Report about Hephzibah wrong, misguided
I want to respond to your recent articles regarding Hephzibah House . I am deeply saddened by these slanted reports and accusations. I have personally visited Hephzibah House in recent months and found nothing to indicate any irresponsibility on the part of the ministry or its staff.
To the contrary, I have been deeply impressed by the love, dedication, and self-sacrificing of those involved in this program. These reports are simply inconsistent with the facts about this worth- [ufjlogo] Letters[mc] while ministry. Not only have I viewed the program in operation, I have interviewed a young lady going through the program. I have seen and heard the girls laugh and enjoy themselves when they didn't know I was there. There were no indications, or reports, of complaints in any way.
The Hephzibah House was recommended to me by a family whose teen-age daughter was drastically, miraculously helped by the ministry.
After personally visiting myself, observing the girls, etc., I have recommended it to others and will continue to do so.
I am praying for Pastor Williams and the Hephzibah House . This kind of biased attacks and journalistic sensationalism could have a negative effect on a positive program.THOMAS SMITH
St. Clair, Mo.
Hephzibah is faultless ministry
I am writing in response to your recent article concerning the Hephzibah House ministry in Winona Lake.
For several years, I have been acquainted with this ministry and have served on the advisory board for a year.
I have found Brother Ron Williams and his staff to be honorable, devoted and compassionate workers, dedicated to helping troubled girls get their lives in perspective in both the spiritual and practical realms.
If this report had been less one-sided and biased, you would have been able to find dozens of girls who, after going through the Hephzibah program, would testify how thankful they are for the guidance and love they received there and how they were able to pull their lives together. They would also tell of experiencing spiritual growth as they surrendered their rebellion and gave way for God's will in their lives. I have personally heard many such testimonies.
The specific charges lodged against the ministry I will leave for Brother Williams and his attorney to answer. But having visited there more than once and observing discipline and the daily administration, I have found them blameless.
It is interesting to me that Sarah has expressed no desire to leave (according to the articles) and has not felt unduly ``punished'' or ``abused.''
I would encourage the citizens of your community to keep an open mind until all the evidence has been presented.PASTOR HOWARD MACE
Hephzibah doing important work
As a Baptist pastor and a friend of the Hephzibah House Ministries for over 10 years, I am concerned about the allegations that have been brought against Pastor Williams and the ministry.
Hephzibah House was established for the purpose of helping troubled young girls who are not able to control their lives in the society in which they live. The Hephzibah House ministry has only one purpose, and that is to salvage the lives of those young girls who come to the ministry.
I strongly protest this irresponsible journalism, which is biased against an organization that is desperately trying to help those who have sought its help. I feel that it is unfair to the American people to print half-truths and allegations that cast doubt on the conduct and purposes of such a self-sacrificing and much needed ministry.
Contact at Hephzibah always wholesome
The past 12 years have given me many opportunities to have contact with Dr. Ron Williams and the ministry of Hephzibah House .
It has been my pleasure to serve on his advisory board for these many years. --* It has been my pleasure to speak at the church and home a number of times for either a day or a week at a time.
It has been my pleasure to stop in when passing through the Winona Lake area. Dr. Williams has spoken in our church and visited in our home on numerous occasions too, both by invitation and unannounced.
There has never been any attitude or action on Dr. Williams' part that has made me question his moral integrity or personal character. He is a very kind and gracious man who is very concerned with the needs of teen-agers who are having serious problems - most often in their homes, schools or churches.
We have had a couple of girls from both our church ministries in the Hephzibah House program, and it has done a lot to help them learn how to turn their lives around. They wrote to me each week while in the program telling of their activities and lessons. They have talked to me after coming home from the program. There has never been any complaint about unusual treatment while they were students there.
The program at Hephzibah House is voluntary. The ministry is supported with private funds. Parents who do not want their child under the rules and regulations of the school can simply remove them.
It hurts me to see Dr. Williams, his family, and his staff suffer due to a few disgruntled students who rejected the help offered to them.REV. MARTIN L. MASITTO
All of these were sections from Journal Gazette, The (Fort Wayne, IN) - January 18, 1993