Second member of Trinity Baptist Church reports rape

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Second member of Trinity Baptist Church reports rape

While the trial was under way last week, an adult woman disclosed to Concord police she also had been sexually assaulted by a member of Trinity Baptist Church about the same time that Anderson had.

Micheledo M's picture
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So sad. I am thankful for

So sad. I am thankful for Tina's courage to allow her name to be used and that it is an encouragement to others to come forward. But it is so sad that there ARE others to come forward. It shouldn't be that way.

Praying for the truth to be revealed.

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I haven't mentioned this in

I haven't mentioned this in any other posts because the news had not been made public yet. Unfortunately, I am aware of the details of this case as well. My husband and I knew the young girl/now woman in question while we were still at Trinity. Given how the case with Tina Anderson was received at the onset, I will not be commenting on this at all other than this one post.

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LJ Moody wrote: I haven't

LJ Moody wrote:
I haven't mentioned this in any other posts because the news had not been made public yet. Unfortunately, I am aware of the details of this case as well. My husband and I knew the young girl/now woman in question while we were still at Trinity. Given how the case with Tina Anderson was received at the onset, I will not be commenting on this at all other than this one post.

I hope and pray she will receive more support than Tina did. I cannot imagine coming forward. It breaks my heart to read the blogs, testimonies, and postings of those who have been abused in their church. I hate it. I wish that the cult survivors group was so very wrong, but it seems like the more I read and see around me, - it is true. It is happening TOO MUCH in our churches.

My husband and I have talked so much about all of this and evaluated our thinking and what we always thought our response would be. I wonder how the training of our leaders and church people has led to so much of this cover up? Intentional or not. Why do we so quickly believe a 'godly man' and explain away the accusation? It's clear changes need to be made.

It breaks my own heart. How God must grieve for these many, many individuals who have been so hurt, some who have turned away from God because of what they saw or experienced.

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please don't make that leap

There have been no allegations of cover-up in this case.

Why must you assume that it is so before there is even a case, before charges are even filed, if they ever are filed?

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

Micheledo M's picture
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Sorry

Don Johnson wrote:
There have been no allegations of cover-up in this case.

Why must you assume that it is so before there is even a case, before charges are even filed, if they ever are filed?

I'm sorry. I did not mean to make that assumption. With this Tina Anderson case and everything else - there has just been so much on my mind. I guess I was talking about a lot that has been in my mind, not this situation in particular. I will try and be more careful with what I post.

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Union Leader article link

Here is a link to the article that mentions this allegation: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20110602/NEWS03/706029979

Quote:

"Warner police confirmed Wednesday they are investigating a California woman's claim she also was sexually assaulted as a minor in the 1990s when she and her alleged assailant attended Trinity Baptist Church in Concord."

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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I fear any group the size of

I fear any group the size of Trinity will have these allegations surface, given the right circumstances. I still do not think the attacks are endemic to IFB somehow. However, I am afraid one of the bug a boos plaguing IFB-dom is the instinct to protect the"institution." This might be endemic to IFB-dom as seen in the responses so often seen to terrible things like this happening in our midst. I fear this mindset has inadvertently replaced the focus on the individual mandated in scripture. While no one would likely preach this, and most would likely not recognize it when it was happening under their watch, I think the pragmatic outworking has morphed into this off-target perspective far too often.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Institutions

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
... I am afraid one of the bug a boos plaguing IFB-dom is the instinct to protect the"institution." This might be endemic to IFB-dom as seen in the responses so often seen to terrible things like this happening in our midst. I fear this mindset has inadvertently replaced the focus on the individual mandated in scripture. While no one would likely preach this, and most would likely not recognize it when it was happening under their watch, I think the pragmatic outworking has morphed into this off-target perspective far too often.

It is human nature, IMO, to seek to preserve 'the institution'. Just look at incidents involving the medical profession, law enforcement, teachers... first instinct is to circle the wagons, as accusations leveled at a doctor taints the medical profession, dirty cops undermine the credibility of law enforcement, and incompetent or predatory teachers get passed around from school to school, weakening the bond of trust between parents and teachers. One could say that this is played out all the way down to women who remain with abusive partners in order to 'preserve' their sense of security and guard the institution of 'family'.

My belief, though, is that Christianity is the last place we should be seeing this. We have fairly clear guidelines about confrontation, restoration, repentance, and separation, that if adhered to, even to a small degree, would take care of a lot of this kind of mess. I mean, forcible rape and child sexual molestation isn't comparable to differences on Calvinism/Arminiasm, or pre- vs. a- millenial, or even CCM vs. traditional hymns, KWIM?

I understand the desire to handle things discretely and tactfully, though. I don't think we (the general public) should start screaming "Cover up!" until confirmable information is made available.

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Susan, There is a genuine

Susan,

There is a genuine indebtedness owed by those reading here, to you. In circumstances such as these it is very tempting for people to project onto situations their personal experiences and bias. The result is, of course, disastrous in many ways. And with a context like this which can appeal to people's emotions (one way or the other) you have consistently held the line in employing objectivity as the compass for exploration, discovery and discussion. That isn't an easy thing to do, particularly in light of the hysterical and who-knows-what-they-would-really-do personalities that are willing to privately contact you with volatility and vitriol shooting through their finger tips on the keyboard.

But then you are not persuaded by tantrums or acrimony, rather the facts as I have come to know in reading your posts at SI. You do not give life to assumptions that cannot be validated and when the evidence seems to point to something but lacks certainty, you still do not speak conclusively but with the appropriate reservation in light of the incompleteness of all information/facts.

Thank you for your perspicacity and equanimity.

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Truth

May the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth be found out and revealed. Also, may there be no unfounded accusations, nor any unnecessay "circling of the wagons".

Serving the Savior, Pastor Wes Helfenbein 2 Cor. 5:17

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There is a new article out

There is a new article out about this today http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Woman-says-NH-pastor-ignore...

Quote:

A woman says she was sexually assaulted as a teen and that the pastor of her church told her to forgive and forget instead of doing what the law required: report it to authorities.

Quote:

The new accusations were lodged with police by a 34-year-old woman who says her stepfather repeatedly molested her from 1994 to 1996. She said she was 17 and a junior at Trinity Baptist Church's high school when the assaults began. She left her home in Warner in 1996, when she was 19.

Quote:
In a statement late Thursday afternoon from Gibbs, Phelps said the girl's family told him the victim was 18 at the time of the assaults began and that both the police and child protective services had been notified.

Quote:

"I would tell him, 'no,' 'stop' — and he wouldn't stop," she said of her stepfather. "I went straight to my mother when it happened. She acted like it was my fault. When my mom didn't do anything about it I went to Pastor Phelps. He told me I need to forgive and forget about it."

Quote:

Cheryl now has a criminal record related to a drug addiction and she now lives in a halfway house in Merced, Calif., where she's on probation.

Her uncle Robert Sheffield, of Big Sandy, Texas, blames the abuse for her problems.

Quote:

It's not a pretty picture," he said. "And it irritates me no end because I know why."

Sheffield said he once confronted Phelps. Sheffield said Phelps told him the issue had been "dealt with" and that confidentiality rules barred him from going into detail.

"I remember that phone call like it was yesterday," Sheffield said. "I've been angry at that man for 15 years. He definitely told me that he told her to forgive and forget."

The above quote are selected from the article. Please read the full article if you have time. The quotes break down the gist of what it says.

It was nice of Gibbs to go on record and saying---they this one was an adult as his statement makes it clear that this victim was over 18--you know totally different from that Tina Anderson deal if I may paraphrase.

And if Phelps would make Tina go before the congregation to confess her part of her "sin" in the deal with Wills, was this guy ever brought before the church? Clearly Phelps knew of the sex between these two because his lawyer states--hey they told me she was 18 when it happened. If a man in your church was sexually abusing his own daughter and she came to you for help, does her age really matter? As a shepherd of the flock of sheep who belong to Jesus, would it not be your responsibility to do all in your power to protect her from continued abuse?

Horrifying and disgusting are the kindest comments I can make.

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@Leah

The Stamford Article was http://sharperiron.org/filings/6-9-11/19188 ]posted as a Filing as well, about ten minutes before your post. Just FYI.

Does anyone know if the woman in this Filing thread is the same as in the Stamford article?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Does anyone know if the

Does anyone know if the stepfather was involved with the church? Or was the girl simply attending the school?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Jay C. wrote: Does anyone

Jay C. wrote:
Does anyone know if the woman in this Filing thread is the same as in the Stamford article?

Yes. The original article posted above is the same person as the woman named "Cheryl" in the Stamford article. The Stamford link is an AP story. Most news outlets nationwide posted the story verbatim with the Stamford version.

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Chip Van Emmerik wrote: Does

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Does anyone know if the stepfather was involved with the church? Or was the girl simply attending the school?

Yes. The stepfather was involved with the church and some specific activities related to the school. I remember the family well from my time attending Trinity.

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I posted in the other thread

I posted in the other thread about how much more likely victims of sexual abuse are to become involved in other forms of destructive behavior as a coping mechanism to deal with the hurt of the abuse. It would seem that this girl has struggled with drug use as a form of self medication to drown out the pain of her past.

People need the hope and healing that only Jesus can provide. When abuse arises, it should be dealt with swiftly. If a minor is involved, a written report should me made to the police--WRITTEN REPORT--NOT JUST Ar PHONE CALL. Those that know should fight without relent until the authorities do something.

I read several of the "survivor" blogs. There is a sad common theme. Not all of them mind you, but a large number who have turned from faith in Christ and the church. That is sad that they very places that are supposed to help people grow in their faith and encourage them are being used as instruments of Satan to turn people from Jesus. That reality ought to give us great pause and make us sad. Mind you all churches are not like this, but a great many of them are.

Which souls are disposable? I don't think we should view anyone as disposable. It is not loving to the victim to sweep stuff under the rug and it is not loving the perp to allow him to continue in unrepentant sin.

Telling a man to stop abusing his child is not enough. If it were all the preachers in the world could have strongly worded sermon next week telling those in their congregations to stop doing.... and then read the long list with reasons and sin would stop right? We all know that is ludicrous. Life dominating sins require much intervention and accountability. And when the law is broken part of the accountability is to the relevant government authorities.

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Phelps has offered a broader

Phelps has offered a broader explanation of what happened according to him. Does anyone know in what capacity the man in the second case was involved in the church and school both before and after the abuse was made known?

http://www.drchuckphelps.com/a-second-report.html

Does anyone have a full copy of the letter from which Phelps quotes? He says it was "sent out broadly". Reading the full text of it would be helpful. Does anyone have a PDF scan of the original?

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stop the speculation

Leah Hayes wrote:
I posted in the other thread about how much more likely victims of sexual abuse are to become involved in other forms of destructive behavior as a coping mechanism to deal with the hurt of the abuse. It would seem that this girl has struggled with drug use as a form of self medication to drown out the pain of her past.

Or it could be a number of other factors. What is the point of speculating about that? I could just as easily say, "this is just a dope-head looking for a payday" couldn't I? PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT SAYING THAT! But why speculate about this at all?

Leah Hayes wrote:
Telling a man to stop abusing his child is not enough.

And you know for sure that this is exactly what happened?

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Don Johnson wrote: Leah

Don Johnson wrote:
Leah Hayes wrote:
I posted in the other thread about how much more likely victims of sexual abuse are to become involved in other forms of destructive behavior as a coping mechanism to deal with the hurt of the abuse. It would seem that this girl has struggled with drug use as a form of self medication to drown out the pain of her past.

Or it could be a number of other factors. What is the point of speculating about that? I could just as easily say, "this is just a dope-head looking for a payday" couldn't I? PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT SAYING THAT! But why speculate about this at all?

Leah Hayes wrote:
Telling a man to stop abusing his child is not enough.

And you know for sure that this is exactly what happened?

Here is some statistical evidence that victims of sexual abuse are more likely to become involved in drug use and other destructive behaviors. When we see that behavior in the victims of abuse, it shouldn't shock us. At some point I would not be shocked to hear someone speak about this druggy who is accusing "a good man like Phelps". Her life has issues. Abuse helps explain--not excuse some of those issues.

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

http://www.prevent-abuse-now.com/stats2.htm

Sex abuse is a crime that is on the rise inside and outside the church. When people have been personally hurt by it the tend to scream louder and longer and at the top of their lungs if and when they find their voice. Too many do not find their voice and suffer in silence. Tina didn't find her voice. Someone else stood up and spoke for her. That someone might be a bit brassy and mouthy and over the top, but God bless her, she spoke up the best way she knew how and as a result justice was served. I would agree that lots of those folks are rough around the edges. But they are trying to make a difference to help victims. When you have been decimated by someone sinning against you in such a deep personal and destructive way, most of your life is not only rough around the edges, but a bunch of torn pieces leaving you to struggle to keep it all together. I have compassion for someone like that and pray that God will put those pieces back together in a fashion stronger than they were originally and that they will be used by God to seek out and help restore others to Him that have been hurt in a similar manner.

Sexual assault is the sin that keeps on giving and giving and giving. A few stats from rainn.org link above:

Effects of Rape
Victims of sexual assault are:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

Here is another link with some stats that ought to make your heart sink. And when you go to the store, out to eat, or to church, look around and whether you realize it or not, you are encountering victims every day.
http://www.rainn.org/statistics
15 of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail

As far as just telling a man to abusing a girl not being enough. when you do marriage counseling, telling both people to be kind and outlining their Biblical responses and roles--is that enough to fix everything in a marriage that is going down the tubes? Any serious counselor will tell you no. It is the same with other additions and particularly abusive sexual additions. There needs to be a lot of accountability, discipleship and hanging in there with the person. If you could just tell someone to stop a life dominating sin and fix it then why are our churches filled with so many hurting people?

From Phelps website, I got the impression that he said he made a report, it stopped and that was it. Case closed. See point 3 from his site.

http://www.drchuckphelps.com/a-second-report.html

Quote:

1. According to reports given at the time, Cheryl was over 18 when offenses began.
2. Cheryl was 19 when the matter was brought to my attention.
3. The offenses immediately stopped after the report was made.

It is my understanding that the man in question has still been attending the church and involved in some capacity until this story broke recently. Had a proper accountability and restoration process been in place and followed through with, the church would not have had to expel the man at this time when it hit the news , but could point to documented evidence of the process that was worked through and it would or should be able to stand the light of day. He would have already been in a position of restoration long ago or expelled long ago due to unrepentant sin--that is if you are really following church discipline--which the whole point of is restoration.

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Leah, stop speculating

You can cite all the statistics you like. You can report "your understanding". But you don't KNOW.

This is just ongoing speculation.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Don, I do know that if you

Don, I do know that if you handle things properly that when the media comes around and starts asking questions about a situation you have known about for years, you don't have to kick people out of the church. If you handled it correctly, you ought to be able to stand with those people when he hard questions are asked or they ought to have been long gone. And we do know for a fact that Phelps knew about this when the girl was 19 according to him.

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you're trying to change the subject now

Leah, first, you speculate about the girl's drug problem. You don't know why she has a drug problem. Sure, it could be related to her abuse... maybe... but it's really unhelpful to speculate. You just don't know.

Second, you seem to think that Pastor Phelp's reaction is exactly as reported based, apparently, on the girl's account alone. So you speculate about his behaviour.

Now you're trying to change the subject, alleging a dismissal of the man from the church. Has that been reported? If it is true, do you know whether or not Pastor Phelps knew about the facts that brought about such a dismissal years ago or are these facts newly come to light?

I doubt whether you know the answers to these questions. That makes it just speculation.

Look, your speculation could be right. But it could also be badly wrong and by voicing it you could be contributing to falsely damaging someone else's reputation. Would you like someone to do that to you?

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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Phelps according to Phelps

Phelps according to Phelps website knew about the abuse years ago. He says he made a report and it stopped. His lack of additional information makes it appear that he reported, it stopped and nothing more was done. If he did more, he is not offering that in his active defense of himself. He does have a website and a lawyer and is actively putting out information to defend himself.

I have been told that the person was active in the congregation until recently when this surfaced.

If you handle something properly, you ought to be able to say, yes congregant xyz was involved in this, we have worked through it with them, this is what that process looks like, here is what was done, we are all sinners in need of restoration and forgiveness, here is how this has played out and this person is part of our body and we stand with them especially at a time like this when their life is under media scrutiny--in fact come on in and let us show you how the church deals with sin and what the redeeming forgiving grace of Jesus looks like and how it works in real life. There is a passage that lists all sorts of sins and says and such were some of you.... Here is how that played out in real life.... When people come to know Jesus and live out the Gospel--it changes everything.

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As far as Cheryl's drug abuse

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Woman-says-NH-pastor-ignore...

Her uncle seems to think there is a connection between her drug abuse and the sexual abuse she suffered. He is an eye witness to her behavior and lifestyle as he and his wife took her in.

Quote:

Cheryl now has a criminal record related to a drug addiction and she now lives in a halfway house in Merced, Calif., where she's on probation.

Her uncle Robert Sheffield, of Big Sandy, Texas, blames the abuse for her problems.

"It's not a pretty picture," he said. "And it irritates me no end because I know why."

I don't think my conclusion based on stats and family testimony in a documented public source such as the Stamford Advocate, as well as my own counseling experience caused me to make an unthinkable leap or wild speculation.

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pretty much yes

Leah Hayes wrote:
If you handle something properly, you ought to be able to say, yes congregant xyz was involved in this, we have worked through it with them, this is what that process looks like, here is what was done, we are all sinners in need of restoration and forgiveness, here is how this has played out and this person is part of our body and we stand with them especially at a time like this when their life is under media scrutiny--in fact come on in and let us show you how the church deals with sin and what the redeeming forgiving grace of Jesus looks like and how it works in real life. There is a passage that lists all sorts of sins and says and such were some of you.... Here is how that played out in real life.... When people come to know Jesus and live out the Gospel--it changes everything.

THIS. Though I probably wouldn't be that volunteering at the outset, but I certainly wouldn't hide and try to deflect scrutiny when it finally came...if it finally came. Ostensibly there wouldn't be lengthy scrutiny and a chorus of people calling for your job if you did everything correctly in the first place. Not saying there wouldn't be any - law enforcement should check to verify everything was done correctly - but investigators have better things to do than chase innocents around.