Church Hosting Duggar Family For Marriage Retreat Responds To Feedback

Association with the Duggar family has brought negative feedback for businesses before, but this time, an organization is firing back. The church will host a retreat next weekend for couples, and have advertised that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be speaking. However, when they added additional information about the retreat, and additional Duggar family members joining in, it seems there was backlash.

Though the church announced some time ago that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar would be joining their marriage retreat as speakers, it wasn’t until this week that Grace Fellowship Interdenominational’s Facebook page added a post featuring not only the Duggar patriarch and matriarch, but members of the next generation of the family — including Jessa Duggar Seewald, whose second baby is due less than a week later.

An update added to the church’s website in early December could be read as either promising Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s appearance, if baby Seewald doesn’t arrive early, or a certainty of Michelle and Jim Bob, with Ben and Jessa also speaking, conditional on the baby’s timing.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will be speaking at our retreat! As long as Ben and Jessa’s baby is born on the due date (February 2nd), they will be speaking at our retreat!

A Facebook post at the time of that update mentions only Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, however, suggesting that the decision to include younger Duggar family members may have come later.

However, the more recent Facebook post about the Duggar family, mentioning Jessa Duggar Seewald, may have gotten further negative feedback, because it was later deleted and the church added an update.

“Today we had a venomous comment on one of our posts, and it’s not necessary to share details. But I want to warn all of my friends with a warning from God Almighty to all people, ESPECIALLY professing Christians:

The post goes on, warning about judging and asserting that “a lot of church folks don’t truly know God,” before closing with another warning and Biblical passages.

“I’m telling you right now, if you are hard on people, God will be very hard on you.”

Though the organization declines to add details, including which post netted a comment deserving of such vehemence and exactly what the content of said comment was, the post about the Duggar family’s presence at the marriage retreat was also deleted.

Grace Fellowship Interdenominational isn’t the only organization that’s gotten backlash for associating with the Duggar family recently.

Photographer Matthew Thwing, who took photos of Jinger Duggar’s wedding preparation, has also made an announcement on his Facebook page, in which he stops short of declaring that he does not support the Duggar family’s political views, but warns that any negative comments will be erased.

“ANY person who trolls my page posting negative comments will immediately have their comment erased and be banned from the page without prejudice….I do not photograph ANYONE with a political, religious, racial or any other type of perspective.”

He did interact somewhat with commenters, and while he didn’t mention the Duggar family name in the post itself, he discusses them somewhat in responses (here and here):

“The simple fact is people want to hate and the Duggar’s are an easy target because they put their imperfect lives out for the world to see.

“Ginger[sic] Duggar was a bride shopping for her wedding dress. Her mom was the mother of a bride shopping for a wedding dress and her sisters and future mother in law (now mother in law) were all there because they love her. That is what I photographed that day and in my opinion what came through in the photos I shared.”

He also blogged about meeting the Duggar family, and was highly complimentary, adding that he has “…seen both iterations of their show and have always found them to be interesting, unique and well, pretty cool.”

This stands in sharp contrast to last summer, when a frozen yogurt shop posted an image of Jeremy Vuolo, Jinger Duggar, and Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar at their establishment. Sweet Loring later deleted the image and posted an update, declaring “We do not support the views of the Duggar family,” after backlash from customers.

[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Twitter]