About This Blog

Hi and thank you for viewing this blog, all content in this blog has been sourced from the publicly available forum "Escape From The Fellowship" yahoo group https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/conversations/topics/36377.

We recommend all readers to challenge their pastor (If in the potter's house christian fellowship) of the bullying tactics of Tom Payne and unbiblical teachings of Wayman Mitchell.

We also recommend you find a new church that preaches the word of God faithly and does add to the bible.

God be with you in your journey.

Latest Email | Re. Disassociation

Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 at 1:05 AM

Subject: Fwd: Disassociation

FYI, I have become aware that many people, Pastors and people in congregations, are receiving emails from Tom Payne and Greg Mitchell without including my original emails. (my emails by the way were addressed to only to those directly involved) It seems that the accusation of writing letters "for public consumption" should actually be applied to Greg Mitchell and Tom Payne.

Anyway, since it has all been made "public" I will respond just to bring some clarification and another side of the story.

Attached are my original emails seeking a meeting and reconciliation, as well as a couple of other relevant letters.

I also want to point out the following about Greg Mitchell and Tom Paynes emails.

- lets be clear. I initiated the meeting, and I had every intention of attending until it became obvious it was no longer about healing and reconciliation.

- Greg Mitchell's email arguing over interpretation of two witnesses is simply nothing more than smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that they simply did not want another witness present. My question is, why are they so afraid of having one more person in the room? (who by the way is a respected Australian leader) And if you wanted to reassure me you were genuinely seeking healing and reconciliation, why deny me another person and then add two more witnesses of your choice. What do they have to fear?

- The claim by Greg Mitchell that he did not respond to my email because it was CC'd to him is a very weak attempt to deny his responsibility in not responding to the serious matters that had been raised, that any true leader would want to address. Not to mention the letter clearly implicated him in my complaints.

- While Jamie Harries has now repented of 'talking' about Tom Payne, he has never denied that he was in full agreement with Carlos letter at the time, or that he had his own real issues with Tom Paynes bullying and intimidating leadership. In fact he only confirms it.This was a two way conversation by two adults who could see the same issues. Also, the fact that Jamie has been used by Tom Payne and his name has been made public, shows you this mans heart. He does not care that Jamie will now lose the respect and friendship of many mutual friends in the Beechboro church who love me, Carlo and Courtney. I hold no grudge against Jamie as I know how manipulative this man is.

- Greg Mitchell says we have known each other since we were teenagers, implying that he rejoiced over my success, but "has been grieved by the incredible pride I have exhibited in recent years". If my pride is so obvious, why is it not obvious to all the other leaders from around the fellowship who have come to preach for me, or the ones that I have served in NZ for the last 10 years, or the four leaders that have booked me to preach in four different conferences this year as well as area discipleships, rallies, marriage retreats and revivals? I am also again on the current preaching schedule at Perth conference. You say you are my friend, why did you not respond to my 'CC'd' letter? You were with me only as recent as six months ago preaching the NZ conference and spent nearly a week with me and said nothing? If you could see these things in me why did you not correct me and help me? Anything would have been better than just silence. "Faithful are the wounds of a FRIEND"

- In closing, Rob Walsh and Daryl Elliott are now telling everyone that I stole the church, and that I forced my pioneer churches to close down and come back. This blatantly untrue. I gave all the pioneer pastors the option of staying with the fellowship, or staying out under me. They wanted to come back in support. When I talked to my church council about resigning they asked me to stay. When I met with my congregation I clearly told them that I was leaving and that they had the option of staying with the fellowship. I was sincere and told them that I would not mark them and that I would only wish them all all the best. I have not tried to pull any pastor out of the fellowship.

Neil McCann

Tom Paynes letter to Neil McCann


I am saddened by your letter of Disassociation from the Fellowship and feel a need to respond:

1) The Sept 4, 2017 letter you wrote to me and copied to Greg Mitchell, was indeed addressed and responded to by me.

A. I tried to call you right away, and finally emailed you the same day. I told you to feel free to discuss the matter with Pr Mitchell in Footscray, as you were going to be there with him for the Conference two days later. While at lunch with Pastor Mitchell in Footscray, you did bring up one of the issues in the letter and he answered you.

B. My notes and phone records show that I had a 30 minute conversation with you on Sept 7, 2017 (3 days after your letter). I went over each point with you, and further answered and explained the issues. I thought the matter was resolved.

C. Four weeks later I was in Auckland with you for 3 days. You never brought this up again, but for good measure I asked to have coffee with you at the hotel lobby before I went to the airport. During this discussion these matters were brought up again, as well as some others.

Since then we have spent time together at Leadership, Perth Conference, as well as on the phone discussing other issues. It is a great surprise to me, for you to now bring this up as an unresolved grievience.

2) The more pressing concern Myself, Pastor Mitchell, and Pastor Greg Mitchell have, is the revelation that for at least 12 months you have been speaking rebellion and discord into the Beechboro Congregation.

A. Please find attached a letter from Beechboro Church member Jamie Harries recounting conversations he had with you over the past year.

B. Since your daughter Courtney and her husband Carlo Rokobuta decided to leave the Beechboro Church and the Fellowship in Nov 2018, a number of ladies in the church here have come forward and divulged that for 2-3 years Courtney had been speaking critically of me and the Fellowship, even quoting you!

3) Your claim that I undermined Harold Warner and Joe Campbell is unsubstantiated and false. I have a healthy working relationship / friendship with both men, and have spoken to both men openly concerning this, and there is no offense between us. This is simply more sowing of discord on your part.

I find your actions both reprehensible and unscriptural. A meeting had been set up to address all these concerns, and yet you have opted instead to attack Leadership, and then take a course that in the past has historically caused many people much damage and grief.


Tom Payne

Email from Neil McCann | Subject: Disassociation

From: Neil McCann <maccanumber9@...>
Date: Sun, Feb 3, 2019 at 11:35 PM
Subject: Disassociation
To: <mitchell@...>, Greg Mitchell <gsm@...>, Tom Payne <tpaynenm@...>, Rob Walsh <robwalsh59@...>, Peter Field <field.peter01@...>, Nigel Brown <nigeljdbrown@...>, <delliot7@...>
Cc: Harold Warner <pstwarner3@...>, JOE CAMPBELL <campbellcfc@...>

03 Feb 2019
Auckland NZ

To all concerned.

In light of the following.

Greg Mitchell and Tom Payne did not even give me the courtesy of a reply to my letter, Monday, Sep 4, 2017, addressing the issue of my character and my testimony of 32 years of ministry being brought into question. Both men have preached for me since the letter was sent and both men did not even bring up the letter. (Attached)

I asked for a meeting to clear up the above matter, as well as concerns about the bullying, intimidating and divisive behaviour of Tom Payne. With that request I stipulated that I wanted two witnesses of my choosing be present according to Matthew 18:15-16 and 1 Timothy 5:19. Those witness being Ps Rob Walsh and Ps Peter Field. Since then Greg Mitchell and Pastor Wayman Mitchell have twice now refused my request for a second witness of my choosing to be present. (Attached)

You have now added Nigel Brown and Daryl Elliot to the list of those to be present at the meeting with you (Greg Mitchell), Ps Mitchell, Tom Payne and Ps Rob Walsh. (while refusing my request for one more witness)

Therefore, because of the nature of my issues, your refusal to allow me two witnesses of my choosing, the obvious and well publicized closeness of the relationships between Greg Mitchell, Ps Wayman Mitchell, Tom Payne, and Daryl Elliot, I unfortunately cannot see how this could possibly be a fair and unbiased hearing, or that reconciliation and healing is the intention.

In consideration of all the above, I must inform you that I will not be attending your meeting on 13th Feb in Auckland. I have totally lost all confidence and trust in the present leadership, and have now decided to disassociate myself and the Auckland Central church from the Potters House Fellowship of Australia completely.

I have met with my church council, as well as our congregation, and they are overwhelmingly in complete agreement with this decision. I have also made it clear that those who do not wish to disassociate themselves may freely join any other Potters House Church of their choosing.

The pastors and churches that have been planted out of Central have also been given the choice to stay with the Potters House or disassociate. All have chosen to resign, disassociate and come into the mother church for redirection.

Ps Robbie McCann has informed me he intends to resign as Pastor of the Manukau Potters House and come back to the Central Church. It will be up to Ps Peter Staples to find another Pastor to take the church.

Neil McCann

Auckland NZ

Tom Payne Is a Sociopath / Psychopath (Now that's some true words).

January 30, 2019

Dear Pastor Payne,
This letter is per your request, to put into writing the things I have shared with you since December of 2018.

Beginning around Dec 2017, I had several conversations with Neil McCann expressing ‘concerns’ he had with the Beechboro church and yourself. Most of these were on the phone, and one in person while he was in Perth. Here are some of the statements made by Neil that I remember:

* More seasoned pastors are being overlooked in favor of younger pastors

* Some older pastors won’t speak up against Pr Payne as they have nothing to fall back on if removed.

* P Payne does not care about the Perth church, it’s just a stepping stone to the next church in the USA

* Things will not last another 5 yrs / It’s all Greg Mitchell now / Pr Mitchell is hands off...

* Pr Payne is a Sociopath / Psychopath

* A lot of good people have left the Beechboro church (Pr Payne’s doing)

* Why is Beechboro & Australia Fellowship not prospering like Tucson with it’s many churches?

* Pr Payne was sent on a mission to confront H Warner.

* I’m still having arrows thrown at me (Understanding this referred to Pr Payne)

 While I feel that Neil was often ‘Fishing’ for me to contribute, I admit that I did participate and became caught up in Neil’s perspective. Early on Neil apologized if he ‘over spoke’ but would continue in subsequent conversations. At one point I said I didn’t like the way this is going, and that I have a responsibility to support my Pastor, but in reality I should not have participated or allowed this to continue as long as I did.

 Any time I mentioned Neil going to you or Pr G or W Mitchell to work it out, he stated that he wouldn’t, because he has already tried. It seems that Neil was amassing ammunition to use against you rather than seeking any resolution.

After I asked for, and read a copy of Carlo’s letter to you, I spoke to Neil and I remember him saying:

* There are other good churches that people have gone to, maybe Carlo and Courtney will go to one.

On Sunday Dec 16, 2018 I spoke to Neil on the phone, and told him that I believe what he is doing is wrong, and I do not agree. I insisted that Matthew 18 requires that he go to you or Pr’s Mitchell, rather than speak to others, but again he resisted that. I also mentioned Proverbs 6: 19 and that he is ‘Sowing discord’ by speaking to me and affecting my confidence in my pastor and the Fellowship. He did not respond well to this. I asked Neil if he had spoken to anyone else about these things... Neil did not answer. He also said:

* Australia needs to be run by an Aussie. I have attached the 4 text messages we exchanged after this conversation.

I have no ill will towards Neil McCann, and have communicated that I love him as a brother. I apologize and repent for any and all participation in Neil McCann’s or Carlo Rokobuta’s position concerning this. I support your leadership, and view the Beechboro Church as having a healthy and fruitful culture and atmosphere.

Regards, Jamie Harries


Texts Between Jamie and Neil 

Neil to Jamie: Sun Jan 13, 2019 
Jamie I have been thinking about our conversations and again want to apologize if you feel I over spoke. We have been friends for 30 plus years and the last thing I want to do is damage this. This being said does not mean that my opinion has changed concerning what we spoke about and I believe wholeheartedly that my perspective is correct. I do not blame you for your reaction and can see where you are coming from. But... if after 30 plus years we cannot talk about things that concern us and are important to us then what kind of friendship do we have?! When you called me and told me you read Carlos letter you told me that you felt it was an accurate well written weighty letter. You also expressed your own concerns. Jamie there is nothing wrong or rebellious about sharing concerns with mature trusted friends who's opinions you value. You are not a new convert and I truly value your opinion... that's why I opened the discussion... I genuinely wanted to know... as a close observer where you were at and whether you could see some of the same things that deeply concern me. If we cannot talk and be open about things.. or question anything then we have unfortunately given the devil a great advantage. You asked me if I had talked to Tom Payne about some of my issues and the answer is yes... have I told him that I think he is a sociopath... no. That I have only shared that with a few very close trusted friends. You have told me you value the opinion of a few men and included Paul Graham and Greg Farrell in that trusted circle. If those relationships are what you say they are then why don't you ask them what they honestly think of Tom Payne and his Leadership and where the fellowship is at right now? I do not speak on their behalf... but... if you think I am unbalanced and completely off the mark concerning my perspective and you trust their opinion then ask them what they think. You may be surprised. Love you too bro... Neil...

Jamie to Neil Sun Jan 13, 2019 
I have considered.
* You have more than over spoken: right back to your initial call(s) you have fished for fault finding with Pastor Payne from me (& possibly others) & I now repent of any communicated fault finding in Pastor Payne & acknowledge I was wrong to find fault & come on side with your complaint & should have rebuked you & redirected you to Pastors Payne, W & G Mitchell. (Matt 18)
*You openly (to me) called Pastor Payne a psychopath or sociopath & predicted the demise of the fellowship. This is sinful because it is corrupt communication which works against edification & caused incredible inner turmoil for me & you have stated you still hold this position. * I no longer agree with any part of Carlo's email & repent of any communication that indicates any such agreement.
* I now view the whole incident & the way you are going about it as sin & you are sowing division, defaming headship & this has its origin in active rebellion on your part against Pastor Payne.
* It is also rebellious for you to seek reinforcement of your position by suggesting I call Prs Farrell & Graham to get ammunition that bolsters your position: again if you ALL have issues you ALL should go to Prs Payne, Mitchell & Mitchell.
*Furthermore it is my position that anyone right with headship is open & honest with headship (including myself) & yet you sought to (& did) divide me from my Pastor.
* 30 yrs of friendship is not justification for rebellion
* If you seek changes because you disagree with Pastor Payne any other method outside of scripture is sinful. Matt 18

Neil to Jamie Sun Jan 13, 2019:
Wow... I am saddened at your estimation of me. As for Greg and Paul I can honestly say I have not spoken to them about my concerns. As I said... they are close friends of yours, not mine, and if I am wrong then it would be good to get another perspective. Jamie It is not rebellion to talk. How can you gather two or three witnesses against an elder (biblical) if you don't talk?... and how do you go to someone you believe is a sociopath and say I think you’re a sociopath? Again I am sorry for any harm I may have caused you. If I am wrong then God will bring it to light. I did not prophecy the demise of the fellowship... they are your words not mine. Jamie I did not fish for anything. We had a conversation as friends and spoke of things that concern us. I did write a letter to both Tom Payne and Greg Mitchell addressing some issues and they never even bothered to respond. Why? Because they have no comeback! You rang me and told me you had read Carlos letter. You told me you were in agreement. You told me you had your concerns and that the letter was brilliant and weighty! So do you blame me for that? It was a two way conversation. I think you need to do some deep soul searching Jamie and be real with yourself. If you have changed your position then that's your prerogative. But that does not mean that I now must change mine. If I am proven wrong over time I will be the first to admit. If you have gone to Tom Payne at least have the decency to let me know. Neil

Jamie to Neil Sun Jan 13, 2019: 
I said I have told you

Greg Mitchell To Neil McCann Reply (Warning Contains A Lot Of Vitriolic Garbage)


I am saddened by your decision, but not surprised. You’ve been headed this way for some time now. 

Your letter(s) were obviously not written to resolve anything, but rather for public consumption, and to give you justification for your intended course. 

So, I will respond to the blatant dishonesty, false premises and faulty logic presented in your letters. 

1. You state as the basis of why you wanted a meeting, and the reason you now choose to disassociate yourself that “Greg Mitchell and Tom Payne did not even give me the courtesy of a reply to my letter, Monday, Sep 4, 2017…” 
           a. I did not reply to your letter 
                         1. Because it wasn’t addressed to me – it was simply cc’d to me; I am cc’d on all kinds of letters – which people do simply to inform me and keep me in the loop. You are the first person in my 33 years of ministry who has ever claimed offense at failure to respond to a cc’d letter. 
                         2. We have a structure in place in our Fellowship that is based on Matthew 18 that has worked very well for many, many years. According to the Bible (and our Leadership structure) – it is incumbent on you to fully exhaust all avenues personally, trying to resolve your conflict. Then, if you can’t resolve it, you take it higher – which in this case, would then be me. We even have a further option if that fails – the possibility of requesting a meeting with the Board of Elders. So to claim that you have to disassociate because I failed to respond, is simply false logic. 

           b. You claim Pastor Payne did not respond to your letter – which is blatantly untrue! Pastor Payne had a number of conversations with you about these issues.                                                                                  1. After each conversation, he would call and inform me of how it went. 
                        2. When you made this claim (no response on Pastor Payne’s part) when you sent your request – He found his files and notes that substantiate both when he spoke to you and what he spoke about.    

2. You asked for a meeting and quoted Matthew 18. You asked for “2 witnesses of my choosing” which is faulty: Matthew 18 doesn’t say you get to pick who the witnesses are. We do not allow the person making a complaint to determine who gets to hear it. 
           a. We did allow 1 witness of your choosing (Rob Walsh). When I asked Rob to attend, I even told him that in fairness to you, I would prefer to not tell him any of the issues. 
           b. We asked Nigel Brown and Daryl Elliott to attend – because you were making extremely serious accusations against Pastor Payne – and Pastor Brown and Elliott are on the Australian Pastor’s executive. This shows how seriously we took your letter. 

3. I note that now in your ‘disassociation’ letter, you add 1 Timothy 5:19 NKJV Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 
This is bad doctrine, Neil. In Matthew 18 ‘witnesses’ refers to those who will hear someone else’s complaint. In 1 Timothy 5:19 ‘witnesses’ refers to accusers. The ‘witnesses’ do not mean the same thing, and neither scripture can be used to insist that you get to determine who will hear your complaints. 
            c. You asked for 2 witnesses, and we wound up arranging 3. 

4. When we first informed you that Rob Walsh would be coming, you then responded saying that due to ‘Pastor Tom Payne's obviously close relationship with you both’ you insisted on your own choice of witnesses. Now in your ‘disassociation’ letter you add Daryl Elliott to your seeming disqualifying factor of ‘closeness.’ 
            a. What a strange thing Neil, that someone staying in contact with their Pastor now makes them suspect in your eyes. Very revealing of your heart. 
            b. Your faulty logic is ‘they’re close to Pastor Payne’ so that’s not acceptable, but your answer is insisting on someone very close to you – and that is not only acceptable, if you don’t get your way – you have to leave the Fellowship?!! 
            c. You manage to impugn the character of Leadership: Pastor Mitchell, who has demonstrated his character and ability to navigate disputes for decades, and myself (I do have broad experience) cannot be trusted to hear issues and decide fairly. Both Pastor Mitchell and myself have had to make stands, and at times decide against both family and friends. But when it comes to you, we’re suddenly disqualified and you have ‘totally lost confidence’. You also manage to impugn Pastor Nigel Brown and Pastor Daryl Elliott. 
           d. This speaks to the real issue Neil: It’s not a procedural problem – it is naked pride! A bit of success has inflated your opinion of yourself, and you feel qualified to pass judgment on fellow Pastors and Leadership. 

5. You include your original letters, so I will briefly address a few of these issues: 
           a. The supposed undermining of Pastor Harold Warner…you are attempting to make a second-hand complaint on Pastor Warner’s behalf – which is not Biblical. 
           b. You are claiming he undermined Joe Campbell – you know this is false. He spoke to you and used the fact that when making a major decision, you didn’t consult headship and get their input. He made it clear this was simply to illustrate that you seemed to not have a Pastor. 
           c. Claiming the ‘ill sentiment of many others’…this is what rebels always do: They claim their opinion is shared by ‘many’ to bolster their own opinion and desired outcome. Neh 6:6 it is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu says… 
           d. ‘He name drops Prescott, Pastor Wayman Mitchell and Pastor Greg Mitchell to create the perception that to challenge him would be to come against all of you and be considered an act of rebellion.’ In fact, I have personally observed the opposite: When Daryl Elliott took over a very difficult situation, on many occasions (I can recall at least 10 instances) he has given Daryl direction, then encouraged him to ask my input, and told Daryl he defers to my direction. 

6. You include the letter signed by Carlo Rokobuta. What unbiblical nonsense! 
           a. Carlo and Courtney never came to Pastor Payne and brought any of this to his attention, before leaving the church. 
           b. When Pastor Payne heard Courtney was telling people she had left the church, he spoke to Carlo twice, and Carlo didn’t mention any of this – and in fact lied. 
           c. After already leaving, he then sends a letter with a shotgun list of supposed violations – WITHOUT A SINGLE SPECIFIC EXAMPLE TO BACK UP THE CLAIMS! What human relationship can work on this basis? 
           d. You then use this unbiblical letter as ‘proof’ of Pastor Payne’s unfitness. So then, according to your logic, if someone was to write a letter and says to you, “Neil, I’m disassociating from you because you’re a womanizing drunkard,” with no concrete examples of why they believe that… it’s true – simply because it was written??? That’s outrageous and unbiblical. 
           e. Since they left the church a number of ladies have come and said that Courtney was badmouthing Pastor Payne and the Fellowship – for a long time before they left. 

7. The final issue is your badmouthing to Jamie Harries. 
           a. You reached into the Beechboro congregation and for over a year badmouthed Pastor Payne and the Fellowship. 
           b. You use the twisted reasoning of friendship making it ok to speak against someone’s Pastor (where does the Bible say that?), and that you are simply gathering witnesses against an elder (a novel twisting of scripture), so it’s ok, and further, if you don’t you’re giving the devil an advantage. Incredibly twisted. 
           c. You wouldn’t tolerate someone doing this to you in your church for a second! 
           d. But regardless of your twisted opinion, the Bible lists among the 7 things God hates – He that sows discord among brethren. Prov 6:19 
           e. I note that you only requested a meeting when you knew that Jamie disagreed, and your badmouthing was known. 

Neil, we’ve known each other since we were teenagers. I have rejoiced in God’s goodness to you in blessing your ministry. But I have been grieved for some time at the incredible level of pride you have exhibited in recent years. I remember when you were on the run from David Vicary, and he almost destroyed you, and Pastor Mitchell graciously helped you, and gave you the opportunity to go to New Zealand, and invested in you. But now that you have some success, that is thrown out the window. The real issue is that your incredible pride means no one can speak into your life. In your meeting request letter, you state ‘In closing I want to confirm my commitment to the Australian fellowship and submission to your headship…’ and a mere 17 days later, you announce you are leaving, then write ‘I have totally lost all confidence and trust in the present leadership…’ Bottom line: No one can tell you anything, and you now choose to be completely independent. 

Lets be clear about what you’re doing. There was spiritual authority involved in your salvation, your training for ministry, and releasing you into, and investing in your ministry. You now choose to reject any spiritual authority in your life. You call it disassociation, which makes it sound better, but it is rebellion. Claiming that supposed offenses justify your rebellion is the same strategy Absalom employed in his rebellion, and every rebel has used since. 

I am astounded at each new rebel who rises, in spite of the abundant evidence of destruction of those who have chosen to reject covenant relationships and spiritual authority – somehow convince themselves it will turn out differently for them. In leaving, you are choosing to close the churches you planted – setting the cause of the Gospel back in New Zealand. You are not better or smarter than rebels who have gone before you, and it won’t work out any better for you. 

How foolish to think (like all rebels) that you can violate spiritual authority, but it won’t play out in your people: Are you so blinded as to think they will not do the same to you at some point? Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 

Neil, you will answer to God for the destruction you are about to unleash on the precious people that God has given you. 

Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell - Second Refusal and Added Members

Greg Mitchell

Jan 28, 2019, 4:19 AM

to Tom, me


Due to the seriousness of the nature of our concerns, and the seriousness of the nature of your complaints, we have already asked Pastor Nigel Brown and Pastor Daryl Elliot to attend, as representatives of the Australian Pastor’s Executive.

Those attending the meeting will be: Neil McCann, Tom Payne, Wayman Mitchell, Greg Mitchell, Nigel Brown, Daryl Elliot and Rob Walsh.

About This Blog

Hi and thank you for viewing this blog, all content in this blog has been sourced from the publicly available forum "Escape From The Fe...