Tag Archives: Matthew Fenner

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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Fenner Hearing Reveals Queen(s) for the Day…..

Updated: December 9, 2016 10:31 AM
The Hearing held December 8th in the Fenner case answered some questions and left many still unanswered. By the time I entered Courtroom #2, the discussions of the State’s request for the Honorable Judge Marvin Pope to hear all cases related to the indictments were well under way. The Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) crowd was seated in the back right of the room close to the main entry door. This was not the normal front left position as in previous sessions. The media and others not affiliated with WOFF were sitting on the left side. Of course, I found a seat up about middle left.

Today was yet another small chapter in the ongoing saga of the Matthew Fenner case. Events from January 27, 2013 are in question. Five present and former WOFF members were formally indicted in January 2015. The indictments against Brooke Covington, Justin Covington and Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. who are still members and Adam Bartley and Sarah Anderson, former members; include second degree kidnapping, first degree assault and one count of inflicting injury by attempted strangulation. After initially attempting to represent all five defendants, WOFF attorneys Joshua Farmer, Mark Morris and all their associates were disqualified by Judge Pope in August 2015.

As a result, all five defendants have separate counsel. Brooke Covington is represented by David Teddy. Justin Covington is represented by Krinn Evans. Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. is represented by Matthew Cabe. Sarah Covington is represented by the Cooper Firm. Adam Bartley is represented by Robert Denton who also represents Nicholas Anderson in his civil case for divorce and custody against Sarah. All five defendants and their counsel were present today.

Now, back to the hearing….
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Hearing Set in Matthew Fenner Case –Dec. 8th

Judges chair
Judges chair

Several events have colored this year with surprise and even shock. Unfortunately, the conclusion of the Matthew Fenner case has not been one of them. We roll our hopes forward to 2017. The next step in the process will be this Thursday, December 8th.

Rccatalyst.com recently reported the notice filed by Assistant District Attorney Garland Byers requesting four of the five defendants to appear and address pre-trial motions. Adam Bartley’s attorney, Robert Denton will not be available for the hearing and was not listed in the announcement.

This case stems from events of January 27, 2013 inside the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). Matthew alleges during a session of blasting deliverance prayer he was held against his will and assaulted including an attempt to strangle him. This form of prayer has been a controversial signature practice of WOFF since its inception over thirty years ago.
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Word of Life Defendants Plead to Avoid Trial

The death of a teen in a small town in New York a little over a year ago shocked the country. Those who read about it were confused how a teenager died during a church “counseling” session. One young man died, his brother was hospitalized with severe injuries. The local residents protested and held candlelight vigils. The stories of strange observations by neighbors; the reports of those who once were a part of the Word of Life Christian Church all pointed to dangerous and unsafe behaviors.

Lucas Leonard and his brother Christopher were held after church Sunday, October 11, 2015. The counseling session for them lasted about 14 hours. From this session, Lucas died of injuries inflicted with an electric cord along with receiving kicks and punches from those surrounding him. Christopher was found the next day by authorities in dire need of medical care with multiple bruises and kidney injuries. He spent several days in the local hospital under legal protection while the authorities sought to make sense of the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death.

The results of the investigation included indictments for nine members of the small church. Those indicted included the parents of the deceased, the half-sister, the pastor, her mom, her brothers and two additional members. Charges included murder, kidnapping and gang assault. Early in the proceedings, the mother, Mrs. Deborah Leonard, took a plea deal for her testimony in the case. She will receive no more than five years in state prison.
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Denton Withdraws Subpoena for Matthew Fenner

Early Wednesday morning, in the Nicholas Anderson versus Sarah Anderson divorce/custody case, attorney Robert Denton, representing the plaintiff, Nicholas Anderson, filed a “Withdrawal of: Motion to Compel Richard Matthew Fenner, III (to) Attend Deposition & Subpoena.” This turn of events occurred just slightly less than forty-eight hours after he filed a “Motion to Compel” Matthew Fenner to attend a deposition.

Monday’s Motion to Compel contained this statement about Matthew:

“Counsel seeks to depose (ask under oath) Mr. Fenner for the purposes of ascertaining Defendant’s (Sarah Anderson) character traits, propensities (tendencies), and the like, for violence.” [(- ) added ]

What happened to change his course? Without asking Mr. Denton directly, we do know he deposed Sarah Anderson on Tuesday for a lengthy session. What did he hear to change his mind? Apparently, he learned enough to reverse course and decide against putting Matthew under oath. He includes the following in his Withdrawal:

“…the undersigned (Denton) took the deposition of the Defendant on today’s date (Tuesday) and determined based on her testimony that at this time there is deposition necessary of Richard Matthew Fenner.”
Withdrawal of Motion to Compel
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Matthew Fenner Subpoenaed Again in Unrelated Case

Friday afternoon a Motion to Quash was filed in Rutherford County in the Anderson vs. Anderson divorce/custody case. (16 CVD 253). The Motion filed by attorney Paul Ditz seeks relief from the subpoena served on Matthew Fenner for a deposition hearing August 31, 2016 in Chapel Hill, NC. Ditz’s Motion included statements about the ongoing harassment of Matthew by members of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and their newest puppet attorney- Robert K. Denton. The Anderson vs. Anderson case involves Nicholas Anderson a present WOFF member versus Sarah Covington Anderson a former WOFF member.

Motion to Quash

Mr. Denton also represents Adam Bartley in the criminal case for Matthew Fenner’s allegations concerning incidents from January 27, 2013. In that case, five present and/or former members of WOFF were indicted on charges including second degree kidnapping, simple assault and assault inflicting injury by strangulation. These defendants include Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr. as well as Adam Bartley. The criminal case has been drawn out by pretrial motions and appeals. The next hearing date for the case is not known, but the most notable outcome thus far has been the Disqualification of WOFF bred attorneys – Joshua Farmer and Mark Morris and all their associates from representing any of the five defendants. Thus, we now see evidence of a puppet attorney – the honorable Robert Denton.
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Fenner Case: Status Conference for July 29th Postponed

Earlier this week, a source not close to the case informed me that the status conference scheduled for July 29th has been postponed. After verifying the change with additional sources, it was learned that Judge Pope could not be present for the hearing. No subsequent date for this hearing is known at this time.

Let’s not be too concerned. This case will be heard. It may not be in the time frame that many desire or with procedures we are all familiar with; but the charges against Brooke Covington, Justin Covington, Sarah Covington Anderson, Robert Lewis Walker, Jr and Adam Bartley will be resolved. Matthew Fenner will have an answer as to the charges filed over the incident on January 27, 2013 in the sanctuary of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

The signature practice of loud prayer and deliverance from WOFF may be on demonstration in the Rutherford County courtroom before these cases are complete. Okay, that will be the day for any and all who are curious to pack the courtroom and witness the controversial “secretive practice” which has been a lightning rod for controversy since 1995 when Inside Edition showed video taken inside WOFF. How can we forget? Why should we ignore it?

When all is said and done with this case, there will be a judgment handed down by proxy on WOFF, loud deliverance prayer and the ministry of Jane Whaley and her top leadership. Yes, five individuals are charged with various levels of crimes, but in the end — Jane Whaley is on trial and she knows it.

Did anyone mention how hot the month of August will be in Spindale?
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