Child Molestation and Abuse: Ron Israel ~ Allowed to quietly resign from Dallas Alliance
This account of child abuse in the C&MA is one of the most moving testimonies I have ever seen! I am grateful to Catherine Darnell for informing me. I am honored to help her remember Beverly Shellrud Thompson and help her get the word out to warn the rest of the Body of Christ. The C&MA is now notorious for both child abuse as well as abusing its own local churches by suing them and then seizing their church properties by force. These accounts and court reports are posted on our website as well.
Ron Israel ~ Allowed to quietly resign from Dallas Alliance!
Updated Oct 05, 2012
Shared via my friend Beverly Shellrude Thompson ~
In the documentary All God’s Children my sister, Marilyn Shellrude Christman, talks about being raped by a dorm parent at Mamou. Marilyn reported to the C&MA that Ron Israel is the dorm parent who raped her. We have been pleading since 1999 for the Christian and Missionary Alliance leaders in Colorado Springs, in the Pacific Northwest District and at Dallas Alliance to remove him from leadership in order to protect vulnerable children and the elderly from him.
Only recently has he been forced to resign (he was not fired, he was allowed to resign). He is still on staff of your church until Monday, October 1, 2012.
My sister, Marilyn Shellrude Christman, died September 6 of a brain tumor. There was no justice for her. Beverly Shellrude Thompson, Marilyn’s sister.
Learn more about their story here: https://www.facebook.com/allgodschildren
Catherine Darnell The Dallas Alliance Church Facebook page has removed the above content and any comments of support. I have also been blocked from the page for standing with Bev and showing support. I have copyied and pasted the comments that I was able to capture before it was taken down.
Catherine Darnell Maureen Hughes-Phillips (friends with Andrew Schmutzer) also commented on Beverly Shellrude Thompson’s recommendation. Maureen wrote: “If you read Bev’s statement, you have a decision to make. Will you demand accountability or say it doesn’t matter because he is resigned?”
Catherine Darnell Ann Nesmith Beardslee commented on your link. Ann wrote: “Bev, Howard and I remember our trip in 2005 with you and Marilyn to Colorado Springs to plead once again for the MKs who had been abused in Alliance boarding schools. When Marilyn told her story (once again) we were encouraged by the promise of the Alliance officials. They said they believed her and would take action and the Dallas Alliance Church would be informed about Ron Israel. We have not heard of any action – no justice. Marilyn’s death pains us deeply.”
Tim W Callaway inaction is action
Linda M. Fossen Makes me want to puke to see that Ron Israel is the visitation pastor – that means he is going to homes all the time – homes with children in them! And to think that Marilyn fought since 1999 and never saw justice. Dear God, what is it going to take for the church to wake up! Those who have kept him all these years will have to answer to God for this. It is a travesty!!
Annette Anderson It’s now up to the people to hold their leadership accountable to moral, ethical, and biblical standards. And it is an absolute violation of each of these principles to allow a child rapist a roll in church leadership. How many years has he had access to innocent people, based on his role and the implied trust that came with it? How ashamed this institution must be that they withheld justice to children and violated God’s word for so many years. And if they’re not ashamed now, they will be. Rip, Marilyn, we will NEVER forget you!
Kristi Kernal When will the people stand up for what is righteous, true, Biblical, and God-honoring, when their leaders continue to refuse to?? You can’t tell me that this or any other organization like it would continue to exist if the people who fund it cut off funding. The problem then appears to run even deeper (idolatry) when a people who claim Christ elevate, submit to, and remain more loyal to their leadership than Christ and His Word. Lord, have mercy.
Maribeth Wright Curry How horrendous and how sad. Jesus, where are you? When a group purports to represent God to the world and says their mission is to bring people to Jesus and then does it on the backs of the innocent children of the missionaries, they will face God’s judgement. So many have completely lost their faith, many have died- some of alcoholism and other addictions because they cannot bear the pain inflicted by the C&MA- it’s heinous that nothing has been done in 14 years- no promises kept. I will be telling everyone I know not to support the C&MA Luke 17:2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
Vivian Palmer Harvey PEOPLE STAND UP! MKS, STAND UP! CHRIST, BRING JUSTICE!>>>DO WHAT NEEDS DONE! NO EXCUSES! NO DENIAL! These women are MY PEERS! They ARE MY Sisters! I GREW UP in THAT SCHOOL too! MY sister Gayle DIED an alcoholic before her 60th birthday..just about 4 years ago.
Morven Roberts Baker Why isn’t this in Newsweek or a similar editorial piece. This is outrageous. Does Christianity Today know about this? I don’t believe there is a statute of limitations on rape. What can we do?
Dale Ingraham Sad to say this is not the exception in Christian circles but rather it seems to be the norm. I have a few thoughts on this discussion. I agree with all of you that we need to change things. We can ‘force’ change. We have tried pleading and reasoning to no avail. In almost every case of abuse where a ‘Christian’ organization is covering it up, we have the power, as members and supporters, to force change. We are all now connected to hundreds and even thousands of other Christians who are members of churches that support these mission boards. We must organize in our prayers and efforts. If our church leaders will not deal with abuse, then lets demand that they do and if they don’t then we need to replace them with leaders who will. If we are too far out numbered then lets start churches that will deal with this issue. If churches stopped funding mission boards, they would change over night. We need to get the media involved wherever we can. The more public pressure the better. IF WE CAN’T CHANGE OUR LEADER’S HEARTS THEN WE CAN CHANGE OUR LEADERS. If we can do this in a few churches and mission boards, it would give us momentum for doing in others. I would like to know what you guys think. Let’s put our minds together on this.
Leila Bolster Is is hard for me to understand how he could possibly allow that man to even attend his church let alone visit people. Does he want to happen to him what happened to Penn State or that Oklahoma church where children were raped. The staff are being held liable. I guess Missionary kids are expendable in my observation. They have no parents to protect them as they are busy doing the Lord’s work, so they have to tough it out.
Leila Bolster You can certainly forward my comments as a Missionary’s Kid. I can see what the attitude of the C& MA is to MK’s by their very tolerance of Ron Israel. Imagine raping a child at boarding school with nowhere to turn in a foreign country where no law protects her. Then when she is grown up ignoring her testimony like it never happened. I cannot believe how far Christian leaders take forgiveness without consequences. Even King David had consequences for his sins although forgiven still punished and not absolved from responsibility.
Leila Bolster Here is the MK curse on Ron Israel: May Ron Israel’s vitals shrink up and his digestion back up and may he never have a minute’s peace until he is removed from all contact with people aka imprisoned for life with people who have the same respect for personal space that he had.
Leila Bolster Morven Roberts Baker people get away with abusing MK’s on the mission field because the laws of that land do not protect them and there is no recourse to their own country as the crime did not happen there. When the church that sent that perpetrator out to the field does not listen to the accusations made about their actions, even our own church does not protect us and give us some form of justice. It makes us wonder if God even cares or saw what happened to us. We wonder why we were born. We are expedable.
Kristi Kernal Precious Leila, He saw and He HATED it. Every second of everything that happened to you and the others that caused you pain, He saw and He cared about. I am so convinced of it personally that it is the primary reason why I give the remaining breaths of my life to fight it, and to support survivors. I am so incredibly sorry for the harm and horror you have endured, and the compounded pain from the betrayal of your leaders. May God bring them to their senses and to genuine repentance.
Dale Ingraham Kristi, I feel the same way about giving whatever time I have left for this cause.
Vivian Palmer Harvey “they” wonder why missionary kids leave the faith of their parents: And why such a rift between many missionary parents and child develop.. And they lay the blame at the feet of the lambies..those used for pleasure and abuse..used as “currency”, as one of my dear peers states in the dvd, All Gods Children, for the spread of the gospel.. the “good” news. And they wonder why GOD becomes a split personality, a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde to many children..because of the contradictions and explanations why we children ended up in such a hellish place; used to cover up the real story.
Beverly Shellrude Thompson Leila, it has been very intense and dark for me since yesterday when I heard that Ron Israel had been allowed to resign, and was still on staff until Oct. 1. Your MK curse on him was my first laugh of the last 36 hours…..it is so very fitting for him. Maybe with this attention on the C&MA they will be forced to do an investigation into the two schools he was a dorm parent in as well contacting every family in the Dallas Alliance Church that he visited (hard to fathom that he was actually the Visitation Pastor!). Many thanks to you all for your outrage – I find some comfort in it.
Vivian Palmer Harvey Cath, please use everything you find helpful of my posts.. My sister Gayle Sue never had counseling. she married an abusive man, told me it was ok that he slapped her so hard, because she deserved it. And she idolized the folks, but never apparently resolved the “why” of their abandonment of her ( and the rest of us). And in my religious fervor to seek answers before her death.. I added to her burden with religious and hypocritical teachings as to “why” she was suffering.. So desperate to find my own answers, I gobbled up any teaching that really put the blame BACK on us kids..the Word of Faith gobbledy-gook..which lays blame at the feet of the victim..because “if only..they had faith to believe…then…” So.. THINK before spreading this stuff..it destroys lives
Dale Ingraham Vivian, I heard something on our Christian radio station yesterday that made me so angry I had to Faith up and vent. It was a type of skit, where a group of people were trying to diagnose someone’s condition. One person said “I think that it is all of the social ill’s such as sexual abuse” etc. Then another male voice says “No that is just a symptom.” then he discovered ‘poison’ around the victim’s heart and another voice chimes in and says ” This is self worship”. Then I think it was (I won’t say her name be
Dale Ingraham I hit the enter button too quick
Dorothea Dantouze Well, as of right now, his name is still on their website. I wonder how many Dallas children he has molested?http://www.dallasalliance.org/Prelim/Welcome.html
Vivian Palmer Harvey Wow, pastor…may these individuals reap the results of their counter attack. it is nothing short of a great Evil, death-words..worsened because no one will go past this sticking point..it’s so much easier to blame the victim..After all.. “isn’t GOD on their side?
Dale Ingraham Then a voice came on and talked about how bitterness can harm us! I wanted to scream. These idiots make light of abuse but oh how they worry about bitterness. They were saying that this victim who may have been abused, was suffering… not from abuse but from self-worship.51 minutes ago
Vivian Palmer Harvey GAH!!!!!!!!!!
Dorothea Dantouze This is Ron Israel’s fate! God will deal with him and all those who cover his sins! Mark 9:42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
Dale Ingraham One of the studies that we use in our material states that the average offender has 117 victims.
Kristi Kernal Dale, this is exactly what I was thinking about today as I considered all of this. Those in leadership are so many times passing on teaching that encourages the silence and inaction coming from the average church goer, so that he or she feels shame for taking a stand!!! They get labled, “bitter, trouble makers, unforgiving, etc.” I think that much of the problem for the perpetuation of this grievious sin in our churches (unchallenged by church people!!) is because of wrong teaching that they’ve received.
Kristi Kernal Catherine Darnell and Dale Ingraham….is it permissable to repost Catherine’s original post on this thread…the information from Beverly Thompson
Dorothea Dantouze I think that there is recourse in the law with the “Alien Tort Act”! I think that if the Alliance is still protecting this rapist, then they need to be SUED!!! Tomorrow, there is a court case being argued in the Supreme Court. The crimes were committed in Nigeria. There is legal recourse. Here is information about the case. I think it is time to bring the Alliance to a COURT house and expose them! The Supreme Court case to be argued on Monday: “Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. is a lawsuit brought against Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., Shell Transport & Trading Co., Plc, and its wholly owned subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC). The suit was brought on behalf of the late Dr. Barinem Kiobel – an outspoken Ogoni leader and eleven other Nigerians from the Ogoni area of the Niger Delta. The putative class action sought damages and other relief for crimes against humanity, including torture and extrajudicial executions, and other international law violations committed with defendants’ assistance and complicity between 1992 and 1995 against the Ogoni people.” http://www.ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/kiobel42 minutes ago · Like · 1
Dorothea Dantouze The Federal Judiciary Act (1789) is the document that the corporations want to shred with their “Corporation” favoring Supreme Court Justices!!! This web site has the original documents of other important documents as well. Be in prayer tomorrow about this case. The Alliance is a corporation and can be sued. It is time to sue. I was abused by a C&MA missionary as well. http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=12&page=pdf39 minutes ago · Like · 1
Dale Ingraham I am preaching through Revelations on Sunday morning and I will spending some time talking about ‘The great Wine Press of the wrath of God’. This is one of the most gruesome scenes in all of the Bible. Jesus in His rage and fury at the evil of man ( This no doubt will include those who rape and molest children) will trample the dead bodies of those who gathered and thrown into the valley(wine press). Revelation 14:19-20 and 19:15
Dale Ingraham Dorothea, your right. We must use every means at our disposal to deal with offenders and protect children.
Linda M. Fossen I am disgusted that once again another church has seen fit to be a safe haven for a sexual predator and has left a victim out in the cold. It is why the church has become so irrelevant to many of us who have been abused. We know the church all too often will save face, protect the perps and silence the victims. It is appalling that the Dallas Alliance Church would fit into this category. By allowing Ron Israel the dignity of resigning you have given him the dignity which was not afforded to his victim. I am ashamed to even call you a church – what you really are is a safe house for pedophiles.
Brandi Wood Vinson Heartbreaking and maddening….weeping and ANGRY with no words…..God please save us from our own hypocrasy!
Boz Tchividjian I never had the opportunity to meet Marilyn, but she has been a hero of mine for years…she taught me much about stepping forward in truth regardless of the consequences. One way we can honor this hero is to step forward and demand justice for this perpetrator…regardless of the consequences. Each day the light of truth is not shining brightly on this offender is a day where lives of little ones are in grave danger. Perhaps we can brainstorm as a group about what we can do to start shining that light and how to make it as bright as possible. Thanks you, Catherine for sharing this with us. Beverly – thank you for all that you do to carry truth forward.
Sally Petty I like the idea of throwing out the leaders that ignore such things and starting over. They are not following God’s leading. So, Dale, how do you propose to start satelite churches with this in mind?
Tim W Callaway 2 When the LORD first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,* so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the LORD and worshiping other gods.” 3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.4 And the LORD said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence.5 I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.” 6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—’Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them.7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the LORD their God.” 8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son.9 And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi—’Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.
Tim W Callaway perhaps it is time for HOSEA & GOMER: Part Deux – curious, not to mention immoral, that corresponding confession does not receive the same profile as the initial sin; if God once denounced spiritual waywardness by unleashing one caught up in sexual perversion on his people, is it too much to think that perhaps the day is coming when he will denounce sexual perversion by unleashing spiritual waywardness/fruitlessness/irrelevance on his people; or, perhaps, he already has!?!?
Leila Bolster Vivian Palmer Harvey I always called that the “Happy Jesus Bandaid”. It is what people who do not have a clue say to “comfort” you in your sorrow and abandonment. Or else they get very curious and want all the spurious details. Thus they force you to relive the horror again to satisfy their curiosity. My relationship with God is my own. I do not need anyone to tell me how to worship Him and relate to Him. He was there when the parents were not. That is enough for me.
Leila BolsterAnyone know anyone who lives in Dallas? Forward this information to them. Start the truth mill going about Ron Israel. So far there have been theories, we need positive action. Expressions of shock and horror are not enough. Call the local newspapers and spread the shocking news — Another church ignores a child molester and so he rocks on. Flood the church email with letters of shock and disgust. Keep them busy deleting emails so that they eventually get the message.
Shary Kroeker Hauber Have the local authorities been informed? Even if they can not do anything it they should be informed in case someone local filed a complaint.
Annette Anderson As a Dallas resident, I have two questions for the leadership of CMA: Over the past 12 years, my children have attended a preschool across the street from your church. How can you assure me that mine, or any of the hundreds of children passing through over the years, have been safe while you’ve harbored, employed, and even endorsed an alleged child rapist? Secondly, I work for the local school district, and if any of our employees were thought to have any history of impropriety (let alone a history of extreme violence) with children, they’d be immediately removed, with the foremost safety of others (particularly children) in mind. Why has your institution disregarded the basic standards that we expect everywhere else?
Diana K. Wagner Stooshnov I am not an MK but I was once a young girl attending a church, who was molested by a Pastor. My heart just breaks every time I hear of another Preacher allowed to stand above everyone else with a child’s blood on his hands. Every time you agree with amen, call him brother, raise him up in prayer, allow him to maintain his stature with your people in your church, you are giving him permission to choose another child to be used for his gratification from your church. This has to stop and because God has asked you to protect his littlest ones. Your head should be hanging in shame when you turn the littlest of your congregation over to the devious devotion of the devil in sheeps clothing. Pray for your soul for what you are allowing to happen and make the change God expects you to make….because every time you allow this to happen the blood is on your hands, it is on your pulpit, it is on every Deacon’s hands in your church. It is not Jesus Blood. It is the blood of the devil, the most viscious kind you will ever encounter. Man up and don’t allow a child rapist to lead your flock.
Kristi Kernal Nice job Catherine. I will write a letter later today. We need to put them on notice that there is a growing number of people watching.
Kristi Kernal Another thought is that the media won’t automatically cover another CSA case, but there are ways to create news, ie picket signs etc.
Andrew Schmutzer Kristi, is there a way that interested parties could sign their name to your letter? That might help.
Dale Ingraham We should compile a list of reporters who have done reports or articles on abuse and contact them to see if they would be willing to work with survivors and advocates to further expose abuse.
Dale Ingraham I would be willing to make the contacts.
Vivian Palmer Harvey What about “60 Minutes “, they just completed an interview with Arnold Schwartzenegger, pretty detailed
Kristi Kernal Could I get names and addresses of where to send a group letter for those interested? Thank you!
Leila Bolster I like this positive forward motion. I sent a personal email to the pastor. I will send him a letter every week until the man is no longer allowed to enter the church and serve there.
Kristi Kernal Leila can you get us any names and contact info? Message me if you feel more comfortable?? Thank you.
Leila Bolster [email protected]
Kristi Kernal @Dale…I have made a concerted effort along with OAASIS in general to develop relationships with media people here in Portland and gain them as our allies. We have a few who’ve asked us to keep them in the loops with our work, and I reach out to them regularly. Sometimes we’ll get help with coverage because of it but I often try to “help” them see why the topic is currently relevant and newsworthy. Bear in mind that jerry Sandusky should be sentenced somewhere around the second week of this month. We are already trying to capitalize on that locally. If you reach out to your local media with this story and suggest that it’s an opportunity to shine a local light on this issue they might bite.
Vivian Palmer Harvey Last week Dr. Phil program focused on Sandusky and his sex crimes life style, those at his home and at school..and two survivors who testified..It’s worth a shot Dr. Phil program emphasizes documentation and accuracy..very thorough investigative work.
Kristi Kernal Have there been any convictions in these cases? Another approach you can take on this issue in general is around statute of limitation reform. Many states got busy on that issue after the Sandusky story broke. If there are survivors in this case who were shut out of the court system because the sol’s on their case expired, that’s another possible angle to get some exposure. I try to take any opportunity with the media to talk about prevention because the reality is that people probably care about your story, but they REALLY care that it doesn’t happen to their kid. You have to consider what’s in it for the public–why should or would they care? I hope this isn’t insensitive to survivors, but I’ve learned with both the media and politicians you have to kind of play by their rules. : (. Not in unethical ways, but just in being aware of what drives them.
Vivian Palmer Harvey RE these questions concerning the Dr. Phil program, it would be best to ask him and his staff>
Kristi Kernal Dr Drew Pinsky (?) also gives regular coverage to this issue.
Vivian Palmer Harvey That is also a great program!
Annette Anderson Catherine, I know a couple City Council members, Jackie Lawson and Beth Jones, who would may be interested in knowing about this. It should be noted that when Bob Fetherlin (National spokesperson for the CMA) stated that the leaders in our faith community would be contacted and made aware of the child rape allegations made against Ron Israel, this was likely never happened (My own pastor of 12 years had never heard of this, nor had any long time Elders).
Annette Anderson Here is a contact link http://www.polkio.com/forms/form.aspx?id=DIOAboutUsPolk County Itemizer-Observerwww.polkio.comWelcome to the online edition of the Polk County Itemizer-Observer – covering Da
Boz Tchividjian The “Protect Act” allows for the prosecution of US citizens who sexually victimize children overseas. The challenge in this case will undoubtedly be expiration of the statute of limitations. Am working now on an article that will address the need for “mandated reporting” for US citizens abroad who have reason to suspect the abuse of a child…having something like this in place could have stopped this abuse and brought it to the attention of the authorities…and today it would be prosecuted under the Protect Act. This tragedy is a classic example of why changes in the law are so necessary…we need to be prepared to share this situation (and the too many others just like it) when we lobby for statute of limitations reform (for the Protect Act) and for an international mandated reporting system. Just some thoughts as Marilyn’s legacy becomes the impetus for much change…and justice.
Beverly Shellrude Thompson Dr. Gary Benedict, President [email protected] My father told Gary Benedict about Ron Israel assaulting Marilyn many, many years ago. Bob Fetherlin, vice-president [email protected] Note: Bob Fetherlin has been aware of the many allegations re. Ron Israel for more than 15 years, and has stonewalled repeated calls for an investigation. Johnathan G. Schaeffer, C&MA Board Chair [email protected] Mr. Stumbo, District Superintendent of the District that Dallas Alliance Church is in, and is responsible for the local churches: [email protected]
Vivian Palmer Harvey Can Fetherlin be indicted for interference, obstruction, or a similar act?
Beverly Shellrude Thompson The names and e-mails I just posted are leaders in the C&MA that have power to open an independant investigation. Bob Fetherlin has stonewalled investigations into at least six C&MA schools. Gary Benedict has continued in the tradition of his predecessor, Peter Nanfeldt, and has refused to both protect churches from missionaries who are known predators and to open independant investigations into allegations of abuse. Johnathan Schaeffer is fairly new on the scene (at least to me) and I suspect might have some integrity (haven’t actually seen it in action, but I saw a shawdow of integrity in my dealings with him) . I don’t know Mr. Stumbo, but it was under his leadership that Ron Israel was forced to resign. Now, he needs to follow up with an investigation at Dallas Alliance. Stumbo, the District Superintendent, needs to ensure that while Ron Israel was Minister of Visitation he did not abuse children, the elderly or other vulnerable people.
Dale Ingraham The following is an email that I just sent out to two of the contacts that Beverly just gave us. My name is Dale Ingraham and I pastor an independent Baptist church in the Corning, NY area. My wife and I founded ‘Speaking Truth in Love Ministries’ in 2008 to deal with the sexual abuse that is tearing apart our churches. This issue is not a Baptist, Catholic or even a CMA issue, it is a sin issue and is prevalent in all denominations. If we don’t stop this evil, it will effectively stop us and our efforts to reach the world. Many of the pastors who went to Bible College with us are now CMA pastors. I am familiar with many the abuse stories and victims who were raped and molested in countless mission boarding schools. I am also aware of the numerous attempts by multiple denominational leaders to cover up this abuse. God will judge, all those who abuse and who cover it up, most harshly. Allowing a sexual predator to resign or retire without being turned over to law to face their crimes is in fact reprehensible. We can wash our hands of any responsibility but in the end we will still have to give an account to God as to why we did nothing. You are in a position to do something about abuse and to help bring justice to the oppressed. There needs to be an independent investigation to determine the extent of the abuse and all those who are responsible for covering it up. I am convinced that this issue alone has the potential to destroy whole denominations. Only those who are willing to humble themselves and deal honestly and openly will have a chance to survive.
Dale Ingraham….http://speakingtruthinlove.orgSpeaking Truth in Lovespeakingtruthinlove.orgSpeaking Truth in Love Ministries addresses the difficult issues of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence within the body of Christ.
Kristi Kernal Friends, I apologize…I forget that this happened overseas. Great information, Boz, and I’d love to be a part of lobbying for reform & for an internationally mandated reporting system, when that day comes.
Andrew Schmutzer Boz, let me throw my hat in, too. Let me know how I can be a part of your lobby, with signature, whatever.
Morven Roberts Baker Me too! Whatever we can do to contribute.
Dale Ingraham I think that if we could find ‘one’ church, mission board or Christian organization that would be willing to do whatever it takes to hold offenders accountable and minister to the victims in a kind and loving way and that would allow us to be a part of that process, that it would open other doors. In answer to your question about how we would start satellite churches. What I would propose first of all, is for victims and advocates and those willing to take a stand, that they unite together and bring about change from within their church or mission board, but if they are too few in number to either convince or replace their leadership then I think it is time to start a new church or find one that is already dealing with this issue. There would be many pit-falls that would have to be avoided. Dealing with abuse would not be the sole purpose of the church. It would need to be a Christ centered, Bible believing church with one of it’s main goals being to reach out to those who have been abused. I know that many abusive churches ‘claim’ to be Christ centered but they obviously are not. I would like to see a group of us sit down and draw up a ‘model’ of what a true Christ centered church would look like and how it would function in todays world. The next step would be to find a location and a ‘situation’ where enough Christians were willing to break with the status-quo and establish a new church that would speak the truth about abuse and how to help those who are hurt by it and will hold those who abuse others accountable. Once a well balanced and effective church is established then that can be used as a model to start other churches. The goal is not so much to start new churches but to effect change within the Church as a whole. I think that there needs to be a ‘revolt’ of sorts within the Church. If we don’t draw a line in the sand, nothing will change. I don’t mean this to be an indictment of all church leadership but the truth is that many of them are deliberately ignoring this issue. I think that for every person that attends church there are two who have left because of issues like this. I have a burden to reach those who have given up on the church because they have been abandoned by it. It may be a crazy and unworkable idea but for whatever reason it has been on my heart for a while.
Leila Bolster Catherine, I am impressed at the way this has taken a life and is moving forward. Covering up the abuses at MK schools is not really working as many MK’s have written books about it. They have made films about it. Perhaps a good thing would be to take Beverly’s movies “All God’s Children” and have your friend in Dallas have showings of it around the city and especially make a point of inviting members of Dallas Alliance Church to attend it and see it. Then explain concerns about Ron Israel and his part in torturing all these kids under his care. Another item of thought would be to have a literary article sent to the local paper about the book and mention that the house parent from that school resides in their town.
Beverly Shellrude Thompson Catherine, you said, “I have been feeling so down recently, as little progress has been made with Prairie. Sometimes you really wonder if the effort makes any difference at all!” My sense of failure is deep, and sometimes takes the form of shame, that after the investigation into Mamou (which wrapped up 16 years ago!) the C&MA has not allowed an investigation into even one of their other schools, even though I and others lobbied for investigations. So much senseless energy has gone into both working for reform and for even a modicum of justice. On the bright side, the synergy you and others have created on this site is wonderful and hopeful.
Dale Ingraham I want to thank you for your e-mail and for your much needed ministry. The C&MA takes every allegation of abuse very seriously. The C&MA has taken proactive steps to provide resources to our local churches to help them in the critical mission of protecting children and vulnerable adults including a book first published by the C&MA in 1997 entitled Safe Place. Over the past 15 years, the C&MA has made great strides in its efforts to address this devastating sin. The C&MA has changed the policies and procedures which govern all of those working with and around children, to which all of our international workers must subscribe. All of our international workers are required to receive training in child safety and protection in our efforts to prevent abuse or abusive situations. There is a dedicated web page which provides information on the C&MA’s efforts to address the issue of child safety and protection both in the U.S. and overseas. I encourage you to review this page and its contents as it reflects the C&MA’s commitment to address the issue of abuse without compromise: http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/child-safety/
As a part of our denominational gathering every two years, our Board-appointed Sensitive Issues Consultative Group meets to review current policy and procedures and, if necessary recommend revisions to address current needs and issues in the area of child safety. The issue of child abuse is such a concern to me that I led a seminar on child safety and protection at the C&MA’s 2011 General Council.
If you are aware of anyone who has direct knowledge of sexual abuse perpetrated by a C&MA international worker while overseas, please encourage them to make a report to one of the individuals on the C&MA’s web page or to their local civil authority. If someone you know is aware that sexual abuse has occurred in the U.S. related to a C&MA worker or member, please encourage them to report it to the appropriate civil authority. The C&MA takes every accusation seriously and will initiate an investigative process to substantiate each and every claim of abuse. With that said, please understand that the C&MA can only take ecclesiastical action against an accused. The C&MA is committed to reporting to civil authorities but only the civil authorities can proceed with criminal charges.
I hope this is helpful. If you have further questions or information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Timothy W. Cummings
General Counsel/Assistant Corporate Secretary
The Christian and Missionary Alliance
Dale Ingraham The above email is the response that I received from Tim and Jonathan who with I intend to reply to this email but would like to able to be very specific. It seems like I am seeing a ‘trend’ where ministries want to ‘wipe’ the slate clean and just start over. They pretend like there is nothing they can do about the past. Previous victims are ignored. These ministries come out with statements that sound good but completely abandon the victims.
Leila Bolster Yes, the wipe the slate clean policy is their response to it is it not? I am glad that they have new policies but again why is a known predator allowed to minister in one of their churches? That question has not yet been answered.
Beverly Shellrude Thompson Dale, your wonderfully succinct comment that they want to “to ‘wipe’ the slate clean and just start over” is so very accurate. More on that tomorrow, as well as fact-checking the letter written re. the history of Ron Israel and Marilyn’s reporting of him, and regarding the C&MA’s “new” policies. Had a long day and am going to bed now, but wanted to write something quickly tonight. The C&MA is a full member of the Child Safety Protection Network (CSPN)http://childsafetyprotectionnetwork.org/member-agencies, and as such follows CSPN guidelines for reporting abuse. CSPN has about 40 member agencies, either mission agencies and denominations, or agencies with a direct link to evangelical mission groups. One of the very problematic policies of CSPN is that when someone within a member agency reports an allegation of abuse, the abuse allegation is investigated by a team from one of CSPN’s member agencies. So although the abuse allegation is not investigated by someone within the accused perpetrator’s mission, it is investigated by a person or team from within the mission community. CSPN, and member agencies such as the C&MA, call this an “independent investigation”. The evangelical mission community easily falls within the definition of a “closed system”; investigations into abuse by the C&MA and other agencies are in fact not independent. It does indeed appear as if the C&MA wants to wipe the slate clear and start over. For decades they have heard unofficial and official reports of abuse not only at Mamou but at their other schools/dormatories as well: e.g. Quito Alliance, Dalat, Zamboanga Alliance. Sentani, Bongolo Academy, Ivory Coast Academy. The victims from those schools need a chance to report the abuse they experienced to an Independent Investigation. In addition, victims also need to receive adequate funding for therapy (I believe the amount currently given is under $3,000). Timothy Cummings is a lawyer and clearly knows that it is not possible to bring criminal charges against many of our perpetrators. But the C&MA, and other denominations, should assume the moral responsibility of protecting children and other vulnerable people from perpetrators who were once their employees. One critical step in this moral responsibility is to fund an Independent Investigation into allegations of sexual and physical assault. Internal Investigations are totally inadequate. And minimizing their responsibility because of current laws which do not allow for prosecution of their employees who commit crimes against children while overseas is also totally inadequate.Approved (Full) Member Agencieschildsafetyprotectionnetwork.org
Another great resource:
PREDATORS IN OUR PULPITS:
Does your pastor fit the following criteria?
Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.
Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.
The group/leader is always right.
The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.