Veletta Wilkins Edwards fancied herself as a prophet and an apostle. She headed a church called the Smiling Courtyard, where members gathered for mass in all-white clothing to signify their purity. But God apparently called bullshit, since their church was a trailer home in Clinton, North Carolina…
A sign by the front door declared the place a “Christ Project.” But we’re pretty sure Jesus wasn’t into the brand of Godliness Edwards was cooking up. (You can see her Facebook page here.)
Police say that over the past year, Edwards’ two granddaughters — ages 8 and 9 — were living with her in the trailer. And the alleged Chosen One had developed a perverse beef with the younger girl.
She was locked in a room for days on end with no food and no bed. All she had was a bucket to use as a bathroom. She was beaten and tortured, forced to sit in scalding water whenever she ran afoul of Edwards. Police say she was sexually abused as well.
But since the girls were home-schooled, they had little contact with the outside world, save for church members, who are the kind of people who apparently believe that Apostles beat up on little girls. Naturally, they weren’t much help.
The older girl seems to have avoided Edwards’ wrath, but the younger one’s condition was only discovered at Christmas, when relatives came by for a visit. Horrified by the girl’s condition, they called the cops. Police immediately took the children after seeing the conditions in the home.
Captain Eric Pope of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office says the girl showed signs of scarring from the torture. “There
were burns that had not been treated (and) were infected,” he told WRAL-TV. “The
grandmother was taking a tool and inflicting serious injury on her
Edwards is now charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Fortunately, the girl is far more Godly than her grandma, and appears to be doing well. “Her
resiliency is amazing, for her to have experienced what she did,” Pope
says. “My investigator stated that she was just a joyous and wonderful
See our last story from the Bad Clergy file: Catholic Priest Richard Nachajski Embezzles Nearly Half a Million.