New Covenant Publications - A Counter Cult Ministry


NYC Leaders Dan Connor and Gary Vermass Resign

March 4, 2003


During a midweek service of the west side region of the NYC Church, Gary Vermass resigned from the ICOC ministry. Gary stated,

"Jodie and I would just like to thank the church for being incredible disciples for Jesus Christ. You guys are so willing to persevere; we love you and respect you so much. Jodie has been working in the ministry here in Manhattan for the past 10 years, myself only 6 years. We've loved being with you guys so much. Since the early days of the arts sector… (inaudible) (laughter from congregation) Thank you so much for having us. Thank you so much for loving us.

At this time Jodie and I have decided to take an undetermined amount of time off from working in the full time ministry. We will no longer be paid by the church. So tomorrow I start my new job as a structural engineer.

We look forward to, Jodie and I will be staying here in the church, we're not going anywhere. We look forward to this time of restructuring, and we are willing to help serve and lay down our lives for this church in any way that we can.

Thank you for loving us. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your prayers and devotion to God. We love you more than words can express."

Church elder, Sherwin Mackintosh, then read a written letter of resignation from Dan Connor (Manhattan super region leader).

"I'm very sad to announce that after 10 years in the ministry here in New York City, I need to resign. The past 10 years have been the best 10 years of my entire life. I've loved preaching and teaching and working with the church in New York. I am thankful to the church in Manhattan for being a part of so many great things in my life, my baptism, my marriage, and the birth of my son. I'm so thankful for the love shown me by the people who trained me in the ministry, the Johnsons, the Griddlys, the Powells, etc. I have been able to work alongside of others who will remain friends for the rest of my life. The guys in my discipleship group are the greatest friends I could ask for. I can't say enough (inaudible) to thank the people who have been in the ministries that I have had the privilege and the opportunity to lead. We have seen miracles together and I feel lucky to have been apart of them.

I recently apologized to the congregation in lower Manhattan for a number of sins that I have committed in leadership. One was the failure to protect my wife from the pressures associated with our role in the church. It is that sin in particular that is the cause of my resignation. Some of the other sins I mentioned in the apology, especially my pride in position, my focus on statistics, and my people pleasing contributed to that sin. These are my sins and I am responsible.

However, I do recognize that there are problems in the way we have done things. We were given too much responsibility, especially at such a young age. Our relationships with the people that trained us were unhealthy, too controlling, and filled with people pleasing. This is especially true with the Johnsons, primarily due, I believe, to their positions and our youth.

The same unhealthy dynamic existed in varying degrees in our relationships with the people we trained. Our position in the church, and our top down leadership structure kept the people around us, our friends, from feeling free to challenge us. For that I am very sorry. This gave me a conviction that I can no longer maintain this position or have this much responsibility.

All of this, added to the pressure in the way we have run the women's ministry, was too much for Cinnamon. As a result we came to the conclusion that we need to resign. Again, I knew that she was hurting and I failed to protect her. I am very sorry. I apologize to her, to the (inaudible) disappointed friends, and all the people who were hurt by this. I apologize to my brothers and sisters in the full time ministry who I admire and respect tremendously for leaving you at this time. I believe that what you are doing is very noble.

Finally, I am very sorry to the people in the ministries with which I have worked, especially those in lower Manhattan performing arts region, for letting you down. Thank you so much for your encouragement, love and support over the past several years. I will miss you.

I do look forward to this opportunity to continue to serve the church outside of the full time ministry. I see God working and it is exciting. I trust that the church here in New York, and its leaders, will do whatever it takes to make the changes that need to be made to help keep this kind of thing from happening again.

I do believe that this is God's church and I'm extremely grateful to be a part of it. I look forward to seeing what He is going to do with His church all over the world. I pray that I will continue, with all of you, to be a vital part of His plan.

Thank you so much for your love over the years. No one can ask for better people to serve than you. Again, there is not enough words to thank all of you.


Dan Connor


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