Tag Archives: Jane Whaley

Fenner Case Update: Brooke Covington in Court

Monday morning, Brooke Covington made an appearance in Rutherford County court alongside her attorney David Teddy. Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers scheduled the meeting for a judge to rule on five pending motions in the Matthew Fenner assault case. This case stems from charges involving an incident on January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

Brooke Covington is one of five individuals indicted with charges against them ranging from second degree kidnapping, assault and attempting to inflict injury by strangulation. Adam Bartley, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr., Justin Covington and Sarah Anderson are the others who were indicted. The case has been delayed beyond reasoning with pre-trial motions, rulings, and disqualification of the original WOFF attorneys attempting to represent all five defendants. The disqualification was appealed to the NC Court of Appeals and later withdrawn after one of the petitioners in the appeal, Sarah Anderson, left WOFF and requested new representation.

During Monday’s session, five motions were slated for review.
1. The Defendant’s Motion for Change of Venue;
2. The Defendant]s Motion for a Bill of Particulars;
3. The State’s Motion for Jury View & Testimony During Jury View;
4. The State’s Motion for Joinder of Offenses for Trial; and
5. The State’s Motion for the Alternative for a Special Venire.

The State’s Motion for Jury View required a notice sent to Joshua Farmer as he is known as the “general counsel’ for WOFF. However, attorney John W. Gresham was hired to represent WOFF in opposition to the motion. He has represented Jane Whaley in years past and it came as no surprise he was brought in for this hearing.

As ADA Byers gave the judge a recap of the case, he explained that Judge Thomas Davis has recused himself from the proceedings. Byers has originally scheduled the hearing for May 22nd, but rescheduled for April 24th upon learning that Judge Gary Gavenus was not available in May. Attorney Teddy used the rescheduling as a reason to request for further delay stating he was not prepared to argue the Change of Venue with all the recent publicity about WOFF.

At several points, Gresham attempted to interject his views that the Motion for Jury View was unconstitutional and that he was prepared to provide large photographs of the scene. Finally, Judge Gavenus rebuffed Gresham and told him not to worry about the Motion to View at this time.
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AP Investigation –Broken Faith –Audio Clips Released

The AP Investigation- Broken Faith has now posted audio clips under – “Voice from the Church.” The investigation revolves around testimonies of ex-members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). The content of these testimonies has resulted in two Assistant District Attorneys- Frank Webster and Chris Back being “no longer employed.” Also, Lori Cornelius, Cleveland County Department of Social Services employee “resigning” as of March 17, 2017. Link also includes 14 stories from the Broken Faith Investigation.

List of clips include:

Jeffrey Cooper: talking about a meeting with Frank Webster’s comments included. Second clip about the roles played during the mock trials.

Jane Whaley: explaining her perspective on not reporting sexual abuse. A second clip of her casting dispersions on a 13- year old young girl who was molested during her time inside WOFF. Third clip of her loudly encouraging David Caulder.

Jamey Anderson: explaining a meeting with Jane, a second clip about the fear in daily life of WOFF.

Jay Plummer: explaining the abuse he experienced.

Tiago Cherubino: talking about an attack he witnessed.

Rick Cooper: explain how WOFF worked to shape its reputation.

John Cooper: he describes the consequences of speaking out at the church. Second clip about the restrictions on marital sex.

Danielle Cordez: recounting a failed attempt to run away from home. (gripping) Second clip explaining what is needed to end the abuse at WOFF.

Tim Cornelius: he describes a 7 year-old retelling the experience of being beaten in the classroom for daydreaming.

Thank you, to each and every ex-member who was willing to be interviewed by Mitch Weiss and the AP Investigative team. We have shared experiences which have shocked this nation and the international community. Not everyone experienced the same level of abuse; however, in some way, each member of WOFF goes through some type of abuse whether socially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically or destruction of relationships with friends or family who decide not to join or express some contrary opinion about Jane Whaley, church practices or any aspect of this dangerous closed sub-CULTure.

Telling the secrets is one of the first steps to healing. I encourage all ex-members to continue on this journey of recovery. There is hope; it is a new day in the saga called Word of Faith Fellowship.
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Saturday’s Forum and Upcoming Events

The Survivors Community Forum held yesterday was well attended and covered by several media outlets. My heartfelt thanks go out to so many people who helped in any way with the planning, set-up, providing support during the meeting and cleaning up afterwards. It took a team of willing volunteers to bring this message to the citizens who chose to spend their afternoon with us. I appreciate all the ex-members who attended whether they spoke publically or not. We were there for each other and I hope having the open forum helped each one in some way.

Thank you, to the present members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) who came and listened to what for them must have been some new information and a fresh point of view. I regret we had to end the session at 4:00PM, however that was the block of time reserved. In future events, if at all possible, we hope for more open discourse and civil interchange between former and present members.

And to WOFF member Benjamin McGee; it was pointed out to me that I appeared rude in my response to you at your request to speak at the end of the session. That was not my intention and I hope you will understand I did not recognize you nor was I aiming any malice at you personally. You are welcome to call me anytime to discuss your concerns or questions. (828) 289-7923

The meeting was also attended by some of Spindale’s finest. We appreciate so much the Spindale Police who served in a very supportive and non-bias fashion. They made it clear to me from the start; their goal was to assure order. Thank you- very much.

All of the encouraging remarks and show of support from those who attended did not go unnoticed. The kind words did much to strengthen not only me, but all the other ex-members. Despite the WOFF-spin, I believe the event was a success and plans for future meetings along the same lines are being discussed.

There is a live feed replay on Citizens Against Corruption and Abuse Facebook page. One report from WLOS 13. Another report – Rccatalyst.com report The AP report includes Saturday’s event. Thank you to all media sources who spent time covering this event.

The next speaking event for me is this Thursday.

Meeting March 16th

Thursday- March 16th at Isothermal Community College – Library Auditorium 1:00PM

“Recruiting Techniques of Dangerous Groups- You don’t have to be a fool to be fooled”
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Press Conference in Rutherfordton (2 videos)

(updated 3/7/2017 11:53AM)
Today was full of phone calls, text messages, social media activity and meeting new friends. News reporters from WLOS from Asheville and WSPA out of Greenville responded to my invitation to a news conference on the newest allegations revealed in the AP Investigation – Broken Faith. Others making the trip to downtown Rutherfordton included reporters from the Daily Courier, Rccatalyst.com and the Associated Press. Adding to the number were a few new friends and some faithful supporters of the fight for truth.

The day’s purpose was to share my concerns for the present and former members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) after the two AP investigative releases. Reading from a prepared text, I made the case for the Rutherford County Department of Social Services to reopen the 2015 investigation into abuse allegations in Word of Faith Christian School (WFCS). The investigation was ineffectual due to the recently revealed techniques exposed by former Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) members. These survivors were teachers or assistants in the school and their testimony told of the consistent efforts to lie about the abuses going on. WOFF did not act is “good faith” and from what I read they violated the 2005 Settle Agreement which was a result of the 2003 lawsuit against the Rutherford County Department of Social Services.

Also, I explained the reason more cases concerning present or former members were not making their way through the court system. The AP interviewed several ex-members who told of the consistent pattern of Jane Whaley to coach people how to lie when answering questions from local and state investigators. Add this to two former District Attorneys who chose not defend and protect WOFF members – and it becomes clear there are major problems in Rutherford County!


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Will Word of Faith Fellowship Survive? (video)

This morning as the birds are singing announcing the beginning of what promises to be a day packed with new information and drama, I sit amazed at the next AP Investigative release. Ex-Sect Members tell AP: Prosecutors obstructed abuse cases.

Reading the text reveals the secrets and definitive patterns which others on the outside have only speculated about for years. In video below, watch Danielle Cordez describe the treatment of Matthew Fenner! She says, “I honestly don’t know how he survived, I thought he was the first person they were going to kill.”

And with that video, the drama goes to a whole new level. Up until this point, Word of Faith Fellowship members have been doing damage control be sending out text messages telling relatives the accusations are all lies and that WOFF has “proof – videos and testimonies which we will probably be posting soon.”

WOFF denies abuse of any kind. And Jim Jones was a sweet harmless man.

From this morning’s release:

“Frank Webster and Chris Back — church ministers who handle criminal cases as assistant DAs for three nearby counties — provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member, according to former congregants interviewed as part of an AP investigation of Word of Faith.
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Repost of Podcast Explains Struggles of Life Inside WOFF

After publishing “Locked in”, I was afforded the opportunity to participate in an interview from Steve and Becky Lyles. The connection was over Skype and the sound quality is not perfection, but it is adequate. During this podcast, I answer questions about life inside of Word of Faith Fellowship. This was recorded before the AP Investigation- Broken Faith was released.

Listen, comment and share. I go into more detail here than in the book.

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Winds of Destruction- listen here.

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AP Investigation – Broken Faith (main video)

The Associated Press has released its extensive report centering on the abuses suffered by ex-members of the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in Spindale, North Carolina. There are two main articles released so far and a video containing testimony of ex-members. More media will be released in a few hours. Below is the full video which now includes the WOFF response.

The first article titled “Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse”.

Continue reading AP Investigation – Broken Faith (main video)

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