First, I will post his lying accusations, and then I will post my response with the evidence.
Now, here is my response:
I hate to say this, but this email from Pastor Nichols is filled with outright lies, and I have plenty of witnesses to prove it. It should also be noted that Pastor Nichols has had severe health problems and has over the years taken hardcore drugs to combat them, and at one point a few years back, he suffered total amnesia to the point where he did not even know who his wife was, or that he was even a pastor, for about a week. At one point he even apologized to me for some of the mean things he had said to me and blamed it on the medications he had been taking. So in his defense, part of these lies could be explained by memory loss.
1. He is not the one who invited me to church, although he later tried to take credit for it. I was invited by a man I never saw again, and I don't know what his name was.
2. He claims my wife "could hardly speak English at the time." Anyone can testify that my wife's English was PERFECT when I met her. In fact, the first year we were married, my wife volunteered at the Christian school at Regency, helping kids with ENGLISH paces, among other things.
3. I didn't "have my wife recite the sinner's prayer." She actually got saved and was baptized by Pastor Nichols himself on a Sunday morning.
4. I asked Pastor Nichols if I should go to Hyles-Anderson, and he told me he thought it was a great idea. He told me that he had some concerns about Jack Schaap, but that he still thought that I should go.
5. When I told Pastor Nichols about the heresy being preached at Hyles-Anderson, I asked Pastor Nichols if I should leave. He said yes. I discussed with him the option of going to a different college to finish, coming home to be trained by him, or just starting the church in Phoenix that I had always planned to start. He said I should not come back to Sacramento because I shouldn't move my family around that many times. We talked about the other 2 options, and in the end, we BOTH agreed that I might as well just go to Phoenix and start the church. Once we came to that conclusion, these were his exact words: "Just get to Phoenix as fast as you can." He then admonished me to make sure that I made my family a priority, and that I don't get too busy in the ministry and neglect them.
6. Regarding "ordination," Pastor Nichols has a different definition than I do. He comes from a background where multiple pastors from various churches get together and "ordain" someone which is unscriptural. At our meeting on Saturday, November 12, 2005, Pastor Nichols put his hand on my shoulder and prayed for God to bless me as I went to start the church, that HE had just counselled me to start. Then he said that they would have me come out in the summer (7 months later) for a formal ordination service so that my entire family could be there. He came from a background where you start the church first, and then have a formal ordination service later (also unscriptural).
The next day, Sunday, he brought me on the platform of the church and said that they were sending me to Phoenix to start a church, and that although money was tight, Regency would find a way to help support me financially (something I never asked for). Over 100 people were there, including many of my relatives and Roger Jimenez and his wife.
In the next few months, I wrote Pastor Nichols 4 letters updating him on the progress of starting the church. He never wrote back to me, but he praised me from the pulpit at Regency for the great job I was doing (my sister Raani and her husband Bobby were also present for that, as well as my parents), and he printed the letters I sent in the church bulletin (see attached). He praised the fact that I had started a church with literally no financial support and was succeeding.
On May 21, 2006, I preached a sermon called "The Book of Revelation," where I disproved the pre-trib rapture. Pastor Nichols found out about it through his brother-in-law who had heard it. As summer got closer, I asked Pastor Nichols about the formal ordination service, and he said that they were very busy at the time, but that he would talk to the secretary Stephanie about the schedule, and that we would do it in a few months. Then at the end of the summer, I heard about another young man being ordained at Regency to run a Christian school (!) at a church a few hours away. That seemed pretty weird that there was time to have that, but not my ordination ceremony.
I called Pastor Nichols repeatedly, and he would never answer the phone. Finally, I called with my number withheld, and he picked right up immediately. I tried to talk to him, but he said he was busy. I said, "No, you need to talk to me right now. If you have a problem with me just say it, but don't just keep avoiding me and refusing to return my calls." He then told me that he had heard that I was preaching a pre-wrath rapture, and that because of unity, he would have to separate from me completely because of this doctrinal difference. My dad, who was a member of the church at that time, confronted him about it and can verify these things.
So, there you have it. I was prayed for and sent out to start a church in Phoenix by a local, independent Baptist church that initially was very proud of me, but then turned on me when they found out I wasn't pre-trib. Basically, I was sent like Uriah into the hottest part of the battle, and then the troops were withdrawn from me. Just because there never ended up being a formal ordination ceremony, I was still ordained in the Biblical sense (prayed for and sent out with the church's blessing to go start a new church in another area). At that point, I was the pastor of an INDEPENDENT Baptist church and no longer under Pastor Nichols' authority.
Pastor Nichols' motive to lie is obvious. He is embarrassed in the lame circles of fundamentalism that he fellowships for having "created a monster." However, that is no excuse for bearing false witness. I have physical evidence and numerous eye-witnesses. He has a lying story that can easily be proven to be false. You be the judge.
P.S. Define irony: he accuses my wife of not knowing English and says that she "couldn't hardly speak English very good at the time." Great English, Pastor Nichols!
Bulletin Image 1
Bulletin Image 2
UPDATE: Now Pastor Nichols is backing down from some of his outright lies and admitting that a formal summer ordination was planned. This is from a text message he just sent me:
"Your use of the bulletin and letters is pretty funny. Actually they support me beautifully in my response. Yes I was once very proud of you no doubt, I was never against you starting your church, never told u not to and intended to ordain and financially support you and be your sending church. Sadly it never got to happen, I told folks you were going and I even gave my blessing but perhaps you don't understand that I believe in formally before the church ordaining and sending..."
So apparently telling me, "Go start the church in Phoenix," is not "sending" me because there was no formal ordination ceremony later that summer. Apparently calling me in front of the church and saying, "We are sending Steven Anderson to Phoenix, AZ, to start a church and will try to support him financially," is not sending me since the money never materialized. Wow. I was a member of his church and went to Phoenix and started the church with his blessing and as a result of his counsel, but because I later preached against the pre-trib rapture, that makes my sending null and void in his mind.
Well, being prayed for and sent out by the church is all I biblically needed to start a church. I didn't need some unscriptural retro-active formality to sanctify what had already happened 6 months earlier!