Tag Archives: New Bethany Home for Girls

Donna Trout’s Story – New Bethany Home for Girls, Arcadia LA

Donna Lynn Trout – New Bethany Home for Girls, Arcadia, La.

My time in New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., was from November 1985 to October, 1986. I was put in New Bethany by my Mother. I just wanted to be left alone with my boyfriend, but my Mother did not “approve” of him. So, there I was in Arcadia, La. looking at a compound behind a 12 foot fence topped with barb wire and electric wire. There was a line of girls all dressed the same – blue skirt, white shirt and red vest.. They were all walking in a line over the road which was also fenced in to another building. My first thought as we pulled up was, “What the hell!” Little did I know that this was where I was being brought.

We entered the building and were greeted by Miss Nora. She was a scary looking woman. I was led off by another girl to change my clothes. She told me that once I learned the rules and how to fit in, everything would be fine. I told her it didn’t matter because I wasn’t staying. I left the bathroom to find my Mom and tell her I wasn’t staying there; but she was gone. She left me there alone. So, I decided to rebel. We went for supper, but I refused to eat. I never ate that kind of food before — okra and beans. I was from Michigan. We didn’t eat that. The next day, I didn’t eat, didn’t talk. Nothing. I would get out one way or another. I did this for days until they decided to tie me up and force the food down my throat. That’s when I met Mack Ford. He told me the devil was in me and he was there to bless him out of me. After this, my plan was to run. They shut the outside world away from us. Nothing was familiar to us or what we had ever known. We weren’t allowed to cut our hair, but God forbid we let it get in our eyes.  Many of us just wore pony tails. Church services often entailed standing in front of the church during the service while Mack Ford degraded us. They read any and all letters going in and going out of the home. They monitored everything. They took so much of our stuff and threw it away. Our parents provided what snacks we received, but, they stayed locked in a room. We did not have free access to what our parents would send us. If we were good, we would get them like once a month and a few minutes outside. No television. No radios. One five minute phone call a month to our parents. The calls were always on speakerphone and they listened to everything to make sure we did not tell our parents anything about how they were treating us.

I tried to tell my parents once what was happening, but the phone was taken from me and then I received licks from Miss Nora. That woman could hit, but not as hard as Mack Ford and David Garris. I don’t remember any good times from there. I do remember talking about running with Stacy Liner and Kelly Riley and a Lisa Chic from California, but Nora had the room bugged and confronted us during devotions that very night.

I was put on strict watch then, and was not allowed to speak with anyone. I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself and received “licks” once again. I left for three days in January for an ear surgery and stayed in a hotel with my parents. I tried to convince them of what was happening at the home, but they thought I just wanted out. I did, but with reason. So, I went back to hell at New Bethany and decided to fake it. I played along and acted like them and acted like I got “saved”. That was hard. I really had no choice. I played the role for a few months but, seeing all the beatings taking place and the constant degrading of us girls daily took its toll on me. The bullshit that happened every single day caused me to decide to run. Others tried to run, why not me? A couple of the girls made it, I think, because they never were brought back and were never found. They never checked the hidden wells on the property either. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they found someone there.

So, one night, I decided to do it. I was doing my watch and had put paper in the doors when I closed them to get back out. I made it outside, threw a shirt over the fence and almost made it over when I was grabbed and pulled back down. It was two boys and behind them stood Mack Ford and Mr. Garris.  They pulled me down and I began to fight. I gave them a hell of a fight, but they over-powered me. Mack grabbed me by the arm and led me back into the house. Once inside, Nora and three girls took me. I was so tired and sore and didn’t know what was going to happen. They took me to the back and there stood Mack Ford with his wooden paddle. I swear it was a 2 X 4 with a carved handle. He told me to grab my ankles and began hitting me. I wanted to die. How could someone hit a child so much! After 13 hits, he stopped. I was hurting so badly that I was almost numb. Then he handed the paddle to Mr. Garris and he began beating me. He stopped at 10. I could hardly move the next day. I was put on pots, scrubbing pots for hours with a steal pad, standing while the Bible was read to me. I didn’t lay or sit on my back side for over a week. I showered only the front of my fingers. My fingers were so tore up that you could see the bones. I wrapped them with toilet paper. After that, I shut down. I didn’t take any phone calls. After 3 months, my Mom knew something was wrong and she got me out over night. She had to FIGHT to get me out of there. I was lucky not to have dealt with the sexual abuse that some of the other girls were dealing with. My heart goes out to the ones that had to put up with that.

Kimberly Ann Howard’s Story – New Bethany Home for Girls, Arcadia La.

kimberlyhowardFrom the Administrator: This past year, I have had the extreme privilege and honor of helping numerous victims of sexual, emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse to tell their stories. Each one affected my heart in such a way that it ignited a passion in me to help expose this type of institutional abuse. I can think of no greater way to help than to make sure their voices are heard regarding such abuse. Women and children are the most vulnerable sect of human society. To take away their honor and dignity and self-worth and, replace it with shame, guilt and self-deprecation, is the worst possible crime one can commit on any human being. Utilizing religion to incite violence toward a woman or a vulnerable child is the greatest injustice. Using God and the Bible to inflict harm on one of God’s “little ones” deserves the strongest punishment available. There is no excuse for “bullies for God”.  These “bullies for God” stop at nothing to inflict their “will” on others at the cost of “destroying the victim”.

Kimberly’s story is one that I hear often. She was emotionally and psychologically and spiritually abused all in the “name of God”. God will not pardon those that carry his name in vain (See, The Third Commandment, What it Really Means.). Thankfully, this gives the victim a little hope since many perpetrators of abuse “in the name of God” have escaped justice. I am so GLAD that in the end, God will see that justice is served.  Here’s Kimberly’s Story:

Arc-06 – Kimberly Ann Howard

My name is Kimberly Ann Howard. I am a survivor of the New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La. I attended New Bethany from February, 1982 through April, 1983. I was sent there by my parents as a result of drug abuse and repeated runaway attempts.

Though not sexually abused myself, I was aware of some other girls who were. Teresa Trahan, a female staff member, sexually abused different girls at different periods during my stay there.  This was common knowledge and in some cases spoken of openly among the girls. Another girl, Kim Link, confided in me about sexual advances made by Bro. Jewell. This later was exposed and he, along with his family, left the home. He was never reported to the authorities.

One of my best friends had an ongoing relationship with Craig Clark.  It was very difficult to get her to see the reality of what was taking place. She later became a staff member, and then left. To this day, she still has some contact with him.

As for our living conditions, they were horrible. We were only allowed four sheets of toilet paper for urinating and eight for bowel movements. Doors were sometimes left open in the bathroom to ensure that we weren’t masturbating with a tampon (What teenager even thinks of those kinds of things?). Medicine was distributed by Miss Shipman as she saw fit. On a few occasions when I had a cold, Miss Shipman gave me antibiotics that were prescribed for someone else. Also, though there was a gym, we had no exercise. We were never allowed to run and jump.

For part of my stay there, we were allowed outside for one hour per week within the fenced barriers. At some point this stopped and we only had the three to four minutes it took to get from the house to the school or the house to the church.

Something else that I am confused about to this day is that many of us didn’t have our menstrual cycles for the first few months after we arrived, and some never at all. I myself was in the home 6 months before mine resumed. I can only assume that it was the constant stress that caused this.

I was paddled on numerous occasions with a heavy wooden board, or paddle. The “swats” or “licks” were between three and twenty or thirty, depending on what I had done, or not done. They were extremely painful and left bruises and marks. I very clearly remember Miss Nora paddling Michelle fifteen or twenty times and then the paddle broke. Miss Nora picked up a new paddle and continued to paddle her about twenty more times.

I also saw Doreen Spangler after Mack Ford beat her. She had a black eye and a swollen face. Though I was not there to witness it, staff member, Miss Gala, later told me that she was there trying to restrain Doreen and had witnessed the whole thing. I have witnessed Mack Ford whipping girls across the back, buttocks and legs with kindling wood from the wood pile. I have seen so much more, but it is too exhausting to go into and it would fill a book.

All this, I survived. The emotional and psychological abuse I suffered far outweighed the horrid living conditions.

Not one day passed when we were not told that we were whores, and drug addicts, sinners and devil’s spawn. The preachers would leap from the pulpit, on top of the pews, screaming and spitting in our faces, “Sinners! You are going to Hell!” Over and over! Every night, they degraded us, yelling, telling us the horror of who we were and how we’d suffer in hell. They told us our mother’s would burn in hell for wearing pants, or working outside the home. If our parents were divorced they’d burn in hell. We’d burn in hell for cutting our hair, or wearing eye make-up. If you looked at the boys, or men that were occasionally there at the home, you’d burn in hell –  We were told these types of things over and over, everyday.

I was 15 years old, and already had self-esteem issues. I became afraid. I was terrified to fall asleep at night in case I woke up in hell. If I had bad thoughts, I believed God could never love me. I felt like a trapped animal. I couldn’t tell my parents anything about what was happening. All mail coming and going, were intercepted and read. Phone calls were on a speaker phone with a staff member in attendance. If you told your parents, you’d get whipped and your parents were told you were lying and homesick. All parental rights were signed over to Mack Ford for you to stay at the home. And, you must remember that 90% of those at the home were “troubled” teens that would not be believed anyway. How could such abuse take place?

After I left, I ended up in a mental hospital for a month. I made bad choices with drugs and alcohol. I have been sober a number of years now, and I take responsibility for my choices.

Some of the long-term effects of New Bethany are still with me till this day. I still have nightmares, at least three or four times a year. When I was pregnant with my last child, I had dreams about Mack and Nora coming and taking my daughter from me. I hate church and have nothing to do with it as a result of what they did to me. I mistrust anyone who is a Christian. There were many times I’d think and get high to drive away the fear of hell in the past. I am still bitter and angry and, still have low self-esteem at times.

Many of my feelings have been pushed down inside of me all these years because I had no one to talk to about it. I cannot imagine the fires this abuse has fueled in my life.

Now, I am an adult and sober. I have a home and a wonderful family. I am going to an international, culinary college to become a chef. Here it is, 13 years later, and I finally feel I have the strength, emotionally, to go and tell someone about this.

My greatest concern is for the children still in Mack Ford’s homes. It is my belief that New Bethany home for Girls should be shut down and Mack Ford and his staff imprisoned for the abuse of hundreds of children, including myself.

I can only hope, after 13 years, someone will be able to help me and listen. What happened to me is past now. It only is alive in my mind and my heart. But, there are so many other children, suffering and scared, that are still trapped in that home. I hope my statements will help those children before it’s too late.

Kimberly Ann Howard – August 9, 1996.

When I wrote this many years ago, I never dreamed that I would be able to find a measure of healing of the many psychological and emotional wounds that I was carrying. Thankfully, about fifteen months ago, I came across a facebook group that literally saved me. It was a group of survivors that had also endured the abuse under Mack Ford and his staff. Amidst this group of survivors were other abuse survivors that came out of the same cult religion that Mack Ford was part of. Finally, I found people who understood my pain; that knew what I had gone through and what I was going through, even now. I also made some special friends in this group that helped me to find this measure of healing – Simone, Jo Anna, Theresa, Kim Tere and Rhonda – I truly believe that you ladies have made all the difference in my life. You have helped me beyond any means I ever thought possible. My life is better today because of you all.

–        Kimberly Ann Howard – March 24, 2013


Other Documents from Survivors of New Bethany Home for Girls

Arc-04 Laura Blake          Arc-05 Lisa Blanchard

Other Survivor Stories from New Bethany Home for Girls

Simone’s Story          Kim Holt’s Story


The New Bethany Survivors have put all there stories into a book that is FREE to everyone. It can be downloaded as a .pdf document. Please feel free to share it with everyone! Just click the link below.

header6The New Bethany book

New Bethany Home for Girls – Abuse and Cover-Up – Kim Holt’s Story

Abuse and Cover up at New Bethany Homes in Louisiana and S. Carolina

For nearly two decades, abuse survivors from New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La and New Bethany Home for Boys in Walterboro, S. Carolina,  have been trying to get Law Enforcement to arrest Mack Ford, his wife, and other staff members of New Bethany Home for Girls and Boys for rape, torture and abuse. To date, he has not been arrested by law enforcement and Mack Ford is still a free man. The atrocities cited from these victims of Abuse will be published individually. Their desire is that JUSTICE be served to a rapist, pedophile, torturer, abuser and his accomplices. Each story will be linked to the other stories of survivors as they are published. All names of supporters of this work will also be published as they supported a work that enabled this abuser to hurt countless numbers of children. It’s time for a pedophile, serial rapist and abuser and those that helped him to do so, to be held accountable for their crimes.

lineNB pic

First Story in this Series: Simone’s Story – New Bethany Home for Girls, Arcadia, La.


kim holtFrom Pillar To Post

I grew up in the Indiana Cornfields. My mother divorced her second husband when I was 10. Now that the bad man was gone, I didn’t have to worry about getting beat with his belt anymore. When I was little,  he would come into my room with a belt to check to see if my room was clean. I would hang onto my mommy’s leg. His oldest boy would get in trouble and then point his finger at me. This is when I found out what happens to Liars. We would have to drop our pants and lay across the bunk bed where he would slap that belt on my little butt. Then he would ask who did what and the boy would point his finger at me and we would get more slaps with the belt. He would even get caught lying but there was no, “I’m sorry Kim”.

I lived in a small town where everyone knew everybody. I was free now to look at life without fear. I had the best little old ladies for neighbors and I would walk them to church. I loved to hear about Jesus and loved to memorize John 3:16. They took me under their wings. I watched one guy mow their yards and he cut it to short and it burned the grass. I was determined to push that lawnmower myself. My little old ladies had flowers all around their houses and I just loved to help them.

By the age of twelve, I finally could push the lawnmower. My mother told me that as long as I took care of our yard that I could mow theirs. I made $4.00 a yard and $7.00 for the biggest yard. I had all the cookies and pies I could handle. Plus I had more yards to do because I did a good job. I played in the boys little league. But they got to where they didn’t want a girl on their team anymore. I tried to join the Cub Scouts but the ninety year old Scout Master wouldn’t let me. So I had to go to girls sports. I picked volleyball, basketball, track and finally softball. I got to go play in a lot of cool schools with cool gymnasiums. Basketball was my way of escaping my mother and my half sister. If I was home I had to babysit and clean house. So I kept myself as busy as possible. Ninth grade was the greatest. I was always running up and down the court or running somewhere. I wasn’t one to sit down or give up. I spent weekends at my Dad’s in Southern Indiana. He was a Horse nut. We hardly ever spoke. I was on a horse all weekend at Spring Mill State Park. We would take people out on the trails. There were two trails a short one and a long one. Either my Dad led and I followed up from behind or, sometimes I got to lead. I loved my time on the trails. I never thought my time on horses would come to an end. I loved it.

Well. our trailer caught fire in my 10th grade year and that made it tough. I stayed with my best friend Jodi until school was out. My mother decided to marry this guy she was seeing. I wasn’t happy about that at all. He made sure to tell me that this was his house. I found out real quick when I got there his yard was so thick and tall. He made me mow it with a bagger, and I got nothing for the work. I found myself as their slave and babysitter. I started out by sleeping on the floor and his dog would come over to my pillow and start humping it with nasty stuff all over my pillow. I was made to let that dog sleep in my new room. I hated that dog. The day before they were to get married I got caught stealing 45 records at Target. It sure wasn’t my little town anymore. I found myself in trouble.

I spent some time at a juvenile detention center. I tried playing basketball with the black girls but they didn’t know what foul meant. So I sat out. I met this one tall girl named Laura. She mentioned that she was getting sent somewhere and I didn’t think anything more about it. I had learned my lesson on stealing.

My grades weren’t the greatest as this school was more advanced. I made the basketball team, but had to sit out because of my grades. I was bored and I started smoking cigarettes at a young age. I figured out later that my mother’s second husband smoked and that I was already addicted to cigarettes. So I would spend time in the school bathroom smoking. I still hadn’t been given a key to the front door. It was a key on both sides. I was told by my mother’s new husband that I was to lock the door every time I came in. Well I didn’t have a key so I left my window unlocked. After getting off the bus I said goodbye to the neighbor kids and climbed in my window. I got in and then I realized that I didn’t have a key and how was I going to explain how I got in. So I climbed back out the window and went next door and stayed there until my mother came home. Well she went to another neighbor’s house and the kid told her that I had climbed in the window. She finally found me and then started accusing me of sneaking out. She put a lock on my window. Eventually, they gave me a key to the front door.

I had a green Cutlass Supreme that I didn’t get to drive much in the snow. One day, I came out of the bathroom from smoking a cigarette and there were the two basketball coaches. One’s name was Ms. Pickle. (She pronounced it differently). We always laughed at her name. Anyway they asked me if I wanted to get back on the team. I said, “yes of course!” Boy, I was so excited. We were going to play a team from my other school. My mother had told me that her and her husband might go on strike and if that happened, I would only get $10.00 a week allowance instead of $20.00. Well, I came home all excited. My mother was at the kitchen sink when I told her I got back on the team and that there was a game that night. “Can I have the car to go?” She said, “You won’t get very far on $10.00.” My heart just sank and I can’t remember if I went to the game or not.

A few nights later, I was making a grilled cheese sandwich with wheat bread. I didn’t like wheat bread but, I thought I would give it a try. Well, my Mother’s husband saw what I was using and started yelling at me because I was eating his bread. My mother was standing right by me and I was waiting for her help. He threw the bread at me and hit the cabinet above my head; and guess what? I forgot to lock the front door. My Mother’s husband was way out of control and I waited for my mother to help me. She told me to go lock the door and I did. I can’t remember eating the grilled cheese. I got to thinking about my mother going on strike. I thought that since she wasn’t going to be working so much that she could do more around the house. So I decided to go on strike. I mean really for $10.00 she could do it herself. What could she do to me right. Well two weeks went by and she sat me down at the kitchen table with a calendar that had X’s on the days I hadn’t done anything. I sat there and didn’t care if I did anything anymore. She started sending me to the psychiatrist that she sent me to when I was little. He was a really nice guy and he had a memory game that I loved to play and little did I realize that my mother went in after me. One day when I was about 5 they sent me to him trying to get me to let my mother’s second husband adopt me but I had to sign a piece of paper. I was scared because I know he was a drunk and mean. They handed me a pen. I still can remember the thought of losing my daddy and having him as my daddy. I didn’t sign it.

So here I am sixteen, I am sitting on his couch telling him that he needed to find me another place to live because I couldn’t take much more. I was now too far away from my dad. My mother made it rough on me because not many liked her. I know she was a bitch with a capital B. One day she tells me that she and her husband were going to go on a honey moon. So she made me pick out a trunk for her trip. Other things happened and I was just thru with her. There was a blizzard coming so they let us leave early on the bus. I got to the driveway and this sister of my mother’s husband came out, she saw me and started hurrying herself to her car.

Then I saw the suitcases at the front door. I thought well they are leaving. I came in the house to everyone’s surprise. My mother was home awful early. I sat down on the couch. She was sitting in the chair and she put the paper up so I couldn’t see her. Then she said “Kim you are going to a girls school for a year. I got up off the couch and went to my room. I closed the door and didn’t know what to do because there was a lock on my window. I heard them coming for me so I put my foot at the bottom of the door. He started hitting the door really hard until it finally hit me in the head and knocked me to the ground. I found myself on my knees with my hands behind my back. My mother put the phone to my ear. It was the game guy.

He said Kim You have two choices, You can go to girls school which you are not a criminal, You could go to a psychiatric ward which you are not crazy or you could go where they were going to send me. I was then forced to take a pill. They drugged me all the way. I managed to not swallow one and hide it in my cheek. I put it in the ashtray on the back of the seat. I wanted to know what was happening.

Well we get off the interstate and my mother takes me into the bathroom where she puts this dress on. I was horrified at what I was watching. When I got back in the car I dug that pill out and took it.


New Bethany Home for Girls Staff from Left to Right: Bobby Barnes, David Garris, Mack Ford, Mrs. Garris, Thelma Ford, Clarie Shipman, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Roebuck

Bobby BarnesDavid GarrisMack FordMrs GarrisThelma Fordclaire shipmanLarry Roebuck and family



Arc-05 Lisa Blanchard – Affidavit of Facts from Lisa Blanchard McKee – August 6, 1996

Arc-06 – Affidavit of Facts from Kimberly Ann Howard – August 9, 1996

Arc-04 Laura Blake – Affidavit of Facts from Laura Blake – June, 7, 1983

linekim holt2My First Day At New Bethany

When we pulled up to the gate it was opened and my mother and her 3rd husband got out of the car. I really don’t remember the walk in the door. The next thing I remember, I was taken to the bathroom to change into this uniform. That is when I realized my mother tricking me to get measurements at some ladies house. The girl that was with me was taller than me. I was taking stuff out of my wallet when I realized I had a letter from Johnny telling about being a divorced kid was so terrible that he felt so alone. I started to rip it into smaller pieces when this girl says you can’t put stuff in the toilet and she picked it all out piece by piece. I got the uniform on. I don’t remember what happened next exactly.  I was taken over to get lunch. I was shown how to get my tray and then I heard someone say I know that chick I know that chick. It was that tall girl from the detention center. She was hushed up because if the staff knew, we would not be able to talk. At that very moment, I now knew where she got sent to.

The pill I had taken just before I got there was still working as I wasn’t scared yet, I don’t remember eating. I remember being taken back to the home when I saw this girl walking towards me. She said it will get much better in time. I just looked at her like she knew what I was thinking. Well, I went in the front door and took a right at the center and was lead to where I would sleep. I was faced with bunk beds and at the foot of the bed was that trunk I picked out for my mother’s honeymoon. I knelt down and opened the locks. I lifted the lid and there were two sheets of paper. It was what my mother had now reduced me to and in her handwriting. I was crushed. I knew she was gone, so I wasn’t going to stick around. I stood up and walked right out the front door. There was a girl sitting at the front door and I went right past her. The next thing I know I was surrounded by about five girls. The tall girl got me from behind and I threw her off. They immediately stopped and all looked at me. I was terrified, but I wasn’t going to show it. All at once they all rushed at me and knocked my head against the block cement wall. I have a hard time dealing with what happened next. I was put on the couch just inside the front door. I was being pushed down and then made to stand. I was crying about as hard as anyone could cry. Crying hard would be putting it lightly. They were completely surrounding me. Then, they took me and carried me down the hallway and back to that room. I was still screaming and kicking. There was a girl getting something out of the closet. She had to get in the closet because there was no passing room. I was brought into the room and laid flat on the floor. I went to get back up and they all jumped on me again. This woman with long white hair started loudly praying; screaming she was “praying the devil out of me”. I started yelling, “Oh My God, why did she send me here.” I was crying so hard that I couldn’t see the girl’s face that was sitting on me. I started yelling for them to get off of me. I had a girl sitting on my feet, one on each arm and one sitting on my chest. I was so strong that it took a long time for me to wear myself out. I wasn’t one to cuss; my bad word at that time in my life was “man.” I started using words like “bitch,” and so forth. All of the things that I had put back all those years of not protecting me were coming out. Finally, I started banging my head on the floor. Another girl got scared and put her hand to catch my head which ended up smashing her fingers. The woman with white hair stated “She’ll quit when it starts hurting.” But, I just couldn’t stop crying. I was finally let up and put on a bottom bunk to rest. By then, it was supper time. I don’t remember eating but I was given a chance to shoot hoops and was told very firmly that I had best accept where I was going to spend my next year.

Once I got back to the room again, the biggest girl decided that she didn’t want to be my “watcher” as she was a senior. So, the girl who got her fingers smashed became my watcher. She watched me for a month and then she was going home. She taught me how to survive at New Bethany. When she was fixing to go home she made me make her a promise which I had no problem doing because she had spent her last month teaching me how to stay alive in such a hard and difficult place as New Bethany. She made me promise to not bite my fingernails for a month that she would be back in that time. I was a serious nail biter. Well the month went by and I hadn’t bit my fingernails, not once and that was huge success for me. She didn’t come back but I had fingernails and I still do to this day.

My Bible 1982

Amongst the list of items in my trunk was a NKJV Bible. I was told that it was not a NKJV. I didn’t know the difference. I was given a cheap KJV Bible. I was making friends and I would have them sign my Bible like a yearbook. One night in church my friend, Robin started crying and saying that I need to get saved that I was going to Hell. I didn’t know what she was talking about. I wasn’t about to walk down that Isle to the Alter without knowing. It wasn’t long that a lady by the name of Mrs. Jewell gave me a Heart for Valentine’s Day. If I needed to talk to someone she was there for me. It was a couple of nights later when Robin and I were walking back to the home, with the other girls, when I started asking questions about getting saved. Mrs. Jewel started talking to me as the others were going into the home –  all three of us knelt down in the gravel at the front door. Mrs. Jewell led me to the Lord.

One night coming back from church we were all told to leave our Bibles at the front door for a Bible check. The next day I found mine rather easily because I had written “Indiana” on it. I opened it up and was shocked to see that someone had taken black and blue marker pens to my friend’s entries; saying that I had defaced “The Word of God.” It was then and there that I realized that New Bethany didn’t care about us, only that they have total control over everything that we do.

I know I had asked, or at least invited, the Lord into my heart. But they continually (everyday) told us that we were worthless and that we were going to Hell. They would have us sing sad songs about our mommies and daddies if they could have; insinuating to us that if we didn’t change that our families were also going to go to Hell as well.


Busted To Trusted

One day after my watcher left, I was called to Ms. Nora’s room. I was scared to go there. She was very scary and big. I was asked to come into her room for a talk. She asked me what I liked to do and why was I there. I told her that I had my own lawn business when I was twelve. I grew up around horses. That I had gotten myself into every sport I could get myself into. The reason I was there was to get out of my mom’s third marriage. So I became more trusted and was given chores outside to feed and take care of Sheila’s horse. I was given a lawnmower where I mowed the back side of the home. One day someone came up to the outside of the fence and wanted to take my picture, I agreed. Little did I realize that this picture would end up being my Junior/Senior High School year book picture? All of my dreams of sports achievements were over that I had to some way learn to survive and stay alive.

Knock; Knock on Big Mack’s Door

For so many years I have been haunted by faces and, running in place. I have been able to put names to faces. We would line up going wherever – mostly church. There would be girls getting in line. They would say, “Here we go again, “Brainwashing Time. This place is a cult.” I would stand there hearing this not really knowing what exactly brainwashing was. What is a cult? I had an idea but, you didn’t dare say something like that because you would be a target of abuse. We would all get to our seats so we could watch the next man yell,  “You are going to Hell! You deserve to be punished. It’s your entire fault that you are here!” There were girls who would not listen to them and would have to fold their arms and legs readying themselves for the attacks that were about to come. The preacher would start with open your Bibles. They would start with taking their handkerchief out of their pocket and place it on the pulpit. Then they would take their jackets off, then they would role their shirt sleeves up and then their faces would start to get red and then they were sweating really badly. The girls would have to just sit there while these men would get in their faces telling them they were going to Hell. There are several girls that I can now name. These girls were tough. They never backed down. The men would not stop no matter what night it was. Over and over we were told how bad we were, that we deserve it –  meaning getting sent off. We would have to sing songs about our family circle, making you cry because you missed your mommy and daddy. How that, if you didn’t change, your family would go to Hell.

Well, it got real bad because girls were running all the time. Seems like day in and day out, night and night. You didn’t dare go near Ms. Nora’s room unless you had to because the girls that would run would be caught and brought back and beat and then they would have to run in place for long periods of time. I know I saw a paddle once that was made of thick Plexiglas with perfect holes drilled into it. I have never been able to get these girls faces out of my nightmares. So now I will mention names.

New Bethany History for getting it on a daily basis was Angie. She was always quiet but she ran and was caught. She was put in front of Ms. Nora’s room where she had to run in place for hours. If someone stopped they would be paddled again. I can say they all had that same look. It was a very sickening site to see and nothing you could do mattered. Shelly she really got it in church. They just loved to attack her. Well, she ran because she also had to run in place.

Amber was tiny and she had to run in place. Well, the worst one was Sheila. She was a big girl always in trouble. It got so bad they locked her in a room for days. Then she disappeared. Nancy was a really nice girl and had a lot of friends. She got a beating from Mack Ford and she disappeared. Later, he was preaching and he mentioned Nancy referring her to the Dark Side of the Moon. So many beatings…so what could stop this madness? The preachers continually called us liars, thieves and drug addicts.


lineheader3evidence NB home for girls and tim johnson3NB Home for Boys

evidence NB Home for BoysThese excerpts are for New Bethany Home for Boys in S. Carolina

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Kim Holt video          Jennifer Halter Video          No Longer Silent

New Bethany Staff

New Bethany No Longer Silent Facebook Page

New Bethany No Longer Silent Video

New Bethany – Mindy Rich’s Story

lineLet’s Talk About Timothy Johnson, Mack Ford’s Son-in-law

tim johnsonTimothy Johnson had full knowledge of a rape and other abuses that took place by his Father-in-law. There was a recording of the rape by Nora Carter, if I remember correctly. Tim removed the girl from the home, but never took her to the police, nor made sure the police had the recording. To my best recollection, I believe the recording was given to Thelma Ford and eventually, disappeared. Recently, Timothy Johnson has denied knowing anything about abuse at New Bethany Home for Girls and is denying even knowing about a place called New Bethany. Currently, he is being considered for President of Louisiana Baptist College. WELL, let’s look at some EVIDENCE of his involvement with the Home since he denies any abuses took place and seems to have forgotten it ever existed.

He was on the BOARD OF ADVISORS for New Bethany Home for Girls.

Board of Advisors NBHG

He helped in closing the home after the rape occurred and “promised” that it would never be allowed to open again. The closure was because, “Having lost state and federal cases with no further recourse available it has become necessary to seek other options for holdings.” However, it did open again, and he did NOTHING to stop it. This led to more abuse of children.

NB docClick HERE to see another story on Timothy Johnson regarding this document.

Click the following link to read a copy of the responses to the story on ChucklesTravels.com. – Comment Thread Chucklestravels. (You may also click the previous link and scroll down to these comments on the actual website.)

This place preyed on CHILDREN. It took away our honor and dignity and destroyed our hearts and minds and bodies!

As a result, I am breaking my silence. I will be a voice screaming the atrocities endured at their hands. I will be a voice that screams the “SILENCE” of others toward those same atrocities. I was young and scared then. But today, I am no longer afraid of you.  I am no longer hiding and running from you. I am not a liar, druggy, whore and slut like you would tell the world I was. Me and the other abused girls are taking our stories to the world; screaming them to all who will give ear.

Independence Day

I got out of New Bethany Feb 4, 1983. It was a month and a half before my eighteenth birthday.

As a survivor of this home I cannot emphasize enough the magnitude of the abuses I and other girls endured. Recently, we came together to tell our stories in a book that we are offering for FREE to everyone who will read it. Our desire is to make the public and lawmakers aware of institutional abuse of children. The horrors we have lived are real. They have changed us forever. We have carried the memories and the scars our whole lives. It has affected every aspect of our lives and it’s time to break the silence and show the world how serial rapists got away with their crimes against children and the Law did nothing to stop them. Mack Ford is still a free man today.

header6The New Bethany Book (Click on this Link)

Simone’s Story of Abuse

Simone’s Story of Abuse At New Bethany Home For Girls, Arcadia, La.

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This story is also posted on Chuckles Travel’s Blog: This story may not be used or copied in any manner without the express permission of its Author.

Simone’s Story of Abuse at New Bethany Home for Girls, Arcadia, La

It was the summer of 1981, I was thirteen years old and had spent most of my life in orphanages, foster care, and had been shuffled around since the day I was born. Going to New Bethany was only one of my many experiences as a child. Actually, I believe that it was at New Bethany that I realized that I was thrown away. I was a child, and apparently the only thing I had ever really done wrong in my life, was being born. All of the adults in my life, who were supposed to love me, protect me, and care for me, tossed me aside like a piece of damaged merchandise. These are only a few of my memories during my stay at the New Bethany home. I was there from 1981-1984.

Survival should not be a childhood memory

I remember pulling up to the gate at The New Bethany home for girls like it was yesterday. There was a nine foot chain linked fence, topped with barbed wire, and the gate had a lock and chain on it. My heart was pounding, it looked like a prison. I wasn’t a bad child, just an unwanted one. As we pulled into the gate, I kept trying to tell myself that this place couldn’t possibly be as bad as some of the other places I’d been. Could it? When I entered the front door I was shocked at the way the people looked at me, the way that they were dressed, the look in their eyes, and the things they started saying to me. Immediately one of the house mothers started telling me that I needed to get out of my sinful clothes, (I was wearing a pair of jeans, and a t-shirt) wash the makeup off of my eyes (because I looked like a whore) and get ready to be inspected, and take a shower. I turned and went for the front door. That was my very first mistake, as well as my very first beating at The New Bethany Home for girls. (I had only been there for a total of maybe fifteen minutes.) All at once, I was taken to the ground by several women, some of them weighing at least 200 pounds. I was screaming for them to get off of me, telling them that I couldn’t breathe, and that I was not going to stay there. That is when I felt the first blow of the paddle. I was shocked to say the least, I figured they would hit me a few times and then it would end. I don’t remember how many times I was hit, I just know that the pain of being hit, while being held down and not being able to defend myself, was when I realized that this was going to be my ‘home’, until I turned 18. After about 2 hours of being held down and told that I was this horrible sinner, and that I needed God in my life, they finally got off of me. I was bruised, brokenhearted and, was instantly plotting on finding out the quickest way to get the hell out of this place. Next, I was taken to the bathroom, with two women and one girl and told to strip. I was thirteen years old, had already lived a life of hell, in trying to protect myself, and had at least acquired some modesty. I was embarrassed, I slowly removed my clothing, with my audience standing there in front of me looking as if they were ready, and willing to attack me again, if I didn’t do exactly what they told me to do. I got everything off except my bra and panties; surely I could keep them on? WRONG! I had to remove them, so they could spray me for crabs (which I had never even heard of) and lice. Then I was told I had three minutes to get in the shower, wash my hair, scrub my filthy body, and get out. ‘We don’t waste water here at New Bethany’, one of the women told me.

After my shower, I was assigned a ‘watcher’. She was the only person I was allowed to speak to, look at, or ask any type of question about the ‘rules’. She was the only person I was allowed to trust. Many girls were only on watch for a month or so. Usually, the extreme brainwashing got to them. They were children, locked behind a fence, with the constant threat of being severely punished. For some, it was easier to just give in, and go with the flow. At New Bethany, you were expected to conform immediately, out of fear many did just that. By conforming, I mean that you as a child were expected to believe everything that you were told, get on your knees and beg God for forgiveness of your sins, and worship the owner and founder of New Bethany, Mack Ford. He was after all ‘the closest thing to God that we would ever meet’. We, as young children were whores,sinners and we should be happy that ‘someone wanted us’. He preached that from his pulpit. And if he wasn’t preaching it, one of his many other staff members, who were so-called preachers, were sure to remind us, daily. I am not sure how long I had been at the home, nor how many times I had been beaten, before a whole ‘new’ form of abuse started. Some of it I remember as clearly as if just happened yesterday, some of it is only fragments and pieces. All of it, as a child, was horrifying. It is called rape.

Every day before leaving the main dorms, we would all have to line up and have our uniforms checked. We had to prove that we had on a bra, camisole and a slip. Your skirt had to be below your knees and your blouse had better only show two fingers worth of skin, from your collar bone down. If your uniform was deemed inappropriate you had to go change, and you got licks because they assumed that you were trying to be like a harlot. I had passed the uniform check that morning, so what happened to me next, was to say the least, confusing at first, then after the assault, terrifying. Upon arriving across the road for school, we were lined up again and had breakfast. After breakfast, we lined up once more to head upstairs to the schoolroom. One of the teachers would check us as we walked by her; it always seemed to me that I disgusted her. I was getting ready to find out just how badly her disgust was for me. She stopped me in the line and confronted me, saying that my skirt was too tight. She said I was to go up to the ‘office’ immediately. (The office was another room, above the school room.) I walked up those stairs slowly, thinking to myself how my skirt can be too tight? It was an ‘A’ shaped skirt, it wasn’t tight at all. Not even in the waist. I knew at this time that going upstairs to the ‘office’ meant that you were going to get beaten, it happened to me frequently. It happened to me so frequently that I didn’t even cry anymore. Maybe if I had shown some type of emotion or submission to these people, what was about to happen to me would have never taken place. When I got up the stairs to the ‘office’, I was met there by the principle. He gave some of the hardest licks, I was scared, but I didn’t show it. He told me to bend over the desk and to lift my skirt, I did as I was told and was prepared for the beating to begin. “No” he said. “Your slip too.” I turned and looked at him. I can’t explain to you the look in his eyes, and what I saw in them. I know now as an adult that it was pure evil. I turned back around and lifted my slip; he yanked my panties down and jammed himself inside of me; telling me, as he was raping me that I needed God, that I was a whore, and that he was going to help me find the salvation that I needed. When he was done with his “punishment”, I was sent back out to the woman who had sent me upstairs and beaten by her. She knew what he had done and she was angry with me. She was beating me, because he raped me? I had tempted him with my tight skirt. It was my fault, wasn’t it? I cannot say with all certainty that I was ever molested or raped by anyone else at the school. However, (I know) for some strange reason, that Mack Ford has never been circumcised. I have remembered that because faint, quick thoughts of his uncircumcised penis seem to flash through my memory at times when I am sleeping; sometimes even when I am awake. I see him coming at me with his pants undone. This type of punishment was frequent for me. I hated that little ‘office’ above the school room. I hated that no matter how hard I tried, my uniform was always wrong. I hated that I couldn’t find this ‘God’, that he said I needed so badly. Shortly after this, I had received a severe beating from the house-mother. After my beating was over, I was walking down the hallway called ‘White hall’. I was headed back to my room and I was a mess. I leaned up against the wall, and broke down. I slid to the floor and just started crying uncontrollably. I felt someone touch me, I am pretty sure I jumped. But, it was a different type of touch; one that I had never felt before. Someone had their arms wrapped around me, and it wasn’t hurting me. I was being hugged? I WAS BEING HUGGED! I heard a whisper in my ear, that I can still hear to this day….”Stay strong”…..The hug wasn’t long-lasting, as the punishment for showing affection at New Bethany was severe. But that hug, and those words have stayed in my mind my whole life — ‘Stay strong’

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Born to Run

I was only at The New Bethany Home for girls and boys for a very short time, before I attempted to ‘run’ the first time. All of the doors and windows had locks and alarms on them, so if you were going to try to get away, you had better make sure you were ready to make a run for your life. I waited until late at night, after the ‘floor walkers’ had made their rounds. The ‘walkers’ would have to stay up all night, and check on each and every girl, making sure that everyone was in their beds. The second I could tell that they had gone down the next hallway, I flung the window open and made my escape. The alarms were screaming, lights were flicking on everywhere. I headed towards the fence, and realized that if I tried to climb it, I would be instantly caught. So, being thirteen and very scared I headed for an old abandoned bus. I was a tiny little thing at thirteen. I think I may have been about five foot, five inches, and maybe weighed in at one-hundred pounds soaking wet. When I got on that old abandoned bus, I instantly curled myself into the tiniest ball and hid underneath one of the seats. I could hear the staff yelling and screaming, I could hear the dogs barking and I was scared half to death. I saw the light from a flashlight shining into the bus, I was trembling, I was sure to be found, taken inside and beaten half to death. However, the light came and went. They didn’t see me. I was safe. The only problem I had to face now was that I was still inside the gates,and I had to figure out a way to make it over that fence. How was I going to do that now? Everyone knew I was the one missing. I stayed in that bus all night, they never found me. By the time the morning came, I was numb from the cold, scared to death of being found, and had not one clue as to how I was going to make it out of that bus and over the fence. I guess I finally gave up the thought of actually making it. I got out from under that seat, and went to the front of the bus and just sat on the step. The staff member that found me immediately took me inside with a grin on their face. It was a grin of sadistic pleasure. I was like a prize. And they were proud to have ‘found’ me. The beating that took place after I was turned over to the house-mother was just like any other beating. I would lose count after about the fourteenth lick; and that was at times only a third of the way into the beating. I attempted running every chance I got. It didn’t matter to me that I would be beaten every time. I had to get away. I couldn’t handle the abuse any longer. I was being abused in every way shape and form. Taking a chance was worth being beat. I just kept telling myself that one day, I would make it into town and somebody would save me. I learned that I couldn’t have been more wrong. The last time I ran, I was actually with another girl from the home. We had a chance and we just took off. We ran so hard and so fast that neither one of us could barely breathe. We did it, we were gone, and apparently nobody knew, until we were so far ahead of them, there was no way they could catch up with us. We ran and ran, it seemed like it was miles. It was five-mile to Arcadia, it seemed like five hundred. When we finally made it, we went into a bathroom at a gas station. Both of us were bloody from all of the briars and bushes, we were covered in dirt and sweat. But we made it! WE MADE IT! What happened next, made me realize once again that I had not one person in this whole entire world that cared about me or wanted me. We actually got to talk to the police. I was covered in bruises, from the middle of my back, all the way down to the bottom of my shins. Some of my bruises were so bad that they had scabs on them. The police officer listened to us, as we frantically told of the things that were happening to us at The New Bethany Home for girls. Then he said something that I will never forget, He said, “Well kids let’s give your parents a call”. I didn’t have parents. He told me that he had to take me back to the home. There was nothing I could do; there was nothing that he could do. The beating I received after being taken back to the home is one that I have never forgotten. I remember the house mother’s evil grin, as the police officer handed me over to her. I was taken into her room, laid across the bed and beaten for what seemed like hours. I could hear her labored breathing with every lick, I could smell her sweat. I think at one point during the beating I must have passed out. I remember her hitting me so hard that it felt like I would break in half. I couldn’t sit down for weeks, I could hardly use the restroom, and I wasn’t allowed to speak. I never shed one tear during all of this, now as I write about it, the tears won’t stop. I never ran from the New Bethany Home for girls again. I was there, and there was nothing, and no one, that was going to change that.

Am I Dead?

It wasn’t until I was at The New Bethany Home for girls for a while, that I found out I was deathly allergic to bee stings. They had us work in the fields, on a regular basis picking corn, peas, black-eyed peas, purple hull peas and digging up potatoes. It was one of the things that really didn’t bother me. At least if I was working in the fields, I didn’t have to go upstairs to the ‘office’. I was working away, picking peas, I believe when all of a sudden I felt the sting. It hurt, but I didn’t really complain. It was only a bee after all. About four of five minutes later, my vision became blurry, I was shaking horribly,and I couldn’t breathe right. My watcher asked me what was wrong; I turned to her and tried to say something. The only thing I remember her saying is “Oh my gosh!, what is wrong? Your eyes are almost swollen shut!” I remember vaguely, the hustle and bustle of the girls, and the staff. At some point someone gave me some type of shot. I think?

Then I woke up, on the sofa in Martha dorm. The girls were all talking at once, I wasn’t understanding the things that they were saying. My head hurt, my eyes were still swollen almost completely shut. I remember asking one of the girls that was standing over me, “Am I dead?” She smiled and said, “No, but we thought you were.” Apparently, I had been on that couch for a few days, drugged with who knows what. I know that I didn’t go to the doctor. At New Bethany you could be almost dead, and you still wouldn’t receive medical attention. I was made to get up off of the couch, take my three-minute shower, and head off to church. Mack Ford preached that night. He preached about how ‘God’ had given me a chance to live, they had prayed the ‘Devil’ out of me, and wouldn’t I love to accept Jesus as my personal savior? My head was spinning, I couldn’t believe that I had almost died, and this man was telling me it was because ‘God’ had given me the chance to live, so that I could conform to Mack Fords beliefs? They had ‘prayed’ the ‘Devil’ out of me? I was stung by a bee. Not possessed by the “Devil”. I looked at Mack Ford, and said as bravely as I could and said ‘No sir’. He came running at me from his pulpit, screaming and yelling that I was going to burn in hell. God had given me the chance to live; Mack Ford had made sure of it! He had after all, prayed the ‘Devil’ out of me. He then took me by the arm and began dragging me outside. He took off his belt and began whipping me with it, all the time telling me I was an ungrateful and worthless whore. He beat me for a while, and then he drug me back into the church. I guess because I didn’t scream out, or shed a tear, he decided that I was truly of the ‘Devil’. He had the house mother take me back to the dorm, and administer another beating. The only thing running through my head was the statement that I had made earlier that day, to the concerned girl who stood over me, “Am I dead.”

Churches still send Mack Ford money.

Prior to going to the New Bethany Home for girls, the only religion I had ever been exposed to was the Catholic religion. I remember the priest speaking in a very calm voice. I remember standing, getting on my knees, sitting and the little bells. “Peace be with you.” ‘Ting-a-ling’ “And also with you” and again, ‘Ting-a-ling.’ I never really understood what the priest was talking about, but I do know that I was never scared of him. The religious teachings at The New Bethany home for girls, was to say the least, more of a ‘cult’ than it was any type of religion. Mack Ford was the leader, plain and simple. I believe he made up his own rules. Sure, he claimed to be ‘the closest thing to God’ that we would ever meet. But in all reality, he was the most evil man that many of the girls of the home, would ever lay their eyes on. He had created his own empire. Churches were donating him thousands of dollars, people were giving him their land, and parents were paying him thousands of dollars to ‘fix’ their wayward teens. Mack Ford would travel all over the country with a bus full of girls going from church to church, claiming that he ran his home on donations only. That the Lord saw it fit for him to help these poor children. He would coach the girls on their testimonies, at times making sure to have the girl with the saddest testimony standup before the church, and tell of how she was a drug addicted prostitute, prior to coming to the home, how she had no family to take care of her, and how thankful she was to Mack Ford for taking her in and leading her to the Lord. Then he would have the girls sing their little hearts out. Many of the girls were very talented, they could sing like angels. The church members would break down, thinking that it was the Lords will to give as much money as possible. Mack Ford was raking in the dough, and people had no idea what was really going on behind the fences of The New Bethany home for girls. Mack Ford also had two other ‘groups’ of girls, sent with different pastors, one who was the administrator/principle of the home, and another who had come to the home and preached a few times. These were smaller groups than what Mack Ford took with him. But, they were still doing the same thing. Going from church to church, telling of how the home had saved them from a life of drug addicted prostitution, and how thankful they were to Mack Ford, for leading them to the Lord. What really seemed to get to the members of these churches was how talented these girls were. Like I said, they could sing like angels, literally. Mack Ford had it all figured out. And still, not one of these churches knew what was really going on behind the fences of the New Bethany home for girls. Behind those fences children were being systematically brainwashed, children were being beaten, children were being raped, children were being sexually abused, children were being denied love, children were referred to as whores, Children had their privacy taken, children had their self-esteem smashed, children had no emotional support, children had no choice, children were getting no education, children were being brutalized, children were turned against one another, children were lied to, children worked in the fields so they could eat, children were hungry, children were cold, children were frightened, children were told that no one wanted them, children were cut off from the outside world, and children were told that no one(except Mack Ford) loved them. Mack Ford is not God. He tried to make us all believe that he was. I guess the only thing that he will live to regret is not taking the time to realize that one day, that we would all grow up. We are not children anymore, and we remember everything. He still lives on the property that was once the New Bethany Home for girls and boys. He is sitting on a fortune that was earned by the children he terrorized for decades. I believe he has close to 300 acres, with five huge buildings on the land that was donated to him. By innocent people who had no idea, what was going on behind the fences of the New Bethany home for boys and girls. And yes, churches STILL send Mack Ford money!

The Sickening Antics Of Nora Carter (Shepard)

Nora Carter is the monster that for the entire time I was there, brutalized, terrorized and just about beat me half to death on several occasions. She was the ‘house-mother’. Nora Carter was aware of the sexual abuse that was going on at the New Bethany home during the 80′s. She did nothing to stop it. She did nothing to protect us. We were children and her impression was that it was ‘our’ fault. We were whores without God in our lives. She did nothing for us in the 1980′s and apparently, as I’ve been told, she did nothing for the girls in the 90′s either. One of the girls, who had graduated and became staff, actually taped herself being assaulted by Mack Ford. She turned the tape over to Nora Carter, and all hell broke loose. The tape was turned over to Thelma Ford (Mack’s wife) and he was supposedly asked to leave. I’ve also been told that Robbie (Mack’s daughter) and her husband Timothy Johnson came to the home and removed the girl who had become staff, and had recorded Mack’s abuse. Parents were called, girls went home and statements were taken by Nora, by other girls/children who had also suffered Mack Ford’s sickening sexual abuse. Yet STILL she didn’t contact any type of law enforcement? This was her golden opportunity to finally do what was right. She didn’t.

Instead, Nora Carter married the gardener Tom Shepherd, and went out to make sure that no one would talk about what had happened behind the fences at the New Bethany Home for girls.

Nora and Tom followed behind the group of girls that had gone home. They even had some of the girls from the New Bethany Home with them. They ended up in Washington State, trying to be ‘supportive’ of some of the girls who had been abused by Mack Ford. It is my opinion and the opinion of many others that she was actually doing her best to make sure that no one spoke out about what she had failed to report to the authorities. Nora and Tom got an apartment, reportedly paid for by the parents in this support group. They tried to start another home, and Tom tried to start a church. That failed, so they headed to Milan, Tennessee. What I have been able to confirm, in conversation with Douglass Powell, Pastor of Immanuel Missionary Baptist Church, is that Tom and Nora went on to Milan,Tennessee to a church by the name of Immanuel Missionary Baptist Church. The Pastor of this church, Douglas Powell, and his wife, had a Christian day school. It remained open for about twenty years. They had a firm belief in the division between church and state, but always allowed the inspectors to come in and inspect the school, if they asked to do so. It was after all the LAW, and they had nothing to hide.

Tom and Nora arrived in Milan TN, in a blue van with four children (reportedly from New Bethany) from Washington State, they immediately opened a children’s ‘home’ called ‘Faith Ranch’. This ‘home’ was open and running for two years. Until one day the state came and wanted to inspect the ‘home’. Nora and Tom refused. Doug Powell did everything he could to explain to them that it was the law. He had meetings, offered to step in and represent the ‘home’ and deal with the inspectors himself, by allowing them to come in and inspect. Nora and Tom still refused, and declined his offers of help. After much debate, as to doing things legally, Doug Powell asked Nora and Tom to leave the property. I was also able to confirm in conversation that it was then that Nora and Tom moved to Campbellsburg, IN. Tom’s longtime friend, and Pastor John Lewis (Old Paths Baptist Church) invited them to come there. They stayed with church members, with 6 children in tow, until they could find a place to open another ’Faith Ranch’. In 1996, they found some property owned by Eric Wheeler, and yet another ‘Faith Ranch’ was opened. The agreement was that the Shepherds would fix the place up, in lieu of paying rent, for the use of the property. In August 1997, Tom Shepherd died leaving Nora Carter alone and in charge of the home, and the children. In September 1997 Nora (Carter) Shepherd receive $50,000.00 in life insurance proceeds from Toms death.

In March 1998, Nora Claims to have purchased (with Tom’s life insurance money) a portion of a fifty-two acre parcel of land, from an individual named Alma O’Connor. In all actuality, the pastor of Old Paths Baptist Church John Lewis, paid for almost all of it, through donations from church members. (As well as money from his own pocket.) In the summer of 1998 construction began on the building that would become ‘Faith Ranch’, and by winter the 3400 square foot three story building was completed enough that Nora and the children could stay in it. John Lewis, pastor of Old Paths Baptist Church and Nora had agreed that the top story would be used for the church. When the building was completed, Nora quit the church, claimed that the ‘home’ was hers, and even went as far as going with another church member and putting it in the name of ‘Old Paths Baptist Church INC’. A lawsuit ensued; with Nora claiming to be the ‘victim’ of ‘John Lewis’. She was attempting to sell the property on the open market for $65,000.00. John Lewis was horrified, to say the least. He refers to Nora (Carter) Shepherd as the ‘Biggest thorn in his side’ as well as doing the worst ‘demonic satanic attack’ on his church. He is devastated. His church members are devastated. They tried to help this ‘Godly’ woman, and were extremely hurt in the process. The property was eventually split between Nora (Carter) Shepherd and Old Paths Baptist Church. They now have a road between the two properties. Nora (Carter) Shepherd now is the proud owner of a 3400 square foot, three story home, located in Campbellsburg, Indiana on 20-25 acres. She is also the proud owner of a brand new Cadillac as well as a Suburban. Although now, it has been reportedly put into her ‘daughters’ name. This girl that Nora claims as her daughter is actually only one of the children from Nora’s home. Since leaving New Bethany, she had three (possibly four) different homes opened. Nora Carter (Shepherd) has never been held accountable for the abuse that she covered up, she concealed abuse victims, and for this you would think that something could be done? She is still living in Indiana, to this day. Not caring one bit about the children that she abused for decades, or about the children that she didn’t help, knowing that they had been physically and sexually terrorized .

In August 2010, five of us went back to that horrible dark place, trying to find some type of closure. This is for my sisters, for the survivors, and for those that we have lost.

A year ago today, we stood up to our fears

A monster lives behind the fence

Decades filled with tears

Secrets dark and dismal Hidden deep inside

Scars and fear deeply embedded

It’s from him we wished to hide

A year ago today, we saw a different man A

coward hidden behind his fence

We spoiled his master plan

Our paths have joined us together

From him we hide no more

Through all the torrential weather

It’s one another we adore

A year ago today, we walked right past that man

An old man crumbling behind his fence

We finally took our stand

Our intention was for healing

But it has become so much more

He will never again look into our eyes and refer to us as whores

A year ago today, I held my sisters hands

Life has a new meaning

Since we took our stand

Nothing will stop us now

From speaking out the truth

It’s the monster who should be punished, from us he stole our youth

Now, in my life, I am doing everything that I can to help expose these types of places. I am now a coordinator for an organization called “HEAL.” (http://www.heal-online.org). As a child I had no voice. It was taken from me during my stay at the New Bethany home for girls. I intend on doing my best to be the voice of as many children as I possibly can. Children who are still suffering in places like New Bethany. Survival should not be a childhood memory.

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The New Bethany Book is now available for everyone to read! Click here to read the stories of abuse from those who were sent to this home. — The-real-book-of-new-bethany – Download FREE!