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Church Check: Apologia Church in Mesa, AZ

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Basic Church Information

Church Name: Apologia Church

Senior/Lead Pastor: Jeff Durbin

Board of Elders/Leadership Staff: Jeff Durbin, Luke Pierson, Zack Morgan, and James White

Address: 717 N Stapley Dr, Mesa, AZ, 85203 (Church of the Redeemer)

Phone: (909) 654-5679



Social Media:

Online Services:

Church Specifics

Denomination: Baptist, Reformed/Calvinist, Theonomist, & Postmillennialist

Preaching Style: Topical

Membership Requirements: Yes

Tithes/Compelled Giving: Yes

Financial Transparency: No

Affiliations: Cultish (Jeff Durbin), Alpha & Omega Ministries (James White), Apologia Studios, Red Door Ministry, End Abortion Now

Red Flags of Abuse:

There are a few red flags worth noting for Apologia Church:

  1. Jeff Durbin, Apologia’s lead pastor, has been accused of recording church members (and non-members) confessing their sin to him, without their knowledge, and therefore without their permission. The victims have confronted Apologia Church leadership with this abusive behavior, but they have yet to repent or apologize for this behavior. I have yet to find any apologies or admissions of remorse/guilt, or plans for Apologia Church to change the way they practice sin discipline, or what many are calling "hard shepherding" at Apologia Church. There is a petition at to get Apologia Church to repent of this behavior and change its ways. Please consider signing it to help raise awareness of this problem and hold them accountable. The way these recordings have been used to retaliate against members and non-members who confront leadership with concerns of abuse or misbehavior is a huge red flag.

  2. Apologia Church put a video out over a year ago attacking a man named Tim Hurd called "Responding to False Witness". Jeff admits to recording people as a practice of his pastoral care, doesn't apologize, but calls Tim Hurd a liar dozens of times. In his response to Apologia’s accusation on his own YouTube channel, Hurd points out some things regarding the accusations made in Apologia’s video, including how they used an edited clip from one of his videos in order to accuse him of lying. Hear his response here.

  3. When James White joined the leadership at Apologia Church, they made this announcement on their Instagram: (

A commenter named Bridget understands why this is a clear red flag.

Just recall what John Calvin’s Geneva was actually like. Why would anyone want another Geneva? Put this historical fact together with Apologia's comment and the fact that Apologia Church teaches Theonomy, and you’ve got to ask yourself what these men mean by another "Geneva", what laws from the Bible they would have imposed on society, and if Jeff Durbin really believes women who have abortions should be executed for murder.

4. Next on the Red Flag list would be the altercation that arose as the result of me emailing Durbin and asking him our questions, which we ask every church that we check. Apparently, the questions made him uncomfortable (as he expressed at around 37:40 of a recent podcast episode), but instead of answering my questions or discussing his concerns and discomfort with me directly, he called me a cult member and CAMPUS Church a cult because its pastor, Shawn McCraney, disagrees with him in several points of doctrine.

He only answered my emails once, but not to answer questions, and then ignored the emails I sent him in response and posted an hour-long slander-fest on his church’s YouTube channel about Check My Church and Shawn McCraney. McCraney has responded to this video and I’ve posted a response of my own as well, which you can read here. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, church checkers. Discern for yourselves what is true and whether everyone in this situation is telling the truth.

It is my opinion that based on Jeff’s own words in his podcast where he smears McCraney and Check My Church, that he decided he didn’t want to answer our questions (particularly about money and the secret recording situation), but rather than being direct and honest with me about those issues, he attacked my character and my credibility as a church watchdog organization to help insulate himself and his church from the consequences of the truth coming out. This smokescreen and distraction from the facts and the red flags of abuse are just deflectors and a method of justification and rationalization.

Whether the reports from Pulpit and Pen are true or not, as always, we recommend that anyone attending this church or any church walk themselves through Dr. Steve Hassan’s BITE Model and Undue Influence Continuum to protect themselves from potential abuse and other cult-like treatment.

BITE Model of Authoritarian Control Hand
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