Testimony of Grant Caseby,
August, 1988, Glen Valley Convention.
This event took place out at Glenvalley Convention grounds on Sunday the 14th. August 1988, and it concerns the despicable treatment of one Grant
Caseby and his wife Ann at the hands of those calling themselves the only true followers of Christ Jesus. They have no name but call eachother “THE
I (Grant Caseby) had been refused baptism twice in the five years I worshipped with these people, and what I tell you here now is what happened on my third attempt at being received by those so called only true followers of Christ.
It was not unnatural that I was excited, elated and curious at what I was about to undertake and naturally I thought I would ask some questions from the workers to help me understand more clearly about this very important step in my life. I was not in least prepared for what happened, and what you are about to read was written on the day that it all took place so if my phrasing should look a little bit funny, it was because I was so very upset that Paul Sharp, Ernest Nelson and some other workers should have treated my baptism, A very Holy event, with such utter contempt.
These are the names of the people involved
Paul Sharp............... (Overse'er)
Jim Knipe..................(Baptiser Worker)
The rest of this story is in the form of numbered questions and statements because that is the way I wrote them down when I got back home from Glenvalley on that unforgetable day in August 88.
(1) Why is asking questions about meeting with other baptismal candidates for prayer before baptism such an offending thing?
(2) The only reason I was given by workers Noreen Kleven and Sandra Perry was that they did not do things that way.
(3) Why did Paul Sharp and Ernest Nelson show NO compassion as Jesus whom they claim to follow, teaches?
(4) Why! after all arrangements for me to be baptised had been made, did Paul Sharp at the river side refuse me?
(5) My wife Ann and I cried our eyes out in front of Paul Sharp and Ernest Nelson. I even asked if I went down on my knees before GOD and them, would they consider baptising me, but they both answered NO, saying that I was not ready yet. I had only been waiting for 5 years, so you can see how ridiculous and unfounded such a statement was.
(6) Why! did Paul Sharp say that I could have been baptised if I would have apologized to worker Jim Knipe who was doing the baptizing (I never even spoke to the man) yet to please Paul Sharp I agreed to do this, then Sharp said that he could not disturb Jim Knipe at his work.
(7) I asked Paul Sharp in front of Ernest Nelson if he could tell me what it was I was supposed to have said to this man Jim Knipe to whom I had not spoken Sharp replied, “I don’t recall that you even spoke to him, so you really had nothing to apologize for.” Why all the lies and confusion? There just seems to be no logic in such behaviour.
(8) Paul Sharp said to Ernest Nelson in front of my wife and I that nothing like this would have ever happened if he could have talked with me first. So I reminded him that he and Jim Knipe and three other male workers Had spoken to me after the Saturday evening service, and I had invited them all to come and meet my wife Ann who was standing just a few feet away, but instead, as one man Paul Sharp herded them all away in a direction away from her refusing to see or speak to her. She was hurt very deeply.
(9) Paul Sharp later said that if he could have had a talk with Gordon Leversage (the elder whoes home I worshipped in) That something could maybe be arranged. I reminded him in the presence of Ernest Nelson that Gordon Leversage HAD spoken to him by the riverside and his (Sharps) heart remained hardened and that Gordon repeating the same things to him would not change his mind as he refused to believe what
Gordon Leversage had already told him. Gordon just could not believe, like my wife and I, that this was really happening. It was just as if Paul Sharp was acting as though he was something or someone greater than any of us.
(10) Then came this surprise, Paul Sharp then said in the presence of Ernest Nelson, my wife and myself that he was sorry that he had gone off the way he did making up stories and saying things that were not exactly true. He said that he would shoulder all the blame but Ernest Nelson would have to make the final decision about my baptism, “not himself.” My wife, a nurse, could see that Ernest Nelson was not a well man, and it was not hard to see that Paul Sharp was feeding words to him that he passed on to us. It was a devious maneuver that only Sharp is able to explain.
(11) Earlier Paul Sharp had said that he was going to bring Jim Knipe (who was baptizing that day, and whom I was supposed to have insulted) over to Ernest Nelsons place so that I could apologize to him. Just keep in mind Sharp had already told me I had nothing to apologize for (see item #7). I asked why Jim Knipe was not putting in an appearance as promised and Paul Sharp said that he could not be found on the grounds yet the same Paul Sharp issued orders that afternoon that NO ONE had to leave the grounds. One has to ask oneself, why the queer happenings and devious words? Jim Knipe was a worker, and with the evening service just about to start he could have been found very easily.
(12) I asked Sharp why he did not send for Noreen Kleven, Sandra Perry and Alayne Collins the latter was the one who got Paul Sharp to come and talk to me at the riverside. His reply was because it would not help. “How did he know that?” is he also some sort of psychic that he can see into the future? Even Gordon Leversages pleading could not move this hard man.
(13) Although both my wife and I were in tears Sharp and Nelson got up from armchairs with silly smirks on their faces saying that they did not want to talk about my baptism anymore. They started talking about food showing what was more important to them than the business on hand. Neither Sharp nor Nelson ever tried to see my wife or I again nor has any of the workers and we are now into 1990. When we went into the afternoon meeting after this baptismal farce, it was our side of the halls turn to get the microphone, only Sharp had them anounce they only wanted young people to talk. We know that this also surprised others who wanted to say something, but it was really done to prevent either my wife or myself from saying anything about took place by the river earlier that day.
It was a cheap thing to do and a cowardly move for a man like Paul Sharp who had made such a big show in front of Ernest Nelson by confessing that the whole sordid affair was his fault and he would shoulder the entire blame. You the people realize by now that he did not want what he had done spoken about for fear that it would soil the image that you all have of him being such a nice kind man. Well, look again, and look very very closely. You might just be the next one to taste the OTHER side of his and other workers kindnesses
(14) When Nelson and Sharp went to the dining room to eat, my wife and I went into the convention hall to pick up our jackets and Bibles. While Ann took them to the car I went to wash my hands, and on my way back I met Noreen Kleven who spoke to me kindly at first, then she got very obnoxious and accused my wife Ann of being the person who supposedly deliberately put ME up to causing all the trouble we had just been through. With venom in her voice she said “Your wife has been coming to meetings for three years now and has shown no signs of professing.” She was wrong of course. Other workers also spoke to us in a nasty way, but we had seen Noreen Kleven talking to them and they were all looking in our direction, so we expect that she put them up to it. Strange it was to see how they seemed to enjoy playing the roll of “persecutors” just as both Paul Sharp and Ernest Nelson did. One has to wonder if this sect teaches such things. I may add that after we had been treated so despicably we were then ignored by all workers and overseers.
(15) When I joined the “Friends” in 1983 I had been treated so badly in a church I had been a member of for about 20 years. I was told that I would never be treated that way by any of the “Friends” which made me very happy, and I worshipped for five years content and happy untill what my wife Ann and I had to endure and go through unnesessery at the unsaintly hands, whims and cruel tongues of some people calling themselves God’s only true messengers. What a ridiculous display Paul Sharp, Ernest Nelson, Jim Knipe (he went along with the farce) Sandra Perry, Noreen Kleven (such venomus language and hatered from a worker) Alayne Collins (she caused all the trouble for my wife and I by calling Paul Sharp in the first place. Yes! I was told correctly when I was told I would never be treated like that church I went to before. We have been treated a lot worse. One would expect another Cult like satan worshipers to carry on like those names mentioned above, but not people of “The so called only true way.” who claim to be outstanding shining examples above ALL other Christian Churches. People who claim that they would rather help than hurt or hinder. I do not hold responsible any of the “Friends” that we studied
Bible with or worshipped with, they are lovely people and we hope to remain friends with them if they want us to, but we cannot worship with them anymore because we have not been accepted by the whole body, and I have been refused baptism.
(16) When I asked Paul Sharp and Ernest Nelson what did they think our Lord Jesus Christ would have done about forgiving me and baptising me, he laughed and with a smirk and a haughty voice he said “THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION.” and Ernest Nelson remained dumb saying nothing. I would not call Sharps answer anything but sheer sacrilege, mocking our Lord rather than feel he was giving in to say the right thing. Ernest Nelson should, like Sharp have that rather dirty days work heavy on their conscience, unless in their egotism they think that they are above doing wrong because the workers and friends put them on a pedestal anyway, a pedestal I may say is reserved alone for “The King Of Kings.” I feel, you “Friends”, if not your leaders know that there is only ONE “King of Kings?” And His name is Jesus Christ in spite of what your leaders or workers tell you.
(17) Down by the riverside Paul Sharp had filled me with so much humiliation that I could have just died. Sharps uncompassionate Nature astounded my wife and I, and no doubt Gordon Leversage who was right on the scene through it all, he had come early in the morning to see my baptism and it’s refusal by Sharp it has just deverstated me to the point that life holds nothing for me, and I am in such a state of tension and depression I feel that I may have to go back into hospital. What has taken my doctors many long years to correct, Paul Sharp, Ernest Nelson Noreen Kleven, Alayne Collins and several other workers have managed in a few hours to undo. The cruel part is the way that we were left totally alone in our grief and shunned by all who took part in causing us such great pain and unbearable misery.
(18) Nobody but Gordon and Irene Leversage have tried to console us in our grief, mine worse than Anns because of the terrible uncontrolable tension generated within me which just felt the same as if one had been told of the death of a loved one. my inside was feeling as if it were all twisted up and tied in knots. No one responsable for our condition has even phoned to apologize for this awfull ordeal they have put us through in the name of their so called Only true way. can anyone blame us for feeling a little bitter about the whole sordid matter? Gordon Leversage is one of the finest examples of a christian that I have ever met, and he has been the truest friend I have ever had. This also includes his wife Irene as well. Both came to me in my greatest need and not one thing was too much for
them to do. They followed the way of Christ which is more than we can say for those who have so cruelly deverstated our lives by their hard unyielding hearts and unbridled tongues of uncalled ridicule which in itself unless stopped, can only drive lesser Christians than ourselves away from the truth and that would be really devastating to say the least, but for our part, knowing that WE follow the only true way, we can say in Christs own words that we forgive them because they know not what they do.
(19) My wife Ann and I do not want to continue in this way anymore. What has happened and been said to us proves conclusively that such people are not following the scriptures as they profess to according to what Matthew 10 says or 1st. Timothy 2:9 and 1st. Peter 3. concerning hair, gold and clothing only to mention a few. To follow the word to the letter absolutely allows NO deviation. To err from only one thing, is to deviate from the true meaning of what the Bible says, so in that respect many people who are baptised are living a lie, And it can be seen at every meeting, Bible study and convention, and nothing is said about it by your leaders like Sharp and Nelson. When I see how lightly God’s word is taken by the “Friends” I shudder to think of how foolish I was to waste five years of my life preparing to be inducted into the Sect. On the Saturday before I was to be baptised I felt God’s spirit working in me telling me that although I would get down to the riverside the next morning I would not be baptised into this Sect. I told my wife and Gordon leversage about this revelation. Sharp or Nelson nor any of the workers knew anything about this. No one needs to make excuses or try to cover up for those who have cruelly and wilfully insulted and humiliated my wife Ann and myself. All who took part claimed that they were all in their right mind, so each one was in full control of the knowledge of what they were doing, and saying to us.
(20) I was not even allowed to travel to the river in the same vehicle as my wife Ann, I was told that I would go in a van and would be the first to be baptised, then immediately taken back by myself to have a hot shower to prevent me from catching a strep throat which I am prone to. As I left in the van from the convention grounds, I was sitting beside Alayne Collins (who was the cause of this whole sordid afair getting under way) there was just one seat left beside me, who was already in a state of nervous tension, and of all the people to have sit beside me the driver called this very highly nervous girl called Linda to come and sit beside me and invited her to come and see the baptisms. Well she made me more nervous by the questions she asked and the incessant non stop chatter which was making me feel sick. I turned to Alayne (a worker) and told her what this was doing to me. She said have you anything on
Your mind Grant? I told her that I was wondering about the baptismal procedure at the river, and she told me in that so mysterious voice all workers seem to use. Just wait and see and I would find out in good time. I said “You know Alayne, that is all that I have been hearing from workers and overse’ers for over two days. I know that others to be baptised had long talks with all of you because I saw them with you. Why have I been denied the same privilege. I have never met the other candidates nor spoken to them which seems so very strange to me.” what do what do you think about that Alayne? do you think it would be in line with your teaching to comment on that? Unfortunately it must not have been in line because just then the van reached the river and she was out like a shot and came back a short time later with Paul Sharp who asked me in front of witnesses in a rough and angry voice what was wrong. I explained my talk with Alayne. He said angerly, “This is no time to be asking questions”. (it would seem to me that NO time was a time for questions in any of their eyes.) Then came the shock when Sharp said to me “I think you better go to the back of thr crowed and stay there. You are not ready for baptism”. (I’d only waited five long years) He then accused me of insulting Jim Knipe the worker who was baptising that Sunday 14th August 1988, and if I could not be in harmony with all the people at this convention he could not let me go through with it. I wonder what scripture he got that ruleing from!! As I have already explained, I never had a chance to get near Jim Knipe far less speak to or insult him, but when I tried to tell this to Paul Sharp he just remained silent and walked away from me and left me standing alone, hurt and lost by that river bank. When my wife Ann and our very good friend Gordon Leversage saw this performance by Sharp they came and asked me what was wrong, and I told them that Sharp had said that I was not ready for baptism. I told them that he insisted that I apologise to Jim Knipe and when I asked what I had said to him Sharp laughed and said ”I dont recall that you even spoke to him so you don’t have to apologise for anything.” I truly feel that this so called upstanding leader called Paul Sharp was in a state of nervous tension himself and was so up tight and in a confused state of mind taking his cruel frustration whether it was temporary or otherwise, out on me, Just as Noreen Kleven took it out on me when she blamed my wife Ann to putting me up to causing all the trouble deliberately. And we don’t think highly (maybe that’s what we are all supposed to do?) of Poor sick old Ernest Nelson being like a puppet on a string to back up all that is put in his mouth by Paul Sharp who in the end in front of my wife and I, and poor tired old Ernest Nelson That he would take the full blame for all that had transpired on his very own shoulders. That was really big of him, considering he he was to blame in any case. A move just to try and impress poor weak tired Ernest Nelson. We wonder if he will be able to impress the “King of Kings” so easy as that?
(21) The lies deceit and hurt that Sharp and others have done to Ann and I will never be understood by us as there was no ryme nor Christian reason to them other than wholesome pleasure it must have given each participant. It just boils down to this. Paul Sharp and Ernest Nelson are Just men. They are not “God’s as no doubt many of you think they are. The way that they teach and follow is Wrong as you must see from the way my wife and I have been treated. You can all so easily turn blind eyes and ears to what some of you have read and no doubt seen on that day. Noreen Kleven, Sandra Perry, Alayne Collins, Jim Knipe and so many others must find it hard to sleep at night knowing just what they have done to our lives and goodness knows how many other lives that they have ruined in their scriptual ignorance. Some workers just trying to be kind to me said that many people had got down to the waters of baptism and never got baptised. but Paul Sharp told me that I was the first one he had ever know that this had happened too.
Who do we Believe??
(22) Dates 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Etc., August 1988
None of those who caused this hurt to my wife Ann and myself have ever bothered phone, write, call or comfort us nor to explain why it all had to happen to two very nice people like ourselves.
(23) The year is now 1990 and there has been no contact with us by any of the people who treated us in this deplorable way. we do hope that they can all live with their conscience. Ann and I Just hope all of yoy who read this will ask yourselves in an honest way. Do “I” want to be part of a religious affiliation
Who hurts people this way. You could try and change it or you could just be one who sits back on the outside looking in, and do nothing. Which kind of person are you????
Your friends in Christ,
Grant and Ann Caseby.
« Back to index