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.
He wanted me around him as much as possible, wanted me to be with him as much as he could get me.
I started meeting with him in his office in the morning, every morning.
My father was so deep into Gothard’s teachings, and he preached them so much, that his church board had issues with it. He blamed this on the board not being willing to grow. My parents portrayed me to Bill as a sexual, rebellious teen who needed help—but I had only kissed a boy. Bill told them he would give me intensive counseling. I was a temptation to men; Bill Gothard told me that I had tempted my own father.
In the world I grew up in, the pastor and his family always had to be perfect.Bill arranged my flight back to O’Hare so we could ride back to Headquarters in the car together.That’s when he first put his hand between my legs and felt me all the way up. My brother started hearing things and asked me about it. Bill had sworn me to silence with both guilt and fear.It all came to a head one night when I told one of my housemates about the long hugs Bill gave me.She got very upset and told me that I was lying, that Bill would never touch a woman.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.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.I have been told I am alive because of Bill Gothard.My parents became involved in the seminars in the early 1970s, and at that time they were done with having kids.