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Jeff Wright’s Emails with Stanley Dubose 4/24/15

By Amy Mueller on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 12:50am

Three days ago I sent this message to 4 of the 6 Elders listed in the files here. The only ones I did not contact through email were Eugene Storjohann and Keith Vehlewald (Prof Storjohann works at my school so I knew I could talk to him in person which I haven’t had the chance to yet, and Keith is a personal friend of mine whom I knew I could contact and get a hold of at any time).

I sent this message to the four elders (substituting the names of course):

“Hello Mr. (Insert Name),

I just had a question concerning these upcoming legal issues that seem to be happening at the church between Pastor Steve and the parties of Dawn Varvil, Doug Lay, Titus and Kari Benton and Jane Doe.

I was just curious as to why the church itself, First Christian Church of Florissant, is suing these parties along with Pastor Steve. As a current church member, I know of many individuals in the church that have expressed that as members they do not want to have the entire church listed as a Plaintiff in this case. If even one member does not want the church listed as a Party suing the Defendants in this case, why is the church listed as such?

Thank you for your time and praying for you and the Elders along with Pastor Steve as you all work through this time.

Jeff Wright”

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I only received a response back from one Elder, Stanley Dubose. Stanley’s response was that the Elders were drafting a letter that should answer all my questions (I only have one in my email) and that there are people accusing Steve and the church of negligence in knowledge of sexual abuse and that these parties were asked to take their posts down, but refused and were planning to take this information to newspapers (how did they know that??) and that the church did not want that to happen as it would negatively impact not only Steve, but the Elders and the church as well. The elders were simply asking for a restraining order to keep them from sharing this false information and that they did not intend to sue anyone.

My response:

First of all thank you for your response. I appreciate you doing so and getting back to me with some of my concerns.

I guess there is some miscommunication though because having spoken to some of the parties listed as defendants in this case, they are stating they are being sued for 25,000 dollars collectively along with punitive damages. Is that not the case from what you know as an elder? Just trying to get this all straightened out from my point of view

(separate email I sent immediately following the previous)

Sorry for the back to back emails. I just thought of something because my mind is so scattered from this along with other things in my life vying for my attention.

You said that you would like for this to be dealt with by discussion. From my understanding both Doug Lay and Kari Benton have tried to discuss this with both Steve and the Elders. Is this not true?

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Stanley’s response:

Jeff,

We did meet with Doug and Karie’s. And at that meeting we ask them to wait until we completed our investigation. I think we ask them to give us two weeks before they published any more information. Doug waited I think two days a then printed a new article. Reprinting things that we had already pointed out as being inaccurate.

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My response:

Mr. Dubose,
I remember being a part of the first meeting in the series of three meetings that were held on Wednesday nights by Pastor Steve where Pastor Steve said the church was not doing an investigation because it was not their place to do an investigation, that it was the law’s place to do such. Has the church done an investigation then?

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Stanley:

Jeff,
Yes that written in the lawsuit but I don’t know nor any of the other elders know where that number came from. Maybe it is associate with the courts cost. I do intend to find out what this amount means

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Me:

Could you clarify this point though for me still?

“I remember being a part of the first meeting in the series of three meetings that were held on Wednesday nights by Pastor Steve where Pastor Steve said the church was not doing an investigation because it was not their place to do an investigation, that it was the law’s place to do such. Has the church done an investigation then?”

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Stanley:

Jeff I am referring to the charges made by Doug Lay and Titus Benton. During the time that Brandon Milburn was charged the church turned over the investigation to the authorities

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Me:

Stanley
So what investigation did the Elders do then?

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Stanley:

Jeff,
There is some information coming out very soon from the elders. Why don’t you wait until then and see if that does not answer your questions

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Me:

Stanley
Well I guess I can drop all other questions other than my one and only original one. Why is FCCF being listed as a plaintiff if there are members in the church who do not want to be suing the parties of Doug Lay, Dawn Varvil, Titus and Kari and Jane Doe?

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Stanley:

This weekend at church some additional information will be coming out that I believe will help answer your questions. Please continue to pray that God’s wisdom will be made know to all of us.

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Me:

I still only have the one question. Why is the whole church being listed as a plaintiff when members of the church, myself included, don’t want to be suing the parties listed as defendants?

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Stanley:

Jeff the short answer to your question is that the elders represent the whole church. We believe that the whole body at FCCF was being held responsible for not taking action against Steve Wingfield. Which when investigated was incorrect.

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Me:

Stanley,
How can 6 men accurately represent a congregation of over 1200 members? Especially when there are those who disagree with how the Elders are representing the entire body?

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Stanley:

Jeff the church in Jerusalem had more than 5000 members and the elders lead them. We go by God’s word and prayer for guidance. Again I think if you will come to church this Sunday there will be written information that you can go to the scriptures to verify our decisions

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Me:

Stanley,
Yes lead them, but not speak for them in matters of court cases in a secular court room

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So now we know that the Elders feel they have the right and authority to speak for the entire church congregation, even when there are those who do not agree with or accept their singular opinion!