Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

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4/08/2014 4:12 am  #1

KTRE - More details on weekend brawl/New article added

'Church of Wells' breaks their silence after weekend brawl
Apr 07, 2014
By Leigha Hughes

WELLS, TX (KTRE) - They've been silent for months but after a brawl broke out between several Church of Wells members and the community at the annual homecoming parade over the weekend the church is speaking out. The community says they're tired of their preaching and wish that law enforcement could do more.  Both church elder Sean Morris and church member Taylor Clifton were assaulted on Saturday.

Law enforcement had to use pepper spray to stop the fight between angry parents and members of the Church of Wells. Witnesses told the East Texas News that the church members were yelling and preaching at children, telling them that they were going to hell but the church says that the group was mostly adults and they were not targeting children. What started out as a celebratory parade turned violent when Wells community members started throwing punches after members of the Church of Wells came to the festivities singing  hymns and preaching.

Witnesses and law enforcement both say church members were yelling at kids but church elder Sean Morris says that's not the case. "We don't insult people. We don't call them names," said Morris. "We don't hurl insults. We don't focus upon young children. Now those older than four or five you know into the years of the knowledge of good and evil, if they have that knowledge. I'll preach to anyone."

But parents didn't feel that way. Jeffrey Brotherton was at the parade with his 4-year-old daughter and says a member of the church came right up to his daughter and told her she was going to hell.
"Numerous [of us] have asked them several times you know please stop you know this is not suitable for our children," said Brotherton. "Telling them that they were blaspheming and that they were going to hell because they were sinning."

A viewer sent the East Texas News a video of the church members preaching before the fight broke out. Taylor Clifton was one of them. "They were mocking us and gesturing us to come over and really just vile kind of insults and hurling curses," said Clifton. "All of the sudden, lights, kind of wack. I knew I got hit and I hit the ground...someone started jumping on me and punching me in the head and I kind of curled up in a ball."

Morris was not preaching on Saturday but only came out to talk with sheriff's deputies. "I looked to my left and someone was hitting me and tackled me and I was down from there," said Morris. "We didn't raise on hand in defense in hitting them or anything like that. The truth of the matter is we do love these individuals and the evidence of that is that we didn't press charges upon them. We did and do forgive them and we are willing to suffer for them. Even die for them."

Morris says this is why he thinks the fight broke out, "From my stand point what prompted the physical confrontation would just simply be the wrath of man against just the message that we're preaching."

No one went to the hospital but Clifton did receive five stitches and has a split lip and Morris is using crutches. No one was arrested by law enforcement although two men were temporarily detained. Neither Morris nor Clifton are pressing charges.

The animosity in Wells between the church and community has been growing over the past year or so. This is the first time things have gotten physical.

Join us on the East Texas News Tuesday as we talk with more with Jeffrey Brotherton about how he's now having to explain to his daughter why she is not going to hell. Others in the community say they're taking matters into their own hands, fighting back and want law enforcement to do more.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.


4/10/2014 1:54 am  #2

Re: KTRE - More details on weekend brawl/New article added

Community says they've had enough of the Church of Wells

Apr 08, 2014
By Leigha Hughes

WELLS, TX (KTRE) - The small community of Wells says the controversial Church of Wells crossed a line this weekend when they started preaching at the 50th annual homecoming parade where young children were present.

The animosity has been building for years and now the community is standing up and saying enough is enough. A fight between two Wells residents and several members of the Church of Wells has united the community against the controversial church. Parents are especially angry and are now promising that they're not going to take it anymore.

Jeffrey Brotherton's 4-year-old daughter Kylie is having nightmares and is terrified that she is going to hell. Brotherton says this is all because a member of the Church of Wells told her so. "She kept crying and asking 'Daddy what's hell and why am I going to hell?' and I was like 'Well, baby girl, you don't have to worry about that because that's not true,'" said Brotherton. "I tell her every day that they're not the ones that tell us whether we get to go to heaven or hell."

Those in Wells say Saturday's events pushed them over the edge and they're finished letting it go. "We've been trying to fight back, you know, telling them that it's not appropriate for even a small town, that this shouldn't be happening," said Brotherton. "There's no law or nothing that's actually being able to help us and trying to make it stop."

David Goodwin is a pastor at Falvey United Methodist Church in Wells. He wrote on his Facebook page, "Enough is enough. I do not advocate violence, but I believe in standing for what is right, no matter what the cost." Goodwin went on to say that if members of the Church of Wells were living in the city peacefully, they would continue to live peacefully with them. Then he said, "I ask for your prayers and your dedication to stand in the gap between our children and those who would tear apart our community and deceive their way through this world."

But Church of Wells elder Sean Morris says that the community isn't listening to their message. "They're just offended simply at the proposition of that idea instead of listening to the heart of what's being said," said Morris. "The scriptures actually promise that people will be offended."

Another Wells resident told the East Texas News that they're tired of being harassed. She said, "They are wrong to judge us. They are wrong to verbally attack us. Our town may be small, but united we stand. Our children are children of God and this town will stand strong together to protect our children."

The residents have even gone as far to launch a petition to the Obama administration on, asking for the government to investigate the practices and abuses of the church. The community is showing that they mean what they say by organizing a protest of the church of Wells this Saturday, April 12. They are asking for anyone who is willing to bring their bullhorns, signs and their voice. The group will meet at 1:30 pm Saturday in Wells at the Dairy Queen and march to the R&R Mercantile store. They will also be selling t-shirts for $6.50.

Click here for more on the petition.

Copyright 2014 KTRE


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