Supplemental documentation for USA Today article on Oakwood Baptist Church

Yesterday, our story was published in a USA Today article titled “The tongue is a fire’: Southern Baptist church fractures over secrets and spiritual abuse” by Tricia Nadolny. Some external information was referenced in the story, which I have documented below. Note that the content of this blog entry may be updated or edited as necessary.

“Foose resigned from Oakwood in May 2018. Soon after, the beloved pastor who had left Oakwood months before, Bob Conrad, acknowledged in a five-page letter to his former church that he and other leaders had known Foose could not pass a background check. ”  (T.Nadolny, USA Today article)

Here is the original five-page letter that Bob Conrad sent to the board at Oakwood, to be shared with congregants who had questions or concerns. Names have been blacked out who were not mentioned in the USA Today article. Note that I substituted “his wife” for Don’s wife’s name, for the purpose of clarification.

Note: Click a thumbnail to view a larger image of the document.

001002003004005

“One Sunday, Dominique attended the service to hear Foose preach the Gospel of John: “If anyone says I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar.”

“I certainly hope,” Foose told the congregation, “there’s not a whole lot of lying going on at Oakwood.”  (T.Nadolny, USA Today article)

Here is the link to the sermon audio on Oakwood’s website for Don Foose’s sermon that was referenced in the above quote, the last Sunday the Benningers attended Oakwood.

Here is the two-page Sermon Outline for Don Foose’s sermon that was referenced in the above quote, the last Sunday the Benningers attended Oakwood.

Note: Click a thumbnail to view a larger image of the document.

101102

“The tongue is a fire,” Foose declared, reading from the Letter of James. He held up a piece of paper with his own name and the name of the church on it. With his other hand, he struck a match – and lit the paper ablaze.

“Look what that little fire did,” he said once the sheet had burned. “It destroyed me. It destroyed the church. It destroyed the unity of the church. And I’m amazed that I didn’t catch the place on fire.”  (T.Nadolny, USA Today article)

Here is the link to the sermon audio on Oakwood’s website for Don Foose’s sermon that was referenced in the above quote, the week after the last Sunday the Benningers attended Oakwood.

“In 2000, Foose was convicted and jailed for molesting an underage relative. He resigned from his role as principal of a Christian school, and Pennsylvania’s Department of Education stripped him of his teaching license, deeming him “a danger to the health, safety and welfare of students.” Under state law, Foose can’t even drive a school bus, and were he convicted after 2012 he would have been required by law to register as a sex offender.”  (T.Nadolny, USA Today article)

Here is the official three-page docket DI-00-15 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, referenced in the above quote from the USA Today story. This docket revoked Don Foose’s teaching certification and deemed him “a danger to the health, safety and welfare of students.” It can also be found online at this link.

Note: Click a thumbnail to view a larger image of the document.

201202203

“Hampden Township Police Detective Robert Higgins opened an investigation in June 2018 and told church leaders to contact the parents whose children had been enrolled at the day school during the time Foose was pastor. The church took nearly three months to comply, with a letter that did not name Foose or say he had been convicted of a crime. It said a pastor had “experienced an issue involving a child” that made him unable to get child clearances, and encouraged anyone with concerns to contact Higgins.”   (T.Nadolny, USA Today article)

Here is the letter that was referenced and already shared in the USA Today story. This letter was sent out to parents whose children were potentially exposed to Foose while at the church and day school. It is signed by Naveen Allu, who took Cliff Karlsen’s place as the Chairman of Deacons after the entire board resigned.

Note: Click a thumbnail to view a larger image of the document.

601

Here is the second letter that was only mailed out to church members, along with the above letter. This was signed by Interim Pastor Larry Theisen, who is referenced in the USA Today story.

Note: Click a thumbnail to view a larger image of the document.

501

“Foose ultimately became superintendent of Oakwood’s day school, although it’s unclear exactly when that occurred. No formal announcement was made, and former church leaders either declined to be interviewed or said they didn’t know.”  (T.Nadolny, USA Today article)

This three-page document, dated January 1 of 2015, was not directly referenced in the USA Today article, though it validates the job description for Don Foose’s role as Superintendent of the Day School. It also lists names, titles and job descriptions for Cliff Karlsen as Chairman of the Deacon Board, as well as all five pastors (Bob Conrad, Don Foose, John Bollten, Dean Bertsch, Ed Fleming) at Oakwood during the cover up of Foose’s background to the congregation.

Note: Click a thumbnail to view a larger image of the document.

301302303

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s