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The Long Road to New Bethany and Back

In Child Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on September 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  • The Long Road to New Bethany and Back

By Rebecca Catalanello | Photos and Video by Kathleen Flynn

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html

The above expose’ is the most amazing piece of journalism I’ve read about child sexual abuse when no one has been charged with a crime. The reporters followed us around for days and went with us to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.  BPSO refused to take Jennifer’s statement because Sheriff Ballance was mad as an old wet hen. He knew the reporters caught his actions and Ballance gave them an interview.

  • At the Gates

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#gates

Jennifer Halter remembers seeing her mother wipe her eyes as she steered the car.

“What’s wrong, Mom?” asked Halter, then 14.

“Nothing,” said her mom.

The road to the small town seemed to stretch forever.

  • Together in Room 723

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#together

On a Wednesday night last December, five women gathered in Room 723 of the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport.

  • Are you ready?

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#stories

The first time it happened, Halter says, she had asked to go to the bathroom.

  • We need to report a rape

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#everything

Fifty miles east of Shreveport, wind whipped through the nearly empty parking lot outside the Arcadia courthouse. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s.

  • Videos

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/video.html

You are not alone | Speaking with the survivors of New Bethany

  1. More than a decade after the closing of New Bethany Home for Girls, women are coming forward with tales of physical and emotional mistreatment, and sexual abuse.
  2. Reporters approach New Bethany founder Mack Ford.
  3. Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance remembers a runaway from New Bethany.
  4. Former New Bethany resident Teresa Frye brings abuse allegations to light.
  •  Heaven or Hell? Thirty years of turmoil at New Bethany

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html

In late December of 1991, a 20-year-old woman [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] sat down in a room with a cassette recorder and two other women more than twice her age.

Tell us everything that happened, one of the older women [ Nora Carter Shepherd ] said. Then she pressed a button to record.

Shannon [Mary] Scott [Sims] says she did as she was told. In five years living at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., that was one thing she knew to do.

  • The lost girls

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#unwanted

For three decades starting in the early 1970s, New Bethany took girls no one wanted. It was the outreach ministry of Mack Ford, a high school dropout who worked for a time as a tire repairman before he said he heard God’s call to preach.

  • I will be back

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#tara

Tara Cummings had just turned 12 when she arrived at New Bethany in 1982 after law enforcement was notified that her adoptive father, a minister, had severely beaten her, records show.

  • New allegations of abuse

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#abuse

Because Scott  [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] won’t talk about the details of that taped interview in 1991, it’s not clear what New Bethany leaders knew or suspected when they closed the home, albeit temporarily.

  • Standards of abuse

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#crooked

Shannon Scott says the other person who was in the room at the time she gave her report was Nora Carter. She’s 72 now, goes by Nora Carter Shepherd, lives in Indiana and said she can’t figure out why women who were residents at New Bethany can’t stop dwelling on what happened to them there.

  • Key Events in the History of New Bethany

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#timeline

1971 – New Bethany Home for Girls is founded in Arcadia, La., by Mack Ford, a preacher with the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church denomination.

Through 2014 – January: A fourth woman in Massilon, Ohio, confirms making a report to her local law enforcement claiming sexual abuse by Mack Ford.

  • Breaking open the gates

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/teresa.html

Teresa Frye knows that what she is about to say could make some people angry but she needs to say it anyway. “It’s wrong,” the 46-year-old says in her North Carolina twang, “for me to say that it’s perfectly acceptable for an adult survivor of sexual abuse to stay silent about what happened to them.”

  • The Runaway

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/runaway.html

The girl rose from the ditch like an animal in headlights.

In 32 years, Ralph and Elizabeth Jordan haven’t forgotten the sight.

“We just saw a kid,” Elizabeth Jordan remembers. “I thought if she was desperate enough to come out of the ditch, something was wrong.”

  •  Escape Attempt

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/runaway.html#escape

Rebecca Silva was 14 that August night she decided to run. She had been at New Bethany about a year.

  •  About this story

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/about.html

Reporter Rebecca Catalanello and photojournalist Kathleen Flynn, both of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, spent Dec. 4 to 7, 2013, in Shreveport with Halter and several other women as they set out for the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, where Halter made her report, and later, to New Bethany Home for Girls.

Who is Shannon Scott?

In Child Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on February 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm

They Fought Back

Student Turned Staff

Mechille’s Letter to her rapist

The Depths of Depravity

Depths of Mack Ford’s Depravity

In Child Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Boys, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on February 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Going Public? Wanna' Know Your Real Friends? Go Public about Child Sexual Abuse and See Who Stands Beside You?

Going Public?
Wanna’ Know Your Real Friends?
Go Public about Child Sexual Abuse and See Who Stands Beside You!

Mechille wanted a light to shine on the repulsive depravity of Mack Ford’s lust for power and control of girls with whom he embarrassed, frightened, and controlled through a ritual sexual abuse more depraved than imaginable. Trip-girls (New Bethany girls, who traveled and sang for donations), who talk, validated Mechille’s below description of what Ford did to the children entrusted into his care. Mechille was 12-years-old

The death of our precious Mechille lit a fire that refuses to dim in Survivors of New Bethany (SoNB). Using her words (clips of public postings), Mechille speaks from the grave as she spoke truth in life.

Mechille slipped into unconsciousness while writing on Facebook about sexual abuse at New Bethany; engaged in a thread with those she considered sisters. These are her last words:

As she lay dying

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The trip girls’ silence is deafening.

In 1991, Shannon, a 20-year-old Jr. Staff, traveled with the trip-girls as second-in-command to Mack W. Ford. Shannon had absolute supervisory authority and meted out whippings as any other staff. One girl alleges Shannon broke her tailbone, beating the teenager on the altar. Shannon wrote that she was a victim of Mack Ford [Click Here]; however, we do not know when she was a victim because as an adult, she has not filed charges or corroborated victims’ claims. Refusing to speak for the girls under her tutelage at New Bethany in 1991 leaves too many without answers. Most Survivors want to forget trauma but that is not how trauma heals. Others express a fragility preventing them from facing down the hornet’s nest, known as BPSO and BPDA. Mack Ford’s depravity does not define who we were, who we are, or who we will become. Child Sexual Abuse defines the perpetrator’s lack of character, morals, and conscience.

12292009-doesnt support child abuse- Shannon

Since Shannon works with children and is against child sexual abuse, why leave her former students, now grown women, with a burden too heavy for anyone to carry without serious consequences? Why does she refuse to speak up in support of the women under her supervision and provide encouragement for others to come forward?
red_bar_smOn the Multiply site, Mechille wrote a letter to Mack Ford. An excerpt reads: “Shannon overheard me singing in the kitchen one day. She asked if I would want to try singing in the choir, and then she asked me to sing in the quartet. My time at NB leading up to that point was full of torture. By this time I had been brainwashed by you and Ms. Nora and Ms. Savoy, I had been beaten on numerous occasions, I had been broken down… quite frankly I was a shell”

Shannon singing

When Shannon heard Mechille’s angelic voice, did she know that she was inviting Mechille to join a sexual predator’s fantasy? Shannon was SIX years older than Mechille. Only Shannon knows the answer because Mechille is dead.

Mechille
Mechille was one of those women, who made everyone feel that she loved them most. Her heart was bigger than Texas. Taken from her birth parents, blamed for the adoptive parents’ inability to communicate, sent to New Bethany at 12, beaten by staff, molested by Mack Ford at the confusing ages of 12-14, returned to adoptive parent when NB was shuttered over sexual abuse allegations, and shortly afterward, in 1992, the adoptive parent returned her to New Bethany to live with her molester and abusers. At 14, the adoptive mother returned Mechille to her biological mother.

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In an open letter to Mack W. Ford, our molester, Mechille wrote:

M-1

Why do “the other girls” [trip girls] “not want to talk about it?”

M-2

Mechille tried to keep the trip-girls’ secrets until they were strong enough. She asked her “sisters” to be strong. 

M-3

Mechille was not a Keeper of the Secrets. She was a warrior, who stood alone.

M-4
On a trip to raise donations in Rhode Island, Mechille walked in on Mack Ford, “engaged in a sexual act with another girl.” “Rather than shame and being scared shitless that you [Mack W. Ford] had been caught… you manipulated me and demanded and reeled me in.”

Shannon Scott was the “adult staff member” who had the courage to come forward in 1991.

M-5

Mack W. Ford, another Preacher preying from the pulpit

M-6

“Ran away and told the cops what had happened with you [Mack Ford] that led to the home closing temporarily months earlier [Shannon gave a recording of Ford sexually abusing a girl], …. you said were false allegations?

M-7-tape

“With not only myself but with a few others.”

What was Mack Ford doing to these children?

What happened that was so horrible women have died, lived in silence and shame for decades, felt continual regret, and held tight to the secrets that eat at the fabric of humanity.

Ritual Sexual Abuse

Ritual Sexual Abuse

Ultimately, Mack Ford’s disgusting, degrading, embarrassing, shaming, sexual desires, forced on children, was more than Mechille could live with. Where is the recording, the tape, where did it go? Who has a copy?

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Times Picayune | Nola.com
“In late December of 1991 , a 20-year-old woman sat down in a room with a cassette recorder and two other women more than twice her age.

Tell us everything that happened, one of the older women [Nora Carter] said. Then she pressed a button to record.

Shannon Scott says she did as she was told. In five years living at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., that was one thing she knew to do.

The Associated Press reported a few days later, on Jan. 8, 1992, that New Bethany had closed. After years of legal entanglement with state and local authorities, the school had decided to send all the residents home.

Three days later, she says, one of the women handed Scott a plane ticket, directed her to a car with keys in it and instructed her to drive herself to the airport where she would board a plane back home — far away from this place where she had lived since she was 15 years old.

But New Bethany did not stay closed. By the mid-1990s, documents show, residents at the home were once again trying to draw attention to what they described to police and politicians as abusive and inhumane conditions at the compound.

These days, Scott says she doesn’t want to talk about what she told the women with the tape recorder 23 years ago. She has a new name and asks that it not be used.

She says she has never spoken to police.”

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/04/new_bethany_home_for_girls_end.html

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“Three days later, she says, one of the women handed Scott a plane ticket, directed her to a car with keys in it and instructed her to drive herself to the airport where she would board a plane back home”

How does that scenario play out? We are to believe that Robbie Ford handed Shannon a plane ticket to WA, told Shannon to drive herself to the airport in Shreveport, and board the plane home, leaving the car in Shreveport.

Roberta Ford told this author that she took Shannon to the airport in the wee hours of the morning.

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“Shannon Scott says the other person who was in the room at the time she gave her report was Nora Carter. She’s 72 now, goes by Nora Carter Shepherd, lives in Indiana and said she can’t figure out why women who were residents at New Bethany can’t stop dwelling on what happened to them there.

“That’s so long ago, a person should have been able to go on with their life,” she said in a phone interview.

Shepherd won’t discuss Scott’s memory of the tape-recorded conversation. “I did what was needed to be done. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Several of the former residents who talked to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and others who commented online over the years say they remember Shepherd for her wide and forceful swing with a paddle. Asked about the reports of physical abuse at the home — and the memories some of these women have of her — Shepherd said the standards for abuse back then were not the same as today. She said adults today could get in trouble for “looking crooked” at a child.

“No punishment was ever administered unless Mack Ford sent down a directive to do it,” she said. “I don’t know about physical abuse. I know some of the kids there had never had any correction in their lives and that’s why their lives were out of control.”

Asked if she ever knew of sexual abuse there, Shepherd says she was unaware.

Then, she qualifies it.

“Not with any children,” she said.

She paused and then declined to go into detail.”

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/04/new_bethany_home_for_girls_end.html

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Where is Justice? Where are the women who know what happened to one another and who remain in denial?

The silenced will be shouting from the roof tops!

Teach children to stand against evil and to stand for what is right and good. You are stronger than you know and no one has to go through this alone.

Mack W. Ford Deposition

In Child Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Boys, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on February 6, 2015 at 12:58 am

“No regret for the confidence betrayed
No more hiding in shadow
‘Cause I won’t wait for the debt to be repaid
Time has come for you

Victimized, victimized, never again victimized
Victimized, victimized, never again victimized”
Linkin Park Lyrics

428499_417968741575575_2028632404_n

Mack & Thelma Ford New Bethany Home for Boys and Girls Arcadia, Louisiana

Mack Ford’s claims throughout this deposition focus on the Constitutional rights of Mack W. Ford, also known as “New Bethany Homes” (NB) for Boys and Girls. Claiming New Bethany a church allowed invoking Freedoms of Religion. Freedom of Religion has nothing to do with inhumane physical and sexual abuse of children!

After shooting at teenagers, Arcadia law enforcement arrested Mack Ford. Sheriff Whitman busted Mack’s cocky chops in the mid-70s and Ford sued. Ford testifies that Governor Edwards was personally aware of NB adoptions, joking about selling babies. In 1997, Ford continues claiming the state of Louisiana, “had it in for him,” basing their opinion of NB on an altercation with the Sheriff in the mid-1970’s, in this deposition on 7/22/1997, over 20 years later.

Maintaining focus on Ford’s rights prevented enforcement of children’s right to live free from cruel and inhumane treatment, including sexual abuse. Ford talks in circles and knows the statute number that NB refused to follow. Addressing child abuse testimony, Mack Ford’s statement of the wrongs of the state on June 21st, 1996, included asking removed students, “The embarrassing questions; have you been molested by Reverend Ford?” Harry Bernstein responded, “Okay. And what is inappropriate with that question?”

Louisiana versus New Bethany Home For Girls Versus State of Louisiana

New Bethany Home For Girls Versus State of Louisiana – 07/22/97

07/22/97 – Mack Ford Deposed by Harry Bernstein

Mack W. Ford- Case #96-2065 Dated 07-22-97 – Pages 1-30

Harold Allen Banker in Jonesboro

Harold Allen, Banker in Jonesboro
Page 16, Lines 21-25

Mack Ford  received zero compensation for taking kids from the Houston Detention Center, 1970 juvenile justice, Houston, TX, USA

Ms. Verna Levine, Houston Detention Center
Texas’ kids from Houston Detention Center started New Bethany Page 20, Lines 5-19
Mack Ford asserts, “New Bethany was not compensated by state or federal funding.”

Mack W. Ford-Pages 32-60

Mack W. Ford-Pages 61-90

Mack Ford believes Ex Parte Orders are WRONG

1980’s Ex Parte Order brought Fire Marshal, Social Services:”Ordered me around like a dog”
Page 74, Lines 1-14

 Judge Caldwell's son, Jim Caldwell, Mack Ford's Attorney

Jim Caldwell, Judge Caldwell’s son, Mack Ford’s attorney when Fire Marshal allegedly said, “He would not rest until Church Home and Church School was shut down.
Pages 74-75, Lines 18-25 and 1-3

Governor Edwards aware New Bethany involved in adoptions

LA Governor Edwards asked, “Do you sell babies, do you take state money?
Page 88, Lines 4-20

— Edwards aware New Bethany involved in adoptions without a license, in early 1970’s.

Mack W. Ford-Pages 91-120

Mack W. Ford-Pages 121-150

have you been molested by Reverend Ford.

Ford testifies: “The embarrassing questions; have you been molested by Reverend Ford.”
MF v LA- 7-22-97
pg 148- lines -18-23

Ford testifies under oath that DSS coached NB girls on what to say and then, recorded the coached statements against Mack Ford and New Bethany.

June 21st, 1996

MF v LA-7-22-97-pg 149-line-2-17

Mack W. Ford-Pages 151-180

Henry Bernstein questions Mack Ford about the “raid” on June 21st, 1996, wherein Ford asserts DSS, Fire Marshalls, and a Deputy Sheriff interrupted the July 4, 1996 Camp Meeting, adding, “Camp meeting lasted for four or five days.”

MF-7-22-97 -  p 160-161- lines 18-2

MF-7-22-97 –
p 160-161- lines 18-2

MF v LA-7-22-97 pg 162-line-1-7

MF v LA-7-22-97
pg 162-line-1-7

Disgruntled kids lie and manipulate to get what they want.
Page 149, Ford testified that “DSS coached the children” and recorded their coached statements.

MF-v-LA-7-22-97 pg-166-line-8-21

MF-v-LA-7-22-97
pg-166-line-8-21

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Timothy Johnson Learns of Child Sexual Abuse and Does what

In Child Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on February 4, 2015 at 9:11 pm

In December of 1991, Timothy Johnson learned that a Jr. Staff tape-recorded a sexual assault by Mack Ford, Johnson’s father-in-law. Timothy Johnson was the board member with status (an adult male) to Mack W. Ford. Assisting her parents, Roberta Ford took the Junior Staff, age 20, to the airport in Shreveport, and the Jr. Staff flew home to Washington. Choosing to take this action under the cover of night causes speculation.

 

As stewards of children, we have a responsibility to protect them from the horror of reality at New Bethany. Timothy Johnson’s grandiosity becomes more obvious as he decides to start an option for the Southern Baptist Convention. He continues undermining whomever he must as he claws his way to the top. He turned whistle-blower on the President of Louisiana College. Timmy boy gets around! When faced with a grown man, his father-in-law, molesting children, Tim Johnson made every wrong choice available. Now he’s going to create a SBCv2.

Johnson did NOT:

  • Report the child sexual abuse to law enforcement
  • Obtain medical care for the alleged victims
  • Ask the girls if Mack Ford sexually molested them
  • Close New Bethany
  • Take board action to remove Mack Ford and hold him accountable.
  • Take a stand when victims of Mack Ford needed his help
  • Tell what went down in Arcadia, Louisiana, in December of ’99, when Johnson received a phone call, informing him to come to New Bethany property immediately.

Johnson DID:

  • Hide the fact that as a board member, he did not deal with his father in law’s horrifically flawed moral compass
  • Allow another decade of victims
  • Plan and carry out removal of the victim from the state of Louisiana
  • Change versions of what he did and did not do
  • Change versions of what he did and did not know
  • Remain consistently inconsistent

Read the articles for yourself.

  • Louisiana College May Appoint Mack Ford Son in Law as President
  • Timothy Johnson Fired as [Vice] President of Louisiana College
  • Timothy sues boss for wrongful termination.
  • Disclosed Johnson became aware a girl tape-recorded a sexual assault by Mack Ford, and he chose to send the girl home and shutter the compound for a time instead of reporting the matter to police.
  • Mother-in-law had been in possession of audio taped evidence of the sexual abuse
  • Claims that he asked if any girls were abused by Mack Ford
  • Tammy Jump, the assistant district attorney (ADA) who oversaw the most recent grand jury witnesses, has improper connections to Ford.
  • Johnson leads Louisiana pastors to form new Baptist association
  • Johnson’s confounding explanation

 . . . . . .

Timothy Johnson’s confounding explanation of his response to learning Mack Ford was Sexually Abusing children at New Bethany

“1) Did not send girl home. Sent ALL girls home.  I was not only Board member at that time but was the only one there so closed home and sent girls home.” [Girls present in 1991 and WA parent refutes statement. ]

“2) Parents of the girl involved wanted her sent home and did not want to be involved.  So we honored their wishes. [No police report and numerous trip-girls’ recorded statements taken by Thelma Ford and Nora Carter Shepherd-12/91. Were the other trip-girls’ parents told about the sexual abuse allegations?]

3) That night, after the girl’s complaint, I gathered all girls together and asked if there were any girls abused by Mack Ford.  If so, please speak up.  NONE expressed anything and they had a great opportunity to do so without him present.  I never heard any tape, only Mrs. Ford had the supposed tape. [Girls present in 1991, refute that Johnson gathered them together and asked anything of them in the 1991 sexual abuse scandal]

4) Sent all girls home and closed the doors. [Girls remained at NB after 1991 sexual abuse scandal, repeat of # 1]

5) Mack Ford submitted to and passed a lie detectors test. [No evidence this took place]

6) Home did not open months later but was a long time later [Children remained at New Bethany and by 12/92, at least seven teen girls lived at NB] I just do not know when.  When it was opened back up it was to a Cambodian group from California that leased the home from him.  There may have been some workers and girls as well but I do not remember and basically stayed away from him. [If he sent ALL the girls home, how were “some girls” at New Bethany?]

Don’t know much that happened after I sent girls home.  Had very little contact with my in-laws following the 1991 incident.  He pretty much hated me after that. [More worried about personal opinions than the safety of children and accountability for crimes against children.]

7) It was much later that I learned my name was still listed as a Board member.  In 2001 we permanently closed and disposed of the property giving it to the church and had my name removed from everything. Did not even know my name had been left on because of his hatred toward me.  Not even sure of what all transpired during that time either.  Do not know all of the details and was not a part of Mack Ford’s life to because of the lack of communication with them. [Board members are voted in and voted out and Johnson remained a board member after the sexual abuse scandal in 12/91; allowing another decade of child victims of his father in law, because Timothy felt that Ford “hated” him.]

 . . . . . .

January 22, 2015 at 9:29 AM

Louisiana pastors form new Baptist association

By The Associated Press
A former leader at Louisiana College and a group of pastors are organizing a new Baptist association. They say it will create a “second option” for Louisiana Baptists that would allow churches to keep most of their money on the local level.

Tim Johnson founded the nonprofit Southern Baptist Association of Louisiana.

Johnson tells The Town Talk “multiple” pastors also are involved but did not want to include their names for fear of retaliation from the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

“There’s too much power in the Baptist Building (LBC office in Alexandria) because there’s too much money,” Johnson said. “With the amount of money there, the power’s there with it. And that’s the problem with our state.”

http://www.nola.com/religion/index.ssf/2015/01/new_louisiana_baptist_associat.html

. . . . . .

 January 09, 2015

[…]

Former residents have also started publicly questioning whether Tammy Jump, the assistant district attorney who oversaw the most recent grand jury case, has improper connections to Ford. One of Ford’s grandchildren, David Johnson, states on his Facebook page that he works for Ruston Tractor, a business that records show is run by Jeremy and Heather Gantt. Jump confirmed that Jeremy Gantt is her brother.

Asked this week about any ties between her family and Ford’s, Jump said she had no knowledge of her brother’s payroll. She said she knows of Timothy Johnson, Ford’s son-in-law who is David Johnson’s father, because of his connection to the New Bethany case. But she said she never met Ford and had no clue that her brother might have employed his grandson.

Timothy Johnson was on the New Bethany board in 2001, when it voted to close the school. In a March 13, 2013, email to colleagues at Louisiana College, where he served as vice president, Timothy Johnson disclosed that in 1991 he became aware that a resident complained Ford had sexually abused her. He also wrote that his mother-in-law had been in possession of audio taped evidence of the sexual abuse.

When asked last year whether he contacted police about the sex abuse complaint, Johnson told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune he wasn’t allowed to discuss it because he might be a witness in a legal case involving Ford. News reports and interviews with former residents indicate the school closed for a period of time following the incident, but by the mid-1990s it had started enrolling youth once again.

[…]

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@nola.comand 504.717.7701.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/01/grand_jury_declines_to_indict.html

. . . . . .

 January 09, 2015

“Timothy Johnson [Mack Ford’s son in law] was on the New Bethany board in 2001, when it voted to close the school. In a March 13, 2013, email to colleagues at Louisiana College, where he served as vice president, Timothy Johnson disclosed that in 1991 he became aware that a resident complained Ford had sexually abused her. He also wrote that his mother-in-law had been in possession of audio taped evidence of the sexual abuse.”

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@nola.com and 504.717.7701.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/01/grand_jury_declines_to_indict.html

. . . . . .

 January 06, 2015

[…]

A political dust-up last spring at Louisiana College, a private Christian school in Pineville, dredged up some of these lingering questions about who knew what at New Bethany Home for Girls in late 1991 and early 1992.

Former Louisiana College vice president Tim Johnson was at one point on the board of New Bethany Home for Girls. Johnson is Mack Ford’s son-in-law. (AP Photo)

Timothy Johnson, former executive vice president of Louisiana College, says he can’t talk about it now on advice from attorneys. But while he was embroiled in a political battle with the college’s president, an anonymous blog called Chuckles Travels claimed that Johnson, 57, Mack Ford’s son-in-law, knew about a girl’s complaint of sexual abuse at the home in 1991 and failed to contact authorities.

The blog post said that a girl tape-recorded a sexual assault by Mack Ford, and, when Johnson became aware of it, he chose to send the girl home and shutter the compound for a time instead of reporting the matter to police. 

In a March 13, 2013, email to other Louisiana College leaders, Johnson acknowledged a girl complained about sexual abuse while he was involved with the school. He said he did not send one girl home, but “sent all girls home and closed the doors.”

“That night, after the girl’s complaint, I gathered girls together and asked if there were any girls abused by Mack Ford,” Johnson wrote. “If so, please speak up. NONE expressed anything and they had a great opportunity to do so without him present.”

Johnson wrote in the email that he never heard a tape, but that his mother-in-law, Thelma Ford, was in possession of what he called “the supposed tape.” He wrote that Mack Ford passed a lie detector test.

Johnson acknowledged in his email that the school reopened some time later, but said his in-laws had little contact with him after that. He wrote that he learned in 2001 that he was still listed as a board member, and he voted to close the school.

When asked recently by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune about whether he contacted police about the girl’s complaint that she had been sexually abused, Johnson said he isn’t allowed to discuss the matter because he could be a witness in a legal case involving his now estranged father-in-law.

“Once we are confident that there will be no trials, I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have,” he wrote in an email. […]

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/04/new_bethany_home_for_girls_end.html

. . . . . .

Timothy sues boss for wrongful termination.

http://archive.thetowntalk.com/assets/pdf/DK219640311.PDF

On or about December 9, 2012, TIMOTHY JOHNSON reported misconduct of JOE AGUILLARD, and he did so in full compliance with the whistle blower policy of Louisiana College (after meeting with JOE AGUILLARD on December 6, 2012 to discuss the matter).

. . . . . .

Timothy Johnson Fired as [Vice] President of Louisiana College

Timothy Johnson’s plan to overthrow the president of Louisiana College did not go as Johnson had planned.

http://chucklestravels.com/2013/08/18/timothy-johnson-fired-as-president-of-louisiana-college-hes-the-victim/

. . . . . .

 Louisiana College May Appoint Mack Ford Son in Law as President

Attempt at becoming a “whistleblower” to overthrow the college’s president and take the president’s seat.

http://chucklestravels.com/2013/03/11/louisiana-college-may-appoint-mack-ford-son-in-law-as-president/

. . . . . .

chucklestravels

In March 2013 we here at Chucklestravels gave some disturbing details on the past of Timothy Johnson who was appointed president of Louisiana College.  Please read those posts HERE and HERE

The reason for the outrage is because Louisiana College was going to appoint, Timothy Johnson who is the son-in-law Mack Ford and Thelma Ford of New Bethany.

Timothy Johnson has been fired from Louisiana College.  Interesting that he’s playing the victim.

Timmy boy is alleging he was fired due to whistle-blower at Louisiana College.

It is too bad Timothy Johnson didn’t have the guts to “call the law as he promised if New Bethany were to reopen.

His father-in-law, Mack Ford  is alleged to have physically abused and raped girls for four (4) decades.

No whistle-blowing then, Timmy, huh?

 

Mack Ford is far more prolific alleged child sex abuser than Jerry Sandusky.

  • Bienville Parish Sheriff Department what’s…

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The Long Road to New Bethany and Back

In Child Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on May 16, 2014 at 8:31 pm

  • The Long Road to New Bethany and Back

By Rebecca Catalanello | Photos and Video by Kathleen Flynn

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html

The above expose’ is the most amazing piece of journalism I’ve read about child sexual abuse when no one has been charged with a crime. The reporters followed us around for days and went with us to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office.  BPSO refused to take Jennifer’s statement because Sheriff Ballance was mad as an old wet hen. He knew the reporters caught his actions and Ballance gave them an interview.

  • At the Gates

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#gates

Jennifer Halter remembers seeing her mother wipe her eyes as she steered the car.

“What’s wrong, Mom?” asked Halter, then 14.

“Nothing,” said her mom.

The road to the small town seemed to stretch forever.

  • Together in Room 723

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#together

On a Wednesday night last December, five women gathered in Room 723 of the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport.

  • Are you ready?

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#stories

The first time it happened, Halter says, she had asked to go to the bathroom.

  • We need to report a rape

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/journey.html#everything

Fifty miles east of Shreveport, wind whipped through the nearly empty parking lot outside the Arcadia courthouse. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s.

  • Videos

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/video.html

You are not alone | Speaking with the survivors of New Bethany

  1. More than a decade after the closing of New Bethany Home for Girls, women are coming forward with tales of physical and emotional mistreatment, and sexual abuse.
  2. Reporters approach New Bethany founder Mack Ford.
  3. Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance remembers a runaway from New Bethany.
  4. Former New Bethany resident Teresa Frye brings abuse allegations to light.
  •  Heaven or Hell? Thirty years of turmoil at New Bethany

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html

In late December of 1991, a 20-year-old woman [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] sat down in a room with a cassette recorder and two other women more than twice her age.

Tell us everything that happened, one of the older women [ Nora Carter Shepherd ] said. Then she pressed a button to record.

Shannon [Mary] Scott [Sims] says she did as she was told. In five years living at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., that was one thing she knew to do.

  • The lost girls

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#unwanted

For three decades starting in the early 1970s, New Bethany took girls no one wanted. It was the outreach ministry of Mack Ford, a high school dropout who worked for a time as a tire repairman before he said he heard God’s call to preach.

 

  • I will be back

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#tara

Tara Cummings had just turned 12 when she arrived at New Bethany in 1982 after law enforcement was notified that her adoptive father, a minister, had severely beaten her, records show.

  • New allegations of abuse

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#abuse

Because Scott  [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] won’t talk about the details of that taped interview in 1991, it’s not clear what New Bethany leaders knew or suspected when they closed the home, albeit temporarily.

  • Standards of abuse

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#crooked

Shannon Scott says the other person who was in the room at the time she gave her report was Nora Carter. She’s 72 now, goes by Nora Carter Shepherd, lives in Indiana and said she can’t figure out why women who were residents at New Bethany can’t stop dwelling on what happened to them there.

  • Key Events in the History of New Bethany

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/history.html#timeline

1971 – New Bethany Home for Girls is founded in Arcadia, La., by Mack Ford, a preacher with the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church denomination.

Through 2014 – January: A fourth woman in Massilon, Ohio, confirms making a report to her local law enforcement claiming sexual abuse by Mack Ford.

 

  • Breaking open the gates

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/teresa.html

Teresa Frye knows that what she is about to say could make some people angry but she needs to say it anyway. “It’s wrong,” the 46-year-old says in her North Carolina twang, “for me to say that it’s perfectly acceptable for an adult survivor of sexual abuse to stay silent about what happened to them.”

 

  • The Runaway

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/runaway.html

The girl rose from the ditch like an animal in headlights.

In 32 years, Ralph and Elizabeth Jordan haven’t forgotten the sight.

“We just saw a kid,” Elizabeth Jordan remembers. “I thought if she was desperate enough to come out of the ditch, something was wrong.”

  •  Escape Attempt

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/runaway.html#escape

Rebecca Silva was 14 that August night she decided to run. She had been at New Bethany about a year.

  •  About this story

http://www.nola.com/news/special_projects/new_bethany/about.html

Reporter Rebecca Catalanello and photojournalist Kathleen Flynn, both of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, spent Dec. 4 to 7, 2013, in Shreveport with Halter and several other women as they set out for the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, where Halter made her report, and later, to New Bethany Home for Girls.

 

Pastor Ron Baity Attacks Gays and Supports Child Molesters of New Bethany

In Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Boys, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on February 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Ron Baity came out fighting in the Huffington Post Gays Should Be Prosecuted Like They Were Historically. The Huffington Post quoted Baity saying, “For 300 years, we had laws that would prosecute that lifestyle,” he is quoted as saying. “We’ve gone down the wrong path. We’ve become so dumb that we have accepted a lie for the truth, and we’ve…discarded the truth on the shoals of shipwreck!” Baity

A victim of Mack W. Ford’s asked Doctor Ron Baity why Berean Baptist Church financially supports a pedophile, who abused kids for 30-years

Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 4:57 PM
To: lisashutt-church@triad.rr.com
Subject: New Bethany

Dear Lisa,

It has been brought to my attention, that your church is sending money to Mack Ford, founder of the New Bethany Homes, aka: New Bethany Baptist Church. The church is no longer functioning. Were you aware of this? Why is money being sent to a church, that is not holding services? Is your congregation aware of this?

Mack Ford is a child abuser/pedophile, who for decades abused young girls/boys all in the name of God. There are many documents, in reference to the exploitation of children as well as the abuse. Do you know that while his *home* was up and running, that he was receiving up to $750.00 per child residing there? He did not run on donations only? You were only told this, so he would receive the most money possible, to help run his *homes.*

Respectfully,
Simone

    Email to Berean Baptist Church

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Dumb-pastor
From: Lisa Shutt
Subject: RE: New Bethany
To: Simone
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 9:55 PM

Please pay close attention

1. How this church spends its money is none of your business since you don’t help pay the bills.

2. A person does not have to be a part of a church to receive help. We help people individually that do not necessarily make up a church

3. We have a reason for helping Mack Ford, which you know nothing about, and if we told you it is evident you would not understand.

4. There is a verse of Scripture that would help you if you would take time to read it. Galatians 6:1– “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”–What have you done to help restore him other than condemn him?

5. I trust you don’t read the first five books of the Bible since the man God used to write them was a murderer.

6. I am sure you are not reading the Psalms since David committed adultery and murder.

7. I am sure you are not reading the writings of the Apostle Paul since he was a murderer.


8. You know you should write your own book of instruction since you are about the only perfect person left.

Lisa S. Shutt
Secretary, Berean Baptist Church
4135 Thomasville Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27107 USA
(336) 785-0527
Email Address: lisashutt-church@triad.rr.com

Lisa Shutt’s message to Simone
{There is cause to believe Ron Baity wrote this message, using his secretary’s account}

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Sent: Wed, October 13, 2010 11:21:45 PM
Subject: New Bethany/In Response to Berean Baptist Church’s condescending, pompous, jackass!

 

In accordance to Lisa Shutt’s:

#1, #2 and #3: This church is HIDING SOMETHING!

#4: What is financially supporting this bastard supposed to RESTORE him to?

#5: Historically, Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Old Testament. Moses, a Hebrew by birth, adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, saw an Egyptian slave master beating a fellow Hebrew slave. Moses came to the Hebrew slave’s defense, in turn killing the slave master. So, in order to defend sending Mack Ford money, Ron Baity wants to call Moses a murderer.

#6. Yep. King David turned into a real POS after killing Goliath and becoming King, and IS guilty of what Lisa Shutt is saying. David also ADMITTED that he was wrong and begged FORGIVENESS!

#7. Same with Saul, formerly a tax collector, who, after begging forgiveness from God, became the apostle Paul.

To this day, Mack Ford will not admit one iota of wrongdoing. BIG DAMN DIFFERENCE!

#8. I’m not even going to comment on .

There are more churches that send this vile worm money.

I talked about posting part of this but I’m am just too disgusted right now.

Teresa

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The Big Lie ~ Federal Funds

In Child Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on November 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm

“God will take good care of you, just do as I say, don’t do what I do.”
Phil Collins

Mack Ford’s Big Lie changed, depending on the audience at the church where the trip-girls were performing to raise donations for New Bethany. Ford always said (and swore under oath) that he did not accept government funding and did not charge for services New Bethany provided.

Mack Ford turned to the girl whose parents died, or an orphan from the state, and told the church congregation, “Look deep into their eyes; see the child we saved; the child no one wanted until New Bethany picked up this child from a life of sin, giving them a proper home with love, respect, and religion.

At other churches, he would tell the congregation that we were a bunch of ingrates, rebels, drug addicts, prostitutes, and living in Juvenile Detention, when saved by New Bethany from a life of drugs and the streets. I assumed there must be someone in our midst who did these awful things, but everyone looked like me. I had never been in trouble; I was escaping a violent home in a city that terrified me.

This is not an isolated case, guardians had agreements with Mack Ford to donate their homes or property, made anonymous donations for years on end, signed over Social Security checks to New Bethany, and made monthly payments. New Bethany took in kids from Texas, California, Washington, and Louisiana social services. Are we to believe these states did not provide financial support for children in the foster care and juvenile justice system, who were sent to live at New Bethany?

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Mack Ford swears Under Oath "that he does not charge for his services to New Bethany and does not receive income from New Bethany Home."

Mack Ford swears Under Oath, “He does not charge for his services to New Bethany and does not receive income from New Bethany Home.

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May 3, 1995, Mack Ford Swears under Oath, "That  the Church Homes provide care to children as a church ministry, and do not charge for the services provided."

May 3, 1995, Mack Ford Swears under Oath, “That the Church Homes provide care to children as a church ministry, and do not charge for the services provided.”

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Changed our minds, now you pay.

October 17, 1995 – Past Due Notice to Student’s parents for room, boarding, and school.

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Mack W. Ford’s primary argument, in all reported and discovered child abuse accounts, was his right to freedoms. Mack Ford had the freedom to molest, lie, steal, commit fraud, beat unmercifully, trafficked, and raped children in his care. To this day, regardless what the local yokels know, they do not want to investigate. When told of physical evidence, Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office was not interested. Mack W. Ford wanted the outside world to see him as a loving, doting, and strict fatherly figure that was missing in the lives of students at New Bethany. Mack Ford’s Big Lie has yet to receive attention by the Internal Revenue Service, Fraud Division of law enforcement, or any other organization intended to prevent people from abusing and trafficking children for money and sex.

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New Bethany Financial Statement of 2001

2001 Expenses of Donations To Defunct Nonprofit,

2001 Financial Statement from defunct New Bethany Home and Mack Ford

2001 Financial Statement from defunct New Bethany Home and Mack Ford

Receiving payment for providing services typically includes payment to legitimate staff. The problems include the fact New Bethany Girls Home did not exist in 2001 [although proof exists it did not close until after 2004]; Mack Ford repeatedly swears that he does not receive payment for services rendered; he donated one hundred thousand dollars to an unknown charity. Mack Ford’s gift was in the ability to use religion to hide his pedophile behavior. He was very convincing in churches and developed a truly horrific house of horrors.

 

Questions: Horror Stories from New Bethany Home in Arcadia

In Child Abuse, Independent Fundamental Baptist, Mack Ford, New Bethany Home for Boys, New Bethany Home for Girls, Sexual Abuse on September 25, 2013 at 12:56 am

How politics, preachers, and pedophiles endanger the safety of children.

Louisiana Voice

Do it in the name of heaven,

You can justify it in the end.

 —One Tin Soldier by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter

As more and more revelations come to light about the treatment of residents of the New Bethany Home for Girls and Boys in Arcadia and similar homes run by Rev. Mack Ford and wife Thelma in other localities, many serious questions remain unanswered.

  • Why, for example, have the Fords and employees of the home never been charged with felony child abuse?
  • How can a man (and dozens more like him scattered across the U.S.) mete out such barbaric treatment of children in the name of a Savior who’s every utterance of love, peace and forgiveness is in direct contradiction to the policies of these institutions?
  • How can the doctrine of separation of church and state trump state laws enacted to protect children who are unable to protect…

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