Ponder dating sideline reporter
My three brothers who were closest to me in age were attending college back in Indiana at the time, but my parents pulled them out of college when we joined ATI. I was in awe as I listened to the man whom I had been told was responsible for me being alive tell my parents that he wanted me to come to Headquarters. The youngest of seven children, a preacher’s daughter? I fussed so much about wanting to be outside that I became one of the first girls to work on the landscape crew. He pushed me to take a job near him, inside, but I wouldn’t.One of my brothers went straight to the IBLP Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, to help with landscaping. What did I have to offer him, this man whom my mother almost worshiped and my father would preach about in his sermons? By mid-August I was at IBLP Headquarters by his request. My parents had told Bill about my attitude, about the boy I was seeing, and about how immoral we were for simply kissing. He knew what my father had done to me, but he called me into repentance for my own sins without confronting my father or addressing his sin.We left that church when I was 13 years old, and we moved to Virginia when I was 15. He asked me a lot about how much I had let my boyfriend touch me, how we kissed— it went on and on. I wanted a relationship with a man that was like a relationship with a father.He seemed to get pleasure from pulling every detail out of me. Bill Gothard gave me that feeling of being worth something.The Recovering Grace team understands the seriousness of the allegations made in this story containing descriptions of conduct of a sexual nature between a minor and an authority figure.This story, more so than others, has caused the RG team to examine our hearts, to ensure that our motives are pure as we humbly seek to balance justice with grace and mercy.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.
My parents became involved in the seminars in the early 1970s, and at that time they were done with having kids.We have sought counsel from trusted advisors, and have spent many hours in prayerful consideration before publishing this story.While there will always be an element of “He-said/She-said” in stories of this nature, we have spent over eight months investigating this story.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.I was never to tell anyone else because it was our little secret—was that clear? Bill would have me accompany him in his car to the airport, and be there to pick him up when he got back from trips.