Who knew about the molestations? The pastor knew. Most of the deacons knew. The (former) Chief of Police and (former) District Attorney, who were members at FBC, knew “unofficially.” The other boys who were at camp that night also knew. Outside of these people though, the cover up was surprisingly successful. The community and the church was kept in the dark and the burden of carrying this abuse would eventually fall squarely on the shoulders of the little boys themselves.
The Pedophile’s Epilogue
After leaving Sapulpa a free man, the youth pastor rapist moved to Texas and was immediately hired by another church. This gig was short lived as well. He would bounce from denomination to denomination for a while and attend other religious colleges. He obtained a doctorates degree from Regents University in Virginia. He would fit the FBI predator profile perfectly, hopping from one area of the county to another leaving controversy swirling far behind. Departing Texas under dubious circumstances he wound up in Richmond, VA, where he and his wife destroyed a 1000 member church and made off with their money. From there he escaped south to Florida and was found working for a para-church organization known as Christian Outreach International. It was through this group that he discovered the opportunities available to a man of his nature on the mission field. Christian Outreach International provided travel packages to Christians wanting to do short term mission work. When the owner of this group became ill, the former youth pastor made off with his boss’ business model and most of his clients. He formed his own company mirroring the one he pirated and deceived the loyal customers of COI into following him. This surprise move left COI in such financial shambles that they were unable to even afford to bring a lawsuit against him.
While COI was reeling, he relocated across the country again. This time to Bramwell, West Virginia where he set up shop under the name of his new company, Global Outreach. He continued to live the same extravagant lifestyle he had in Sapulpa, OK, which was a little hard for his employees to understand because they worked in poverty stricken areas as unpaid volunteers. A series of unethical and highly illegal business moves by this child-molester-turned-CEO and his wife culminated in a confrontation by some of the Global Outreach senior executive staff. They had many questions. Not the least of which was an explanation for his personal ads on craigslist seeking violent sexual bondage partners in New Orleans, the site of an upcoming Global Outreach “mission trip”.
Instead of providing answers, the folks who confronted him were threatened with legal action by his attorneys. Soon they would have their answers and their fears were confirmed. He had embezzled missionary funds, was living a double life rife with sexual escapades, and even the company he founded was a total sham complete with a make-believe board of directors! Global Outreach would quickly implode but not before the reprobate CEO could funnel all the assets away and use it to purchase investment property for himself across the county. He would escape justice yet again, this time to Americus, Georgia, where he would set up a new company called “We Go Global”.
The new company was patterned after the same stolen model as the old. We Go Global is a kind of travel agency for people wanting a single serve mission trip. They put packages together, make them appear churchy, and sell them to churches. The churches send their members, including their youth, to areas designated by We Go Global. (Many of these appear to be more tourist destinations than mission fields.) It is probable that We Go Global provides a source of income for this man as well as a mechanism for him to travel to areas of the world where he is not watched very closely and can continue his despicable practices where the laws are lax.
Evidence that something unseemly has taken place overseas can be found in his former church contacts in Puerto Rico. This former Sapulpa youth pastor and his wife made such an impression on The Church Without Walls in Puerto Rico that the church maintained a website for many years warning others about the dangers of doing business with them! A far cry from a cover-up on their part and thankfully they claim no sexual crimes were committed on their children during his brief interaction there.
This brings us up to today. Currently he is still the founder and CEO of We Go Global and they still provide trips to places all over the world including right here in Oklahoma. Oddly enough, the accused pedophile CEO claims to live in Georgia but the business phone number is listed on the website with a 918 (north east Oklahoma) area code. He does own an old house on heavily wooded property in a remote area of Oklahoma but it is not clear if it is for business purposes or something else. Could it be he has finally returned home?
The Lost Victim’s Epilogue
Jumping back to where it all started in Sapulpa, one of the youth pastor’s victims would set by helplessly as the institution he and his parents trusted callously forced him into the shadows. With no aide from the church, he would have no choice but to deal with his own personal hell all by himself. It wasn’t long before his family would leave the church. This troubled young boy would grow up to be a troubled young man. He would struggle with substance abuse and suffer from depression. As an adult he would face felony charges in Atlanta, no doubt related to his addictions, before finally returning home to Tulsa.
Now the time has come for us to explain the prime motivator for The Sapulpa Messenger’s publication of this story. What we fear, but can’t say for certain, is that the two boys who were sexually abused by their youth pastor, may have never told a soul. It is also doubtful their parents were ever told by anyone in the church. Actually, their parents’ unaltered behavior following the molestation suggest they were totally oblivious to what had happened to their children. If the church hid this from them, and their children didn’t tell them, the youth pastor certainly wasn’t going to let them in on his secret. Sadly, the reason we can’t say for certain if they told anyone is because one of these victims will never be able to tell us his story. He is dead. He committed suicide in 2004. Surely, his parents, family, and friends must have been aware of an obvious pain he carried with him his last few years on earth but do they know its primary source? The man who ruined this child’s life walked among them in the aisles of their church with a smile on his face. He shook their hands every Sunday. He’s still out there sneering today.
He must have been relieved to hear of the suicide of one his victims, knowing he took the story of his horrendous abuse with him to the grave. Had the abuser faced justice, would this boy have been able to overcome his struggle without taking his own life? Would he still have felt his only escape was to end it all? We shall never know. The sins of a wicked man, compounded by the sins of a wicked church, ran their full course in this boy’s life and gave birth to what sin always bares. Death.
While he was quietly being lost to eternity, his church family had already moved on without him. The pedophile who assaulted him, on the other hand, has enjoyed a life of freedom granted to him by the continued inaction of FBC Sapulpa.
The Other Victims
As mentioned, one boy is dead because of this man and the church’s cover-up. What about the other? He moved away with his family shortly after the assault and is still living a quiet life in another state. What happened to him has also never been addressed by the church. FBC Sapulpa should consider opening an investigation, reporting this to law enforcement, and reaching out to this man to ask for his forgiveness.
The assault at camp has had a life altering affect on the other boys who were not touched as well. A disproportionate number of them have rejected Christ as a direct result of the actions of the church. Church was seen as a place were people found God. Pastors were supposed to be trusted. That whole perception was shattered that fateful summer night. The boys who witnessed the evil were just as marred by that action as they were by the inaction of the people of the church. Many of them still speak freely of this tragic deed today and still hold out hope that the dam of silence will one day be broken.
Look, avoiding people that the church has hurt is never the right thing to do. Even the secular world can discern that. Outside of the victims of FBC Sapulpa, numerous others have been victimized by this despicable man over the years and he continues to masquerade as a Christian. He needs to be exposed.
Ephesians 5:11 tell us, “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
The Church Without Walls in Puerto Rico dedicated an entire website to exposing his wickedness in their church as a warning to others. His crimes against children at Sapulpa were infinitely greater yet FBC continues to hide the info from even the parents of his victims.
Think about it this way. If your child was molested at church camp and carried that with him his whole life and never told you, would you still want to know? Would you want to comfort him? If his rapist was still at large and still leading mission trips to Oklahoma for youth would you still want to know? If your child killed himself and left no explanation, would you want to know why? Would you be tempted to blame yourself if you didn’t know the truth? If the church this happened at still had people who had this knowledge, what would you expect them to do? Would you expect someone, anyone, to tell you?
We have avoided using names of those fighting us in this series of posts because we hold out hope that the members of FBC Sapulpa will be moved with compassion for these victims and do the right thing. We understand within the church that the power brokers, local politicians, and some of the greedy church staff have brought out their big guns to shut down this site. We also understand that a good segment of the church is appalled and wants to do something to help. Our blog has always existed to get info into the hands of FBC Sapulpa members who have been lied to by their corrupt 9Marks style leadership. Very rarely do we make suggestions for action. However, the level of disarray on this problem is so great that we’re going to break with tradition and do just that. In our last post in this series we’ll put forth our suggestions for action and also some answers to the foreseeable objections.
This unexposed sin continues to kill, both spiritually and physically. Silence has not worked. Something must be done.
And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.” –Genesis 4:10