I’m writing to call you to a special season of prayer for one of our families. Andy and Patty Grove have been going through an awful ordeal that has hit them physically, emotionally, mentally, and certainly spiritually.
Catherine, the Grove’s daughter, disappeared from Fayetteville on July 2, 2013. She left everything and found her way to Wells, TX to join with a group called The Church of Wells. She had been corresponding with leaders of this group for several months and was led to believe that she needed their help in her spiritual journey.
Time and space does not permit a full explanation, but I’d like to give you as much as I can at this point. The Church of Wells has “elders” that are all young men in their older 20’s / early 30’s, who studied at credible institutions. Their theology (to a point) is somewhat orthodox, but their methods and practices are not, which reveals the reality of their theology.
The “church” speaks of what true conversion looks like, and will go to extensive means to see someone “convert.” They will “preach” to an individual for hours on end in one sitting with to no contact from loved ones. They will not allow the them to have ongoing contact with others who could sway them to leave the “church” home. The young person in their midst is called to renounce their parents who try to rescue these sons and daughters.
Catherine is in the middle of all this, and the Groves have been completely cutoff from contact with Catherine. They remain in Wells to garner support and encouragement from the community of believers in the town and region (north to Tyler and south to Lufkin). Media outlets are picking up the story, and this is not the first time this group has made headlines. Authorities are aware of the situation. It must be stated, however, that Catherine (26) has not requested to leave, which has complicated the hope to rescue her. She is weak, apparently deceived, and in need of rescuing from outside of herself.
While I encourage you to get updates from a newly created Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/prayforcatherinegrove), here is Patty in her own words:
We still have not been able to or meet with Catherine “one on one” and converse freely with Catherine since she arrived here in Wells Texas. Her cell phone has been cut off from being reached since she disappeared from Fayetteville on July 2nd. AT&T phone records show someone else took over her phone number on June 21st. The problem is not that we can’t see or talk to Catherine, it’s that NO ONE can freely see or talk to Catherine.
On an “earthly” level the Groves are trying to draw as much attention to the situation, particularly through the Facebook page. We know, though, that the only hope that will bring complete rescue and healing is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Church, pray!
- that God would strengthen and bring clarity to Catherine’s mind to choose to leave with resolve
- that God would bring deliverance to all those deceived, including those supposing to lead
- that God would move among civil authorities to protect the weak and captured
- that God would shut the mouth/voice of deception in The Church of Wells…causing only His truth of justice and mercy to prevail
- that Andy and Patty would be strengthened, comforted, and encouraged while depending on the work of the Holy Spirit to rescue their daughter
Lastly, it needs to be said that until the Facebook page when live a few days ago, the family had requested the situation be kept private for various reasons. Now that it is public, we pray that God would provide all the persons of peace He may choose to use to free the captives and bring glory to His name in their restored lives.
Please visit and follow the Facebook page (linked above) to keep up with the latest reports and regularly encourage the Groves during this incredibly difficult time.
Praying with you,