The following presents a probable scenario showing motive, "players," and methods used in the arson against Christ's Church In Action and the subsequent cover up and the roles of Mayor John Robert Smith, his administration, pastors in Meridian, Mississippi, people with the "KKK mentality," the police department, and others.


Herein contains an overview of the situation regarding the arson committed against Christ’s Church In Action (CCIA) in Meridian, Mississippi and the ensuing cover-up/lack of investigation. In this I am presenting what my analysis of the facts shows me to be the most probable scenario. I have attempted to piece together a picture for the reader which brings together all of the different elements and groups of people who were involved and the motives for their collusion in hurting this church and its preacher. CCIA and its pastor are victims who have been deprived of their rights under color of law and have been denied equal protection under the law; they are victims of religious persecution. 

This document has been written after a careful analysis of the material contained in the Attachment to the Complaint against Meridian Police Detective Andrew Havard, the Meridian Police Department Incident Reports referred to in the complaint, the transcript (and audio) of the CD recording with the voices of Ken Storms and Lucinda Johnson, a document prepared by a now sitting U.S. Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse (which he had prepared for a governor), interviews with Pastor Wade Demers and his wife Patricia Demers, interviews with other victims, interviews with members of the Meridian community and others with pertinent knowledge, and other numerous pieces of documented evidence and recorded materials which are pertinent to this case. In addition to reading my analysis, it would be highly advisable for the reader to read thoroughly the Attachment to the Complaint against Detective Havard[1], to familiarize the reader with many of the facts surrounding the arson, the lack of investigation and what appears to be bizarre conduct on the part of Detective Havard and others in the handling of this case. 

It is my hope that this analysis will be able to answer the questions that form in people’s minds regarding this arson and the way it was handled. The questions are usually of this nature: 

1)      WHY did these church people (New Beginnings Church) and their pastor, Adelia Spencer, assault/threaten Pastor Demers and CCIA members over the years prior to the arson?

2)      WHY, as alleged by CCIA, would this pastor, Adelia Spencer, order the “torching” of Christ’s Church In Action’s building at 518 41st Avenue?

3)      WHY was there no (real) investigation done into this arson?

4)      What does Mayor John Robert Smith have to do with this and why were he and his administration complicit in covering this up?

5)      What do the preachers of Meridian have to do with all of this? Why do they hate Pastor Demers? 


Ø      Many of the pastors in Meridian were angry (and still are) because they did not like what Pastor Demers was preaching; he preaches that you have to give up everything to follow Christ, just like Jesus says to do in the Bible. Pastor Demers has given up his fortune to do what Jesus said. Apparently, to the other pastors, Pastor Demers is “bad for their ‘business,’” which is about bringing in the money.

Ø      Also, from my research I see that Pastor Demers preaches what the Bible says regarding salvation, and that is that, as the Bible says, you must be perfect, you must obey the Word of God, you must stop sinning, and that you are NOT “signed, sealed, and delivered” just because you said a prayer. In other words, what Pastor Demers preaches is the opposite of “once saved, always saved,” which is what other preachers tell the people so the people will keep coming to church and—you guessed it—keep putting their money in the basket. Pastor Demers does not pass a basket at his services, and he gave up a fortune to serve God, just as Jesus said must be done to follow Him. These things apparently bring about the same rage from preachers as was exhibited against Stephen, who was stoned to death (in the book of Acts). 

Ø      Adelia Spencer, like the other pastors, was angry at Pastor Demers for the above reasons, but had additional anger due to the fact that her son, Joshua Powell, had begun to read the Bible and had left her church, after finding out that she was teaching things that were contrary to the Bible. Joshua, after a while, ended up staying at CCIA’s parsonage and attending CCIA[2]. (See page 4 for more details on how this came about.)

Ø      Enter a third element: those who ascribe to the philosophy of the people who committed the massacre of 1871 in Meridian. These people don’t mind black people being around, or at least have accepted or tolerated the situation, but as far as a white family having a black person living in their home—that crosses a line, and this aroused the old-time KKK hatred, which is still alive in the hearts of people in Meridian to this day, including, but not limited to (as a former Meridian city worker who has left Mississippi had informed the victims before leaving), elected officials who are “sons of Klan and grandsons of Klan.”

Ø      Combine the KKK hatred with the angry preachers and the angry woman preacher whose church and home were in the exact neighborhood of the preacher and church she hated, and you have a “ripe” set up.

Ø      Enter Mayor Smith, who has been riled up by the preachers and those with the KKK mentality. As stated previously, to the preachers, Pastor Demers is bad for their business, which is all about money. To the KKK mentality people, Pastor Demers was crossing an old “line” by having a black man living in his home with him and his family.[3] And, of course, Mayor Smith wants to preserve his political status and apparently has his own personal bias against Pastor Demers and what he preaches.

Ø      At the least, Pastor Demers was an irritation to the people being discussed; at the most he was a threat to their way of life (just as Mickey Schwerner was a threat to the way of life down South) and in their minds had to be gotten rid of, at least by trying to get him to leave town or “shut up.”

Ø      Mayor Smith figures that he can just “pull some strings” and have this guy “squashed like a bug.”

Ø      The theory is that Adelia Spencer was approached to use her usual “M.O.” against her enemies to target Pastor Demers and his church. She was told that she would never be prosecuted for this crime, and that she could “kill two birds with one stone”: get rid of the preacher she hated and get her son out of the preacher’s house.

Ø      The perpetrators figured that no one would ever believe that black people would help the Klan, plus the crime was going to be covered up by the police and the mayor’s office, with no media coverage at all.

Ø      And, as far as the preachers being complicit in this, the perpetrators also believed that no one would believe that preachers would do anything like that (just like people did not believe that Preacher Killen had anything to do with the murders of the three civil rights workers).


Regarding Adelia Spencer and New Beginnings Church: The scenario as it probably unfolded is becoming quite clear to me now. Pastor Demers preaches from the Bible that people should be obedient and actually follow the teachings of Jesus Christ/God, whatever that might mean, as stated in the Bible. Though I am of Jewish background and have become atheist, I have read and studied both the Old and New Testaments in the past. From my studies I have seen that one of the basic tenets of what Jesus taught is that in order to follow Him you have to give up everything. ("So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Luke 14:33) This is what Pastor Demers teaches; it is what the Bible claims that Jesus said. 

This flies directly in the face of what many of the preachers today are preaching, and that is a doctrine of prosperity. This doctrine of prosperity does not coincide with what Jesus said in Luke 14:33, above. This “prosperity doctrine” is contradicted by the Bible if you look at what the Bible says about the life of the apostles such as Paul, of Lazarus (who was pleasing to God even though he lived in the gutter, as opposed to the rich man, who ended up in torment and eternal punishment) and of Jesus himself who had nowhere to lay His head, i.e., he was homeless.

 New Beginnings Church, of which Adelia Spencer was pastor, had one of their main buildings and a lot of property near CCIA’s parsonage at 4015 Paulding Street. New Beginnings Church had a lot of people. Adelia’s husband, Arthur Spencer[4], was overseer. She had two sons who co-pastored with her: Arce Powell (“Joshua”) and Amos Powell (“Peter”). Adelia was the head pastor and proclaimed and billed herself as “The Anointed Queen of the South.” She even had this put up on a billboard on 8th Street in Meridian (a prominent main thoroughfare in that city). 

They all owned homes in the neighborhood and so Pastor Demers and his family knew them. And over the years there were many aggressions against Pastor Demers because of what he preaches from the Bible, because it opposed what those people believed and practiced, and because these people were involved in (and the authorities were trying to get them for) criminal activity.  

For example, these people were running a “scam”; they were collecting as much as $30-32,000 a week[5] conning people in different places…cities as far away as New York and in Florida. They had crews that would drive up to 60, 90, 100 MPH in vans/buses and go overnight to different cities (2 or 3 nights if they would go to New York). They would sleep in the buses or maybe crowd into hotels. They would say to the people whom they were scamming that the money was going to poor people in the south, when in reality the pastor (Adelia) had two Escalades, two Lincolns, two Cadillacs, two Jaguars, a BMW, and a number of other vehicles. Also, one of her recent acquisitions at the time was a $10,000 diamond ring. There were people living almost in poverty while she was living like a queen and called herself a queen. 

The New Beginnings people were also involved in stealing, drug dealing, and enforcement of their will in assaults and worse. (If you will read the attachment to the complaint against Detective Havard, you will see details of some of the assaults by Adelia’s people against Pastor Demers and CCIA.)

 After years of these interactions and even Pastor Demers being "roughed up" a few times, it got to the point where Pastor Demers suggested they all read the Bible because they might want to change; Pastor Demers’ view was that if they read the Bible they would see that they were wrong, and if they were sincere, they would come out of it and if not, they would not.   His was a sincere attempt to help them. 

Pastor Demers deals with all kinds of people in his job as apostle and pastor, and over time he had developed a relationship with Joshua Powell (one of Adelia’s sons) where they would talk, and the basic theme of these talks was Pastor Demers suggesting to this young pastor that he read the Bible from cover to cover (because he—Joshua Powell—had not read it from cover to cover). 

Hopefully you have read the Attachment to the Complaint against Detective Havard, but herein I will now quote from a section of it, to help explain the situation where Joshua Powell ended up living at CCIA’s parsonage:   

“One night, Joshua (Arce) Powell (adult son of Adelia Spencer) and a man named Levi from New Beginnings Church were outside of the “purple house” on the corner of 41st Avenue and Paulding Street, working under floodlights, putting landscape lighting in front of the house. Pastor Demers was walking around the block as was his habit, and he said something specific to Joshua about something in the Bible, telling him that it said a certain thing in the Bible. And Joshua, who considered himself a preacher, stopped, looked at Pastor Demers, and said, “Nah, that’s not in the Bible,” and Pastor Demers said, “Yes, it is.” So Joshua Powell said, “Show me,” and Pastor Demers replied that it was 11 o’clock at night. He told Joshua that if he wanted to, even though it was late, he (Joshua) could come over to the parsonage and bring his Bible and he would show him where that scripture was in the Bible. 

   Joshua did come over after he finished (by this time it was around midnight) and Pastor Demers showed him, and Joshua was surprised. Then Pastor Demers showed him a lot of other things in the Bible that Joshua didn’t know were in there. Joshua saw that there were a lot of things in the Bible that weren’t being taught at his mother’s church…to the contrary, he saw that their church was being taught a lot of other things that were in opposition to the Bible.

   The next day, Joshua approached his mother, Adelia Spencer, who was the pastor, with this knowledge and tried to point out different things to her in the Bible that she wasn’t teaching. Adelia said things like this: “I don’t deal with that mess” (meaning the Bible), “You don’t know if Matthew or Paul even existed,” and, “I know what God tells me.” Joshua later told Pastor Demers what happened with his mother.   Joshua told Pastor Demers that he was shattered by the things his mother was saying, and with her attitude towards the Bible. He said he never knew his mother thought that way.   She was directly going against what the word of God stated. 

Joshua was really upset that his mother was believing and teaching her church things that were contrary to God’s word. At that point, he just walked away from his mother and her church, and he was staying at a truck stop in Newton, in his vehicle.

After a number of days had gone by, Pastor Demers realized that he hadn’t seen Joshua for a while, and since he had Joshua’s cell number, he called him and Joshua told him where he was living. Pastor Demers and his wife went to see him and invited him to come and stay with them instead of living in his truck, since they had room for him at the parsonage at that time.                             On March 1, 2003, Joshua (Arce) Powell, adult son of Adelia Spencer, moved into the parsonage at 4015 Paulding Street. So, from this point, Joshua was staying at the parsonage at CCIA and was attending services and Bible studies at CCIA, and being taught by Pastor Demers. Joshua, as he learned more and more about what the Bible says, commented, “Man, I thought I was a preacher—I’m finding out that I wasn’t even a Christian!” Eventual plans for Joshua were for him to live in the residence at 518 41st Avenue, after renovations were completed. (Of course, this never came about because 518 41st Avenue was subsequently set on fire on June 8, 2003, just after renovations were completed.)”  

Now I quote from Pastor Demers regarding the time that Joshua Powell came to live with them: “He was eating here, living here, helping out, and I was showing him what was in the Bible.   He would read things in the Bible and say, ‘Man, I thought I was a pastor, I wasn’t even a Christian!’ And we would study the Bible, and I also got him to work out. He couldn’t even run a mile. Within three or four weeks he was up to 10 miles running with me; it was amazing how quickly he caught up. He was just trying to get his wife to read the Bible (they lived right on the corner). She thought he was wrong and crazy.”

Meanwhile, as stated previously, you now know that Adelia had billed herself on a billboard as “The Anointed Queen of the South.” If she was the Anointed Queen, then her two sons were the crown princes; so, it was a big decision on Joshua’s part to just leave all that; but, my research shows that, according to Joshua, he was so upset that his mother’s teachings were not from God’s word, that he left; he just couldn’t deal with it. It was big for him to just give everything up, but he wanted to and yet he didn’t know what he was going to do…he was married and had some children but they thought he was wrong about wanting to follow the Bible. Pastor Demers has said that the way he found out how much money New Beginnings was bringing in is that Joshua’s wife was the one who counted the cash when they all got back at 2 or 3 in the morning or whenever they got back from their "scamming." 

In fact, Joshua was the one who told Pastor Demers that New Beginnings people were involved in scamming, stealing and all kinds of criminal activity; he (Joshua) said that he didn’t know it was wrong; he had been taught that way growing up[6]

I quote again from Pastor Demers: 

“One day, a few weeks after Joshua had moved in, he and I were walking back from the store and I had two gallons of milk, one in each hand. And of course there had been a lot of threats against me and against Joshua, from New Beginnings people, because they didn’t like losing the “crown prince.” And so I had told Joshua (who was a golden gloves boxer) prior to this day, ‘Don’t do anything—turn the other cheek; that is what Jesus says to do.’ As we were coming back to the house, we were walking down the middle of the street.   His wife was on the sidewalk; I just looked over and nicely said to her: ‘Nicole why don’t you just read the Bible and see what your husband has been trying to tell you?’

“Well at that point, Adelia and all kinds of people were coming around me. (They owned about 9 or 10 houses on the streets down here.)   And they were saying ‘shut up’ and were pushing me and I was just looking at Joshua and he knew ‘don’t do anything.’ So I was just walking towards our house and I had two gallons of milk in my hands. I looked over my shoulder because I heard behind me, “NO, Peter, NO!” It was Arthur Spencer yelling to Peter, and I saw Peter running and then he was in the air behind me and he hit me behind my head with his fist trying to kill me. Two of my children witnessed this, but God protected me; Peter didn’t even knock me down.’

“As time was going by, let me tell you what was going on in parallel with the City of Meridian. During that time period I had gotten to know Ken Storms and Ken Storms was telling me things like, ‘Why are so many pastors in the city going in to talk to the mayor and saying bad things about you? I hear them through the door,’ and Ken Storms even mentioned one of the names: Earl Wheatley. (Earl Wheatley was a pastor who had threatened my wife and me in front of our children.)

“One of the dynamics that gets “lost in the sauce” in all of this is that all of the pastors are very selfish and self-centered, and they don’t preach Jesus, they preach money.   We don’t believe the preachers are supposed to get all the money; we believe that the church gets the money and the church is the people.   I don’t want to get into details, but basically we believe that what Jesus Christ taught is not being taught in the churches today, and we literally believe that we need to live like Jesus said, as opposed to the way of all the churches. This is witnessed to by the fact that all the churches don’t even agree with each other.   So how can they say I'm wrong or this one or that one is wrong? We're all wrong; only God is right.

“So anyway, the pastors were all angry. Mayor John Robert Smith is a Bible School teacher, and he told Ken Storms that he shouldn't talk to me, and Ken Storms asked me "Why is the mayor saying I shouldn’t talk to you?"[7] 

“We were living in an environment where lots of pastors had threatened me. The pastors had undermined us; Pastor Darrell Dumas said, "I'll beat you to death with my fists if I see you on the streets." And Pastor Earl Wheatley and Pastor Robert Null and a number of other ones said, in front of our children, that they would do this and that to me. I was assaulted by 15 pastors[8] in a closed meeting when I suggested they resolve their differences.

“And so we were going through the normal persecution that someone in my position might expect. So one night there was banging on the house at 4015 Paulding Street, and, of course, that is the story of the threat against me that if I didn’t stop preaching they (New Beginnings people) were going to ‘do something.’ This happened just 3 weeks prior to the arson.[9]

“A few weeks later we were doing a yard sale for a house we were doing over, and we had just put new electric and new plumbing into that house.

"We were doing a yard sale to empty the building of superfluous stuff and we had a gentleman who was staying with us who wasn’t part of the church but who we were helping. He had been a Bible School teacher for Jerry Falwell; he was middle class or upper middle class, second or third generation Meridian, and looked like Paul Newman. We figured we’d give him the responsibility of unlocking the building and getting things ready. He came running back after going over to the building at 518 41st Avenue, the back yard of which is adjacent to the parsonage.

“There was a problem at the house; a circle had been burned in the grass all the way around the house. Obviously this was connected to the threats; although we couldn't prove that. But we took pictures, told people about getting threatened, and had the police make a report; and we have his name and the report. (This was on Saturday, June 7, 2003.)

“That night around 2 AM, I heard noises out from the direction from where that house is; I figured I would just go out there and there would be vandals just breaking windows or something...I wasn’t afraid; I didn't even wake up my wife. I went out there and it was like a scene from a movie or something; the house was engulfed in flames and the fire trucks were there, and so on.”

 This was confirmed as arson by Vince Vincent, fire department investigator, who with the Meridian Fire Department’s fire dog (ATF Accelerant K-9), found 5 points of origin.

Vince Vincent told Pastor Demers that this was arson and that he would be gone for 1 week to a seminar in Washington D.C., but that he was handing it over to the Meridian Police Department; Mr. Vincent said that someone would contact the victims within 24 hours. Pastor Demers pointed out to Mr. Vincent that it was Sunday, very early in the morning, and asked Mr. Vincent if he was sure that someone would be in contact with them within 24 hours due to the fact that it was a Sunday. Mr. Vincent said, “It’s SOP, someone WILL contact you within 24 hours.” In reality, the victims were not contacted within 24 hours; in fact, they were not contacted at all.   NO ONE CONTACTED THE VICTIMS.

By the way, one of the things to note is that there was a media blackout; nothing was reported about this fire in the news media. This eradicated the normal outpouring of sympathy from the community which usually comes to victims of an arson, especially that of a church.

 At this point I will again refer you to the Attachment to the Havard Complaint for the rest of the details regarding the arson: See details under June 8, 2003 starting on page 5 of that document.



From my research and analysis (too exhaustive to include all here) it appears that the pastors, including Tom Sykes (the mayor’s pastor), Earl Wheatley, and numbers of other pastors were the instigators with the mayor who also had heard Pastor Demers preaching on the streets. (Pastor Demers would preach on the streets at Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian, as well as various other places.) Also, (this is key), as stated previously Pastor Demers does not agree with the theology that “once you say a prayer you don’t have to be good”: he believes that you need to “walk the walk”—you can’t just be a hearer of the Word, you have to be a doer. Pastor Demers believes this because it says that in the Bible.   

So, in spiritual philosophy the mayor disagreed with Pastor Demers, and the mayor had been expressing negative things to Ken Storms. Then the pastors started to express negative things to the mayor, adding fuel to the fire[10]. The pastors were angry at Pastor Demers, because Pastor Demers exposes that fact that, according to the Bible (which he believes is God’s word and should be obeyed) and according to the way they live and run their churches, they are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” 

Pastor Demers has given up his fortune to help people; he has worked on the streets and slept on the streets, after being a millionaire with seven servants. He has suggested to the pastors that they should be living more like Jesus than like Donald Trump, so they hate him because they don’t want to give up what they have. It’s just like the persecution we see in the Bible (such as with the apostle Paul, who suffered numerous persecutions in the form of slanders, beatings, stonings, murder attempts, etc.). 

Like all politicians, Mayor Smith wanted to do a favor for the “center of influence” people. There were a number of pastors who represent a lot of those center of influence people (who contribute lots of MONEY to their churches) who were going in to the mayor and saying, in effect, “We want to do something to stop this guy from preaching.”

 Then there is the element of the KKK and that philosophy, or mentality, of the massacre of 1871, (described in the book, “Thunder at Meridian”) that says that black people and white people should not mix. And so there he was, this white preacher from up North taking a black young man into his home in the South. So there’s that deeply ingrained attitude... “We’re not going to have THAT in our city…we don’t mind having blacks around, but we’re not going to mix…who is he, taking this black guy in?” 

There are a couple of other factors here, regarding Ken Storms, Meridian’s Chief Administrative Officer and the mayor’s “right hand man”: 

 1.      Peter Powell (Adelia Spencer’s son) has said that Ken Storms visited his mother. Peter Powell told Pastor Demers that during that time period, when this was going on, “Ken Storms visited my mother a number of times.” (Peter Powell told this to Pastor Demers when he (Peter) went back to Meridian recently.)

2.      Ken Storms says on the CD recording (of him with Lucinda Johnson) that he helped Adelia’s people on a number of occasions. 

Some other factors, which would seem to indicate that something was organized, are: 

1.      The person who lives next door to 518 41st Avenue, who is one of the men who allegedly set the fire, taunted Pastor Demers and CCIA’s executive assistant, Lucinda Johnson, telling them that there were things that they would never find out about the fire because he had “good friends downtown.”

2.      Meridian City Councilman Jesse Palmer told Lucinda Johnson and Pastor Demers on separate occasions, such things as: “You were supposed to pack your bags and run after (they burned your house),” and “Don’t you know what they did to Martin Luther King when they couldn’t stop him? They had him killed,” and “If I was mad at you, I’d tell you to your face and hit you with a 2 by 4—not these people; these people are sneaky—they’ll go behind the scenes—and there is no limit to their capability.”

3.      Subsequently, Jesse Palmer, when he was invited by the staff of CCIA of Mt. Zion to come to their headquarters and look and listen to the hard evidence, failed to show up for a fixed appointment he had set and made. When he was contacted, he said that he was warned not to go and look at the evidence, and mentioned a number of people who had warned him, one of the names mentioned being “Hammack[11].”

4.      Tim Miller, Battalion Chief at the time of the arson, who became Meridian Fire Chief shortly thereafter, quit working for the city and went to work in a sporting goods store, after being fire chief for less than 2 years. He appears to have been intimidated in some way to distance himself from this whole thing, after initially having been willing to say that there was something wrong with this whole situation. He subsequently acted in fear, saying that his life and his family were on the line and he became reluctant to talk to the victims of the arson anymore.[12]

5.      Vince Vincent, Fire Department Investigator, was at one point swayed against the victims, apparently due to Mayor Smith’s “talking” to him, and due to Det. Havard’s attempt to slander Pastor Demers and discredit him by sending for the (false) criminal records from Rhode Island. Mr. Vincent has apparently realized the truth of the whole situation after observing from the “inside,” and has left the city employ. 

6.      Bill Watson (the man who came to CCIA’s parsonage, unsolicited, and sat in the living room, telling 3 people that the reason that they were not getting help “downtown” with the arson investigation was that “big money changed hands”), was intimidated into changing his story. The victims could hear Ken Storms’ voice in the background on one of the phone calls from Mr. Watson, and they believe that Ken Storms is responsible for the intimidation.

7.      With all 3 out of the 3 names that were given to Ken Storms, the witnesses were intimidated in some way; this made the victims wary of giving any more names to anyone unless it was an ironclad, trustworthy person in law enforcement or government, and thus far they have not found one. (Apparently they have hopes for a man named Lt. Harper, yet even he has not shown the true courage of his convictions yet, as far as being willing to risk everything to bring the truth out. That last statement is my (Berachot’s) opinion, not the victims’, who still appear to have hopes for Lt. Harper’s integrity and courage.)

8.      At one point the Meridian police tried to bribe a young man who was under a warrant for arrest, by trying to get this young man to “set up” Pastor Demers, in exchange for their not acting on the warrant. The young man said no. CCIA found out about this because this was a young man whom the church had been trying to help, who was attending church and Bible study when he told this to CCIA.

To sum up, this is my analysis of just some of the things that show that something was organized, and that a plan was formed against that pastor and church, to attack them in some way, and the method used was arson, subsequently not investigated, and therefore not prosecuted. It is only the tenacity of Pastor Demers and his wife and some other people that has brought these injustices to light. 

Key elements:

o       Politicians;

o       Preachers;

o       KKK;

o       Angry woman pastor who is accustomed to carrying out aggressive criminal acts against people who have angered her in some way[13];

Now all you need is a way to execute the plan. 

Most probable scenario: people from the city approached Adelia Spencer and they said things to this effect: “We can kill two birds with one stone. We can get over our ‘this is bad for business’ problem. You can get over your problem with your son living over there. Burn the circle around the house to make it look like it’s some kind of Klan thing. They’ll never believe that black people helped the Klan. You burn the house; we’ll make sure that there is no investigation. We’ll make sure that there is no prosecution. We’ll even make sure that there is no media coverage so the public won’t get suspicious.” 

And then, after this plan was carried out, that seemed to have worked…but these people did not count on the integrity and tenacity of Pastor Demers and his wife, who believe that they should “not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (That is Ephesians 5:11 in the Bible.) And, they most certainly didn’t count on The Arm of Justice. 

Subsequently, as you may have read in the Attachment to the Complaint, someone helped Adelia and her people (about 250 people) flee the state practically overnight, in January of 2004. 

When things got too “hot” for them and for the people behind the scenes in city administration, etc., Adelia and company were helped to get out of the state. Pastor Demers had not given up trying to get the police to do the investigation they were supposed to do by law, and because Joshua Powell had come forward in January of 2004 and repeated that he was willing to testify against his mother, the guilty parties were assisted in getting out of the state to avoid the possibility of exposure.

 My analysis shows that this is the most probable explanation for all of this. The hatred, bias and bigotry of whites against blacks and the old-time biblical hatred of anybody who is preaching Jesus, combined, made for a motive and a method, and provided an easy access to willing perpetrators who were further enticed by the security of knowing that they would never be prosecuted nor exposed in the media. 

The mayor thought that Wade Demers was just an easy “bug to squash”– he (the mayor) and his cohorts thought, “What’s the big deal? This is just some little jerk from out of town who’s got no relatives here and we can ‘squash him like a bug.’” (Remember the admonition from Jesse Palmer to Pastor Demers—see page 9, number 2 in this document. Also, as shown in the Attachment to the Complaint against Detective Havard, after the arson there was further harassment from the city in the form of a letter from the housing inspector, Bobby Vance, demanding that the house be either torn down or demolished.) 


o       Remember that there was no outcry from the people of the city, due to the media blackout which kept the public in the dark.

o       During the slander campaign against Pastor Demers and CCIA which was going on overall, some of the slander around town was against Pastor Demers’ wife, in which she was told that she was David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson.

o       The city’s lawyer, William Hammack, has been involved in the obstruction and the slander, even to the point of saying, in a letter to Pastor Demers, that Pastor Demers has demons. (See page 9, #3 of this document for more regarding Mr. Hammack.)

o       Even though Detective Havard says that the case is closed (April 2005), CCIA has a letter from the current fire marshal, Gower Webb, stating that the investigation is still ongoing (August 2007).

o       Why did the city cause CCIA such a problem regarding the ad valorem taxes on the building that had been burned? CCIA was using it for storage, which was the original use when the building was approved for ad valorem tax exemption in 1998. Why was the mayor worried about a few hundred dollars of tax revenue from a poor church whose members have all taken vows of poverty? Why did the city make all of that noise when the church’s building had been exempt since 1998, and the church didn’t seek the tax exemption in the first place? (Effie Shirley, the tax assessor at that time, told Pastor Demers, when he went to pay the taxes, that since CCIA was a church they could apply for an exemption from ad valorem taxes on that building. CCIA did so and still has the original documents in the files where the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors approved the exemption.)

o       It is fairly obvious to me that the tax-exemption issue was just a smokescreen to hide the real issue—serious crimes including arson and a cover up by the mayor’s administration. (The church itself had been tax-exempt for 25 years.)   The smokescreen worked, and CCIA was never allowed to present any evidence in a public forum to expose what was going on. 

It appears to me that the city administration is involved with people who just used Det. Havard—Det. Havard is just the one who carried out the improper (non-) investigation. All have been in collusion, whether actively or passively, in this heinous crime and the obstruction of justice. 

This is apparently just old Southern hate politics as in the Massacre of 1871, but this has nothing to do with color of skin, it has to do with hatred; it is the attitude of: “You’re not me, so ‘we’re gonna getcha,’ and we will run you out of town.” That has got to stop; this is the USA. 

[1] A 35-page, in-depth scrutinization prepared by Lucinda Johnson, Executive Assistant to Christ’s Church In Action

[2] Joshua was intending to move into the building at 518 41st Avenue, owned by CCIA, which had just been fixed up, when the arson occurred.

[3] A prominent local citizen in Meridian told Pastor Demers that the preachers were all against him, and that the same thing was being done to Pastor Demers and CCIA that had been done to black people in the past.

[4] Arthur Spencer had, at one point, prior to the arson, when Pastor Demers asked him if he (Arthur) had told his people to kill Pastor Demers, said to Pastor Demers: “If I want you dead, I’ll kill you myself.” Interesting to note that Arthur Spencer is one of the alleged arsonists.

[5] Amounts are known because Joshua Powell’s wife Nicole was one of the people who used to be involved in counting the money at New Beginnings that came in each week from these scams; Joshua Powell relayed this information to Pastor Demers.

[6] Among other things that Joshua told Pastor Demers was that when he was at Luke Edwards’ camp (“The Holy Land”), his mother was having sex with Luke Edwards. Luke Edwards said that Adelia should divorce Joshua’s real dad and that’s because Luke Edwards wanted to have sex with her; she subsequently ended up marrying a Jehovah's witness.

While Joshua was up there (when he was little) there were all kinds of terrible things going on such as sodomy by deacons with the little children, and the children were served wormy food. Their life was horrible.  

[7] And then, apparently it got to the city lawyer, also; the lawyer for the City of Meridian said to Pastor Demers and his wife, “I can't talk to you.”

[8] Physically by 1, verbally by 14

[9] See attachment to Havard Complaint under May 13, 2003.

[10] Pastor Demers has explained to me that the Bible says that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, and this is what he is experiencing.

 [11] Attorney for the City of Meridian, Mississippi, William Hammack

[12] Mayor Smith, according to reports, talked to Tim Miller and “chewed him out.”   Mayor Smith talked to 3 people that we know of: Chief Dubose, Tim Miller, and Vince Vincent…all three have since acted improperly in this situation.

[13] And the angry woman pastor’s assistant, who is her unofficial bodyguard and alleged former boyfriend, illicit sex-partner and drug-user, who lives next door to the building that was burned.



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