Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sentencing for Convicted Rapist Postponed to July

June 29, 2011 “Sentencing for Convicted Rapist Postponed to July” Associated Press

"Sentencing is being postponed for a man convicted of raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old baby sitter more than a decade ago.
The case of 52-year-old Ernest Willis of Gilford drew national attention because the fundamentalist Baptist church he and the girl attended made her apologize to the congregation."
"Willis faces up to 54 years in prison when sentenced in July. No date has been set.
A jury convicted Willis on May 27 of forcible rape and statutory rape after deliberating a full day.
His sentencing had been scheduled for tomorrow, but it was postponed to give probation officers more time to prepare a presentence report."
"Anderson, now 29, was permitted to give her impact witness statement after the jury returned its verdicts so that she would not have to travel back to New Hampshire from her Arizona home. She said Willis left her feeling guilt-ridden and ashamed.
"When he decided his sexual gratification was the most important thing in his life, he shattered mine," Anderson said.
Willis's bond was automatically revoked upon his conviction."

You can show your support for Tina Anderson by joining this Facebook group.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Letter to Ken Smith


I’ve been trying to understand why you have taken this so personal. You’ve latched your teeth into Tina and I wish I knew why. You commented on the I Support Tina Anderson blog and yes, I read your comments even though we did not publish them. You said some hurtful things but I won’t take that personal. If you believe that Tina is lying, that is your choice. You may post that wherever someone will let you. I fought for our country so that you might have that freedom. I have contemplated for days if I should or would respond to you. Well, I decided that I would address a few things.

First, please read This is a copy of what Tina wrote to the police when they called us on my birthday about a year and a half ago and asked her to give a statement of what happened. We stand by what she wrote and what she swore under oath that her statement to the police was truthful.

Second, there were a couple things that the newspapers got wrong. Where it came from, I don’t know but someone said that Ernie was a deacon. You’ll notice in the police report that Tina never called him a deacon and never said that in the couple of interviews that she gave. That issue was quickly addressed and corrected in future articles.

Third, you say Tina lied when she agreed with Elizabeth Vargas on 20/20 that she “lost” her job. You are correct that Tina was not fired from being a teacher. We never said that she had been fired. I understand how you and others could understand it that way. There was no willful intent to deceive. The word lost was used in the context of no longer in the possession, care, or control of someone or something” ( but it was not “lost” in the sense that it was taken away.

On purpose, we did not go into the details of why Tina put in her resignation. There were a lot of things that happened that made us realize that we could not continue at this church and school. This is the church that I grew up in since I was five years old. This is the place where I attended the Christian academy from kindergarten to 12th grade. This is the college that I achieved one of my bachelor’s degrees and almost completed my master’s degree (I’d have to complete three more classes). This is where I devoted over 20 years of my life. We chose to walk away. Although it’s been brought out by others, I don’t bring up the names of these organizations because I don’t want to drag them through the mud but it’s part of our life and it’s kind of hard to hide where you’ve spent about half of your life. I have deep feelings for that place. When I say I’ve “lost” friends, it means that us and them have chosen to part ways. It means that people I’ve known all my life and all the people that Tina got to know while she was there, don’t fellowship with us. Will some of those friendships be renewed? I don’t know, maybe. I still hold out hope. There are a couple families that we do see occasionally but six people out of hundreds is not very many.

Fourth, you’re concerned about The Tina Anderson Foundation and where does the money go and how much does Tina and I receive. There might be other concerns but I’ll address the one I know about. Tina and I do not receive any money from the foundation. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, during Christmas time, we were given gas money and our hotel room paid so that we could take a week’s vacation to spend time with friends out of state. The foundation also gave us some Christmas gifts that my kids still enjoy playing with. The purpose of the foundation is stated on the website. If people want to donate to help others, that is great! If people are not comfortable with donating to this foundation, don’t. This was set up to try and make a difference in people’s lives and to give a chance for others to help. I trust and support the people and their families who run the foundation. In fact, I love them like family. All of them have meant so much to me, my wife and my kids.

Finally, Ken. I know this will not answer all your questions and you may dismiss what I have to say. That is fine. I pray that God’s peace come upon you and that you have joy in your life. God has greatly blessed me and I pray that God will also bless you also.


Tim Anderson

P.S. Darrell, I know a couple of people have asked that you remove Ken Smith from SFL. You do not have to remove him on mine or my wife’s account. Ken says that he’s standing up for what he thinks is right. As long as you are willing to allow him to post, it will not bother me.

Excellent New Article by Janet Heimlich

The Abuse of Forgiveness by Janet Heimlich, author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, explores how churches often address the issue of forgiveness with victims of abuse. She references both the story of Tina Anderson and the newest victim to speak out about her experiences with Chuck Phelps while he was still pastor at Trinity Baptist Church.

The Abuse of Forgiveness is well worth reading. Here are a few selected quotes:

"According to mental health experts, forgiving someone who has wronged us can improve our emotional well-being."
"But the practice of forgiveness can be abused, and nowhere is this more apparent than in cases of religious child maltreatment. All too often, pious adults who learn that a child has been abused fail to do the right thing. That is, instead of reporting the incident or getting the victim counseling, they urge the child to forgive the perpetrator."
"The church should be a place of refuge, but often we have not known how to listen, how to be present to victims. We have told them that their anger is wrong, that they need to move on, to forgive, to forget. We have denied their right to mourn and, instead, have laid new burdens on them. All this is understandable—as part of our effort to distance ourselves from pain and vulnerability—but not at all helpful."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's your response to an abscess?

Even after the trial I still come across posts that attack Tina, calling her a liar, manipulator, out for money, and other things. I am deeply hurt by this. People use their opinions or their “insight” to make a judgment call on my wife’s truthfulness or motivations. In past “notes” I’ve expressed our motivations. We have no ulterior motive. Our biggest motivations are to make awareness of abuse in IFB churches and to encourage change in churches to prevent further abuse.

At first I thought that they just didn’t get it. After all the facts are out there, how do they not understand? What I’ve come to realize is that they do understand. They get the big picture. Tina is the symbol of all the other children that have been or are currently being abused. Tina’s story strikes a huge nerve to one of the biggest “notworks” in fundamentalism. What abuse story do you know that would involve two men in different churches in states thousands of miles apart who later become college presidents of two different fundamental Baptist colleges who went to the same Bible college for their degrees and are current leaders in other IFB organizations and speakers at numerous IFB events, camps and meetings?

I have a couple thoughts on why people attack Tina. First, it’s human nature. When any person or organization feels threatened, it is only natural to protect your interests. Right now, Tina is the biggest target because her story highlights some of the problems that need to be addressed in IFB churches. People will do it many different ways. A person might decide to stop calling you, ignore your invitations to get together, de-friend you on Facebook, and basically decide that they can’t be your friend or in your family any more. They might call or write you and say hurtful things. Some will get on the internet and post negative things about you and the people who support you.

I think another reason for the attacks is deflection. My thoughts are that if it’s from a friend or family, they are doing it without realizing it. They are following what they’ve been taught and they don’t see that Tina’s story is just one small example of a larger problem. It’s easier to think that Tina’s situation is an anomaly and the most common thought, I think, is, “I don’t see it and so it does not happen at my church” or “My church or my pastor would never do that” or “You’re hurting the cause of Christ and you just need to let it go.” The list could go on and on but you get the idea. They are deflecting and not opening their eyes to the possibility that there might be a problem.

If this deflection is from others in leadership or have a vested interest somehow in the IFB, I think it’s on purpose. If they can get you distracted from the problem and get you focused on the person who has brought the problem to the light, they don’t have to change. They deflect the attention onto the person and their possible defects (whether real or contrived) so that you ignore the real problem in the IFB and their organizations.

Let’s use an analogy. Tina’s story is like an abscess or injury on a person. You have a couple of choices. You could try to cover it up with a band-aid or medicate it so that you don’t feel it any more OR you can address what’s causing the abscess or injury. If the infection or injury is not fixed, it could cause permanent damage and even death. Tina’s story brings to light that there is a problem. If the problem is not addressed, the infection will get worse, the injury will cripple, and IFB churches will not be able to live up to their full potential and possibly die.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tina Anderson's Victim Impact Statement

This statement has been saved as jpg images to prevent the alteration of any words. It is posted here exactly as it was submitted to the NH Superior Court for the trial of Ernest Willis. Tina read her statement on the last day of the trial in the courtroom while Willis sat impassively and showed absolutely no emotion.

I post this with her permission so her supporters can hear her heart as I did on May 27, 2011.

Tina Anderson Victim Impact Statement

News Articles Page UPDATED

I'm sure this will continue to be a work in progress, but as of now, the News Articles Page (also linked at the top of the blog) is updated.

I'm Tina's Marine

My name is Tim Anderson. I'm the man behind Tina Anderson. I am a former Marine and I'm the one that went into "Marine mode" and encouraged her to be strong even though we knew this would be a tough journey for her and our family.

I am very proud of my wife. This past year and a half has not been easy on her. This is not the road she would have chosen for herself. It is the path that God has set before us and we will give Him all the glory and praise for what He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.

Every once in a while I will read something that I want to respond to. I've responded openly to a couple things online but for the most part have remained quiet except for the occasional Facebook note that I would post. A couple times they were picked up and shared with others on a more open venue.

Anyway, I thought about starting my own blog but don't know how much I'll be writing and it occurred to me that maybe Laurie would let me post a few things on the blog she started a few months ago. She was very gracious and has opened a spot for me to share my occasional thoughts with you.

Lastly, "thank you" to all of you that have been a support to my wife and our family. Your prayers and words of encouragement mean a lot. We don't take you for granted. Our goal is to be an encouragement to you and hope that Tina's story will give others the courage to do what is right when abuse happens, to comfort and support the abused, to seek justice against the abuser, and to love God no matter what happens in your life.


Trial of Ernie Willis: Day of Verdict

I will never forget the tension building up the last day I was in NH for the trial of Ernie Willis (Friday, May 27, 2011). It was a long day just sitting there waiting.

Around 3:45 p.m. we went up to the courtroom. The DA had informed us that the judge would be revoking Ernie's bail and sending him to jail for the one count to which he had already pled guilty before the trial started (since there was a baby and he had already accepted paternity for the adoption there was no question that statutory rape had at least occurred).

At 3:51 p.m. the judge went through the process of declaring bail revoked.

About 3:53 p.m., the judge allowed Tina to read the victim impact statement she had prepared. Because there was a strong possibility at this time that the jury had not reached a verdict, the judge was allowing Tina to read her statement while Ernie was still in the courtroom and before she had to fly back to her home. There were many tears as the supporters there in the courtroom for Tina listened to her read her statement.

At 4:02 p.m., Ernie was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

At this point, the judge left the courtroom to ask the jury if it was close to a verdict. While we were sitting in the courtroom waiting, all of a sudden, we heard a message come over the shoulder radio of one of the bailiffs, "the jury has a verdict."

There was an audible gasp all across the courtroom. The DA cautioned us to wait, because it could be a mistake, but no--the jury HAD reached a verdict on all four remaining counts.

At 4:15 p.m. the jury began filing back into the room and took their seats. The jury foreman read the verdicts: guilty on ALL FOUR COUNTS!

There were many tears as the verdicts were all read one at a time, and I'm tearing up now typing this as I remember.

The defense attorney asked the judge to poll the jury, so each one of them--one at a time said, "GUILTY."

Though we were all told not to type, tweet, facebook, e-mail or text anything specific from the courtroom, I did live tweet very general comments here:!/moodyfastlane. You'll have to scroll way down to May 23-27 to read the tweets from that week.

Here is a list of the big media stories after the trial was over. Since AP carried the story, it was in hundreds of newspapers all across the United States and even around the world. I'm just linking to the major ones.

Man Found Guilty Of Raping Girl: WMUR

New Hampshire Man Found Guilty of Rape of Tina Anderson: ABC

NH man convicted of raping teen church member: Fox News

Rape victim who gets justice 14 years later speaks out:

Applaud Anderson for speaking out: Concord Monitor Editorial

Willis guilty of rape: Concord Monitor

Photo taken during the press meeting just after the verdict was announced.
photo credit: Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Cult Survivors (and Their Supporters)

Tina Anderson, left, and Jocelyn Zichterman, center, talk with supporters after a Merrimack Superior Court jury found Ernest Willis guilty of forcibly raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old baby sitter, who belonged to the same church, more than a decade ago. (AP Photo/Alexander Cohn, Pool) AP

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tim Anderson's response to Ed Nelson's support of Chuck Phelps on June 14, 2011 at the FBFI Conference

by Tim Anderson on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 12:29am

“The only way you get publicity is to have somebody hate you, as brother Chuck Phelps has had, and they come up with evil reports [about you,] then you get in the papers. And by the way, thank God he [Chuck Phelps] stood right all the way through all of this and we ought to stand with him and encourage him, but I don’t suppose newspapers here in Indianapolis write a whole lot of articles about Crosspointe.” ~Dr Ed Nelson June 14, 2011 FBFI Conference

I've been thinking about this all day. I was not expecting the FBFI to remove Chuck Phelps from leadership. They have a lot to lose if they admit mistakes were made and that a major contributor to fundamentalism made some serious errors in judgment, to put it mildly.

Darrell ( & Chuckles Travels ( have written about it very well and so I won't go into all of that. I encourage you to read their posts.

I grew up being taught in an IFB church, Christian school, Christian college for over 30 years (For those of you who know I'm over 30, there was a few years when I didn't attend church). I have two bachelor degrees from two different IFB colleges. I'm not tooting my own horn. I just want to point out that the IFB way of life is about all I knew about church and education.
Growing up, I always admired the leaders in the IFB. I'd like to believe that the pastor I grew up under, Pastor James Singleton, a major force in the IFB, if he were alive, he'd be addressing these things. I'd like to believe that he's turning over in his grave right now with all that is going on in FBFI.

I grew up being taught that a person of character will admit when he/she has made a mistake, no matter the consequences. I was taught that a man of God should be above reproach. Over this past year, I've been having a hard time grasping the mentality of the leaders in the IFB. It's not what I was taught. It now looks like, "Do what I say, not what I do."

I don't understand Dr. Ed Nelson and his comments. I would have understood it better if he had just not said anything but to say that Chuck Phelps has "stood right through all of this" is beyond comprehension. I guess you could say that if you're looking at the situation through rose colored glasses or an IFB prism that distorts your perspective.

His comments make me realize that my wife and I made the right decision over a year ago.

Before Tina's story was made public last May, we decided to leave our IFB church, which is part of the FBFI. We were never asked to leave. We didn't make a fuss or try to cause any problems. We knew there would be enough of that when Tina's story became public. We decided to leave quietly. She gave her letter of resignation to the IFB college where she taught voice and we walked out the door.

My sisters, although they don't agree with us for leaving our church and are currently in their own IFB churches, still love and support us. Fortunately, blood is thicker than church affiliation. I know this is not always the case and I'm extremely thankful to God for that. My sister asked me if we'd ever go back to a Baptist church. Although I had not really thought about it, I told her "I doubt it." After watching everything going on in IFB land, and after watching Tina finally being vindicated through the conviction of one of her rapists, and still no admittance of wrong from the leaders inside the FBFI, I would now answer my sister and say, "No, I'll never be a member of another IFB church." Would I visit? Yes. In fact, I have friends who are pastors of IFB churches. I'm going to visit one of them this Sunday. I have not seen him for about a year and so I'm looking forward to my visit.

Ed Nelson says that the only way to get publicity is to have somebody hate you. If hate is the only way for fundamental baptist to get publicity, I feel very sorry for them. If hate is the only way that you are getting publicity, then you need to examine what you are doing. What you saw was public outrage (hate) at the injustice that was done to a 15 year old. What you saw was hate that a man who claims to serve God kept spinning the truth to try and make himself not look so bad. The only people that worked on are the people who don't want to face the fact that Chuck Phelps did wrong and has not been able to admit it.

What we, my wife and I, saw was hate from the people who claim to love God but were more concerned about their image than doing what was right. What we saw was hate from people who slandered, created false scenarios, assumed false motivations, and downright called Tina a liar and manipulator for finally standing up for herself. This is the kind of publicity that we would have chosen to avoid. In fact, publicity was one thing we never wanted. We never realized how big of a story this would turn out to be when the police asked Tina to tell them her story and what happened 14 years ago.

Hate was never our motivating factor, justice was. It was justice against Ernie Willis, the man who raped Tina twice when she was 15. We finally saw justice this past May.

Tina and I do not hate Chuck Phelps. We don't hate Ernie Willis. We don't hate the IFB or the FBFI or anyone else associated with this whole situation.

What are our feelings? We'd like to go back to living a quiet, peaceful life serving God, raising our kids, and growing old together. We'll see what God has planned for us. I'm excited about our future and looking forward to the journey that God has set before us.