Author Topic: ABM Ministries  (Read 28206 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2009, 10:26:46 AM »
I don't know if anyone is still checking these posts. But, if you are, I am a former student of ABM Ministries. I was a student who worked my way up the "ladder" to become as close to a staff member as they would allow me to believe. I knew that was the only way to make it there and not go crazy... be the "good girl". There is too much to say about this place unless you really want to know. I have seen some things that would be considered abuse, no questions asked, and they got away with it everytime. Chaining children up to the word of God, claiming to be righteous holy-rollers, and yet they stink up the place with their hypocritical bullcrap. If you want to know more or if someone would work with me to get the word out, then maybe we could actually do something good and stop these boarding school horros from happening.
PARENTS: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TRULY GET TO KNOW YOUR CHILDREN. Talk WITH them, not to them. LISTEN to them, don't always make them listen to you. UNDERSTAND them, because there is so much going on inside of them. LOVE them for who they are and BE WILLING to work through the hard times with them. That is your CHILD, your GIFT, a part of YOU
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2009, 10:40:49 AM »
Also, some children are more susceptible to the "brainwashing". I hate to use that word, but if a program takes a person as they are and manipulates their thinlking so that it manipulates their personality, then that is brainwashing. It happened to me and 5 months later I woke up and realized it was the most difficult and confusing thing to readjust back to who I really was and am. You change, not because you want to , but because you have to. If you don't, then you're stuck there longer or they make you feel so guilty that you think bending to their will is the only way. The smart ones DO seem like they've gotten "better", and some of them have changed (some for good, others until they wake up), but it's the way that the change comes about, swallowed in illusion and lies, that makes the entire thing wrong. Faith has to be REAL, love has to be REAL, change has to be REAL and come from one's own self, one's own free will and not from the will of others. Others who are no better than you or I, yet they claim to hold the secrets to YOUR child's "better" life, they claim to have better abilities than the parents themselves. WE have the ability and knowledge inside of us. Don't let someone steal that from you or your child, because, if you're not careful, that beautiful knowledge and truth gets lost amongst the ignorance and lies.
There are better ways of helping your children.

Much love to all and if you need any advice please post back and we will get together and talk.
I know much about this place. The root of the program has good intentions, but somehow that gets blurred by all the hypocrisy and pressure to be angels on earth, when we are HUMAN.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2009, 02:22:14 PM »
Fascinating posts and you aren't the only one who has worked their way up the program ladder to get as close to staff as you can. Our very own forum creator, Antigen, was a seventh stepper with Straight inc. She has some interesting comments about the experience if you are ever in the mood to listen to her off the way monologues.

Could you be arsed to give some specifics as to how exactly the kids are abused, beyond the mention of chaining kids up, and what is involved with the brainwashing?

Those specifics, although painful to recount, will go a long way in keeping potential customers away from ABM.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Oscar

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2010, 04:09:06 PM »
We got a testimony from the talk page on the wiki:

Quote
READ!!! DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD THERE! I was there for 2 years due to problems with my mom that lived in fl, my dad lived in colombia (south america) at the time and they were both totally unaware of what went on. While your child is there they go through physical and verbal abuse, public humiliation, hard labor, and cruel punishments. On black chip (chips are their level system) I was deprived of food for three days, slept without a matress and blankets for an entire month in missouri winter, picked up horse poop with my hands (though they were kind enough to give me gloves I heard not many girls had my luck), I wasnt allowed to sit down, speak, or look up. Everything goes on in complete silence, and all the time you are forced to look at the ground or its 50 push ups if Mrs.Carmen is in a good mood, if she's not it can be running outside until she feels like it, or no food and no matress. I left more than a year ago, and when I walk down the street I STILL LOOK TO THE GROUND!For me it wasnt that bad, I pretended to be what they wanted me to be and most of the time it worked, i even got the honor of being Mrs.Carmen's personal slave! but it all depended on Mrs. Carmen's mood. If your child is there GET HIM OR HER OUT! YOU ARE THE PARENT AND WHATEVER IS WRONG YOU BOTH CAN FIX IT THE WAY IS MEANT TO BE! Dont leave your child in someone else's hands, especially with people who you dont know! Dont believe what the staff tells you! They will always exagerate or eve make up things so you will believe your child needs to stay longer. They monitor calls and letters, anything they dont like they throw away and they hang up the phone if you start crying or tell them about the punishments. I can go on and on about the cruel things that go on there, I've seen a 13 year old boy in a girls dressed obligated to do PE with the girls, humilliated in front of everybody for crying, I've also seen Larry throw a girl to the floor off a top bunk, she said she wanted to die, and he answered "let me help you" and started choking her!!! my e-mail is <removed due to spam> please contact me if you have any questions, please think about your child and remember that no matter what the problem is abm is not the answer, I still have issues because of my experience there and my mom and I dont speak to each other, and because of my stay there I also lost my bond with my sister and even though we talk its like if we were strangers. I graduated there, I dont even know how because I was taken out of school most of the time to work in the kitchen, but it's all because I worked for it, it didn't have anything to do with their help.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline iamme

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2011, 07:05:55 PM »
I also worked up the ladder from student to staff.  the same staff member that sexually abused an underage girl also made me go outside and watch as he threw a student into the snow and held his foot on his head to keep it there.   VERY abusive, the owners wife is very angry and sometimes keeps students from eating and trets them like crap (i know from experience).  i spent 4 years of my life there and hateds all of them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline iamme

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2011, 07:07:10 PM »
i worked from being a student to staff, but hated it every single day.   the same staff member that sexually abused an underage girl also made me go outside and watch as he threw a student into the snow and held his foot on his head to keep it there.   VERY abusive, the owners wife is very angry and sometimes keeps students from eating and trets them like crap (i know from experience).  i spent 4 years of my life there and hateds all of them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline seamus

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Re: ABM Ministries
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2011, 01:37:16 AM »
Psy, you are SO well spoken, that Im amazed :notworthy:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
It\'d be sad if it wernt so funny,It\'d be funny if it wernt so sad

Offline Oscar

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Escape from ABM Ministries
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2014, 02:42:51 AM »
Quote from: Wayne County Journal Banner
Boarding School Runaway Found, Was Missing Eight Hours

Student From Christian Boarding School Now in Children’s Hospital Recovering From Third-Degree Frostbite

A 16-year-old boy is recovering from third-degree frostbite in St. Louis Children’s Hospital after train workers found him in the cold last week near Mill Spring.

According to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, the boy ran away Tuesday evening, Feb. 4, from Lighthouse Christian Academy, a Christian boarding home run by ABM Ministries, that is located in the Black River Retreat area south of Piedmont. He left the home around 6:30 p.m. and was found by train workers passing through the area at 2 a.m. the next day.

The boy walked eight or nine miles from the home and was found four miles south of the Mill Spring-Leeper communities, according to authorities. Over 20 people, including a dog team, participated in the search.

The newspaper received a telephone call Friday from the boy’s mother, Patsy Boozer of San Antonio, Texas. She said that her son, Jeremy, is expected to make a full recovery and will not lose any toes or his feet. Doctors have told the family that the recovery will be slow.

“Jeremy, a resident of San Antonio, Texas, and full time student at Lighthouse Christian Academy (a.k.a. ABM Ministries) was exposed to the harsh elements of Missouri weather for over seven hours without proper clothing and barefoot before he was miraculously rescued by the crew of Union Pacific Railroad,” said his mother. “Jeremy told me at the hospital that it was so dark and freezing cold that he kept running into things, even barbwire, and his feet were getting cut up from the frozen ground and rocks. He said he was in so much pain and close to unconsciousness right before he was rescued that he knew he was going to freeze to death in the next hour or so if a train didn’t come that he could get to stop and help him. He was yelling for help with no response and just started praying for God to send a train that would stop and save him.”

“Almost seconds later, he heard the train and was able to flag it down by waving his jacket while standing close to the side of the tracks,” Boozer continued.  “The crew was able to stop the train, render aide, and call for emergency support. Jeremy was like a block of ice from his hips down and was life-flighted to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis where he is undergoing treatment for severe frostbite to both feet.”

Boozer said her son escaped from the school through a window in the student classroom. He was wearing nightclothes, flip flops, and a fleece jacket.

School director Larry Musgrave and another staff member had searched the woods and surrounding areas before calling authorities or the teen’s parents, according to Boozer.

“Jeremy’s family would like to thank the train staff, Sheriff Finch, and all that were involved in saving Jeremy’s life,” said Boozer. “David from the train crew called the hospital to check on him and to offer support.”

Lighthouse Christian Academy has been in Wayne County for several years; prior to opening in Wayne County, the school was located in Tennessee. The school first rented facilities that formerly housed Mountain Park Christian Academy in Patterson. Then property was purchased south of Piedmont and the school was moved to its current location. Larry Musgrave is the president and director of the school. The minimum stay for students is 180 days, and the monthly tuition is $1,500 plus a one-time enrollment fee of $1,500.

According to the school’s website, ABM Ministries/Lighthouse Christian Academy is a private Christian boarding school for boys ages 10-18. The school is tucked away on 250 acres with rolling hills, a spring-fed pond, and fenced pasture with horses.

“Nestled between two ridges, our newly renovated 25,000-square-feet main campus is designed to meet the needs of our students and families,” reads the website. “With open enrollment, we school year round with an average of 40 students. Student/teacher ratio is 12 to one. Our new custom-designed classroom with individual offices and curriculum is set up to allow each student to achieve excellence.

Over 80 percent of the students are on honor rolls.  All students are involved in a variety of activities including: independent living, work projects, animal care, sports, strategy games, and (our favorite) swimming and boating. We offer assistance in restoring harmony within your home, regardless of whether or not you enroll your son at ABM.”

Boozer said that her family found the school on the Internet. They were looking for a facility to help their child.

“Parents seek out a school because their teen is struggling,” she said. “I know in our case we had exhausted our abilities in a home environment to protect him and needed help from a caring, 24/7 support team (that we pay a signification cost for) to keep him SAFE and still provide education, sport/exercise programs (all the things this school advertises) to get him past the pressures causing his behavior so that, together, parents/school could help him get to a more mature state so he can return home to a family and friends that love him.”
Boozer claims that her son did not get the caring and protective services the school advertises. She maintains that her son was abused.

She told the newspaper that her son said the physical and mental abuse was unbearable and that he felt running away was his only alternative. Boozer said school officials read all letters to and from students. Students are allowed one 10-minute phone call every two weeks and it is monitored. Because of this, Boozer said her son was unable to tell his family about the conditions.

“He reported his allegations to hospital personnel and has given a full report to Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division,” Boozer said.

According to the school’s website, all employees of the school are required to sign an employee code of conduct. The code of conduct includes 23 items. Among those are that no child will be abused and staff must use positive techniques for guidance.

“Not recognizing that Lighthouse Christian Academy was ABM Ministries when I was looking into the school is a mistake I have to live with,” said Boozer.  “When I Googled ‘ABM Ministries abuse’ last night from my son’s hospital bedside and saw post after post from past students that matched his accounts, I was horrified.”

Though Boozer found horror stories posted by former students on forums on the Internet, people can also find posts by former students and parents praising the school.

The newspaper contacted ABM Lighthouse Christian Academy for comment and was told that only Musgrave could speak to the newspaper. He was not at the school Monday due to an illness in his family.

Offline Oscar

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ABM Ministries owners arrested - charged with kidnapping
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2024, 02:42:54 AM »
Quote from: AOL, LAURA BAUER, JUDY L. THOMAS
Missouri authorities jail owners of Christian boarding school on kidnapping charges

The owners of a secluded southeast Missouri Christian boarding school are behind bars after authorities served arrest warrants Friday night at their facility.

Larry and Carmen Musgrave are being held in the Wayne County Jail in Greenville, Missouri, without bond. They are charged with first-degree kidnapping involving a former student.

Authorities, who interviewed all the boys at the school Friday night, took Larry Musgrave Jr., 57, into custody at the ABM Ministries campus near Piedmont, according to a news release issued late Saturday afternoon by the Wayne County Sheriff?s Department. And Carmen Musgrave, 64, was taken into custody hours later, the release said.

The Musgraves operate the school near Piedmont, a town of roughly 1,900 residents more than 300 miles southeast of Kansas City. First-degree kidnapping is a Class A felony that, if convicted, carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and maximum of 30 years, or life in prison.

?This investigation is far from being over,? Sheriff Dean Finch said in his release. He said he anticipates more charges ?with more alleged victims coming forward.?

The arrests and charges come more than a week after The Star published an article detailing how several boys had run away from ABM Ministries ? which is also known as Lighthouse Christian Academy ? since Jan. 13. Two of those boys were helped by a local resident who took them home after they flagged her down and asked her to call 911.

That resident, and another neighbor, told The Star that the boys were ?terrified? and said the 12- and 14-year-old reported that they were hit for no reason or because they didn?t finish chores fast enough. They also said they were berated by school staff, especially the Musgraves. Deputies picked up the boys and initially returned them to the school.

Finch told The Star Saturday that all five boys who had runaway from the school since mid January ?have been returned home.?

In interviews with The Star, former students have described how they said they were treated at the school over the past nearly 20 years. That included physical abuse, not being allowed to make eye contact with fellow students, standing for hours at a time looking at the wall when they were in trouble and being forced to do manual labor to benefit the school.

Several local residents said they reported the recent incident with the two runaways to the Missouri child abuse and neglect hotline but were told they didn?t provide enough information to meet the criteria to launch an investigation.

After townsfolk saw the caravan Friday night of law enforcement vehicles ? led by Finch ? head to the boarding school, word spread through a group chat that includes residents and many former students. Those former students said the activity gave them hope that after feeling their stories had been ignored for years, someone was finally listening to them.

?This will be the first night in almost 20 years that I will not have nightmares about ABM ministries,? said Aralysa Baker, who attended the unlicensed boarding school from 2005 to 2007 when it also housed girls. ?I truly hope that the boys are doing OK. Our collective survivor base has been thinking about them since we first heard news of the runaways.

?The bravery they?ve shown through this situation led us to stand together and fight for their freedom.?

Residents in the area celebrated with the former students they?ve come to know through social media.

?I got goosebumps and started crying,? said Courtney Hall, who lives 2 miles from the school and called the hotline after the two boys had run away. ?I just pray to God that they are actually doing something and these poor boys will go home.?

In Saturday?s release, Finch said after his team arrived at the school Friday evening members of his department and state troopers with the Division of Drug and Crime Control interviewed ?all the children there.? Nineteen boys were at the school, the sheriff said.

?After the interviews, Larry was located at his camper on the property and placed under arrest,? the release said. ?His wife was not at the residence. Around 3 a.m., Carmen came to the Wayne County Sheriff?s Office checking on her husband, and she was placed under arrest for kidnapping in the first degree as well.?

?Teens in need of guidance?

The boys remained at the school Friday night.

?We will be doing well-being checks of the kids periodically,? Finch told The Star Saturday evening.

ABM Ministries? current director, according to state documents, is Julio Sandoval. The Star reported in February 2022 that he had moved to southeast Missouri.

Sandoval was dean of students at Agape Boarding School in February 2021 when the Missouri Highway Patrol launched an investigation into abuse of students at the Cedar County school in Stockton. In September 2021, the Cedar County prosecuting attorney charged five staff members with 13 counts of third-degree assault. Sandoval, who had been at Agape about 10 years, left to go to work for ABM Ministries soon after that.


In September 2022, The Star reported that Missouri?s child welfare agency had substantiated 10 reports of physical abuse at Agape. Those dispositions were final.

Multiple sources at the time told The Star several staffers appealed their findings. They said Sandoval was among them.

According to Missouri?s online court database, he still has a case pending against the Department of Social Services. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26. State law allows staffers to still work with children while their case is under appeal.

Lighthouse Christian Academy takes in boys 10 and older from all over the nation. The 25,000-square-foot campus is ?tucked away near the Ozarks on 250 acres with rolling hills, a spring-fed pond, and fenced pasture with animals,? its website says.

Operated by ABM Ministries, the school is ?dedicated to the training of children in a program of study, activity, and living that is Bible-centered,? according to its parents manual. Discipline at the school ?is firm, consistent, fair, and tempered with love,? the manual says.

Larry Musgrave?s LinkedIn page describes him as the founder and pastor of ABM Ministries.

?He works directly with 40 families at a time by providing a boarding school environment for teens in need of guidance,? the site says. ?With a staff of 11 people he works 24/7/365 to mentor Biblical principals.?

Court records show that Larry and Carmen Musgrave and former school principal Craig W. Smith Jr. were the subjects of a 2009 civil lawsuit in federal court. It alleged that Smith groomed a female student after she enrolled in 2005, then ?committed multiple acts of sexual bodily contact? with her ? including intercourse ? from September 2007 until June 2008.

The lawsuit says the girl?s parents notified the Musgraves in late 2007 that they were concerned about the degree of Smith?s personal relationship with their daughter, but nothing was done to prevent further contact between them. The lawsuit was settled in 2010, court records show, with a $100,000 judgment entered against Smith and a $750,000 judgment against ABM Ministries and the Musgraves.

ABM Ministries is the latest unlicensed boarding school in Missouri to face scrutiny amid allegations of abuse. Since September 2020, The Star has investigated several schools, and the lack of regulations for them in the state, and has spoken to more than 80 students who attended facilities in southwest Missouri.

Those stories prompted lawmakers to pass legislation that for the first time placed some regulations on these schools. The main element of the 2021 law is that owners must register their facilities with the state and undergo fire and health inspections.

More charges coming?

David Clohessy, former national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, went to Wayne County a week ago to hand out leaflets and talk to residents about the concerns raised after the recent runaways. He said the charges are a first step in holding owners of unlicensed boarding schools accountable.

?We?re encouraged by reports of law enforcement action at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Piedmont last night,? Clohessy said. ?? We want to encourage everyone who cares about kids to remain vigilant and to realize that a real resolution to this horror must involve therapy for the victims, prosecution for the wrongdoers and reform of Missouri?s dreadfully weak child safety laws.?

In 2021, another couple who operated a boarding school in southwest Missouri were arrested over their treatment of students. Boyd and Stephanie Householder, former owners of Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, were charged with nearly 100 felony child abuse counts. They have pleaded not guilty, and their jury trial is scheduled to start in the fall.

In Saturday?s release, Finch said he and his department had received several calls about runaways from the home, and he began an investigation several months ago.

?Sheriff Finch was contacted by a former student and traveled to Albertville, Alabama, to interview the victim,? the release said. After the interview, it said, Finch ?was able to make contact with several past students, and interviews are forthcoming.?

Finch said he anticipates more charges will be filed and plans to travel to other states to conduct interviews of former students.

?When it comes to children,? he said, he will ?leave no stone unturned until all victims are interviewed.?

?We know the citizens are concerned as well that nothing was being done, however we can?t disclose what we are doing on cases.?

The sheriff said he hopes the public will remain patient.

?When some things come to light, we will always be there investigating.?