Friday, December 11, 2009

George Otis Johnson Hearing, Dec 22-Nevada, MO

Hearing set for Granby pastor A Granby pastor facing 17 counts of child sexual abuse will have a case review in Vernon County. George Otis Johnston, 66, is scheduled to appear in Vernon County Circuit Court on Dec. 22 for the proceeding. Judge James R. Bickel will preside. Johnston is represented by Neosho attorney Andy Wood. The case was moved from Newton County to Vernon County on a change of venue. Johnston, the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church, faces nine counts of first degree statutory sodomy, a Class A felony; six Class C felony charges of second-degree statutory sodomy; and two Class C felony counts of first-degree child molestation. In the summer of 2006, a young woman alleged Johnston had molested her as a child, beginning when she was 8 years old and continuing until she left the Granby commune shortly after her 17th birthday. Neosho Daily News, 12/12/2009

Vernon County Courthouse
100 W Cherry St.
Nevada, Mo 64772

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Raymond Lambert Indicted, Again

The Joplin Globe reported, Tuesday, February 12, 2008, that McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney, Janice Durbin announced that Raymond Lambert has been indicted by a McDonald County Grand Jury on eight sexual abuse charges that will supersede the eight counts filed late last year by the Prosecutor's Office. The new case number 08MC-CR00293, OCN 87162253. Arraignment scheduled for Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 9:00am.

Description: Sexual Abuse { Felony C RSMo: 566.100 }
Date: 05/31/1995 Code: 2202200
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Statutory Sodomy - 2nd Degree { Felony C RSMo: 566.064 }
Date: 07/31/1995 Code: 1107700
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Child Molestation - 2nd Degree - Prev Conviction Under Chpt 566/Dsply Deadly Weapon/Ser Inj/Part of Ritual or Ceremony { Felony D RSMo: 566.068 }
Date: 04/03/2000 Code: 2211000
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Child Molestation - 2nd Degree - Prev Conviction Under Chpt 566/Dsply Deadly Weapon/Ser Inj/Part of Ritual or Ceremony { Felony D RSMo: 566.068 }
Date: 09/15/2001 Code: 2211000
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Statutory Sodomy - 2nd Degree { Felony C RSMo: 566.064 }
Date: 09/15/2001 Code: 1107700
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Child Molestation - 2nd Degree - Prev Conviction Under Chpt 566/Dsply Deadly Weapon/Ser Inj/Part of Ritual or Ceremony { Felony D RSMo: 566.068 }
Date: 04/03/2002 Code: 2211000
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Statutory Sodomy - 2nd Degree { Felony C RSMo: 566.064 }
Date: 04/03/2004 Code: 1107700
OCN: 87162253

Next Charge/Judgment
Description: Child Molestation - 2nd Degree - Prev Conviction Under Chpt 566/Dsply Deadly Weapon/Ser Inj/Part of Ritual or Ceremony { Felony D RSMo: 566.068 }
Date: 04/03/2004 Code: 2211000
OCN: 87162253

The eight counts filed last year were reported in a series of newspaper articles. Here are links to them.
Charges refiled in church sexual-abuse case, The Joplin Globe, December 4, 2007

Prosecutor says church sex-abuse case remains under review, The Joplin Globe, November 15, 2007

More charges dropped in church sex-abuse case, The Joplin Globe, November 6, 2007

Prosecutor dismisses charges against pastor, wife in McDonald County, The Joplin Globe, November 6, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Statute of Limitations

The Joplin Globe reports (Thursday, August 16, 2007) that the charge of rape against Paul S. Epling, 54, a deacon of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, near Powell, was withdrawn because the statute of limitations had expired, according to McDonald County Prosecutor Janice Durbin. The alleged victim is a 35-year-old woman who claimed that Epling forced sexual intercourse on her when she was 6.

Allegations against Epling’s brother, Tom Epling, 51, another deacon at the church, followed a similar pattern. Tom Epling initially faced five felony counts in connection with alleged acts involving a girl between 1976 and 1978, when she was 4 and 5 years old. Prosecutors in September 2006 amended the charges to two counts. The remaining two charges were dismissed in December 2006, because of a statute of limitations in effect at the time of the alleged offenses.

KSNTV Jennifer Adkins reported that between 1979 and 1984 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the Statute of Limitations applied to cases of non-forcible rape. This law was repealed in 1984, but does limit the prosecution of non-forcible rape cases to those that occurred before 1979 or after 1984.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Court Records

These links are to MissouriCase.Net. After clicking on the link, (1) click Search For Cases in: and select the 40th Judicial Circuit (Newton and McDonald Counties). (2) Next, click on County and select either Newton or McDonald County. (3) Click on Last Name, and enter Johnston, Lambert or Epling. (4) Click on First Name, and enter George, Raymond, Patrica, Paul, Thomas or Laura. (5) Click on Case Number, then click on which ever one you are interested in. (6) Then click on which ever tab you are interested in, Case Header; Parties & Attorneys; Docket Entries; Charges, Judgments and Sentences; Service Information; Filings Due; Scheduled Hearings & Trials; Civil Judgments.

Newton County
George Otis Johnston

McDonald County
Ramond Lambert
Patricia (Patty) Lambert
Paul S. Epling
Thomas Epling
Laura Epling
George Otis Johnston

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Family Tree

This is an attempt to put together the Epling-Johnston-Labert Family Tree. It may lead us to more victims. My thanks to Tara Brown of KODE TV for opening our eyes to this alledged Family secret.

1.0 (father to J.C., George Otis and Raymond's mother)
1.1 J. C. Johnston (the Godfather) Vinton, Ohio; Independent Baptist Church
1.2 George Otis Johnston (the Grandpa) Vinton, OH; Newtonia, MO; Granby, MO; Grandview Valley Baptist Church, m. Dianne Johnston
1.2.1 Shelly, m. Doug daughter daughter daughter
1.2.2 Missy, m. Paul Burnett(x), m. Darrel daughter son
1.2.3 Trena, m. George twin sons twin sons
1.3 (mother to Raymond Lambert, ? name)
1.3.1 Raymond Lambert, Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, m. Patricia (Epling)Lambert
1.4 other siblings?
1.5 other siblings?
1.6 Deanna (adopted ?)

2.0 Cecil Lee Epling (father to Thomas, Paul, Patricia and 4 other siblings)
2.1 Thomas Epling, m. Laura Epling
2.2 Paul Epling
2.3 Patricia Epling-Lambert
2.4 ? name
2.5 ? name
2.6 ? name
2.7 ? name


Sunday, September 03, 2006

What Do You Think?

The Neosho Daily News is providing thorough and comprehensive coverage of the Newton and McDonald County cases. In turn, their readers are providing thought provoking commentary on the cases using a weblog, Sexual Abuse Charges Against Church Pastors. The weblog comments are both sad, sympathetic and supportive.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mo. Revised Statutes - Sexual Offenses

The following are links to the various Missouri Revised Statutes that Raymond Lambert, Patty Lambert, Tom Epling, Paul Epling, Laura Epling and George Otis Johnston have been charged with comitting.

Child Molestation, First Degree Section 566.067 [Raymond Lambert (1 count) and George Otis Johnston (1 count) charged]

Child Molestation, Second Degree Section 566.068 [Raymond Lambert (4 counts) and Patty Lambert (1 count) charged]

Statutory Sodomy, First Degree Section 566.062 [Tom Epling (5 counts), Paul Epling (5 counts) and George Otis Johnston (14 counts) charged]

Statutory Sodomy, Second Degree Section 566.064 [Raymond Lambert (3 counts), George Otis Johnston (3 counts), Laura Epling (1 count) charged]

Statutory Rape, First Degree Section 566.032 [Paul Epling (2 counts) charged]

Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Second Degree Section 568.045 [Patty Lambert (1 count) charged]

Sexual Abuse Section 566.100 [Raymond Lambert (1 count)charged]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Important Dates

Newton County Courthouse, Neosho, MO
08/18/06 Ex Parte Order - George Otis Johnston
08/22/06 Order to Remove Children From Compound
08/24/06 Warrant Issued - Johnston
08/25/06 Turned Himself in - Johnston
08/28/06 Child Custody Hearings
08/28/06 Ex Parte Hearing - Johnston
08/30/06 Arraignment @ 10:00 am - Johnston, 8 Counts Statutory Sodomy, Div II Assoc. Circuit Court 'pleads non guilty'
09/06/06 Johnston's Attorney, Andrew Patrick Wood, filed Motion for Dismissal of sex charges
09/11/06 9 more felony charges filed - Johnston
09/18/06 Arraignment & Preliminary Hearing @ 1:15pm - Johnston
09/28/06 Judge Kevin Selby recused himself
09/28/06 Arraignment @ 1:30pm - Johnston CR1436-01, postponed pending assignment of new judge
10/16/06 Preliminary Hearing @ 1:15pm - Johnston CR01560
11/02/06 Arraignment @ 1:30pm - Johnston CR1660-01
11/09/06 Preliminary hearing @ 9:00am - Johnston CR01176
12/04/06 Pre-Trial Conference @ 9:00am - Johnston CR01436-01
02/23/07 Trial by Jury @ 9:00am - Johnston CR01436-01 Jurors to be secured from another county and brought to Newton Co.
02/26/07 Trial by Jury, Opening Statements @ 1:15pm - Johnston CR01436-01

McDonald County Courthouse, Pineville, MO.
08/15/06 Warrants Issued - Raymond Lambert, Patty Lambert, Tom Epling, Paul Epling
08/21/06 Turned Themselves in & Arraignment - Lambert, Lambert, Epling, Epling 'pleads not guilty'
08/30/06 Warrant Issued - George Otis Johnston
08/31/06 Turned Himself in - Johnston
09/15/06 Motion to Prohibit Media Statements filed
09/18/06 Adult Abuse Hearing @ 9:00am - Johnston
09/27/06 Motion to Dismiss charges - Tom Epling, Paul Epling
09/27/07 Judge John R. LePage dismissed
09/27/06 Judge Greg Stremel appointed to cases - Epling, Epling, Lambert, Lambert
09/28/06 Motion to Dismiss Count II against Patricia Lambert
10/02/06 Preliminary Hearing @ 1:00pm - Lambert, Lambert, Epling, Epling
11/09/06 Preliminary Hearing - Johnston CR1176
08/28/07 Full Order of Protection - Johnston CV00628
09/19/07 Full Order of Protection - Johnston CV00628-01
02/19/08 Arraignment Hearing @ 9:00am - Lambert CR00293

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Who Do You Contact?

Newton County
Newton County Sheriff's Department 417-451-8300 (or 911) or
Newton County Children's Division. at 451-4242 or 455-5141 (ask for a supervisor)
Newton County Prosecutor's Office 417-451-8244 or

McDonald County
McDonald County Sheriff's Department 417-223-4319 (or 911) or
McDonald County Prosecutor's Office 417-223-4142
McDonald County Prosecutor Based Advocate's Office 417-223-7703

Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church

Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church is located at the end of a lonely dirt and gravel road snaking through wooded slopes into a remote pocket of McDonald County behind a locked gate, behind which is said to sprawl a 100-acre property that includes a farm, the Grand Valley Christian Academy, a cemetery, Grand Valley Kennels, a country music band Centrefire, Suns of Thunder Records, Inc., Grand Valley Outfitters and Distributors and a number of homes. Sugar Creek Road, which is several miles southeast of Powell (and about 13 miles west of Washburn, MO), is known for its isolation and tranquility. The compound is behind a high gate marked "Grand Valley Farm" on a gravel road. The gate is barred with "No Trespassing" signs.

Until about three months ago, about 100 people lived on the property. Today, there are fewer than two dozen people left. According to a neighbor, "I don't know that anybody knows what's been going on there. They were a closed community. They pretty much protected themselves." Apparently the investigation started in May (2006) when some members of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, in their 20's and 30's, who had grown up there, left the remote compound on foot after an argument and asked for a law enforcement escort to go get other family members.

The church and more than two dozen surrounding homes has been described as a “compound” by long-time McDonald County residents, as well as church members. The Lamberts reside at 589 Cecil Epling Lane, while Tom Epling lives at 584 Cecil Epling Way and his brother, Paul Epling, resides at 362 Cecil Epling Way. The area where they live, Cecil Epling Way, is named after Tom Epling, Paul Epling and Patricia Lambert's father, and Raymond Lambert's stepfather, Cecil Epling, who died several years ago.

Grand Valley Farm began many years ago when the Epling brothers pulled together physically and spiritually to make their father, Cecil Epling's, farm successful. Our one-hundred acre farm has grown tremendously since those days. The hard work that they put into it then continues still. The same brothers that started the farm then, run the kennels now. Raymond Lambert is the backbone of the kennel. Through him, we know that all things are possible. From Grand Valley Kennels website.

All the Epling and Lambert Boys graduated from East Newton High School. Some of the children attended SW High School in Washburn, MO. Patty's maiden name is Epling. She married her step brother. The family lived in Newtonia MO for many years. Cecil Epling bought the 100 acre farm in Washburn about 30 years ago.

The patriarch of the group reportedly was Cecil Lee Epling, of Newtonia, who died in 1982, from injuries sustained in an auto accident. He was the father of seven sons (including Paul and Tom Epling)and four daughters (including Patty Epling Lambert). Raymond Lambert reportedly was his stepson. Cecil Epling was the pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church at Stark City, according to an obituary published in The Joplin Globe at the time of his death at the age of 55.

Grandview Valley Baptist Church North

George Otis Johnston has been the pastor of the church on the compound (1939 Hebron Rd., Granby, Newton County, MO), where about 35 to 40 church members have been living in mobile homes. The group is believed to have moved there about five to six years ago from a similar compound operated by Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church near Powell in McDonald County.

There are about 11 mobile homes on the property, which is leased from a landowner who is not a member of the church. The Newton County Sheriff said 20 or more adults and at least 15 children lived on the property. Sheriff Copeland described the land that the church is occupying as a compound. "All church members live there and home-school their children. Some of the men work outside the compound, but they raise goats and dogs there, and are selling goat's milk and cheese." Another report indicated that the church operates a dairy farm with numerous head of cattle. A sign at the front of one building proclaimed it to be the business location of the Son Shine Shop, a purveyor of natural health foods, products and herbs, and a provider of aromatherapy, muscle-testing and iridology services by appointment.

A total of 14 children have been removed from the church compound by authorities of the Missouri Division of Family Services. The children range in age from 1 to 12 and are from three of four different families.

About six or eight years ago, the Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church split into two congregations, with one sect traveling north to Newton County. The two churches remained close, and had some functions together.

At one time, the Newton County church was located in Newtonia across the street from the Ritchey Mansion, and the grounds also housed a few trailers. However, in 2002, the Newtonia Battlefields Association purchased the house and has since torn it down.

The Accusations

1. A probable cause statement filed by Newton County Deputy Mike Barnett stated Johnston told a 12-year-old girl he was “ordained by God to fulfill her needs as a woman,” adding “that if she would have sexual intercourse with him that she would remain a virgin and would remain pure.”

2. A probable cause statement filed by LeSueur, Paul Epling told a child he was “preparing her body for service to God.” (McDonald County)

3. A probable cause statement filed by Deputy Mike Barnett, an investigator with the Newton County Sheriff's Department, the first alleged victim told authorities Johnston began touching her at the age of 8, kissing her on the mouth and putting his tongue in her mouth. She said Johnston unbuttoned her pants and fondled her private area. At the age of 12, the victim told Barnett, Johnston attempted to have sexual intercourse with her. “[She] stated that Pastor George Johnston stated to her that if she would have sexual intercourse with him that she would remain a virgin and would remain pure,” Barnett wrote in the statement. The girl told Johnston she did not want to have sex with him, and that he did not force her to. However, he continued to fondle her private area two to three times a week until she was 17 years old. Additionally, the girl told Barnett, on several occasions Johnston exposed himself to her and made her fondle him. “[She] stated that when she was approximately 14 years old, there was an incident that was more forceful than the previous incidents stated,” Barnett wrote. The girl told the investigator that while seated in a chair in the living room in a pair of boxer shorts, Johnston exposed himself and forced the girl to strip. No sexual penetration occurred, the investigator said in his report.

4. A probable cause statement, Deputy Mike Le Sueur, an investigator with the McDonald County Sheriff's Department, said Raymond Lambert, fondled a 12-year-old girl in 1987. As time progressed, the deputy said in his report, the girl was required to perform oral sex on Raymond Lambert. The incidents happened repeatedly until 2005, when the girl left the church compound.

5. A probable cause statement that Patty Lambert, compelled a 16-year-old church member to strip, whereupon she was allegedly fondled by Raymond Lambert while Patty Lambert was naked in the bed with them. Deputy Mike Le Sueur added that in permitting the contact between the pastor and the young church member, Patty Lambert endangered the welfare of the teenager. (McDonald County)

6. A probable cause statement that Tom Epling fondled a church member between 1976 and 1978, beginning when the child was only four years old. (McDonald County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Le Sueur)

7. A probable cause statement, Paul Epling reportedly fondled the same child during 1977 and 1978, telling her “he was preparing her body for service to God.” When the girl was 10, the statement concluded, Paul Epling allegedly attempted sexual intercourse with her, stopping “only after she protested due to pain.” (McDonald County)

8. A probable cause statement, in McDonald County, alleges that George Otis Johnston repeatedly fondled the victim's breasts, vagina and buttocks beginning in 1999, when she was 11, until 2004. Johnston termed the sexual contact "before and after actual church services" on Sundays at Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church as "angel kisses."

9. A probable cause statement alleges that Johnston touched the victim sexually while he was supposed to be tutoring her in algebra from February 1997, when she was 11 years old, until December 2004, according to a probable cause statement filed by Dwayne Allen, an investigator with the Newton County Sheriff's Department. The victim said that "Johnston told her that she was not having a problem with her algebra, she was having a spiritual problem and he would show her what she needed,” “[She] said Johnston told her she was approaching the age where she would have needs that can be filled by a man.” The victim told investigators Johnston told her he could fulfill these needs and that she needed to become one of his “angels.” “[She] said when Johnston would touch her, he would tell her that it wouldn't make her impure, that it would make her holy and she would remain as pure as a virgin, even after she married.” Johnston allegedly touched the girl's bare breasts and genitals during each tutoring session.

10. A probable cause statement alleges that Laura Epling (Mrs. Tom Epling) assisted Raymond Lambert in having sex with an underage girl as part of a church ritual. (McDonald County)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Investigators, Judges and Lawyers

McDonald County, MO
Gregg Sweeten, Chief Deputy, McDonald County Sheriff's Department
Mike LeSueur, Investigator, McDonald County Sheriff's Department
David Roark, Deputy, McDonald County Sheriff's Department
Mike Miller, Deputy, McDonald County Sheriff's Department
Don Schlessman, McDonald County Sheriff
Walter Stephen Geeding, McDonald County Prosecutor
Janice Lynne Durbin, McDonald Coubty Prosecutor
Daniel Bagley, Assistant McDonald County Prosecutor
John R. LePage, McDonald County Associate Circuit Court Judge
Timothy Wayne Perigo, McDonald County Associate Circuit Court Judge
Pat Stuart, Juvenile Officer, 40th Judicial Circuit of Newton and McDonald Counties
Tal Clubbs, Juvenile Officer, 40th Judicial Circuit of Newton and McDonald Counties

George W. Evenson, Attorney for Lamberts and Eplings
Robert W. Evensen, Attorney for McDonald County defendants
Duane Allen Copper, Attorney for McDonald County defendants

Newton County, MO
Ken Copeland, Newton County Sheriff
Mike Barnett, Deputy, Newton County Sheriff's Department
Chris Jennings, Chief Deputy, Newton County Sheriff's Department
Kevin Lee Selby, Division III Associate Circuit Court Judge
Greg Stremel, Division II Associate Circuit Court Judge
Bill Dobbs, Newton County Assistant Prosecutor
Cathy Gorman, Juvenile Officer, 40th Judicial Circuit of Newton and McDonald Counties

Andrew Patrick Wood, Attorney for George Otis Johnston
David Sims, Attorney for Johnston

The Headlines

The Turner Report
Grand Valley Church Subject of Democrat-Gazette Article, Sunday, October 8, 2006
Grand Valley Church Leaders' Lawyer Indicates Sex Charges Are Just Part of Family Squabble, Thursday, October 5, 2006
Charges Filed Against Woman Who Showed Teen how to Perform Oral Sex on Minister, Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Preliminary Hearing Reveals Details of Minister's Alleged Sex Crimes, Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Charges Filed Against Fifth Member of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, Monday, October 2, 2006
No Decision Made After Cult Leaders' Preliminary Hearing, Monday, October 2, 2006
Charges Amended Against Grand Valley Leaders, Saturday, September 30, 2006
AP Files Latest on McDonald County Cult Cases, Thursday, September 28, 2006
KODE: Charges May be Dropped Against Eplings, Wednesday, September 27, 2006
LePage Disqualified in McDonald County Sex Cases, Wednesday, September 27, 2006
KODE: Johnston May Still be Around Children, Thursday, September 21, 2006
More Sordid Details About Granby-Area Pastor Emerge in Globe Article, Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Witness: Johnston Threatened to 'dig up dirt' on Her and Her Family, Monday, September 18, 2006
AP Offers Coverage of Johnston Preliminary Hearing, Monday, September 18, 2006
Granby-Area Pastor Bound Over For Trial, Monday, September 18, 2006
Protection Order Hearing Set for Alleged Victim of Granby Area Pastor, Friday, September 15, 2006
Gag Order Requested in McDonald County Cult Case, Friday, September 15, 2006
KODE: LePage Decision Makes Former Cult Members Fear for Safety, Thursday, September 14, 2006
Neosho Forums Readers Weigh in on Cult Story, Thursday, September 14, 2006
Judge Orders Full Discovery in McDonald County Cult Case, Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Spiritual Trip Took Granby Woman From One Cult to Another, Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Cult Accuser Says She Came Forward to Protect Sisters, Monday, September 11, 2006
Nine More Felony Sodomy Charges Filed Against Newton County Pastor, Monday, September 11, 2006
Pastor's Attorney Files Motion to Dismiss Sex Charges, Saturday, September 9, 2006
AP Story Tellls How McDonald County Cult Unraveled, Tuesday, september 5, 2006
Globe, Daily Continue Coverage of Grand Valley Cult, Sunday, September 3, 2006
First Editorial Offered on McDonald/Newton County Cults, Friday, September 1, 2006
AP: More Charges Will Be Filed Against Cult Defendants, Friday, September 1, 2006
KODE: Lamberts, Eplings Nowhere to be Found, Thursday, August 31, 2006
Daily News' Ford Remains At the Top of His Game in McDonald County Cult Investigation, Thursday, August 31, 2006
Globe Offers Update On Religious Cult Sex Charges, Thursday, August 31, 2006
AP Continues Coverage of McDonald County Cult Case, Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Another Sex Charge Filed Against Granby-Area Minister, Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Globe Offers More Information on Newton County Minister's Protection Order Hearing, Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Full Protection Order Issued Against Newton County Minister, Monday, August 28, 2006
AP: More Charges Likely in Cult Sex Investigation, Monday, August 28, 2006
Blogosphere Jumps on McDonald/Newton County Cult Stories, Sunday August 27, 2006
Star Weighs in on Religious Sex Cult Story, Sunday, August 27, 2006
Protection Order Hearing Set for Newton County Minister Who Faces Felony Sex Charges, Sunday, August 27, 2006
Temporary Fate of Children in Granby-area Compound to be Determined in Hearings, Sunday, August 27, 2006
Media Battle on McDonald County Cult Case Continues, Saturday, August 26, 2006
Globe Explores Latest Chapter in Sex Cult Story, Friday, August 25, 2006
KODE: FBI Looking into McDonald County Cult, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Globe Hits With Another Cult Story, But Daily's Ford Back on Top, Thursday, August 24, 2006
McDonald County Sex Cult Story Goes Nationwide, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Grand Valley Tax Issue Needs to be Explored, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Globe Takes Over McDonald County Cult Story, Thursday, August 24, 2006
McDonald County Cult Story Hits the Wires, Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Order of Protection Issued Against Minister Sought For Sex Crimes, Wednesday, August 23, 2006
More "Breaking News" From Neosho Daily, Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Globe, News-Leader Jump on McDonald County Cult Story, Wednesday, August 23, 2006
KODE Lands Interview with Member of Alleged McDonald County Cult, Monday, August 21, 2006
McDonald County Church Members Plead Not Guilty to Sex Charges, Monday, August 21, 2006
Neosho Daily Blows Away Globe in Coverage of Cult Sex Charges, Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Neosho Daily News
Church Sex Case Under Advisement; Judge to Review Legal Arguments, Definitions, Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Judge Takes Testimony Under Advisement, Monday, October 2, 2006
Judge Recuses Self in Johnston Case, Friday, September 29, 2006
Judge Reassigns Lambert Case, Friday, September 29, 2006
Johnston Bound Over, Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Protection Ordered in Johnston Case, Monday, September 18, 2006
Pastor Bound Over; Court Dates Set, Monday, September 18, 2006
Judge Orders ‘Rare' Full Discovery, Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Johnston Faces 17 Charges Total, Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Church Leaders' Camping Trip Cut Short, Sunday, September 3, 2006
Church Leaders Asked to Leave Campground, Friday, September 1, 2006
Johnston Turns Self In, Again, Friday, September 1, 2006
Church Leaders Leave Compound, Thursday, August 31, 2006
Johnston Faces More Charges, Thursday, August 31, 2006
Court Maintains Protective Order, Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Pastor Posts Bond, Not Talking to Authorities, Sunday, August 27, 2006
Sources Outline Possible Penalties, Sunday, August 27, 2006
FBI Mum on Inquiry, Saturday, August 26, 2006
10 More Kids Taken Out of Compound, Saturday, August 26, 2006
Johnston Turns Self in to Authorities, Friday, August 25, 2006
Newton County Pastor At-Large, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Authorities Take Seven More Children Into Protective Custody, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Granby Residents Surprised at News, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Authorities Searching for Newton County Pastor Charged With Felony Sodomy, Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Pastors, Deacons to Surrender, Thursday, August 17, 2006
Pastors, Deacons Charged, Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Joplin Globe
Fifth Church Member Charged, Thursday, October 5, 2006
Legal Issues Cloud Sexual-Abuse Case, Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Charges Amended in Alleged Sexual-Abuse Case, Friday, September 30, 2006
Pastor Ordered to Stand Trial at End of Hearing, Tuesday, September 19, 2006
9 More Charges Filed, Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Church Described as Family, Sunday, September 3, 2006
Sex Crimes (Opinion/Editorial), Friday September 1, 2006
Pastor Surrenders on Latest Molestation Charge, Friday, September 1, 2006
Rural Granby Pastor Faces New Charge, Thursday, August 31, 2006
Ex Parte Order Remains in Effect, Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Pastor Surrenders to Face 8 Felonies, Saturday, August 26, 2006
Children Pulled From Compound, Friday, August 25, 2006
Authorities Searching for Pastor, Thursday, August 24, 2006
Authorities, Neighbors Offer Murky Portrait of Defendants, Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Accused

Raymond Lambert, 51, Pastor Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, 589 Cecil Epling Lane, Washburn, MO. 65772, (McDonald County). charged with a Class A felony count of first degree child molestation, four Class D felony counts of second degree child molestation, and a Class C felony charge of second degree statutory sodomy. $50,000 bond. Charges against Raymond Lambert allege the incidents took place on May 31, 1995; July 4, 2000; March 5, 2001; April 3, 2002; and April 3, 2004.

Patty Lambert,(Mrs. Raymond Lambert) 49, 589 Cecil Epling Lane, Washburn, MO. 65772, (McDonald County). charged with a Class B felony charge of endangering the welfare of a child in a ritual or ceremony and a Class D felony count of second degree child molestation; $50,000 bond. Charges against Mrs. Lambert say the incidents she was allegedly involved in took place on April 3, 2004.

Tom Epling, 51, 584 Cecil Epling Way, Washburn, MO. 65772 (McDonald County). charged with five unclassified felony counts of first degree statutory sodomy; $50,000 bond. Charges alleged against Tom Epling allegedly took place on July 15 of 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Paul Epling, 53, 362 Cecil Epling Way, Washburn, MO. 65772 (McDonald County). charged with two unclassified felony charges of first degree statutory rape and five unclassified felony counts of first degree statutory sodomy; $50,000 bond. Charges against Paul Epling list the dates of occurrences as Nov. 7, 1978, and on July 15 of 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Laura Epling ,(Mrs. Tom Epling), 584 Cecil Epling Way, Washburn, MO. 67772 (McDonald County). Charged with statutory sodomy in connection with activities that alledgedly took place March 3, 2004. $10,000 bond.

George Otis Johnston, 63, 1939 Hebron Rd., Granby, MO. 64844 (Newton County). Pastor Grandview Valley Baptist Church North, charged with seventeen felony statutory sodomy counts, including fourteen unclassified first degree statutory sodomy charges; $100,000 bond. Charged with child molestation in the first degree, a Class A felony $50,000. (McDonald County)