Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

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9/17/2014 10:40 pm  #1

The Winterbornes - a family tradition?

FEBRUARY 2. 1980
Fifth Child Dies For Parents' Faith
Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A prosecutor has raised the issue of criminal negligence in the death of a couple's fifth child who, along with the other children, was denied medical treatment on religious grounds.
"I do not think religious beliefs excuse criminal negligence," said Montgomery County District Attorney Joseph Smyth Jr., who ordered an investigation into the death of 4 month-old Jocelyn Winterborne on Wednesday. Larry Winterborne (6 months) died Feb. 20, 1978. Marjone Winterborne (5 months) died Nov. 28, 1974. Roger B. Winterborne (19 months) died June 25, 1973 and Bruce Winterborne (7 months), died July 16, 1971.

A 1978 investigation by Smyth's predecessor concluded the Winterborne's refusal to seek medical aid would not support criminal charges in the deaths of the four children. All five children died from bronchial pneumonia with medical complications, said Montgomery County Coroner Dr Theodore Garcia. "There is no evidence of abuse," he said.

"We stand on the principle that God is the healer of people and has always been and the Bible states this very clearly in many passages," said the children's father, Roger Winterborne, in a telephone interview Friday from his home in suburban Cheltenham. The Winterbornes have seven other children, ages 1 to 12, who have never seen a doctor.

"We feel the Bible is very clear on our position as far as the healing of children, adults, anyone's body," said the service station employee, whose wife Dawn, was a nurse before converting to the Faith Tabernacle Congregation,

The 100-year-old sect first attracted his grandfather, Winterborne said, and the family has been members since. The congregation believes in the literal translation of the Bible, including passages referring to healing through the laying on of hands, taking up serpents and drinking deadly things. The Rev. Charles Remert, pastor of Winterborne's church, said authorities were only doing their duty "by investigating the children's deaths."

"The other time they checked it, we feel settled it," said Remert. "But this is a new district attorney. He has to check it. We pray for the authorities all the time, but we have our duties, too."


A sixth baby died in 1983.
Philadelphia Daily News, December 7, 2010:
* The six children of Roger and Dawn Winterborne: Bruce Winterborne, 7 months, died in 1971 of bronchial pneumonia; Roger Bruce, 20 months, died in 1973 of bronchial pneumonia; Marjorie Dawn, 5 months, died in 1974 of bronchial pneumonia and dehydration; Larry, 6 months, died in 1978 of bilateral bronchial pneumonia with dehydration and malnutrition; Jocelyn, 4 months, died in 1980 of bronchial pneumonia. The family had moved to Norristown at the time of a sixth child's death in 1983 at the age of 4 days.

Edward Winterborne - original patriarch and pastor of Faith Tabernacle.

Religion: In Lebanon
Monday, May 19, 1924

Edward Winterborne, pastor of the Faith Tabernacle of Lebanon, Pa., is leader of a most curious and obstinate flock. Diphtheria is ravaging his congregation. Seven have died. Fifty others are seriously ill. And yet a Mrs. Roth, whose husband and two children died last week, announced with infinite faith: 'I would rather have my children and myself dead and on our way to Heaven than to be saved by medicine and go to Hell!"
In response to an edict of The Faith Tabernacle, the entire sect has refused the services of local physicians; medical...

But here's the strangest twist - Dawn Winterborne was a nurse. She held an LPN certificate from 1970 to 2001. Mrs. Winterborne died in May 2013. In the hospital. In her final days, she received the medical treatment, palliative care and nursing comfort she denied her babies.


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