'Church Of Wells' Preaching Starts Melee At Community Parade

Two members of the controversial 'Church of Wells' allegedly suffered minor injuries as a result of a fistfight at a community event in Wells, Texas. Elder of the Church Sean Morris, along with acolyte Taylor Clifton, were at the center of the altercation, which occurred on Saturday, at the town's annual homecoming parade.

According to multiple witnesses, both Morris and Clifton were "preaching harshly", loudly condemning the townsfolk, pointing at children and telling them "You're going to hell." When a father of one of the kids, who also happened to be a Cherokee County volunteer firefighter, asked the Church of Wells street preachers to tone it down a notch, Morris responded by shoving a bible in the man's face.

Things pretty much went south from there.

church of wells members injured

The Church of Wells has drawn quite a bit of controversy in the last few years, beginning in May 2012 with the death of Faith Pursely; a three day old infant. Faith died under mysterious circumstances while in the care of her parents, who are both members of the church. The period between Faith's death and the time in which her father contacted 911 was at least 15 hours. The Pursely's have stated that the reason for the time lapse was their decision, backed by the Church of Wells, to pray for Baby Faith's resurrection, rather than seek emergency care. A post-mortem exam suggests that Faith Pursely may have died of neglect, although neither parent was ever officially indicted.

On July 2nd 2013, 26-year-old nursing student, Catherine Grove disappeared from her home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her parents received a short phone call from her 5 days later. She was in Wells Texas, staying with the Church.

Patty Grove, Catherine's mother, recalled that conversation in an interview with NBC affiliate KETK: "When she first called us on July 7, it was 11:30 at night, she said I'm in Wells, Texas, I'm with a group of people that are taking good care of me, but Mom and Dad I can't listen to you any more, I have to keep my hands over my ears and I can only listen to my 'elders,' and that was alarming to us."

This sort of familial disconnection seems to be the Church of Wells modus operandi. Fred Stoughton, whose son Brett is a member, has been trying to reconnect with him for years, to no avail. Stoughton describes it almost like a death in the family.

The Church of Wells home is a 100 year old former Masonic Temple
The Church of Wells home is a 100 year old former Masonic Temple

As for this past weekend's brouhaha, both Sean Morris and Taylor Clifton declined to press charges, as did the other party, who remained anonymous. And yet, tensions amid the small town's citizens continue to build.

Billy Bird, a resident of Wells Texas lives right next door to several of the members. When asked about some of the Church of Wells' recent and bizarre behavior, Bird said:

"We worry about what their motivations are... I mean, what is their ultimate goal? What are they doing here?"

For now, Sean Morris and the rest of the Church of Wells are staying mum.

{Image Via KETK TV]