Town hall meeting focuses on 'Church of Wells'


POSTED: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 9:55am

UPDATED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 11:28am

Catherine Grove, 26, disappeared from her home in Arkansas in July. Her parents finally found her here in East Texas, in the small town of Wells.

Catherine had joined a church known as The Church of Wells, which her parents, Andy and Patty Grove, believe to be a cult.

On Thursday night, the community gathered for a town hall meeting to hear Catherine's parents speak about the church. They also heard from other people who have children in the church.

"All the parents that we have been in touch with are very distraught," Andy Grove told KETK. "They have loved ones that have been involved in this group that they have not heard from for years. They haven't seen their kids, daughters, grandchildren... and it's not right."

More than a hundred East Texans gathered at the Falvey United Methodist Church to hear their story. Pastors from the community spoke and there was a message from the parents of Ryan Ringnald, one of the three elders of the Church of Wells.

"They strongly believe that their son needs to cease involvement in this group," Andy Grove said.

In a written message from Mindy and Scott Ringnald, the couple write that their son has been involved with the church for many years and that they've "lost a wonderful son to this cult."

This was the first time that the Ringnald's publicly spoke out about their son and the Church of Wells.

"Catherine has been taken 'holy captive' - a term I never imagined using," they wrote. "My son is as guilty as anyone involved, and I am ashamed and sickened for his behavior."

The Groves also passed out an excerpt from a book written by Sean Morris, the head elder of the Church of Wells. The document is titled "The Doctrine of Judgement," and details the reasons that church members should cut ties with their families.

"I think it's important for the community to know what this church is teaching," Andy Grove explained.

Citizens of Wells told KETK that they are afraid for their own children and are "tired" of the Church of Wells.

"If something doesn't give here, I think things could go bad," Wells resident Danny Carter said. "People are fed up with it and they want to protect what they have."

Meanwhile, the Groves hope that as more people hear their story, their chances of getting their daughter home will improve.

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Comments News Comments

I saw on tv. This is a dangerous cult in my opinion. Remember WACO? It's only a matter of time before these mind controlled idiots will kill themselves and wait for their spaceship to scoop them up. The families of these victims will suffer, especially the babies in this sect. Something should be done before something unthinkable happens there. It's just a matter of time.

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, Do you not see the not in the sentence, it doesn't say If any man come to me, and hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children. How can you miss the not, it still means not today no? It is just a general statement meaning to leave all that is not in faith behind. We all have relatives who are lost, so this should really hit home to born again Christians like me.

There is no difference between this church and any other organized religion. They are all cults that aim to control the minds of the weak. Grow a backbone, use your mind, and realize that no myth is any better than another(they are all based on fictional stories). If you wish to continue worshipping your god then let them worship theirs how they wish to.

LOOK-DR Phil's 4 signs:Tools of Mind Control:
1. Control environment: Loved ones are cut off from family, no communication.
2.Break down their sense of self-esteem, literally attack them as individuals on the basis that they are wrong and that the group is right.
3New identity is reinforced by the group environment, where you get no feedback except from other members who tell you that they understand the right behavior and the right way of being
4. Isolate: Cut off from outside world. Fear keeps

Sounds like your local school house...

On the church of wells website it has a quote on right side of the page....

Its about hating our families. It talks about Luke Chapter 14, verse is scary verse and is written different in different Bibles. King James version is the one I read. But I don't get it, how can Jesus say these words and is all Love??? Someone please help me understand this.

The highest form of hatred is to ignore. In this verse, he is saying to ignore the affairs of family and follow him because he was on a very important mission that the person's family who was being ignored or "hated" would benefit from anyways; which was salvation for the world. We live in a similar time now. It is time to take up your cross and be a true disciple because the world is in desperate need of salvation once again. We have to make his enemies a footstool for his feet so he can return

Jesus is using rabbinical teaching methods here that "compares" one's love for one thing over another. "Hate", in this context, just means "love less". Jesus is not literally teaching us to hate our parents. Jesus entered homes and interacted with families. He ensured his mother was cared for when he put her in John's care at his crucifixion. Cults like the Church at Wells take this "hate" verse out of context! It gives them more control over isolated members. Read a good Commentary on this.

These verses are not about rejecting all you have, like rejecting your family or possessions. But to me it means all you have needs to be placed second to Jesus himself. It is all about loving Jesus with all your HEART, and not your mind. I do not take literally that Jesus wants me to really hate my family, but instead wants me to love Jesus more. i hope I made sense, and if i did, I hope it puts into perspective what Luke is writing about.

It's been reinterpreted and taken out of context. Most of the Bible can't be taken one verse at a time, all by itself. To understand what was meant by the writer, you have to read the whole section. A lot of the chapters are specific things, about specific times, in specific places. Like the Apostle Paul's letters to the churches he started. He was talking TO someone. You have to keep in mind the time, and who he was talking to, and why.
Then it makes sense.

It does appear to be a contradiction for the God that defines himself as love to say that unless we hate our family that we dont love him but we must allow Gods written word to define itself. God tells us to honor our parents, Jesus also saw that his earthly mom was cared for by John as he was on the cross, so there most be a different meaning and there is. When we are born again there is to become a new priority, we become a new child to a new father. its a new love for god! not hate.

It is saying that if anyone comes to him and does not hate their father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters - or even their own life but if you do hate you could not be his disciple. Our God is a loving God!!

If anyone can stand reading vile, hate-filled rhetoric that is truly an obscenity towards a loving God, take a look at the clown's "doctrine of judgment" above...what a whole boatload of condemnation, and how dare any MAN believe he is of God to advocate such garbage...the "church" in Wells is no more a church than a phone booth, and the mind control these young men have over these weak-kneed and gullible "converts" is unbelievable...remember David Koresh, Warren Jeffs? No difference at all.

freedom of religion says there're a church. I hate all religions but the constitution protects them. because you don't like it, doesn't make it wrong you intolerant christians.

I know full well what a cult can do to a person, and don't think one doesn't exist within Tyler city limits, folks, because it does! Mind control, condemnation, labeling, doctrinal dogma, isolation, constant hammering of a man-made warped message and mind-numbing music, it all goes hand-in-hand with the systematic program to erase the past, heap condemnation on weak and impressionable people, and alter one's perception of reality. Cults are deadly to a person's mental and emotional well-being.

What if there's more people in there that are being searched for. Im sure families would like to know if they have a loved one still alive held up in a place like this.

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