Tag Archives: Josh Farmer

June 6th Hearing for Fenner Case Delayed

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.]
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June 6th- The Matthew Fenner Case Returns to Court

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.
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Farmer Files Withdrawal of Appeal

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.
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Judge: No Yelling, Shaking or Striking!

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.
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Sarah Anderson Leaves WOFF – Custody Battle Ensues

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
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Who is Jane Whaley to you?

As a part of recent book signings for “Locked in”, I have fielded questions from attendees. The ranges of questions include certain ones which try to comprehend what type of leader Jane Whaley was or is now.

Today, I will quote from a resource written about dangerous groups and point the question to other members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Ray Farmer? Josh Farmer? Mark Morris? Brooke Covington? Karel Reynolds? Will you take the following descriptions of group leaders and decide what kind of leader you are following? This description was not written specifically with Jane Whaley in mind. So, do not get defensive and think I wrote this myself or gave the authors the inside scoop. If none of this applies, then tell us your own words

Our resource for this post is a book titled, “The Cult Phenomenon- How Groups Function.” The text was originally written in French in 2003 and translated to English in 2006. The authors are Mike Kropveld, Executive Director of Info-Cult and Marie-Andree Pelland, Doctoral Student in Criminology- Universite de Montreal. (ISBN-2-9808258-1-6) I bought this book in July of 2014 at the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference in Washington, D.C.
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After a glance to 2015, we look forward…

Judges chair
Judges chair

Before many of us settle into the first Monday of 2016, I need to take a few lines and recap what has been a year full of surprises. Of course, there will be events I don’t mention that were important to others. If you feel so compelled, comment and share with us your signature events of 2015.

On January 22, 2015, the Daily Courier reported the reindictment of the five defendants in the Matthew Fenner Case. This reindictment came after the new District Attorney for Rutherford County, Ted Bell, expressed his concern over the processes surrounding the first round of indictments in December 2014, during the tenure of District Attorney, Brad Greenway. See the post- “Word of Faith Fellowship members re-indicted- Daily Courier”

The five Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) members who were indicted include Brooke McFadden Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. and Adam Bartley. The charges include second degree kidnapping and simple assault for all five with an additional charge of assault inflicting physical injury by strangulation against Sarah Anderson. These charges stem from the events of January 27, 2013 inside the sanctuary of WOFF. The story of the indictments was picked up nationally and internationally after the first round of indictments in December 2014. Again, bringing attention to the unsafe practices of WOFF.
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