Former AOG leader - founder of Youth Alive NSW - now out

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Joined in 2007
July 16, 2008, 22:32

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
July 18, 2008, 15:48

I monitored everything a lot…….but still had a flair for fashion I guess. I was definitely the grooviest preacher around.

it was filmed at Paradise aog…….in adelaide.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
August 10, 2009, 14:20

hey Sandy……it was only 850 words….Phew……wouldn’t want to be caught out not walking the talk. 😆 😆 😆

Joined in 2008
August 10, 2009, 20:51

hey Sandy……it was only 850 words….Phew……wouldn’t want to be caught out not walking the talk. 😆 😆 😆

It’s good it’s short then, otherwise you would’ve been walking for a really long time. 😉 lol.

I finally read your story, wonder why I never read it before. Guess it never occurred to me that you had a thread too. “If science developed a pill to make homosexual people heterosexual, I wouldn’t take it.” In my mind, that is a very good litmus test to see whether or not you are comfortable with yourself as a GLBT person – I too would reject the pill. I like thinking of it that way, because too often I think that I have to tell everyone about my orientation to prove to myself how happy I am. Perhaps that question is a better one to use.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
August 10, 2009, 23:44

My homosexuality does not make me less spiritual in any way.

hey gettingthere….I was reading your signature above……it made me think.

Possibly my homosexuality made me more spiritual.

Joined in 2011
August 5, 2011, 11:59

I am almost through your book, Anthony. It has thrown me into a whirlwind of emotions, and just this morning I woke up crying – from the past 30 years of my life being brought to the forefront of my mind emotionally.

I borrowed your book from the library – mostly I was looking for something else to challenge my spirituality. I have been reading everything from Buddha to Gnosticism, searching for an understanding and a conclusion to my struggle with everything I have ‘learned’. The title of your book caught my eye, and was surprised when I read the blurb, and subsequently borrowed it.

I grew up in a strong christian family – my Mum and Dad met at Bible college and God told them they should be married. I was born, and we moved when Dad got another job on the east coast. My Dad resigned from his position as my mum had not been fulfilling her wifely duties and Dad was warned several times about her behaviour in the church. Eventually my Dad’s lifelong dream to be a minister/evangelist was shredded, and he got a job as a security guard – still attending the same church. My mum eventually left him for another woman, and a long custody battle ensued through the family courts – over many many years.

Through out all this – from the point of the time when my Dad had to resign, up until this very day, my dad was not supported with the love expected of the church.

Reading your book brought up the realisation of many things. The amount of times my Dad has gone to the Elders for help, and their neglect of his struggles, their ignorance, and their sticky noses.

They popped in to see if we were coping and if satisfied, left again. My dad tells me stories of how he asked time and time again for help and they shunned him or ‘dealt’ with him.

My dad still attends that church, because he believes God has told him that He will restore my Dad and give him back his ministry. My Dad is 66 years old.

Your book drew out new found anger at the way these people treated my family – how they lied, and gossiped.

It’s no wonder I struggled with finding a spiritual place to assiciate myself with. I only once found a spiritual home – in Orange, surprisingly – where they embraced me, warts and all, and never once condemned me for being a human being. I struggled with my sexuality as a teen – and came out to my mum when i was 14 – who in return came out to me. I hadn’t even put 2 and 2 together – as my mum and her partner were also still involved in church (a different one from Dad’s), until some church people became suspicious and then all of a sudden my life was upturned again when my mum’s partner of 12 years left and we had been kicked out of the church.

I went to youth church things, went to God Squad stuff, even went to a scripture union camp every year of my high school. I must have given my life to God so many times I couldn’t count, trying to find that elusive God feeling – the one where God had actually come into your life and you were suddenly changed. All I saw were christians whose lives had changed dramatically and god was in control of their lives. There was nothing they could do wrong. And I had to live up to that.

I lived in Orange for 4 years with my girlfriend – and it was a sunday that we spilt up again for the last time. I heard a voice telling me to go to church – I was so devastated with my life – and over and again this voice got louder and louder – so i rang my Dad to get me into contact with someone he knew from this church. They told me on the phone that I probably wouldn’t want to go to the sermon that night – as it was about a sensitive issue. When I asked what it was, I heard ‘Homosexuality’, and almost fell over in surprise. Needless to say it wasn’t a preaching – it was a loving, and I started attending the church. I got involved in home group and hung with a group of lovely young singles and couples to be. Those days reignited my spirituality… but I had to leave because the small town meant that I was still in contact with my gay and lesbian friends who all told me that I would never change – and i took this as the work of the devil trying to tempt me away from my new journey.

Anyway, I lost contact with that church after the move – I tried finding another church but none compared to that one, and none has ever made me experience fellowship and love like then. I have mostly pushed my spiritual being to the background as it has been too hard to deal with. I just cannot cope with the gravity of such an enormous journey.

Until I met my current partner who months before had been a fundamental christian re-exploring her feelings towards women. We had met 10 years ago – when she was a lesbian, and since then she returned to the fold and threw herself wholeheartedly into repressing her desires and teaching herself how to be ‘normal’. Her queries led her to me – who she remembered from 10 years ago, and we shared emails talking about our spiritual journeys and mostly my sexuality. We fell in love, and here now 2 years later. Both now trying to come to terms with our own personal spirituality. For her it has been harder, as she has had to ‘unlearn’ whilst trying to sift through what she believes and what she doesn’t.

Your book has ignited my spirit, made me laugh and cry, explained those things i misunderstood as a child experiencing my parent’s turmoil and my own childhood turmoil, and I just wanted to thank you for being so open and honest about your journey. I think I needed a kick in the butt and to not go stagnant, when I know I am a very spiritual woman and thrive through my heart and soul.

I hope I haven’t bored you with my post… I really needed to get it out.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
August 5, 2011, 12:37

Hi Cat

It’s great to hear from you and welcome to f2b!

In answer to your last statement, your post wasn’t boring at all. You’ve had a very interesting journey, haven’t you?

Could you post some of this in the Telling our stories section so that more people get to read your story?

Thanks for sharing. 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2008
August 6, 2011, 00:12

Welcome to the forum cat.

Thankyou for sharing your story with us and I agree with Anne maree that it is certainly an interesting one!

Know you will find support here and please take the time to read others stories. 🙂

Take care


President f2b

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
August 13, 2011, 17:54

Hi Cat…..please forgive my for not replying earlier. It seems that when resigned as convenor of F2b and the settings were changed on the site that all my subscription notices were turned off so I wasn’t notified of your post. You must have thought I was ignoring you or didn’t care….sorry.

In reading my autobiography you are finding what a lot of people find…….it triggers the pain and trauma they have experienced in past church life. some people have told me that they couldn’t finish it because of that…….or that they used to throw it across the room….hehe.

One person told me he bought it….but it took him two years to pluck up the courage to read it. Once he did though it brought the most amazing healing to him….it was life changing.

I trust that this is your experience as well

I wonder if it would help your Dad…….or just open up old wounds

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
December 27, 2011, 23:15

I have a new facebook page for Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI).

Website still to come later in 2012.

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