BETTY'S OBSERVATIONS THROUGH THE YEARS
Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Click here to read Betty's Poem - "Third Army"
My name is Betty
Edmondson, and I am the older sister of Wanda Mason and Sharon Netzer (and last but not
Fogleman. (Our maiden name was
Youngblood.) This is my first time to utter a word on this website, but I feel
something stirring in me today as I read about the negative experiences of some
of the correspondents.
Of all the sin and darkness that is going on in the world today, I wonder why any church would want to contribute to that evil. As an adult, I have not been a part of the William Sowders/ Billy Pennoch/ Tom Jolly/ Lloyd Goodwin group, but, through the years I have been an intimate observer of how my family has suffered because of the doctrines of these men.
I have heard that any lie is believable as long as there is a mixture of truth in it. Even when Jesus was going through the temptation in the wilderness, the tempter came at him constantly with the scriptures. People shake their heads and say, "How can anybody preach so much truth from the Bible and still be so bad?"
I have also heard someone say, "If you can show me something better, a better church, I'll let go of this one."
We have come to a pretty good knowledge of the kind of persons that are in danger of being "cult"-ivated. They are children at heart, innocents who are seekers of truth. They are hungry to be a part of God's "move." They find strength in numbers. They find the "father" to instruct them, the brother to uphold them.
Mercenary preachers are anointed with the spirit of a platypus. The platypus has built in sonar that he uses to sense his prey and zone in on them. (Wanda Mason had a dream about this one night and we researched the platypus.)
When I was about ten years old, my family was attending meetings in Missouri that were part of the Sowders ministry. There was a doctrine being preached about abstaining from the flesh. This was the way a saint was to "overcome" the flesh, to abstain from any sexual intercourse with his wife. Men were struggling to do this. I did not understand the teaching, but I watched my parents go through torture trying to "overcome" the flesh. Many of the men in the church were turning from their wives, and turning toward other men's wives or the young girls of the church. It was a tremendous lever to break up marriages and homes.
I was a witness when my sister, Sharon, came back from Lloyd Goodwin's church in Des Moines in a severe state of emotional trauma and close to a nervous breakdown. She lost a lot of weight, could not eat or sleep. She was the ultimate victor in this battle, but it cost her the trust she had in preachers and religious leadership.
I visited a church with my sister, Wanda, in Oklahoma City once, where Lloyd Goodwin was preaching. I don't remember what he said, but I do remember several people getting up in the congregation and giving testimony to this man's greatness. I was appalled that no glory was given to Jesus Christ, but to Lloyd Goodwin. I visited the first Gospel Assembly church in Des Moines later, where I watched this man control every move that was made in that church, even the crescendo of the music. He orchestrated the music to set the emotional mood of the people. I stood by and watched as Wanda and Robert Mason tried to redeem a life for themselves and their children after the years of abuse under the hypnotic spell of the Goodwin ministry, and I can tell you, there has been a lot of suffering.
I have wondered how on earth they could still be kind to the people who hurt them. How could they still have a sweet spirit in the face of the lies and adultery and robbery that happened? I know that they were trusting God for their salvation, even under all the pressure that was placed upon them. Wanda never stopped studying the Bible for herself. She never stopped praying for the truth.
Wanda came to my house for a retreat in the early 90's and stayed nine days or so. We spent that time praying and studying the scriptures. She was in such a state when she first arrived that she was actually terrified to question anything Goodwin taught, because he prophesied death and destruction to those who stood against him. I watched God deliver Wanda from this fear and from this false prophet, and turn her attention to healing and freedom.
I say to anyone who has been hurt, emotionally and/or physically, there IS a PHYSICIAN. There IS a COMFORTOR. Do not allow this tempter to rob you or your faith in God and in His Christ. Let your light shine in darkness. Do not defend evil or cover it up where it can hurt others. There is a saying, "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid." Step out and shine your candle into those dark hiding places so that there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. You are not alone, and you are not defenseless. God will uphold you with the power of his might.
God bless you, now and forever,
Through the years-left to right, Patricia, Wanda, Sharon & Betty in 1981(middle in 1951) and 2006