Just today, I am being told that “things inside Word of Faith Fellowship have changed!”
Okay, let’s break this down. The answer to the question is either “yes” things have changed or “no” things have not changed. What did the person mean by “things”? One thing at time, John! Oh, the hopes of many may rise and fall on this news.
“Things” in the context as it was relayed to me meant the controls have lessened. IF that is a correct interpretation of the meaning, then we have mixed emotions. We have reason for concern and reason for joy. Joy because many of us still have relatives in the mind-bending clutch of the large sucking black hole known as WOFF. Concern because some may be duped to count the wisp of change as lasting or reaching down into the very foundation of the leader – Jane Whaley. Let me explain.
Anyone looking honestly into the subculture admits there are layers of control and they apply differently to different folks. The person exclaiming the changes was not fully connected into the daily doings and goings of the group, NOT a member for any length of time. This person had in fact been shunned by the group and is now in an “unshunned” position. So, the validity of their observation becomes suspect. But, for the sake of this post, let’s say their notions are evident in some fashion. Maybe the list of detailed controls and required behaviors has lessened or softened in enforcement.
Continue reading Have things changed at WOFF?
Late Friday, sources close to the Matthew Fenner case confirmed the hearing set for June 6th has been postponed. No confirmed date for rescheduling is available at this time. Possible reasons for the postponement include Judge Pope having an unexpected scheduling conflict.
The hearing on Monday would have been the first in this case since August of last year. Five defendants, who were at the time of the alleged incidents members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF), face varied charges including second degree kidnapping, simple assault and one for assault by strangulation. These defendants are Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, JR. and Adam Bartley.
Matthew Fenner alleges that on January 27, 2013, he was assaulted in the sanctuary of WOFF during a “deliverance” session. The five defendants were named and indicted in December 2014 after an initial hearing. Once the new District Attorney Ted Bell took office in January 2015, he set aside those indictments amid rumors of improper procedures and possible witness tampering and presented the evidence to a second grand jury. This session secured for the State a set of indictments which Bell described as clean true bills of indictment. [ Timeline for this case – here.]
Continue reading June 6th Hearing for Fenner Case Delayed
(This post was written and submitted by someone wishing to remain anonymous. I edited for readability and share it now. Comments welcome.)
Is your boat about to hit the dome?
Recently, I watched The Truman Show (1998) and it is a perfect analogy if you are, or have been a member of the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). If you have not, I suggest you to watch it. It is a great movie and will certainly trigger your mind to look at things in an entirely new perspective.
The Truman Show is a movie based on a reality television program, where the central character, Truman Burbank (Jim Carey) lives in a small town. The small town is encapsulated in a huge dome. There are thousands of cameras hidden throughout, and his every movement is captured by one of them.
Since the star was a little child, he thought that where he lived in his town was the best place in the world to live, and there was no place which could even compare. Over and over, the members of WOFF are told that. No better place than Spindale! No other church gives so much truth as we do.
Continue reading Analogy: The Truman Show vs. the Life of a WOFF member
After months of delays prompted by pre-trial motions, appeals and more motions, the Matthew Fenner case is set for hearing on June 6th at 9:30AM in the Rutherford County courthouse. Rccatalyst.com reported on April 13th concerning the next hearing. Also, during April, Rccatalyst.com reported the motion for Judge Marvin Pope to continue on as judge for this case, as well as Judge Pope’s April12th order for attorney Angela Beeker’s release from her representation of Brooke Covington, Justin Covington and Sarah Anderson.
The pending trial surrounds alleged incidents from January 27, 2013 wherein Matthew Fenner states he was held against his will, physically assaulted and strangled during a “deliverance” session in the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The “loud prayer” and “deliverance” has been for years the signature practice of WOFF, which has many other socially obtuse practices surrounding controls the leader, Jane Whaley, exerts over her members. Five church members have been indicted with charges including second degree kidnapping, simple assault and assault by strangulation. These members are Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley.
Continue reading June 6th- The Matthew Fenner Case Returns to Court
Disqualification of WOFF Attorneys Stands
March 17, 2016- Josh Farmer filed an “Appellant’s Motion to Withdraw Appeal” with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The reasons for the appeal include the fact-
“3. On March 4, 2016- Sarah Anderson retained the independent counsel of Jeffrey Cooper and Benjamin Cooper to represent her in the criminal matter.
4. The remaining appellants, Brooke McFadden Covington and Justin Brock Covington, desire to withdraw their appeal.”
This motion to withdraw allows the Disqualification ORDER of Judge Marvin Pope to stand. Tomblin, Farmer and Morris, now- Farmer and Morris LAW, PLLC or their associates can no longer represent any of the five defendants in any matter related to the indictments/charges in this case.
wd of appeal March 17th
This clears the way for another court date to resolve pre-trial motions involving change of venue, change of venire as well as keeping Judge Pope for the remainder of the case. It is reasonable to assume the next court date for this case will be within a month.
Continue reading Farmer Files Withdrawal of Appeal
Sarah Anderson obtains temporary visitation Order
Monday, Judge Laura A. Powell set the matter of an emergency hearing in Anderson vs. Anderson forward to Wednesday, March 16th at 11:00AM. This morning, I attended as a witness and to chronicle the events. I arrived in the courtroom about 10:55AM. The back row was filled with Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) members. This group included Jane Whaley, Karel Reynolds, Josh Farmer, DeWitt Prince, Blake Caulder, Josh Valentine, Patty Anderson and Nick Anderson. Everyone dressed in their Sunday go to court meeting best, but strangely lacking one obvious ornament- smiles. If I missed someone in attendance, it was not intentional.
I took my seat to the front left alongside two members of the press. On the right side of the courtroom was the Sarah Anderson support contingency. Several members of her team showed including friends and relatives. There was only a few feet between those on each side of the issues being decided, but the distance between Sarah and Nick was miles and growing more with each passing day. Nearly everyone in the room used to worship and pray for hours behind the white doors of the WOFF sanctuary. My, how things have changed.
Continue reading Judge: No Yelling, Shaking or Striking!
The reasons for her choice to leave Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) have not been made public. However, some details have emerged about the events following her exit. In a GoFundMe page plea, Sarah’s sister, Rachel Bryant outlines the current struggle around the question of custody of Sarah’s son. Near the end of February, Sarah did leave the WOFF environment taking her son and seeking shelter elsewhere. Her sister, Rachel Bryant, exited the group a few months ago with her husband and child and has shown great support for Sarah’s decision. The GoFundMe plea explains that this Monday, March 14th, Sarah will be in family court for an emergency hearing on several motions put forth by counsel for her husband, Nick Anderson. The goal of $30,000 is sought for her legal fees to retain custody of her son pictured on the page. Please, visit the page, read and share with your friends.
Sarah’s exit has led to several other events with more changes to follow.
Appeal of Disqualification in Fenner Case Falls Apart
Rccatalyst.com reported on Wednesday the newly filed Notice of Appearance for Sarah C. Anderson, one of the defendants in the Matthew Fenner case. The Notice alerts the Courts of Sarah C. Anderson’s choice for a new representation. Attorneys Jeff Cooper and Benjamin Cooper now represent Sarah Anderson. Thursday, the Cooper attorneys filed a withdrawal from the Appeal on behalf of their client, Sarah C. Anderson.
Withdrawal of Appeal
Continue reading Sarah Anderson Leaves WOFF – Custody Battle Ensues