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Child Abuse, Fundamentalism, IFB Children's Homes

Hephzibah House to be featured on CNN (09/01)


According to the Times-Union in Warsaw, Indiana, CNN is featuring Hephzibah House as part of their “Ungodly Discipline” series on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

I believe it will air at 8pm and 10pm, but check your local listings just in case.

I am glad that Hephzibah House is receiving more national attention. In ABC New Investigates New Bethany Girls Academy, I wrote about a friend I have whose niece is currently in Hephzibah House, to my knowledge.  For me, this is a great opportunity to share with her in a “I care about you, I just came across this” sort of way something I have known for a few months, but didn’t know how to share. I would appreciate your prayers about that.

Friend, be encouraged today! God is moving in the hearts of many people to bring things to light.

But also pray, especially this next week, for the many Hephzibah Girls and those who are a part of bringing these IFB issues to national attention. Many will respond to articles and the CNN program, and I pray that they will not be discouraged by any negative comments. Pray also for the girls who are still at Hephzibah House. This time might be especially rough for them after Ron Williams was interviewed for the program.

If you are a former Hephzibah girl, you can find support at these groups:

Former Hephzibah Girls

Hephzibah Girls

Remember, friend, we are FREE by His grace. Revel in His grace today!

UPDATE:

In case you missed the “Anderson Cooper 360” piece on Hephzibah House, click here.

Tune in for the hour-long special at 8pm ET and 10pm ET tomorrow night.

Hephzibah House to be Featured in CNN Investigation
Aaron Organ
Staff Writer

Hephzibah House, the embattled private faith-based Winona Lake boarding school for troubled teenage girls, will be featured on CNN tonight as part of an ongoing series on child discipline and religion called “Ungodly Discipline.”

The school, which is affiliated with Believer’s Baptist Church, will be discussed on reporter Anderson Cooper’s popular news talk show, “Anderson Cooper 360” at 8 p.m., according to one woman interviewed for the story. A crew from the show interviewed former students on their concerns of unorthodox discipline inside the not-for-profit school.

Hephzibah House founder and pastor Ron Williams was also interviewed for the story, the Times-Union has learned.

A call to Hephzibah House seeking comment was not returned.

“I am very excited that CNN is taking this issue public and I believe this is another opportunity to bring awareness to the horrific abuse that we endured at Hephzibah House,” said Jennifer Singleton, a former Hephzibah House student now living in Virginia. “I am hoping this gets us one more step closer to closing down Hephzibah House once and for all.”

Hephzibah House has long faced allegations from protesters that accuse the boarding school of abusing their students, often through excessive and unusual techniques. None have been proven.

A local task force designed to look into the claims was launched in 2008 by Warsaw Police Department Victim’s Advocate Becky Anglin, but it phased out after the group “couldn’t get anyone with any power to do anything,” she said. Anglin said the task force received substantial support from the community, but none from elected officials, and the force fizzled out as a result.

Hephzibah House and schools like it were also the topic of state and federal laws drafted to more closely monitor schools like Hephzibah and have had varying results.

The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009 was passed into legislation, requiring both public and private programs to meet minimum standards of student care. State bill HR 6358, drafted in 2008 to call for more public accountability and place schools like Hephzibah House under its jurisdiction, died in the State Senate.

Numerous former students of Hephzibah House, who call themselves “survivors,” have protested on city streets several times against the school.

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Discussion

One thought on “Hephzibah House to be featured on CNN (09/01)

  1. My mother became a staff member here when I was only 11 and my brother was 8. We lived with the owners of this facility, Ron and Patti Williams. The abuse not only was on these women but on their children and us as well. For the 2 years we lived there, not a day went by that my brother and I were not paddled, cleaning and doing chores for hours, forced to go without food if we didn’t like something or mentally put down for not measuring up. I watched them paddle their 6 month old baby for not sitting quietly in church. I saw them paddle their 2 and 3 year old for not being quiet in church. We were only allowed to use the bathroom when we were told to. What hell! Please keep exposing this place and help get them run out of business and town. Ron Williams and his son Donny need to go to prison for the abuse and torture they have done to these girls as well as their own children. It’s too bad Patty died, I would’ve loved to see her sitting in prison as well. Hopefully hell is where she ended up. Angela

    Posted by Angela Porter | September 8, 2011, 3:23 pm

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