Derek Prince - The Shepherding Controversy

The Shepherding Controversy

In 1968 Prince joined the Holy Spirit Teaching Mission (HSTM), which linked him to three other Charismatic Christian pastors living in Ft. Lauderdale: Don Basham, Bob Mumford, and Charles Simpson. The HSTM had been founded by businessman Eldon Purvis; but after the discovery of Purvis’s homosexuality the leadership team of the HSTM asked Basham, Mumford, Prince, and Simpson to help in managing the crisis. Prince and the others changed the name of the HSTM to Christian Growth Ministries (CGM)in 1972. CGM sought to counter what were seen as excesses within the Charismatic movement by emphasizing discipleship and pastoral care which later on was abused by those in leadership positions. CGM continued with the publication of the New Wine magazine which began under the HSTM in June 1969. David Moore, author of The Shepherding Movement, states "Essential for an accurate history of the Shepherding movement is a complete collection of New Wine. The magazine, published from 1969 through 1986, was the principal publishing voice of the five teachers and the movement." The group was joined by Ern Baxter, and the five men became known as the Fort Lauderdale Five. Their ministry became known as the Shepherding Movement. Different factions of the movement began to emphasise submission and authority.

CGM’s strong emphasis on submission was controversial. Lydia Prince herself disapproved, and as stories of abuses came out the movement was condemned by Pat Robertson, Kathryn Kuhlman, and the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. Most of the opposition to these teaching came from those who heard of the abuses and never studied the actual teachings. Many leaders eventually reversed their position (eg; Bill Britton Ministries). Lydia died in 1975, and when Prince later wanted to marry Ruth Baker, his fellow shepherds prayed about is and each of them felt it was not God's will. Derek chose to submit to their discernment. A very short time later each of the men said God made it clear to them it was His will and Prince was re-married in 1978. Derek believed this was a test by God to see if he would live what he taught. Derek was the elder statesman of the group and lived by the principles he taught. Nowhere in any of his teaching on submission and authority does it suggest any person has the authority to demand submission. Nor does it suggest that those in authority make decisions for those under authority. The fact that these teaching were perverted and used by immature and unscrupulous is something seen in every facet of human endeavor.

Derek later left the group and repented in public over being a member of this group. There are several sermons where Derek commented on the shepherding controversy (sometimes referring to it as "discipleship movement")., even in Ft. Lauderdale years after.

Read more about this topic:  Derek Prince

Famous quotes containing the word controversy:

    And therefore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set up for right Reason, the Reason of some Arbitrator, or Judge, to whose sentence, they will both stand, or their controversy must either come to blows, or be undecided, for want of a right Reason constituted by Nature; so is it also in all debates of what kind soever.
    Thomas Hobbes (1579–1688)