Latoya Mayberry is a beautiful, spunky, on-fire-for-God young woman that I admire greatly. In fact, she had to go through the fire of spiritual abuse from church leaders to come to this place of solid footing on the Rock of Christ — her refuge.
After reading Latoya’s testimony, the Holy Spirit reminded me of one of my favorite verses: Lamentations 3:22-24, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!'”
I believe these words of Jeremiah resonate in Latoya’s heart for she knows the One in whom she has believed. She has found Him faithful and trustworthy. She has wept as He redeemed the abuse of those who should have known better than to cast their stones in an attempt to destroy this young woman of God.
Maybe you have been hurt by church people. Unfortunately, it happens — not because we wrestle with flesh and blood, but because we wrestle with principalities of darkness. The bad news is that all too often these principalities come with skin on, but the good news is that our God is the Redeemer of our lives. Through Latoya’s testimony I pray you will find encouragement and healing.
Welcome to Faith Notes Latoya!
I was raised in church all my life and knew the act of loving God and worshiping Him. Yet, as a teen I still did my own thing and found my own way.
Finally, I decided it was time to give my whole heart to God and at this time I began to serve Him and the church. I enjoyed serving others and using my gift of singing to lift up His Name. I studied on my own and really fell in love with God.
My husband knew he was supposed to pastor and began growing spiritually too. I laughed at first but then, like Sarah, God showed me up.
My husband transformed right before my eyes.
We both began serving and decided to move back to our hometown of Midland, TX. We joined my husband’s childhood church and began serving and allowing the elders to pour into us.
In God’s timing and under His guidance, my husband decided it was time to change churches.
I didn’t want to as I had gotten used to this small crowd and, although they were older people, I enjoyed their wisdom and teachings. Finally, I agreed and off we went to the new church.
It started off beautiful as everyone embraced us. My husband was licensed as a minister and became the youth pastor. I became the worship leader and worked with the youth as well. I also was part of the women’s mission group and sang in the choir. Our children were young, but they enjoyed the youth ministry.
Then all of a sudden I noticed people started having issues with me. I told my husband, yet he didn’t notice. So I ignored it and continued to press on.
After all, I was doing this for God, and not people.
But then, it got bad enough that I reached out to the pastor’s wife, one of the intercessors, and my husband. I told them all I thought it would be better if I just quit and let go of all my titles and positions. They all encouraged me not to and attempted to help make things better.
Yet the damage was done and it seemed as though nothing I did was right.
Finally God revealed to me that He was calling me to minister.
I resisted and tried to run like Jonah did. However, God allowed it to feel like fire shut up in my bones to the point that during one of our home small groups I blurted it out!
Once I made it known, the fire stopped and it finally felt like I answered the call.
I was so excited, despite all the problems I was having within the church. The date was set for October 22, 2012. I was so happy and couldn’t wait.
Yet, my family all started to reject me and shun me over something that was addressed from February of that year. It caused a great fall out and so now I had no extended family other than my mom, aunt and grandmother. It hurt me to my core. I also still had the church issues and, at this point, not many friends.
I mounted the pulpit and delivered my first message titled, Undignified Praise. It felt like a load had been lifted and I was so happy to be obedient to God, even though it meant I lost many other valuable relationships.
The next day I received a call from the pastor who asked me to call the praise team together for a meeting. He also instructed me to cancel the worship conference I had put together.
I was confused and broken, but I did as requested.
Finally Wednesday came and I drove to the church and sat in the pew wondering what this was all about. I’ll never forget. He said, “It’s time to address the pink elephant in the room.”
I was eager to hear until I realized I was the pink elephant and everyone had issues with me.
One by one they told what they were upset about and their grievances they all had with me. I wanted to run. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry, but instead I just sat there and said nothing.
When asked if I’d like to rebuttal I said I had nothing to say.
Happy the meeting was coming to a close, I then heard the pastor say, “If anyone has an issue with Toya, stay after church.”
I was broken at that point and so confused as to how God would allow this to happen to me. I felt like, Really? I say yes to You and I am actually obedient, and You take my family, friends and everyone in the church turns on me.
Still I went and taught my youth group. I knew it would be my last time. I held back tears and taught them while saying goodbye. I then waited after church and sure enough someone stayed behind.
We all met in the pastor’s office along with his wife. He stated he was simply there to be the mediator. So the individual began with their issues with me. none of which I could respond to because I felt that it was all assumptions and not factual.
I finally spoke with the individual and stated that I had talked to the pastor and he said what I was doing was okay and he approved everything before I moved forward. I also stated the only reason I implemented rules was because the pastor had told me to.
The pastor interjected and I thought finally he’s going to take up for me and tell them the truth. Instead he was upset that I talked with my hands (which is something I always do) and used the word “he” vs “pastor” while addressing him.
At that point I felt attacked and I got up and told them that even though it would be considered rude, I was leaving. Before storming out I got on my knees and apologized to the individual for making them feel what it was they felt. Then I slammed the door and walked out attempting to walk home because my husband was busy dropping off youth in our church van.
Following this meeting, the pastor then stripped me of every title I had and asked for my license back.
Fast forward: the attacks didn’t stop.
Social media was used to talk about me. I was unfriended. People stopped talking to me, and finally the pastor asked us to leave.
I was so upset with God, yet God was the only One that could truly comfort me.
I felt like a child who gets grounded by their parents but still wants their parent to hold them and love on them. I was so sad and hurt, and then God gave me Psalm 61. He told me, When your heart is overwhelmed come to Me and let Me be your place of refuge. You can escape in Me and I will nurture you back to health.
He told me this had to happen and was all part of the process. The world expected me to crumble and go back to it, but God gave me a peace that surpasses all understanding. I worshiped my way through all the hurt, pain, lies and rejection.
Finally, January 2013, my husband and I launched Community Worship Center. Imagine! God birthed an entire church out of my pain. We knew we were supposed to birth it, but we were scared and worried about how to do it. But God …
He said, Jump and I’ll do the rest.
Through my church I was able to heal and forgive all those who hurt me.
God was and always has been my rock.
More about Latoya:
Latoya Mayberry is truly the definition of what a servant of God looks like. She shows her love for God and others by being very active in the church as well as the community.
Latoya has been very successful in reaching the younger generation by serving as a youth director and a youth mentor. She serves alongside her husband as the Co-Pastor of Community Worship Center where her duties include overseeing various ministries which include hospitality, music department, women’s and youth ministry.
Latoya finds great joy in reading, counseling women one on one and helping people repair relationships.
Although most of her early childhood life was spent in Mississippi, Latoya Mayberry is a native of Midland, Texas where she currently owns and operates a licensed home daycare center. She has been married to her husband, Senior Pastor Edward Mayberry, for 11 years. Two beautiful daughters, Aniyah (10) and Erinn (9), are a blessed product of this union and they also share their mother’s awesome spirit and charisma.
Latoya Mayberry is a fine staple of Community Worship Center and the community.
Connect with Latoya:
Community Worship Center
Pastor Edward Mayberry
Co Pastor Latoya Mayberry
FB Latoya Mayberry
Church fb @cwcmidland
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,