eX-members' of ntcc Blogspot

A safe place for Xers to share their stories and heal.

A place to learn what it's really like in the ntcc founded by Rodger Wilson Davis;
and run by his son-in-law, Michael Craig Kekel,
the father of the one vasectomy-rule-exception kid in ntcc, Grant Davison Kekel.

He Loves A House More Than God: Bonco Mansions of kekel (l) and davis (r)

He Loves A House More Than God:  Bonco Mansions of kekel (l) and davis (r)
"He loves a house more than God:" *Bonco* Mansions of kekel (l) and davis (r). Meanwhile, on the mission field: ntcc Missionaries to the Philippines "Rev. and Sis. Mackert ... found a place, 9 feet by 14 feet [9'x14'] and one bathroom. It is on the 6th floor and there is no elevator. The last place they had stayed, they had to share a common bathroom with the other tenants! Yikes! This place has their very own private bathroom, although the Rev. shared there is no seat on the throne, and no way to attach one…." from The Devonshire Files Sunday, May 28, 2006 Visit from the Mackerts (5/06). ** Should you know where the money ($$$$$) goes? **

Jesus In The Temple

Matt 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, Matt 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Gal. 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Skip To Blue Letter Bible Search Tool

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another NTCC Victim: Cori Lewis Murdered by Kelly E. Merz; Former NTCC Lay Pastor of New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc. Cult Confesses to Murder, Leads Authorities To The Body Of Cori Lewis, Whom He Buried In A Shallow Grave In Graham, Washington Not Far From The NTCCA Bible School aka NTCS Seminary Compound

On the 13th of September, 2011 former Graham lay pastor Kelly Merz of the New Testament Christian Churches of America (NTCCA), Inc Seminary (NTCS)  was arrested and charged with first degree murder in Graham, Washington where the body of his 33 year old female roommate was found in a shallow grave.  Merz confessed to his former wife, Cherlyn, and later to police that he had shot Cori Lewis in the head and buried her under a few inches of soil and debris in Graham, Washington.  This tragedy has been covered extensively by Bruce Smith of The Mountain News -- WA:

"A":  Story by Bruce Smith and Photo of Grave Site: Click Here

Google Satellite Image Showing Location Of Grave Site Near
The New Testament Christian Churches of America Seminary
Located in Graham, Washington State:

View  Map on Google

["A"]  New Testament Christian Churches Of America Seminary
["B"]  Grave Site Where The Body Of Cori Lewis was recovered
Blue Line shows the 3.2 mi route between the NTCCA - NTCS and the grave site
3.2 mi from the grave site to the NTCCA - NTCS New Testament Christian Churches Of America Seminary 
Compound in Graham, WA
"the church behind the fence"

Merz is a former lay pastor of the New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc. and had relocated to the Graham, Washington area to attend the NTCCA's seminary or bible school, the "church behind the fence" situated on the Orting-Kapowsin Highway between 210 St. East and 224 th in Graham, Wa.

  Pic Of Google Street View of The Church Behind The Fence, NTCC, Inc.
Picture of Google Street View of The Church Behind The Fence
 "The Church Behind The Fence" NTCC Inc. NTCS

Original Dispatch News Series on NTCC by Bruce Smith.  Update 2-28-14

Originally these links above brought one to the Five Part Series on NTCC.  Written by Bruce Smith and published by The Dispatch, each article had  multiple pages of reader comments offering a comprehensive look into the "church behind the fence" the NTCC.  The series and reader comments have subsequently been removed by The Dispatch original site; but for a time they are available by clicking on the numbered articles below. You may want to check out the few archived pages of reader comments published below each story. And you may also want to grab a cup of coffee or Pepsi before you begin reading . ;-)
Temporarily Available At:
Article #1:  A Look Within The "Church Behind The Fence"  --}  #1 Click HereArticle #2:  Life And Worship In The New Testament Christian Church [NTCC]  --}  #2 Click Here Article #3:  NTCC:  Is It A Cult?  --}  #3 Click here Article #4:  A Deeper Look Into NTCC:  Following The Money [An Impossible Task?]  --}  #4 Click HereArticle #5:  A Deeper Look:  Sexual and Marital Relationships in the NTCC  --}  #5  Click Here
"B":  Overview of The New Testament Christian Church - Current as of 2-28-14

This overview is an updated version of the original Five Part Series done by Bruce Smith for his own online news service:

The Mountain News -- WA.

Several new photos are in the article and some previously undisclosed information appears as well a hint of more stories to come.

Ange says,

When I met and knew Kelly Merz and his then-time wife Cherlyn in 1994-1995, they were happily married (for around, at that time, 10~11 years) and living in Fayetteville, North Carolina where they both faithfully attended the ntcc's Ft. Bragg Servicemen's Home and Church services at 3324 Rogers Drive.

The couple relocated to the Graham, WA area to attend the New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc. Seminary / Bible School (NTCCA NTCS BS).  They also began acquiring real estate properties that they rented to fellow NTCC bible school students, a practice that continues to this day, despite both Merz having left the NTCC.  If you know NTCC, you know that it this is never heard of; people "in" "the organization (NTCC) DO NOT have contact with those who have left.  In religious circles this practice is called "disfellowshipping" or "shunning".

Although the Merz divorced in 2004 after 20 years of marriage, they had enough of a friendship that Kelly called Cherlyn and tearfully confessed to killing his roommate, a 33 year old woman named Cori Lewis.

This is an unspeakable tragedy that, in our opinion, is related to the Merz' long-time involvement in the New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc.  Too many stories exist of ntcc putting extreme pressures on people.  Years of ntcc stress has caused many people to change drastically from who they were when they came into the ntcc.  One woman has shared that she was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stess Disorder) after her years of involvement with the ntcc.  We believe that is also likely in this situation.

Racism In Your NTCC (And Its Deadly Consequences):
For those who don't know them, Kelly Merz is a white man; and Cherlyn is a woman of color.  That should not matter.  But for those who know ntcc, they will understand what that means:

NTCC brags about being "a church of all nations".  But the ugly truth is that the NTCC has a well-documented history of putting down African Americans.  This prejudice stems from the head of the NTCC, rodger wilson davis and his son-in-law, NTCC CEO,  michael craig kekel.  From the pulpit and lectern racial slurs have abounded to include:
  • slinging out the N* word
  • teaching that "a white man who marries a black woman has low self-esteem"
  • white-black "inter-racial marriages" "limit the ministry"
  • rap music is "monkey" music
  • corn rows or braids were forbidden
  • a PONTIAC is just a "Poor Old N*gger that Thinks It's A Cadillac"
  • and more
As awful as this racism is, it is just one area of extreme duress the Merz would be subjected to in the ntcc.  Other areas exist.  We really believe that if they were not entangled in the ntcc system of rules and prejudices, Kelly and Cherlyn would still be happily married today and Cori Lewis would be alive.

Sadly, that is not the case.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Cori Lewis, who, in our opinion, is yet another victim of the New Testament Christian Churches of America, Inc.

Related Stories:

The Moreno Tragedy Click Here

"The Moreno Tragedy" discusses on this blog the ntcc pressures that drove Roland Moreno to shoot and kill his pregnant wife, 5 year-old son, and then himself.  Eerily, almost exactly eight years to the day, the Moreno Tragedy of death following ntcc duress is repeated in the murder of Cori Lewis.

Click on the labels below to see more related stories on this blog:
 "Moreno" and "Murder"

The Cori Lewis Tragedy has also been covered extensively by Bruce Smith on The Mountain News -- WA in (to date) four related articles:

1)  Body of homicide victim found in a shallow grave on 86th Ave in Graham; local residents provide critical information to police
(same story as "A", above)

2)  Update on Lewis homicide: Shooter had strong ties to Graham

3)  The New Testament Christian Church of Graham: an overview
(same story as "B", above)

4)  Update on Kelly Merz – an interview with his brother, Keith Merz

Further discussion of this tragedy took place on a site called Dreamin' Demon:  Real.  Life.  Horror:  Their article included many references including (1) to the Pierce County Court Database on Kelly Merz, and another (2) to the Prosecutor's Press Release- Removed.  The Dreamin' Demon article emphasized  Merz sexually violating Lewis' remains.  Click below:

Man Confesses To Kissing Victim’s Genitals After Murder

To return to the series about the loss of

The Moreno Family Click Here


Don and Ange said...

Unfortunately, Kelly is not the first long-time member of ntcc to resort to violence.

Another man, Roland Moreno shot his pregnant wife, his five year-old son, then called his ntcc pastor to confess and ask for prayer, before turning the gun on himself.

Triple Murder, Suicide

ntcc really messes with people's minds.

Don and Ange said...

The ntcc stress points that forced these men, Kelly Merz and Roland Moreno, over the edge have some similarities and some diffences.

Both men were doubtless made to feel as failures in the ntcc system that breaks people down and forces them into only one mold for the ministry. Anyone who does not completely conform to that mold is ridiculed from the pulpit and lectern and is publicly humiliated especially in the semi annual ministers' conferences.

Where the two cases differ is that Kelly and his former wife Cherlyn were in a black-white interracial marriage. That should not be a problem. But in ntcc it is a problem. While the church brags that they are a church of all nations, they also teach that b/w interracial marriages "limit the ministry" and several people have testified to being discouraged from even entering such unions.

In the case of the Moreno family tragedy, Roland Moreno wanted to enter the Servicemens' Homes ministry. But ntcc did not allow that since they had children. When Moreno learned his wife was pregnant, he bought a gun and murdered them all.

What a sick consequence of ntcc's constant false teaching that "children hinder the work of the lawd" quoting ntcc founder rodger w. davis.

When will the false doctrines end? We fear that unless people act to eXpose the ntcc and educate people, ntcc will continue it's business, no matter the cost of people's lives being destroyed and ended.

Chief said...

Great article you guys. The whole thing is sick and there is clearly a pattern here. To put it plainly, the NTCC drives people crazy. Such a tragedy for both of these men.

There is no telling how many other NTCCers or exers are out of their mind as a result of the intense NTCC brainwashing? Unfortunately sooner or later this same kind of thing will happen again with the NTCC. As terribly as the NTCC leadership treats their members, it's somewhat surprising that nothing has happened to the leadership yet. Hopefully it won't.


Don and Ange said...

Chief Said:

"To put it plainly, the NTCC drives people crazy. Such a tragedy for both of these men."

DnA Said:

I was talking to a former ntcc preacher on the phone about all the stuff we went through in the ntcc and we were talking about some of the crazy times we had in the ntcc. We did so many things that normal people would never do but we were in survival mode and we were trying to make the best out of a really bad situation. We both agreed that there was no outlet for all the suppressed feelings and emotions that we had. We were deprived of normalcy in the ntcc.

The longer people stay in the ntcc the crazier they get. Some are certifiable but they still are people. They have the same wants and needs that everybody has and it drives people nuts when they are held back from living up to their potential. Throughout history, fear has never been a great motivator. Fear can carry you through a leg of a journey but it will not sustain you all the way through.

In the ntcc, fear is the motivating force that drives everyone. They are not staying in because of love, for there is very little love. In the ntcc, they don't teach the basic and most important principles of God's word to love God and one another and to love thy neighbor as thyself. If you asked a normal person if one of their children left their house and made a decision to do something contrary to what their parents wanted for their future, would they disown that child? Most parents would say no but they would love that child and continue to love them and reach out to them no matter what.

If you leave the ntcc, you are nothing but a piece of garbage to the ntcc. They will never reach out to them again. You have to crawl back to them and beg for mercy and if they grant it, you will be forced to walk a straight line with zero tolerance for deviation. They will hold your past over your head and you will be more miserable than you ever were.

If you leave you also will be miserable because of the guilt that was instilled in your heart by the ntcc. They leave you with no hope either way. It's no wonder people turn into murderers and such. They feel like there is no reason for them to live. They have absolutely no hope. They have been told that all they have to look forward to is hell. What do they really have to loose?

Don and Ange said...

On Jeff Collins blog, Chief brought out some very interesting facts about why this
whole thing just doesn't add up. Summing up some of Jeff's thoughts and adding my own opinions into the mix, these are details that leavea foul stench:

1. R.W. Davis was reported to have encouraged people to rent from Mrs. Merz and current members of the ntcc are reported to be living in the four-unit apartments that she owns.

2. This goes against the teachings of the ntcc that it is a sin for a woman to have a job. She was described as the go getter while Kelly was described as borderline retarded. For her to have this kind of business relationship with the founder of the ntcc, R.W. Davis, she had to be working at that time.

3. Cherlyn was quick to say that there were no mental issues with Kelly when he was described by others as having emotional or cognitive impairments. While none considered him dangerous others said he was slow, had mental problems or was disturbed in some way, something was not right with him, he stuttered and was child like and compulsive, while they also said he was mild mannered and harmless. How would it be possible that his former wife of 20 years that employs him and lives in the apartments that she owns not realize that he has mental issues when everyone else did?

4. Years after leaving the organization Cherlyn has a business relationship with the founder of an organization that teaches women aren't supposed to work. Also the ntcc has never been an advocate of it's own members having anything to do with X-members of their organization. If you are an X-member of the ntcc, you are considered a complete reject, people are told to have nothing to do with you and after all how can light and darkness dwell together? One has to go. In my thirteen years of affiliation with this organization I have never seen one exception to this rule.

5. I know that Davis, the founder of the ntcc and Kekel the dean of the bible school love money and have lots of it. I'm sure this whole thing is a cash venture and there is not much of a paper trail but this is not the way that R.W. Davis does business. Perhaps there is
an element to this story that many folks are overlooking. This kind of uncharacteristic behavior seems to occur when there is something to hide. In other words Cherlyn has something on Davis and he is forced into a situation of providing a steady stream of responsible tenants
to occupy her apartments instead of having them turn into crack
houses. Just an thought to entertain here. If you are living right you can shout Amen, if the shoe fit's than you can say Oh, Me!

Whatever the case may be, this whole thing does not add up. If you take a deep look into Bruce's five part series, "The Church Behind the Fence", you will find that there are many things that don't add up about the ntcc.


Nicole b said...

One thing that really sticks out in this story is that Kelly and Cheryln were sent to Graham at all. It is widely taught that inter-racial couples can not go out and start a church. Yet the serviceman's home they came from had a pastor who recommended them to the school which is a requirement. And RW Davis approved their enrolling in his seminary classes despite what he teaches. It must have been very soon once they got there that they began aquiring real estate and renting to NTCC memebers and students.
And then, just like Eli Gesang, they became life long residents of Graham, Gesang for his ability to score building permits and build more real estate for the organization, and Kelly and Cheryln for their ability to rent to the faithful and skim the proceeds back to RW DAvis.
Forget the calling of God, the few who prove they can add to the NTCC profits in Graham become life long residents.

Nicole b said...

I argued very hard about getting out of Graham after 7 years of living there. I absolutely did not want to be there any more. Once we left the church I had nobody.

After much intense argument I was able to move thousands of miles back to my homestate, thankfully!, away from that mess and away from 158th st E where this murder happened.

It was here in my homestate where I first attended an NTCC church in a little storefront. And just across the street is where my attorney is that I hired to divorce me from my former licensed preacher husband. Talk about coming full circle.

Anonymous said...

I remember you nicole. You have always been in my mind as the beautiful girl with long blong hair with such a handsome son.
I am really heart broken that your marriage didn't turn out to be what you envisioned.
My prayer is that you will find a kindred spirit as you begin to live life again.

Don and Ange said...

Nicole b said,

"Forget the calling of God, the few who prove they can add to the NTCC profits in Graham become life long residents."

Don and Ange say,

Nicole, you are right on the money here! [Pun intended!] That is EXACTLY why davis allowed the Merzes to go to the bible school and why they became permanent residents in the Graham area.

Don and Ange said...

Nicole said,

"I argued very hard about getting out of Graham after 7 years of living there. I absolutely did not want to be there any more."

Don and Ange say,

The sincere people do want to leave Graham. Why? Because in Graham they see the butt-kissing and politic-ing. They see the double standards where davis and his cronies are completely unaccountable in all areas (time, money, work); but everyone else is held to standards that the bible describes as heavy burdens. They see the hypocrisy of davis barking at pregnant women claiming they ruined their husbands ministry, while davis, olson, johnson and now difrancesco and jordan all have kids. They tire of hearing the lies about "you love a house more than you love God" when, after 25 years of faithful service they try to purchase a home; but davis tries to defame them while he owns so many houses and rental properties that we have lost count of them... kekel has "never gone anywhere or done anything''; yet he is lifted up like he is some know-it-all. Puh-leez. What would he know about running a servicemen's home or sacrificing to live on the mission field?

Meanwhile all the money donated by people who are really "giving 'til it hurts" disappears into the black-hole of cash-only moneybags of the ntcc. with no account given where that money went. We know the missionaries are not seeing it or benefiting from it. They are left to fend for themselves, often until they are so desperate that they return to the States broke and or broken after years of no support from ntcc.

No wonder that sincere people want out of Graham, where "satan's seat" is and where "satan dwelleth"!

Rev 2:13 "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, [even] where Satan's seat [is]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas [was] my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth."

That really describes the bible school environment!

Don and Ange said...

Nicole said,

"Once we left the church I had nobody."

Don and Ange say,

Right! That is the fruit of the ntcc's systematic process of isolating their cult members from all "outsiders" who don't attend the ntcc.

The ntcc has worked hard to get you "in" and they know that the people who really love you unconditionally like your family and friends could take you out of the cult. That is why they don't want you to visit your family; they don't want you going home for the holidays; they don't want you hanging out with anyone who does not attend ntcc; they purposely keep you so busy you have no time to think about how isolated you have become; other churches are made fun of (blasphemed) by the ntcc; all people who don't go to ntcc are described as "sinners"... You see what is happening? Everything the ntcc teaches is to cut you off from legitimate Christians and family who love you. They want you all to themselves. They control who you call, who you visit, how you earn your money and on and on. They still require their ministers not to have t.v.s.

Shaking my head at the cult isolationist rules of the ntcc.

They use these rules to cut you off so you have no one left to turn to for help when you do realize what a cult the ntcc is.

Well, the X-ers will take you in!

Real Christian churches will take you in. In them you will see true unconditional love. You will see children and young teens who know more about the bible and Christianity than do most ntcc bible school graduates! You will see true leaders who practice what they preach and serve the people; not the other way around that you know is the ntcc way.

Do yourselves a favor and visit a real Christian church and see for yourself the difference between ntcc's talk, and true believers' walk!

Don and Ange

Don and Ange said...

Nicole said,

"Talk about coming full circle."

Don and Ange say,

That's ok, Nicole. At least you are no longer running in circles like a hamster in a wheel the way the ntcc treats people!

You are definitely starting over. But you've already come a long way and have many accomplishments to be proud of. Just keep working toward your goals. You won the day you left ntcc. There are good things yet in store for you!

Don and Ange

Don and Ange said...

Anonymous said to Nicole b,

"I am really heart broken that your marriage didn't turn out to be what you envisioned."

Don and Ange say,

We want people to understand that Nicole's marriage was undermined by ntcc interference.

If ntcc had not broken God's commandment to forbid not to marry, Glenn would have married the woman he loved from his youth. But ntcc, as a controlling cult, made a rule that you can only marry someone in the ntcc... Now we see the terrible end result of adding to God's Word and placing a heavy burden on people contrary to what God wants.

ntcc, especially davis who makes the rules, and kekel who enforces and endorses the rules, will have to answer to God for disobeying His commandments!

Don and Ange

Don and Ange said...

Kelly Merz was sentenced today, according to The News Tribune, to 32 years and 9 months in prison, the maximum sentence, for murdering Cori Lewis and sexually violating her remains:

Story Link Click Here

Anonymous said...

End #

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