Here’s an interesting tidbit from the ABC 7 News about the ongoing trial of Ernie Willis for the rape of Tina Anderson.
Smukler [the judge in the Willis case] has yet to rule on whether Phelps must testify about admissions Willis made to him about the alleged assaults. Willis’ lawyers claim that they are privileged. Coull argued that Phelps had a lawyer present during the conversations and that undermines any privilege between a member of the clergy and a congregant
This is interesting on a couple of levels.
1. It means that Willis did talk to Phelps about his crimes AND had his lawyer present while he did so.
2. It means that Phelps is not voluntarily forthcoming about this conversation and the lawyers are trying to keep him from having to testify about what Willis told him.
3. The lawyers are invoking a religious privilege that is normally reserved for confessions made in the Roman Catholic church. So is Phelps tacitly agreeing that Willis was making a Roman-style confession to him…with his lawyer present?
The longer this case goes the more Phelps appears to not only be ignorant and impotent as a pastor but also to be plain evil. If you want the truth to come out, why not just take the stand, Chuck? Why not just tell the prosecution that you’ll make a clean breast of it and that there’s no such thing as a clergy/congregant privilege in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church?
Minerva, 52, shot himself Thursday after a standoff with Chandler police attempting to serve a warrant on suspicion he was luring a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship.
Minerva, who lived in Tempe, was the married father of four children. He had been pastor of the south Phoenix church since 2004, and had a loyal group of followers. Prior to that, he was pastor of First Baptist Church in Bagdad, Ariz. since 2000. Minerva had also at one time been a probation officer, congregants said.
Police believe there are victims who have not yet come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call Chandler police.
I can’t find any real records on who Nick Minerva was other than some links to his Wing Chun ministry and a video of what appears to be his son preaching at a camping retreat with none other than the folks from Faithful Word Baptist Church. His church website lists no schools, fellowships, or credentials of any kind. So I’m left to wonder, where did Nick Minerva come from and how did he end up as a pastor? Have their been other victims of his along the way?
I’m sure there’s more to follow on this story as time goes along.
This is not a new story. But it is a continuing saga that is worth remembering and discussing.
In July of 2002, Joshua and Caleb Thompson (sons of the late pastor Hank Thompson) were working at the Capitol City Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas when they decided that an 11-year-old boy who had had read the wrong Bible verses needed to be punished. So while Caleb held the boy down, Joshua beat him until his kidneys failed. Doctors later confirmed that during the hour-long punishment the boy had been hit at least 100 times. He was so injured that he spent a week in intensive care and needed a blood transfusion.
As a defense, the pair later claimed that the injuries had been previously created by an abusive step-father and that the boy’s mother had given them permission to paddle him. The jury evidently didn’t buy it because both Joshua and Caleb were convicted in a court of law. Joshua received a 24 year sentence. His brother received a mere 14.
Now each felon has written a book. And they’re marketed on a website called Remember My Bonds. Yes. You read that right. These two fundamentalist child abusers have the gall to compare their plight in prison to that of the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul. Nowhere on the site to they apologize or indicate that they are all sorry for what they had done in beating a child. In fact, their crimes aren’t mentioned at all. Evidently, they’re just suffering for Jesus.
The New Beginnings Girls Academy is a direct descendant of the infamous Roloff homes.
According to the ABC report which details some pretty awful stuff, not much has changed since the first stories of this kind broke back in the 70’s.
It’s my understanding that Susan James Donaldson has worked tirelessly on this piece. She is the one who tracked down current victims (something she had to find, to validate it was still going on). She deserves a big shout out from all of us.
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