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I am a preacher’s daughter, the youngest of seven children.
In the world I grew up in, the pastor and his family always had to be perfect.
We have sought counsel from trusted advisors, and have spent many hours in prayerful consideration before publishing this story.
I have my own theory of why he was forced out, though. He had been forced out of churches in California and New Jersey for taking indecent liberties with young girls. My father’s sexual abuse of me didn’t start until we moved to a pastorate in New Jersey, when I was seven years old and got my own room. Bill would call me into his office for “counseling and teaching.” I was open about my relationship with my boyfriend. I loved to be barefooted, and he would always comment on the shades of polish on my toes. He wanted all the details of my past sexual experiences. I craved Bill’s attention but felt guilty about the increasing touches he gave me.
He would pick me up in his blue classic car by a.m. There were others there, but they would leave, and he’d keep me with him to “talk.” It started out with him telling me how beautiful I was, how I inspired him, and how I made him feel alive. He would touch me and hug me after devotions and then take me to the eight o’clock staff meeting session. I began to have discord with my housemates, and I asked Bill to move me to a different house.
He said the woman in charge of housing wouldn’t “let” him.
He insisted that I go on the first IBLP trip to Australia that October and paid for me to go.
We were all so busy on the trip, I didn’t see much of him. He would drive me home so I wouldn’t walk alone to my house in the dark.
They said that I was wrong—Bill would never hug a girl, and that I shouldn’t make claims that weren’t true. A short time after that meeting, I was walking home alone when a car pulled up beside me. He told me that what happened between us needed to stay between us.