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Church Group Under Scrutiny Again After Another Member Dies

6:38 AM, Jan 20, 2005   |    comments
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By Jackelyn Barnard First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- On the small headstone in a Lake City cemetery is the name Sonia Hernandez. On another headstone, there is the name Michael Boehmer. Now, there is a new name, Kathryn Kennedy. All three have something in common, the church called Meade Ministries and that all three needed a doctor. According to a police report from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Kathryn Kennedy was a 23 year old wife. Ten days ago she was a new mom. That's when she gave birth to a little boy, but not in a hospital. Police say the birth went just right, but then the report says that,"....hours later Kathryn became very pale." Her husband, Phillip, told police, "....she appeared to have passed out in the bed not breathing." The husband began CPR,, "...then stopped....He, and other family members prayed for her, but they were not able to revive his wife." Three hours after Kathryn died, emergency crews were finally called in to help. Detectives report they were advised rescue was not called for some time because of religious reasons. "Why should we be sick now? Why would you want to be sick?" asks Brother Charles Meade, during one of his church services. Meade is the man behind Meade ministries and what is called the End Time religion. "This is the way it's going to be in the end times. Follow Jesus, he will keep you well and strong," preaches Meade. End timers believe medical care is the work of demons. For years, First Coast News has tried talking to the group about it, but no one will ever speak out on their religion. "I haven't seen anything strange going on," says Becky Cain, who is not an end timer, but works for an end time family. "I look at the people and how they treated me. I couldn't ask for anything better," says Cain. End timers have centered their lives around their church. "People don't understand the way they're living. They live differently. They stick together on things. They live together. They stick together with their jobs," says Cain. The group has bought most of the land in subdivisions surrounding their church and Meade's sprawling estate, which is heavily guarded. The group arrived in Columbia County in 1984. In 1989, Michael Boehmer, only four days old, bled to death from a nose bleed. Medical Examiners said all he needed was a vitamin K shot and he would have lived. A Grand Jury investigated the parents. No charges were filed, but the State's Attorney's Office tells First Coast News a warning was given to the community not to deprive children of medical care. One year later, four year old Sonia Hernandez died of pneumonia. Her parents were found guilty of child abuse. In the case of Kathryn Kennedy, police say she lost too much blood and died of natural causes. No charges will be filed. We do want to point out that many women decide to have a natural child birth at home. We checked with the American Pregnancy Association. They tell us while more than 90 percent of women have a doctor deliver their baby, eight percent opt to use a midwife.

First Coast News

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