Friday, April 29, 2011

At the request of a supporter, an online petition/statement of support has been started for everyone to show their support of Tina Anderson. Sign the statement of support here and share with your friends:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Want to *DO* Something!

Even though I'm so proud of Tina Anderson's courage and I'm glad there's an opportunity for her story to be told, I've just felt so restless and sad today! I want to *DO* something and yet there's no way I can physically do anything at this point.
So... the idea occured to me to give a donation to the Tina Anderson Foundation. Now it wasn't a huge gift, but every little bit adds up as we heard this past December when 8 or 9 families were helped.

To other SURVIVORS like Tina including some dear people close to me, I say KEEP FIGHTING! We're standing here FOR you and WITH you. You won't be alone again.

Read about how to donate here:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Former Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church (Chuck Phelps) issues statement to ABC 20/20


Former Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church (Chuck Phelps) issues statement to ABC 20/20
"Pastor Chuck Phelps, the former pastor at Tina Anderson’s New Hampshire church, denies Tina was disciplined by the church or that there was any attempt to cover up a crime. He declined repeated interview requests but provided a statement: “Tina was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Mr. Ernie Willis… Tina lied to her mother and to me about this relationship.” He also said he brought the allegations to the attention of police who failed to investigate further. Ernie Willis, Tina Anderson’s alleged attacker has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault. "

My opinion in response to that statement:

Anyone with common sense can see thru what Phelps said. It wasn't his job to be judge and jury. A minor cannot consent to an adult 20+ years older that has power over her!! Has Phelps not taken any time at all in the last 13-14 years to educate himself about the dynamics of sexual abuse?? Maybe he's been too busy influencing young pastors-to-be in college? The FBI and dozens of advocacy organizations could have provided Chuck with everything he needed to know. Maybe he just didn't want to learn? Maybe it's just easier to blame a victim that's already endured other abuse and whose mom wouldn't stand up for her. Maybe he'll never believe the innocent can be bullied and coerced until it happens to someone he actually cares about. Who knows?

And why after all these years... Why would Tina even talk to the police when they called her? She was happy! She had a different life far away from NH! Why would the police lie? Why would Tina lie? Why would she put herself through this?? The noble reason--that she simply complied with police requests is the only answer that makes sense. The noble answer--that maybe her story could protect others--prevent future victims--that makes sense! So Tina and the police lied, Chuck?? But YOU are the only one telling the truth? Right... I sincerely hope that God grants you more mercy than you have given to Tina. You don't deserve it, but fortunately for you, God is just like that. On the other hand, I just wish accountability for you--jail time would be nice.

Watch Tina Anderson's Story on ABC 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas

Our courageous friend, Tina Anderson told her story of growing up in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church (Trinity Baptist Church, Concord NH), being raped at 15 by a member of the church, and being put up for "church discipline" - which included being kicked out of her Christian School, having to publicly apologize to church members for 'her 1% guilt in the situation (according to Pastor Chuck Phelps), then was sent away against her will to another IFB church in Colorado to deliver and give her baby up for adoption. Tina told her story to the Concord Monitor last year, - and appeared on CBS The Early Show and is now a part of Elizabeth Vargas’ yearlong investigation into The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, Airing On “20/20,” Friday, April 8, 10-11 PM ET

Come watch it with us in support of Tina Anderson and other Victims of the IFB Churches.

From 20/20:

Try to imagine the pain and humiliation of a teenage girl, just 15 years old, who says she was forced to stand in front of a New Hampshire church congregation and confess her "sin" of being pregnant. She says not only was she forced to confess her pregnancy, but also to ask for their forgiveness – with no mention of the man she says sexually abused her. After all, she says, the pastor told her it's better than being stoned to death as the bible describes. That is what Tina Anderson alleged happened to her at her ultra conservative Independent Fundamental Baptist, or IFB, Church. The IFB has thousands of congregations across the country, but many people have never heard of it. That was, until another woman, Jocelyn Zichterman, began a public campaign – armed with nothing but a computer and memories of her own alleged abuse that she says church beliefs can foster. And survivors are now coming out of the woodwork, to say she's not alone.

Elizabeth Vargas’ yearlong exclusive investigation into a religious sub-culture that critics claim can foster – even cover up – physical and sexual abuse airs on “20/20” on FRIDAY, APRIL 8 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network. Critics say the church teaches a strict interpretation of the bible including the practice known as breaking the will of the child, with some advocating that it even be applied to infants as young as two weeks old.

Family Update from Tina's husband, Tim

Tina's husband, Tim, recently wrote an update letter. I have permission to post it here.

Family Update
by Tim Anderson on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 8:14am

The past twelve months have been some of the most interesting in my life. My family and I have gone through quite a transformation. It’s been exciting, challenging, thought provoking and very interesting to say the least. I’m sure there are so many more words that could be used to describe the past year and all the events and changes that have gone on in my family’s lives.

More than a year ago, the abuse that my wife Tina went through years ago as a child was brought to light in the most round-about way and without any prompting on her part. In fact, if it had been up to her, it would have stayed a private matter. I knew about it within the first couple days of our first date. I’m sure that she expected me to run away scared of the scars in her life both physically and emotionally. We connected right away. In fact, we were engaged within three months and married within seven. As most know, we now have three beautiful children.

One of the biggest changes that we made a year ago was to change churches. We had decided that it was the best option for our family. This was not an easy decision and we didn’t make it foolishly or in haste. A lot of prayer went into our decision and there were many reasons for our decision. I was about to go into those reasons but that is not the purpose of this letter. I know there are a lot of speculations and rumors about us and the reasons we left. I’m sure none of them are correct because we’ve never explained fully “why” we left. I don’t know what rumors are flying around and it does not matter. We have to answer to God for our decision, not man.

We never stopped going to church. We just found a new one. We spent the summer visiting various churches. I’d say that I attended at least ten different churches in the area. It was great to see the variety of churches and the love that these believers had for God. I even took my family to an all black church in the area. We were the only white people in the crowd. They were friendly and invited us back again and I wanted to but we never made it there again.

We finally walked into a church that just felt like home. They preach God’s Word and the messages spoke to our hearts and were exactly what we needed. The service is just so uplifting and edifying of God and it’s just an excitement to go there every Sunday. It is so great to walk through church and people being excited to see you, give you a hug, and a genuinely happy with life and serving God.

They have stretched out their arms and have loved us. They didn’t know our story and it was nice to be able to sit in the audience and not worry about what the latest news article, website, or blog had to say about Tina. We have been very blessed to find a new church home. As time has gone by, we’ve shared our story. Usually, when we’re done they stop and ask if they could pray for us.

God has multiplied our friends. We made a few friends during the four and a half years that we were at our previous church but even in just the first four months at our new church we developed more friends and a deeper relationship with many of them than we had been able to with others in the past. On numerous occasions we have had people from our new church call us up and say they were thinking of us and felt that we needed prayer. Just the other day, a woman called Tina and when Tina didn’t answer, she just prayed for us and we heard it when she listened to her voicemail. It was very sweet and thoughtful.

We’ve been able to get involved in women’s Bible studies, men’s Bible studies, community outreach services, children’s programs, nursery, just to name a few. The church is involved in so many things that it’s hard not to get involved in something. The church focuses on reaching the needs of people and getting people involved in meeting those needs.

Another big change that happened was putting our children into a charter school. Suzanna was about to go into second grade and Haydn into kindergarten but we just couldn’t see where we were going to come up with the tuition. Even though we had help with Suzanna through Tops (which we were very thankful for), we could barely keep up with that and didn’t know how we were going to do it with two kids. Anyway, we chose a charter school based on their high academic quality and have been very pleased with their education. They are both doing so well.

Aria’s health is so much better. For the first couple years of her life she was always on one antibiotic after another. She was in the hospital four or five times for various reasons. This past year to year and a half she’s been able to go four to six weeks at a time without antibiotics instead of every two weeks. She does get some medicine at night but it’s preventative stuff to help her not get sick. She’s still susceptible to catching everyone’s cold but not as bad as before.

Haydn’s asthma sometimes kicks in when he’s running around too much but other than that, he’s doing great. Suzanna just got her first pair of glasses. It’s amazing how much a pair of glasses improves concentration and handwriting.

To sum everything up, we are doing great!! A year ago, we were just kind of coasting through life wondering what is God’s purpose for us. I always told Tina that God was going to use her abuse to minister to others. We never in our wildest dreams ever thought that God would use us this big. This is only the beginning. We are always asking God for His direction in our lives, that His Will be done, and that everything that happens brings glory to Him.

We never wanted Tina’s story to be public. We always thought that she’d be used in the local church ministering to other abused victims. When called by the police to confirm the report of her being raped, impregnated, put up for church discipline, shipped to Colorado, baby given up for adoption, and kept away from other kids her age, she cooperated. That is all. We still never saw the magnitude of all that has happened over the past year. We’re still in shock at all that has progressed. Everything is being orchestrated by God. We don’t know or understand His ultimate purpose in all of this.

Now that Tina’s story is out, we pray that it will encourage pastors, churches, schools, universities, and any other organization of believers to examine how they will deal with a situation of abuse when it happens to their children. Unfortunately, Tina’s story is not unique and it’s not the worst. There are too many children who are being raped and beaten by “Christian” parents, pastors, teachers, and church members. Now, here’s the question. Are you going to deal with sin or sweep it under the rug? If you, as a pastor, Christian leader, teacher, layman, or any adult tries to hide it, God will bring it to light. God will deal with you. I believe that is exactly what is happening. Christians, who say they believe the Bible, are not dealing with sin properly, and God is taking care of it.

As a family, we are happy. We are content. I personally am excited to see what God is going to do in the future. I know that God has a plan for me and my family. I’m excited about the possibilities of God using a horrible situation and turning it into a situation that He can use to His glory.

How is God working in your life? I know He’s working in mine.
I want to give Him all the glory and honor and praise His Name, forever and ever.

Tim Anderson