6 Comments

Pray for Catherine

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!

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,

Pastor Mike

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6 comments on “Pray for Catherine

  1. Grandma and I love you, Andy and Patty, Catharine and your whole family. I am praying and praying with others for our dear Catharine to be rescued, to be set free. Psalm 91

  2. Thank you for sharing and letting us be aware, we are praying.

  3. We in the east Texas area are in full support of Andy and Patty. Their plight has helped shed light on the practices of the group Catherine is with. Many of the people here had no idea. We will remain diligent in our efforts to assist the Grove family and we join you in your prayers in His name!

  4. I am personally aquainted with many members of the Church of Wells, and have spent a substantial amount of time talking with all three elders and many of the members. This quote from the article above is quite misleading at best, and appears to be specifically shaped and worded to created a negative impression beyond what can be reasonably inferred from currently available facts, as far as I can tell…

    OUOTE
    “The “church” speaks of what true conversion looks like, and will go to any means necessary to see someone “convert.” They will “preach” to an individual for hours on end in one sitting with little food or nourishment. They will not allow the “pagan” to have ongoing contact with others…”

    MISLEADING POINTS
    1. “will go to any means” – No, they will not go to “any means”, as far as I have ever heard first hand, but will use only non-cercive, Biblical means such as preaching (yes, for a long time, such as in Acts 20:17), to persons willingly convinced of the need for it and desiring to have it. I have communicated with many members and at least a couple former members of the Church of wells. None have ever reported coertion to me, even those that left. They are young persons often in their 20’s who who are convinced by the teaching, choose to be there, and have a right to do so.

    2. “hours on end in one sitting with little food or nourishment” – In the Bible this is called fasting. It is not shocking or dangerous for a few hours or even a whole day in general, especially when the individual desires to hear the preaching willingly, and is actully more interested to hear it than they are in eating. This is also something that can be seen in the Bible in many instances (Job 23:12, Matt 4:4).

    3. “pagan” – Never in dozens of hours of speaking and communicating with persons now or formerly with what is now the Church of Wells do I ever remember a person who came among them to seek the Lord being called a “pagan” by the elders or by the members. They are spoken of with quite a bit of tenderness in general and are sometimes called “seeking sinners”.

    Words, especially by a pastor, should be used with care to avoid implying actual coertion, physical harm, or lawbreaking, when no facts in this direction are extant at this time. Disagree with methods and doctrine if you like, but it is irresponsible to imply physical harm, coertion, or lawbreaking without warrant or evidence yet available in that direction.

    • I have updated the blog to be more careful in my language. I do, frankly, believe our own members above what the leaders of the Church of Wells would say. Between their experiences and that of others, I believe my words to be accurate. However, because I’ve not witnessed this for myself, I will seek to be more careful in what is said.

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