These are Aarron Messer’s own words from his public Facebook page. He is once again allowing me to post his thoughts to my readers.
Side note: I posted the Petition to FHE: Remove Kerry Messer on FHE’s public FB page and it was quickly removed.
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Today, a letter requesting that FHE distance themselves from my father began to circulate. I, too, am surprised that FHE has continued their relationship with my father as a representative of the organization. I understand it’s hard to take that step and separate yourself from someone who has been a champion and celebrated voice of your community. Being homeschooled was one of the greatest advantages of my life. It has been something I have been proud of. The work my dad has accomplished for FHE and many wonderful institutions supporting families throughout Missouri has been immeasurable. I, too, do not want to see Kerry’s ministry and work tarnished in this way. I want to pull back the curtain today. The point is not trash homeschooling, my parents or FHE, but just to remind us all that we are people.
Every movement every cause has supporters. Each church is filled with people as in our families and homes. Those people are sinners. They make mistakes and their lives are scarred by the consequences of their actions. Just to illustrate that I am going to share some details with you. Many of you will know the people I am talking about. They are my family and yours. I won’t give names, but I want you to know that your champions are flawed. Every one of them. I am no different and neither are you. You, too, can fall. Sin can wreak havoc in your life just as it has in many of our friends and loved ones in this community and in mine.
Homeschooling is wonderful, and it is rooted in a basic return to fundamental truth. Children are the responsibility of parents. Teaching and preparing your children for the world is your duty as a parent. Let me tell you about my family. If you were homeschooled, you may have had similar experiences or heard stories much like those I am about to share. My parents were from a rural community in Ste Genevieve County, but that isn’t the whole picture.
See my Grandparents on my dad’s side left Arkansas when they were 17, got married and moved to Illinois. Seven months later, my Uncle Danny was born, and no one talked about it. My grandfather was illiterate. He had lived in poverty working is his entire childhood as a sharecropper. His family owned nothing. They worked to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. He taught himself to read as best he could from the Bible.
He did what he could as a 17 year old father and husband – he went to work. He worked in meat-packing in East St. Louis. He worked hard to support his 3 boys and a daughter who wouldn’t live past her 1st birthday. He worked hard and long hours on the kill floor. He saw the money being made from farmers bringing their beef to be processed. He dreamed of having something of his own. He bought the family farm my dad owns now and tried to become a farmer over and over again. He would borrow money, buy a herd and inevitably sell off the herd to pay off the loan. He didn’t make it, but when he moved from Illinois to Ste Gen County and to the farm multiple things happened.
The family had no phone. The boys in middle school were held back a year. Danny, Kerry and Gary lived on DD. As many of you who have lived in this county know, they were labeled as trouble makers from K Road. My dad was a loner – he was from a a Baptist family in a Catholic county. They were snubbed in Ste Gen and they made Festus home for all their shopping needs. The school policy prohibited the kids from taking school books home after school. The bus ride an hour away to Ste Gen was more than enough distance to separate a family from the school. With no phone, the school had little contact with my grandparents who were unaware their kids were held back a year. My dad was a classic middle kid. His older brother and younger brother ganged up on him. They skipped school together and when my dad threatened to tell, they broke his arm.
My grandfather was a quiet man who didn’t really know how to communicate with his kids. There wasn’t much family bonding shall we say. I know every one of his kids was cut at one point or another by his chainsaw gathering firewood. He wasn’t abusive, but he was just kind of unobservant. Danny, the oldest, graduated and joined the military. Gary was popular as the youngest, but he went off to Florida and unfortunately was killed by a drunk driver. From the rumors my dad shared when I was kid, he was probably in Florida running drugs.
The stories I was told of my dad’s school experience went something like this: he didn’t want to do homework. If he didn’t do homework, he got a whipping at school, but he just took his whipping everyday. He could take that and then he didn’t have to do his homework.
Don’t get me wrong; dad is smart. He remembers and shared how college and career day in Ste Gen high school consisted of every kid from in town being taken to college tours. The county kids were given job applications for the factories and mines. He told us of teachers who were drunk in every class, who gave grades on the basis of how short your dress was and if you sat in the front row uncrossing your legs often enough for him to have a peek.
My dad fondly kept a creative writing paper on how to make the perfect peanut butter sandwich which he turned in 3 or 4 times to the same teacher cutting the grade off each time. The teacher was too high to notice it was the same paper. He fondly recalls fostering a relationship for a whole year with the psychology teacher just to tell him off on the last day of class. That’s right – my dad spent the entire semester becoming the teacher’s pet just to be able to call the teacher an asshole in class on the last day of school.Respect for teachers and the education system was not exactly fostered in their home.
Just over the fence from the farm was an old one room school house long abandoned. It had fallen in before I came along, but I remember it and my dad shared how he learned more sneaking into that building and reading the old books left behind in it than from his teachers. Now, my dad is no dummy. In Jefferson City, many people assume my dad is an attorney because of his familiarity with the law. He isn’t. He never went to college – not one day. In fact. he told me not to bother going – it’s a waste. Unless you have to have a degree for your job, you’re just wasting money to go to school.
My mother grew up with 2 sisters. She was a middle child and rebellious against her catholic family. When she fell for dad at 14, she turned her back on her family and it got ugly. My dad was older. He graduated and went to work in St. Louis at a grain elevator. At 17, my mom ran away from home and lived with my dad’s parents. In December, they got married. It was her senior year and the school looked at her academic record. She had all her credits needed to graduate, but getting married. . .ah…you didn’t need to do that, so they refused to give her a diploma. Few people realize that high schools can actually withhold your diploma and refuse to allow you to graduate for any reason they want.
Fifteen months later in St. Louis, I was born. Thirteen months later, Abram came along as well. Young parents popping out kiddos, their hands full, a mortgage, a job, volunteering with their church as bus captains and youth leaders – active as can be. Enthralled with the theological fallacies of the day, they fell headlong into the “Tim Lahaye-the-end-is-near” malarkey. They thought, “We don’t have time to raise a family. We need to be busy serving God.” So, my dad had a vasectomy. A few years later when they tried to get it reversed and the reversal failed, my parents wept over never being able to have more children having believed that it could be reversed anytime. Not having the money for the private Christian school at their church and living in the City of St. Louis, my mother and father were disgusted with public schools, so as my mother would say, “If I can teach them to tie their shoes and teach them the alphabet, I can teach them to read and write.” So we were homeschooled.
Now, homeschooling was technically against the law in Missouri at the time. My parents – true rebels and in probably their most radical years – made a plan. If anyone tried to stop them from homeschooling, my mother would take us and drive to Arkansas to family who would hide us from the authorities. My dad would stand boldly and dare the State to arrest him for teaching his own children. He went and stood on the steps of the capital in Jefferson City and publicly declared, “I am homeschooling my children in violation of the law, arrest me or change that law.” This is how Kerry Messer started to fight for homeschooling in Missouri. Just as the theologians and the Christian Coalition kicked off in the 80’s, MFN my dad’s ministry began and he has served in the political field for years since. Yes, we stood by families threatened by DFS for homeschooling. We saw the laws change and Missouri has the best homeschooling laws in the entire country.
But, that doesn’t make us good people – we are just people who have done some good. My dad is hard headed and self-determined. Of course, that apple hasn’t fallen far. You know when I learned of his secret affair with his new Girlfriend back in April and May of 2015, I confronted him. My single biggest objection and concern that I shared with him over and over was how all the good things, all the positive work, all the people who have been blessed and honored by his service and his ministry now have to face the question, “Who is Kerry?” How can his work mean anything when he is a liar and a cheater and maybe he did something awful to his wife?
To quote a Senator from Missouri when asked about Kerry this legislative session, “He wasn’t welcome in my office before he killed his wife.” My father has tarnished and ruined the reputation of his ministry and our family. I sat and I implored him and I was baffled at his replies.
My father decided within weeks of my mother’s “disappearance” death that having a girlfriend was more important than the entire ministry of MFN. It was more important than all the organizations he ever represented, than every cause every belief he ever represented. That made no sense to me.
How is it possible for a man to decide, “My wife is missing, but I would rather have a girlfriend today than honor my wife’s memory, her passions and beliefs, my own family or their beliefs and ideologies. I would rather give up every cause and every good thing I have ever stood for so I can have my girlfriend.” But he did it.
We are all sinners. We all screw up. Did Kerry do wonderful things for FHE? Absolutely. But does his life represent the values he once stood for? No. He no longer represents Missouri Baptists, his own church and many of his supporters have quietly walked away. And I warned him and I told him this was the result, and he chose this path knowing it would happen.
But let me tell you, in the community of homeschoolers, the families I have known – we are close. We grew up together. You don’t think that parents will let you down. My whole life, I was that weird kid whose parents weren’t divorced. I was the kid whose mom didn’t work and who cooked every meal at home and who sacrificed everything to raise us because it was her duty – her sacred privilege to teach us and to raise us to be godly, young men. And she did it.
I look around and I see those same parents, sacred elders, revered friends, folks I considered to be family – I see divorced homes. I see families suffering from mothers who left for careers they had abandoned or for men that had written them from prison and seduced them into leaving their husbands. I see a young man my age – a genius who earned full ride scholarships to be nuclear engineer – who had to raise his own brothers and sisters when his dad took his own life. I see that man espousing atheism and rejecting everything he was raised in. I see people who I revered and who I now know molested their own children. I see friends who lost their family farm because their dad died from a heart attack after his wife left him. I see my friends struggled to pay the bills left behind from their mother and father’s divorce. I see family after family who were homeschooled whose children are struggling realizing that their parents weren’t the saints they thought they were. I saw friends who were raised in loving homes, but who married selfish men who cheated on them and they live alone afraid to remarry or even date because of how they have been wronged.
Sin. I remember that spirit of rebellion and defiance so ingrained and so natural spouting through me. In the second grade Sunday School class, my teacher asked me, “What’s your favorite Bible story?” Showing off, I said, “That one where the lady drives the tent peg through that guy’s head.” In horror, the teacher said, “Oh, I don’t think that’s in the Bible.” My rebellious, little mouth shot off, “I know more about the Bible than you.” Then, the next week, I brought my Bible and pointed out the passage and proved how much smarter than her I was.
As a high school freshman, I left the youth department. The immaturity and lack of depth in the Bible study just drove me nuts. I started teaching the young adult class at 15. I went on mission trips. I was so sure of myself. I was better than the rest of you – or at least I was smarter, and, if not smarter, I was at least right and you were wrong.
Then I married someone. And I had no idea what I was doing. I stumbled in the dark for a dozen years – lost and confused and afraid. Afraid to ask for help. Afraid to admit sin. Afraid to say, “I am no better than anyone else.” Afraid to admit that I wasn’t smarter than you. Afraid that you might know better than me. Afraid that I might be wrong. I worked hard-headed and cock sure and my boss fired me. Two years later, he hired me back and he called me Aarron 2.0. He worked with me and he held me accountable. He made me say that I was wrong and that I was sorry. It was like being forced to hold your hand in the fire. It hurt. I grew. I learned that I am wrong. I make mistakes. I am fallible. My wife left me and I hit bottom, oh so hard.
Now, I know the truth. We are all guilty. We have all done wrong. We all need salvation. We need humility. I hurt when I see the pain of sin in my friends in my family. I cried when I read that letter.
If you have been a part of the homeschool community, your life has been deeply affected by the work of Kerry Messer. He had championed you and your cause for 30 years, but he chose to walk away from his values and his family.
I don’t like it, but he does not represent what he has done in the past or FHE or you or me anymore. I am so sorry. We love you and we love him, but don’t let his personal failure be the end of your passion. It won’t be the end of mine.
In the below article, Aarron and Abram Messer, write out the foundation of why they are choosing to write about the ongoing investigation around their mom’s mysterious death and their father’s deceptive behavior.
Aarron Joseph Messer, Wednesday, November 23, 2016 (Reprinted with permission)
As many of you are about to enjoy Thanksgiving and celebrate the many amazing things that God has wrought in your life I am hesitant to interrupt the joys of celebrating God’s blessings, but I am reminded that we are to be thankful in the storms that even the pains and punishment of God are to be celebrated for in His refining fire we are purified. As the title no doubt informs you this post will not be gentle. If you are fascinated by the story of my mother, her life, disappearance and death, you will no doubt have already weighed and wondered many possible albeit ugly hypothesis of her demise. I will not feed your suspicions I will not make accusations or stoop to lay blame where blame is undue here today.
However there is a great deal of misinformation in the public arena. This is only complicated by the ongoing tales woven by those eliciting your sympathy. I do not seek your sympathy and while I covet your prayers I would ask that above and beyond your prayers for comfort and restoration, which we do need, that the truth will be made clear and that where misrepresentation and falsehoods are being spread that truth will take its place. As believers our family has sought to hold each other accountable through the body of Christ and our churches. Repentance while sought from those who have wronged us remains out of reach. In fact rather than acknowledge the wrongs committed the offender has attempted to blacken the reputation and tarnish the credibility of those of us who have suffered the offences.
While we all await the actual adjudication of evidence to acquit or condemn my father of any wrong doing in my mother’s death, real harms have been committed. It is with great hesitancy that I make this plea public and that I ask you our supporters, challengers, friends, family and strangers to judge for yourself which accusations are just and which are not. Be it as it may, my brother Abram carefully weighed the consequences of confronting my father over these matters and found himself seeking shelter for his family cast out from his home. It is only knowing that a similar fate may fall myself and my children and not without concern that I make these posts, but rather in spite of and only through overcoming my fears that I am compelled to do so. The truth is far more important than a roof over my head.
There are three areas of deception and deceit that my father has blatantly perpetrated upon the public and my family. These areas have caused immeasurable harm to my mother’s reputation and memory, the wholeness of her family, the body of Christ, and the ministry of Missouri Family Network. These three areas of deception are a deliberate attempt to hide and cover up my mother’s struggle with depression from detectives, the public and her family. Inexcusable lies about the note that my father reports to have found; its content, to whom it was addressed, and to police about it and his forthrightness regarding the chain of evidence. And finally the devastating revelation of how my father has concealed his relationship with Spring Thomas. All three of these key matters have been and continue to fuel suspicions and accusations of wrong doing and possible complicity in the disappearance and death of my mother towards my dad.
All three of these issues center on one idea, honesty. Our father Kerry has lied and deceived every member of my mother’s family explicitly in regards to these three areas. These lies are not simple misunderstandings; Kerry has crafted a narrative for what purpose I do not know. But the truth is not what he has said. I am going to speak the truth, the plain truth and boldly call as my brother has for my dad to come clean. My request for transparency, and honesty, is both a plea for a public apology and repentance on his part, and a request that he admit to himself that no one has perpetrated, attacked, besmirched or tainted our opinions of him or his actions but that his actions alone have indicted and isolated him.
My father posts often and frequently speak of accusations and rails against us as processing grief unhealthily when we challenge him to be honest instead of deceptive. His reaction to dozens of private requests for honesty and moral challenges presented from deacons, pastors, and advisers to the corruption of his own moral values through his actions has and continues to remain unrepentant. My dad will not confess in private or in public his wrongs albeit in private conversation with his sons he has attempted to justify his lies as being well intention-ed. He wields scripture as a bludgeon to condemn his accusers while never calculating his own sin. If there has ever been a greater example of having a log in one’s own eye than my father at this moment I know not of it.
We have confronted him privately, we have taken witnesses with us and challenged him and asked for his repentance, wise men have expressed their reservations, frustrations and admonitions with him privately. We have attempted to bring him before his church for public discipline as scripture admonishes and have been unsuccessful in having him held accountable by his church as his pastor has refused to do so. Now you have heard accusations, you know the grumblings. How can anyone not grasp that the spouse of a missing person may be a suspect in their disappearance? When her body has been found of course the public and skeptics wonder aloud mightn’t he have played some role?
We are not talking about what happened to my mother. That’s right we are talking not about what did or didn’t my dad do too my mom, but rather what has he done to his family since she disappeared. This call for repentance this challenge to come clean has nothing to do with what happened to my mother directly but how Kerry has purported himself for the 2 years, 3 months and 3 weeks she was missing.
Dad, as I know you are reading this you need to know not one of us has ever been persuaded or confused by police into believing that you have killed mom. You’re continuing to label us as mudslingers, false accusers, of abandoning you, criticizing you, ridiculing you, betraying you, living in the mire of misery, when we only speak the plain and simple truth of what you have done to us, and how you have lied about our mother, of us, how you have lied to us is unacceptable. We will seek the truth we will speak it openly and displayed for all the world to see.
If you would choose to seek restoration with and in your family repentance must start with you. You must confess your public lies with public repentance, you must admit that no matter your excuse, no justification can be had for hiding this relationship with Spring, for refusing to seek true council about that relationship, for ignoring our advice, for hiding important evidence about our mothers disappearance, for lying to detectives, for having driven your entire family away. You have offended and hurt the family of the woman, your bride whom you claim to love more deeply than anyone else. It is not the words of detectives working diligently to find the truth that have torn your family apart but rather it is your lies that have done that.
You have isolated yourself from us with those lies. You have driven us out of your life by choosing to hide the truth. Truth is what matters and not your excuses. Come clean dad, come clean and we can walk the path to healing. But you are the only one who can start this process you are the one who must repent not only for the lies you have told but the ones you continue to tell about us.
For you the public I will be supplying you with three detailed articles this week. They will cover who my father’s girlfriend Spring Thomas is and exactly how my father has developed and executed his relationship in secret that is truly offensive to his own family. Next we will speak frankly about the note my father found and how his lies about that note have driven a wedge in our family. Finally I will address for you my mother’s mental health the fact that Kerry has known and has privately acknowledged her struggle with depression through the years and how he has sought to silence anyone who has speaks regarding that depression and how he had ignored her worsening depression and suicidal thoughts, words and actions in the years, months, and days before her disappearance.
I repeat again I do not say any of these things to darken Kerry’s name or cast dispersion upon my father but rather because each of his actions in doing these ills has wronged our family and driven us apart. He has chosen to live and speak falsehood when the truth was uncomfortable. Each of us has asked for reconciliation with the other but so long as the truth remains in the dark and Kerry having harmed us refuses to come clean no reconciliation will happen. Just this week after long consideration I spoke bluntly with our family and it was clear, no matter the outcome of the investigation into my mother’s death, healing in our family will only begin once my father is willing to come clean about each of these deceptions that he has perpetrated upon the public and my mother’s family.
This article is from Aarron Messer’s Facebook page. He has given me permission to print it in its entirety.
Our frustrations can be overwhelming. There are so many questions we do not have answers too that at times you wonder if there is anything you can do? One of those questions is what role if any has my father’s relationship with his girlfriend Spring Thomas played in the disappearance of my mother? I can’t answer that question. I can’t because I don’t know. However I can answer several other questions that can help you understand why our family is so pulled apart. I will not be proposing theories. I will not be speculating.
What you are reading are only facts that I know too be true from personal observation and direct statements from eye witnesses, detectives, Abram, Kerry and myself. Some facts may be denied by others or glossed over. This does not invalidate them as facts.
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 and besides his very public faithful Christian service to his church, organizing Easter Sunrise services in Babler State Park for half a century and beyond, a founding board member of Westminster Christian Academy he was an extremely sacrificial supporter of my father’s ministry for as long as I can remember. He not only was our 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 my impacted wisdom teeth 20+ years ago. He financially was a faithful donor to the ministry throughout his life until he passed in 2012.
Prior to my mother’s disappearance I personally had only met Spring a few times in passing. However Spring lives on a substantial piece of real estate in Wildwood 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. The only family experience Spring has known has been caring for her parents. In fact being a caregiver is a common thread Spring and Lynn shared. My mother having cared for both her in-laws until they passed.
Spring has never been married and has no children. She loves her cats and serving her church and has a reputation for going out of her way to quietly care for people going through difficult circumstances much as my mother did. As her father was aging and after he retired from his practice, Missouri was experiencing a severe drought. The price of hay was off the charts and many Missouri farmers were selling off their cattle at rock bottom prices. Despite our family farms location in Ste Genevieve county being so far from Wildwood an arrangement was made in which Messer Farms the farm business entity belonging to Kerry, Spring agreed to house cattle in Wildwood to graze fields that were not being used and Kerry would help with the upkeep on Spring’s farm. This relationship continues today.
I cannot speculate on the relationship between Kerry and Spring at that time. However Abram has never been comfortable with the behavior between Kerry and Spring when working on her farm. The level of interaction communication and the nature of this business relationship which was much less about business as friendship was quite different than with any of you. You may know Kerry and Lynn from church, his ministry, homeschooling, even have known him since high school but I assure you that unless you worked on the farm with my father as Abram, Robert Fina, and myself have you do not know the particularly oddity of the non-public persona of Kerry Messer. In public my father has had to maintain an absolute veil of perfection. His suave charm and perfectly articulated speech is carefully crafted to maintain his image. Step into a field and let a calf run past you when we’re trying to get them through the head gate and you will see an entirely different Kerry.
Lynn thought very highly of Spring having shared a kindred spirit, in watching your parents age and pass. When a wife at church was dying of cancer and she called in her husband and told him who she wanted him to marry once she was gone sort of a loving match maker caring for the spouse she left behind my mother was enamored. She idealized and romanticized this notion of picking your spouse’s new partner. My mother picked Spring to be her replacement for Kerry. She not only went out of her way to tell Elizabeth “if anything happens to me, I think pop should marry Spring Thomas” on Monday the day before she disappeared but she made the same comment to several ladies from her church.
Of the many unanswered questions we wonder, what conversations did Lynn have with Spring? See 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? Lynn went to meet with Spring the week before she disappeared, it was just the two of them. What was that meeting about? I don’t know and while it may be easy to conjecture at we just don’t know, the same as investigators don’t know. Because, Spring has refused to answer further questions or submit to a lie detector test, on the advice of her attorneys. This is not speculation it is exactly what my dad told me when I asked why isn’t Spring willing to take a lie detector test? Regardless of the content of their conversation this was a critical point in my mother’s life, and the questions need to be answered.
In the weeks after mother disappeared many people volunteered to help search and support the search efforts. Spring was among those volunteers. In the first week of searching my dad established a rule that no one come in the house. This rule was strictly enforced. He asked women family friends not to hug him, because he was, “uncomfortable feeling their breasts” against himself. He especially did not want any women coming to see him in private or entering his house while he sat alone inside. This was and is bizarre for us but it’s actually normal for my dad.
See Kerry has always insisted that his behavior be above reproach that no one may be able to accuse him of inappropriate behavior around women. I was always taught that my dad would run up and down the stairs in Jefferson City at the capital not simply because it’s quicker but because he wouldn’t want to be in an elevator alone with a woman besides my mother. He refused rides back and forth to Jefferson City from women. Mind you the older ladies who drove out every week to feed representatives and host a Bible study had no intention of harming his reputation but dad had to be above reproach. When my dad drove the church bus, he refused to drive by himself if there was a possibility that a single woman would ride the bus.
There has been a suggestion that my dad has had affairs in Jefferson City, and my father has issued a challenge asking that anyone who knows of any affair come forward to the media. I would caution anyone who feels that this establishes some kind of alibi to know that it is not fair to do so. Detectives have assured me personally that multiple sources from Jefferson City have already stepped forward with allegations in private. Making his public challenge does not clear your name, it might sound good in a news story but… But the work of Missouri Family Network is renowned in conservative republican circles and anyone who would speak negatively of Kerry or make such an accusation publicly may soon find themselves unemployable. His challenges are not a defense but are intimidating for a victim and in a sense one day could be considered a criminal offence like witness intimidation.
I can personally speak of a particular relationship with a volunteer in Jefferson City who was very close to my father who poured hours into helping the work grow who suddenly overnight was a pariah too our family and the ministry. This young lady was a married volunteer and remains an active participant in Missouri politics. I couldn’t have been but a young teenager when this happened. But in years later when my mother was asked what happened why did we stop working with this family? My mother said that the young woman had made allegations that my father had made sexual advances on her.
Again legislative aids in the state capital building working in offices that my father worked through complained that they were uncomfortable that my father made physical advances on them. The first to complain was fired because my father’s reputation was so strong the only conclusion this senator could make was that she was lying. But after the replacement LA brought the same complaints about Kerry the working relationship between the MFN and the senator’s office completely disintegrated. While these incidents are not proof of any affair they reflect a clear inconsistency in the outward character of my father. Publicly upright and moral privately who knows? Well investigators know because they have been and continue to field calls from accusers and his children have known of these grumblings and rumors for years although we do not want to believe them.
The facts are that Spring Thomas was intimately involved in the search efforts for my mother from the beginning. As the investigation unfolded and detectives followed up on leads they heard how my mother has suggested that Kerry marry Spring if “anything” was to happen to her. They attempted to contact Spring to discuss her relationship with my dad and my mom. At the six week point of the investigation into moms disappearance Spring confirmed in a written statement that she was in fact in a relationship with my dad. After she made her statement to police she messaged Abram and in an odd conversation asked Abram if it was appropriate for her to continue to participate in searches? Abram was flabbergasted he had no idea why she would ask that? See the only people aware of Kerry and Spring’s relationship at that time was Spring, Kerry and investigators. Abram has since reflected that the purpose of that discussion was to identify if police had told him about the relationship.
Even before rumors of Kerry’s having a girlfriend surfaced numerous search participants came forward singling Spring out as having a special connection to Kerry reflecting on the close nature of Kerry’s attention bestowed on her when she was on the farm. 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 had dried her feet off and provided her with dry socks and shoes to wear.
No one in our family besides Kerry was aware of his relationship with Spring until May of 2015. When I describe too you the facts of my father’s relationship I am relaying to you not a theory or idea but his own words that he shared with me as I confronted him. The how and why of this confrontation begins with a follow up meeting with detectives that I had. At this point there had been zero real progress in the physical search for Lynn. Detectives explained how my dad had asked them permission to satisfy his urges for female companionship. That he had complained that he was accustomed to an active sex life and that the absence of Lynn was not simply emotionally draining but physically unbearable. They told him that they didn’t care what he did but they felt that was a conversation that he should be having with a pastor.
They told me that my dad was seeing Spring on a regular basis having dinner in private, dating, talking on the phone every day spending the majority of his time with her. They speculated that they did not know if there was an affair that had begun prior to July of 2014 but they explained numerous other things that my dad had orchestrated and had asked the police not to tell me or Abram. They did not fill my head with ideas that my dad was having an affair or had killed my mother, or try and turn me against my dad. They only shared the truth of how my dad had intentionally misled me and Abram and was hiding his new relationship.
I went home and I carefully weighed what they shared. I waited 24 hrs praying and considering how to respond to this information. I then went directly too my father and confronted him. Over the course of the next 9 hours of conversation he confessed to hiding the relationship, and explained that he really wasn’t sure when it had started but that he had feelings for Spring and hadn’t stopped thinking about her basically since mom disappeared. I demanded that he come clean to Abram and we spent all evening discussing the relationship and its consequences along with other elements of deception that he had pulled over on us including the content of the note.
While there is so much to say I will simply say that when I asked my dad if he had a girlfriend? He said “NO, but Aarron when did you start talking too Penny?” Now Penny is my girlfriend and has been my friend for ten years. She was my coworker with whom I carpooled with whom I had worked for 7 years prior to my wife leaving me. Despite allegations otherwise which incidentally I am very much accustomed too she and I had remained friends and nothing more until well after both our past relationships had ended. Now the only reason to try and morally equivocate on my relationship with my girlfriend as a divorced man was to defend his relationship as being comparable. I redirected his clever attempt to disarm my question and asked him if Spring Thomas was or was not his girlfriend and if he was or wasn’t dating her? At which point he argued that he wouldn’t call it dating or her his girlfriend.
What he did admit was that he was attracted to Spring and he was deeply in need of sexual satisfaction that he couldn’t take not having sex 4-5 times a week. He said this was why he needed the relationship with Spring but then he said he only ever holds hands with her. So his reasoning for needing the relationship was for sex but he isn’t having sex. Whatever that means. He then used all kinds of excuses to explain that if God didn’t mean for him to be with Spring that God wouldn’t let him be with Spring. He argued that he wanted to be accountable to Abram and I and wanted to ask our permission to see Spring but that they (Spring and Him) had talked and felt that it was best to keep their relationship a secret until after the one year anniversary because it wouldn’t look good otherwise.
So he intended to ask our permission but only after he had a secret relationship for ten and half months first. He explained that he couldn’t go on living without her. That in the first few weeks after mother disappeared that he was drawn to Spring that he was having feelings for her, but he wanted to distract himself from her so he had tried to pursue a relationship with another woman from his church instead. Kim had survived cancer and also been a good friend of my mother, and she worked for a counselor that he had begun to see. He asked the counselor if it was appropriate to talk to her about his desire to pursue a relationship with her and the counselor said lets pray about it after the young woman heard about Kerry’s interest in her she was deeply offended she felt it was completely inappropriate and spoke in confidence about it with investigators. So Kerry related that he had been drawn back to Spring since Kim had turned him down.
Kerry was having long telephone conversations with Spring and she invited him to come to Christmas at her house. Kerry related that on the first Christmas after my mother’s disappearance he spent all day with Spring. While that may not have particular significance too you my parents were married just before Christmas and it was an anniversary they always celebrated together. My mother had a carefully built a Christmas Eve tradition. Our family has dinner together steak, twice baked potatoes, salad, and dirt cake after which we attend Candlelight service together. On the first major holiday without mom Kerry insisted that we not have our traditional dinner, but we wanted too so to satisfy him we changed what we would eat.
He told us, “I don’t even want to see you or your kids, or have any of you down here for Christmas” but then that Christmas Eve the day before he spent all day with Spring, he showed up for our mothers traditional dinner late and while we were eating said, “I don’t want anybody to make a big deal out of it but I got a special gift for a special lady” and he explained how he had carefully purchased a gift for Spring. Later that evening he handed out gift cards to his grand kids, who later reflected about his comments about Spring and how he bought her something special asking why did he buy her something special and not us.
While he told us during that discussion that he was so lonely that without Spring he would have committed suicide, we tried to grasp why had he refused to come to our family gatherings or participate in our mothers traditions and when he did come was he completely focused on Spring. He told us that on Christmas Day while all of us are mourning and trying to hold together our mothers memory and celebrate Christmas with our family that he chose to spend his holiday cementing his relationship with his new girlfriend. After that Christmas he spent almost every day with Spring, until the legislative session began at least that’s what he told us.
Now for the dozen years that Abram has worked with dad in the ministry the majority of the time they have carpooled riding together to Jefferson City and back. But dad admitted to us that he lied specifically about needing to drive separately back and forth just so he could stop every time on his way up and back to spend time with Spring. As Abram has said he barely saw dad in Jefferson City that entire session, he would come and go, disappearing as he confessed to spend most his time on the phone or with Spring in secret.
Throughout the 2015 Legislative Session dad lied over and over again making excuses to hide his relationship with Spring from Abram. Throughout the evening my dad confessed to going out of his way to hide the relationship. He admitted to telling and asking the police to keep his confidence and keep their relationship a secret. He expressed a livid anger and hostility on how investigators had betrayed him by telling his children his secrets. There are several other acknowledgments that my father made that night to us, including how depressed my mother was and the fact that she had been receiving treatment for her depression for years but I will speak to those issues in another post.
The single most difficult element of this knowledge regarding his relationship with Spring has been to gauge in my heart my father’s posts on the FindLynnMesser page about how deeply and dearly he misses and loves my mother while knowing that the entire time his heart belongs to someone else and that he is deeply in love with Spring Thomas and not my Mother. If you understand that my dad told us that he spoke with detectives in September of 2014 about pursuing a relationship with Spring, but Spring had confirmed that she was in a relationship with my dad, and the only upfront and honest thing my dad has done was that the same day six weeks after mom disappeared he called detectives, “to be up front with them” and told them that he was in a relationship with Spring.
So every drawn out laborious woe is me I am miserable and alone post that my dad has made on the FindLynnMesser page is a lie. He has been happily pursuing his new girlfriend the entire time I don’t know how you could ever look at my dad’s post the same. I certainly can’t! For the past year and a half I haven’t been able to read a single word my dad writes about his broken heart and lonely estate so hurting and so lost when I know for a fact that he is completely absorbed in his new romance.
So you might ask how did you respond to your dad’s albeit hesitant and forced confession? Abram and I talked for hours with Kerry. We presented to him multi-tiered objections. To begin with it is important that you understand that we expressed every single one of our concerns to dad that day. We addressed anyone’s emotional knee jerk responses too our objections and I will outline them. We are not jealous. We do not see his new relationship as a replacement for our mother. We have absolutely no objection too our father remarrying in due time. We have no judgment on Spring’s moral character and our opposition has never been based on her being a bad match for our father.
Consider if you will the pain when you now know of the relationship and how it had existed months prior, reflect with us how in the late summer of 2014, Abram at Spring’s farm overheard Kerry “joking” with Spring say “I just got rid of one woman, I’m not in a hurry to get another one”. Consider with us how those comments hurt when you now know our father was privately doing exactly that. Remember we were having this conversation with him in the Spring of 2015, our mother has been a missing person for 10 – 11 months. Our father has just admitted to pursuing a new relationship after less than 2 months of our mother being missing. Our concerns is not that it would be awkward to be dating after your spouse dies in two months but that when you do not know if your wife is alive or not, you do not know anything about where she is you aren’t immediately at ease to pursue another woman.
Our objection though isn’t that he shouldn’t or we don’t think you should our objection is this if you do you are tarnishing your personal reputation, you will damage your own reputation and by extension the ministry you built in Missouri Family Network, a corollary is not only that MFN will lose its reputation but that MFN not only provides his salary but provides all of Abram and his family’s income. Abram’s home which Daryl our grandfather had given too Abram was still in Kerry’s name. Not only could this damage Abram’s family’s income but if it focuses suspicions on Kerry and prevents investigators from pursuing legitimate leads or if he is prosecuted and they somehow prove he is complicit in mothers disappearance Abram might not just lose his income, his ministry, but his home and the result of this relationship could be putting Abram destitute and leaving his family on the street.
Our concern was that this would distract from the actual investigation, harm the ministry and possibly the entire family. We also brought to him that this action would alienate him from all my mother’s family and relatives. We expressed our concerns that he might not be prepared for the consequence of choosing Spring over his entire family. We asked him what this relationship would mean if Mom shows up? What would he do how would his heart handle the conflict? I asked him if it was wise to be in any relationship at all considering that a missing person cannot be declared dead until after they have been missing for 5 years? Was his intention to date Spring desperate for sex but holding out because they couldn’t get married till mother was declared dead in another 4 years? And he replied well we might find her any moment.
For hours we were baffled as he confessed to pursuing this relationship in secret, lying over and over again about it telling us he intended to continue lying about it for months more. He expressed how angry he was that police had betrayed his confidence and told me. This was compounded as we discussed how he had hidden and lied about the note as well. On the practical side I expressed concerns that Spring was an only child, who had never experienced raising children, having a marriage before, or siblings was she going to be the best choice as a future mate for him considering the need to be a surrogate grandmother, mother etc… was she fully prepared was it fair to her for him to pursue this relationship to gratify his own desires without considering how much pain the suspicion and the calling to be a replacement for my mother might be? To be blunt Spring appeared to me to be so very much like him alone losing all her family mightn’t they simply be sharing in their aloneness instead of grieving the loss of his wife?
How could he have mourned his wife and moved on to a new relationship in 6 weeks when we didn’t even know if she was dead? I was terrified that he had not sought counsel or processed any of his grief and pain appropriately and that this relationship may just be an escape from facing the reality of his pain. After hours upon hours of expressing and discussing our objections, and concerns Abram and I explicitly presented a path forward.
We urged him to step down immediately from MFN to allow someone else to run the organization until all the questions surrounding the investigation could be settled and to let Abram step forward, and function as the face of MFN in Jefferson City. We outlined that an agreement needed to be reached to transfer title of Abram’s house into his own name and I suggested that a family trust be created to protect the rest of the farm from any possible legal attacks resulting from the possible prosecution in mothers disappearance knowing that keeping the farm in the hands of her grandchildren was my mother’s desire. Kerry agreed with all those proposals.
Kerry suggested that he wanted to have Abram and I as his accountability partners for his relationship with Spring he promised to be completely honest and forthright to tell us when he is going to see her every time he sees her. We both couldn’t imagine that responsibility and the very last conversation of the evening after our objections after our exhaustion of trying to reason with him against his relationship over and over again, Kerry commented, “well I was going to go see Spring tomorrow, we should talk about this if that’s ok with you?” Abram couldn’t respond, how dare he really after all our objections he just asks us permission after we just said no, no, no we do not want you to pursue this relationship he says is it ok? I gave him the only response I could muster. I am not the one you answer too, you do what you want but don’t ask me for permission, don’t ask me if it’s ok. I mean come on really if you can’t listen to me saying this is wrong for 9 hours what good would me saying no don’t go see her tomorrow do?
Well that weekend dad brought a group of people together after church and started talking about how he has developed feelings for Spring and told people that I am ok with him dating her. So apparently he couldn’t listen to my 9 hours of objections but he heard the 10 seconds of it’s not my place to give you permission. So of course Abram and I started receiving endless phone calls and messages as word spread from people very, very upset about Kerry’s behavior and his girlfriend. And those calls have never ended. So what does Spring Thomas have to do with my mother’s disappearance and death? I don’t know. But my dad’s behavior is disgusting and if you want to know why no one and I mean no one in his family respects him. It has to do with his lies, his deceptions his betrayal of us as he has gone out of his way to blame police for trying to frame him. He has accused us of trying to take the farm, of trying to ruin the ministry.
When your dad says I lied to you for the past year because I wanted to protect you from the truth so it’s ok that I lied and refuses to ever admit that he did wrong it’s hard to be on his side. Like I said Spring Thomas might have nothing to do with what happened to my mom, but her relationship with my dad and his lies about it have everything to do with why Lynn’s family wants nothing to do with him, including her sons. Remember our objections focused on how keeping this relationship a secret lying for months and planning to continue to lie makes you look guilty. Our overarching concerns all stem from the fact that my dad’s behavior if continued makes him look bad, it makes it seem like he must be hiding other things. The discussions about how his behavior implies guilt and taints his reputation really compound when you consider the things he has hidden about the note and mother’s depression which I will expound on later.
There is so much more that Kerry has done to make up stories about Abram and to try and discredit him and his bold opposition to my dad. Let me give you a list. Kerry has lied about, Lynn’s history of depression, suicidal thoughts, and treatment. He has lied about the cats that she killed when she wanted to hurt herself. He has lied about the note that was written to Abram, he has lied to Abram about the note over and over and over again, he lied to investigators about the note. He has lied to Aarron about Spring even when being confronted he lied too my face, he has lied to the media about the police, he has lied to everyone about Spring, he has lied about Aarron being ok with him dating.
He has lied about Abram’s character, he has made promises to resign from MFN and refused, he told Abram that he was going to turn MFN over to a third party and then refused instead claiming that Abram was trying to convince him to commit suicide. He fired Abram and told him he had to pay rent on the very house he promised to relinquish title too that belongs to Abram, forcing Abram and his family out of that home. Incidentally he only did so after Abram voiced his objections to dad’s behavior publicly.
He has lied about Spring cooperating with police, he failed his lie detector tests, he lied when he said he is cooperating with investigators, he has refused to speak to detectives. He has lied about Abram’s child hood, he has made wild accusations about Abram, he has lied about the argument between Abram and Lynn.
He accuses everyone else of mud-slinging simply for calling him on his lies, his own church asked him to step down as a Sunday school teacher and deacon because of his secret relationship, we have been told that the ministry no longer represents the Missouri Baptists Convention, or the Christian Life Commission but why should that matter he has said that his fundraising since mother disappeared has been better than ever. He lies to each and every one of you every time he posts on Facebook about how much he misses his bride because he is with his new one every day.
My father lied in his last media interview when he says his relationship is on hold because I watched them cooking dinner and kissing each other in his kitchen two weeks before I found mom. Then yesterday the two of them spent all day working cattle together. He lies about how hard it is to do work on the farm without any help because he has had his girlfriend helping him to bale hay and she has been working on the farm this whole summer.
He lies when she’s with him when he has her park her car in secret and drives her around scurrying her in and out of the house from his car. I watched her drive past the farm turn around in a driveway and drive back the other way like she didn’t want me to see her coming to his house the week before I found mom, just to watch her pull into the barnyard 20 minutes later when she thought I was gone. He sees me driving down the driveway and she is in his car so he drives off into the field as if I am not supposed to notice her sitting next to him. All those wonderful pictures of Lynn he took when they were dating well he’s taking pictures of Spring just the way he used too with mom and he is actively continuing their relationship all while pretending to be such a woeful hurting abandoned husband.
Now I have been opposed to their relationship not because he isn’t entitled to move on with his life but plainly because he refuses to come clean about it. He hasn’t developed feelings that have caused people to think he had an affair, he has hidden his relationship with his girlfriend and treated that relationship like it was a secret affair lying and covering it up, that makes everyone wonder what else are you hiding Kerry and why? But if you are a church member of his church reading this you deserve to know. Abram and I have spoken with numerous pastors, deacons, and men from my dad’s life that have gone to him privately and voiced their objections and concerns over his relationship in every conversation seeking Biblical council, prayer begging that dad see the damage his sin has caused and continues to produce. My father has chosen his secret girlfriend against the advice of dozens of counselors. Abram sought to hold him accountable in his church, but the pastor of First Baptist Church Festus Crystal City has practically ignored his behavior.
Abram sought to follow the Biblical outline for dealing with someone in sin, already having addressed this issue in person and in private. We have reached out to him with deacons and church members bringing witnesses to address Kerry in a Biblical manner. Finally he sought discipline to hold dad accountable before the church body or just the deacons even but to no avail, the pastor responded to his requests by saying “that’s not going to happen”. The week after finding mothers body I spoke with my father’s pastor and he told me that no one in the church had a problem with me or Abram. This is unbelievable to me my dad has split his church in two we have heard from members leaving and the divided body refusing to speak to each other the few that think Kerry can do no wrong refuse to listen to the truth and the ones who tell the truth are outcasts minimized and castigated as gossips and accusers for speaking the truth.
There comes a time when you are so disgusted you just can’t go on ignoring behavior. That time has come I am tired of hearing my dad malign and demean my brother for following the Biblical standard of accountability. I have waited because I knew that if I voiced my concerns they might be misconstrued. I understood before that the detectives needed to put pressure on dad, believing that he was lying about his knowledge of where mom was. But now we have her and they have evidence to process that we eagerly wait for so the pressure we put on dad now won’t find mom and it isn’t and shouldn’t be misconstrued as police desperate for any lead at all.
I do not blame my father for my mother’s death. I am not accusing him of anything related to her disappearance. No, regardless of what the police decide about his involvement or if he is ever charged with anything at all my father has destroyed his own reputation by the manner in which he has conducted himself. I will not sit idle by while he attacks my brother for speaking the truth. When you see the calls for him to come clean we do not simply mean to imply he did something to mom, but just stop lying for any reason at all dad. Lying to protect us from the pain of the truth is wrong there is no justification that makes it right.
The time to repent is now. So yes we have gone to the media because my dad’s church won’t hold him accountable. Yes, it is possible my dad didn’t just lie about his girlfriend, the note, my mother’s mental health, Abram’s childhood, about being accountable to me and Abram, transferring the home that was given to Abram into his name, or all the other things we discussed like cooperating with the police, maybe he has lied about something else? How would we know? He lies about everything it seems how would we know if he isn’t lying about knowing where mom was all this time? I don’t know. Not a theory, not a speculation just a fact how would we know. He can’t be honest about anything else apparently…