By Harold Martin Pastor – Santee, South Carolina

I entered into the Agape Reformation because after a few years in ministry I was struggling with self condemnation and anger and was well on my way to destroying those around me, as well as myself.

I entered into the Agape Reformation because after a few years in ministry I was struggling with self condemnation and anger and was well on my way to destroying those around me, as well as myself.

I had started pastoring a church in Santee, SC in 1990. After only a few years in the ministry, I was a statistic — many of the bad things that you hear about pastors doing I was doing. The problem was my flesh; my soul realm was still out of control.

Driven by religious striving, I ministered out of a need to be needed. I manipulated people and performed to get an unhealed need met. I had been raised in an alcoholic home with rejection, abandonment and physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. I never knew how to get my need for love and acceptance met by my Heavenly Father, so I looked for love through ministry and in all the wrong places. I lived every day angry and did not know why. I didn’t need a reason to be angry, only the opportunity to release that anger, and most of the time it was released against my family.

Finally in February of 1998, I could not stand myself any longer. I attended an Agape Reformation conference conducted by Shiloh Place Ministries. By the last day, I found myself in the arms of Jack Frost crying uncontrollably for 20 minutes. Even though I had forgiven my father for his abuse, Jack led me through receiving forgiveness for my wrong responses to the wounding by my father: my rebellion against intimacy, chasing after counterfeit affections, and trying to fill a void in my heart with achievement and hyper religious activity. God’s love began displacing the pain of the past and changed my life forever. It was not the end. I have not arrived, but it was the beginning of my process to wholeness and intimacy with Father God.

I had been a man of faith, prayer, and the Word – but it took a supernatural encounter with God’s love to transform my relationship with my wife and children and the motives behind the ministry. My approach to ministry is no longer authoritarian and to win approval but now my passion is to simply be a demonstration of God’s love to the next person I meet and I am enjoying the rest that I have found in this.