New Bethany Home

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Checked September 27,2010
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New Bethany Home was the name for three facilities located at:

  • Longstreet, Louisiana (Closed 1981)
  • Walterboro, South Carolina (Closed 1984) [1]
  • Arcadia, Louisiana (Closed ?) [2] [3]

They were shut down after claims of abuse [4].

They were run by the couple Mack and Thelma Ford [5].

The Arcadia facility closed in 1992 [2], but reopened some year later. They battled the authorities not allowing fire inspections which could ensure the safety of the detained teenagers but lost in court [6].

Program structure


The claims of unhumane treatment consisted of these points [7]:

This facility used
corporal punishment
  • 1) Frequent whippings that left bruises.
  • 2) Beatings at the hands of other girls (big sister treatment)
  • 3) Being made to clean out animal pens with bare hands
  • 4) Being denied medical care.
  • 5) Being constantly called derogatory names.
  • 6) Put on watch and/or silence for minor infractions
  • 7) Made to wear high heel shoes for weeks at a time, even to do physical labor

In the news

In 1998 a grandmother campained for the release of her grandson, which she got with help from U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo [8][9]

Criminal conviction
Defendent: Olin King and
Robert King
Punishment: 5 years probation
(False imprisonment)
Issued: September 1984
Source: [10]

Two employees were sentenced to five years of probation.

External Links

Info pages

Survivor Groups

Message boards


  1. The Rod of Correction, Time Magazine, June 11, 1984
    HANDCUFFS, JAILING FULFILLED SCRIPTURE AT CHURCH SCHOOL, Miami Herald - June 4, 1984 (Subscription article)
  2. 2,0 2,1 Louisiana teen home cites reorganization in closing, The Associated Press, January 8, 1992 (Subscription article)
  3. Judge refuses to order fire inspection of school, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), September 14, 1996 (Subscription article)
  4. Welcome to The History of New Bethany, from Community Alliance For the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY)
  5. History of New Bethany,
  6. State wins round in school inspection, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), December 10, 1998 (Subscription article)
    Disputed children's home reopened, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), June 3, 1998 (Subscription article)
  7. It took 7 months to literally beat God out of me, and 27 years to be able to forgive those responsible., Freely Moving About The Kingdom - blog
  8. Fighting to free a grandson, Western Slope family campaigns for release of 14-year-old boy from Louisiana preacher's harsh detention compound, By by Lou Kilzer, Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, 1 November 1998 (Reprint from World Corporal Punishment Research)
  9. Teen Held In La. Camp Flies Home, Five months' incarceration ends after news stories, court order, lawmaker's intervention win release, By Lou Kilzer, Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, 11 December 1998 (Reprint from World Corporal Punishment Research)
  10. Boys Home, State Negotiating On Plans To Reopen, by Bruce Smith, The Sumter Daily Item, June 5, 1985