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America’s First Padlocked Church Prelude to Ron Paul’s Present Plight

 By Greg Dixon 
A reader from yesterday’s article about our church, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, being raided by 100 federal marshals on February 13, 2001 on a Court order from Federal District Judge Sara Evans Barker in violation of the Holy Scriptures and Indiana and federal Constitutions writes the following typical response:
Hello Greg,
I would like to receive The Trumpet. I am so sorry this happened to you and your church. I can hardly believe it happened with almost no reports in the media. I have always said that there is a State Religion in America just as there was in the USSR, and this convinces me even more of that. Thank you very much. Blessings, Don

Over and over people say how can such a thing happen in America?  First let me say, it did happen but it didn’t happen until “Black Friday,” September 3, 1982.  On that day Cass County Sheriff Fred Tesch (deceased), acting on a bench warrant issued by Judge Raymond J. Case, drove out to Louisville, Nebraska, and arrested a man of God, Pastor Everette Sileven while ministering in the pulpit of his church, before children, during morning chapel. They locked him in the Plattsmouth jail with common criminals for 297 days, and then the next year locked up seven of the church fathers for 97 days. 
What was their crime? The same as the congregation of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple: they believed that Jesus Christ was the head over their church, not the state of Nebraska.  In this case, they had refused to take a license from the state to conduct a Christian school in their church facilities; in the Baptist Temple case, it was the collection and payment of taxes.  In both it was a First Commandment case – Who is God – Christ or Caesar?  It has always been the issue for two millennia now and will be until He comes and settles the issue once and for all.  And be assured, He will.
How did it happen?  It could not have happened until 100 of us were carried out of the same church, bodily, at 6 am on the following October 18 after an all night prayer meeting, by the same Sheriff Tesch backed up by the Nebraska State Police, and then the church padlocked from the inside to where the congregation could not worship in their own building.
How did it happen? It could not have happened until State tyranny of Texas destroyed the huge forty-year old children’s home ministry of Lester Roloff in 1971, the New Bethany Home for boys and girls Arcadia, Louisiana in 1972, the Community Baptist Church Boys Home ministry in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1986, and several others including a boys’ home just raided in Florida two months ago. None of this could have happened without the aid of the press and the silence of the pastors in the area who have consistently stood on the side of the state in every one of these cases.
How did it happen?  It could not have happened until the “Ministry of Information” as Orwell put it in his book 1984 had so democratized the American people that they had lost all concept of Constitutional government for the most part by the time of the “Great Depression.”  In fact, it says in one edition of  Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World that there was no organized opposition to this New World Order in 1932, which was the year that I was born.  No wonder there was no opposition, when the War Powers Act was passed by Congress in 1933 making every American an enemy of the State a “domestic terrorist”.  Obviously when they declared the national bankruptcy, they thought that they might have to declare martial law, and they will eventually.
How did it happen?  It could not have happened until the preachers became dumbed down to the point where they believed that Romans 13 taught the unlimited submission to the civil magistrate, and they thought evangelism was more important than discipleship and buildings were more important than people, and that the church was a legal organization rather than a divine organism (body of Christ).
When we went through our ordeal in Indianapolis and lost $6 million worth of the Lord’s property, 22 acres of land, a Christian school with 300 students from K-12, a day care, a College, and our home in which we had raised our family, not one preacher in forty miles of Indianapolis even called or sent an e-mail to say that they were praying for us.
How did it happen?  It happened because The International Association of Undercover Officers held a seminar in Nashville, Tennessee August 16-20, 1999 and named people like Greg Dixon, W.N. Otwell and Matt Trewhella as “Domestic Terrorists” in print, along with scores of other patriotic Americans and no one cared. And now they are bold enough to come after a respected Congressman like Ron Paul.  We better stop this train now.  The fourth in this series, God willing, will be in Freedom’s Phoenix tomorrow.
If you want The Trumpet, the voice of the unregistered church movement in America, send your e mail address to: drgregdixon@earthlink.net          

8 Comments in Response to

Comment by Jo Wright
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Mack Ford's sexual and physical abuse of children in his care extends back to the 70s. I was there '76-'77 and the sexual abuse is about all I can remember. New Bethany was a pedophile haven. I found this

Comment by Teresa Frye
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"If you have been the victim of (sexual) abuse by Mack Ford (or any employee of the New Bethany Girls/Boys Home, Arcadia or Longstreet, La/Walterboro, SC) please contact the FBI in Shreveport, LA at (318) 861-1890. Your call will remain anonymous." http://biblemadness.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/changes-in-louisiana-statutes-of-limitations/

Comment by chester mcdaniel
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 yep it all happened and more....should i tell this or let it go....its been 22 years! but my life thus far has been a result of being in that HELL HOLE! 90% of what you all have read is true...then again i was on the boys side of the prison. ill keep it short! how bout being raped in the ass at gunpoint! yeah me, and i dont know how many others down by the old hog pins where we used to play football and softball in horse shit! bitter you say? you damn right! mother fuckers took what ever life i may have had! my parents were old and feeble when they adopted me and could not take care of a 15 year old the way they wanted too! i had never been in ANY kind of trouble other than that i was lazy in school! well they are dead now and i cant wait to hear of mack and thelmas passing...im sure they will burn in hell like they told us we would do! cheerio sob's....


Comment by Shannon Scott
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I support religious freedom. However, I do not support child abuse. New Bethany Home for Girls and Boys abused children physically and sexually.

Comment by Anonymous
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History of New Bethany by Al Clendeninng

No Radio.
No television.
No Newspapers.
No Visitors.
No Freedom of Speech.
No Freedom of Religion.
No Unauthorized information from the outside world. Beatings.
Unaccredited education.
Unsanitary Conditions.

This is :
New Bethany

It is a horror that lives in the hearts and minds of many, and an experience not easily forgotten. What follows is a history account of , not one, but three New Bethany facilities, all owned by Mack and Thelma Ford. This account is relayed by court documents, affidavits, police reports, arrest sheets, newspaper clippings, and personal testimonies of former residents and parents. It is a long history spanning the 80's and 90's.

1) New Bethany home and School for Boys. Longstreet, Louisiana.
Owned by Mack and Thelma Ford.
Operated by Reverend L. D. Rapier.
Status: shut down.

On May 15, 1981 a police report was made concerning a 16 year old boy who had run away from New Bethany. The boy stated that he was afraid of the beating he would get if he was returned to the facility. Pursuant to that and other reports of abuse an arrest warrant was issued for Reverend Larry D, Rapier. The charge was cruelty to juveniles. Thus began a state investigation of New Bethany. On May 26, a letter was sent to Mack Ford informing him of the allegations of abuse in his facility.

A team of state employees from The Office of Licensing and Regulation and also from the Office of Human Development were dispatched to New Bethany to further investigate the allegations of child abuse. The School staff was uncooperative. The allegations of abuse were denied, but in an interview with a runaway the following day, investigators described bruises found on the boy's buttocks.

On May 28, 1981 a report was received from the Department of Social Services in Camden, Arkansas. This report described Reverend Rapier's past history of child abuse while working in another facility. The report included beatings and also a validated allegation that Reverend Rapier had sent his charges to work in the chicken house of a neighbor with payment for services being made out to himself.

Runaway after runaway, police report after police report and the investigation continued.
On September 11, 1981 a very thorough police report was made after yet another two juveniles escaped from New Bethany. The boys' statements were recorded in the report. One statement specifically was very upsetting. The runaway stated that he was one of three boys selected to beat up a so -called trouble maker at the instruction of the staff. As the State was moving in to take action, Mack Ford shut down the Longstreet Facility and either sent the boys home or moved them elsewhere before they could be interviewed by authorities.

2) New Bethany Home and School for Boys. Walterboro, South Carolina.
Owned by Mack and Thelma Ford.
Operated by Olin King.
Status: raided and shut down.

On May 27, 1984, two boys escaped from the facility and gave statements to police. Search warrants were obtained and the compound was raided. Arrest warrants were also issued for Olin King and two other staff members.
Upon searching the grounds the SLED agents discovered PVC pipe used to beat the children. They also found a young boy confined in a small room with a large padlocked door. The room had no light , bed, window or toilet . An interview with the two runaways yielded more details of abuse .

Olin King, Richard Davis and Robert King were charged with Unlawful Neglect of a child as well as other violations.
"Children Beaten, Bound at School, Officials say" was the headline in the Charleston paper. The story was also covered by the Walterboro Press and Standard.

In a plea bargain agreement, Olin King and Robert King pled No Contest to charges of False imprisonment and received suspended sentences of five years probation for each man.

In 1986 , Mack Ford made a move to reopen the boys facility in Walterboro, but the state would not allow him to do so without accepting a state license which would make him subject to state inspections from the Fire Marshall and Social Services.

3) New Bethany Home and School for Girls and Boys . Arcadia Louisiana.
Owned and operated by Mack and Thelma Ford
Status: Unlicensed and Open.

In 1985, a former resident of this facility sent out letter after letter in an attempt to inform anyone who would listen what was going on inside the compound. Her letters were sent to commissioners and Senators and the media., but they fell on deaf ears. She had resided at New Bethany in 1981 and her personal record of abuse would ring true for many.
At the time these letters were sent, New Bethany housed approximately a hundred girls and 40 boys. The girls were under the care of Dr. Nora Carter and the boys under the care of Olin King, who had been arrested and convicted of false imprisonment in Walterboro. Abuse and torture were rampant, especially in the girls sector. Besides terrible whippings with a thick wooden paddle, there were other forms of punishment:

1) Pots and Pans- being made to scrub a set of pots and pans with a sponge , water and scouring powder for hours and hours and sometimes days until fingers were raw ,scraped and bleeding. The recipient of this punishment was made to stand at a table and scour continuously the same set of pots and pans. No talking or looking around.

2) Silence- a student speaking out against New Bethany or talking about their past life before New Bethany would be put on "silence". This prevented them from saying one word to any person, for whatever length of time the staff determined effective. Sometimes weeks. Sometimes months.

3) Running in Place while being hit. This punishment was used mainly for girls who talked about or attempted escape. They were made to run in place continuously while being hit from behind with the wooden paddle.

4) Big Sister Treatment.- This was any punishment inflicted by the girl's peers at the orders of the staff. Sometimes it only entailed holding a girl down so the staff could punish her without resistance. Other times it entailed beatings or torture inflicted by the girl's peers at the staff's instruction.

The children went to church twice a week, and devotions were held on the other days. Mack Ford and the other men preached openly about women being inferior to men and this belief was put into practice. Whenever the 40 or so boys crossed paths with the girls, the girls were made to turn their backs to them and look at the ground until they were out of sight. As well the girls were barred from wearing shirts or dresses with any insignia or pictures close to the breasts. They were taught that if the boys lusted after them, it would be their fault and they would be condemned to hell.
The religion of Mack Ford and his followers is Fundamentalism and no other religion is acceptable. Girls and Boys brought up in Catholic or other faiths were not permitted to practice or speak of any beliefs that might be contrary to the beliefs held by the staff at New Bethany.

The unsanitary conditions in the girls sector were shameful. Toilet paper was not permitted to be flushed down the commodes, but had to be placed in trash baskets with no liners. At times Toilet paper was also rationed. A girl would receive so many squares of toilet paper depending on her need at that time. The girls would have to petition the toilet paper monitor for so many squares and announce why that much was needed.
On June 9, 1988, a complaint of physical and emotional abuse by two female runaways was received by the Office of Community Services in Arcadia.

An Investigation was opened and 47 of the female residents were interviewed. The allegations of abuse were supported. An Ex Parte order was issued allowing the state to investigate further and take any action necessary, and an affidavit filed.

In July of 1988, New Bethany filed an appeal against the states actions. This appeal outlines the abuse testified to by the residents. It includes:
1) Frequent whippings that left bruises.
2) Beatings at the hands of other girls (big sister treatment)
3) Being made to clean out animal pens with bare hands
4) Being denied medical care.
5) Being constantly called derogatory names.

The court found that there had been no infringement on New Bethany's rights during the investigation, but that the New Bethany staff had a right to refuse being interviewed by the state to avoid self- incrimination. The appeal was upheld in part, and reversed in part.

In 1992, Mack Ford allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a girl who had stayed on after her term to become a worker at the facility. According to residents of New Bethany at that time, an incriminating cassette tape was made by the girl and given to the Dorm Mother , Dr. Nora Carter. The tape was then handed over to Thelma Ford. The witnesses state that Mack Ford went "crazy" at that time and threatened to burn down the school. Other girls reported inappropriate conduct by Mack Ford. Some obtained lawyers and filed actions. Most were dropped when Mack Ford voluntarily shut down the facility.

In 1995 the school was again open and operating at full hilt. Over two hundred boys and girls were in residence. The girls were housed in a large dorm building with no windows or sprinkler system. As well, the doors were kept locked.
The facility was again operating without a state license, and the Fire Marshall had not been in to inspect the premises in over ten years.

On May 15 and May 21, 1995 Mack Ford signed affidavits swearing that New Bethany did not charge for it's services, but only operated on donations. Yet on October 17 , 1995 a bill was sent to the parent of a resident reminding her that she owed a substantial balance to the facility for the "stay, board, and schooling" of her child.
Again the allegations of child abuse began to emerge. Residents and Parents of residents made affidavits detailing the same horrible abuse documented for years.

On June 21, 1996 social services obtained an ex parte order allowing them to enter the premises and investigate. They were denied entrance by Mack Ford. Instead of forcing their way in, they returned to the court for yet another ex parte order.

The second order was issued on July 3, 1996. The attached affidavit outlined several reported incidents, including that of a former resident who received punture wounds after trying to escape from the facility. The wounds were left untreated and developed into impetigo. As well, his head was repeatedly beaten against the wall by Frank Garcia, Dorm father for the boys, and a man with a violent criminal past.

By the time the state gained admittance into the facility, Mack Ford had sent all the children home.
Mack and Thelma Ford filed a lawsuit against state officials citing that they had forced him to close the school, and asking for $80,000 for every month the facility remained shut. The lawsuit was moved into federal court, and on November 23, 1998 a judgement was rendered. New Bethany lost. But they had already reopened the facility anyway.

In the fall of 1998, the Rocky Mountain News became interested in New Bethany and a young boy who had been placed there by his father and Stepmother. A serious of articles ensued in which New Bethany' s past was revisited and its present scrutinized. The Boy was finally released in December of 1998.

New Bethany doesn't present itself as place of torture or abuse. On the contrary, Mack and Thelma Ford appear to be a loving , Christian couple , a convincing facade to parents who decide to place their children in the facility.
When a parent places their child in the care of New Bethany it is for One year. Most of the children have had problems with truancy or other bad behavior and the parents become convinced by Mack and Thelma Ford that New Bethany is loving facility of reform. Thus there are no visits allowed. The child's phone calls and mail are also monitored by the staff. There is no way for a parent to know what is really going on inside the compound unless they know where to dig for filed away documents, or until after their child is released. By then it is often too late. The damage has been done.
There are currently children residing in New Bethany. How many?? I could only guess. New Bethany gleans children from all over the United States from distressed parents looking for someone to love and help their children. You might wonder why the state of Louisiana tiptoes around a place like New Bethany, allowing them to reopen after every investigation. I wish I knew.

I don't want to hear about any more former residents who have taken their own lives. I don't want to hear about any more former residents who can't function without therapy and antidepressant medication. I don't want to hear from any more mothers wondering if their child is going to snap out of it soon, and talk to them. I just want this saga to finally end.

Comment by Anonymous
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Mr. Dixon wrote:

How did it happen? It could not have happened until State tyranny of Texas destroyed the huge forty-year old children's home ministry of Lester Roloff in 1971, the New Bethany Home for boys and girls Arcadia, Louisiana in 1972......

Well first let me say this. The state of Louisiana did not destroy New Bethany in 1972. The main home in Arcadia was open until the late 90's.

New Bethany was ran by criminals who abused children.



Timeline and history of New Bethany:

I was there when the boys home in Longstreet, LA was shut down in 1982 due to child abuse. I'am one of their victims.

My story:
"It took 7 months to literally beat God out of me, and 27 years to be able to forgive those responsible."
can be found here:

The abuse went on in Louisiana and South Carolina and is well documented

Google New Bethany Boys Home, New Bethany Girls home, Survivors of New Bethany.

As far as the Lester Roloff homes the abuse was well documented in that case too.

And recently Jack Patterson of Reclamation Ranch in Empire, AL was indicted on child abuse charges.

Punishing a child is one thing, shackling a child in a cell with nothing but their underwear is criminal.

Beating a child with golf clubs is criminal.

Pulling a child's hair out by dragging them by it is criminal.

Mr. Dixon should get his facts straight before he writes. His erroneous reporting of the facts makes him no better than big corporate media.

Someone with the title of Doctor should know better. But see he's trying to sell you on his view anyway he can. Even if he has to twist the truth or leave out the fact that the government was going after criminals, not godly men.

Comment by Anonymous
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Testing 123

Comment by Ernest Hancock
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Continue to 'Testify' my brother.