to top

Healing from church hurt

I’ve heard so many people talk about being church hurt and I never truly realized that I was also a victim of this for quite some time. 

‘Church hurt’ describes an experience where someone is disappointed, hurt or abused by a church leader or its members. Judgmental glances, hypocrisy, harsh words, overly strict rules among other things all contribute to church hurt. 

I experienced church hurt in the Seventh Day Adventist church. I was pretty active in the church as a teenager. I sang in the youth choir, I recited poems on the pulpit, I was baptized in the pool – and still, I was looked down upon for my choice to wear earrings. I’ll never forget the day I was pulled aside and was advised that –

 ‘you cannot sing in the choir with your earrings in.’

What did my earrings have to do with my faith? Why did it matter so much if I wore earrings or makeup? Walking to my seat on Saturday mornings was always painful. I got so many hard stares for wearing jewelry. I eventually got to the point where I would only wear my earrings outside of church but was careful to remove them for worship but eventually- I felt like I was not being myself. I felt trapped. I had to be something outside the church and something else in the church so as a result I chose to leave the church. 

To me – a place of worship should be welcoming; no matter your age, skin color, personal convictions, past. A relationship with God goes beyond jewelry so I was baffled by that rule. I knew that fellowship was important but at what cost? 

I visited quite a few churches but none ever felt like home. After some time – it was a norm for me to miss church and visit on special holidays … until I found Epic Church. I met Pastor Crystal Rolle and Pastor Rosemary Bethel at a panel discussion and the very moment I saw those ladies I was moved. Pastor Crystal Rolle was so warm and welcoming. I felt like I knew her for a very long time. Pastor Rosemary Bethel walked with such confidence and grace! She had long red hair, a unique voice and a power in her walk and in her presence. 

I was so moved from my initial meeting with her that I visited Epic Church and fell in-love. The church is predominantly made up of talented and electric millennials. I felt at home. Check out more of my experience below.



Your relationship with God is the most important relationship you can have in life. Don’t ever allow other people to stand in the way of your spiritual growth. If you have experienced church hurt, don’t hold it against the people that made you feel uncomfortable and never let it stop you from worshiping in the house of God. Keep searching. Keep praying. 

Featured photo credit 


Cay to Style

  • Crystal Rolle

    Church hurt 😭 is real…. thank you for sharing! The goal is to look like the Father…. and sometimes we spend so much time judging others we resemble the enemy.

    May 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm Reply
  • Crista Strachan

    Loved it! Very down to earth and raw! I grew up in the seventh day Adventist church and haven’t necessarily found a church home secondary to all the rules that I think take away from what spirituality and a true relationship what God is about. Definitely needed to hear someone’s take on “Church Hurt” because it is so real! God did make us unique, so why can’t we celebrate it?! Thanks for sharing Aneka!

    May 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm Reply
  • Kenisha Hanson

    Church hurt is real and it comes in many forms….I once was very very close to leaving the church ( Seventh-day Adventist) but through praying and plenty of it, I got to the place where God became the true focus of my life.
    I now live with the truth that first and foremost I am a Child of God and although I was once hurt by Church rules, people, judgements and stares, but today I no longer look on the factors that could keep me away but keeping focused on WHO has me there.
    Thanks for sharing this reality and being so transparent about your experience of “Church hurt”.

    May 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm Reply

Leave a Comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.