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Fenner Update: Bartley Trial Date Moved, Walker Trial set for October 23rd

Buncombe County Courthouse Entrance

Following the predictably unpredictable theme, on Wednesday of this week, Brian Oglesby filed a Motion to Withdraw as counsel for Adam Bartley. Attorney Thomas Amburgey filed a Notice of Appearance to represent Bartley and a Motion for Continuance. Judge Marvin Pope scheduled a hearing on the Motion for Continuance for Friday at 2:00PM, in the Buncombe County courtroom on the ninth floor.

This development came less than two weeks before the trial for Adam Bartley was set to start on October 23rd. The Rccatalyst.com reported this update on Thursday with several documents provided in the article to show the steps leading up to Friday’s hearing.

These proceedings stem from incidents on January 27, 2013 in the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) sanctuary in which Matthew Fenner alleges he was assaulted, held against his will and strangled. The indictments handed down in January 2015 were against Brooke M. Covington, Sarah Anderson, Justin Covington, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. After many pre-trial motions which included a disqualification of Farmer and Morris as counsel for any of the defendants, Brooke Covington’s trial commenced earlier this year. Unauthorized documents introduced into the jury room by the jury foreman caused Judge Gavenus to declare a mistrial followed by a gag order on those involved in that trial. The jury foreman also spent 30 days in jail and was fined $500.00. The Associated Press filed suit to remove the gag order. To date, the gag order remains in place and blocking investigators from performing any inquiries into the jury foreman’s actions.
Continue reading Fenner Update: Bartley Trial Date Moved, Walker Trial set for October 23rd

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AP- Church stoked tithing with unemployment scam, ex-members say

The next article released early this morning (here) in the ongoing investigative series from the Associated Press into Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) reveals a level of conniving and deception which causes me to shake my head in amazement and disgust. This account from ex-members outlines a premeditated fraud of a government program meant to help people who meet with temporary unemployment is shocking and sickening.

The scheme to have church members report themselves as unemployed and yet still be employed by companies owned by church leaders took a level of agreement and orchestration from the top leader, Jane Whaley, down the chain of command and influence. She convinced many of her leadership into compromising known laws and ethical standards of business in order to support her lifestyle through the resulting tithes and offerings which were under her total control. The glaring motive of personal enrichment cannot be ignored nor will it surprise those who have spent time as members of WOFF.

From the article:

“When Randy Fields’ construction company faced potential ruin because of the cratering economy, he pleaded with his pastor at Word of Faith Fellowship church to reduce the amount of money he was required to tithe every week.

To his shock, Fields said church founder Jane Whaley proposed a divine plan that would allow him to continue tithing at least 10 percent of his income to the secretive evangelical church while helping his company survive: He would file fraudulent unemployment claims on behalf of his employees. She called it, he said, “God’s plan.”

Please, understand the dynamics here. Randy and his family had been a part of WOFF for over 20 years. He had seen the results for those who choose to refuse Jane’s rendering of “God’s plan.” He explains-

“The price of the refusal, Fields said, could be beatings administered by fellow church members and public shaming by Whaley. The church also might mandate that he be cut off from any contact with his family, he said.”

Allow me to stop here and express my gratitude from all of the ex-members mentioned in this article. It takes courage to expose things done while a member of WOFF which may have crossed the edge into possible illegal activities. Each person faced a fearful decision to obey or lose all. Additional fear of telling the hidden secrets of WOFF had to be conquered or acknowledged.

Randy, “”I’m not proud of what I did, but I have to make this right,”…
Continue reading AP- Church stoked tithing with unemployment scam, ex-members say

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Fenner case-Predictably Unpredictable, Trials Moved to Buncombe County

Rccatalyst.com reported earlier this week concerning the hearing held on Monday, September 11, 2017. Judge Marvin pope allowed Robert Denton to withdraw as counsel for Adam Bartley. Public defender, Brian Oglesby was assigned to represent Bartley. Also, Judge Pope requested a hearing which was held today to rule on the Motion for Change of Venue for the defendants in the ongoing saga – the Matthew Fenner case.

This case stems from incidents on January 27, 2013 in which Fenner alleges he was beaten and strangled during a blasting deliverance prayer session inside the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) sanctuary. Five indictments against former and present members have been the subject of a rolling sea of pretrial motions, appeals, a disqualification of counsel and a mistrial. The mistrial occurred this past June in the trial of Brooke Covington. Presiding Judge Gavenous placed a gag order which still impedes the investigation into the mechanics on how unauthorized documents were delivered into the jury room and subsequently lead to the declaration of a mistrial. The jury foreman spent 30 days in jail and was fined $500 for the conduct.

The list of defendants includes Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. The charges include first degree assault and second degree kidnapping for all, as well as the charge of inflicting injury by strangulation against Sarah Anderson.

Today’s hearing was short and to the point. I learned that Judge Pope requested Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers to draw up and order which moves four of the cases to Buncombe County. Brooke Covington’s case was not moved at this time, though her counsel, David Teddy was in court today. Byers will coordinate with the District Attorney’s office in Buncombe County to obtain court dates. Judge Pope was very deliberate and forthright after hearing statements from a few of the counselors in this case.
Continue reading Fenner case-Predictably Unpredictable, Trials Moved to Buncombe County

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Hurricane Irma and the Matthew Fenner Case

What do Hurricane Irma and the Matthew Fenner case have in common? Predictable unpredictability.

Weather predictors do their job with computer models and the circumstances as they unfold, attempting to predict the course and strength of this massive storm which did not followed the earlier predictions. Early predictions had the storm following a similar course as Hurricane Matthew from last year, along the east side of Florida. This did not happen. We hear statements now saying parts of the predictions came true while others did not. Weather prognostications are just that- best guesses.

In January 2015, if a legal prognosticator had attempted to predict the course and time frame that the Matthew Fenner case would take to complete, how accurate would they have been? There have been twists, turns and flips in the course of the prosecution of five defendants from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) which I doubt anyone could have foreseen.

The Rccatalyst.com recently published a updated timeline of the events surrounding this case. This case involves events from January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of WOFF where in Matthew Fenner alleges he was beaten and held against his will because he was gay. Indictments for first degree assault and second degree kidnapping were handed down in January 2015 against Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. An additional charge of inflicting injury by strangulation was filed against Sarah Anderson.
Continue reading Hurricane Irma and the Matthew Fenner Case

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Congressman McHenry- I can give a speech and file a piece of legislation…repeat

August 21, 2017 will live in history as the day of the eclipse. That comes as no surprise. There were other events on Monday. Congressman Patrick McHenry hosted a town hall meeting at Isothermal Community College. The event was well attended including several vocal constituents from Polk County as well as a large contingency from Rutherford County. The local group included many political supporters from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

The first thing I noticed when arriving was the level of security. Rutherford County and State or Federal law enforcement officers were present with a requirement to pass through a hand held metal detector. This was my first town hall meeting so I had nothing to compare this to and just took in the process and the surroundings.

As I walked in, immediately I noticed the presentation area as smaller than the pictures of previous town hall meetings the Congressman had on his Facebook page. A seat was saved up front for me by my friends and I took my place on the second row. The chairs kept filling up with folks and no shock, many were members of WOFF. I understand that group continues to be very active in the local Republican Party.

After a review of the rules and a warm off-script introduction by a local party official, the Congressman took his place front and center. During his opening monologue, he included remarks about the events in Charlottesville. He said bullying and intimidation were not acceptable from any group. I agreed and made note of his remark. To his credit, he did not spend a lot of upfront time tooting his own horn. As we learned throughout the evening, there were some sour notes to be played… Continue reading Congressman McHenry- I can give a speech and file a piece of legislation…repeat

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Understanding the Word of Faith Fellowship Response to Recent Reports of “Slavery”

The text message telling me about the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) press release from July 30, 2017 ended with “smh.” This is a new abbreviation for me, it left me wondering. I searched and found it means “scratching my head.” After I quit laughing about my temporary confusion, I pondered the answer to the obvious question- Why and how would Joshua Farmer and Jane Whaley consider their press release appropriate?

This post is my answer. First, the text of the release – source: www.wordoffaithfellowship.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Word of Faith Fellowship Responds to AP reports regarding “enslaved” members

Spindale, North Carolina – July 30, 2017 — We are appalled to learn of the allegations published by the Associated Press regarding foreign members of our church being “enslaved”. Many of these allegations are obviously preposterous on their face and they are all false. It is ludicrous that people now claim they were in an abusive environment at our church but admit that they traveled from Brazil to the United States many different times, returning repeatedly to their place of alleged enslavement. Clearly, there is a group of people determined to stop at nothing in their campaign to destroy our ministry. We are confident that the truth will ultimately prevail and we remain hopeful that the public will see through these fabrications and see them for what they are.

Next, the release includes a quotation of II Timothy 3:1-5 (Amplified Bible). The release is closed with acknowledgment of Sam and Jane Whaley and Attorney Joshua Farmer- Farmer and Morris Law (828) 286-3866.

The standard WOFF strategy is followed here by saying “Many of these allegations are obviously preposterous on their face and they are all false.” This is standard WOFF practice to deny accounts of wrong doing by calling the testimony of survivors of their group- lies and false.
Continue reading Understanding the Word of Faith Fellowship Response to Recent Reports of “Slavery”

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AP: US church goes to Brazil; instills fear, splits families

In light of the most recent Associated Press release- “US church goes to Brazil; instills fear, splits families – I believe it is appropriate to repost this review titled: “More Thoughts on WOFF and Brazil” from August of 2010. (click “back” button to return here)

The lead paragraph from this article:

SAO JOAQUIM DE BICAS, BRAZIL (AP) — At the Word of Faith Fellowship churches in the Brazilian cities of Sao Joaquim de Bicas and Franco da Rocha, the signs of broken families are everywhere: parents separated from their children, siblings who no longer speak, grandparents who wonder if they will ever know their grandchildren.

This AP release goes on to chronicle the process of WOFF taking the practice of destroying families from North Carolina to Brazil. The Brazilian churches have become a sad reflection of WOFF NC. Jane Whaley’s ministry of destruction and pain has indeed transferred its dark stain seen and felt in America to Brazil.

Read the post below and note the heartache and angst. The WOFF-effect on families is real. It is indeed an international travesty.

On a personal note, my daughter is expecting or has already delivered her child this month. I am one who wonders if I will ever know my grandson…

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Jane Whaley and her crew from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) have been making trips to Brazil for many years. The first time I knew about the trips was in 1992. At that time, I heard about previous trips in previous years made by members of the Greenville church traveling with WOFF members to Brazil for seminars. There was always a certain mystique associated with the trips and the privilege of going to help the Brazilian church members. During the early years, those who did not go to Brazil would hear about shopping trips to rock shops and eating at Brazilian restaurants.  The seminars would also include many deliverance sessions and teachings about WOFF ways and WOFF life. Many of the teachings were about “hearing God” as Jane or certain others would speak, with Jane’s approval. For sure, the church members in Brazil would emulate WOFF members and end up copying many of the WOFF ways and in order to live in WOFFness.

   Since my time at WOFF ended in July of 2008, I have heard several accounts of WOFF doings that as a member inside of WOFF, we just did not learn about. Why would that be? A few months ago, someone began to let me know about things happening in Brazil. At first, I was shocked. But, as I considered what I knew has/had happened in America over the whole WOFF saga, it all began to make sense. What I will share here is from a translated email sent to me from Brazil. The names of the church members affected are not the key part of this story. The key thing about the scenario of events is to note the strange and sad similarity to previous events here in North Carolina and/or in other states caught in the WOFF-web.

Continue reading AP: US church goes to Brazil; instills fear, splits families

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