Monday, August 3, 2015

Living Church of God Teen Dies At Summer Camp In Ohio



Tragedy hit the Living Church of God summer camp in Ohio when a young woman from Australia was killed while water skiing on August 2nd.



We have a report that a 19 year old teen staff worker at the Living Church of God Teen Camp in Ohio was killed today while water skiing. She had traveled from Australia to work at the summer camp in Ohio. Sheldon Monson is the director of the camp. Latest word as of Sunday afternoon is that authorities are searching the water for her body.

The teen who was killed at the LYC camp was Morgan Montgomery from Adelaide, South Australia.

35 comments:

Priam said...

Lovely girl nurtured by a wonderful family. Very sad. Will pray that God comforts and strengthens them and all who knew Morgan.

Redfox712 said...

What terrible news. This is very sad to hear. My thoughts go to the family and friends in this terrible time.

DennisCDiehl said...

Very tragic and sad for all concerned. It is so common here in the Pacific North West for these kinds of tragic summer drownings at all sorts of venues and camps. Condolences to the family who will be devastated of course. It's not why any parent sends a child on an adventure in their young lives.

An accident like this and the loss of a young life has nothing to do with where it happens or the organization that has to suffer through it with family. Stuff just happens . I do hope however that any ministry involved, no matter who, will actually be encouraging and helpful and not say, as I experienced with one who told a family who lost a child "It's been six months. Time to get over it."

You never get over "it". You barely get through it...

DennisCDiehl said...

One rather naive minister type made a huge mistake in telling a mother in his congregation who had lost an only child as a teen that God lost his only child as well so "He understands" She gave the most brilliant and enraged response to him by screaming at him.

"NO!!!! In that story (it is common to lose one's faith in this kind of tragedy) God KNEW Jesus was coming back in just three days. Even Jesus KNEW he wasn't going to stay dead. Shouldn't a "sacrifice" stay dead!???? If I KNEW my daughter was coming back in three days, I"d spend the time getting a party ready. My daughter is DEAD. Jesus death was just a mere weekend inconvenience..."

I asked her what he said...She said he apologized.

It's also not helpful to say:
"You will see them again in the Kingdom." They want them home for dinner

"God won't give you more than you can bare." They can't bare this

"At least you have other children." They loved that one (This is why I never understood why Job getting back 10 brand new spanking kids at the end of the book was so comforting. It doesn't work like that in reality. Parents love and miss the ones they knew and they are irreplaceable.

"You are not to grieve as others..." They will wish it on you to give that a try.

and so on...


Anonymous said...

Have you no decency? This post is crass voyeurism.

Connie Schmidt said...

Terrible tragedy. She was apparently hit by a boat after going into the water when she fell while water skiing. Story today from the Columbus Dispatch newspaper...

Authorities will continue the search this morning for the body of a 19-year-old Australian woman who fell while water-skiing and was hit by a boat in Alum Creek Lake on Sunday.

Andrew Hollenback, region manager of the Division of Watercraft at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said the woman, whose name was not released, was presumed dead.

The department was notified of the incident around 4 p.m. Divers searched the lake until almost 9:30 p.m. The search will resume at 8 a.m. today.

The boat’s driver was not identified, and ODNR officials did not release any statement he gave them.

He was cooperating with the investigation, they said.

The woman was staying with a church group camped at the Boy Scouts’ Camp Lazarus on Rt. 23, midway between Lewis Center and Delaware. The camp is sponsored by the Living Church of God, based in Charlotte, N.C. The camp, called Ohio Teen Camp, is one of several the church sponsors in the U.S., according to the church’s website.

According to the Ohio Teen Camp website, the camp is open to teens ages 13 to 18. Staff workers are age 18 or older. Campers were to arrive on July 28, and the camp was scheduled to run until Aug. 10, according to the website. Water-skiing was among the activities listed.

Campers at Camp Lazarus declined to talk to a reporter on Sunday night. A man who answered a phone number on the website also said no one was answering questions.

The Living Church of God operates in several countries, including Australia.

Byker Bob said...

In the final analysis, there really aren't any words one person can say to another that will take away the pain of the people who have suffered such a loss. I don't know whether there are chapters for Compassionate Friends and Others in Australia, but it is a support group composed of people who have lost children, and counsellors. I've been told they have been very helpful in these very painful life situations. Many people don't realize that a high percentage of marriages do not survive the loss of a child, and Compassionate Friends addresses this part of the tragedy as well.

That is, if, and this is a big "if" these ACOGs allow loving counsel from "outsiders". If not, this might be a really good place for defiance.

My condolences to the family.

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

It's a very appropriate posting n may help COG ministers n members to be appropriately and supportive of the family at this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for the usual statements of either "Satan is attacking God's church/people" or "It must be God's will". Or the usual fallback statements about rejoicing through trials and they'll be stronger for it. DD is right on target, COG ministers are the worst people to show any real empathy, but act more like a drill sergeant telling someone to buck up and don't let things get you down.

Anonymous said...


Another favorite they told my mother when my Dad died in a car wreck, "At least he won't have to go through the tribulation. Really? BAH!

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments here are really disgusting. Are you not able to be Christians and put aside as least for on thread all your comments about the various COG and just respect the memory of this girl and the grief of her family?

Anonymous said...

Inappropriate and classless comment. The family and everyone in LCG need our prayers. This is not the time to take your shots at the LCG clergy. Contrary to what you believe, your comment won't help COG ministers and members to be appropriately supportive of the family at this difficult time.

DennisCDiehl said...

Pointing out the potential pitfalls of well intended yet unhelpful comments is not classless. It is pre-emptive hoping to avoid the glib and not well thought out responses that are not in fact helpful. Having buried a number of children n hearing first hand from grieving parents of what and who helped and who n what did not help get through it , it's normal to encourage words fitly spoken during such a tragedy . If just ONE minister or member benefits from cautionary experiences then it is worth mentioning being cautious with overly simplistic comments no matter how well intended

Anonymous said...

Now that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

@12:05 and 1:03 - I wonder why such upstanding members and soldiers for all things COG would even be cruising and making comments on this site, unless you feel you have to be some type of crusader for all things YOU feel are appropriate? Totally agree that the family should be foremost in everyone's thought and prayers, but having been in and around the church for almost 50 years, the comments you take with such umbrage, have taken place. Especially during such times when the ministry should have been a place of safe haven for those you claim to support and not some hierarchical, self-righteous minion who seem to act like they were the absolute road to recovery, especially with such ill-spoken words that did more harm or left someone empty, than gave any comfort. I'm especially tired of LCG ministers, in particular, who seem to think that even a funeral, a time which should be comforting, is used as another "preach the gospel" platform, even using terms like "Mr. Blank would want you to know" and then blather on about their beliefs and not be a serving, and humble minister, which today is of and by itself, the ultimate dichotomy in the COG...

Anonymous said...

I knew Morgan fairly well and I also know the minister quite well. He would never say anything to offend anyone. We don't grieve as others do because we have something that others dont. Faith and hope in God. Morgan would not anyone to believe different she was a beautiful God fearing young woman whose raceway finished yes way to early and it's heart breaking but I have faith that I will see her agai . Your classless comment is rude and unappreciated.

Anonymous said...

Unless you know Morgan and her family, or someone else close to this situation you have no right to say what is comforting and what is not. COG ministers have been very encouraging and helping in this situation. Anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly not close to these people or this situation

Anonymous said...

Unless yout are close to.Morgan or her family or friends you have no right to say what it comforting and what is not. COG ministers have tried their best and have comforted alot of people in this situation. Anyone who thinks otherwise is here to start drama between groups and clearly has no idea what they talking about, they are using a terrible heartbreaking situation to harbor personal vendettas. It makes me sick to my stomach

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said:

"Anyone who thinks otherwise is here to start drama between groups and clearly has no idea what they talking about,"

Personally, I clearly do know what I am talking about. My observations are not intended to promote drama between anyone or harboring a personal vendetta. I've had parents scream at me as a minister about "where was God" and then blame themselves for "not tithing as they should," or "We know we don't go to church and Bible study as we should." I have had to restrain, gently but firmly, to protect both them and myself, angry moms hitting me for a few seconds yelling "why why??" and then collapsing in my arms in tears apologizing . I have been dragged into morgues in the basements of hospitals by parents who want me to see their child almost unaware that they are deceased. "Doesn't she look so peaceful Mr. Diehl?" Shock does that.

I have stood with a parent in the ER who rushed to be with a dying teen son because "I was there when he came into this world and I'm going to be there he leaves." I have endeavored to stop the bleeding for a teen son who failed to realize a gun cylinder rotates one more time when you pull the trigger and that will be it. It was it. Personally I have learned it is often best just to acknowledge the pain an forget trying to come up with some theological explanation that simply falls on deaf ears as such traumatic times as the sudden death of a child. Listening goes a lot further than talking at such times.

I hope that whatever hope lies within one at such a time as this is helpful and encouraging and gets them through but never over such events. It is what every parent and grandparent fears in one form or another.

At any rate, just endeavoring to be helpful with decades of minister/member/tragedy experiences and the insights and hurts the families who actually experienced such tragedies have shared with me or have come to me as complaints and hurts about how their minister was treating their grief and pain.

My deepest condolences to all who mourn Morgan's tragic death. I have had it on my mind all day at work and know all concerned and so far away must be besides themselves with grief and shock.

Allen Dexter said...

Time and chance happens. Being in a particular religion doesn't change that. I know, we all thought it would back there in the times of fervor, but reality is reality and I hope this poor family gets through it and can move on. There's nobody to blame.

Byker Bob said...

We had a lot of fun waterskiing at the original SEP camps in Big Sandy and Orr. Back at that time, the boat population was nowhere near as great as it is today, so it was probably much safer. Plus, the instructors and boat drivers rally emphasized safety. Ray Johnson, a teacher at Imperial Schools, built a couple of really awesome ski boats. One was a catamaran powered by two Ford flathead V-8 motors, and several years later, he built a boat with a jet outdrive, powered by a Chevy V-8 engine. Water skiing was one of the highlights of SEP camp, and I can't begin to imagine the sad emotions all of us would have experienced had there been any type of misfortune.

So far as the comments go, most of us remember the verbal ways in which Armstrongist ministers handled any number of events and experiences which affected us. In so many cases, these were horribly offensive, but we could not say or do anything about them at that time. We've learned that there really are much better, more caring things that can be said or done. When something beyond bad like this happens, people will often recall those things which were so hurtful from the past. Certainly none of the comments were directed towards Morgan or her family. They were directed towards those old, typical ways of handling events such as this, and towards the authority figures who use them. And, it's not so much a case of using a tragedy to take potshots at someone's church as it is taking shots at callousedness, and uncaring attitudes.

Humans are driven by their emotions. Until that is no longer true, and until there are no longer partisan positions, even the most righteous are probably doomed to hurt and offend others. It is unfortunately part of the human condition.

BB

Anonymous said...

I live near a large lake which becomes very busy in summer. There are speed boats, some driven by inexperienced or careless drivers. It has been quite a problem for swimmers and people on small crafts and water skiers too. Over the last few years there have been several serious accidents where powerful boats have hit people. One was a young person who had been drinking and rented a speed boat and hit a man on a water ski. He survived but had serious injuries and had to learn to walk again.

The smaller lake I live on does not allow boats greater than 10 hp, but even that is frightening to a person swimming.

I do not know what happened to Morgan, but it does seem unnecessary for a speed boat to hit a skier, even if they had fallen in the water.

Anonymous said...

I find this comment that was made above extremely offensive:

"We don't grieve as others do because we have something that others dont. Faith and hope in God."

This is the problem with Armstrongism and other cults that feel they are set apart from all the unwashed heathen masses of the world. They and they alone are the true chosen of God and every other Christian on the face of the earth is pond scum.

Are you really that stupid to believe that other Christians outside of the Armstrongite movement do not have faith and hope in God? You are a moron if you think so. Your so called knowledge is nothing special and has NOT set you aprt as the chosen of your god.

This is exactly what has been discussed by others above that a few got pissed over. Most of the Armstrongite ministers out there lack empathy and mercy and will certainly say STUPID things in regards to Morgan's death. I was at an LCG funeral a while back and came away from it ready to vomit at the utter filth that I heard still being spouted as inspired. A pox on them all!

Anonymous said...

I have never gone to a Living Church of God site, but found it very offensive that you would use this sad time to have
a "discussion" This is not a time to share "issues", but a time to pray for the family and the young people that were there.
You are discussing issues that ministers and others have . . . what about the lack of wisdom that you have in talking about
these things at this time. Get the beam out of your eye. PLEASE WHOEVER IS MONITORING THIS DISCUSSION . . . CLOSE IT DOWN. IF I WERE MORGAN'S PARENTS IT WOULD ONLY ADD TO MY PAIN.

Anonymous said...

Guys please stop arguing with one another, I'm an atheist and stumbling across this just feel like crying even more after reading. I knew Morgan and she was a beautiful person, I'll miss her along many others who had interacted with her. If her parents and family (great people for sure even if we often don't agree) receive encouraging words from either ministers or passers by so be it, and if someone makes an unintended "gaffe" so be it too, so long there's no bad intention behind, they'll gracefully appreciate.
Ciao

Anonymous said...

It seems like LCG suffers a lot more illness and tragedy than the average church.

Some will say Satan is attacking them. Some will say God has removed His hand from their protection.

Ken said...

Thank you Dennis for all of your compassionate and helpful comments.

Anonymous said...

To all those posting here that want to bring up past hurts due to the ignorance and insensitivity they have experienced or witnessed in the past (especially Dennis). While I can agree that insensitivity at time like this is reprehensible, how is that by bringing this up here and now - in the context of a tragedy such as this - how his it helpful to those who are grieving a loss?

It strikes me that anyone who has to "go there" has not learned the lesson of the insensitive ignorance they they so readily complain about.

Identifying a problem (Check)
Learning from mistakes of others (Not so much)

Anonymous said...

I feel the same. Those comments are completely rude and insensitive. When my baby died, it DID help to be reminded that I would hold my baby again in The Kingdom. I'm sorry your faith doesn't allow those comments to comfort you. But, quit telling people what to say & what not to say & get that hateful chip off your shoulder.

Byker Bob said...

In the case of racism, sensitive, sympathetic people normally allow the victims of it to inform us as to what racism is. And then, hopefully, improvements take place next time. Society, or groups, as a whole, become more sensitized as a result. It would seem that there is a similar, parallel, opportunity here that might be being missed.

Nobody has played HWA's game of "blame the victim" here. That might be appropriate in cases where somebody needlessly dies as a result of not obtaining medical attention for a totally treatable illness or disease, goes to jail for tax evasion, or does something incredibly stupid because they acted on false prophecy, but not in the case of a random accident which could happen to anyone.

Also, It's not as if photo-shopped pictures had been posted of the Black Ops tom cat attired in a sweater that read "Death is a gas!" here. Over all, there have been compassionate comments, with a few caveats thrown in regarding the non-Christian, non-Bible-based shibboleths of Armstrongism and being pondered. This has all been in the "take it to the next level" realm. Constructive criticism is not religious persecution.

BB

Anonymous said...

"...more than you can bare" should be "more than you can bear."

Anonymous said...


Those who don't agree with or don't like COG groups, consider doing something interesting and productive with your time that doesn't involve a COG group. Spending lots of time on the internet criticizing and complaining continues to focus your attention on COG's. Consider how much time you spend focusing on COG's. Consider moving on to focus on something else in your life.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this thread should be closed down if not removed out of respect for the lost and those who loved her. Irrespective to the validity of the comments posted, the problem is that if someone searches for the name of the girl, as I did, in hopes to find the latest news regarding her death or how and where to share in their grief, this thread comes up. It is NOT going to help and will do more to hurt and frustrate. Please consider its destruction.

Chuckles said...

Anon. 6:35 am.. You obviously miss the whole point of focussing on CoG groups. Otherwise we may get caught up with them. If it wasn't for this blog doing so I might have followed one of these groups, but thankfully this is where I learned a lot about them and after finding out about a certain group, or groups, I have to wonder if certain leaders are even of God. Why are you here?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 6:35am...who are you to tell others to consider doing something else in their life just because you don't agree with what they are doing, especially without even knowing why they are doing it.