Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

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Cases » Oregon Church of the First Born - Rossiters set for trials » 11/12/2014 1:39 pm

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Parents found guilty in faith-healing case
Syble Rossiter, 12, died in February 2013

By KOIN 6 News Staff
November 10, 2014
Travis Rossiter and his wife Wenona Rossiter are on trial for the death of their daughter from untreated diabetes, Nov. 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

ALBANY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A jury found the Albany parents of a 12-year-old girl guilty Monday evening for turning to prayer rather than medicine to treat their dying daughter. KEZI reports that after four hours of deliberating, the jury found both Wenona and Travis Rossiter guilty of manslaughter in the first and second degree.

The Rossiters are members of the Church of the First Born, whose members believe traditional medical treatment is sinful. Their daughter, Syble Rossiter, was 12 when she died in February 2013 after being deprived of life-saving medical care for diabetes.

Their lawyers argued their beliefs should be excluded as prejudicial – that they should be tried for their actions rather than their beliefs.

In May, Judge Daniel Murphy ruled that if their beliefs compelled their actions, that’s a form of motive evidence.

The trial began earlier Tuesday and concluded with the guilty verdict Monday evening. The Rossiters will be sentenced next month, according to KEZI.


Cases » Oregon Church of the First Born - Rossiters set for trials » 11/12/2014 1:19 pm

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Jury Deliberates in Manslaughter Case 
by Rhoda Krause
November 10, 2014


ALBANY, Ore. — An Albany manslaughter case is now in the hands of the jury.

Wenona and Travis Rossiter are accused of manslaughter in the first and second degree for recklessly and negligently causing the death of their 12-year-old daughter Syble, who died from untreated diabetes last February. The state argues Syble’s diabetic symptoms were obvious, and that her parents should have known to take her to a doctor. The Rossiters, who are members of Church of the First Born in Brownsville, believe in faith-healing practices instead of medical treatment.

The state rested its case Monday morning, and the defense called its two witnesses to the stand: a teacher who works at Sand Ridge Charter School and Wenona Rossiter. Tiffany Bolman, who works at Sand Ridge outside of Lebanon, taught one of Syble’s siblings. On Monday, she testified that around the time of Syble’s death, at least half of the student population was out sick with the flu.

Wenona Rossiter also took the stand on Monday. She says the case has nothing to do with her religion because she thought Syble had the flu, and did not realize the girl had type one diabetes. “I always prayed that God would allow the body to naturally take care of itself,” she said. “I had no idea – the day my daughter died – that the body was destroying itself. Instead of taking care of itself. I had no idea.”
Wenona Rossiter says the case is not about refusing to take her daughter to see a doctor either. Instead, even though she admits to praying for her daughter’s recovery, she says she only thought Syble had the flu. “It’s been hard,” she said about listening to testimony in the trial. “Espe

Cases » Born in Zion lawsuit » 11/11/2014 3:28 am

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"It was a journey embarked upon with the most noble of ideals, yet the ultimate suffering was endured by the youngest and most innocent of the lot. In retrospect, many of those involved are traumatized by the realization of the role they had in the starvation death of a baby."    
                                                  -- Attleboro Aftermath, New England Institute of Religious Research
Michelle and Dennis Mingo Leaving Court. (Roland Robidoux is behind Michelle) 

• In July 2002, Jacques Robidoux was convicted of First Degree Murder. He is now serving a life sentence without any possibility of parole. He appealed the conviction, which was upheld in June 2011. Because he couldn't convince the judges that believing in God means one is of diminished capacity or crazy.
Cris Yarborough, AP        Jacques Robidoux watched his son starve to death three days shy of his first birthday. 
[size=85][color=#666666]Sept. 7, 2007    
BOSTON — After Jacques Robidoux was charged with murder in the starvation death of his infant son, he refused to be examined by a psychotherapist, citing his belief that modern medicine was one of Satan's "counterfeit systems." Robidoux, a leader of a religious sect, said he expected a miracle would save his 11-month-old son.
Now, Robidoux is appealing his murder conviction, claiming he was mentally ill and that his former lawyer should have used an insanity defense. The state Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear Robidoux's appeal Friday. Robidoux is asking the high court to grant him a new trial or reduce his conviction from first-degree murder to assault and battery or

Cases » Born in Zion lawsuit » 11/11/2014 1:59 am

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Rebecca Corneau expecting new child
September 13, 2001

ATTLEBORO — Rebecca Corneau, the local religious sect member who gave birth in state custody amid controversy last year because she refused medical care, is believed to be pregnant again. The 33-year-old woman and her husband David, 34, would not answer whether she was pregnant during a trial Wednesday in Attleboro Juvenile Court regarding the custody of their youngest child. 

Her pregnancy last year ignited a storm of controversy that went all the way to the state Supreme Judicial Court. She gave birth to a daughter Oct. 16 while in a state medical facility and the state assumed custody of the child.

The Corneaus, members of an insular religious sect that rejects modern medical care, were deemed unfit parents in the wake of the deaths of two sect children including their son Jeremiah. They have four daughters ranging in ages from 11 months to 7 years. They have lost permanent custody to the three oldest children and are now fighting for custody of the youngest.

During the custody trial, the couple declined to answer questions from an attorney representing their youngest child regarding whether Rebecca Corneau was pregnant. “ I asked her on the stand, but she wouldn't answer,” said attorney John Rego. 

The couple also declined to answer questions from The Sun Chronicle as they left the court. Rebecca Corneau, who appeared visibly pregnant, repeatedly shielded her stomach with her sweater when approached by a Sun Chronicle photographer.

Custody trial are not open to the public. Judge Kenneth Nasif is expected to rule Oct. 4.

The couple lost custody of their children after an invest

Cases » Born in Zion lawsuit » 11/11/2014 1:40 am

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September 25, 2000  Vol. 54 No. 13

Protective Custody
By Thomas Fields-Meyer

 A Judge Orders a Pregnant Cult Member Confined for Her Baby's Safety

Expressionless, silent and more than eight months pregnant, Rebecca Corneau ignored the throng of reporters who greeted her arrival on Sept. 7 at the redbrick courthouse in Attleboro, Mass. The 32-year-old mother of three was reporting to juvenile court judge Kenneth Nasif-not as a defendant or witness but as an expectant mother. Demure and soft-spoken, she refused to answer Nasif's questions, saying only that the court had no jurisdiction over her. Afterward, as she was escorted outside the courtroom, a friend called out, "Good morning, Becky." She waved back and blew a kiss. 

Two weeks earlier, Nasif had ordered Corneau, a member of a tiny Christian sect that regards modern medicine as blasphemous, to submit to a prenatal exam. When she refused, Nasif took the extreme—perhaps unprecedented—step of ordering her confined until she submitted to a medical exam or the baby was born. "We're just trying to save a little kid here," says Bristol County D.A. Paul Walsh Jr., maintaining that two infants born to the group, including one of Corneau's, had already died because of their practices. "It's a case, not a grand cause."

Some would agree, arguing the life of the child overrides any other concern. For others, however, the move was a brazen violation of the mother's fundamental rights. "Are we going to start incarcerating pregnant women who drink and smoke and don't wear seat belts?" asks Andrea Mullin, president of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women. "I don't like [Corneau's] choices, but they

Media » RagBlog - Lamar Hankins Nov 2014 » 11/10/2014 3:46 pm

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METRO | Lamar W. Hankins : Birthing book linked to death of Pursley baby in East Texas cult

The Texas Family Code states explicitly that parents have a duty to provide medical care to their child.

By Lamar W. Hankins | The Rag Blog | November 10, 2014 

When I first wrote about the May 2012 death in Wells, Texas, of the three-day-old baby Faith Shalom Pursley (The Rag Blog, August 11, 2014), two related and unanswered questions kept occurring to me: (1) Why would people who usually accept medical care fail to provide medical attention to their new-born baby? and (2) What made Daniel Pursley, who had no training in birthing, want to deliver his own child without medical or even midwife assistance? Since then, thanks to information from several sources, I may have an answer to those questions.

Four books and publications are connected to the death of Faith Pursley: the Texas Family Code, the Texas Penal Code, the Bible (as interpreted by the “elders” of the Church of Wells), and Born in Zion, a book written by a former nurse from Tampa, Florida, whose ideas are on the extreme fringe of evangelicalism, home birth, and midwifery.

I discussed the first three in my August 11 article about the negligent and reckless death of the three-day old infant, who was born with a routinely treatable birth defect, but received no medical care because her parents and the Church of Wells “elders” decided to deny the baby medical care in favor of praying that she would get well and, after she died, praying for her resurrection for up to 15 hours before reporting her death.

Read the rest

Media » RagBlog - Lamar Hankins Aug/Sept 2014 » 10/25/2014 8:29 am

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METRO | Lamar W. Hankins : Facing evil in East Texas 
We look at how the Church of Wells cult recruits members into its fold, and the almost total emotional control the three ‘elders’ have over the group.  

By Lamar W. Hankins | The Rag Blog | September 29, 2014 

WELLS, Texas — The Church of Wells, located in and around Wells, Texas, 17 miles northwest of Lufkin, separates itself from the world because of the evil it sees in the larger culture. But the Church of Wells itself is the source of an evil much worse than what it preaches against and separates itself from. Leaders of the Church of Wells — called “elders” though all three are in their twenties — systematically destroy the freedom of mind, conscience, and volition of their members.

On August 11, I wrote about the death of a baby born to a couple who are members of the Church of Wells Child murder in Texas" by Lamar Hankins, The Rag Blog, Aug. 11, 2014. The infant, Faith Shalom Pursley, was born with a routinely treatable birth defect, but received no medical care because her parents and at least one of the Church of Wells “elders,” Ryan Ringnald, decided to deny the baby medical care in favor of praying that she would get well and, after she died, praying for her resurrection for15 hours before reporting her death. 

Here, I explore the culture of the group, beginning with its recruiting process, based on what I have seen and what witnesses have reported to me. 

To understand how the “elders” control the group’s members, I made a second three-day trip to Cherokee County early in September to gather information on the group and its businesses. Since then, I have received numerous emails and phone calls from witnesses and met with others to learn more about the methods the “elders” use to control the behavior, emotions, and thinking of members, beginning during the recruitment of members.

Usually, recruiters draw peopl

CoW members » Preethi and Moses David » 10/18/2014 2:07 am

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                   AN OPEN LAMENT OF “

       May the LORD have mercy. I have recently gone through the content on, “Discerning the Church of Wells”.  LORD have mercy. It seemed necessary to my soul to openly proclaim that I am grieved, yes, even ashamed, at the behavior of those herein who have made themselves to be judges of this matter: HeartCry, Paul Washer, Marc Glass, Mack Tomlinson, Greg Gordon, Matt Slick, Andrew Rappaport, Tony Miano… I am grieved at the author of this website, who lacked the audacity to name himself/theirselves, as well as the individuals whose public statements are portrayed. I need not even bring up some of their names (e.g. Sonia Smith, Leah Caldwell, Wikipedia) for “what have I to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth…” (1 Cor 5:12-13).

       Firstly I am grieved at the conglomeration of spirits that do speak in the statements and articles presented there. Paul Washer, HeartCry, and the rest who acclaim the true Gospel, have you not purposed long ago not to forge alliances with the wicked? Have you not regarded the terrible holiness of the LORD, whereby darkness and evil, and all who reside in such cannot enter His presence for they would be destroyed by the far off rays proceeding from the brightness of His appearance? Mr. Tomlinson, would you let Andrew Rappaport, Matt Slick, or Tony Miano speak at an I’ll Be Honest Conference? Matt Slick, would you let the authors of the Wikipedia page or Sonia Smith speak at your church? HeartCry would you openly declare that the Groves are certainly converted and honest individuals? Have you not purposed, I’ll Be H

CoW members » Preethi and Moses David » 10/13/2014 3:14 pm

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Moses doesn't remember saying this. He doesn't know "the exact numbers" of the Church of Wells group.

Lemme help.
Just three weeks before, he knew the exact number (not 25 or 30, but 29) well enough to know how much the group would be impacted by the store closing. He even knew a count of babies, children and the unborn (49 - not somewhere around 50).

I guess he forgot he posted that on Facebook. Even though he responded to replies and posted again multiple times in the following days. Maybe previous posts don't show up on his computer screen? 

I don't want to be mean or hurtful. But this is strange and noticeable. There's only a few possible truthful answers:
• Mental issues. Really doesn't remember he said.
• A shared Facebook account. Preethi and Sean post. And whomever else has access? 
• Moses receives a script that he posts verbatim without spending much time (or any) reading what it says first.

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