Lighthouse Ministries of North West Florida

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Lighthouse Ministries of North West Florida is a behavior modification facility marketed as a Christian boarding school. It is located south of Jay, Florida [1]


The previous owner of the facility, Brother Michael Palmer, was a long-time associate of Lester Roloff - the founder of the Roloff Homes.

The facility was founded in California under the name Victory Christian Academy. Palmer and his wife moved the facility to Florida after a California judge ordered the facility to close and banned Palmer and his wife Patty from EVER working at another unlicensed facility in the state [2].

Palmer also owned Genesis by the Sea, located in Mexico, which was closed down after a raid by the Mexican authorities on September 10, 2004 where they found evidence of abuse, neglect and a "punishment cell."

In 2005 Palmer sold his part in the facility to Pastor Russell Cookston and slowly retired while setting up his new businees - an escort firm named Guardian Placement Services.

Program structure

An example of a weekly schedule is stated to be:

Weekdays Saturday Sunday

wake up around 5:30
morning devotion
free time
mid-afternoon devotions
Bible reading
free time
free time

night chapel or church
on Wednesdays and Sundays
going to bed around 9:30

Friday all is the same
except we have Friday night-
which is a fun night thing
where we watch movies and play
games and stuff

wake up at 8
clean the school up
then afternoon activities

wake up at 8
church 3 times on Sundays

The detained girl are assigned to a number of jobs such as everything-helper, laundry helper, kitchen helper, dinning hall helper, chapel helper and dorm helper.


The facility uses the Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) workbook curriculum provided by School of Tomorrow [3]. School of Tomorrow requries that just one person in an entire school be "certified" to use the curriculum. This certification is NOT from any state agency. It is issued by School of Tomorrow. This enables schools to use the curriculum without having any certified teachers by the State.


A girl can be put in detention where she has to write lines like "I will not disobey my authority". A number of lines has been mentioned to around 150,000 but the staff member has the power to reduce such sentences if they feel that it would improve the motivation to "work the program". Detention can last for months [4].

As of 2005 detention also involved the use of a "get-right" room a form for solitary confinement [5]

Other consequences can be extended chores like cleaning floors or cleaning the yard. Previously survivors have told that the cleaning of the floor was to be done with a toothbrush.

Consequences like starring at a corner wall or sitting in the "Get-right" room and listen to preaching while being observed by detained girls with a higher level of seniority are also used.


The detained girls are ordered to write there parents every Sunday and Wednesday!

Outgoing letters are reviewed with the dorm supervisor. If the contents is not what the staff expects they ask the detained girl to rewrite it. If it doesn't happen, they put a sticker on the letter to let the parents know that the contents of this letter should not be trusted.

After three months parent can either visit or phone with the detainee once a month. Visits can range from 3 days to 2 weeks, but overnights are not allowed. After 9 months the detained girls can be allowed to stay at home for 3 days.

Phone calls and visits are not monitored. But phone calls are limited to 30 minutes


A number of rules also exist regarding:

  • touching anyone
  • no cussing
  • cant take the Lords name in vain
  • etc.

In the news

Independent News brough an article about a small protest performed outside the facility due to an act of abuse committed in 1992 [6]

A girl named Carey Dunn" died while doing some construction work during her detention at former California location [7] [8].


  1. The facilities on Google maps
  2. International Survivor Action Committee on the facility
  3. Accelerated Christian Education
  4. The Good Things, salvation testimonies, experiences, anything good!!, a thread on Fornits Webforum
  5. Internation Survivor Action Committee about Victory Christian Academy - See 2005.
  6. Secrets in the Schoolhouse, by Duwayne Escobedo, Independent News, December 2 - 2004
  7. program deaths, tread on the myspace group called "End Institutionalized Child Abuse"
  8. Falling Lumber Kills Hesperia Girl at Academy, The Los Angeles Times, September 25 - 1988 (Reprint from International Survivor Action Committee)

External Links

Watch organization status