The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 25, 2007

Apostolic Faith Church razed

Man in prison in death of wife, members suspected in cult activities

By STACY MILLBERG and SHELLEY TERRY

Staff Writers

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP - - A little more than two years after the murder of one of it's members, the Apostolic Faith Church on Griggs Road has met it's fate.

The former church, located at 773 Griggs Road, is in the process of being demolished. The building has sat vacant for at least a year after church leader Charles Keyes relocated the church to Lake County.

A demolition permit was filed with the Ashtabula County Building Department on April 23 with Apostolic Faith Church listed as the owner of the property. The address listed on the permit is a post office box in Mentor. The contracting company listed on the permit is Bethesda House of Grace Temple, with an Ashtabula post office box listed as the address, according to the county building department.

Keyes first made front-page news May 7, 2005 when a former church member, Carolyn Clark, was murdered in her Ashtabula apartment by her estranged husband, in front of the five youngest of their 13 children.

In a sworn affidavit before her death, Clark described "cult-like activities" at the 200-member church, which included child abuse and mind control. She was the first member of Keyes' flock to renounce him publicly.

Clark's husband, Ralph, who remained loyal to Keyes and admitted to having beaten his wife to death with a rifle, has since been convicted of aggravated murder and is serving a life sentence in prison.

In the meantime, accusations of brainwashing, beatings and illegal child labor have mired Keyes and the Apostolic Faith Church in controversy.

Star Beacon Print Edition: 5/22/2007

Click here to order our 5/22/2007 Archive edition.

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