Category Archives: WOFF Updates

My Experience on “Watch” at WOFF

This post will cover experiences on overnight “watch” at Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The methods and people participating may have changed over the years, but the stated purpose has been the same.  It was explained to the members by Sam Whaley on more than one occasion, that the property insurance was discounted if we had 24/7 security or a “watch” on the property. There were three shifts at first, but that changed to two shifts of two folks on each shift. First shift started at 10:00PM and ended at 2:45AM. The second crew would come then and watch until 7:00AM. Many times folks would need to leave early to be at their jobs on time. So, the time between 6:00AM and 7:00AM – sometimes was not covered. There really was no coverage until the first office worker for the church showed up at 7:45AM or so. Some nights, second shift was not covered at all.

Many times, the person who was in charge of getting folks to sign up for watch would come in at the end of the Sunday evening service and announce how many spots were still open for watch. He would ask folks to volunteer. When that did not fill the schedule, he would start calling names and asking folks in front of everyone, which slot they could do. Occasionally,  he would ask why certain folks could not do watch? There may be the question – When were you last on watch?  This was definitely one of the most undesired tasks at WOFF. The young folks would be used the most. Married men with children or physical issues would often not be required to do watch every week. Some men NEVER did watch – for whatever reason. Many times the same core group of folks did the watch every week. Jane Whaley would sometimes stand up and “help” get folks for the slots still open. Funny, when she stepped up to get help filling the schedule, it did not take near as long. She had the “touch“. After all, who wanted Jane to single them out for not helping with watch? There could be “fallout” from that–right?

As mentioned, when I first came in 2002, I started volunteering for watch. At that time,  the second shift was required to sleep at the church in the school building. There would be mats or mattresses available to move to the classroom. Sometimes, it was hard to sleep in the school and that meant a long second shift. At some point, people were allowed to go home and sleep before second shift.  It was in later years, that married couples were allowed to do watch together. That actually was a pretty good chance to catch-up and talk to each other. A few couples would use this time slot for that purpose. Life at WOFF did not provide much time for adult conversation- including talking to your spouse. In more recent years, two ladies could do watch on first shift. (Occasionally, second..)  Some folks on watch would study for their classes. It was depending on the weather, for the position of the watch folks. Some would be in the school building in years past. Others would move to the breezeway between the sanctuary and office/fellowship building. Still others park in the church parking lot, on the road or across the street at a WOFF owned house.

Continue reading My Experience on “Watch” at WOFF

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Thank You, for the New WOFF Website

     While the reaction of others has run the gamut, I am thankful that Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) has put up a website. Most assuredly, Jane Whaley approved each picture and page and line of content. It is very doubtful that she had any hand in the actual development, but since her name and reputation were/are at stake, she was/is “involved” for sure.  The layout is extensive and the graphics – well done. Finally, the whole world can see a little into this very controversial group. As far as note worthy church groups; WOFF does not rank as one of the largest. I must say, while I was there for many years- it seemed very large. There was in years past, and there is now on the website, talk of needing to expand the facilities. While my memory is not perfect, I see only about a dozen new  (unknown to me) folks in the very extensive array of pictures. (Some pictures seem to have been taken a while back)  Would that necessitate a new sanctuary? Or does that mean the growth of the membership is not documented on the website?

     The school did expand its facilities during last year- but that was not an option. When I left in 2008, there were 34 children under five years of age. Last June 17th, I learned that some students were not yet finished their classes from the spring schedule. I asked, why? The answer was that for many students who helped build the school, they got behind in their assignments as several classes were suspended and they had to finish in the summer. Another person who was there during that time mentioned that much of the wiring was done by two particular students who “were being trained”. He did not say they were licensed. But, it was probably counted as class time for something. One of the teachers is pretty skilled at construction and could have been the “teacher”. That is the flexible nature of private eduction.

      Continue reading Thank You, for the New WOFF Website

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Former WOFF Member Charged with Trespassing

     Recently, I learned about a former member being charged with trespassing, resulting from a visit to Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).  He went for a meeting with Jane Whaley. The events took place in the fall of 2009. The person charged with the trespassing said that he had called ahead of time to tell one of the leadership that he was coming. Since she did not tell him not to come; he pursued his plans.

     These next few paragraphs are from an email sent by Jerry Cooper, the former member at the center of these events. The paragraphs been edited to give the sequence of events and not reveal exact identities of those involved – other than Jerry, Jane Whaley and Sam Whaley.
     Jerry begins, “I called a couple weeks prior and talked with with B_____ and told her that I would like to come and visit  in a couple of weeks. (I don’t remember the exact month). Though I never got “permission”, B_____ never said I couldn’t. A side note: the Lord had been speaking to me for months that it was time for me to do my part take a chunk out of that stone wall. I’m in the ministry and did what I do best…I went with a word for the Lord. I heard God say, “Let My  people go so they can worship me.” Sounds a little crazy. That’s what I had to do.
     “A friend and I, with our two dogs in the backseat, pulled right in behind the “vans” near Jane’s office. We got out. Walked in the door and stood there. Silence. Not a soul in site. I remember kinda chuckling to myself thinking; “Whoever is on watch is gonna get it”. Out of the main office appeared R_______. (Big smile…soft voice.) He said, and I quote, “Hey Jerry, (hugged me) we were wondering if ya’ll were gonna make it or not.” He said “hello” to my friend and then walked us down the long pink hall towards the auditorium. Only one person (a lady I didn’t recognize) passed us. She staired straight at the floor. Never looked up. Never spoke.
     R_____ said, ” I think they’ve already started. Jane may be over there”. Through the atrium we went and bam…I was standing in the very front of WOFF in full praise and worship. It was so strange. Not one person looked at us. From all over the entire auditorium not one person was looking to see what was going on at the front door. They were singing, “I will sing praises to the Lord with all my heart…” R____ looked around. He said to me (yelling so I could hear over the noise), “Jane must still be next door. I’ll let her know you are here.” He walked out the door and left me and my friend standing there. Well, I know when opportunity knocks. I looked at my friend and said, “Pray.” I squirmed my way through several people congregated at the front, all singing loudly, hands raised, smiles, looking directly at the stage…” I stood right it front of where Jane usually sits and bent over beside me was Sam Whaley. He stood up. Looked at me. I yelled, “Hey Sam.” (had to yell to be heard). He said, “Jerry, I don’t think Jane would want you in the sanctuary without meeting with her first.” I said, “R____ brought me over.”  Instantly, I was floating. Two guys had come in behind me, lifted me off the floor and walked toward the door. Insanely enough, not one person moved, stopped singing, took there eyes off the stage…strange.

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WOFF Member Runs for Clerk of Court- Update

     Earlier, there was a post explaining that Ramona Hall, a long-time member of WOFF, is running for Clerk of Court for Rutherford County. The link is here… 

     While writing this post, I must admit I did not check for current information. After posting, I learned that Ramona Hall is not now working for the Clerk’s office. She was not reappointed in 2008. Please, forgive any mistaken impressions that my ignorance may have given. After seeing a recent campaign sign for Ramona Hall, I knew this mistaken impression must be corrected.

     The main point of the previous post covered that fact that the voters of Rutherford county must feel comfortable with Ramona’s connection to WOFF and how this may affect her professional decision making during times of crisis. To what extent, if any will matters concerning WOFF members in the Clerk’s office be “checked out” with leadership or Jane Whaley herself? Do WOFF members really want this possibility? Could even WOFF member’s privacy be compromised? Members of WOFF must consider this possibility.

     Here is the high quality, campaign sign seen just off Highway 221 on a recent trip to Rutherford County.

High Quality Sign
Sign placed near Hwy 221

       Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are readers at WOFF. Comments are invited from present or former members.

     Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature. Also, find more posts by selecting “Categories”.

      (Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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Handout for New (or Present) WOFF Members

     Recently, a regular reader mentioned I should publish a “handbook” for WOFF members. Actually, during my stint with the property management company during my days at WOFF; we did have a handbook or handouts for new residents. It was called a “move-in” package. So, the idea is not new. However, before I unveil my efforts; let’s go over a few points. This list is meant to inform only. There is no way for me to guaruntee the total accuracy or completeness since many of the “don’ts” are subject to change or multiplication. Also, my days at WOFF ended in July of 2008, this will not be a complete list. Other “don’ts” have been discovered since my departure. This list is totally illustrative of what could be done with the information known at this time. That is the long way to say this is the “short version”.

     Here are some excerpts… ( the numbering is different for these items…)

  1. Don’t wear jeans. (exception may be for construction work..maybe..)
  2. Don’t wear shorts.
  3. Don’t wear sleeveless dresses or tops.
  4. Don’t wear dresses above the knees.

     The entire document is here- 

     Yes, there really are that many “don’ts” to remember when you live in “Don’t-dale”.. Does this list make sense? It is the short version of all the don’ts I heard over my years in Greenville and WOFF. Do you think that potential new members would be able to look over this list and still consider joining WOFF? What could be so attractive to allow someone to join a group like this when BEFOREHAND you have the list of “don’ts” and rules?

     To many folks, the attraction begins with someone at WOFF providing a job and/or a place to live. How many times did I see a single person or a young couple given a job or place to live conditional on their frequenting the services and learning the “do’s” and “don’ts” of  WOFF? Many would come, few would stay for one reason or another. If they stayed, often it was not for long. Could at least one of the reasons be the strict list of “don’ts”? So, WOFF leadership and Jane Whaley; consider using this document or one like it to give to potential members. Cut to the chase and see if any are willing to put themselves through these rigors when they know ahead of time what the routine will be! After all, isn’t that the only fair thing to do? Why wait until the new members have adjusted the job and maybe even the housing; then start increasing the “don’t” therapy?

     There were people from many different nations living in WOFF controlled housing. Several worked for the church -member owned property management company that I worked for during my stay at WOFF. I cannot say for sure that all the proper forms were completed when hiring folks from other countries for the property management company. That was not my area of responsibility.  In fact, one day between October of 2007 and March of 2008; I was asked to take a deposit for the property management company to the local bank. In addition, I was given a check to cash. It was made out to the son of one of the company’s owners. The teller at the bank made a comment to say I did not look like the owner’s son, but cashed the check anyway. The son of the owner would not get the cash. I was instructed to drop it off to one of the Brazilians working in Spartanburg, SC. He would give it to the young Brazilian for whom it was intended. It was his weekly pay for working with the property management company. Why would this Brazilian not be able to cash his own checks? Did he have proper papers? Or was this a case of something else? “Service” above and beyond? Were there others at WOFF in the same “predicament”?  All this brings us to another “don’t” – You don’t ask people from other countries if they are legal? Is that on the “Don’t List”?

    Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life. There are readers at WOFF. I hope this is a help to them.

     Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature. Also, find more posts by selecting “Categories”.

      (Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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WOFF Member Runs for Clerk of Court

     This is the link that shows the full list of candidates seeking the position of Clerk of Court for Rutherford County.

     The subject of this post is not new information to those closely involved with WOFF or with the Rutherford County courthouse. However, upon learning of Ramona Hall’s name being on the Democrat primary ballot; it sparked questions for me. At this time, I do not feel qualified to comment on Ramona’s job performance or knowledge that the position requires on a day to day basis. I suspect if there were issues in that area her tenure working in the Clerk’s office would have been shortened.

     All that being said, other questions must be posed. Having the total responsibility of the Clerk of Court’s office would be a new challenge for Ramona Hall, as for anyone who takes the position for the first time. She would be making decisions in many areas of interest to the citizens of Rutherford County. (See this link for a brief list of the duties of a Clerk of Court in NC… ) I was surprised to learn the duties of the Clerk of Court. The Clerk has many of the same powers of a magistrate. These duties include being able to issue arrest warrants and search warrants as well as being the judge of probate.

     The main question that must be posed is this: In times of deep distress or conflict in making professional decisions would Ramona Hall use her spiritual advisor – Jane Whaley for a source of counsel? I cannot say for sure. However, from what has been spoken by Ramona in other stressful personal times, she did ask Jane for counsel. What else could be expected for members of WOFF? She would not be “submitted to authority” if she did not seek counsel of some sorts from Jane Whaley and/or others in leadership.  The decision to be placed on the ballot was not done in haste without counsel, I feel certain.  The voters of Rutherford County must feel comfortable with the possibilities.

     In reality, every candidate may have a person or persons that they seek counsel from in making professional decisions. I do not know about others. But, I feel comfortable posing the question in this particular case. It is food for thought for the voters of Rutherford County. I will not be voting in the elections for Rutherford County.   

     The website listed on the sign below has a picture of several folks standing with Ramona and her family. Four of these folks are members of WOFF. No, I am not surprised. Again, the voters of Rutherford County must feel comfortable with all the possibilities should Ramona’s campaign allow her to obtain a new job.

Ramona Hall
Campaign Sign
  Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature.

      (Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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