Unto the Least of These…..Part One

Mack Ford Shoots when sex abuse mentioned

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Mechille Searles is the last known New Bethany Survivor to leave us – and she did so far too soon.  

As a small group of New Bethany survivors went to lay a wreath outside New Bethany’s gate in remembrance of Mechille (and others who passed away too soon), Maxine Ford, Mack and Thelma Ford’s daughter, came out to the gate. They had police-type dogs and proceeded to verbally harass these brave, grieving survivors.  Maxine, apparently in such a hurry to join this “defense team”, even forgot to put on a bra.  We can only imagine they were not at all pleased with this display of compassion and intended to make sure these ladies didn’t get the opportunity to talk too much about the abuse they all suffered at New Bethany.

As if the verbal assault and presence of the “guard dogs” wasn’t enough, Mack Ford landed an exclamation  point on his position by firing three shots.  In the video linked below, you can listen for the shots right after the subject of “sexual abuse” is mentioned.  It would appear Mack Ford was neither amused nor grieved at what was being said by the survivors.


Chuckles spoke on the phone with Simone Jones shortly after Ms. Jones returned home after her trip to Arcadia, Louisiana. Ms. Jones related that the plans were to remember their friend in a dignified way and then leave.  Their intent was never to rant or protest.  None of these ladies where trying to be hero’s nor do any of them wish to be called a hero. They merely felt that Mechille Searles (and others) deserved to be recognized for what they endured and what that lead to in their lives.

This is one of the hardest posts we have tried to write.  It has been written, tweaked, deleted completely, re-written – all over and over.  Mere words just cannot express or explain the horrors that surround Michelle’s story and those of so many like her.  We have received 1000’s of pages of legal documents regarding New Bethany and Mack Ford, including legal depositions from Mack and Thelma Ford.  Affidavit after affidavit given by former New Bethany residents tell of physical and sexual abuse while at that horrible place.  Frankly, I’m growing sick of people talking about  Jerry Sandusky when Mack Ford still sits in his compound.

This is a big case.  Mack Ford admitted (in his own deposition) that he got the “burden” to start the girls home while on a mission furlough from Australia.  His account tells how he met two “blonde-headed” 12 year-old little girls who were “pregnant by their own daddy.”  He tells of how he got the “burden” to help little girls like these who were in deep trouble.  Missing from the record is Ford saying when/how he or the pastor he worked with at the beginning ever reported their “daddy” to the authorities. Ford’s own words still make my blood run cold.  He saw a huge issue, true, but rather than move to protect the girls, he launched his own “empire” working outside the laws designed to protect and punish in these cases.  Do girls in that situation need spiritual guidance?  Absolutely!  But “daddies” like that need to punished to the fullest extent of the law.  

Mack Ford’s deposition goes downhill from that point (if you can believe it).  When he isn’t claiming “selective amnesia” it just heartbreaking to realize what Mack Ford has done and never been punished for.  Reading through all the legal documents, we cannot for the life of us understand why Mack Ford isn’t rotting in prison?  And it brings up other questions still unanswered:


  • Bienville County Sheriff Department what’s the deal?
  • Bienville County District Attorney WHY didn’t you prosecute?
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation why didn’t you follow-up when it was reported that Mack Ford raped girls across state lines?

Mack Ford is far more prolific than Jerry Sandusky.
Numerous newspaper reports from Louisiana and Waterboro, South Carolina tell of Ford-owned New Bethany homes.  Olin King ran the one in Waterboro, SC.  King was arrested and convicted of crimes against children.   

And Ford’s “legacy” spread …
After Olin King’s arrest for beating boys, locking a 9 year old boy in a dark cell wearing only underwear, providing only a dirty blanket for “warmth,” treating them like dogs (Literally forming a chain gang by using dog leashes snapped through the boys belt loops) at the New Bethany boys home of Waterboro SC Olin King moved to North Carolina where King opened Second Chance Ranch.  Olin King’s son, Doug King married one of his bosses daughters. Penny (Ford) King sent a series of unsolicited emails to a New Bethany survivor who didn’t even make the memorial trip to New Bethany.  Penny’s messages, among other things, dammed the recipient to hell.

The attorney of record for King and New Bethany was at the time Bob Jones University board member.  Which brings up an interesting (if not completely maddening side question) …
Why does Bob Jones University’s name keep popping up on the wrong side of these cases?

At the Memorial the survivors planned to remember all the survivors of New Bethany that have passed away:

  • Doug Gilmore (Note that Mack Ford claimed he had adopted Doug in his deposition.  Doug Gilmore wasn’t legally adopted by Mack and Thelma, making Ford’s claim perjury.   Doug Gilmore was found dead days before the Mother Jones article was released)
  • Angela Williams
  • Theresa Trahan
  • Joann Coltrain
  • Michael (Guy) Richardson
  • Mechille Evans Searles             

Mechille Evans Searles Memorial Wreath


19 thoughts on “Unto the Least of These…..Part One

  1. Hugs to all you dear ladies hurt by this horrible man. I hope one day he will be in prison where he should be.

  2. I HATE (and I don’t like using that word but it is deserving in this case) that man for the years and years and years of torture he put my wife through. Even 20 years later he and everything about NB haunted Mechille until her death last month. Today I celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, even though she isn’t here in person with me, she is in spirit.

    Thank you to everyone for what they have done and keeping her in your thoughts, she will never be forgotten.

    • Mechlle’s goal centered around exposing Mack Ford and obtaining a conviction. The survivors want truth exposed and Mack Ford punished; instead we have found numerous churches continuing to give Mack Ford financial assistance!

      Her greatest fear was that he would die before justice was served on Mack Ford and his complicit wife, Thelma..Because Mechille was raw and open of the atrocities committed against her, more girls/women are finding their voice.

      The guilt and shame belongs to the abusers and to those who knew and did nothing to help the children of New Bethany. She was an amazing woman and considerably stronger than she knew.

    • David,
      I love her, I always have, and I always will
      I sit here with tears streaming down my cheeks, wishing that I could have had just one more telephone conversation with her, just one more.
      She is my sister, and for that I am thankful. She has given me unconditional love, true friendship, good advice, happy thoughts, and so much more.
      David, You married a precious gem. A woman who was so incredibly strong, but had no idea what her strength was…
      Love her.
      Remember her.
      Respect her.
      Miss her.
      And please, dont forget that she has a whole slew of sisters that love and cherish her, just like you do.

      I am here if you need me….Always.

    • I hate that all of this happened. It breaks my heart. I was raised IFB all my life, I’ve never been physically or sexually abused, but I have suffered and struggled emotionally and spiritually because of the weird teachings, guilt, manipulation, and fear pounded into me for so many years.
      I have just recently (past few years) had my eyes opened to the truth. I have realized the people, preachers, leaders in churches, and once close friends whom I trusted and looked up to for so many years have not been honest with me. They have covered up, lied, cheated, and caused more misery than they even know.
      I am driven, and on the hunt to find the truth. I am piecing this puzzle together. My goal is to help people who have been mistreated by the IFB. To help open people’s eyes to the underlying deception going on. And to hopefully save children from being scared, having their identities taken away from them, and hurt in the name of God.
      I’ve been on the inside. I know how they think. I want to protect my family members and their children, and show them real, true unconditional love.
      I want justice to be served. I am ready and willing to fight for the wounded.
      What can I do to help?
      I cannot put my name on here right now, because I am well known by the Ford family, and I don’t need that stink pile stirred at the moment. What makes me so mad is that no one has ever said a word about any of this. Does all of his children know what went on? Are they in denial? Can you guys tell me what role their children played in this? Did they help their parents hide this?
      I felt like I should’ve had the right to know. Instead, I had to find all of this out for myself through Mr. Google.
      I’ve sat under the preaching of many respected men, who turned out to be abusers. It makes me wonder, how many have I been in close contact with who is a sicko, and it just hasn’t come out yet? Or better yet, how many sickos have been protected by their families, and churches when the police should have handled it? What can I do? If I was in the FBI I’d be busting this thing wide open all over the county. But I’m not. I’m just a nobody, with a tender heart, ready to stand up and fight for those who cannot. So how? There’s strength in numbers. There’s got to be something we can do. No pedofile should be allowed to be free and unpunished.

      On another note, David, I am so sorry for your loss. Your wife seemed like a beautiful person inside and out. I wish I had had the opportunity to know her. Her strength truly inspires me!

      • If you want to help us, write to the District Attorney (Criminal Division) in Shreveport, LA..

  3. The reason Bob Jones University’s name keeps popping up is because for YEARS Bob Jones University connected churches have used Roloff homes and similar homes to “reform” children in their own churches that rebelled against the program in their Church/Christian school. The University/Christian School/Church/”Troubled Teen” Home system provides a complete system of indoctrination/brainwashing/thought control. I was subjected to this system from about 4 years old in a church run daycare, through Christian School, was sent to Anchor Home for Boys in 1985, and attended Bob Jones University from 1989-1991. Not a day goes by that I don’t remember the psychological and physical abuse I received from these people. Why won’t our government protect children from thought control and physical abuse? WHY?

  4. What I find excessively disturbing is the firing of three gunshots in the middle of the video. That place looks like a guarded prison compound strangely reminiscent of Auschwitz. And a “church” where services and Sunday school is held within that fence? What do they teach in a place like that? Where people behave like that? Are they calling themselves Christians? Gunshots–on the same premises where the “gospel” is preached? What sort of “god” do these people worship? What sort of “religion” has such an admixture of anger, hatred, and abuse of its followers? Discharging a weapon on the premises of a religious ministry?? What kind of warped people are they? This is just some really scary crap. Are such people even sane?

  5. Shooting a gun to threaten and intimidate people who are not trespassing or committing any crime on New Bethany land, is illegal.

    Why did the police come out and do nothing but talk to and placate the women who brought wreaths and silly string to a gunfight?

    Using a nonprofit organization to provide food, clothing, and help for himself is not legal. The owner of a nonprofit cannot make an executive decision to change from nonprofit status to enable Ford to use the buildings and property for whatever he so desires.

    It seems no one will hold Ford accountable for the physical and sexual torture that went on inside the 10 foot fence, we’ve learned CA, TX, and LA (at the least) sent children to New Bethany, and more frequently occurred while travelling to other states, outside Louisiana.

  6. Jeepers, as far as we know, there are no church services held at that God-forsaken place, yet last time we checked, Ford still retains his tax exempt status for his “ministry”. Soooooo, let’s see. No taxes for 30+ yrs, a fortune in tuition for thousands of kids from duped parents and the states who placed foster kids there, and tax free income coming in from supporting churches right now.

  7. Pingback: Unto The Least of These….Part II « chucklestravels

  8. Someday, when Mack and Thelma Ford stand before God , Justice will be served for all these abused survivors and the survivors will be held in the arms of Jesus.

  9. this is steven talley i was at new bethany in longstreet louisiana in 1981 to1982 i watched a boy named guy get beat and could do nothing to help him,,,we had a child molester staff member at the boys home that made me and another boy do things to each other so he could get his thrills,,i have since talked to other boys since then but never told them what happened i need someone to talk to i am so embarresed of what happened to me

    • Hi Steven, my name is Rhonda I was at NB the same time as you were. There are many groups on facebook, as well as many who loved and remembered Guy. Survivors have gotten together from many years of Ne Bethany we are speaking out about the evil things that happened to us, and w are being heard. We are all here for you, we will listen we will believe. We understand. Here are some links to some facebook groups where you will find survivors.
      New Bethany Christian Day School
      New Bethany No Longer Silent
      There are many more, I now you have been on my Survivors of New Bethany Facebook page, there are links in there to many of the groups as well.
      I am going to ty and send you a friend request, Please know that we are here, we care and we want to help. No one should ever to have gone through the horrible things we all did, while in the care of New Bethany Homes For Children.

  10. Pingback: New Bethany Survivor in Desperate Need. « chucklestravels

  11. I am a New Bethany (Acadia, LA), survivor and have only recently begun to deal with the effects of the abuse there. What struck me as very odd was that 4 1/2 years after getting away from that evil, I met and married my 1st husband. He was graduating from Bob Jones University. Yet we didn’t meet in church or even because we lived near one another. We met in Missouri….I suppose there are cases of odd coincidences but he was a very sick and abusive man…..and I was only 17.


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