Newspaper ArticleTales of Church Spankings
By Jim Nicholson And Barbara Ormsby
The News Journal 1979
The Rev. Dr. Frederick A. Drummond has frequently told members of his First Baptist Church of ConcordviIle that there are only three ways to leave the church: "Be sent out, be kicked out, or be carried out."
But Dec. 20, about 100 dissident members of the mysterious church did leave of their own accord, charging Drummond with moral misconduct.
It was the first time that members of the 400-member Delaware County congregation had gone public about the doings of the church in the former Dante Orphanage, Baltimore Pike and Thornton Rd. in Concord Township.
Their story was one of "spankings" with a fiberglass rod for rule infractions and a minister who lived extravagantly while church members were required to donate from 33 to 60 percent of their incomes.
Two dissident ministers said Drummond advised husbands to beat their wives if the wives wanted to stray from the church.
THE REV. RON PATTERSON, an associate of Drummond's for six years, said Drummond had ordered him to beat students at the church's college who did not obey the rules. (There are 45 college students boarding there, with about 50 children attending the day school.)
"I had to spank some-of the college students myself and I knew if I didn't do it, I would have been asked to leave. But I couldn't do it anymore. I stopped after two weeks," said Patterson, who two weeks ago left Pennsylvania for Oklahoma.
A former teacher at the college, who asked that his name not be used, confirmed that both men and women had been "spanked" with a quarter- or half-inch fiberglass rod.
Patterson said he left with the others because "I was at the point that I had all I could take from Dr. Drummond:
His brutality, his lack of accountability, and his luxurious living. While some of us were living almost like paupers, he was buying anything he wanted."
ABOUT 30-50 families followed Drummond to Delaware County from Springfield, Mo. over two years ago. , The group bought the Dante Orphanage for $495,000. It is believed the families sold their homes and donated their revenues to the church. Two former ministers, who asked that their names not be used, said that - while Drummond used to drive an old car and wear "garage-sale clothes" - now the South Africa native has the use of luxury automobiles, a four-seater aircraft and a 75-foot yacht all bought by the church.
A classical and organ music afficionado, Drummond recently planned to buy a $200,000 pipe organ, the two ministers claimed. He had the church build him a greenhouse, in which to pursue his interest' in gardening and orchids.
"He told people to get rid of their television sets because of the evils and violence shown," said one of the ministers. "But he has a television set on his yacht anchored in Maryland. He tells people to sacrifice, but you can see him outside barbecuing Porterhouse steaks on his grill."
DRUMMOND HAS REFUSED to meet with reporters or to answer their questions. According to the dissident ministers, Drummond altered the church constitution shortly after arriving here from Missouri in 1976. They said he changed the document so the pastor would not have to seek the congregation's approval for expenditures and changed the wording to say the pastor could not be dismissed by the congregation.
Former congregation members said they have never been given a financial accounting of the church's income or expenditures. "And Dr. Drummond tells members that if they leave his church they fall into the hands of Satan," said a former associate.
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