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Author Topic: Open Letter From Barbara Kerr  (Read 2838 times)

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Daryl Fawcett

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Open Letter From Barbara Kerr
« on: February 08, 2008, 03:25:17 PM »

For two years now I, Barbara Kerr, have kept silent regarding the happenings surrounding one of my best friends, Linda Shelton. I am one of those ministries referred to in Dr. Abrahamsen's letter that was affected adversely by the split of the Shelton marriage. June 1st, 2004, all of Linda's programming was taken off of the air. By default, my ministry seemingly disappeared overnight as we had taped 99% of all of my cooking programs together.

I didn't know anything was wrong until the first week of May 2004. (I was in Italy the entire month of April and was not available to Linda.) As soon as I heard the rumors that she had run off with a Norwegian doctor, I called Linda (she was at 3ABN not in Norway). I jumped in my car the next day with my friend Claudia, and we made the 11-hour drive to West Frankfort, IL. We stayed three days and had an opportunity to visit with both Danny and Linda.

I would like to stop here and say that by my not being a paid employee of 3ABN, I have had a unique opportunity watching employees come and go. In seven years of volunteering at this ministry, I really got a feel for their personalities versus their characters. I also watched in horror, as some people would work so hard to position themselves to climb the ladder of success. You could see pride of position stamped on their foreheads as they walked the halls searching desperately for fame. It's no wonder Linda and Danny both have become leery over the years of people trying to become their friends. It's unfortunate that people will use people, but this is the real world after all, and God warns us that whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

I had the privilege of meeting many Godly people while volunteering at 3ABN who were the same off of camera as they were when the cameras were rolling. I would have to say that was especially true of Linda Shelton. She was as sweet, charming, spiritual and innocent off camera as she was on! If that was the only statement that I had to make about Linda, it would be enough, for each of you saw the real Linda as she held out her hand in prayer on every Presents program.

I have kept my mouth shut to the public about the things that I have known for the past two years because I knew that God would reveal every secret thing in its time.

Danny is a very powerful man. Maybe the most powerful man in the SDA church and his influence is felt far and wide. When he doesn't like you he has no problem picking up the phone to call conference presidents and heads of ministries. I have personally felt his wrath, and its consequences by standing up to him, asking hard questions (when everyone else was afraid too) and continuing to be a friend to Linda and support her through this nightmare.

I can honestly say that I hate injustice and I refuse to stand by and watch someone be bullied. My husband and I are very much the same in this respect. With that said, it was so incredibly confusing those first few months listening to both Danny and Linda talk about their problem. Each person was emphatic that the other person was lying. At this time, both Dan and Linda had credibility with me even though Linda and I were actually close friends. It would give me a headache just trying to sort out what each one had verbalized.

It was also clear early on that Linda had a receptive spirit to being counseled, while Dan was closed off and non-receptive. By that statement I don?t mean that he wouldn't talk to Claudia and me. He did. He just did 99% of the talking. It was as if Dan was on machine gun mode and his words just shot out of him like bullets. I should also say that at the time we drove up to 3ABN, it didn't matter to me if Linda was guilty or innocent. I was on my way because she needed a friend.

I was appalled that Linda had been locked out of 3ABN and completely cut off from talking to the employees. The hard drive from her computer was removed and she wasn't able to retrieve any information that she had stored in that computer.

I may not be a PhD, but it didn't take much common sense to see that Linda was being cut off from all former friends and co-workers. Linda, Claudia and myself talked for hours, we prayed together, we cried together and we counseled together. I kept hearing the words of Jesus in my ears; Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

Danny has always maintained that Linda would not receive counsel and it is my belief that nothing could be farther from the truth. What she didn't want was 3ABN arranged counsel and refused anything that smelled of it.

I had one opportunity to ask Danny tough questions during our three-day stay. I knew that even by asking, that they might not be well received. My questions were 1) Are you having an affair? 2) Have you fallen in love with someone else? 3) Are you willing to acknowledge that you have responsibility for your marriage falling apart?

Dan emphatically denied an affair or any love interest other than Linda, but he was completely unwilling to take one shred of responsibility for the marriage beginning to unravel. The entire blame was on Linda?s shoulders and he had many reasons why it was all her fault.

During the weeks that followed I received several two-hour long phone calls from Danny. I averaged about five minutes during those conversations. Again, his words flew out like machine gun fire almost painful to listen to. He was definitely on a mission to discredit his wife and isolate her from ANYONE that lent her a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. He sounded so extremely believable and convincing. He had some kind of so-called proof for every thing she was being accused of. Eventually Danny persuaded me with partial truths that Linda was the one in the wrong. I was even mad at Dr. Abrahamsen for not walking away from the situation because I believed he was only making matters worse by continuing to be-friend her.

Linda and I didn't speak for about three months (Oct.- Dec.), but she continued to maintain her innocence. Occasionally she would send me an email with an update and a kind word. Never once did she get mad at me for not siding with her. What I found strange was that every time Linda and I would begin talking over the phone again, within about 24-hours I would get a phone call out of the blue from Dan and he would begin his torturous rundown of all his evidence. (Were her phones tapped?) hmmmm.

I prayed that God would show me the truth in the situation and I asked for wisdom to respond to each of them. Whenever Linda and I began to reconnect again, Danny became angry. His words were more than unkind as he spoke ugliness about his former wife. I began losing respect for him not only as a husband, but as the Christian leader he should have been portraying! He spoke about his wife's menstrual cycle freely over the phone. (HUGE MISTAKE  how inappropriate and disgusting. AND, if he was discussing it with me, surely he was discussing it with others). He actually had the nerve to say one day, Well, I've always said that Linda would spread her legs for anyone. Unbelievable beyond words!!!!!! What Christian leader would say that? And to use the words I've always said. How many times had he said that to someone?

These disgusting statements weren't the first time Danny's words had turned my stomach causing me to lose tremendous respect for him as a leader. It is shameful to even repeat what he said. (I have decided not to repeat it because it's too horrible and what bugs me more than anything is that I can't tell this truth, because no matter how true it is, the incident is too inflammatory to be published. Maybe someday, the truth will be known.)

The last time I taped a cooking program at 3ABN was early December of 2003. I will never forget gathering up the last tray full of dishes and food on the kitchen set and heading for the door. As I neared the piano, goose bumps stood up all over my body and a voice so audible in my head said, "This is the last time you will ever tape a program here". I was so shocked I stopped walking, turned around to look at the kitchen set and said out loud, "No, that can't be". There was no shaking the feeling, so I stood there in stunned silence for a moment as I took it all in one last time.

I was sure the voice must be wrong because Dee Hildebrand and I had already set the schedule for the following year. The strangest thing happened though. My normal schedule of taping every other month beginning in January just wouldn?t work out. This time, no matter how we tried to arrange the schedule, the first possible spot was just after July 4th, taping a LIVE with Dr. Neil Nedley. Then, I wasn't on the schedule again until late September, so we also booked October, and December.

I don't remember if it was January, February or March (2004), but Kay Kuzma called my home and told me that she was working on a new book called Mending Broken People. It was to be a book about the ministries that made up 3ABN and the miracle stories that surrounded their work. She interviewed me for about 40 minutes over the phone asking questions about Taste Of Health and how my ministry had changed the lives of others. I shared several testimonies with her and she thanked me for my contribution to 3ABN and for allowing her to share my story.

I didn't hear from Kay again until late May or early June, 2004. This conversation was much different. She was doing her best to find out where I stood regarding Linda and Danny. I wasn?t budging from Linda?s side. I commented that Danny still hadn't been able to show me a single Bible text that indicated I should turn my back on my friend. I, too, was unable to persuade Kay of Linda's innocence - her mind was made up. We hung up. Her new book was published several months later and all traces of Taste Of Health miracle stories had been removed. It was as if by not including the seven years of volunteer work that I had done, they could pretend that I had not been a big part of 3ABN's health message.

Spring came. Claudia, my mother and myself spent the entire month of April, 2004 in Italy. It was just days after arriving home that we learned of Linda's being out-ed at 3abn.

May was just a whirlwind with the 3ABN mess, school getting out and one of my closest girlfriends was six months pregnant and needed a place to stay. Bill and I opened up our home to her and she asked me to be her coach. During my friend's doctor visit in June they moved her due date up to July 12th. She began to get increasingly nervous knowing that my tape date was on July 6th. I was growing more and more frustrated with Danny (the divorce had just gone through) and I really wasn?t sure I would be able to tape anything without Linda in the kitchen. It just didn't seem right. I was somewhat relieved because of the due date being so close and I called and cancelled the LIVE.

The baby was born July 15th, and my friend was still not back with her husband. She slipped into serious postpartum depression and missed her husband terribly. After working out the details of reuniting, she finally convinced me that she could not manage the trip home the first week of September by herself, so my husband bought me a ticket.

I called Dee the middle of August to explain that I just couldn't get my recipes together in time for the September deadline, that I had too much on my plate at the moment and that I would be flying back to my girlfriends home with her and the baby. I needed to cancel once again. Part of me was relieved. I still wasn't sure I fit in anymore.

The next morning I received a phone call from Tommy Shelton explaining that they had cancelled my remaining tape dates and that my taping cooking programs for 3ABN wasn't a good fit anymore. He was kind (as I had always known Tommy to be), but nonetheless, he was the axe man that day.

As I hung up the phone I began to cry and my crying turned into big red-headed sobs. Then I remembered the words the Holy Spirit had whispered in my ear last December, and I knew that in fact, I would never tape there again. I had been fired.

I knew that when I stood by Linda that it would most likely affect my taping at 3ABN, but then I?ve never been one to be politically correct. Unlike the actual 3ABN employees, I wasn't losing a paycheck. I had been working for free for eight years. You see, I had made a vow to God in 1994 that I would spend the rest of my life helping others to not get as sick as I once did. Danny Shelton didn't call me to the ministry, God did. Dan's allowing me to tape programs or not tape programs was a trivial thing to God, and it still is.

I had always known that Three Angels was only a training ground. The Lord had impressed me very early on that it was temporary and that He had something much, much bigger down the road. Looking back, I can't help but feel my seven years of training at 3ABN was the perfect amount of time.

Even though I was no longer an invited guest at 3ABN, it didn?t stop Danny from calling off and on to keep up with his Linda trashing. I decided that time would reveal the real liar. Even though what Danny said all sounded irrefutable, I couldn't get over how instead of trying to shelter and protect his wife from the public, he was tearing her apart with his words to anyone that would listen. It didn't take long for him to reveal more of his spots.

Because my programs had been taken off the air and I didn't own the rights to the master copies, seven years worth of my work was locked up in what I like to call cooking school prison at 3ABN. Three Angels would no longer air the shows because they had Linda in them, but they wouldn't donate or sell the programs to me either. They even refused to sell copies of the programs to viewers that would call in and request them. Clearly they were of no more use to 3ABN's ministry, but when I asked Danny if he would donate my work to my ministry his reply was, One shouldn't cut off his nose to spite his face. He then wrote an entire paragraph outlining all of the new rumors that I was supposedly saying about him. Rumors that I hadn't heard until I received his letter. He also requested a statement in writing that he could give to people when they wanted to know where I stood on the subject of him and 3ABN.

I was in a quandary. Even though I loved and supported 3ABN, I had lost pretty much all respect for Danny. He is unable to separate himself from the ministry in that way and I was unable to lie in order to receive those masters. This letter is my public response to his request, so everyone will know just where I stand in respect to how I feel about his ungodly leadership.

At the close of his last email to me his words cut me like a knife. He said,
"Barb, it honestly doesn't make me any difference who you support in this situation. We will all go on the same. Your influence, as you know, won't make or break 3ABN as well as make or break Linda.
But at least people won't be able to accuse you of jumping ship to serve your own selfish purposes."
I was filled with righteous indignation. Since when had working eight years without a paycheck, trying to educate the public and teach God's Laws of Health, qualify as serving my own selfish purposes? I decided to take an entirely different approach.

I've always been a prayer warrior, so I went to my Bible in search of answers. I kept reading passages from Psalms where David's prayers against his oppressors were extremely direct. David minced no words in telling God what he wanted done to the people that hated him. I had never prayed this way before and wasn't sure if I could.

I did change my prayers the day that email arrived in my inbox. My prayer became, "Lord, scatter Danny Shelton and his family like chaff in the wind. Set the oppressed free. Make us the head and not the tail. Contend with those that contend with me. You have promised not to be a respecter of Kings and rulers and those with a proud heart. Shut the mouth of those that speak lies about us. Let them be drunk with their own blood as with wine. But let Your servant rejoice. Let my accusers be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own disgrace as with a mantle. I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude. For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save her from those who condemn her." (If you read Psalm 109 I used this prayer as my example.)

This prayer might sound extremely harsh, but let me tell you, God began to move in a powerful way revealing every secret thing. Danny may think that someone he considers as small and insignificant as myself cannot touch the anointed one (as 3ABN likes to call Dan), but God sees every tear shed by His servants and hears every humble plea. PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Jumping back to the summer of 2004 (after Linda was fired and taken off the air) my mother and sister decided to surprise me with a fundraiser concert in Atlanta, GA. It was to raise money so Taste Of Health could build a kitchen studio. They worked for months securing a location and hired 24 musicians. Huge debt was wracking up on my mother's credit cards as she was self-sacrificing and planned this huge event. They told me about it at Christmas and I was so surprised and shocked, but happy. I so desired to build a studio and get back to work!

Long story short, two people that had agreed to participate in the concert both called on a Monday (the same Monday) to say how sorry they were that they couldn't participate. I will leave them nameless. One of the two called to tell me that Danny had called them and he had explained how if he/she came to the concert and supported my ministry, that it might be misconstrued and all of his/her conference funding for his/her new project might get cancelled, Dan wasn't sure. It was enough of a hint threat that they opted not to take the risk. I assured him/her it was okay, hung up the phone and cried for three days.

Finally on the third day I picked up a new book from Joel Osteen called Your Best Life Now and began to read. The more I read the better I felt. Chapters five and six were all about claiming God?s favor as you would claim the gift of salvation. By the time I was finished with those two chapters I was excited and claiming God's favor over my life and my ministry. My attitude changed and I quit sulking because of Danny's wrath (which I was now experiencing). I've never quite been the same since reading those chapters and having a deeper understanding of God's favor. I have learned peace amidst the storm. Dan's wrath doesn't scare me anymore because I know I'm surrounded by God's favor.

Even as recent as this past February, 3ABN was still blocking Linda from speaking engagements. Linda had been invited February 18, 2006, by our local pastor, to speak at the 11 O'clock worship hour and for the vespers program that evening here in Columbia, SC. As soon as the news that Linda was speaking in our church made its way through our conference office, our pastor received a phone call from John Lomacang (3ABN's pastor). Within a week I received a phone call from my pastor instructing me to call Linda Shelton back and UNINVITE her. I refused. Now, my very uncomfortable pastor squirmed as he gave me reason after reason that it wouldn't be politically correct for Linda to speak at our church. He assured me that he wanted Linda here, but that she had left the White SDA Conference not-in-good-standing. His hands were tied and there was nothing he could do.

Experiencing Dan's wrath did begin to answer the question in my mind, as to who was lying. Then I caught Dan in a great big lie. It was the last time he and I spoke on the phone. (It's never a short conversation when Danny is trashing Linda and re-hashing all his evidence).

That particular day I wanted answers about his relationship with his step-daughter Alyssa. Danny became very animated over the phone and bubbly. He said that he and Alyssa were great friends, they were buddies, and that he called her often and they had wonderful conversations. Alyssa had even recently written him a prescription (she had just graduated as a Physician's Assistant) for an infection he had. When I asked him about the backrubs he had been giving her before she left home (at the age of 23), he said, "Oh yeah, we're very close. Sometimes I would go in her room, and sit on her bed, and we'll just have great talks while I rub her back. It's just a loving gesture." We hung up.

What Danny didn't expect was that I would actually pick up the phone and call Alyssa to verify his story. Alyssa is a very sweet, private and shy person. When she got on the phone I explained how I had been in this tug-of-war over finding the truth. Danny always sounded so convincing and made Linda sound like a complete liar. I told her I would understand if she didn't want to answer my questions, but that it would put my mind at ease, finally!

When I explained that Dan had described their relationship as a great friendship and that they talked all the time on the phone and I asked about the prescription, you could hear a sigh of disgust on the other end. Alyssa said, "We are NOT friends, he won't quit calling me and I only wrote him a prescription because I felt sorry for him."

Then I asked her a very personal question. She was silent for a few moments, then answered my question with amazing honesty. I am not at liberty to disclose the biggest part of the lie that I caught Dan in that day, but it was the evidence I had been praying about.

"So do you want your mom and Danny to get back together?" I asked. "Absolutely not! He's a jerk and she deserves better. I never want them to get back together", she stated emphatically. I thanked her for her honesty and for helping me understand what the truth was and we said good-bye.

Alyssa handed the phone to her mom. Linda said, "Barb, I never knew why she moved out of the house so suddenly. I can't believe it." We said good-bye so she could go talk to Alyssa, and I sat there in stunned disbelief. I never told Danny that I had picked up the phone to verify his story. I didn't need to. God had promised over and over again that if I would just be patient and wait on Him, that He would reveal every secret thing in its time.

An Update On Taste Of Health Ministry

I just want to take a moment to say "Thank You" to all the loyal supporters of my ministry that continue to call and tell me that they miss seeing me and Linda cooking in her ?kitchen?. I have so appreciated your prayers and hugs over the phone.

Since the removal of my cooking programs I started doing more cooking schools again in churches around the country. I was also the main women's retreat speaker in Cape May, NJ, this past April. God also opened an amazing door here in Columbia, SC, at Fort Jackson, our military base. I am teaching a class (along with another woman) to the female officers called, "Every Woman's Battle". It's a weekly class on sexual integrity as God intended it. The class has been a huge success so far and we are excited about the questions these women are asking regarding the Bible.

My husband, Bill, and I will be in Spokane, WA, September 9th, giving our first marriage seminar on "How to Get Along". If you would like details, just call Mable Dunbar at the Upper Columbia Conference. (509-838-2761)

Some of you have noticed that I have quit posting a calendar of events on my web page. It was easier to eliminate the posting of events than to deal with the sabotages. I hope you understand.

A year ago in August, Taste Of Health applied for non-profit status. We are only days away from being approved for our 501©3 and we are excited about that.

Many of you have called to ask if I am going to tape programs anymore. The answer is, "YES" I am going to tape programs again because I want to get back to work doing what God called me to do!

I am saying 'Yes" in faith. The HOPE Channel and LLBN have both indicated that they would love to air my cooking programs, but neither facility has a kitchen studio. I am still without a studio or the funds to build one. (I've had the plans drawn up for a year now just waiting on God's timing to be perfect, and His hand to move on my behalf). Last week Claudia and I sat down and planned out 120 thirty-minute programs. I don't know where the studio will be, nor do I have the funds to accomplish this work, but that's God's problem. We have a deal - I work, and He supplies my needs.

God is so awesome and I just want to praise Him for everything. Even though the last two years have been rough, to say the least, God has taught me two valuable lessons that I wouldn?t trade for anything. He has taught me the lesson of rejection, (Believe me, you have only seen the tip of the iceberg in what has been printed on these pages), and He taught me to praise Him, in ALL circumstances, no matter what!

I'm not angry with Danny anymore when he attacks me. I don't hate him. I do pray for justice, and that God will use my ministry to bring ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands to know the Savior. Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. To God be the glory!
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