Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

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4/24/2014 3:13 am  #1

Lufkin News, Op Ed 4/23/14

WEATHERS: Concerns about the Church of Wells

By SYLVIA WEATHERS/Contributing writer | Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wells, Texas — small, country, peaceful — no law enforcement; what a perfect place for someone to settle, especially when trying to be low key. The so-called “Church of Wells” picked the ideal place. I was actually oblivious to the church’s existence — until last year’s incident when attention was brought to the group when they refused to seek medical assistance for a dying infant.

Church of Wells elders apparently urged their congregation to pray over the baby rather than get medical attention. Apparently seeking professional health care is not a part of their so-called “religion,” or perhaps they were simply hiding something. It makes me wonder what the reaction would have been if one of the elders had been sick. Would prayer have sufficed?  What better way to control human beings than telling them their faith will heal another person if it is “true” faith, and if no healing takes place, as with the baby, then apparently the faith wasn’t strong enough or true. Don’t get me wrong, I too pray for healing, but I also believe that the good Lord gave us wisdom when it comes to medicinal healing.

I’m old enough to remember David Koresh and his self-proclamation that he was a direct messenger of Jesus. I remember the stockpiling of weapons and the holing up in the compound. I remember a long standoff, Koresh realizing that his reign had come to and end, and I remember all the members dying horribly in a fire; not even the children were spared. I remember reading about Jim Jones traveling to Guyana with his followers and reading about the investigation into his so called “church.” In fact, a senator was killed by one of Jones’ men. When Jones realized his charade had been unmasked, he urged his congregation, men, women and children, to drink cyanide-laced punch, committing mass suicide. Jones himself was found with a gunshot wound to the head. Koresh, like Jones, like others, was a cult leader. The Church of Wells elders appear to be no different. They too have an agenda, and it involves recruiting as many lost, vulnerable, misguided souls as possible, masked behind scripture and God. It involves promises of acceptance, love, family and salvation — but on their terms; terms that are taken from Biblical verses and quotes, twisted and misinterpreted to suit the elders’ own purpose; a purpose that is self-serving, narcissistic and leading to who-knows-where.

I read Sean Morris’s article published on and it made me cringe and shudder; such an illustrious user of words, yet so transparent. Everything about him, the other elders, and the make-up of this clan spells out cult. Victims — yes, victims — are young, vulnerable people who have fallen under their spell. Yes, these leaders are intelligent, well-informed, eloquent speaking individuals. They know exactly whom to prey upon — they are predators extraordinaire! While they speak of love, their actions and words tell a different story. Their approach is a Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” doom and gloom — you’re going to hell — approach. Elders tell their new recruits they must sever all ties with their real families, because only then can they be absolved of all sin and begin anew. Morris states in his letters that their focus is on the adults rather than the children, which again, is a lie. If their focus is indeed on the adults, why have congregation members repeatedly been asked to stop trespassing on school grounds?

These elders (can people in their 20s really be called “elders?”) say they were sent by God to give us a warning. They speak of martyrdom and spilling of blood, going as far as even saying “God willing some of our number.” Everything here reeks of cult. These people say they’ve preached in other places. Why did they leave there? Were the people there tired of hearing the hateful, Satan-inspired misquoted propaganda? Were they tired of the false prophecies that these Church of Wells town criers were firing at anyone within range? Did they, too, see through the deception?

I feel so sorry for Catherine Groves’ sparents and any other parents whose children, even though they are adults, have been lured into the cult’s web of lies and deception. Bells, buzzers and alarms should be going off when a person is told to give up any contact with their own flesh and blood family and devote their mind, body and soul to the “elders” of a sect! Why can’t Catherine Grove talk to her own parents? What lies did the elders bestow upon this young lady to cause her to turn her back on the two people who love her most? The Church of Wells may proclaim itself to be a church — but it’s not — and the motives of the elders are self-serving, not God-serving. Their claims of being God’s personal messengers, their mind-control of the members, their so-called messages of “truth” are nothing but a way for them to overcome their own low self esteem and inadequacies and self-miseries. God help them and the souls they have so deviously misled.

Sylvia Weathers is a regular contributor to the Opinion page of The Lufkin News. She can be reached at


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