Heartlight Ministries Boarding School Bills Itself as ‘Safe Haven for Positive Change’
On Tuesday, we told you how â€œSupergirlâ€ actor Jeremy Jordan is trying to save his 17-year-old cousin, Sarah, who he says has been forced by her parents into “an East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens to ‘pray away the gay.'” Jordan reached out to fans on Twitter and Facebook asking for help.
My amazing friends & fans, PLEASE help us save my sweet gay cousin Sarah who’s trapped at a boarding facility in TX. https://t.co/mtVHMY1fdI
â€” Jeremy Jordan (@JeremyMJordan) June 4, 2016
If you can, please take a look at my previous tweet & retweet to everyone you know. This type of conversion therapy has to END!! #savesarah
â€” Jeremy Jordan (@JeremyMJordan) June 4, 2016
The New CivilÂ Rights Movement has confirmed that the name of the facility is Heartlight Ministries Boarding School in Hallsville, Texas, which bills itself as â€œa destination for teens to heal and grow.â€Â
“For 25 years, weâ€™ve provided a safe haven for positive change. Our residential setting offers struggling teens an atmosphere to develop healthier patterns during the most troubling times,” Heartlight’s website states.Â
Heartlight representatives couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.Â
A court information sheet obtained by NCRM confirms that Sarah’s aunt filed a lawsuit against the teen’s parents in a state district court outside Austin on May 18. Sarah’s aunt is represented byÂ Christine Henry Andresen, an Austin-based family law attorney who specializes in LGBT issues.Â
“I can’t comment on pending litigation, other than to authenticate that to the best of my knowledge, the background information on the GoFundMe shared by Sarah’s cousin isÂ truthful,” Andresen told NCRM in a statement.Â
To protect Sarah’s privacy, NCRM is withholding her surname. We have also chosen not to post a copy of the court document, to honor Joey Jordan’s stated desire to protect her family’s privacy. Joey Jordan, who launched the “Save Sarah” GoFundMe page, is Jeremy Jordan’s brother.Â
Joey Jordan could not be reached for comment, and Jeremy Jordan’s manager,Â Ted Schachter, told NCRM he is “choosing not to comment to the press about this sensitive case at this time.”
The court information sheet shows that Sarah’s parents, as well as Heartlight Ministries, have been served with citations in connection with the lawsuit. On May 30, Sarah’s parents filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. And on Tuesday,Â they filed a motion toÂ seal the court file. NCRM has requested copies of detailed records of the lawsuit from the local district clerk’s office.Â
According to Heartlight Ministries’ website, it was founded in 1988 by Mark and Jan Gregston, who previously were involved with Young Life, the non-denominational Christian ministry. In addition to operating the boarding school, Mark Gregston hosts theÂ radio program “Parenting Today’s Teens,” which airs on 1,500 stations throughout North America.Â
Heartlight’s boarding school provides “a safe haven of hope for 56 struggling teens at our residential counseling center,”Â according to the website.Â
“Our atmosphere of relationships creates an arena of change for teens and parents lost in a broken world,” the site states.
In online posts, Mark Gregston advises parents not to condemn children who identify as LGBT.Â However, he also recommends that they invoke the Bible in conversations about homosexuality, and makesÂ clear that he believes being gay is a choice.Â
“It seems like every time thereâ€™s a new lifestyle announced, that many teens, just out of a search for identity, run to embrace whatever makes them feel like theyâ€™ve found themselves,” Gregston wrote in response to an inquiry from the parents of a gay college-age son in January. “Whatever I would mention today, will be different 6 months from now, so to specifically target on issue is something that I donâ€™t think is wise.
“And Iâ€™ve got to say this as well,” he added. “I know that the gender and gay issues in a politically correct environmentâ€¦.you canâ€™t say anything without being wrong or open yourself for the potential of being misquoted or slandered. So, I watch what I write and prefer to share my heart about this topic in a seminar or one-on-one conversation where people can hear my heart and not open myself to their interpretation of what I say.”
In another post titledÂ “Addressing the Issue of Homosexuality,” Gregston wrote that hisÂ goal “is not to enter into a debate or defend one viewpoint or the other,” but to help parents engage with their children “on this topic in a loving, thoughtful and well-founded manner.”Â
“Your teen needs to know they are safe and loved, regardless of their lifestyle choices or beliefs,” Gregston wrote. “I understand homosexuality is a very sensitive issue for many people. But as Christian parents, we cannot be afraid to get involved in this ongoing discussion. Your teens are hearing from theÂ cultureÂ about homosexuality. But what are they hearing from you?”
According to Joey Jordan’s GoFundMe page, Sarah tried to leave the boarding school shortly after being placed there, but was apprehended by staff and later punished for the escape attempt. Then, when some of Sarah’s friends drove to the facility in an effort to free her, local law enforcement threatened them with arrest.Â
Joey Jordan alsoÂ noted that although 17-year-olds are considered adults for certain purposes in Texas, state law permits parents to force their children to stay in a residential boarding facility until their 18th birthday.Â
While some states have banned reparative therapy for minors, Texas isn’t one of them. In fact, the Texas GOP added a plank to its platform in 2014 endorsing the discredited practice.Â
Image of Jeremy Jordan via FacebookÂ
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘One Minute to Live, Sir’: Trump Shared Details of Soleimani Assassination With Top Dollar Donors at Mar-a-Lago Fundraiser
President Donald Trump shared moment-by-moment details of his assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani with top high-dollar donors at Friday night’s fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. The Commander-in-Chief also revealed he authorized the killing, not because of any supposed “imminent threat,” as he has previously asserted, but because intelligence reports, he said, found Solemiani was “talking about bad stuff.”
Killing Solemani as an act of retribution instead of as a preventative measure against imminent attack could be a war crime, legal experts have said.
The Washington Post reports Trump “spoke broadly about Soleimani as ‘the father of the road side bomb’ responsible for ‘every young, beautiful man or woman who see walking around with no legs, no arms.'”
Soleimani “was saying bad things about our country, like we’re going to attack, we’re going to kill your people. I said, ‘listen, how much of this shit do we have to listen to, right?’” Trump said, to applause.
The president also gave a blow-by-blow account of Soleimani’s killing.
“‘Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds.’ No emotion. ‘two minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8 …’ Then all of a sudden, boom,” Trump told the group of donors, according to audio recordings the Post received.
The Post also revealed that at Friday’s fundraiser, “Trump is heard boasting about increasing the defense budget by $2.5 trillion. To those who criticized his spending and the growing national debt, Trump said, ‘Who the hell cares about the budget? We’re going to have a country.'”
Lev Parnas Details ‘Intimate’ Cannabis Industry Dinner With Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
In an extensive interview with the Daily Beast, Lev Parnas — the associate of Rudy Giuliani who is at the center of more allegations of corruption against Donald Trump — revealed details of a meeting he had with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner that the White House has tried to dismiss.
Speaking with the Beast’s Betsy Swan, Parnas stated that we was a participant at a private dinner at the Trump Hotel, with Swan writing, “In October 2018, he attended a dinner in a private suite at Trump Hotel hosted by the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. The dinner, with around a dozen people, connected Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump with leaders in the cannabis industry. Parnas said he was invited because he “was a Trump loyalist,” and because the super PAC’s Director of Development Joey Ahearn knew he was pro-cannabis.”
According to Parnas, cannabis entrepreneurs were hoping to influence Kushner in the hope he could influence the White House’s stance on weed.
“They wanted Jared to be more involved, maybe help push the agenda with the president because they felt that that was something he needed to be more lenient on,” Parnas explained.
As for a picture taken with the couple that went viral, Parnas sais the White House was lying about the circumstances under which is was taken.
“The White House has claimed that a picture of Parnas with Kushner and Ivanka Trump was ‘taken at an event in a photo line.’” the report states. “Parnas, however, said it was taken at the intimate dinner with cannabis industry insiders. Two sources with knowledge of the dinner confirmed that it happened in October 2018 and that Parnas attended. The decor in the background of the picture–as Zack Everson, author of a newsletter on Trump properties noted–indicates the photo was taken in the pricey Trump Hotel suite where the dinner was hosted.”
You can read more here.
Rod Rosenstein Admits He Authorized Release of Strzok-Page Texts That Spawned Preposterous GOP Conspiracy Theories
Strzok and Page, who were involved in the Russia investigation prior to dismissal by former special counsel Robert Mueller, and whose extramarital affair inflamed Fox News’ outrage for months, revealed a dislike of President Donald Trump in their text messages, which formed the basis of GOP conspiracy theories that the FBI had been secretly working to bring down the president with the Russia investigation.
Subsequent investigations have failed to find any evidence that Strzok, Page, or any other FBI officials tried to politically target Trump with the power of the agency. However, a recent inspector general report suggests some of their surveillance practices may have been improper and require reform.
- LIARS2 days ago
Attorney Releases Video of Trump Talking With Giuliani Henchman Lev Parnas – Mocks Him for Saying ‘I Don’t Know Him at All’
- PARTISAN HACKERY3 days ago
‘Uninterested in Evidence’: Embattled Susan Collins Blasted for Dismissing Threats to Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch
- WHAM!2 days ago
Pelosi Slams ‘Rogue’ Attorney General Bill Barr: ‘I Don’t Know Who’s the Puppet – Trump or the Attorney General’
- AMERICAN IDIOT1 day ago
‘We Should Make Money Off of Everything’ Trump Told His Top Military Leaders – While Calling Them ‘Losers’ and ‘Babies’
- THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP3 days ago
Kamala Harris: Senate Must Halt Confirmations of Trump’s Judicial Nominees Until Impeachment Trial Ends
- NOPE NOPE NOPE2 days ago
Donald Trump Jr. Spreads Debunked Conspiracy Theory: Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Was ‘Monitoring’ Me
- NOT THE A TEAM1 day ago
Internet Mocks Trump’s Choice to Have Pam Bondi, Alan Dershowitz, and Ken Starr Defend Him at Senate Impeachment Trial
- RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM2 days ago
Watch Live: Trump to Announce ‘Big Action’ to Promote Public School Prayer