(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)
We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at the Blessed Hope Boys Academy. For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm. If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Blessed Hope Boys Academy, you have the right to take action.
If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Blessed Hope Boys Academy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years. This will help! Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.
HEAL is investigating...
|Brother Gary Wiggins||Director/Owner|
|Mrs. Meaghan Wiggins||Staff||Meaghan is Gary's wife.|
|Levi Wiggins||Staff||Levi appears to be a small child. If he is staff at this facility, it should be investigated and prosecuted for child labor violations.|
|Ella Wiggins||Staff||Ella appears to be a small child. If she is staff at this facility, it should be investigated and prosecuted for child labor violations.|
|Elijah Wiggins||Staff||Elijah appears to be a small child. If he is staff at this facility, it should be investigated and prosecuted for child labor violations.|
|Brother Rodney Pinkston||Staff|
|Mrs. Amanda Pinkston||Staff|
|Brother Robert McWhirter||Staff|
|Mrs. Cindy McWhirter||Staff|
|Todd Fietkau Sr.||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Valarie Fietkau||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Earl Fietkau||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Todd Fietkau Jr.||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Margarette Fietkau||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Charles Thulin||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Zack Thulin||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Addie Thulin||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Faith Thulin||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Rachel Thulin||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Thom Bennet||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Wendy Bennet||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Wayne Allen||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Clyde McDaniels||Staff||McDaniels reported that he still works at this facility on February, 2017.|
|Drew Patterson||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|Rustam Zambrowicz||Staff||Reportedly no longer works for this program.|
|*(Blessed Hope Boys Academy, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices. Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience. Thank you for your help.)|
Blessed Hope Boys Academy utilizes the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE)
booklets as its sole educational service. (Source:
http://www.blessedhopeboysacademy.com/about-us.html). ACE, doing
business as Lighthouse Christian Academy and claiming to provide distance or
correspondence learning services for home-schooled youth claims to be "fully
accredited by Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and
Secondary Schools (MSA–CESS) and Accreditation International (Ai)"
https://www.aceministries.com/homeschool/ If you visit
and search for Blessed Hope Boys Academy, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and
Accelerated Christian Education, you will see that it is not listed as an
accredited program nor as a member. Accreditation International provides
a link to "The Alliance" where individuals can search for institutions
accredited by Accreditation International. Source:
http://www.aiaccredits.org/Home.html. We did a search for Blessed
Hope Boys Academy, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Accelerated Christian
http://worldwideaccreditedschools.org/index.php. Blessed Hope Boys
Academy is not accredited. There were eight listings for Lighthouse
Christian Academy. We found four programs named Lighthouse Christian
Academy in Tennessee, two in Maryland, one in Florida, and one in California.
Lighthouse Christian Academy (the one providing distance learning to Blessed Hope Boys Academy) is located at 130 Maple Drive North Hendersonville, TN 37075 and has a mailing address of P.O. Box 508 Hendersonville, TN 37077-0508. Source: http://www.lcaed.com/?content=contact. Lighthouse Christian Academy (Distance Learning) claims the following:
"Lighthouse Christian Academy (LCA) was awarded full accreditation status as a distance education provider by Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA), and Accreditation International (Ai). Ai is a recognized member in good standing with the Council on Occupational Education (COE) and the International Council for Education." Source: http://www.lcaed.com/?content=accreditation
As shown above MSA-CESS does not accredit Lighthouse Christian Academy. Source: http://www.msa-cess.org/RelId/606553/ISvars/default/Search_Our_Members.htm. According to the Accreditation International institution search at http://worldwideaccreditedschools.org/index.php, Lighthouse Christian Academy is accredited by AI, NCPSA, and MSA-CESS. But, the MSA-CESS does not show this program as being accredited. Regardless, AI, NCPSA, and MSA-CESS appear to be nothing more than membership organizations which profit off of every enrollment for those enrolling in "distance learning" programs such as ACE/Lighthouse Christian Academy. Source: http://www.aiaccredits.org/AIApplicationForm122909005ab-1.pdf
Regardless, Blessed Hope Boys Academy is operating its program in Alabama. Does Alabama recognize AI, NCPSA, and MSA-CESS as proper accrediting bodies for school credits/education? Faith-based schools and programs are exempt from accreditation, licensing, registration, and approval requirements in Alabama. Source: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/nonpublic/alabama.html. "Students enrolled in a church school before their 16th birthday are exempt from the new (2009) compulsory attendance law and may withdraw at age 16. Code of Alabama 1975 §§16-28-3, 16-28-1, 16-28-7." When applying to colleges in Alabama, do they accept diplomas from exempt schools and programs? NO!
The University of Alabama Admissions Department wrote:
"Good morning Angela, I hope your weekend went well. After checking with our Enrollment Management team, it looks like we would not be able to accept credit from this institution based on the accreditation concerns. If you have any further questions, please let me know, and I will do my best to answer them or get you in touch with someone who can. Have a great day. Hunter Denson The University of Alabama"
The potential for abuse in private religious boarding schools is extraordinarily high. This is especially so in states like Alabama that exempt such schools from any licensing and regulatory requirements. Based on our preliminary investigation we advise against enrollment at this program. We also ask that you watch the following interview with Police Captain Charles Kennedy (Retired) who discusses in detail abuses occurring at another "ACE" school in Alabama and states that ACE is not a properly accredited educational service/programs.
IN PROGRESS INVESTIGATION....
|25 boys removed from private group home in Baldwin County By Grace Tennyson Wednesday, December 7th 2016 S BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WEAR) — More than two dozen boys were removed from a private Christian-based group home in Baldwin County over the weekend. The Alabama Department of Human Resources did not say why the 25 boys were taken from the Blessed Hope Boys Academy, but they do investigate allegations of abuse or neglect. The sheriff's office has a meeting with the department later this week. Source: http://weartv.com/news/local/25-boys-removed-from-group-home|
|DHR removes boys from Baldwin County boarding school By Andrea Ramey Wednesday, December 7th 2016 ELSANOR, Ala. (WPMI) — A private, Christian boarding school for troubled kids may be in trouble itself. DHR confirms 25 boys were removed over the weekend from Blessed Hope Boys Academy and housed at Baldwin County EMA as their out-of-state parents were contacted. DHR will not provide details of what it is investigating, only saying that it investigates allegations of abuse or neglect. Local 15 News spoke with a neighbor who says she is the one who called authorities. "They were terrified when they came to my door," said Tina Boyington. Boyington lives down the road from Blessed Hope Boys Academy. Friday night, she says two 16-year-old boys came to her for help, saying staff was abusive and they couldn't take it anymore." "They said boys over there had been punished by being restrained. There had been one young man hit in the face. There had been one young kid locked in a closet, and if they were punished, sometimes they would take away their food," said Boyington. On the Blessed Hope Boys Academy website, it says a year stay is required. TV, cells phones and internet are not allowed, and the boys are home schooled. "Troubled teens that the families kind of at the end of the rope need some help, that have been in trouble and the parents don't know what to do but put them in a Christ-centered learning environment," said attorney Jeremiah Giles. The director of the facility is Brother Gary Wiggins, a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Wiggins says on the website God called him to this ministry. His attorney says there was no wrong doing, and DHR's action effectively shuts down the school. "I've got clients that feel like they're doing the Lords work but they don't have any work," said Giles. The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office says it will meet with DHR this week. Source: http://local15tv.com/news/local/dhr-removes-boys-from-baldwin-county-boarding-school|
March 1st, 2017
Last Updated: March 1st, 2017