CLEVELAND, OH—As Tracy Hillman sat down in her pastor’s office, she had no idea why the leader of Orchard of Hope Church had asked to meet with her. However, she soon learned that Pastor Tim Olson had called her there in order to confront her about her decision to sign her daughter up for a week of Vacation Bible School at another church in the area.
Pastor Olson had seen Mrs. Hillman dropping her three children off at Volcano Lava Explosion-themed VBS church hosted by a megachurch in the area.
"What's the matter?" Olson said while confronting the mother. "Is our Whitewater Sonshine Rafting theme not good enough for you?"
“When I found out, I was deeply hurt,” said Pastor Olson of Mrs. Hillman's actions. “To be betrayed by a sister in Christ this way shook me to the core. I knew the godly thing to do was to confront her about it.”
“He was visibly upset,” said Mrs. Hillman of Olson during the encounter. “I mean, like shaking. You would’ve thought he had just been mugged or something.”
Olson told Mrs. Hillman that her behavior undermined the unity of the church and taught her daughter that disloyalty for the sake of convenience is an acceptable way to live.
“We were going to be out of town when our church’s VBS was happening, but we still wanted her to participate somewhere,” Mr. Hillman said regarding the couple's decision. “We honestly had no idea it would be this big of a deal.”
Olson required the couple to compose a written apology to the church’s Children’s Ministry Director Wanda Stearn and to publicly acknowledge their guilt and request forgiveness from the rest of the congregation the following Sunday.
There is no word yet if Pastor Olson is aware that the Hillmans support missionaries not commissioned by Orchard of Hope.