- I bought the unfinished base at Lowes, distressed it, added beadboard on the sides and toe kick, gave it two feet, and painted it with a flat black primer/paint. The counter-top on the bar is made from a leftover piece of cedar deck lumber that was too warped to use for its original purpose. It was exactly what I wanted for the counter-top, so I claimed it before my husband could use it for something else. I decided not to polyurethane it after discovering it’s a fantastic place for hot dishes and baked goods straight out of the oven. The cedar tolerates a higher heat than my cutting boards. Top 28″ X 41″
- The cubbies were created mainly from leftover wood in our garage except for some specialty trim pieces. Measures 6″ X 22″ X 30″.
- Open box for decorations 6″ X 9″ X 18″.
- Side view 6″ depth. Popcorn cubby 6 3/4″ X 7″. 6 identical cubbies are 4 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ and hold 2 types of oatmeal, apple cider packets, cocoa packets, and Folgers singles packets. Popcorn bag cubby 4″ X 11″.
- Cubbies are for decorations and framed artwork.
- An organizer for food and drink disposable products.
- Flavored syrups for Italian iced drinks, an idea I gleaned from my friend Gina. We use crushed ice, sparkling water or soda/pop, with a few syrup shots, topped with whip cream, enjoyed with a drinking straw. Chrome/silver urn is a Berkey water filter and is the best filter on the market. It removes 200+ contaminants while leaving the minerals in the water. No other filter does this, including reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis removes the minerals causing health problems. Berkey is like having FIGI brand water available 24/7 from your kitchen.
- For the distressed beadboard, I rubbed candle wax in some of the groves and on some of the tree knots (beadboard, doors, drawers, and cubby shelving). After the flat black primer paint dried, I sanded with 320 grit sandpaper to remove paint from the candle waxed areas.
- These are Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits for topping off your favorite hot cocoa. Knowing I would want these, my friend Marcia texted me a picture when she spotted them in a grocery store.
- William Sonoma no longer sells this 3 tier tray. If you type ‘3 tier wood serving tray ‘ into Amazon you will find several other options.
- Christmas décor. I change decorations seasonally and for holidays. I keep small dishes on the 2nd tier for creamer, sugar, and sweetener packets.
- Extra supplies: Tea, coffee, Chai Tea Latte, Cocoa, Cappuccino, lemonade, mugs, hot and cold carafes, drink pitchers, and toppings/sprinkles for hot drinks.
- Pull out drawer with a variety of tea bags, loose tea, and loose tea utensils. I use a bamboo utensil holder turned sideways to organize tea bags.
- Pull out drawer for popcorn seasonings. Our home is often a hangout for groups of teen boys, so having accessible snacks on hand is a must.
The Church’s Mandate to Comfort and Protect For Such a Time as This
This is in response to the MBC Pathway’s Facebook page regarding media attention to SBC predator, Shawn Davies, being released from prison after serving about 12 of 20 years for molesting at least 13 victims in Missouri, Kentucky and Michigan. He was released in July 2019, and is currently living in Reeds Spring, Missouri. Years ago, police said that Pastor Mike Roy of FBC Greenwood, Missouri, allowed Davies to work around children at FBC Greenwood for about four months after they notified Roy that Davies was under investigation for molesting young boys at their church and other churches. Prior church employers did not give Davies good references. They said that he was addicted to porn and “didn’t work well with children.” As is common for predators in ministry, they find a friend or a church that chooses to believe them instead of the references, past churches, or victims. Mike Roy and the Greenwood church should have reasoned on the side of safety for vulnerable children.
The For Such a Time as This Rally Facebook and Twitter accounts questioned the wisdom and validity of The Missouri Baptist Convention recently appointing Mike Roy as a trustee for Southwest Baptist University. MBC leadership, in my opinion, did not react kindly to the rally’s social media postings.
Some leaders in the MBC have asserted this issue was driven by an unethical media (the Baptist Press, and others, in the below reference). It appears they have purposefully leveled allegations against the For Such a Time as This Rally founder, Cheryl Summers to deflect the seriousness of the churches’ past mistake.
Let’s read what a lead detective on the case said about Roy during the investigation:
“This is quite a large case,” Leslie told reporters. “We’re looking at some of these victims being victimized numerous times. I would really like some information from [Roy] in regard to this incident.”
The MBC is accusing Cheryl Summers of making false allegations against Mike Roy. The organization Cheryl founded, For Such a Time as This Rally, shared links which contained pertinent and truthful information as reported years earlier by other journalistic publications, yet somehow the links to the old articles have been spun as deceitful slander by an individual, Cheryl Summers. This is typical treatment from churches and leaders who are attempting to control the narrative. We have seen history rewritten on numerous occasions, by multiple churches and leaders, where sexual abuse cover-up is concerned.
If you go to MBC Pathway’s Facebook page, you can see that they wrote an article last Monday saying that Cheryl brought false allegations about the Shawn Davies abuse case at FBC Greenwood. They appear as bullies by targeting Cheryl rather than acknowledging that the post was on the rally FB page and that the rally simply linked to articles from 2006 and 2007 where the lead detective investigating abuse at FBC Greenwood said that pastor Mike Roy made their job more difficult and did not cooperate. The Missouri Baptist Convention recently appointed Mike as a trustee for Southwest Baptist University which is why this case is back in the news.
Cheryl Summers spoke to Communications Director, Rob Phillips, of Missouri Baptists who confirmed that he and John Yeats read the Pathway article before it was released and he couldn’t explain why The Pathway attributed statements by police in 2006 and 2007 to Cheryl.
Here is a clip of The Missouri Baptist Convention website. How are members and attendees supposed to seriously believe abusers are being weeded out by loving, serving and caring leadership when this is how past abuse was handled by current leadership when Mike Roy was outed as a hindrance to the investigation? If Roy wasn’t willing to protect the vulnerable back then, why should he be trusted to do so now? This is a huge issue which should disqualify him. This may be part of the reason SBC membership continues to decline.
Problems and cover-ups are part of the reason I joined the For Such a Time as This Rally the last two years. I’m grateful for Houston Chronicle journalist Robert Downen and his team who have been covering this denominational nightmare while giving victims their voice back. With the Chronicle’s Abuse of Faith coverage, and the tool of social media, the SBC’s problem is not going to fade into the background or be silenced. There are thousands of faces and voices to go with the abuses. They will not be bullied, sent away with hush money, or backed into a corner by non-disclosure agreements signed for church membership.
An open letter to the Missouri Baptist Convention,
Is it more important to lead or to listen, to strong arm or to serve? What is serving abuse survivors about?
- It is not about saving the reputation of the abuser, predator, church, or Jesus (Jesus is secure in His reputation).
- It is not about guarding every word said or not said.
- It is not about preventing a lawsuit.
- It is not about what we think or feel about an alleged abuser.
- It is not about manipulating perception.
- It is not about trying to maintain power dynamics. This is when wolves win and sheep lose.
- It is not about blindly trusting the abuser. True repentance bears fruit (Matthew 3:8) and includes restitution (Luke 19:8-9, Romans 13:8-10); not necessarily reconciliation.
- It is about eternity, people, safety, souls, healing, and salvation.
- It is about soul care.
The main focus should be soul care.
I don’t see any such care coming from your recent allegations and articles.
Placing blame on Cheryl Summers for referencing links to professionally published articles from years past is beyond disingenuous. Its slander. Your issue is not with Cheryl Summers or the For Such a Time as This Rally; it is with the original reporters. But not really, because the journalists were painfully accurate. If Roy believed law enforcement was putting out false investigative facts, and journalists were fabricating unethical stories about him, he would have taken legal action against them at the time. He didn’t. Why? Because law enforcement was not lying. It seems to me it would have been easier for Mike Roy to say, “I’m sorry, I messed up, and I know it disqualifies me from a leadership position in ministry.”
If The Baptist News was unethical or sensationalizing the original story then the MBC would have stepped in to help Roy. It was a big story back when it happened and it garnered national attention. It was also written about in Christa Brown’s 2009 book This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang; an excellent book, well written, highly engaging, and a fast read for any SBC member who would dare to open their heart and mind to the magnitude of sexual abuse in the SBC.
Please stop wrongly applying scripture to this issue in an attempt to silence survivors and advocates. We do not need to ‘go to our brother’ to get his side of the story when we want to link to what has already been reported in local and national media outlets. We are not required to verify what was published.
Advocates are ministering soul care in the name of Jesus and walking alongside the survivors as they find purposeful living after the soul crushing sexual and spiritual abuse they endured inside and outside church building walls, by their abusers who declared everything being done to them was in name of Jesus, for His glory and purpose. Devious lies straight from the pit of hell!
I hope Missouri Baptist Convention members are reading the past articles linked to by the For Such a Time as This Rally, while recognizing the current spinning and mudslinging taking place by their MBC leadership. Members, it is time to stop believing what leadership is saying and investigate for yourselves.
As for Roy and MBC leadership, a truly repentant man would own what he did, give specific apologies, and make restitution for the harm to which he contributed. Abusers are professional liars and master manipulators who justify, deny, excuse, deflect, minimize, spiritualize, and cover-up abuse. Advocates are concerned and think we are recognizing abusive behaviors from Roy and the MBC about the Davies case.
The SBC’s decade’s old problem of cover-ups and denials are the main reason predators continue to flock to and find refuge in SBC churches, and the reason innocent children and vulnerable adults continue to be easy prey for pedophiles and sexual assault perpetrators. I don’t see your accusations as caring well for abuse survivors. It doesn’t look anything like the heart of Jesus or serving the least of these. It doesn’t beckon the little children to come to Jesus. It does look like, yet again, protecting the wolves while the sheep bleed out. Instead of dealing with the people who were complicit in mishandlings or cover-ups you are bullying those who are attempting to protect the body of Christ.
Following Jesus is not about leadership dynamics, big church attendance, the next book deal, tomorrow’s media interview, or popularity. It is about serving, having a servant’s heart by showing care to the powerless among us. When we do this we are putting God’s word into practice. We can have all the right theology in the world, but if we have not the loving heart of Jesus we are missing our calling. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbors. Do we want to be Pharisees or Jesus followers?
The world places importance on money, power, education, and pleasure. When the church becomes caught up in this we become wolves in sheep’s clothing and instead of protecting the innocent, marginalized, and oppressed we can find ourselves siding with an affluent and/or smooth talking abuser.
Advocates and survivors love Jesus, love the word of God, and strive to put our love for others into action. We are exhausted from witnessing abusive behavior, cover-ups, and lack of training for how to handle abuse disclosures. It is taking a toll on our time and our health, yet we march on because we know Jesus placed us in this generation, to chase after Him, and to work with Him for such a time as this.
- If you like, call the Missouri Baptist Convention and request they not place Dr. Mike Roy on the board of trustees at Southwest Baptist University. You may also request they offer an apology to Cheryl Summers. Missouri Baptist Convention (573) 636-0400.
Follow the below links to read current and past articles on the topic…
Missouri Attorney General Urged to Investigate Baptists – Word & Way (Press Conference outside the Missouri Baptist Convention headquarters at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City, Missouri)
A Reversal of Destiny?
It has been 5 1/2 years since the disappearance of Lynn Messer. We now know that Lynn did not disappear but was in fact dead the entire time. Her husband Kerry Messer has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.
No one has been declared guilty of any wrong doing in Lynn’s death and there have been no arrests.
I write about Lynn’s case coming from a background of domestic violence, so since day one I have seen this case through a differnt lense than the general public. I’m not saying I’m right, but I am discussing possibilities of what many domestic abuse survivors and DV fatality victims have endured. I also write about this knowing that the Christian community and many churches often side with abusers and shun the victims and family members of the victims. I have spent years attempting to educate the church about wolves in sheep’s clothing. From where I stand, the Catholic, Southern Baptists, and Indepentent Fundamental Baptist churches are the worst offenders who don’t seem to be learning from past mistakes. Many knowingly keep abusers in leadership and on staff while leaving children and vulnerable adults as easy prey. They have track records of not taking abuse allegations seriously, for covering-up for abusers, and for telling survivors to stay quiet, get over it, stop doing things to make the abuser mad, and to pray harder. This advice has resulted in death for some victims.
I know Lynn’s sons and their families can attest to Lynn’s church and the Southern Baptist Convention of Missouri not believing them when they raised concerns and allegations against their father about his marriage to Lynn, about her death, and about his extra marital relationship with Spring Thomas. The church and the SBC refused to believe Lynn’s sons or do anything to hold their father accountable.
How did Lynn die? How did she arrive at the place where her remains were discovered? Were her remains hidden/moved before being discovered on the farm? Did Lynn believe her life was in danger before her death? Does Kerry Messer hold the answer to any or all of these questions? Does anyone else hold the answer to any or all of these questions? Did anyone have information about Lynn’s death? If so, did they contribute to her death, help cover-up her death, run interference regarding Lynn’s case, or agreesivly intimidate family members?
Today I am recalling words from, Pastor Pat Crisler, who spoke at Lynn Messer’s memorial service. A few phrases from the eulogy piqued my curiosity to a possibility…
“Lynn always loved education and learning new things. She later in life went on to college learning soil sciences, and agriculture which she was able to use later by serving on the local Soil and Water Board.
Lynn fell in love with foreign missions in Ecuador where she made numerous trips, made friends, and was looking forward to not only teaching and leading people to the Lord, but also was making plans to use her knowledge of soil science to help teach the indigenous people of Ecuador how to use their natural resources to better provide for their families.”
God loves to show us a reversal of fortunes/destiny. Where Lynn is concerned, I’ve thought about the possibility, prayed about it, and studied more about it since hearing the words. A couple of weeks after Lynn’s memorial service I pulled up Pat’s notes which he sent at my request and with Abram Messer’s permission. To my utter delight I found the title of Pat’s message is part of the Bible study I’ve been doing for this exact blog post.
The words from Pat’s message reminded me of something that happened in my life; a reversal of destiny.
Let me explain a bit. The reversal is called a chiastic structure and I learned about in the study, Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman written by Beth Moore.
Examples: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled. Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
To help you understand where I’m going with this; below is the title of the message and a few abbreviated points from, Pastor Pat Chrisler.
Message Title: FOR A SUDDEN, UNEXPECTED DEATH
Mark 4:35-41 (HCSB)
Wind and Wave Obey the Master
35 On that day, when evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” 36 So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” 41 And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Seeking a break from the demand of the excited crowds, Jesus took a boat, and with some of his disciples, sailed off for some rest and relaxation. Suddenly their leisure day was disrupted by a violent storm. In that sudden storm, Jesus did an astounding thing. And in that we learn some things which can help us in the light of the devastating experience we seek to navigate through based on these last two years, and in the days to come.
First of all, we are reminded although the Sovereign of the universe is on the boat, it is no guarantee against the sudden—in this case, verse 37 tells us, a sudden storm.
Second, it may appear in these sudden experiences of life, which grieve us and threaten our sense of God’s nearness and care, that God is not doing anything.
Third, we can respond like Jesus’ disciples. Fear can replace faith. Jesus did hear their cries for help. He sprang into action. He spoke, and the winds ceased and the waves curled up around His feet like submissive tigers under the voice of their trainer. He then asked a penetrating question, “Why are you so afraid?”
When the sudden comes in our lives, the Sovereign Savior is looking for us to look at him.
Sudden storms also serve to turn us to Jesus as we see in verse 38.
The Sovereign of the Sudden does something else in our storms. He will assist others—who see us coming through our assault—so they too may find blessings in the storms they are facing.
Finally, storms remind us the Sovereign of the Sudden is in control. In verse 41 the disciples were overwhelmed by what they had seen. They had a new fear: a reverential fear. They had seen Jesus, with a word, rebuke wind and waves. They were reminded the Sovereign of the Sudden is in control when everything else seems to be totally out of control.
God’s plan and purpose for Lynn and for our lives are not subject to whims, accidents, circumstances, illnesses, and evil. God works through these to bring about his will.
We are not expecting the situation we have been put into. But what we do before any event in our lives is in preparation for how we handle the event. We have two options, we can react or we can respond. When you react it is negative when you respond it is positive. God allows us the choice to handle adversity either looking at it from a worldly lens or looking at it from His perspective.
It could be sort of like if one of Lynn’s grandkids were playing on her living room floor and looked up and saw her sewing a cross-stitch. From their perspective on the floor looking up they might say, “Grandma what are you doing, you are not making any sense, it looks like a mess?” Lynn would respond by saying, “I got it, I’m making a beautiful picture.” But all the child could see from where they sit was a mess. From Lynn’s perspective she responded with “I have this; I’m making a beautiful picture.” It would not be until the grandchild would stand up and walk around the chair so they are now looking over Grandmas shoulder would they be able to see and appreciate how beautiful a creation Lynn had truly been making all this time. Often times we look up into the heavens and we say, “God what are you doing? It doesn’t make sense, I don’t understand.”
All we see from our perspective is a messed up tapestry and yet God is saying, “From My perspective I am making a beautiful picture, do you trust me?” In those moments when you can’t TRACE THE HAND OF GOD, YOU HAVE TO TRUST THE HEART OF GOD!
Pastor Crisler’s message jogged my memory
We read in the book of Esther a celebration of a reversal of destiny. Although we read nothing of God in the book of Esther, the life of Esther has the fingerprints and heart of God all over it. History shows us what Esther at the moment couldn’t see. Yet she remained obedient to what she knew to be true. This is a wise and beautiful lesson for us today. When we can’t figure out what God is doing, where He is, perhaps we can’t sense His presence and we wonder if we will ever find Him; we must remember God is there. Some day we will look back on the most important or difficult times in our life and we will see God all over it! It may look like it took months, years, or a life time for the something to happen yet we will often see it had a turning point that was sudden.
In the book of Esther, everything Haman meant for evil; for the death of Mordicai and the destruction, slaughter and annihilation of the Jews; God suddenly reversed allowing the plans to be used against Haman, and provided for His chosen people to be saved. The intervention can only be explained as a work of God.
Here are more scriptural reversals of destinies:
- Joseph’s brothers decided to harm him. They sold him to get rid of him. Joseph later sells food to his brothers to save them: Joseph’s brothers hated him and refused to listen to anymore of his, “You bow down to me dreams.” His brothers sold him to merchants on their way to Egypt. While in Egypt Joseph interpreted dreams, became 2nd in command over all of Egypt, saved his brothers, his father and their families, and the brothers bowed down before Joseph. Sold as a slave; becomes a ruler. Genesis 37-45
- Pharaoh’s horses and riders surround the Israelites at the Red Sea. The Red Sea surrounds and drowns Pharaoh’s horses and riders. Exodus 14
- King Nebuchadnezzar, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” He is driven away from people to live as a wild animal outside his kingdom. After 7 years King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. God restores Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity and kingdom to him. Daniel 4
- King Darius’ men falsely accused Daniel so Daniel would be thrown in the lion’s den to his death. God saved Daniel, and the King’s men were thrown in the lion’s den to their deaths. Daniel 6
The Book of Esther
- Queen Vashti was summoned to be seen. Suddenly she was seen no more.¹
- Haddasah an orphaned Jewish girl among the exiles; the least and the last to ever be chosen becomes the Queen of Persia; royalty, wife of King Xerxes.
- Haman who thought he had planned his own parade of honor suddenly finds himself parading around the person in his world who he hated the most; Mordicai.
- Haman builds a 75 foot high pole in which to hang Mordicai but suddenly finds himself hanged on the very pole.
- The irrevocable edict that will destroy, kill and annihilate the Jewish people and nation suddenly allows for the Jewish people to do the very same to anyone who tries to kill them.
The reversal that happened to Haman is a warning to us that vicious consequences can happen to us when planning violent acts or traps for others.
- “God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.” II Cor. 5:21
- From darkness to light: “and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,”Col. 1:12-13
- “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” I Peter 2:10
- Robber on the cross, not a believer, who was at that moment destined to hell; confessed with his mouth and suddenly, within minutes, found himself in heaven. Luke 23
- Peter and John were fishers of fish who became fishers of men.
- Paul: A persecutor of Christians became the persecuted.
- Rich man; poor man, the rich man and Lazarus died and went different paths. The rich man enjoyed all his good on the earth and his agony in eternity. The poor man, Lazarus, received bad things on earth and comfort for eternity. Luke 16
When life seems impossible and overwhelming, as if the time for finding an answer is past, we must remember that for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and have asked Him to intercede in this difficulty, God sees us and He is actively at work in our lives.
As I was listening to, Pastor Pat Crisler, speak at Lynn’s memorial service the idea of praying about a reversal popped into my mind.
Remember how Lynn studied soil and wanted to help others through that studying? Put it in terms of a reversal:
-In life, Lynn led and studied soil to reveal a better living for people she cared about—In death, the study of soil will reveal if someone she cared about led to her demise.
-If someone was responsible for her death: Whoever hides the death of Lynn on soil—from the soil they will be found out.
-If someone disguised murder as a suicide tale …the suicide story will be exposed as murder.
-If there were deceitful accomplices in helping with or covering for a crime…their deceit will be uncovered.
Remember: the forensics testing hresults have not been released. If I read or heard on the news correctly, the FBI took soil samples which means they will be looking at all the layers of soil, fallen leaves and natural debris to see if it matches up with what was found on and around Lynn’s remains. It could possibly reveal if Lynn’s remains were located there the entire 2 years and 4 months, or if she was placed there after the fact.
Forensic Soil Analysis is the use of soil sciences and other disciplines to aid in criminal investigation. Soils are like fingerprints because every type of soil that exists has unique properties that act as identification markers.²
God, through scripture, has set the precedence that reversals can happen; which means we have permission and authority to pray for one. In doing so, let’s speak the Holy Spirit’s language: Scripture. As we ask our mediator, Jesus Christ, to present our requests to our Heavenly Father we can be assured that our desires are in line with what God can do and has delighted to do throughout history. If a crime was committed against Lynn Messer, let us together seek a reversal of destiny for the person or persons who need to be brought to justice. Lynn’s family longs for answers and justice over this traumatic event through which they are currently living.
All the ‘sudden’ unknowns to us are known by God. When the enemy interjects events and plans into our lives he thankfully doesn’t have the last say. Christ does. And Christ can intervene any way of His choosing. God can use the horrific, the thing we hate doing the most, and/or the crime or abuse that has been committed against us for good; it’s scriptural:. “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28 (NET). This doesn’t mean it is easy, right, or best. It does mean that if we invite God and allow Him, He will partner with us to bring good into our lives again. Perhaps allowing the partnership to help others, and lead others, on the same weary path you have travelled. Perhaps helping others avoid the path all together.
Let’s agree in prayer and pray these scriptures over the Lynn Messer case:
Matthew 18:19 (NIV)
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.
Prudence is a fountain of life to the prudent, but folly brings punishment to fools.
Proverbs 18:6(NIV) – The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating.
Proverbs 18:7(NIV) – The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives
Proverbs 26:27 (NIV) Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them…
Ecclesiastes 4:5(NIV) – Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves.
Psalm 52 (NIV)
1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2 You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
3 You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
4 You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
7 “Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”
8 But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.
We believe, therefore we speak (pray)
If there was deceit in Lynn’s sudden death we pray for the evidence to show truth and sudden revelation.
As was the case with my reversal of destiny, God was using the lapse of time to bring not just temporary protection and deliverance but permanent protection, deliverance and justice. God knows the truth of what happened to Lynn. Let’s pray for the investigators and prosecuting attorney to find truth, gain closure, and provide justice.
Let’s pray specifically. If we ask for nothing we can’t be disappointed. I like to throw caution to the wind; after all, our Great God commands the wind! I’m well aware that God is not a genie in a bottle. He answers in His time and His way with His Father heart full of love, mercy and wisdom, and sometimes the answer is—no, or not yet. But…when we specifically pray; God often precisely answers. When He does answer, and I know it’s an answer to a question or request I prayed, there is nothing more exhilarating than watching my little, tiny mustard seed of faith through prayer move Heaven. Knowing the God of all creation loves me, hears me, and interacts with me is the most fun, the highest high, the coziest comfort, and the biggest gift—EVER! All while knowing I did nothing to deserve it. I simply pray for His heart and will to be done and for Him to override my wants with His best; basing my prayers on His words; scripture.
I’ll add to, Pastor Pat Crisler’s, message title…For a Sudden, Unexpected Death, An Unexpected, Sudden Answer.
For a Sudden, Unexpected Death, An Unexpected, Sudden Answer. #JusticeForLynn
Thank you for joining in this prayer.
*This article is a re-write of: Lynn Messer: Reversal of Destiny, 2016.
¹Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman, Beth Moore; LifeWay Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 2008
Murdered Wives and Girlfriends
“Women and girls have banded together to fight for themselves because no one else would do it.” – Rachael Denhollander, American lawyer and former gymnast. She was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor, of sexual assault. Denhollander is a TIME 100 honoree and a 2018 Glamour Woman of the Year.
*Red text indicates a link to the original source of information.
These are not acts that happen in the middle of an argument or are considered crimes of passion. These are acts that are carefully planned because the abuser believes she has no right to leave. He also doesn’t want her to find happiness, nor does the abuser want anyone else to have her.
It’s important to remember when someone reports abuse and you can’t imagine the accused abuser is capable of what’s been reported, that abusers are grand actors and liars. If often takes years for the victim to come to understand and come to terms with the abuse…and they are the one being abused. Of course, an outsider would doubt.
You may think: He’s always been a great guy; we hung out together, did Bible study together, shared meals in each other’s homes, watched each other’s kids on occasion. He was never angry, aggressive, rude, controlling or anything negative. I never saw him acting abusively toward his wife or children.
Those things can all be true because abusers rarely abuse everyone they come in contact with; it’s usually immediate family members, a romantic interest, and occasionally acquaintances or co-workers.
Did scripture point out anyone suspecting King David of murdering Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband after David abused his power and raped her? (She had no choice. He was the king). David plotted, deceived, and covered- up Uriah’s murder. Those under David’s command or in his network of friends may have said something like this: “David is a man of faith; he defeated Goliath when he was still a young man, he was a terrific friend to Jonathan, he cared for Saul’s crippled grandson Mephibosheth, he spent time with his God. I know David and I know he would never do that.”
We should never be surprised when someone we know does something out of character for them. We never know what is going on in someone else’s personal life, heart, or mind.
Pondering an unsolved death
I’ve been writing about a Missouri woman for the last few years who I think was killed by her husband. Did she discover another woman and decided to leave? Did her husband want more than one woman in his bedroom and she decided she wouldn’t go along with it? Did she think she was in an abusive relationship and decide to leave? Was she devastated after her years of faithfulness to know he wasn’t faithful? Did she think he had tried to kill her through accidents and prescription drug problems and decided her life was in danger? Was there a different reason? What she may not have known is that the probability of murder goes up when a victim decides to leave. We know three-quarters of domestic violence homicides are committed by men at the time of leaving, or after she leaves.
“Many victims realistically fear that their abusive partners’ actions will become more violent and even lethal if they attempt to leave. The abuser may have threatened to kill them or hurt their child or family member if they leave.”
“Many abused people leave and return several times before permanently separating from the abusive partner. In fact, it takes many survivors approximately 7 attempts before they actually leave their abusive partner permanently.”
1st degree or 2nd degree murder
Missouri needs to work better when it comes to justice for women murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
Most often the murderer is charged with 2nd degree murder. Why not 1st degree? Is it because women typically don’t have as much worth as men and juries rule by this erroneous standard?
What justifies first degree murder in the state of Missouri?
First degree murder is the most serious of the homicide crimes in Missouri. In order to prove that the defendant committed first degree murder, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally and deliberately killed a person without a legally justified reason (such as a police officer shooting an armed bank robber with hostages). Serial murderers who kill for fun and individuals who plot and execute a revenge killing of someone who allegedly slighted them would both be examples of first-degree murder.
Missouri first degree murder laws treat the offense as a very serious crime. The penalties are based on the circumstances of the crime. If the criteria for first degree murder isn’t met, the defendant may still be found guilty of a lesser murder charge, such as: second degree murder (killing without premeditation), voluntary manslaughter (“heat of passion murder”), or involuntary manslaughter (an accidental killing).
Missouri domestic violence homicides that made the news in 2019:
This summer a St. Louis woman managed to catch her own murder on her cell phone. Her video recorded her husband beating her in a parking garage near Busch Stadium. That husband was only charged with assault…and it was on video. Then in September the charges were dropped. We are still waiting to find out if new charges will be filed. “Court records show that Jenkins had previous run-ins with the law, even while working as a correctional officer. He faced felony aggravated battery charges on two separate occasions, and pleaded guilty to a lowered charge of misdemeanor battery in both cases. He received 18 months probation for the first offense in 2012 and 24 months probation and two days in jail for the second offense in 2017. A woman requested a protective order in 2012 that would bar him from contacting her, but a judge dismissed the complaint.”
The 2006 disappearance of Megan Shultz led to her remains likely recovered in a Columbia, Missouri, landfill. “Police Chief Geoff Jones says that while evidence points to the remains being those of Schultz. Police began the dig after Shultz’s former husband, 37-year-old Keith Alan Comfort, allegedly confessed to killing her and putting the body in a trash bin. Comfort is now charged with second-degree murder.
“CLAYTON, MO – The St. Louis County woman found dead in Lincoln County one week ago was pregnant when she died, according to a source close to the investigation. The source adds, the woman’s husband, who is charged with her murder, was having an affair. Beau Rothwell, 28, is being held at the St. Louis County Justice Center without bond. He is charged with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the death of his wife, Jennifer.”
Bobette Everhart-Boal, 59, had filed for divorce from her husband, Michael C. Boal, 59, in August, and a hearing in the case was scheduled for Thursday, December 14, 2019. Sunday, December 8, 2019, she was found dead in Chesterfield shortly before her husband’s body was found after a fire at their former home in Wildwood. Investigators believe that Michael Boal killed his wife, then set the house on fire to kill himself.
The husband of missing Missouri woman, Mengqi Ji Elledge, allegedly took a “long drive through unfamiliar remote areas” of the state before he reported her disappearance to police, according to court documents filed with his arrest last week. Those details came in court documents identifying Joseph Elledge as the subject of an investigation into the disappearance of his wife, 28-year-old Mengqi Ji Elledge, who has been missing for three weeks and was last seen Oct. 8, 2019. Joseph Elledge has been arrested on charges of child abuse and his bond was set at $500,000. Law enforcement began “searching the Lamine River in Cooper County November 26, 2019. Crews have searched an area near the De Bourgmont access point 10 times.”
“MAYSVILLE, Mo. – The 49-year-old boyfriend of a Cameron woman whose body was found at a Maysville home has been charged in her death. Kenneth Wykert is charged with second-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse in the death of Leah Dawson.” He said he was going to kill her. Later he told an inmate he killed her accidently when she said she was going to leave him.
“December 31, 2019, SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Authorities have found the body of a missing 19-year-old woman and are investigating her death as a homicide. Officers discovered the body Mackenna Milhon on Monday afternoon outside a home north of Springfield. Police and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office said she had been reported missing Dec. 20.”
“A St. Louis man who was facing domestic assault charges in jail posted $5,000 bail thanks to a non-profit group, then allegedly went to his wife’s home and beat her to death. Prosecutors have charged Samuel Lee Scott, 54, with first degree murder. Scott was initially arrested on April 5 and accused of hitting his wife, Marcia Johnson, in the face, injuring her ear and cheekbone back in January. He had also threatened to kill her, according to a probable cause statement.”
Mexico, MO. • A man convicted of killing his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank more than 20 years ago was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Douglas Howery, 60, was found guilty of first-degree murder last year in the 1992 disappearance and death of his wife, Betty Ann Howery, 44, of St. Charles. She vanished in February 1992 after a night at their family farm in Annada, Mo., in Pike County near the Mississippi River. She was missing until October 2008, when a crew bulldozing the land found her skeleton in an abandoned septic tank. Authorities found a .38-caliber revolver in the septic tank where Betty Howery’s body was discovered.”
“O’FALLON (AP) – A St. Charles County man is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife.
Police arrested 42-year-old Michael Rone of O’Fallon on Saturday. Authorities say he admitted killing 38-year-old Stacey Rone during an argument.
Michael Rone is jailed on $250,000 bond and does not yet have a listed attorney.
Police say Stacey Rone’s relatives found her dead Thursday. She had been strangled.” As a side note: strangulation is a favorite tool of dominations for domestic abusers. If a woman has been strangled once, and lived to tell about it, her chances of dying by her abuser go up greatly.
“58-year-old Delores Kirk was pronounced dead at the scene. Police took Kirk’s boyfriend into custody as a person of interest. The interim police chief said he expects the boyfriend will be charged. Kirk’s family was left grieving Tuesday, saying her boyfriend was abusive and the violence culminated with her death. St. Louis County court officials confirmed Kirk was granted a temporary restraining order against her boyfriend in January. However, the case was dropped after neither Kirk nor her boyfriend showed up for a court hearing.”
Abuse survivors on average file a petition for a protective order against their abuser seven to eight times before going to their hearing to receive it, or leaving the abuser.
“KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Missouri man was found guilty Friday of first degree murder for murdering his wife after the couple’s daughter found the woman’s body in the basement. According to court documents, police found Melissa Byers’ body covered with carpet, sheets, clothing and plastic. A medical examiner said she died from multiple stab wounds.
Here is a national murder from 2019
November 2019 the jury convicted Patrick Frazee of first-degree murder in the killing of Kelsey Berreth. Prosecutors believe Berreth was murdered in her Woodland Park home in Colorado. She was last seen on Thanksgiving Day 2018 on security video at a grocery store. Her body has not been found.
2 unsolved local cases
There are two local cases in which families of deceased women continue waiting for charges to be filed in the death of their loved ones; Amanda Jones and Lynn Messer.
According to family members, Amanda’s case and evidence were not professionally or properly investigated, processed, or taken seriously from day one. Amanda Kay Jones was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she disappeared. The alleged father of her unborn child, Brian Westfall, is reportedly the last known person to see her. The two met at the Hillsboro Civic Center on August 14, 2005, at 1:00 p.m. During the meeting, Amanda answered a call on her cell phone at approximately 1:15p.m. After the meeting, no one else is known to have seen or heard from Amanda. Later that night, Amanda’s blue 1997 Pontiac Sunfire was found unlocked and abandoned in the Civic Center parking lot. Her purse, car keys, wallet, and cell phone have not been found.
Lynn Messer disappeared July 8, 2014. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and I have been told by law enforcement that Kerry Messer, her husband, has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death. Kerry is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun safety, and Christian/Biblical values. Upon her disappearance, the family farm where Lynn lived with her husband was mapped with grids and searched by rescue and recovery teams, along with trained search and rescue dogs. Searching was done by air, foot, and all-terrain vehicles; by day and by night. Rescue dogs are trained in locating human remains by tracking, trailing, and air scenting. This should have been an easy job in the outdoor air of the extreme summer heat during July and August. Law enforcement did not find Lynn in those early days and were certain she was not on the farm. Three years ago, November 1, 2016, Lynn’s remains were found on the farm; recovered from the direction of the scent found that first morning in 2014.
On Lynn’s death certificate the state could have listed the cause of death as ‘unknown’. They didn’t.
Instead it says, ‘MANNER: PENDING INVESTIGATION’
‘UNDETERMINED AT THIS TIME’
The death certificate does not say ‘Could Not Be Determined’. Undetermined at this time leaves legal room to easily come back and make changes to the certificate. This case is not closed and the death certificate gives me hope that #JusticeForLynn does exist.
Ste. Genevieve Country Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Williams is quoted in an article by Leader Publications, written by Laura Marlow as saying about the Lynn Messer case, “We have to be very careful,” he said. “Because, if we file charges and it goes to a jury trial and we lose, double jeopardy forever bars us from bringing any charges again. On the other hand, there is no statute of limitations on a homicide.
For more information on domestic abuse that ends in murder, check out:
If you are in a destructive relationship, please contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. It is free, confidential, and judgement free. Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224
Family reunification camps and policies like those run by Overcoming Barriers https://overcomingbarriers.org/trainings/ are proven to be ineffective and dangerous to children. Overcoming Barriers is in town tomorrow to lead judges, lawyers, guardians ad-litem, and mental health professionals in a conference. The purpose is to help court personnel learn how to force children to spend time with both parents, and how to give financial consequences to parents who don’t agree, or don’t want to make their children comply. The Washington Post reported in 2017 that Overcoming Barriers workshops were shut down after studies failed to prove their efficacy. These camps are a danger to all children, but imagine the impact especially if the child is afraid of a parent due to prior abuse and then is court-ordered to attend camp with the abusive parent. It is NORMAL for a child to be scared of their abuser and to suffer from a trauma or stressor-related disorder such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or have suicidal thoughts. It is NOT normal or healthy to require a child to let down their protective barriers so they ‘get over’ being scared or stressed by their angry and controlling abuser, or so they believe the abuser loves them, wants the best for them, and is worthy of a closer relationship with them.
Here is a snippet of my interview with FOX 2 news from Tuesday.
Dr. Leslie Drodz says the training is “to arrive at actual solutions instead of endless court battles.” Here’s the problem: When you are dealing with an abuser and a protective parent there is no solution that will please the parents or the court. The abuser is out to hurt the protective parent’s heart, turn family and friends against them, and financially ruin them. The protective parent’s goal is to insure the children are safe. The court wants shared custody, or at least visitation, regardless of abuse. The court needs better training to help the victims. I’m not sure I can agree with Judge Banas that highly contested custody cases are the problem and the reason for needing ‘Overcoming Barriers’ to hold a conference this Friday. The problem I see and continually hear about is domestic violence being seen by the court as a high conflict divorce/custody case. High conflict divorces and domestic violence are NOT the same thing. This is why court personnel need training on how to identify and deal with domestic abuse. This will require ongoing education; not a 5-8 hour class. This is why I’m participating in a peaceful protest outside the court house this Friday at 10:30 AM. Please join me!
Organizers of the protest suspected she would say she takes the side of the protesters, and she did so. Judge Burlison says a parent can be stripped of their rights if there is abuse. They can, but are they?
What about all the protective parents who come in with professional documentation from one or many of these? Child protective services. child psychologist, family therapist. school counselor or teacher, or a police report. These reports are most commonly ignored in St. Charles County family court. And…if a child discloses abuse they have to disclose it a second time to the ‘correct’ county child advocate so it can be video recorded as evidence for court. If the child doesn’t re-disclose…it’s as if the abuse didn’t happen in the eyes of the court. For toddlers and preschoolers it is often difficult to get them to re-disclose. The interviewer isn’t allowed to ask leading questions in hopes of retrieving the information from them.
Of all the women I, Carolyn, have ministered to in St. Charles County who left their abusers, only the one whose husband went to prison was able to have the abuser’s rights taken away. Another was able to get the abuser to leave them alone if they agreed to a minimal financial settlement.It wasn’t because the court was willing to take his rights away. I also know of multiple cases where the protective parent lost custody to the abusive parent. This happened when they provided professional evidence to abuse. Bringing up abuse to the court often doesn’t end well and is used against the protective parent.
Organizers of the protest believe that more than a ‘parenting plan’ and the right of an abusive parent to have a relationship with a child; a child has a right to a non-abusive home.
Don’t just say these things have to be looked into. LOOK INTO IT! Children’s safety is in your hands and are you are not using the fullest extend of the law, state statutes, to protect them. Criminal courts would not get buy with ignoring and over riding professional testimony like family court does!
Dear readers, please go to overcomingbarriers.org and read for yourself what they teach in their seminars. If our judges want to do a better job for children of family court; we recommend ALIVE STL, BarryGoldstein.net, or https://www.law.gwu.edu/joan-s-meier #CourtToo
Link to FAMILY COURT WATCH: ST. CHARLES COUNTY’s Facebook page here to find out the many reasons the protest is being held. I know it’s last minute, but please, join the protest.
I was given an advance copy of both of Rachael Denhollander’s books to read in exchange for my honest opinion about the books. These reviews are in my words.
The power of one voice.
Rachael Denhollander is an attorney, advocate, and educator who became known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history. In her book, Rachael gives you a look inside her heart, soul, mind, and strength and you will appreciate the sacrifices she made to protect others with no strings attached. I consider this book the most important book for our generation’s most pressing issue surrounding the safety of our children. We must be alert to the dangers around us, trust our gut instinct regarding potential abusers, and report ALL allegations to law enforcement; allowing them to sort out the truth. We must protect our children.
The thought process and preparation that went into Rachael’s plan of attack to bring Nassar down was brilliant. Unheard of! He messed with the wrong girl…yet the right girl because she would grow into a woman bent on ending her abuser’s reign of terror. Rachael did what was needed to stop him and protect other young girls. She was born for such a time as this; to carry on as Christ would to restore the worth, dignity, calling, and voice of girls and women.
I’m so grateful she is sharing her story and changing our culture through her engaging and brave storytelling. She pulls the reader into the moment.
Our culture must change.
Women and children are not objects for satisfying someone’s deep, dark need for power and control. Abusers are preying for more victims. “Bullies and predators prey on the defenseless. They count on victims being unable to protect themselves. More important, they count on everyone else being too afraid to confront them. I hate injustice, but I hate silence and apathy in the face of injustice even more. Far too often, bullies’ belief that no one will challenge them is both well-founded and devastating for the people they target. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Men, women and young men and young women need to read this book. They need to develop an aversion to abuse, porn, human trafficking, and the objectification of women.
I’ve been interested in Rachael as an abuse advocate since I first heard her give her victim impact statement at Larry Nassar’s trial. Of course, I had heard of her name months before but her statement was the first time I heard her speak. I thought: She gets it. She’s lived it. She is a mighty woman full of courage, mercy, and wisdom. If anyone can further the cause of bringing sexual abuse to light and change our culture’s response to victims…she’s the one who can do it!
I listened to Rachael speak at the Southern Baptist Convention Sexual Abuse Panel in Birmingham, Alabama, in June 2019. She is brilliant, articulate, scripturally grounded, in love with Jesus, and sacrificially pouring herself out as a drink offering to the Lord in how she ministers to abuse victims.
I was thrilled to be part of her book launch team. I was mailed advanced copies of her new books which are released to the public today. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough!
Who is this book for?
If you are an abuse survivor, you will feel validated, seen, understood, and ministered to as an individual.
If you are married to an abuse survivor, you will see a beautiful picture of how to love your traumatized spouse and care for them while they learn to manage the pain of what happened to them. Jacob, Rachael’s husband, is an amazing example of loving your wife the way Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
If you want to understand the struggles, hearts and minds of abuse survivors, what they need, and how you can help, this book is for you.
Are you concerned about the worldwide problem of pornography and the effect it has on abusers? If you struggle with understanding the extent of sexual abuse in our culture and in our churches, this book will stir you to prayer and to action without making you defensive toward those who report allegations.
This book will show you that professional, dynamic, friendly, nice, personable people can be abusers. The person living in your house with you could be an abuser. I know this first hand from past experience, but most people cannot fathom the possibility.
I wholeheartedly recommend both of Rachael’s books. You will understand her heart for justice, for protecting innocent children, and for changing our culture. Most importantly she does all of this through her love for the gospel, for Jesus, and for survivors; not for herself. In What Is a Girl Worth you will see how deep Rachael’s sacrifice has been and continues to be for others.
The only thing I saw as problematic while reading the book is that Rachael, at the time of the trial, had not yet seen a professional therapist to help her manage her sexual assault trauma. Time does not heal and anyone who has been abused needs to talk to a professional. I highly recommend EMDR therapy with a Christian therapist. I know therapy was recommended to Rachael and hopefully she has secured a trusted therapist to help her. I don’t want any other survivors to think they can manage on their own, only to find out later that they cannot. Optimal healing and strength comes from the wisdom and care of a trained professional.
Rachael Denhollander is a world changer. I’m grateful to the parents who raised her and for her husband Jacob who stands by her. Jacob is a rare find in today’s world and is a shining example for other men to emulate.
REVIEW: How Much Is a Little Girl Worth?
Foundational truths simply stated yet profound. How Much Is a Little Girl Worth is beautifully written and illustrated with a whimsical look that little girls will adore. Rachael’s purposeful inclusion of little girls of color is priceless!
I cried reading the book as I thought about everything I went through when I attempted to protect my own little girl from a pastor/pedophile predator. I want to sit her 24-year-old self next to me and read the book to her.
“You are worth fighting for, raising my voice,
Worth every sacrifice, every hard choice.
Worth changing laws, worth all the fight,
Worth whatever it takes to do what is right.”
All our little girls are worth the fight and this book helps convey their worth and dignity.
This is a must read bed time story so little girls can have sweet dreams of love, stability, safety, worth, and a bright future. Little girls need to hear these truths.
This book is going on my Christmas, birthday, and baby shower gift list for all little girls. A book for boys in the works and I look forward to buying it.
Buy a copy of How Much Is A Little Girl Worth for your child’s school, church library, doctor’s office, counselor, domestic violence shelter, homeless shelter, Sunday school classrooms, adoption agency, and MOPS group. Be sure to stop at your local library and ask them to order both of Rachael’s books.
**Disclaimer** I received a free copy of these books in exchange for providing an honest review. My opinions and words are my own.**
Who is Rachael?
Rachael Denhollander is an attorney, advocate, and educator who became known internationally as the first woman to file a police report and speak publicly against USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, one of the most prolific sexual abusers in recorded history. As a result of her activism, over 250 women came forward as survivors of Nassar’s abuse, leading to his life imprisonment. Additionally, her courageous tenacity and ongoing advocacy helped trigger a complete upheaval at both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where former executives and high-ranking officials face numerous criminal charges for their complicity in covering up Nassar’s abuse and lying about what they knew.
For her work as an advocate and educator on sexual assault, Rachael was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and one of Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” in 2018. Additionally, she received the “Inspiration of the Year” award from Sports Illustrated, was a joint recipient of ESPN’s “Arthur Ashe Courage Award,” and was named a “Michiganian of the Year” by the Detroit News. She is the recipient of numerous other awards and recommendations, including the “CHILD Protector Award” from CHILD USA, the “Integrity and Impact Award” from Dow Jones Sports Intelligence, and HeartAmbassador’s “Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributing to Social Justice.”
Rachael has been recognized and honored in both the Kentucky and Michigan legislatures for her advocacy, and has been active in spearheading legislative reform at the state level. She has lectured and participated in live Q&A’s on the campus of numerous universities across the nation, including Harvard, Stanford, NYU, UC Berkeley, USC, and others. She continues to educate on issues of abuse through supporting and speaking at organizations that advocate for victims of sexual and domestic abuse, teaching at abuse prevention conferences, and helping companies and other institutions create safe environments for addressing abuse and harassment. A committed Christian, Rachael has also been at the forefront of condemning the problem of abuse that often plagues churches and religious organizations while working to address the underlying dynamics. Additionally, she was a panelist with a United Nations Peace Messenger Organization at the UN’s 62nd Commission on the Status of Women.
A member of the California Bar Association, Rachael has educated attorneys on the dynamics of sexual abuse at the American Bar Association’s Sports Law Forum, and was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony of Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, KY.
Prior to beginning her work as an advocate and educator, she worked in public policy, performed research and writing for human rights organizations, and spoke in a variety of capacities, including testifying before state judiciary committees. She has also taught in legislative action days, and authored and taught a summer camp course on appellate advocacy and judicial philosophy to talented high school students.
She has appeared on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, BBC, NPR and regularly appears in national and international print media, including the Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press, and is a New York Times and Vox op-ed contributor.
Rachael holds a Juris Doctorate from Oak Brook College of Law and possesses an honorary doctorate from the American University of Paris.
She, along with her husband Jacob, lives in Louisville, Kentucky with their four young children
Above photo credit: Joshua Harris Instagram public account
I’m sure you’ve read the news: Josh Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye is divorcing his wife, the mother of his three children. Harris says in regard to his faith in Jesus Christ that he has “fallen away,” and “By all measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” He admits that he can’t even read the Bible to see alternative interpretations.
Christian publications and Christians all over social media are commenting about this. Comments range from grace, peace and prayers to, he never was a Christian if he has fallen away…to…show him no mercy in light of the SGM sexual abuse cover-up scandal. Some prominent homeschool leaders have been the most unmerciful toward him.
When Harris hit the big time in the homeschooling community, and the book publishing industry, he was immediately singled out and groomed. Yes, groomed. I’ll let you read about it below in the piece written by Elle Renee, a fellow domestic violence advocate and former homeschool mom.
One point of interest I must include is that Harris recently apologized for the harm his book caused for countless young people. At age nineteen he taught: don’t date, don’t kiss until marriage, and other do and don’t statements that are not found in scripture. His books flew off the shelves and were taken as the gospel truth by eager readers. What made it worse was that adult leaders took liberties with his book and turned it into the foundation for the purity culture. He discontinued his book’s publication, as well as other supplemental resources tied to it. When is the last time you heard of someone doing that?
So where am I going with all this?
Harris and his soon to be ex-wife have been in a system of spiritual abuse for over two decades. It will take them years to find their way through the mess, find some healing, and find a way to manage the damage done to them. Harris will also have to deal with the cover-up damage he caused or contributed to for innocent children who were sexually abused.
Please hear me, I am not excusing his leadership in the sexual abuse cover-up scandal at Sovereign Grace Ministries if he was indeed involved. He allegedly knew what was going on and I’m sure law suits are not finished. As more states abolish the statute of limitations there could possibly be charges filed against him. Only Josh will know what part of his ministry was manipulated, which responses were made from the brain washing he suffered, what was willful, or what was guilt by association. This we know; at SGM children were harmed. Crimes were committed. Innocent children may never come to know Jesus because of the abuse they suffered in the church.
As in domestic abuse and extreme psychological abuse people do things they shouldn’t, things their abuser talks them into doing because their abuser is a professional liar who can talk just about anyone into anything. Victims say and do things they later regret. This can happen with spiritual abuse too. It’s rare that adults realize the extent of the spiritual abuse they have endured. I’ve seen it first hand. And as with domestic abuse, the victim often believes they are the one to blame. Add in the discovery that your ministry/job, close friendships, and the ‘faith’/religion in your life have been built on and around a lie. I don’t know with certainty this is any part of the explanation for what is taking place with this case, but it is highly probable.
I hope Harris does come forward and deal with the SGM sexual abuse cover-up with sincerity and truth. He needs to speak out about it.
As for his faith, I pray he can find his way out of legalism and realize it had nothing to do with who God is, and legalism is not the heart and will of Jesus; nor is lawlessness. I hope he finds it was legalism he was finished with; not Jesus.This road he is walking will be long as many survivors can attest. When the Bible is used to control you and destroy you that last thing that brings healing to your life is the Bible. Unless you’ve experienced this you might not be able to understand it, but please, believe it.
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The below commentary is shared with permission.
Written by Elle Renee, Mom 🖥 Graphic Designer 🎨 ✝️Art & Ministry Director🎗DV Survivor Advocate 🙋♀️INFP/4w5 Below photo credit: Elle Renee Facebook profile picture.
This story just makes me so sad, especially in light of my previous post on spiritual abuse. Indulge me an extra long post as I wrestle aloud with some thoughts on this one here on FB (Facebook).
This is Joshua Harris.
If you’re familiar with the uber conservative, homeschooling, evangelical movement, you know his wildly popular book from the 90s, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”
If you’re familiar with the current conservative, Together 4 the Gospel, Gospel Coalition, neo-Calvinist, reformed, charismatic & specifically Sovereign Grace network of churches, you’ll recognize him as ex-Senior Pastor at SGC flagship church in Maryland.
He was groomed for leadership by SGC founder/president/lead pastor, CJ Mahaney. His name is familiar if you’ve followed any of the sex abuse scandals in Sovereign Grace churches in the news from 2011-2014.
I am particularly interested & grieved over this story for a number of reasons. One, I attended a Sovereign Grace church from 2002-2011. Two, my life exploded in 2011 (to include within this church & faith) at the same time “the documents” & the beginning of the sex abuse info & significant issues with CJ, et al, was being exposed. (unrelated circumstances, but crazy to have so much of my personal SGC exposed to me at the same time it was happening at a national level!) This also affected Joshua Harris, who, by this time, was senior pastor in MD.
I read a lot of the documents & paid close attention to the numerous news stories for several reasons. One thing that jumped out at me as a couple of the earlier years went by was Joshua Harris’ attitude. I noticed a mark difference between him & some of the other leaders in SGC. I won’t pretend he did everything right – I don’t know the details enough to comment on that. However, he seemed to shift & present a spirit of humility.
He began making some HARD decisions, choices that were not going to ingratiate himself with CJ or other SG leaders. He started to do some REAL reflecting & what he discovered was that he & the church had made some significant mistakes over the years. He began to listen to the people, really listen, & was willing to do some inner gutting.
He talks about inspecting his actions, his thoughts, his feelings, his words, his counsel, etc. – and as he shares in this article & other places, what he found wasn’t super lovely. In fact, some things were plain ugly & grievous to have to admit. The amount of shame & guilt that must have plagued him in various seasons, I can only imagine.
Y’all, they had IT ALL. A.L.L. They were wildly successful, beautiful young couple, three children. Both creatives (writer, singer) besides being ministry leaders. He was tapped by THE “denomination” leader. I’m assuming up until 2011 they figured they had found the golden groove of Christianity.
Yet, when it all exploded – and they had the option & power to side with the “safe” leaders (CJ Mahaney & others), they appear to have sided with Truth. Even though it jeopardized their church family, their standing with SGC, their friends, their community, their support… and as time continued, even their book sales & income & careers. Over the last few years, Josh has recounted his advice in his book & asked forgiveness for much of the content & especially how it was weaponized & used to oppress young people, and especially women. I cannot even imagine what that was like for him, his wife Shannon & their children at this time.
And this guy – he was just a kid when some charismatic, powerful christian leader back in the 90s told him he was “special” & began to take him under his wing. They like to call it discipling or mentoring and evidence of grace & love. But if you dig a little deeper, I’d call it taking advantage of a naive, idealistic 19 yo kid. I’d say he was love bombed & groomed & unless he was a PhD student armed with info on personality disorders, he wouldn’t have had any idea. He was selected because he was moldable & easy to manipulate into what CJ though he should be, for CJs purposes, under the guise of “God’s purposes.” Tons of rewards for behaving the way he was “supposed” to as a “good” christian.
I can’t imagine the level of psychological trauma, pain & horror as Joshua (and Shannon) began to discover a lot of their framework for their life was built on religion & false fears & manipulated, pseudo acts of “love.” And like anyone coming out of spiritual brainwashing, you ask yourself, if you could be duped or simply wrong in one area, where else are you wrong? If you can’t trust this particular spiritual leader, who else can’t you trust? If I believed one thing about God, was so sure I was right but now am confident I am wrong about a part of God, well, what else could I be wrong about with God?
I would imagine these are just some of the conversations & anguish Joshua has been wrestling with.
I’m not justifying any of his decisions – I’m actually choosing not to judge any of them at any level, certainly not here on FB. Sometimes, we are called to just show mercy – this guy doesn’t even know me & he’s certainly not accountable to me so I think mercy makes more sense.
So, with that perspective, OF COURSE everything is falling down around him 😞. Of course nothing is the same as it once was & he has no answer in the moment for how to move forward.
I think he needs our genuine love & support (they both do, I think, in this case) – not a weird, “I’ll support you by praying that God wakes you back up & you’ll see how you’ve gone off the deep end & turn your life back to Jesus but until then we either won’t hang out or when we do, it will always be to bring this back up & push you back to God/church/religion.”
Maybe they just need an “of course” from us – empathy, grace, space to grieve & process & heal.
*Maybe they need us to not fear their actions right now, but to love them enough to trust the God that’s in them to handle & redeem it all.*
Spiritual abuse is evil. He & Shannon have already been caught up in so much of this nonsense, from many sides, for decades. I pray they both find a season of rest, compassion, gentleness, tenderness, healing & hope from the Presence who showed up in the very same way when my faith was shattered. He is so very Kind & Patient in this process.
I hope we can be the same towards them, and others who are detoxing spiritual abuse.
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Thank you for joining Lynn’s family in honoring Lynn’s memory on this 5th anniversary of her disappearance and death, and to pray for answers, truth and justice. I’m Carolyn Deevers, a local advocate and I minister to women living in, or leaving, destructive marriages/relationships with angry and controlling men. Like many of you, I’ve been following Lynn’s case since day one of her disappearance. I come from a background of domestic abuse and I was concerned I was seeing similarities in my background and Lynn’s case. I’ve written extensively about Lynn here on my website. Many of the articles can be found under Lynn Messer case history, or by typing Lynn Messer in the search bar.
Today I’m going to review the timeline surrounding Lynn’s July 8, 2014 disappearance.
- In the years before Lynn’s disappearance Kerry has been heard by his sons and by church members jokingly saying, “We don’t believe in divorce. Murder, yes. Divorce, no. Lynn had car accidents, falls, and times when she thought she must have accidently taken the wrong medication or too much medication. That is how she would explain some of her accidents and injuries to her family.
- January 2014 Kerry purchased life insurance policies on Lynn, Abram, and Abram’s wife Elizabeth.”
- 2014 early spring there was an unexplained fire at Abram and Elizabeth’s home which the fire department was able to put out just short of the fire reaching the propane tank on their property.
- Since 2012 and leading up to Lynn’s disappearance, Abram took issue with the way his dad, a married man, interacted with Spring Thomas.
- May 9, 2014, Coincidental or not, was the day Spring Thomas’ estate probate case was finalized for inheriting her parents’ estate. Information from Missouri Case Net court records.
- Coincidental or not; a week before Lynn went missing law enforcement went to Abram and Elizabeth’s house asking about Kerry burning some of his mail on the neighbor’s property.
- A few days before her disappearance Lynn told a friend she was on her way to visit a friend who kept cattle in Wildwood for her family. Family said this had to be Spring Thomas.
- Sunset July 7, 2014. Kerry Messer washed the dog in the back of his truck. His family had never seen him do this before because Lynn always took care of the dogs.
- 9:30 PM Lynn arrived home from supply shopping at Walmart for VBS the next evening. She had plans to watch her grandchildren the next day and to teach at VBS again.
- 11:45 PM someone reserved a spot at the church picnic on the computer before midnight and shared something about Lynn’s favorite summer activities on Facebook.
- Kerry claims he awoke at 4AM, July 8th to find his wife gone. Her purse and cell phone were still in the house.
- 4:15 AM Kerry went to Abram and Elizabeth’s house. Kerry had a key to their house but didn’t know about the new chain lock on the door. When he opened the door, the chain lock caught and woke the dogs, alerting the family to an intruder. After the dogs began barking Kerry called for Abram. When Abram went to the door his dad announced, “I can’t find your mom” and then asked about the 4-wheeler. No one knows what his intentions were for entering their home.
- 6 AM Elizabeth watched Kerry casually drive the 4 wheeler to check on the cows. She never heard him drive all over the farm searching for Lynn as he claimed later to have done.
- Kerry insisted that Abram move the cows to a specific pasture. This was odd to Abram because his mom was the one who always took care of pasture rotations. Why would Kerry be thinking of such an insignificant detail during an emergency?
- Between 7:30-8:00 AM Kerry mentioned a note to Aarron.
- 8 AM Aarron called the authorities to report his mother as missing.
- Kerry told Abram NOT to come down to his house. Instead of wanting Abram to help locate Lynn, he wanted him to move the cows, and stay home.
- Kerry was irate that Aarron called the police and he told his sons to leave his house.
- Law enforcement arrived.
- Law enforcement asked if Lynn suffered, or ever suffered from depression, or took medications for it. Kerry said, “No.” Elizabeth interjected and said that’s not true. Yes, she has.
- Kerry left the house and left his cell phone in the kitchen. A cell phone is an essential tool for communicating during a missing person emergency; unless perhaps, you don’t want your phone to be pinged for location identification.
- Kerry allegedly tells law enforcement he didn’t make copies of the note, when in fact law enforcement would find out months later that Kerry made multiple copies of the note.
- Lynn’s scent trail is followed to the pasture where the cows were moved, but the cows being moved along with a freshly mowed lawn made it difficult for the dogs to stay with Lynn’s scent.
- Although Kerry says he didn’t know Lynn was missing until 4 AM of the 8th; the timeline allows 9:30 PM of the 7th as possibly the last time Lynn was seen alive.
- July 10th Kerry began writing the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.
- For 3 days grid searches were performed by search teams and by trained search and rescue canines. Searches were done by foot, by all terrain vehicles, on horses, and by air. Searches were done during daylight and during the dark of night.
- July 11 professional searchers pulled out and handed the search over to the family to be continued by civilian volunteers so that the sheriff’s department could continue their investigation on other levels.
- At some point Kerry and Ray Rolland organized a search from Kerry’s house to Spring Thomas’s house to look for Lynn under the premise that Lynn may have been on her way to her close friend Spring’s house. Lynn’s kids were deliberately kept unaware of this search.
- The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Spring Thomas was seen by police among search parties organized soon after Lynn’s disappearance. Searchers commented they were seeing something relationally going on between Spring and Kerry.
- A note was found. Lynn’s sons say their dad kept them from knowing the note’s true content and asked the local sheriff’s department to keep the note from them to protect them in case something bad happened to Lynn. Kerry said he didn’t want his sons to blame themselves. Abram was told by his father that the detectives told Kerry he was not allowed to talk about the note to anyone because investigators wanted the letter to be kept a secret. It appears Kerry kept both sides from the truth.
- Mid-August Abram receives a text message from Spring Thomas… asking if it was appropriate for her to continue to participate in searches.
- Early September Spring communicated to law enforcement that she was in a relationship with Kerry Messer.
- A few hours after the investigators heard from Spring, Kerry Messer called the sheriff’s office to inform them about his ongoing friendship with a woman named Spring Thomas.
- Kerry told investigators he had sexual needs and needed companionship. He also confessed that he was earlier interested in a younger woman from church but she was offended, so he continued with Spring. This is eight weeks after Lynn disappeared and Kerry was already romantically interested in two different women.
- This is when Kerry stopped cooperating with the investigation.
- Spring also refused anymore interviews with investigators.
- Around September a towel was found at the edge of the creek downstream from where Lynn’s remains would later be found. Kerry allegedly knew the protocol for not handling evidence and allowing investigators to document location, photograph, and collect all evidence. Kerry walked up to the towel and asked, ‘has anybody touched it?’ He was told, “No.” Kerry stated ‘Well I’m going to touch it’ and he reached down and picked it up, rubbed it all over his face, up and down both of his arms, the back of his neck and then he says he doesn’t “think this is anything.” Abram said the towel matched the towels from his parents’ bathroom.
- Fall 2014 Abram and Kerry took the cows back to Spring’s farm, in conversation Kerry said to Spring, ‘I just got rid of one wife; I’m not in a hurry to get another! It seemed that Spring thought it was the funniest thing she had ever heard.”
- November 2014 Kerry encouraged hunters to become volunteer searchers and report anything unusual to law enforcement by taking a photo and a GPS ping or other location documentation.
- Late 2014 when after Abram told his father that he believed his behavior around Spring for several previous years was inappropriate Kerry flew into a rage.
- Weeks after Lynn disappeared Kerry sent out a letter seeking financial support for Missouri Family Network. He lamented that he was financially crippled from a summer of distraction. Kerry told Abram the letters brought in more money than ever before and he was thinking of sending another one. According to his sons, Kerry was not hurting financially because he owned properties in multiple states and had a large amount of financial assets. His sons said they nor Lynn knew about Kerry’s financial investments until months after Lynn was missing. The land was purchased “etux” which means married but wife not present. Kerry owned land in two counties outside of Missouri.
- May 2015 after failing a polygraph Kerry was found to have lied to investigators multiple times about leaving the farm. He denied he had left the farm the morning of July 8 when in fact he had.
- June of 2015 Kerry admits to his sons he was romantically seeing Spring Thomas and sneaking around to be with her, but only after Aarron discovered their father was in an illicit, and what Kerry called a “covenant relationship’, with Spring Thomas. Kerry said his relationship with Spring began around Christmas 2014 — about five months after his wife disappeared. Major Schott of the Sheriff’s Department said detectives had confirmed a relationship between Kerry and Spring months earlier — about eight weeks after Lynn Messer disappeared. Detective White also confirmed this with me.
- Lynn’s sons attempted to bring Kerry before his church for public discipline as scripture admonishes but were unsuccessful in having him held accountable by his church as his pastor refused to do anything. This is typical secondary spiritual abuse and is common amongst abuse survivors. Churches tend to take the side of abusers over that of victims and survivors. To not speak is to agree to something wrong that God has called sin. The absence of empathy and understanding causes great harm to the innocent.
- June 2015. Kerry admitted to writing a fake suicide note that’s sole purpose was to manipulate people who disagreed with him.
- Feb. 2016 Aarron and Abram were going into Kerry’s bathroom and counting his Viagra pills; which were dwindling in number; despite Kerry denying a physical relationship between him and Spring.
- Early June 2016 Kerry unilaterally dissolved the legal partnership/job with Abram, and used creative accounting to claim that Abram owed him $5,000. Which is roughly equivalent to the 5% ownership of Missouri Family Network which Abram owned. Kerry’s way of getting out of paying Abram.
- June 4, 2016, Abram and his family have to leave their home, which Grandpa Messer had given Abram, but Kerry had creatively kept out of Abram’s name. They left for safety concerns and because Kerry was demanding they start paying rent for the house that belonged to them. They couldn’t pay since Kerry had just fired Abram. They left with a few possessions and some, but not all, of their pets. They were never allowed to return for their other belongings.
- Abram and Elizabeth were evicted by Kerry from their home in Jefferson City. In this home they discovered a peep hole directly above the on suite bed with a pair of men’s white underwear stuffed in the hole to blend with the white ceiling. Elizabeth, who did the laundry in Jeff. City identified the underwear as belonging to Kerry. Upon going back for their possessions, after being evicted they found Kerry had installed cameras so they had to leave their belongings from that home behind.
- Shortly after Abram and Elizabeth moved Detective White asked if they knew a young woman in Farmington who claimed she was being stalked. She reported being followed, then the next day the man followed her to work. She called the cops and it was allegedly Kerry.
- Late summer and into fall Aarron saw Spring trying to sneak onto the farm without being seen. He found Spring’s car hidden in a barn. He saw Spring and Kerry driving through the field sitting side-by-side and saw Spring helping Kerry with farming.
- October 2016 two weeks before Lynn’s remains were recovered Aarron witnessed Kerry and Spring kissing in Kerry’s kitchen.
- Law enforcement acknowledged the FBI could not conclude that Lynn wrote the entire note.
- Detective White confirmed with me the FBI was involved in different aspects of the case.
- August 2016 Aarron says, “Of the many wrongs my mother experienced—not recognizing the signs of abuse and not helping her is one of my biggest regrets.” Aarron, many abused women don’t know they are being abused, and if a mom wants to hide it to protect her children there is nothing you can do.
- November 1, 2016, Lynn’s granddaughter discovers Lynn’s remains while scouting the farm for a place to hunt.
- Nov. 4, 2016, Lynn’s dental records are a match and the authorities confirm the remains found were Lynn’s.
- Late November 2016 Aarron’s daughter comments, “Grandma didn’t write that note. Grandma didn’t call grandpa, ‘Pa’ she called him ‘Pop.’”
- Kerry and Spring cleared Kerry’s house of Lynn’s belongings giving them away without allowing Lynn’s sons and all her grandchildren to have mementoes and belongings of Lynn’s.
- The pathology report states Lynn was deceased and her body exposed to the elements the entire time.
- Detective White told Lynn’s sons that he would not release Lynn’s remains to Kerry until a cause of death was determined, but while Detective White was on vacation Lynn’s body was released to Kerry.
- Kerry had Lynn’s remains transported across state lines to Arkansas. He and his girlfriend held a private burial without telling his and Lynn’s sons.
- Aarron called his dad and said, “I heard that you buried mother yesterday?” Kerry angrily responded: “Why do you care?”
- March 26, 2017. Disappeared: American Gothic—The Lynn Messer Case from Investigation Discovery Channel aired.
- Kerry’s friends, church family, and supporters are confused because they are being told that the investigation is closed, that Kerry has been cleared in the investigation of Lynn’s disappearance and death, and that Kerry did not become involved with Spring Thomas until fifteen months after Lynn’s disappearance. I called Detective White to clarify. He confirmed that the investigation was not closed. Kerry Messer was not cleared in the investigation of Lynn’s disappearance and death. As for Kerry and Spring not becoming involved for fifteen months; he didn’t know where that information came from but it didn’t come from law enforcement. Law enforcement knew about the relationship early in the investigation and knew what type of relationship it was.
- July 6, 2017 Death certificate is released: Undetermined at this time. ….upon completion of investigation.
- July 9, 2017, On Find Lynn Messer Kerry writes, “ I expect to eventually donate most of Ma’s personal items myself (To Sunshine Ministries.org). No mention of his sons and their families.
- August 19, 2017 – Lynn’s supporters could not understand why First Baptist Church Festus/Crystal City would choose to be more conduit to Kerry’s deception. The church decided to cancel the memorial service Kerry planned for Lynn. Reasons cited were the pastor and deacons were not pleased with Kerry’s ongoing behavior or his different accounts of investigative information, church members’ were concerned about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, safety concerns and possible protests.
- October 2017 Kerry left a letter on the door of Aarron’s home telling Aarron he, Kerry, was doubling Aarron’s rent for his house on the family farm. Kerry also placed restrictions on Aarron’s use of the farm demanding that he only drive down the driveway and leave the same way; going nowhere else on the property. Aarron asked if Kerry really wanted to raise the rent or if he wanted Aarron and his children to leave the farm. Kerry responded that he wanted them to leave his farm.
- Throughout the entire time Lynn has been gone Kerry wrote on Facebook of his loneliness and longing for Lynn as if Spring Thomas didn’t exist.
- Throughout all of this time I was been told by some of Kerry friends, fellow church members, some people in the homeschooling community, some of his financial supporters, and the groups he lobbies for in Jeff. City that Aarron, Abram, the media, and law enforcement were lying about there being a romantic relationship between Kerry and Spring.
- August 4, 2018, Kerry and Spring were married.
“Lynn’s disappearance and death raise many questions: How did Lynn die? How could a small woman with an injured toe and with hip replacements walk through pouring down rain in a thunder storm, in the dark of night, over muddy ground, and according to family members, have to avoid electric fences in the dark, and open and close multiple heavy gates to arrive at her destination? Was it murder? If so, was it premeditated? If it was murder, was her body moved or somehow concealed to keep search and rescue from finding her? Trained dogs should have found her scent; especially after a few days of her remains being in the hot and muggy summer elements. Tonight we pray for truth, answers, and justice. We pray they are on their way and right around the corner.
If you have been using the Facebook, Lynn Messer Prayer Vigil page please take note. DO NOT use the “Get Directions” from Facebook. They are WRONG. Type in 55 South 3rd Street, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670 and get directions from your phone or computer, or you will end up at the wrong place. The vigil will be held outside the Ste. Genevieve County Court House which houses the prosecuting attorney’s office. We will be outside the front doors on 3rd Street. Look for the signs. We will have an on duty officer present for safety precautions. Bring lawn chairs if you want to sit, and an umbrella in case of a pop-up rain shower.
- Aarron Messer
- Abram Messer
- Gabe Messer
- Cheryl Summers
- Shawn Summers
- Carolyn Deevers
The team for Lynn’s prayer vigil is preparing for Monday night. We’ve been hearing from many of you that you plan on attending. The forecast for Monday has changed multiple times over the last few days and right now it looks clear, but with all the pop-up thunderstorms and rain showers we’ve been having, we highly suggest bringing an umbrella.
We’ve been hearing from people who supported Kerry Messer for years. They believed him when he assured them that he was not dating or romantically linked to Spring Thomas, and that everyone saying so was lying. But then…he married Spring Thomas. Now their suspicions, and odd things Kerry said and did over the last five years are adding up…and it doesn’t look good to them. They feel like they were hoodwinked. These people are now joining the #JusticeForLynn prayer vigil. Even if you believe Kerry, we hope you will join us in praying for answers about how Lynn arrived at the spot where she was found, and/or how she died, and pray for her family who will always grieve the traumatic separation they went through not knowing where Lynn was or if she was safe for two and a half years.
ABOVE: Lynn on a mission trip giving care and attention to the little children.
July 8, marks the five year anniversary of the reporting of Lynn Messer as a missing person.
Upon her disappearance, the family farm where Lynn lived with her husband was mapped with grids and searched by rescue and recovery teams, along with trained search and rescue dogs. Searching was done by air, foot, and all-terrain vehicles; by day and by night.
Rescue dogs are trained in locating human remains by tracking, trailing, and air scenting. This should have been an easy job in the outdoor air of the extreme summer heat during July and August.
3 1/2 years ago, November 1, 2016, Lynn’s remains were found on the farm; recovered from the direction of the scent found that first morning in 2014. The problem was that Kerry, Lynn’s husband, had the cows moved from one pasture to another that first morning, July 8, 2014, possibly contaminating evidence of her scent. The pasture where he had the cows moved was located between the house and the field where Lynn’s remains were discovered. Rotating cows from pasture to pasture, according to Lynn’s sons, was always Lynn’s responsibility. Lynn’s son Abram told law enforcement that his father was adamant the cows had to be moved that morning; the morning Lynn had been missing since the middle of the night, and her husband said he had been out looking for her. In my first interview with Abram he admitted that in hind sight, moving the cows for his dad is the one thing he wishes he had not done.
Lynn was considered missing until November 1, 2016. We’ve been told by law enforcement, after a coroner’s autopsy, that Lynn had been deceased the entire time, since July 8, 2014.
I am a survivor of domestic abuse and I minister to and advocate for women in, or leaving, destructive marriages, and women who have suffered sexual assault and misconduct in the church. I also advocate for women and children who have encountered secondary spiritual abuse after disclosing to their church the abuse that has been going on in their home.
When I heard Lynn’s story I thought I recognized similarities to life experiences I’ve lived. I think, after talking to Lynn’s family and friends, that she possibly lived in a destructive marriage, and didn’t survive to tell her story. This is why I advocate for her…waiting for answers, keeping her story alive, and hoping for justice for Lynn.
Lynn’s husband, Kerry Messer, has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death. Kerry is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values.
Weeks after Lynn was reported missing law enforcement found out that Lynn’s husband Kerry was involved with another woman. Spring Thomas, according to law enforcement, admitted to being in a relationship with Kerry at least 8 weeks after Lynn went missing. Abram, one of Lynn’s sons has messages from Spring that dates the time to at least 6 weeks after Lynn went missing, but he thinks the romantic relationship predated his mom’s death. He has based this upon the previous years of watching his father interact with Spring. In fact, before Abram knew anything about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, Abram says he expressed concern to his father about his inappropriate behavior around Spring in the past as well as their behavior around each other when Spring showed up for organized searches to help look for Lynn, after Lynn’s disappearance, on the family farm.
Below is a copy of Lynn’s Messer’s death certificate which was issued June 20, 2018. In other words; recently. I want people to understand and consider that this case is not over.
I find this hopeful. The state could have listed the cause of death as ‘unknown’. They didn’t.
Instead it says, ‘MANNER: PENDING INVESTIGATION’
‘UNDETERMINED AT THIS TIME’
The death certificate does not say ‘Could Not Be Determined’.
Undetermined at this time leaves legal room to easily come back and make changes to the certificate.
This case is not closed.
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After the television airing of American Gothic: Finding Lynn Messer on Investigation Discovery, Lynn’s story became an international public interest. It has aired dozens of times in different countries around the globe.
Kerry Messer is a public figure/state lobbyist who fund raises from private citizens in the state of Missouri; making this a public interest case. *See disclaimer in margin.
When it comes to my website, I listen to stories and make a judgement on the honesty of the statements. I don’t have to prove that it is true but I must believe that it is true. I can assure all readers that I would never deliberately lie and I take great care to be as truthful as possible and to investigate claims and accusations because I write to shine light on the problem of abuse in the church and abuse in Christian homes. I do not write to defame anyone. I make no claims against anyone. I write from experience for educational purposes only.
Here is a simple outline of what a person MUST prove when claiming defamation. All three things must be proven in order for a successful lawsuit for defamation. As you will see, it is exceedingly difficult to prove defamation.
- The writer must lie.
- The writer must knowingly lie.
- The writer must knowingly lie in order to bring malicious harm to another.
My homestate, Missouri, has enacted an Anti-SLAPP statute, § 537.528.1 R.S.Mo., designed to protect conduct and speech made in connection with a public hearing or public meeting. By enacting this statute, Missouri has created a policy by which speakers under its jurisdiction shall be afforded extra protection against lawsuits merely aimed at stifling speech and conduct related to public participation.
The format of this site has changed. You’ll find many of the past articles I’ve written about Lynn Messer under the link: Lynn Messer case history. Articles are listed by title and dated from recent to earliest. Comments are now easier to find and post at the end of each article.
I’m grateful for the many people who are working together to make the vigil for Lynn Messer possible.
July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn was a wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, homeschool mom, and most importantly…a follower of Jesus Christ. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016.
Lynn’s husband Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values.
Both of Lynn and Kerry Messer’s sons, Abram and Aarron, doubt aspects of their father’s accounting of events relating to the disappearance and death of their mother.
CANDLELIGHT PRAYER VIGIL SIGNS:
You may right click on these signs, do a “SAVE AS’ and print them off for the candlelight prayer vigil. You may also send them to Office Depot or a nearby copy store to have them printed as posters. If you would rather receive an email link to the posters leave me a courtesy request for the poster files and I will send you the link. Your email will not be made public to other readers.
The majority of this content is used with permission from Aarron Messer’s public Facebook page. Link at the bottom of the article.
My apologies for the print being in all caps. My formatting has been giving me grief for a few months. I needed a numbered list for this article which turned it into all caps when I published it. After an hour of trying to figure out how to use normal print; I gave up and left it as is.
1. Dr. Thomas, Spring’s father was a dentist for 62 years he owned and operated a small dental clinic on Manchester Rd in St. Louis. He held a very public, faithful, Christian service to his church by organizing Easter Sunrise services in Babler State Park for half a century and beyond. He was a founding board member of Westminster Christian Academy and was an extremely sacrificial supporter of Kerry Messer’s ministry for as long as Kerry and Lynn’s son Aarron can remember. He not only was the families dentist, a role in which he offered his services for free to support the ministry, but he personally paid for an orthodontist to extract all four of Aarron’s impacted wisdom teeth 20+ years ago. He financially was a faithful donor to the ministry throughout his life until he passed in 2012.
2. Spring lives on a substantial piece of real estate in Wildwood on a farm which she inherited from her parents. Spring was an only child, and both her parents have passed away. Spring was a caregiver for her parents caring for both of them as they aged until they died.
3. Spring has never been married and has no children.
4. Spring housed the Messer’s cattle in Wildwood to graze fields that were not being used; in turn, Kerry helped with the upkeep on Spring’s farm. This relationship continued after Lynn’s death.
5. Abram has never been comfortable with the behavior between Kerry and Spring when working on her farm.
6. Lynn personally asked a close friend in the weeks prior to her disappearance for prayer because she said, “I am going to have to have a confrontation with someone and it’s not going to be pleasant.” Was that person Spring?
7. The week leading up to Lynn’s death a friend met Lynn in the city to buy ground beef from Lynn. Lynn told the friend that she was not heading back home, but rather driving to Spring Thomas’ house to see her. Regardless of the content of their conversation this was a critical point in Lynn Messer’s life.
8. According to what Kerry told Aarron, Spring has refused to answer further questions or submit to a lie detector test, on the advice of her attorneys.
9. Spring was among volunteers during the first days of searching for Lynn on the family farm and surrounding areas. In the first week of searching Kerry established a rule that no one come in the house. This rule was strictly enforced. He asked women and family friends not to hug him, because he was, “uncomfortable feeling their breasts” against himself.
10. During the search participants came forward testifying that they noticed a special connection of a close nature between Spring and Kerry. Without prompting, numerous people have identified and reflected that they knew something was up in the manner in which they interacted in those early days of searching. Spring herself had seemed glowing as she spoke with other searchers about her feet getting wet, and how Kerry had taken her inside the off limits house, in private, to dry her feet off and provide her with dry socks and shoes to wear.
11. Eight weeks after Lynn’s disappearance Spring Thomas confirmed in a written statement to law enforcement that she was in a relationship with Kerry Messer.
12. It appears Spring had no problem or reservations dating a married man; after all, no one knew Lynn was dead. Did they? There was still a search for Lynn Messer going on while Spring and Kerry, a married man, were in a relationship.
13. Detectives explained to Aarron and Abram Messer their dad’s conversation with law enforcement regarding Spring. Kerry asked permission to satisfy his urges for female companionship because he was accustomed to an active sex life and that the absence of Lynn was not simply emotionally draining but physically unbearable.
14. Kerry and Spring denied their relationship to friends and their churches going so far as to tell people Aarron and Abram, law enforcement, and the media were all lying about a romantic relationship between Kerry and Spring. While, according to Aarron, law enforcement saw Spring on a regular basis having dinner in private, dating, talking on the phone every day, and spending the majority of her time with Kerry.
15. Kerry told his sons he was deeply in need of sexual satisfaction and that he couldn’t take not having sex four to five times a week. He said this was why he needed the relationship with Spring, but then he said he only held hands. So his reasoning for needing the relationship was for sex but he insisted he wasn’t having sex. Meanwhile, his sons said they would go in their dad’s house and count his Viagra pills to see if he was telling the truth about not having sex. The Viagra pills were disappearing one by one.
16. Kerry told his sons that in the first few weeks after Lynn disappeared he was drawn to Spring and had feelings for her. He tried to distract himself from Spring and tried to pursue a relationship with a younger woman from his church, but the woman was deeply offended and spoke to investigators about it…so Kerry returned his attention to Spring.
17. Throughout the 2015 legislative session Kerry spent most of his time on the phone with Spring or was with her in secret.
18. The boys know nothing of Spring attempting to stop Kerry from kicking his sons out of their homes.
19. Spring was as adamant as Kerry that the romantic rumors about them were not true.
20. According to his sons, Kerry lied in his last media interview when he said his relationship with Spring was on hold. Aarron saw them cooking dinner and kissing each other through Kerry’s kitchen window two weeks before Lynn’s remains were found. Spring helped Kerry bale hay and worked on the farm during the summer months. Spring has been spotted trying to hide her car on the farm to keep the relationship secret.
Despite all the denials about their relationship…this happened last summer:
Link here to the original article: Who is Spring Thomas? by Aarron Messer.
*Correction on #7: The article originally stated, “This friend knew Spring Thomas.” This was incorrect. She did not know Spring Thomas. Lynn told her that she was visiting a friend in Wildwood that owned land where they took their cows. She assumed Spring was the only friend they had in Wildwood where they kept cows. Lynn’s family confirmed that Spring’s land was the only location in Wildwood where cattle were kept.
July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016.
Lynn’s husband Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values.
You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…
Here are what I consider to be the top 12 disputable issues with the case:
- On the morning of Lynn’s disappearance, Kerry stated to the Sheriff’s Department that Lynn had never been depressed and had never taken any kind of antidepressants. False: Lynn suffered from depression for years and was taking antidepressants. Facts which many family members were aware of, even Kerry himself was fully aware of this, referring to Lynn’s antidepressants as her “happy pills”.
- During Kerry’s time line of the first morning he told the police he didn’t leave the farm. False: He left his phone at home and left the farm. He only admitted to having left the farm after he failed the polygraph in May of 2015. Why would you leave your phone at home when looking for your lost wife? What if you found her hurt, harmed or worse? You would need the phone to call for help. What if someone found her and needed to call you? It seems like the most important tool you would want to have with you while searching for a missing person. Well…unless…possibly you don’t want your location to be pinged by the phone company for law enforcement.
- Kerry has been cooperating with law enforcement. False: Law enforcement revealed in April of 2015 that Kerry was not cooperating with the investigation, and had not been “for quite some time.” All just before investigators informed family members of his new relationship with Spring Thomas.
- Spring Thomas is just a family friend who has been helping him cope, helping him with eating, and caring for him. When I talked to some family members, homeschooling friends, and church friends of Kerry’s they told me what they had heard from Kerry; that his sons Abram and Aarron, law enforcement, and the media were all lying about the relationship between himself and Spring. False: We know according to law enforcement she has admitted to being in a relationship with Kerry at least 8 weeks after Lynn went missing. Abram has messages from Spring that date the time to at least 6 weeks after Lynn went missing, but he thinks the romantic relationship predated his mom’s death. He has based this upon the previous years of watching his father interact with Spring. In fact, before Abram knew anything about Kerry’s relationship with Spring, he expressed concern to his father about their inappropriate behavior around one another in the past as well as their behavior around each other when Spring showed up for organized searches to help look for Lynn; after Lynn’s disappearance on the family farm. Aarron has stated on Facebook that he witnessed numerous romantic interactoins between Kerry and Spring while he, Aarron, still lived on the farm. Kerry and Spring Thomas married last year, August 4, 2018.
- Kerry told law enforcement the first morning that he didn’t make copies of the note. False: He made multiple copies of the note before the police arrived. Months later investigators found out from third parties that Kerry had made copies of the note and was showing it around, but not showing it to his sons.When questioned again about making the copies, Kerry responded by saying “because I knew this was going to be a long drawn out ordeal, and I didn’t know when I was going to get the note back.” So once again investigators scratched their heads wondering, how could he possibly know that this was going to be “a long drawn out ordeal” because that’s certainly not what he told the public, or the family. He took those copies; cutting the note in two and claims to have burned the other half of the note. In one of the more bizarre interactions when the investigators were asking Kerry about that portion of the note, he said, “I told her not to write that.” The officer asking him stopped and said “what did you tell her not to write?” And Kerry said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct myself, I did not just say I told her not to write that- that is not what I said.” He has never explained how or what he could have meant by that. Just that he accidentally let slip that he watched her write the note, and that he criticized what she had written, and maybe that explains why he cut out that portion of the note and burned it. Perhaps he knows that it doesn’t have anything to do with Lynn’s disappearance?
- The note: Kerry told law enforcement and media he didn’t understand the note and it didn’t make sense. False: He told his sons that law enforcement demanded he, Kerry, not talk to his sons about the note. False: In private he told Abram and Aarron he understood the note and understood it from the beginning. Aarron’s daughter commented nonchalantly “Grandma didn’t write that.” “What do you mean?” Aarron asked. She replied, “Grandma didn’t call grandpa, “Pa” she called him “Pop.” That’s correct. Grandpa would get so frustrated and correct her because he wanted to be called Pa, but she called him “Pop.” These facts and others have only been complicated by the way Kerry took a portion of the note which he retained, enlarged it, and enhanced the lettering for a TV interview he orchestrated.
- Different articles and Facebook posts over the last two years led readers to believe Lynn’s husband, Kerry, was the one who called the sheriff’s office. Several media outlets have stated that Kerry called 911. False: Kerry had over four hours in which he could have called law enforcement—but did not. At least a four hour window of time for Lynn to have been missing exists, but if one retraces the timeline there are possibly eight hours of missing time during which something could have happened to Lynn.
- Kerry passed his polygraph. False: Kerry (that we know of) has taken two polygraph tests. The first one, was considered “inconclusive” and the second polygraph which he took in May of 2015 was considered an outright failure.
- On Facebook Kerry publicly pines away for his “bride.” False: In private he pursued secret and private rendezvous with another woman. Even after claiming that his relationship with Spring was on hold, he still continued to actively lie and hide her. Abram describes; “He puts on a public act of piety. In private engaging in sin. The word of God repeatedly warns us about making a public profession while our hearts are far from God. We must all be aware of the biblical cautions for attempting to “serve God and man.” These attempts to serve God while secretly gratifying our own lusts exemplifies what the word of God calls a double minded man who is unstable in all his ways.”
- Kerry has repeatedly claimed that no evidence has been found. False: Lynn’s scent trail was immediately found and it led through the field where Kerry had Abram move to cows early the first morning. Which, in the end, led to where Lynn’s body was recovered. Kerry chose to hide this information from family, friends, supporters, and Lynn’s extended family. Adding emotional, mental, and psychological stress to their lives through worry and efforts of mile after mile daily searching— month after month, and year after year. Efforts which were still active until her remains were discovered. “They found a towel in the edge of the creek (on the back corner of the farm) that had been washed up,” Abram said. “One of the reasons we were rechecking all of the creeks is because we were hoping and praying if she was out there somewhere, there might have been something, anything that could have been washed down in that significant rain. “(After the towel was spotted) “We get up to this towel that is laying in the edge of the grass, which had obviously been washed up there and my father walks up to the towel and says, ‘has anybody touched it?’ I told him no, because that was one of the first questions I asked the folks who discovered it originally.” Abram explained that they needed to get the detectives out there. “My father said ‘well I’m going to touch it’ and he reached down and picked it up,” remembered Abram. “Keep in mind this is early August, it’s sweltering hot outside and we are all drenched in sweat. My father picks up this towel, rubs it all over his face, then he rubs it up and down both of his arms, wipes all the sweat off of him, he rubs the back of his neck and then he takes the towel and says he doesn’t think this is anything.” Abram said Kerry said it was some towel that a searcher must have dropped. “As he is saying this, he is vigorously rubbing the towel up and down on the outside of his chest,” recalled Abram. Never mind the fact I’m looking this plain white towel knowing that it matches the other five or 10 plain white towels that they have under their cabinet.” Abram said they now understand the location of that towel was a few hundred yards downhill from where his mother was discovered. “We had been searching, begging, hoping and praying that we would find something, anything and we did. There is no doubt in my mind, I feel very, very confident, saying publicly and openly that my father has taken very direct active steps into destroying the trail of evidence. (Searchers, including Kerry, were instructed in recovery protocol. They were told NOT to touch anything that was found. Kerry violated this. Why?) Yet, some of Kerry’s lobbying principals expressed glee in how upright, forthright, and honest Kerry has been for keeping them abreast of every detail and development in the case from day one.
- Kerry and Lynn were happy in a loving and abiding marriage. False: There have been witnesses step forward with contrary testimony of what took place in the marriage. See: Lynn Messer Case History, April 26, 2017, : Random Thoughts. Abram explains, “He had deliberately misrepresented their marriage, relationship, and family structure. They did not have a healthy marriage. Loving husbands do not hide financial information from wives. Christ honoring husbands love there wives as Christ loved the church. Kerry’s relationship even by his own story telling seems to be one which required Lynn to make personal sacrifices while he enjoyed the public accolades of political achievement. Not the biblical picture of husbands sacrificially giving themselves to their wives. For years his public story telling on Facebook is one which defames Lynn’s honor, promotes himself, while minimizing the severity and impact of his own unbiblical view of marriage.” The Facebook stories seem to be full of fabrications and untruths; according to family members who can recall the real stories.
- Lastly, I will allow Abram to once again use his words. After all the boys have been through they deserve to tell it from their viewpoint; not Kerry’s Find Lynn Messer Facebook version; or how he has deliberately misrepresented the investigation, and especially his family. Kerry has claimed that his son Abram who worked for him in the capital for over a decade has mental problems, and Kerry has accused his entire family of abandoning him and turning their backs on him. False: “Kerry has gone to great lengths to tell absurd and unfounded stories and accusations for the sole purpose of misrepresenting his own children. These obvious attempts on his part to control the narrative reveals not only his own desperation but his desires to suppress the truth. Including but not limited to a consistent theme claiming that he has been abandoned by his family. By all accounts public and private; Kerry’s family members have repeatedly begged him for reconciliation and pleaded for truth and honesty so that Kerry can come to a right relationship with the Lord. Instead, my father has turned his back on us and accused us of abandoning him. When in fact he himself has abandoned his self-professed personal ethos. Choosing the pleasure of sin for a season over the freedom and forgiveness which God himself offers.”
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My opinions are my own. My guests who contribute to articles are going off of their memories and opinions.
July 8, 2019, marks the five year anniversary of the disappearance of Lynn Messer. Lynn disappeared July 8, 2014, from the bed she shared with her husband. Lynn’s remains were discovered on their farm over two years later, November 1, 2016. Law enforcement continues to investigate her death while waiting on the conclusion of all forensic testing. We now know that Lynn has been deceased the entire time and law enforcement confirms that her husband Kerry Messer has not been cleared in the investigation surrounding Lynn’s death.
Kerry Messer is a Missouri state lobbyist who represents family, homeschooling, right-to-life, gun rights/safety, and Christian/Biblical values.
I have written dozens of articles on my thoughts about the case, evidence in the case, questions and answers to the lead detective on the case, and oddities and questions surrounding Kerry Messer’s actions, testimony, and writings on the Find Lynn Messer Facebook page.
You can read the reason I began writing about the Lynn Messer case here…
Many women who disappear do so at the hands of their significant other; not by the women’s choice. Fifty percent of women who have been murdered are killed by intimate partners. I combined this knowledge with what, in my opinion, were duplicitous writings of Kerry Messer on his Find Lynn Messer page, and some similarities Kerry appeared to have with my former husband. The similarities gave me reason for concern. Talking to some of Lynn’s family members and friends strengthened my concerns.
I have not forgotten about the questions surrounding Lynn’s disappearance and death; neither have her children, grand children, extended family, and friends.
To keep Lynn’s case in the public eye, to remember her life, and to pray for answers, truth, and justice there will be a public prayer vigil on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Ste. Genevieve. It will be held outside the prosecuting attorney’s office at 55 South 3rd Street, Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670. I will be speaking and praying along with a few other people including Cheryl Summers, founder of the For Such A Time As This rally. FSATAT rallied at the Southern Baptist Convention in 2018 and 2019. FSATAT is a group of Christians asking the SBC for: 1. A clergy database to track sexual abusers. 2. Mandatory training to recognize and address abuse (sexual assault and domestic abuse). 3. Treating women with honor and dignity.
I will post the complete prayer vigil line-up soon.
This is open to the public. If you have followed Lynn’s case we hope you will attend. If you are new to the case, you are invited to attend. If you are an advocate, abuse survivor, current victim, or concerned citizen; please join us.
Together we will seek #JusticeForLynn through a peaceful prayer vigil.
*This is not sanctioned by a church, law enforcement, or government agency.
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I’ve been asked if I’m concerned about being sued for writing about Lynn’s private life.
The thought has crossed my mind but I have this information that keeps me protected from anyone winning a lawsuit against me:
“To hold someone liable for slander or defamation the plantiff must prove the defendant purposefully lied/ made a false or defamatory statement for the purpose of bringing harm to the plantiff.
I’m amazed at the freedom that we have in our country. Information from Dee at thewartburgwatch.com
Here is a simple outline of what a person MUST prove when claiming defamation. All three things must be proven in order for a successful lawsuit for defamation. As you will see, it is exceedingly difficult to prove defamation.
- The writer must lie.
- The writer must knowingly lie.
- The writer must knowingly lie in order to bring malicious harm to another.
So, when it comes to my website, I listen to stories and make a judgement on the honesty of the statements. I don’t have to prove that it is true but I must believe that it is true. I can assure all readers that I would never deliberately lie and I take great care to be as truthful as possible and to investigate claims and accusations because I write to shine light on the problem of abuse in the church and abuse in Christian homes.
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.
In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs, or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. In some cases, repeated frivolous litigation against a defendant may raise the cost of directors and officers liability insurance for that party, interfering with an organization’s ability to operate. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.
My homestate, Missouri, has enacted an Anti-SLAPP statute, § 537.528.1 R.S.Mo., designed to protect conduct and speech made in connection with a public hearing or public meeting. By enacting this statute, Missouri has created a policy by which speakers under its jurisdiction shall be afforded extra protection against lawsuits merely aimed at stifling speech and conduct related to public participation.
Plus, Kerry Messer is a public figure in the state of Missouri who raises financial support to fund his lobbyist activities. This makes Lynn’s case a public interest story.