It is no secret that Exodus International has had a rough time of it in the past year. Money issues, falling attendance and a major effort to rebrand have left the ex-gay organization in a tenuous state. While there are some mixed reviews on just what the new face of Exodus might really mean in the long run, one thing is certain — member ministries are in their own exodus from Exodus.
Random references to groups that had left them led us to compile a detailed comparison of the current Exodus member ministry listings to that of a year ago. Previous to this, Exodus never had much churn from year to year, so losing 20 (or roughly 22%) in one year, many in recent months, is really unheard of. We can’t be certain how or why all these groups came to be delisted, but some of them have been with Exodus since almost the beginning. At least a couple seem to have shut down, perhaps due to the same forces affecting Exodus.
A number of these ministries appear to now affiliate with Andy Comiskey’s Desert Stream Ministries, which also no longer appears on the Exodus list. Comiskey has been critical of Exodus president Alan Chambers while expressing support for the reparative drive model of ex-gay therapy touted by NARTH and Joseph Nicolosi. It is reasonable to speculate that Desert Stream might become the new “umbrella” for groups who, for whatever reason, no longer agree with or have faith in the current leadership at Exodus.
Pure Heart Ministries – Illinois Branch
Transformed by Grace
[Closed — dissolved according to Exodus]
[Closed in 2010 according to Exodus]
Out Of The Depths Ministry
[Closed in 2009 according to Exodus — archive link]
Love In Action
[Name changed to “Restoration Path” so not actually a drop]
Christian Coalition for Reconciliation
Sexual Wholeness Ministry
[Closed this month according to Exodus]
Those without links appear to have no website. A few of these are of particular note. The previously mentioned Desert Stream Ministries is a major ex-gay ministry of many years. First Stone is almost as old as Exodus, and New Hope Ministries is led by Frank Worthen, sometimes called the father of ex-gay ministries and an Exodus co-founder. And perhaps most amazing of all, Exchange Ministries, located in the same city as Exodus, was the ministry where Chambers got his start.
We have not dealt with the comparatively new category — Church Association listings — as these appear to have less significance and require little commitment.
Update: Exodus contacted us just after posting with some additional information and the list has been updated accordingly. In their estimation, 11 ministries have left directly due to recent changes at Exodus. As our information came directly from Exodus’ own website, any errors are theirs. So the ministries updated as having closed in 2009 or 2010 were still listed as active on the Exodus site in April of 2011 and therefore counted in our original review.