rcCatalyst.com Reports Surprise Arrest of Jerry Cooper

Wednesday, rcCatalyst.com reported the surprise arrest of Jerry Cooper on Tuesday at the Rutherford County courthouse. Jerry was sued several months ago in a civil case by two Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) members represented by Josh Farmer and the required mediation was Tuesday morning. After the mediation session resulted in an impasse, Jerry was set to leave the courthouse. He was approached by an officer who asked his identity. Once he confirmed, the officer announced Jerry was under arrest for charges on a warrant sworn out by Jane Whaley in 2013. Josh Farmer was present to monitor the arrest noting “that Cooper was not often in the country and therefore quick action was required…”

With the help of friends, Jerry made bond and the court date for this matter is May 29th. In unconfirmed statements, sources close to the drama say two high profile surprise participants have been subpoenaed in that case. The earlier civil case between WOFF members, Robert Louis Walker, Jr. and Sarah C. Anderson case and Jerry has a next appearance date of Jan. 2016. What drama this year holds, and we only know part of it, I am sure.

Questions over this drama roll too fast for me to type. Could the civil case have been a strategy move just to get Jerry into the county for the arrest? Why do I ask? A source in the mediation noted Josh appeared disorganized, off his game and disheveled when the court appointed mediator ask what damages the plaintiffs had incurred. His answer was a meek reply containing the assertion the damages were yet to be determined, but the plaintiffs had increased their request for punitive damages from $25,000 each to $50,000 each? Do those two things make sense when put in the same sentence?

Before the drama played out on Tuesday, I read the civil complaint against Jerry noting the apparent disjointed presentation of observations appearing to have been cobbled together in a hurry. The complaint fell way short of the usual standard of Josh Farmer legal presentations. Could this complaint have been dictated or provided for Josh to sign in a rush to piece together a strategy to have the arrest of Jerry before the next appearance in the Fenner case? Is the warrant from Jane Whaley in 2013 being played to bolster Josh’s request for a change of venue in the Fenner case? There are more questions than answers.

Last weekend, a truck load of questions rained down on me about the future of WOFF members and here it seems proper to share them.

How Long? How long can you risk being a member of WOFF?

Regardless of this past week’s drama, the members inside WOFF who are considered ‘professionals’ must ask themselves – “How long can they risk close association with a group with such a growing list of negatives?” Allow me to explain.

For the dentist, how long can you look your patients straight in the mouth and pronounce the innocence of WOFF practices? How long can you afford to be associated with a group whose persona continues to worsen and grow more harmful? Will your patients jump for joy when they know you support such a group with your time, money- even your heart?

For the doctor and other medical professionals, how long can you afford to associate with the group that requires such an undeniable allegiance evidenced by your time, your money and your personal relationship choices? Will your patients line up excited to have you lay hands on them once they begin to doubt or wonder if those are the same hands that participate in abusive WOFF practices? Can you afford even one conviction of any level in the Fenner case? Can you control the outcome of the case?

For the medical professional with a concentration in psychiatric medicine, my questions don’t differ much. Can you afford to tell your next employer that you are an active part of a group that has five members under felony indictments? These indictments include actions during the particular prayer practices that you are so convinced do more good than medicine?

For the accountant(s), will your WOFF participation throw a cloud of mistrust over your non-WOFF clients who don’t automatically trust you? Can the livelihood you have worked so hard to build afford the possible damage of the publicity the Fenner case is bound to generate in August and who knows how many months into 2015 and 2016?

For the WOFF members who teach in the public school system, wow! Can YOU afford even one conviction of any type in the Fenner case? Will the public drama generated over this case impair your relationship with your supervisors or even fracture the trust parents of your students must have in you? Have you considered the ramifications? Will your contract be renewed next spring? Is there any guaranteed position in public education in the times we live?

And lastly, for those WOFF members in the legal profession, what will you do? Where will you run when the piercing eyes of a searching public see you day after day defending the five defendants in the face of whatever evidence the District Attorney brings forth? What if you don’t successfully fend off every conviction of every one of the five defendants? Will your participation in WOFF leadership be automatically construed as your approval of every practice sanctioned and allowed by Jane? Will your defense of the group which you lived inside of and loved for years show a weakness because possibly there is a small fissure of doubt? Will you be able to hold onto to the needed objectivity while under the mounting pressures? What if you lose? What will be Jane’s reaction? Will she run and hug you, kiss your check and say thank you? You missed God, but that is okay. I understand.

Have you tried to help Jane realize the physical abuses must stop? How was that received? Have you ever thought about following the two attorneys who cut WOFF ties a few months ago? How did your spouse react when she found out? Loving and supportive?

For each person in the groups above, I am not accusing any of you of the abuses listed in the Fenner indictments. I don’t have to. There are five WOFF defendants, but in reality and in the public eye- the whole church is on trial. Jane’s legacy hangs in the balance over the Fenner case, and if not this case, certainly in any one of the ones which are sure to follow. From my view point, the waters are rising on Old Flynn road. Who opened the flood gates? I think they were gradually opened as WOFF leadership evolved during each service to accept as “God’s ways” the abuses which now plague the subculture.

Every WOFF member must ask themselves during the quiet times before sleeping, is it worth it? Is continuing to live in this church worth the potential damage to me personally or my children? Maybe you still think the doctrines are right, but can you agree with the evolving abusive practices? What will it take to cause you to exit WOFF? Are you truly happy? It has been a nice run, time to move on?

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Thank you, for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. The author is not a licensed mental health professional and encourages those that need professional help to seek it. The intent of the material is to inform and be a resource. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. There are readers at WOFF. Jane told me and Josh confirmed it.

Comments are invited from all readers, including present or former members. Polls are not scientific and no private information is gathered.

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Scripture references are Amplified Version unless otherwise noted. (Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 513.

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2 thoughts on “rcCatalyst.com Reports Surprise Arrest of Jerry Cooper”

  1. Hey John…great blog…thanks. I did want to clarify that you have my two case dates confused. The 29th of May is the hearing in regards to Jane Whaley filing charges against me. In January, 2016 the civil suit case will be heard. Thanks again…

  2. Jerry,

    Thank you, for reading and pointing out the error. I have made the correction. Hoping for the best…


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