church in Hayden, Idaho


Basic Church Information


Church Name: One Place Church

Senior/Lead Pastor: Pace (Christopher) Hartfield

Address: 190 W Centa Dr, Hayden, ID 83835

Phone: 208-930-4182

Email: info@oneplacechurch.com

Website: https://www.oneplacechurch.com/

Social Media:

- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OnePlaceChurch

- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oneplacechurch/

- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/OnePlaceChurch

- Twitter:

Online Services: http://live.oneplacechurch.com/


Church Specifics


Denomination: Non-Denominational / Charismatic / Covenant Evangelical (see Question #4)

Preaching Style: Topical

Membership Requirements: Unknown

Tithes/Compelled Giving: Yes

Financial Transparency: No

Answered Questionnaire: No

Affiliations: ARC, Open Arms, Union Gospel Mission, The A21 Campaign, C3 Global, Levi Lusko/Fresh Life Church, Micahn Carter/Together Church, Kevin Gerald/Champions Centre Church


Red Flags of Spiritual Abuse - Coercive Control, Financial Abuse, Exploitation, or Opportunism


Update: It's been two years since we initially published this Check for One Place Church. Now, after a lot of investigation, learning, and new experiences, we have a lot to add.


  1. Red Flags of Financial Abuse, Exploitation, and Opportunism

One Place's Giving page on their website teaches flat-out lies about the Old Testament practice of tithing, stating:


"A tithe—which just means “tenth”—is defined as the first 10% of a person’s income that is to be given back to the local church."


While tithe does technically mean "tenth," this is not the biblical definition or practice of tithing historically. Tithing was never money in the Bible. It was a tax on the people of Israel as a part of the Mosaic Covenant between God and the nation of Israel, and no one else, and it was for animals and food raised in the land of Israel, and nowhere else. It was never from "income."


I believe this twisting of historical and biblical tithing is opportunistic in that it exploits Christians who might not be aware of the true biblical purpose and definition of tithing. Seeker-friendly churches that avoid teaching the Bible contextually are able to get away with twisting and misinterpreting it, making them all the more likely, and able to exploit and manipulate their churches.


The Giving page also says this about tithing:


"Tithing is a principle that is taught throughout the entire Bible."


While tithing is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament, it is definitely not taught in the New Testament at all. In fact, a thorough study of Hebrews 7 will show that tithing, through Christ, has now been made obsolete by the New Covenant between God and all believers in Jesus Christ. So this claim by One Place is another lie. Notice also that neither of these claims are backed up by Scripture.


"When we tithe, we are expressing worship in a tangible way by putting God first in our lives.


While donating money to a church, or any organization, that you believe is serving God and spreading the Gospel, is a form of worship toward God, and of course is a good thing, that doesn't mean you are "putting God first" in your life. True worship toward God is about the condition of the heart, not the "tangible" and monetary donations we make to our church. It's very easy to donate to a church while still being far from God in your heart. Jesus points this out to us Himself when scrutinizing the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 where he calls them hypocrites for tithing, but failing the more important matters of the law, such as mercy, justice, and faithfulness.


Additionally here, think of those who can't afford to donate to their church. In the Bible, the poor were not required to tithe. In fact, they were on the receiving end of the donations and tithes collected. One Place doesn't mention the poor or the needy here, and this claim seems to suggest that all people should be "putting God first" by "tithing." These kinds of statements without clarification for the unfortunate, is another red flag of exploitation in my opinion.


2. Information Control through Censorship, and Ignoring Questions


Another red flag of spiritual abuse at One Place Church would be the way their social media accounts are handled whenever questions, challenges, or disagreements arise in comments sections. Censorship is a form of information control, which, as explained by cult expert Dr. Steve Hassan, is also a form of undue influence, coercive control, and is therefore spiritually abusive. You can see this in the BITE Model we offer in every Church Check under the "I": Information Control.


Deliberately withholding information, such as any kind of criticism or questions toward the church, is deceptive, and also what Wade Mullen, another spiritual abuse expert, would call "impression management."


An example of this happening would be a recent sermon taught by Pastor Pace called "Build Your Church," wherein he preaches a highly idolatrous message, saying "life has no meaning if you're not going to church." When I commented on the quote from the sermon on One Place Church's Facebook Page, it was promptly taken down, and so was a comment from a former member, who also showed disagreement with the quote.


This is not the first time comments the church might deem unflattering have been taken down. I've asked them about Pace's knowledge of the Micahn Carter/Mary Jones/Together Church situation, which they took down just as promptly.


3. Coercive Control through Church Idolatry


As briefly mentioned in the previous red flag, Pace Hartfield recently taught a sermon at One Place Church called "Build Your Church" in which he elevated the local church onto a pedestal that made it the very meaning of life.


The exact quote: "Life is meaningless if we aren't going to church and if we aren't being the church."


As clear as the lie is to me, a lot of people I shared this quote with struggled to see the problem, and I believe it's because of the second part, which distracts people from the first. Yes, being the Church could be seen as a purposeful life for a Christian. But when you say that life is meaningless if you aren't going to church, what does that mean?


Does Pace mean to say that your life is meaningless if you aren't attending a brick-and-mortar "church" building? If so, I think he's idolizing church, but I think he's also practicing spiritual abuse.


This kind of statement lines up with Dr. Steve Hassan's "B" in his BITE Model (Behavior Control) by instilling dependency on the church and discouraging individualism. It also exhibits the characteristics of the "E", emotional control, by promoting feelings of worthlessness and guilt for those who don't "go to church." It instill fear into people, such as the fear of the outside world, fear of thinking independently (without the church), losing one's salvation (Pace also says that you can't grow in your relationship with Christ without the church), and could be a form of phobia indoctrination by denying the possibility of happiness of fulfillment possible outside of the group.


4. Affiliation with ARC and Micahn Carter


Last but not least is Pace Hartfield's affiliation with Micahn Carter, former lead pastor Together Church in Yakima, Washington, which has now been absorbed into Champions Centre.


Micahn Carter resigned from his position after he had what he called an "affair" with his assistant, Mary Jones. Mary Jones has since come out and given her side to the story, which alleges that Carter initiated an inappropriate relationship and eventually raped her. Kevin Gerald, senior pastor of Champions Centre, and Pace Hartfield, were the overseers of Micahn Carter and Together Church.


Nor Micahn, Pace, Kevin, or anyone in the church, explained to the church what happened or why Micahn was stepping down and leaving the church. He gave a "goodbye" sermon, but didn't tell the congregation what happened or why he was leaving. He left the church, it was absorbed into Champions Centre, and Micahn moved to Alabama to become an Associate Pastor at Church of the Highlands, where Chris Hodges is Senior Pastor.


Now that Mary's story has been made public, Church of the Highlands has taken Carter off of their staff and claims to have parted ways with him. So far, he hasn't come out and made any statements against Mary's story, and no one has apologized for putting women at risk and allowing Carter to continue teaching or for the damage he caused at Together Church.


As an overseer of Together Church and Carter's conduct, Pace Hartfield followed the actions of everyone else that worked to sweep the abuse under the rug and protect the abuser, while at the same time ignoring and avoiding any kind of repentance or apology to the victim.


All of these red flags point to the potential for a spiritually abusive church environment, but if you are considering attending this church or are currently attending, I strongly suggest that you walk yourself through Dr. Steve Hassan's Influence Continuum and BITE Model, and discern carefully for yourself whether you are being controlled or abused by your church.



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BITE Model of Authoritarian Control Handout Oct 2 2020
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Questionnaire


One Place has ignored our questions since the beginning. I've found Pastor Pace on Twitter and asked him to answer our questions by Messaging me there. He has ignored me there as well. He has also come out recently and preached a sermon wherein he criticizes and scolds Christians for reviewing churches online, emotionally appealing to his supportive audience, but providing no real arguments for why Christians shouldn't question, criticize, or disagree with the church in any way.


1. What is your church's official position on tithing?


This church falsely teaches that tithing is for Christians. Their Give page states the following:


"A tithe—which just means “tenth”—is defined as the first 10% of a person’s income that is to be given back to the local church. Tithing is a principle that is taught throughout the entire Bible..."


2. Does your church have official memberships, and if so, does it include a membership agreement or contract?


While we don't see whether One Place has an official membership contract, they do have something called "Base Camp." Whether that includes signing up for church membership has yet to be seen.


3. Is your church financially transparent or accountable to either the local church, a third party (such as the ECFA), or the universal church/public?


Since One Place Church declined to answer our questions, we have to put them down as a 'no' for financial transparency. The members and former members we've spoken to from this church are unaware of any kind of accountability measures or transparency as well. They are not a member with the ECFA or GuideStar, and former members have expressed concern over a lack of financial accountability or transparency.


4. Which denomination does your church align with, if any at all?


While Google lists One Place simply as a Christian church and their Facebook Page says they are Evangelical, they are also affiliated with C3 Global, which is a Charismatic organization. They also recently taught a sermon wherein Pastor Pace says they are an "Evangelical Covenant Church." The Evangelical Covenant Church is a denomination of Evangelicalism. To read more about their doctrinal views, go here.


5. Is the church's pastor available for questions or comments regarding the church's doctrines or policies?


I haven't been able to get anyone with this church to respond to my emails or Facebook messages. I have to answer 'no' here.


6. Is your church tolerant and accepting of differing non-essential doctrinal views, such as differences in eschatology or ecclesiology?


We don't know this until we can get someone to answer our questions from the church.


7. Does your church require its members to be baptized?


Without knowing the details of this church's Base Camp or Membership guidelines, we can't answer this question with full knowledge. We do, however, see that they have a Baptism page on their website. That language does not suggest they require baptism at the church, but offer it to those interested.


8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like at your church.


This church's website offers no information on what their services are like. I've attended this church personally, however. Services begin with worship, which when I attended was extremely loud. If you prefer quiet hymns and simple piano accompaniment, this is not the church for you. Songs are borrowed and unique songs of contemporary Christian pop music. Sermons begin with a call to "tithe", announcements, and a topical sermon.


9. How many people do you have on staff at your church, both paid and volunteer?


The church staff is not listed on the church website. It only shows Pastor Pace and information on his family. However, the public filings for One Place Church on the Idaho Secretary of State website show the church's "corporate officers and directors" as the following


Pace Hartfield - President

Sarah Hartfield - Secretary (Pace's wife)

Kevin Gerald - Director (Champion's Centre Pastor)

Whit George - Director

Levi Lusko - Treasurer (Fresh Place Pastor)


10. What is your/the pastor's educational background?


Pace's Facebook Page says that he studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union University, but lists no degrees.


11. How does the church discipline its members with sin? Does the church have a discipline policy or official protocol?


We don't see any information regarding the church's Base Camp, so until we can attend one and ask about the sin discipline policy, we don't have an answer to this question.


12. How is the pastor compensated (income, bonuses, benefits, etc...) and how is that compensation established (Ex: board of elders, church vote, etc..)?


ARC churches typically determine salary through the Board of Directors. Since Levi Lusko is the Treasurer of One Place, it's reasonable to wonder if he is a major deciding factor in how Pace's salary is determined.


Additionally, although we don't know how much Hartfield's salary is, we can make an educated estimate based on his home's market value, which is $480,063. Based on this market value and Bundle's mortgage calculator, Hartfield's salary could be between $125k-$150k per year.


13. What is the size of your congregation and any space or buildings used for church services or meetings?


One Place currently has about 1,875 followers on Facebook. Based on previous confirmed numbers at other churches, they probably have about 300-500 regular attendees or members.


As far as building size goes, it appears One Place is renting out space in a Hayden Strip Mall. The interior when I visited didn't seem huge compared to many other popular churches. As far as exact size, we don't have an answer to this yet.


14. What is the pastor’s ministerial work history? Have they been the pastor of or on the leadership staff at any other church? Please list their past ministry work and their reasons for leaving those ministries.


While Pace's Facebook Page lists that he was formerly with Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, he was also an overseer for Together Church when Micahn Carter was the pastor before it was absorbed by Champions Centre.


We have no information on why Pace left Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, but if you do, please reach out or share your information in the comments section below.

 

Do you have a copy of the membership agreement for One Place Church? Share it please!

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