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Former pastor Giffin faces 6 rape charges

Published: Fri, February 20, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken

The former Cornersburg clergyman used his authority to take advantage of the woman, a prosecutor alleges.

YOUNGSTOWN — Dale Giffin, who resigned as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Cornersburg last fall, has been indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on six counts of rape.

The indictment, returned Thursday, alleges Giffin, 59, of Topaz Circle, Canfield, raped a parishioner while she was a young adult between 1993 and 1996. The reported offenses occurred in various places, including Giffin’s office, the Canfield Road church basement and sacristy, and in Giffin’s car and residence.

Giffin could not be reached to comment late Thursday.

Each rape count is a first-degree felony, carrying three to 10 years in prison upon conviction. That means Giffin could serve anywhere between three and 60 years in prison if he’s convicted of all counts, depending on whether the sentences are minimum or maximum, or in between, or concurrent or consecutive.

Dawn Cantalamessa, assistant county prosecutor, said the pastor sexually abused the parishioner beginning when she was 15. “He had groomed her from the time she was a minor,” the prosecutor said.

Because the statute of limitations then in effect has expired, however, the charges in the indictment pertain only to crimes allegedly committed during the accuser’s young adulthood, the prosecutor explained.

The accuser, now residing outside Ohio, turned 18 in 1989, and she came forward with the charges in August 2008, the prosecutor noted.

“He was seen as her authority figure. She was from a broken home. She considered him like her dad,” Cantalamessa said. “He used his status and his position with the church to take advantage of this young girl.”

Giffin gave her a summer job at the church, helped her get into college, and got her a job when she graduated, Cantalamessa said.

The case was investigated for four months by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department, said Lenny Sliwinski, commander of the department’s headquarters division.

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, leader of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, said in a statement: “I’m aware that Dale Giffin has been indicted by the grand jury on six rape charges. In November of 2008, Mr. Giffin resigned his call as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church ,and he also resigned as a pastor in the ELCA.

“Prior to that, I had been in conversation with Mr. Giffin concerning allegations of sexual misconduct against him that were brought to my attention by several women. He did not admit any misconduct to me but he nevertheless resigned.

“The Northeast Ohio Synod does not tolerate sexual abuse or sexual misconduct of any kind. During and since that time, I have been in conversations with leaders of Zion Lutheran Church about this situation. The Northeast Ohio Synod has continued to provide care and support to the congregation. I pray that those who have been affected by this situation will be comforted by God’s grace and healing presence.

“During this time, I ask for prayers for Zion Lutheran Church, the women and their families and for Dale Giffin and his family.”

Bishop Eaton said he resigned Nov. 16 from the church and also resigned from the clergy roster of the ELCA, though he was not asked by her to do so.

“This is very difficult for the congregation,” Bishop Eaton said. “This pastor was there for nearly 30 years ... that makes this all the more devastating because he held a position of trust.”

She noted that Giffin was involved in significant building projects and ministries of the church.

Ron Novak of Canfield and his wife have attended Zion for nearly 15 years. “I had hoped that something would be done because of these allegations of misconduct and the fact that he was in charge of the day care and with scholarships. I don’t want this to happen someplace else,” Ron Novak said. “I’m relieved this wasn’t swept under the rug.”

Novak said some members of the congregation have questioned what was going on. “When we would question him [Giffin] about our concerns, we were told if we weren’t happy there to go somewhere else.” Novak said he does think some members left. Bishop Eaton said she had visited Zion Lutheran last week to check on how the church and its staff were doing. She previously had met with the congregation, staff and church council. “We are working on trying to find an interim pastor,” she said.

Bishop Eaton noted that even under good circumstances when a longtime pastor leaves, the congregation must adjust. “This congregation has experienced trauma and hurt. They need time to heal,” she said. “We want to find the best person” she said about assigning an interim pastor.

The synod staff said Zion Lutheran reported a baptized membership of 2,327. The pictorial directory for 2008 has some 200 photos and 593 names of members.

Bishop Eaton, who was elected in 2006, said that Linda Hilliard, pastor of spiritual growth and pastoral care, and Frank Gross, pastor of preaching and teaching at Zion, are fulfilling pastoral duties at the church in the interim.


1DragonFly664(198 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

THAT is the stupidest comment I have ever heard!! The democrats do no wrong! Pull your head out allstar

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2aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

No, THAT was the stupid comment I've ever read.

"The democrats do no wrong." Hahaha.

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3bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm 29 1/2 and have been a member of Zion for 29 years. I have been on numerous weekend retreats, senior high youth outings, and been involved in dozens of events with Pastor Giffin. I have NEVER witnessed any sort of behavior unbecomming of a pastor. I have a very hard time believing Ron Novak's quote. Pastor Dale had said to people who questioned his integrity that they have to feel comfortable in their place of worship, not if you don't like it go somewhere else. We (the congregation)are all having a difficult time with this whole situation and would appreciate unsensitive, uninformed, and/or ridiculous political comments being kept to a minimum. Thanks.

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4aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Okay, well tell that to Vindy so they can block the comments before they start.

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5Bos13(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I fully support the comments that bee1012 has made. I am 30 and would have been in high school during the time the alleged acts were occurring. I also was on numerous weekend retreats, senior high youth trips, and other church events with Pastor Giffin, and never, not even once, did I witness anything in appropriate. I have known Paster Giffin for 20 years now. He has done too many things for my family to count, and I am forever grateful to have him in my life. He has been a rock to our congregation. His decisions have always been in what he viewed as the best interest for our parish, and as parishoners, we have a responsibility to trust in the difficult decisions made by the person God brought to lead us. Ron Novak's quote makes Paster Giffin sound arrogant and bull-headed, which are two qualities I have never known him to be. He has dedicated his life and career to our parish. What concerns me most is what triggered these allegations. Why, after 12-15 years, would someone come forward to destroy a man's reputation? It makes no sense. If the accuser lives out of the state and is no longer in contact, what would cause this to suddenly become an issue? This is a painful time for our chuch, and there are too many victims of this whole debacle. My most fervent hope is that this can be resolved peacefully. My thoughts are with Pastor Giffin and his family.

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6JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

You should be angry with your former pastor, not with people exercising their right to comment on the allegations against him.

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7JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Too many victims in your church! So you are saying that if these allegations are true that the true victims are the dopes that worshipped and gave cash to this guy while he was victimizing a child?


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8Bos13(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

First of all, let me make it clear that I am not condoning victimization of any kind. I simply cannot believe that these allegations are true. And, I have every right to feel that way. Second, I think it's highly offensive to you to call me and my fellow parishoners "dopes" in any case. Third, we worship and give offerings to God, not to Pastor Giffin. Finally, whether the allegations are true or not, there are countless victims - Pastor Giffin and his family that have to go through this, the accuser and her family that have to go through this, and every single member of our congregation who have had their spiritual lives affected by this. We all feel a sense of loss.

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9Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

There seems to be more than one allegation of sexual misconduct against the pastor. While my heart goes out to his family, my gut says he is a predator or at least an abuser. He has been indicted and the system will determine an outcome. Unlike other stories in the paper lately about women who have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse, this one would seem to be founded. Let the system do its work - too many pastors fall into this trap. Like any profession where there is a trust, we should all strive to purge these criminals from those positions. Prison has a way of dealing with sexual offenders.

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10DragonFly664(198 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Some do not relize how comments affect "everyone", and why it took so long for this person to come forward, and why "only" 1 person came forward. I dont know him, but he seems to want to help everyone, even "her" It does make you wonder.

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11aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Bos, it doesn't matter if it happened 12-15 years ago or last week. If these allegations are true, then this man is guilty, whether he's a religious figure, political figure, or some random guy who lives in his mother's basement. The fact that it happened so long ago and that the girl no longer lives in the state does not excuse his actions and he still should reap the punishment. This girl is clearly suffering from emotional trauma, and it can take a long time for someone to come to terms with that and do something about it.

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12bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Whatever happened to one of the things this country was founded on- the idea that an accused person is to be perceived innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Not to mention a little thing called statute of limitations. Some of you are already sending him to prison, and you've never even met him or the woman accusing him. Try taking a walk in the shoes of those of us who have respected and trusted this man for decades because he earned it. Not because we are all "dopes." Would you be so quick to place a guilty verdict on the head of your own pastor? How about your father, grandfather, brother? Why don't we let a jury decide whether or not he is guilty? I have faith in our judicial system and I feel the truth will come out eventually.

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13AtownParent(565 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

If he was indicted by a grand jury there is obviously some pretty good evidence that this man did what he was accused of doing. You can believe it or not, but grand juries don't indite on circumstantial evidence.

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14JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Every post above refers to allegations based upon public record and none imply guilt has been proven. Keep trying though.

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15bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

An inditement means there is enough evidence to warrent a trial, not that the evidence proves he is guilty.

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16JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Clearly we are talking to a regular Lionel Hutz, Esq. here, how about an indictment? What does that mean?

They really should cover the definition/spelling of indictment at churches as it has become such a relevant term...

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17Bos13(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow. You must really be an unhappy person to pick on someone's spelling mistakes while they're going through a difficult time. Your comments are distasteful. Voicing your opinions is certainly your right, but if you expect others to respect your views, perhaps you should begin respecting the rights of others to have theirs.

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18alydar(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes! Respect Mah Authoritah!

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19bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

My apologies on the misspelling!
Why is it that one person gets away with "relize" but you break out the dictionary on me? That hardly seems fair!

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20JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

If you are going to act like you know how the law works you should know how to spell common legal terms. Spare me the difficult time routine, too...I'd bet the accuser has had lots more difficult times since the time of the abuse than someone hurting her feelings on a message board (if her story is proven, of course).

Also I am quite happy, just not very tolerant of blind ignorance and faulty reasoning.

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21emeraldlady_03(9 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

There are more alligations and they are true. Unfortunately, I know the parents of one of the girls. Mr. Giffin was a very 'controling' and power hungry person. They appear to go hand in hand the power and abuse. My heart goes out to his family. I hope they all seek help. I am a member of the church and have 'felt' something was wrong for many years. I also worked with the youth of the church and it pains me to think of the girls that were involved.

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22Ragdoll(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

For the sake of the church and the family and all involved, I hope this girl is mistaken. I was called up for jury duty. I hope it is not for this case. If this minister is immoral, it is hard for those that depended on his prayers in times of distress. If he is being lied about then I feel sorry for the person that did it. Touch not my annointed and do my prophets no harm. We truly reap what we sow, even though we do not like to think about it. That is good for everybody. I know that your church has done a lot of good for the community. My prayers are with you all.

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23bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Was I wrong on the meaning of the word indiCTment?
Before you continue attacking those of us who are ACTUALLY affected by this particular case, won't you tell us why you are so concerned with it?
This is the first time I have felt I had the right to comment on a news story. I did so to merely voice my opinion of a person I have known my entire life. I am not pointing a finger at the accuser and calling her a liar nor am I saying she is not a victim. That is not for me to decide. I am simply saying that Pastor Dale has given so much to our family, our congregation, and our community that he should not be spoken about as if he were guilty when he has not yet been found guilty by a court of law.

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24One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey AtownParent,

"Grand juries don't indite on circumstantial evidence."?

Of course they do.

As Bee said - "Grand Juries decide whether or not there is enough evidence to warrant a trial." Any evidence - circumstantial or not.

Hell, Scott Petersen was CONVICTED based upon circumstantial evidence. There wasn't one shred of physical evidence that pointed to him as Lacy's killer. But there was tons of circumstantial evidence.

I'd still like to believe that old fairytale about people being assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, however I've seen the Court of Public-Opinion at work too many times to actually believe it anymore.

Sad. Really Sad.

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25aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

What's wrong with spelling correctly and presenting yourself well?

No wonder everyone thinks people in Youngstown are illiterate and stupid. I mean, come on, we see the word "indictment" a hundred times a week in the Vindicator. You'd think people would know how to spell it by now...

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26JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

bee, I'm concerned because you don't seem to understand the forum in which you are participating. In your first post you asked people to refrain from sharing their opinions and in your most recent you say that this is the first time you felt you had a right to comment. Everyone has a right to comment, regardless of their opinion -- there is no right or wrong where opinion is concerned.

That said, I'm also concerned with the confusion of how "victims" are defined in cases like these. Breech of trust on the part of parishioners is valid and no doubt is difficult to handle but can those parishioners truly be labeled "victims" here? Isn't the real victim (again, providing the charges are proven) the girl that was raped? I'll put it another way: there is a reason that betraying the trust of another or others isn't against the law.

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27tgif569(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

You ask, why would someone wait so long to come forward?? My question is, why should should someone live thinking they got away with a crime??
Why should she have to live with the trauma of what she went though by herself?

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28crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

If you read the article correctly, it states that the accuser turned 18 years of age in 1989. That means that this all supposedly started in 1986, when the girl was 15 years of age. So, that would make this 20-23 years ago that this, again supposedly, all started, not 12-15 years ago. I attended Zion Lutheran Church for many years of my life, going through confirmation classes, retreats and other youth programs with Pastor Giffin and another Pastor. I attended at the times cited. I believe that the allegations are probably true not only from the main accuser but from the other 6 or 7 women that are mentioned as well. I believe these because of things I experienced and witnessed. I was not surprised to read of the allegations back in November nor am I surprised of the 6 indictments today on Pastor Giffin. One had to attend and be there to understand. When you are a young girl, 13, 14, 15 and in the presence of your pastor, certain things should NOT take place! I feel for the young woman and other women that are coming forward.

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29crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

To tgif569: I agree with you 100%. It all comes back to Karma.

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30stewart(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

To everyone that wrote a comment -
The reason that the person waiting until now to come forward, is that maybe she was told not too tell. That is what happened to me when I was growning up. Don't tell anyone and the person that did it to me was a pastor also and he was my dad! And when he died I had all of these feelings that I thought I was a terrible person. I had to go to see someone for help. I was told that I had to tell everyone in my family. How do you think that I felt. No one ever knew! So let me tell you what I had to learn, that you might think that this person is the most wonderful person, and that he could not do anything like that. Well there are TWO sides of every person. And I'm sorry to say that the wrong side came out on Dale.

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31bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Maybe I do not understand the forum. I didn't realize that what people use these to do is ridicule the experiences and comments of others and go on rampant spelling checks because they have nothing better to do.
I did NOT ask people to refrain from sharing their opinions, I simply stated that this congregation, which includes both pastor and accuser, has been through a great deal, and merely suggested that "unsensitive, uninformed, and/or ridiculous political comments" be "kept to a minimum."
The definition of the word "victim" is "a person who is adversely affected by a situation." As far as the parishioners not being victims, it seems to me you may not understand the relationship between a person and his or her pastor. A pastor speaks the word of God; he or she explains the parts of the Bible that are confusing; they teach, inspire, and excite; they baptize our children, officiate our weddings, and give last rights to our dying relatives. Pastors are our living, breathing connections to God. How are the parishioners not the victim's as well? Regardless of the verdict and outcome of this case, we have been affected.
In his resignation speech Pastor Dale asked the congregation to not let this shake our faith, to trust in God and the church, and to continue in our spiritual journey at Zion. Those were not the words of a power hungry, controlling person. Those were the words of a man who did not want the faith of his congregation destroyed by the allegations and their repercussions. He removed himself from his position to avoid making the congregation feel like they had to choose who to believe.
I only hope the truth, whatever it may be, eventually surfaces. I pray for everyone involved.

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32letlightshine(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Take note that Dale preyed on girls whose fathers were either lacking or absent. He wouldn’t have stood a chance in trying to “groom” a young woman like a couple of the women who have written. It sounds like they had strong families in the church. Predators carefully target their prey. Being highly successful in church growth he was able to hide his sickness and his crimes. Crimes like his are acts of POWER as is all rape. Young girls are led to believe they were “special” and if lacking a strong male figure in their lives could easily be taken in by this wolf in sheep’s clothing. If a person of God says what they are doing to you is fine in God’s eyes, and it’s just between them, what’s a young impressionable girl to do? Dale Giffin lived two lives. Zion needs to face the facts that they have been deceived and need to have compassion for the victims, notice Bishop Eaton said “women”. It’s more than one whether their statues of limitations have passed or whether they are afraid to press charges since they might be ostracized by church friends or even family members. Obviously other victims have come forward . I am told that No Lutheran clergy volunteers to remove themselves from the roster of the ELCA unless guilty. It’s one thing to resign from the congregation but one resigns from the denomination’s clergy status so as to prevent litigation upon not only the congregation but the larger church body as well. I hope this victim has received the best therapy possible[maybe that’s how she came forward] by those who understand that clergy sexual misconduct is far more than a violation of the body, it is a violation of the soul/spirit and one’s whole trust relationship with God. I hope the victims have been able to connect with each other and to realize that each of them is not alone. Dale Giffin has also violated his profession because when clergy do what he did, all clergy[especially males] become a little less trusted by parishioners.

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33remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

First off... I would like to say that I am also a life-long member of Zion. I grew up in that church, as did my many female cousins, aunts, sisters and friends. I made my first communion, attended confirmation, senior high, and went on several retreats with Pastor Dale. I have never felt uncomfortable nor has anyone I know felt uncomfortable being around him, whether it be in a large group, or alone. Pastor Dale is a good pastor, and he has done a great deal for the people I care about and this community. I am intitled to feel how I please about Pastor Dale under the current circumstances, please do not try to tell me that I am wrong, or argue with my opinion, that is not your place.
For anyone who thinks Bee is trying to keep people from commenting, I think that maybe you should just keep irrelevant political comments to yourself. Also, spelling a word wrong does not make a person illiterate, and generalizing people in Youngstown like that, it is just silly.
I'm still curious why someone who has no ties to the congregation or the people involved would be so interested in this article, or feel the need to criticize the opinion of those who are. Enough is enough.

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34crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

BOS13 Quit ridiculing the woman/women that have come forward. Are they just supposed to hide it and let Dale Giffin get away with a sick crime? He is accused of preying on atleast one YOUNG GIRL! What if it was you? Or a daughter of yours? Or is it that you just turn a blind eye on the allegations? Seriously! My family, too, still attends Zion. We were ALL baptized, confirmed and made our first communions at Zion under either Pastor Alber or Pastor Giffin. Most were even married by either Pastor. To some it is just not even possible that this could be actions of Dale Giffin. I understand the trust factor. I really do. But do we honestly believe that these women just came forward to cause trouble? Come on! They have had to LIVE with this! Excuse me, but I am sorry that they are rocking your perfect little vision of Dale Giffin. Yes - he was a good Pastor to most. Yes - he excelled and is mostly credited for what Zion is today. But at whose expense? The women who have come forward and the congregation of the church. We are all victims. Open your eyes and see the light!

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35crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

After I did the math, and put the puzzle pieces together, I realized that I know who the main accuser probably is. We were all friends in what we thought was a safe place. I guess none of us were ever really safe.

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36remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Crazy- I must ask, if you knew all of the "shady things" that were going down, why would you and your family still be members of the church? If you feel so strongly about Pastor Dale being such a "sick" man, what sense does it make to continue worshiping with him?

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37jskzcc(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I have been a member of Zion Lutheran Church my entire life, my mother was baptized & confirmed at Zion.
Today my mother is heart sick. Her children & grandchildredn were all baptized, confirmed & married by Pastor D.F Alber or D. Giffen.
My children are of this age & they both, along with my niece & nephew knew instantly who the poor woman is without any doubt in their minds.
I have always had mixed feelings about D. Giffen, but my mother was always so sure he was a good man, after all he was the "Pastor" of the church.
I have had many people over the years say to me that D. Giffen informed them that he owed no explanation of anything to anyone and if they did not like it, leave. Many parishioners did leave.
As the investigation goes on, I fear there is alot more to come from this sad situation. More than sexual misconduct. D. Giffen loved power, his arrogance was blatant.
I applaud the Bishop. Too many times the victim becomes the criminal.

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38crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

REMK - I stated MY FAMILY, not me. I have not attended in years. I was not married by him nor were my children baptized by him. Furthermore, I never breathed a word of anything said to me or seen by me to anyone. I was a young, scared, immature girl. I, too, am entitled to feel how I please about Dale Giffin under not only the current circumstances, but past as well. Don't judge me on my unfortunate experiences. I, as you, am also entitled to my opinion. Not everyone reads a book by its cover.

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39remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Again....I need to ask, if it was so easy to figure out who the woman was or if you had life-long bad feelings about Pastor Dale, why stick around? I surely would not stay somewhere that I was uncomfortable and absolutely not put my children in a situation that I didn't think was right. It has been a good 2 years that Pastor Dale has been the only pastor in that church, why would you stay???

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40jskzcc(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

REMK: Since it appears that you are quick to judge, Tell me, why did Pastor Mark leave as quickly as he did? I did not state that I was a practicing parishioner of Zion. I have just never pulled my letter for the sake of my elderly church abiding mother. My children who are long time grown and gone and my grandchildren, thank God, have absolutely nothing to do with Zion!

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41bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I must side with REMK on this one. If so many people "knew" or "witnessed" what was going on, why on EARTH did NO ONE say ANYTHING!!
And what does Pastor Mark have to do with any of this? Are you saying he knew what was going on and he just left the congregation to fend for ourselves? Seriously?!?!

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42crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Don't you see? They ARE saying something. You just can't judge someone until you have walked in their shoes. Atleast this one woman was a young girl who had NO ONE to turn to. We ALL trusted him and listened to him. We were under HIS supervision when on those retreats. It doesn't really matter anyway, does it? It is out of all of our hands and it doesn't matter that someone didn't "tell" years ago. They are telling now. And anyone who has an opinion is going to argue THEIR OWN case. Would it have really made a difference if they "told" years ago compared to telling now?

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43remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Why on Earth would you drag Pastor Mark's name into this?!?!

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44remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Also, I cannot see how I am so quick to judge. I am asking why people who say they are members of this church, why if they were so unhappy, they wouldn't leave. I am a current member of Zion. Just to make that clear.

I am not asking why "scared children" were not "telling" I am asking why the parents with "bad feelings" didn't say something. I was on these trips too!! As were MANY of my family members and friends. There was NEVER a time when Pastor Dale was the only person supervising, there were parents or other pastors. ALWAYS at least one other adult, one of which was a FEMALE!

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45bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely! We were NEVER supervised solely by Pastor Dale.
Still waiting on an answer to why Pastor Mark is being brought up...

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46JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

My point, for probably the third time, is that there is no way that victims of alleged abuse can be viewed on the same level as victims of falsehoods. Why is that hard to understand? Looking at these two groups in the same light diminishes the severity of the alleged abuse.

Once things are matters of public record people (should) get interested, particularly where the inability of organizations that don't even pay taxes to effectively deal with predators posing as, in your words, "living, breathing connections to God" become the burden of the court system, and in turn, the taxpayers.

No one benefits from horrible situations like these, this much we can hopefully agree on.

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47crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Never say never. When I was on retreats, it was 2 Pastors and 2 dads as chaperones. Different cabins. And, the accuser states (as in the Vindicator) that incidences occurred in the Sacristy, the basement of the Church (this was before the additions to the Church), Giffin's car and his residence. I am curious to know if the accuser(s) tried to approach Church Council before going to the Bishop. And if they did, why did Church Council not do anything about the accusations?

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48remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

As a matter of fact, this women appraoched the Bishop first. Even before the police. I heard that personally straight from the Bishop's mouth.

Strange isn't it?

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49remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Excuse my typo.....to those who are checking.

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50crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


I agree with your views. The true victims are those that are the alleged abused. Giffin (if found guilty) should be held to the fullest extent of the law. The lives he has interrupted are numerous, but the alleged abused are the true sufferers. Power and control as exhibited by Giffin through the years will prove to be his fall in the end. I believe that justice will prevail in this case.

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51crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Do you know as it all the women who approached at once? Or was it individually done?

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52crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Also, do all of the accusers live out of town now? Are these women of different age groups?

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53bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

There are so many pieces missing and/or totally off in this case. Like why go straight to the bishop? It doesn't make sense. And, crazy8, the paper also stated retreats, which, as you even stated, involved more chapperones than Pastor Dale. It's little inaccuracies and illogicalities like that that are making this story hard to swallow.
And Jeff, isn't there another article conversation that has nothing to do with you that you could be butting in on?

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54bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

If you know so much about Zion and are so concerned with the details, why weren't you at the congregational meeting we had with the bishop where all these questions were initially answered? And if you are no longer involved at all with the church than what do you care now??

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55JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Again, understand the forum. Go to a discussion page to do the sewing circle thing without interuption, the link to which can be found at the top tool bar.

Please, at least respect my point-of-view as I've repeatedly respected yours. None of what you say is lost on me, I just happen have a different viewpoint.

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56JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

And, yes, there is a typo in my last post...

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57crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

bee1012: You do not have to be so nasty! I do not live in Youngstown any longer. I CARE because I am quite certain that I know who the main accuser is. I CARE because I grew up in that church and was friends with her and am still friends with many others. I CARE because other members of my family may or may not have been exposed to actions such as the allegations being brought forth. I CARE because my religion and my beliefs all stemmed from that church AND Pastor Dale. Does that answer your questions? Is it okay to CARE???

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58crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

AND, BEE1012: Retreats is NOT mentioned in the online vindicator article.

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59jskzcc(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Why do I bring up Pastor Mark? Because when he left so abruptly no one would give an answer then. Not Dale, not council.
Even Steveie Wonder knew something was going on, not necessarily sexual misconduct, but something was not right.
For years people asked questions, that were never answered and chose to look the other way. Look at the debt your church is in now.
You talk about retreats & outings that were chaperoned, a pedophile is way to smart to do anything in the light of day. Read the article, church basement, his home, his car, his office.
I'm sorry, but people did ask questions about many things and were told it was not there concern. Council never backed the parishioners that asked the questions.
Also, do you remember when you made your confirmation; you were made to go behind closed doors with Dale, one on one.
If you're going to defend him, that is your right.
Remember, this is no different than all the cases from the Catholic Church.
Children that have been abused, do not know that they are being abused when they are told by their parents that this is a person who you trust and is a man of God.

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60bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Jeff, you have not been respectful of my views in the least, in fact, in the one post that I agreed with your point you decided to attack my spelling. I'd hate to see what you consider disrespect.
crazy8, I was not being nasty, I was asking a question. How do these specific details of the situation affect you? You say you believe justice will prevail, but justice has already taken quite a hit today. If you CARE so much why are you saying nasty things about the pastor from which your religious beliefs stemmed from instead of calling some of the friends and family members you CARE so much about and asking them? It seems like you are trolling for dirt rather than CARING. Just my opinion.

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61bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

My apologies on misreading. You are correct- the article does NOT say retreats.

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62crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

bee1012: And as I stated, you are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine. You are apparently very closed minded and cannot see both sides of the story.

IF you had the misfortune of experiencing the uncomfortable experiences that I had, you might open your eyes. But, clearly that is impossible for you to even imagine. Not that it is any of your business, but I have spoken to my family and my friends and you would be surprised to hear some of their words.

There is no "trolling" for dirt (aren't you witty). I am afraid to see if I do know who the other accusers are, to know that I could have been one of them. I have my right to say what I feel about this ex-Pastor Giffin. As you do yours. I have said nothing nasty or untrue of him. I have spoken the truth. There is no Hit that was taken on justice today. It was a positive for the victims.

Again, you have your beliefs and your experiences and I have mine. I wish mine could be as pleasant as yours are of your experiences with Pastor Dale. Good for you. I do not care to go back and forth with you, you questioning ME. You do not know me as I do not know you. One thing is certain: These things should not be locked up inside someone so that another person, especially a man of God, can go on living life as though nothing ever happened. It will go to trial, more findings will come out at trial and a jury will judge his future. All of your friends must share the same opinion as you, especially those of the church. Or does everyone in the congregation at Zion share your views 100%? I think not.

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63JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps I was a bit overzealous with the spelling thing, bee; my bad. My reason for pointing it out wasn't disrespect, though. I doubted your grasp of the word and you showed that your grasp is pretty firm.

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64remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Jeff: you have not been respectful, for the record, but I personally am finished with you.

Crazy: Retreats may not be mentioned. Maybe it was somewhere else, but how much time did you spend alone in the church with Pastor Dale? or at his home or in his car? I don't care to share anymore information that we received in the meeting with the Bishop. Members that cared to know, do, and apparently the public will know soon enough if that is meant to be. Just know that the more "inside" information that goes further than this article makes a big difference whether it seemes fair to consider him innocent unless proven otherwise.

Another side note, Novak (man commenting in the actual article) was NOT an offical member of the church.

J????: At no time that I was alone with Pastor Dale did I feel uncomfortable and I also am still very close with the people that I grew up with in that church. Also, I never recall a time that we "went behind closed doors" with P.D. for confirmation. And as for Pastor Mark, I absolutely know that we (members) received a letter after he left. It was from Pastor Dale adressing the church.

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65bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I am simply defending his right to be considered innocent until proven guilty by the court. I am not bad-mouthing the accuser, whoever she is, I am not saying she is lying. I am saying it is hard to believe, based on my own personal relationship and on the ridiculously small amount of information given.

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66bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Jeff- thank you. I must admit, I have a great vocab, but am a terrible speller (:

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67crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Regardless: All WE can do is hope for the best for everyone involved and that does include the congregation. Just the two of us going back and forth could not compare to the thousands of the church that have their own opinions as well. I respect your opinions and your beliefs. Because of the congregation, the people of Zion, the church will survive and it will go on. Everyone will probably take away something from this mess.

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68JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

remk, was it the spelling thing or the "dopes" thing? In the interest of keeping things civil please accept my apologies. I'm all about harmony tonight.

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69sue(179 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I am confused. How many accusers are there?

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70bee1012(15 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I also must say that at no time in the last 29 years have I ever been the least bit uncomfortable around Pastor Dale, or felt uncomfortable with him being around my kids. And I'm with REMK- going "behind closed doors" with P.D. was not part of my confirmation either. And if everyone was so aware and involved when these alleged inappropriate things were going on why did no one say anything to anyone?

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71YGIRL(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow people! I am a member - for all my life. First off, it's fairly easy to pinpoint and speculate as to who the victim might be...all you have to do is read the Vindy article to figure the timeline. I was going through confirmation at that time. Let me tell you, at the time I was not creeped out by this, but looking back, I am. On a retreat once, it was Dale's suggection to play "spin the bottle" with us 7th and 8th graders. At the time we all thought he was so cool. I look back on that now and I am pretty weirded out by it. Harmless, maybe, you decide. I understand her going to the bishop. Everyone on council is in Dale's pocket. those people were picked by him - and voted on by the congregation - but do you know how you are chosen to run for council????? You are asked to run. anyone who would go against Dale was never asked. I think every member of council should resign. Why was he given a severance. I don't care if he was pastor for 30 years. I don't know of any other job that would give you a severance for quitting!! Crazy!! Anyone questioning why Chuck or Mark left got quickly quieted by council. Chuck asked questions. And now he's gone. Mark, too. Many people suspected. you can't just go accusing without evidence. and if you questioned it....well ask Chuck. Anyone inquire further about why the director of the Day Care left??? HHHUUMMM.....

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72YGIRL(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Oh and YES....we did have to meet with him personally before getting confimed.

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73JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah...I'm going to go ahead and log off now. Good night, all.

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74remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

guess someone is in Chucks back pocket....I'm sure we aren't partial to this at all??

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75YGIRL(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Based on comments in this blog, I think people need to speak up and speak out at church. Answer me this...why would he resign if he was innocent. If he was innocent he would fight an accusation of this magnitude. I think the only way Zion is going to get past this is if all the members of council resign, sell the stock that Zion has in Dale's brothers company (he's still profitting from us) - break all ties. Zion needs to move on with out him - completely. For all we know, he still is running the show through council. Tell me that thought hasn't crossed your mind.

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76Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

allstar720 :

So you are trying to cover for him because he is a fellow democrat? Would that make make both of you slimeballs?

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77crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

YGIRL: So glad to know that there is someone else out there that is not naive to the practices of Dale at Zion. And THANK YOU for confirming your point about meeting with him personally before getting confirmed. I specifically remember having to meet with him personally, one on one, regarding whether or not we were ready to be confirmed, our bible verse for confirmation, etc. Also, we must have been at the same retreat with the spin the bottle game. When you look back on it now, not exactly what anyone would want their child to play at Camp Mowana with their church group, is it?

I'm not familiar with all of the other practices with council since I have been out of Zion for years BUT I do know personalloy who the Day Care director is that left the position and I can only guess why she left.

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78username2(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Great vocab... then you should be familiar with the words SOCIOPATH and NARCISSIST.

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79psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I have been reading these comments all afternoon/evening, and I, too, am a member of Zion. Clearly, there are so many inaccuracies on issues mentioned. It is hard to believe that some people who have commented here are not current members of Zion, yet feel they "know" so much about what goes on there. Also, some seem to be so knowledgeable about Church Council and that for Zion to be able to go on, all Council members should resign. I, myself, applaud these unselfish individuals for their commitment to serve Zion. In this very troubled time, they are there to help our congregation move forward. I never once thought that Dale is still running the show through council. If you really want to know what thoughts have crossed my mind, I will tell you that the so-called coincidences and timelines of people coming forward and why these accusations have just surfaced after all of these years is foremost in my thoughts? What prompted someone to go directly to the Bishop?

I do agree with REMK....someone must be in Chuck's back pocket. And to YGIRL, you say that everyone on council is in Dale's pocket. WAKE UP!The church membership VOTES council members in. The church membership has the right to NOMINATE from the floor as long as the person being nominated has been asked if they would accept the nomination. Have you attended a meeting of the congregation? Just because someone is nominated to be on council does not automatically give them the position. The congregation (or those who choose to show up at the meeting) vote. All confirmed members of the church can vote. You act as if Dale had the final word on COUNCIL membership...he did not. It is your peers (if you are a voting member) who elect council members.

If you were at the last annual meeting of the congregation you would know WHY investments are with Dale's brothers company, HOW it benefits our church, WHY investments are kept there, and the RETURN Zion receives. Assumptions and accusations without knowledge breed stupidity.

I have one other question for YGIRL...do you know why Pastors Mark and Chuck left so abruptly. Or do you have someone's opinion of why they left?

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80username2(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

You must be engaging in the same type of behavior ... you sound awfully defensive.

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81username2(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Being a member of Zion does not mean you know everything that goes on or has gone on there. Don't be so naive to assume that you do.

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82psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wrong. I just know how the church council membership is voted on. I have never, nor would I accept a nomination to serve on council if asked, only because I feel others would do a better job than myself...if that is the behavior you are referring to (as in being in Dale's pocket). I do listen and attend annual meetings, and do not make harsh judgements, unlike yourself.

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83psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Dear username,
I NEVER stated that I knew EVERYTHING that goes on there or has gone on there. Where did you get that idea?

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84JewsForChrist(2 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow, I have been gone from Zion for many many years. I grew up in the church. Crazy8, did I kiss you once in the back parking lot?

To yous all who question when and why the girls came forward, shame on you.

To all of us that are parents, learn from this, love your spouse, don't trust anyone with your kids. My experience in the church has given me a solid foundation to build my life. I don't worship weekly, oh hell, not monthly or yearly, but I am spiritual. I am a happy grounded person irl.

This blog has reminded me of all the friends I had in the church. I miss you all, and wish I had stayed connected.

Mark is a smart man, that is all I'll say about that.

I can see Dale as a monster. lIke some of you have said, now, not then. I feel bad for him, what he did to his family and the church. We all have done things we are ashamed of. I chugged wine and waffers in the sacristy. (I guess the rest of you that were there know who I am)

To the women that we abused. I support you 1000%. My wife was abused as a child, I know the sturgles you are going through at this point in your life. It's not easy, but you WILL get to a point of acceptance and understanding. Know that you never did anything wrong.

I'm not sure what my point is, or spelling or sentance structure, but this has helped me, I guess, mourn, I hope it helps someone out there.

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85username2(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

The comment was in reference to Eric's post.

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86psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for clearing that up!

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87YGIRL(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Psych - If you know why the Pastors left you must be privy to more information than most. What does that tell us? Was it ever made clear why? If it was, why are so many questioning?

Let's see...one must be asked if one would accept a nomination to council...hhhuummmm....church council is supposed to be a group of people who care about what is best for the congregation of the church, not about fulfilling an agenda. I believe that council has not always had the best interest of the congregation in mind, or at heart, in the past. I think more than a few people feel that way, and not just about this circumstance. I wonder why I was never asked to accept a nomination? I contribute. I attend. I'm involved. Maybe I ask too many questions.

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88girardguy(7 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Seems to me that the Pastor was abusing his power, and that while the relationship may or may not have been consentual, it is clear that the Pastor was buying the woman's silence. She has come forward now that the gravy train has run out.

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892blave(24 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I love this: every time religion is involved, folks line up to show their ignorance.

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90letlightshine(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

The clergy-parishioner relationship is a sacred trust . The clergy[even more than teachers] are always the power person, entrusted with the sacred as well as physical lives of their congregants. It is never a consensual sexual experience. When the one who is to represent God to you and in the case of the woman in the article, he was like a “father”..do healthy fathers or God figures take advantage of the situation? Absolutely not! He is a black eye on all clergy.
This pastor took vows to a marriage and to the church. I hope his wife has the emotional and spiritual strength and the financial security to see that she too is a victim of a manipulative, power hungry individual who deceived her big time as well as a whole lot of people. My prayers are for her as well as all affected by this tragedy. Unfortunately clergy spouses often do not have a “pastor”. I hope she has a good and safe one.

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91Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Eric, may I suggest you peruse the Ohio Revised Code for the statutory definition and elements of rape? I think you will find that coercion is referenced and that an adult woman, even one who may have had "conseusual" sex in the past can still be raped if she subsequently rebuffs an advance, but yields under duress. I applaud the raw courage of the women who have spoken out here about their personal experiences. May you be considered not as 'victims' (a label), but as survivors. Rape is about power and control, not sex. It is a despicable act that uses sex as a weapon to subjugate and degrade a person, most often female. One of the most common threads in wrondoing of many types, as covered in the Vindy is the willingness of good people to do nothing. It is hard to speak out, especially in the face of power and risk of ridicule. Stay strong and clean this mess up in your church - take it back from those who have betrayed you and restore it to God's purpose. I believe in your passion, ability and commitment to do it. All the best to you as you rebuild.

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92redvert(2240 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

There are a total of 75 different stories listed in the news summary section with a total of 52 replies on 74 of these stories. This one by itself has a total of 94 replies as I write this message.

Is it just me or does anyone else see the way anything pertaining to religion seems to bring out the more vocal or let us say some of the more "tightly wrapped" readers.

I know I am going to get ragged on for the above statement but that is half the fun of this forum. Think what it would of been like before the Vindy made us register.

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93aeparish(669 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Redvert, you're absolutely right.

"Vouching for Vouchers" was another article with a religious undertone, and it received at least 60 some comments last I checked.

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94sue(179 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Why did pastor Mark leave?
Did he and Dale not like each other?

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95psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

ygirl - I never said I knew why the pastors left, nor am I privy to more information than any other member. I simply asked if you knew the reason they left or if it was someone else's opinion you may have heard. As for your question as to why you were never asked to be on church council, if you felt strongly enough about wanting to serve, you probably could have nominated YOURSELF or had a friend or family member nominate you. The church membership votes, not just council.

As for questions not being answered about an employee's hurried departure, where I am employed, those questions would not be answered either. We are not privy to that information at my place of employment. Maybe that is why questions were not answered by church council...privacy issues? I do not know that for a fact, it is just my opinion based on how personnel issues are handled at my place of employment.

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96lilduff5703(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I am a lifetime member of Zion, I've been baptized and made my confirmation, taken several classes, and attend every single Sunday. My family has been going there since my dad was born, which was 51 years ago, so we are very involved in Zion. When I found out this recent news about the rape charges, I cannot believe it. I've gone with him on retreats and never felt any weird or strange feelings around him. I think that all of these comments have a point, but we need to get passed this.. I, and the rest of the congregation are in great pain and disbelief, and we will have to see what happens. I will hope that you will keep Pastor Dale and his family, along with the victim's family, as well as the members at Zion in your prayers. And I think I speak on behalf of Zion, or at least the Senior High Youth Group, that we miss the presence of Pastor Dale, but there's nothing we can do to have him back at our church.

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97Valerie(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Are you a male?
Is your dad on council?
What if this happened to your sister or mother?
But Dale knew who to stay away from...
Most of the people at Zion who attended the meeting with the Bishop defended Dale. They do not know what goes on behind closed doors.
Other women are involved, not just this particular one.
The Bishop believes them--she is a female--unlike the past Bishop,who backed Dale for whatever reason.
Why did he resign? What WAS he trying to hide?
There are a lot of good people at Zion, including some of those on council. However, they need to open their eyes!
(And no, I am not sexist, so please don't attack me in that direction.)
I do keep Zion in my prayers. It is a very difficult time.

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98IknowZion(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Lilduff, take no offense, but it sounds like you are very young and possibly a bit naive. Of course your former pastor would not make any hint of inappropriate behavior in the midst of a crowd at a gathering place. People who are rapists will pick on people who obviously are vulnerable and an easy target. He is not going to pick on you, with a Father who is a life long Zion member, and probably contributes heavily to the church. He will pick on someone from a broken family; someone who he can easily influence and control. As Valerie says it is about control. With Dale, it was about POWER and CONTROL. So lilduff, the only way you can get through the pain and disbelief is to not just look at it emotionally, but look at the true reality of the situation. Is it impossible that a Pastor could do such a despicable thing? Yes, evil things CAN happen in the midst of something that is very good. I have read all these posts and many have brought up the fact that there are many at Zion that need to OPEN THEIR EYES! AMEN! Pray that the legal system gets to the bottom of this, so it never can happen again. Pray for Dale, but especially for Dale's wife, the congregation, and most of all, for the accuser. If all of this is true, this women spent many years in pure agony with all the suffering she has gone through. Her coming forward has probably been preceded by many years of therapy and some intense soul searching. lilduff, think of her when you start to feel sorry for Dale. Remember, as the saying goes, "Power tends to corrupt;absolute power corrupts absolutely."

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99PSWEET2006(6 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


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100JewsForChrist(2 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

hmmm, read any news report in the last several years, clergy is suspect. Some of them pimp God and religion for their own gain. They can be like the financial planner that takes all the $$ and screws over the honest hard working person. I guess only trust God, but what if God is actually something other than God? Hope for a loving God?

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101lilduff5703(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

IKnowZion: Thanks for your advice and your thoughts but I stick to what I believe in and the only thing that's going to change my mind is whatever happens in court. And also, it doesn't matter if I'm "young", I am just as greatly hurt by this event than any other older person.

Valerie: No, I am not a male. No, my dad is not on council.

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102IknowZion(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I am not discounting that you are as hurt as anyone else in this matter, maybe even more so. My point is that things can happen, even in the church. I respect you as a young person for standing up for what you think is right. I certainly hope you are right. Every person is innocent until proven guilty in this country, last time I checked.

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103remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

To any of you who think that the church council had some sort of agenda other than serving the church with selfless, good hearts....YOU MAKE ME SICK!!! These people put in hours of volunteer work to make the church run smoothly. They DO NOT make every decision for the church and they ablsolutely do not mindlessly follow the lead of one man...no matter what his actions are. It is one thing to attack Pastor Dale for what may or may not have happened, but these people would never "hush" a possible victim, or turn their heads if they thought something was going on. The people that are part of this council are hard-working members of the community who have FAMILIES. They have daughters, sisters, wives, mothers. It disgusts me to think that any person who is/was a member of Zion could possibly think that they would let something of this magnitude go on to their knowledge. THESE ARE GOOD PEOPLE!
You should absolutely be ashamed of yourselfs for trying to soil their names. Do you think that your father, uncle, grandfather, MOTHER wouldn't do a little bit of research if approached by a victim of sexual abuse. I know mine would. So vent and say what you feel you need to say about Pastor Dale, but leave them be. SHAME ON YOU.


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104psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

AMEN! Finally, someone who has the sense to speak out for the good people who do serve on the church council. Some comments made have definately questioned council members integrity. I agree with REMK...SHAME ON YOU for doing that! To be clear, I am not on church council either, but I do admire those individuals who give of their time to serve.

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105Valerie(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Sorry I make you sick, but these six indictments of rape by a pastor do not?
The council does consists of some good people as I stated before. However, this misconduct has been going on for a long time. This does not only involve council--alot of members believe he can do no wrong.
Go ahead and criticize me, just as you would the victims in this case.
This is why she and others have remained quiet for so long.
SHAME on Dale...so many people trusted him.
I pray for you. The truth will come out.

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106Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Eric - The ORC also speaks to sexual conduct (ORC defines this term specifically) between certain classes or types of people and defines this conduct as criminal violations. They include, but are not limited to - teacher/student; corrections officer/inmate; police officer/arrestee, etc. I think a cogent argument can be made that the power differential germane to these types of relationships is inherently coercive and pastor/parishoner is of similar class. That said, you are correct in that the news accounts do not present the total picture and it is unclear whether the victim in this case said "no" to the sexual conduct at any point. Of course, that doesn't matter if the victim was of certian age(s) when the conduct occurred. Then the ORC speaks to arcane requirements keyed to age differential and other factors. The law also does not necessarily require active physical resistance on the part of the victim. At the very least, the pastor's conduct is a severe ethical breach that is indefensible. In this case, there seems to be quite a few people who had some knowledge of inappropriate conduct on the part of the pastor. Prosecution of this kind of case is extremely problematic, as not much of what is in all these posts is evidence in the pure sense and is of little probative value at a trial. The ORC is an odd document - most sections reference other sections and are set forth in terms of the "definitions" at the beginning of each section. Those definitions often have subtle nuances in meaning, which makes the ORC somewhat unclear. I guess that is why there are Supreme Court decisions that interpret and apply the codified law. As legislators have learned, it is impossible to write law that specifically covers every possible variation of an offense. I guess my main point in the previous post was to illustrate that this case is not impossible to prosecute and the woman who came forward should not be subjected to any form of "blame the victim" bias so common in sexual assault cases. I am glad that someone else besides me has bothered to actually read the ORC...sorry if this post comes off as a 'lecture'. That is certainly not my intent and the opinions of all who posted are clearly strongly held.

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107remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

WOW.....seriously?!?! Did i ever criticize the victims in this case?? DO NOT put words into my mouth. I feel deeply for anyone who has something wrong done to them, but i also feel like he should have the right to go through a trial before stamped as a rapist. Have these charges been proven? Did i miss something?? Also, the Bishop asked for his resignation. Were you aware of that? You really should not generalize the members at the meeting like that. Those who cared enough to KNOW what was going on attended, not just those who were concerned in defending him. Were YOU there? By the way my last comment was not directed at you, it was to anyone bad-mouthing the council. THIS ONE is directed at you Valerie, and yes your last comment made me sick.

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108Valerie(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I was at the Bishop's meeting.
The truth will come out...

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109remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

ok so then, according to you, you must have been defending Pastor Dale. And I guess you should have known that the Bishop asked for his resignation. So, why again did you ask why he resigned?

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110sue(179 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

why did pastor Mark leave? (anyone?)

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111remk(13 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm tired of people linking him to this, he is a great pastor, who no longer is with Zion. Why does it matter?! He has been gone for 2 years. Call him up and ask.

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112sue(179 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree he was a good pastor.
I was sad when he left.
I was never on the inside of things to know why he left and never felt comfortable enough to ask.

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113Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Eric - Please also see 2901.01(A)(1)(2) and (5), General Provisions for definitions of "Force", "Physical Harm" and "Serious Physical Harm". Follow that with an understanding of 2901.23, "Culpable Mental States". upon which most crimes in Ohio are predicated. Then look at 2901.22 "Criminal Liability for Organizations".

Take all that and feed it into your reading of 2907.02 to get the whole picture. The discussion we are having here is precisely the kind of back and forth that would occur between the defense and the prosecution and is the embodiment of our adversarial system of justice. This discourse continues at trial until all evidence and testimony is heard and ajudication is complete. Until that time, NO ONE can profess to know what will happen - that is the sole province of the judge or jury. The pastor is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Now, before anyone leaps on that statement, also realize that criminal proceedings have already been brought against him. These are not lightly begun, but are based upon investigation that documents a rise from mere allegations to Probable Cause - a "...level of proof that would lead a reasonably prudent person to believe that a crime has been commmited and the accused committed the crime..." (the Carrol Doctrine). The Constitution guarantees that "No warrant shall issue but upon probable cause", so being indicted for multiple felonies is a very serious matter, based upon some evidence or testimony that is sufficiently strong to meet the thresholds discussed. Many more arguments must be made on both sides and there is always the possibility of a plea bargain that could result in a lesser charge being proven. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a grand concept - Osama bin Laden is "innocent until proven guilty", but what we know suggests he is a terrorist leader who committed serious crimes. I know, I know - the pastor is not Osama. Look past that to the idea - the concept. The prisons are full of pre-trial detainees who can't or shouldn't make bail and they, too, are "innocent until proven guilty". That doesn't mean that their lives just go on as normal, ignoring what we DO know. Most if them should never be permitted to walk among us again because the danger they pose to the public is given more weight and some simply could not be released pre-trial. It's not a perfect system - but it does work pretty well when compared to other criminal justice systems. A lot of energy is expended to protect the rights of both the victim and the defendant. I suspect you and I will need to agree to disagree on some of this. Those checks and balances are the grease that makes the system operate. Thanks for an intelligent and well reasoned discussion. I think we do agree that justice should prevail if we allow the system to operate.

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114JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Pastor Jeff here. Just checking in after a weekend retreat and I see lots of different conversations going on, many with excessive CAPS! Good stuff.

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1152blave(24 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

You know who else was a selfless laborer for his church? He was also a community pillar?

The BTK killer.
Folks are just so sure that they'd get a 'weird feeling' if something was going on. wrong.

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116SR111(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I commend many individuals that stepped forward and added some very to-the-point opinions on the Zion Fiasco. Psych and remk both offered valuable information, including hear-it-all before. Being in law enforcement myself for 20 years (and my fimiliarity with the ORC), I can certainly attest to the judical system and how it works.

Is this issue difficult to stomach? Certainly. Will we ever have closure? Possibly. I DO know for a fact that Zion's Council is working tirelessly and ALL have had sleepless nights over this issue--not to mention the staff that have taken the brunt of this hit. My hat is off to the individuals that "keep the ship afloat" through these turbulant times. The new President of Council will have his hands full in the coming year. I admire him for stepping up and taking the helm.

As a member, I can honestly say that Pastor Dale enfluenced me to move to Zion from another church. He was a class act. Unfortunately, this is the THIRD time that I have gone through this type of situation. Once, early in the 70's then once more in the late 90's. It's not pretty to say the least and none of them get any easier. Everyone loses when these things occur. I assure you, the trusted one-on-one discussions you'll have with the pastor behind closed doors are gone. It's simply too chancy for the clergy and it will undoubtedly influence would-be individuals from entering seminary. Doors will be open--and cameras will be focused.

The Zion family needs to be strong--and PRAY every day for ALL concerned. We'll get through this difficult time.

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117MzVirgoLuv(158 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

To the person who commented about statute of limitations: you should really think about that. There is no statute on how long the person will go through the mental ramifications of the abuse. I don't know the pastor or about the church, but I know whatever the truth is, it will come to light. And to all of you said they never saw any implications of abuse while with the pastor, maybe you weren't his type. My abusers are into church, have prominent careers and a nice family while all the other family members don't have a clue of what transpired when I was young. It has been 30+ years since my abuse and believe me, it still plays a part of my everyday life, in raising my kids (they don't sleep over anyone's house), even my own sex life with my husband. So before slamming either side, take a look at things, signs and actions. There is no limit on the effect so there should be no limit on statutes!!! And bravery doesn't come overnight. It takes time for people to gather courage to tell something like this. It took me over 20 years to say anything and I got looked at by the person like I was crazy. Now how is that for support. So tot he pastor and his congregation, God knows the truth and you reap what you sow. That goes to the person who is accusing also if he lying.

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118hello(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I use to be a member at Zion. I too remember playing 'Spin the Bottle" at the church camp. Makes me wonder if I was there at the same time as everyone else, or did this go on more than once?
People and Churches are not perfect as they will always let you down. People should attend church for reasons other than tradition. I once attended a church that ran out the Pastor. I no longer felt the Holy Spirit and decided to leave. My Faith grew as a result of my obedience.
I hope Dale is innocent. If he is not, the congregation should ask for the severence money back that was given to him. People scrape their much needed income to give to the church only to see it go somewhere like this. I feel bad for the congregation, especially their new beleivers. I would not want to see anyone give up on God over this.

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119dk313(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

As a prior member of Zion, I can only say that I always had an uncomfortable feeling about Dale Giffin. One of the main reasons that our family left Zion was because of his belief that the church was all about Dale and God had been put second in command in Dale's mind. Those who dared question anything that Dale did were quickly put in their place and ostrasized. He felt no one should question his authority and if they did, he turned his back on you and you were treated as if you didn't exist. I had heard rumors for years regarding inappropriate behavior with young girls, but wasn't willing to believe that a Pastor would do something so despicable. After I left Zion, many of Dale's "cohorts" wouldn't even speak to our family---and these are the so-called Christians that were running the church? I have a feeling that this is just the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to inappropriate actions by Dale Giffin. I only hope and pray that the current members of Zion realize that what Dale did was betray their trust and I pray that they find a new Pastor who will be trustworthy and put God above all else.

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120lilduff5703(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

2blave: Okay, so IF you are directing the comment on "weird feelings" towards me, and saying how "us folks" know when something's going on, well since apparently you know everything also and know the feelings people get when something's wrong is happening behind the scenes, PLEASE inform me because I am so lost. Because you know, "us folks" that are also active members of the church have NO IDEA what's going on- people like you do, so please, help me out !!

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121lilduff5703(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

2blave: Oh, and you ALSO might know that I made a grammatical error- I meant to say "when something wrong is happening.." I think I messed up because I was so thrown back by your comment, if you don't already know that.

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122mustbcrzy(2 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I was a member of Zion and do remember the retreats and the "games" that were played. Yes - I did find this very uncomfortable and No - I did not tell my parents. I was intimidated. I believe that inappropriate behavior took place - I left the church after I got married but stayed intouch with my friends in the church. Zion was run by Dale. If you spoke out against him - he got rid of you - most of council was hand picked by Dale - they knew that something evil was going on and choose to ignore it. I am glad that this is all coming out. The individuals on council know who they are - they are as much to blame. They could have stopped this a long time ago.

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123psych(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow, by some of the comments here, I'm wondering if I was going to the same church. NEVER ONCE did I feel that Pastor Dale felt he was above God as dk313 stated. I joined Zion with my husband's family and ALWAYS felt welcome by all of the pastors, interns, church council members, staff....everyone. I really cannot believe that so many people were "uncomfortable". As for comments by mustbcrzy, I think you are. Your comment that "Zion was run by Dale" is right! Why do you think he was there....it was his JOB to "run" Zion....he was called to serve there. He did receive a paycheck for the "running" of the place. I guess if you didn't agree with decisions made is it just easier to act like he was a control freak. Why do you think the congregation has a church council....to oversee the work of the pastors. Your other comment "Council knew something evil was going on and chose to ignore it" is just plain ignorant and questions the integrity of good people.

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124IknowZion(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

There has been a mass exodus from this church that started quite a few years ago. hmmm......????? Kind of makes you wonder. If you only knew, you would have left as well. These people really aren't making this stuff up, as you seem to suggest.

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1252blave(24 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

lilduff, You may have taken my comment as a personal attack, but it was in fact just an introduction of some science/logic here. It's true that people living double lives usually do so until a victim speaks up: they are not found out by someone else's intuition. Read about BTK. Or other people, especially sexual predators. They are way better at making you feel comfortable with them than you think. And its a good thing that we can't send people to jail on 'intuition' or 'I have a weird feeling.' There's a reason for that. It's not scientific, thus not provable as true. BUT in this case you have a victim who has nothing to gain by coming forward, and by the types of comments in this forum, lots to lose, especially as she is being villified by all the good people who trust their feelings.

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126SR111(3 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

All I can say--mustbcrzy--IS CRAZY. (You picked an appropriate user name). You're speaking incorrectly. Dale NEVER hand-picked the Church Council. The congregation nominates and picks the members of council. And I assure you, they are taking tremendous heat over this and they are doing all within their power to keep the ship afloat. This came to a shock to them as it did to the rest of the congregation. So stop pointing fingers.

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127xyz123(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Some of these comments are so naive. A power-hungry control freak will make others believe whatever he wants them to believe...and that's not hard to do when he is in a position of power and authority, not to mention one of trust.

For those of you that have said things like, 'Why didn't you say something if you felt uncomfortable?', 'I've never seen any such behavior from Dale or council', etc., I pray that something like this never happens to you or someone you love. If only we could all be as strong and smart as you.

Be open to the possibility that you've been fooled by a master... Not your fault, but likely the reality.

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128zionite(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow. I am a former member of Zion and recall so many good memories of retreats and sleepovers at the church--including the Mowana retreat others mentioned. Crazy8--we were likely in the same Confirmation class, and I also can assume who this girl was--it certainly isn't difficult. If Dale is guilty, and I believe he likely is, then he should pay the price. I am wondering if his family is standing by him. Crazy8--I think I know you.

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129worriedmom(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I am not familiar with this Pastor but I have been told he also owns apartment buildings. Does anyone know if this is true?

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130hello(4 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago


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131wondering(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I am asking this question for the purpose of understanding only and in no way am I trying to diminish the alleged victim's trauma or pain...

I am wondering if these acts were committed over a long period of time in different locations, why does that not suggest consenual act by participants?

I guess I am trying to grasp the fact that if I , for example, was in someone's office and something was done to me that I did not want done, I sure would never put myself in a position again for the same thing to happen. I especially wouldn't get into the alleged perps vehicle or go to his house.

I understand the abuse of position not only with ministers, but teachers, doctors, etc. as well. Also, I understand this might have started when victim was a minor, and it was noted she came from a broken home.

However, there comes a time in our lives,-- bad childhood or not-- when we become adults and have to take responsibility for our own actions.

Again, not taking sides here, just trying to understand better the legal system and how they classify sexual crimes. I guess it worries me that anyone that had a relationship and later regretted it or wanted to "get even" with someone can call it rape.(general statement here..not referring to this case) Let's face it...extra-marital affairs, though hurtful and dissapointing, are not illegal.

There are no victors in this case no matter how you slice it. Prayers should be offered for ALL involved and also for a swift and truthful resolution to this whole sad situation.

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132letlightshine(8 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Those apartments which Dale managed for his brother's Giffin Management, out of Michigan were sold for over $2 million in the summer of 2007..check real estate transfers. So the assistant prosecutor just said on WFMJ that two other women came forward, one where the violation took place outside of this county[let's pray she files where she was violated..where? Camp Mowana or Wittenberg Univ??..two of his stomping grounds!] and the other is older so the statue of limitations has passed. So at least three..how many more? How far back does this abuse go? I pray that any other victims/survivors have the courage to come forward.

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133padams3753(1 comment)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

I have been a member of Zion my entire life. I was baptized, confirmed and married by Pastor Alber. I was there when Pastor Dale first came to Zion. I have had nothing but admiration for all he has done to keep our church growing and changing. My children all went through Sunday School, Confirmation and Senior High programs. Their comments and feelings about this matter are of utter disbelief. I believe they come away from their experiences with a greater faith in God. Their memories are ones of being able to find meaning in their faith and not ever once feelings of "weirdness" toward Pastor Dale in the way some of you have mentioned. For thirty years I watched this man put in countless hours of his time toward all members of the church. Yes, I believe he was a strong leader, but he was quick to point out that the church was not about one person; it was to honor and perpetuate the discipleship of the church. This is just my opinion, but after reading through all the other blogs I felt compelled to voice mine. Not once in all of those thirty years did I ever feel uneasy or unsure of Pastor Dale’s commitment to the church or its members. He was there to guide my family through so much. He was also there to give advice (when asked) without judgment. I always felt he was a spirit filled individual that gave so much of his time and energy. I don’t know the other side of this; I don’t believe someone would put this out there for no reason at all…..so all I’m voicing is what I saw in this man, every Sunday, all of the learning series, funerals and every other function for thirty years.

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134crazy8(19 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Zionite- It is possible that I know you.

To all you of you so naive and closed minded: Do you not realize that the church is $2 million dollars in debt?? Tell me why that is and WHY Dale Giffin has told others and council tells others that it is due construction costs for the additions that were added onto the church MANY years ago. Seriously? My grandmother doesn't even believe that! Which is now causing her great distress in thinking that it is even remotely possible that Dale Giffin is capable of doing what he did. It is very hard to put your trust into someone for so many years and then have them come and rip your heart out in an instant. But it happens. It happens EVERYDAY.

And to all of you asking, I'll ask again with you: Why DID Pastor Mark leave? Why DID Chuck leave? (Anyone??)

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135truthrus(16 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Dale Giffin is a very flawed personality and when it comes to Zion he was to have complete control and power or else! I guess if I had been a part of his "inner circle" I could have predicted the outcome ofg his manipulative behavior over the years and know that "I" not only failed getting help for my pastor but more importantly "I" did not protect the members of our church! To be drawn into someone's hidden adgenda that was to further his complete power and control over a trusting and faithful congregation is inexcusable and down right arrogant! It's no wonder we are now lsft with questions that need to be addressed before we can hope to move forward and find a new pastor and perhaps a new council! Our congregation needs to unite and go to the next council meeting held March 17 at 7PM and ask the HARD questions those in charge have avoided answering for years! I don't doubt that some of council are decent people who were unwittingly sucked into Dale's deception but given the mess we are in and the budget and severence pay given at the January meeting is safe tosay that even without Dale, this council has decided to carry on business as usual. And for some, we sit afraid to say anything and come away just as intimadated as when Dale stood before us! It is hard to change anything alone.. but our voices can be heard if we unite and finally speak our concerns..together! Please read Part 2 of my comment...

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136truthrus(16 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

Part 2
We can ask questions and certainly no question should be considered frivolous. We need to ask why Dale is still listed as head of the daycare, where do those monies go? Is there a yearly audit is it from a non member, outside agency? Have we ever had an outside audit for the church books? Who did it? How long ago? Why do we need to have Giffin Investments still on our books..there are local investment firms not related to Dale who can give us a simular return! Why don't we have complete disclosure on certain line items in the yearly budget especially when we are asked to step up our yearly giving in order to support this budget? Line items like salary, FDIC, pension, auto, social security, etc> How do these items break down? And to whom do they belong to? And if we are paying employee salaries then don't we have the right to complete disclosure before asking us to vote on this unknown and very expensive portion of our budget? (calling the office to ask for the salary breakdown is a joke as the info sent you doesn't balance with the line item amount..this year alone there was a $86,129.00 difference! Could this money have been allocated for Dale's severence pay? And who gives the salary review, the church council or anyone the right to dole out that kind of money to someone who resigned from our church and clurgy??
And why are the same people always in charge of the salary review and the finance committees? On and on, and on.. I'm sure some of you have asked these same questions and perhaps have a few other questions of your own to ask.. so let's ask them, let's ask questions in a non accousatory mannor but once and for all let us not be silent or give up and leave Zion without the answers like hundreds of former members have done!If the attitude toward us is a negative and non compliant one then we'll know that we will have no future with a church who doesn't recognize ALL members. Let's call the church and let them know we are attending the March council meeting (it is your right as a member of Zion) and want answers to our questions! Unite through CHRIST and may God bless us all!

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137mustbcrzy(2 comments)posted 7 years, 5 months ago

POOR COUNCIL - I am not talking about the current church council. IF they did know about his total indiscretions - shame on them. They are just as guilty. The council that was in place when all of this was occurring knew. It was brought to thier attention. They choose to ignore the evidence and believe Dale. Shame on them! Dale has been a bully at Zion for years.

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138liveyourbestlife(7 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

My best friend is one of the victims. There have been more than 15 women come forward. Obviously, not much has been stated to release information of the case because Dale has not been sentenced yet. My friend was told not to tell any one or share her story until everything is finalized by law. Knowing Dales control of the council the two women contacted the FEMALE Bishop Eaton, many other women came forward to the bishop Eaton. And she was the rock in all of this. I give praise to her strength in helping to lead all of this. One of the victims was not from the past, but one was a girl Dale was working on before the two women came forward. Women HAVE come forward (including my friend 5 years ago) to the church counsel, but like it was stated before, they were told to leave. From what I understand, Pastor Mark did leave because of it. I suppose he felt he was up against too much. Just as the women felt. My friend missed about a year of high school, and went through intense counciling because of her cutting herself because of this creep. He has gotten away with so much. Please pray for the church. I know they are having a hard time with this. I hope they have the sense to realize the lesson in all of this and I hope they are praying for the victims as well. The women are all aware they have taken the congregation's precious Sunday from them. My questions the doubtful congregation is. . . Would you rather continue to sit in a pew and hear a lesson from satan dressed as an angel of light? Or stop being self-ish, stand up and do the right thing by praying and protecting women who could have never been victims because you did nothing? Who is your God?

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139truthrus(16 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

It has been almost 7 months since we learned the incredible truth that Dale Giffin was asked to leave Zion Lutheran Church because of sexual misconduct. Bishop Eaton has since tried to help members of Zion through this disappointing and astonishing revolation and I think she has a pretty good grip on how to direct Zion to the next level of healing. The only thing I think is missing is the confrontation of those in the know and in possition of "leadership" within our church. We need to ask the hard questions that so far have remained silent. How do we move forward without knowing where we've been ? And those who knew about Dale and his dark side are still sitting on council and in charge of our finance and salary review committees! The same people who handed over more than $74,000.00 in severence pay to Dale when he was the one who resigned..severence pay was not warrented..in fact that was a slap in the face to members who were asked each and every year to step up their gifts of giving.. for what, severence pay??? And these same members are running the church the same way Dale has run it... don't ask questions or else?? I think it is time for a congregational meeting where we can get answers..once and for all!!!!

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140truthrus(16 comments)posted 7 years, 2 months ago

It has been more than 7 months since we first heard the dissappointing news of Dale Giffin's sexual misconduct. Bishop Eaton has tried to help the members of Zion to get past this devastating news but there still needs to be a confrontation with the members of Zion and those in the know who have sat on concil, finance and salary review committees. These people have known about Dale's dark side but remained silent allowing him to put us where we are now. I think it is time to find out the facts, ask the questions and ask those who knew to step down. Dale has been back to Zion and speeks to his "personal" secretary daily.. could it be the shreeder has been in use overtime? How do we heal and go forward when we do not know where we were and how we got there?? Some of the more nervous "in the know people" would like nothing better than to see members who do not agree with them leave the church without the answers we all need to hear! Well, I for one will stay and ask the questions, I will not be silent, please join me for the truth!

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141truthrus(16 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Has anyone heard when Dale Giffin will go to court? Heard he managed to postpone 2 dates already... does that mean he will try to fanagle his way out of standing trial and getting off totally??!

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142truthrus(16 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Any news as to when Dale Giffins trial will be, heard he has managed to postpone 2 already...does this mean he is trying to settle out of court or is he hoping the hipe will die down before another scdeduled trial? What is happening at Zion? Anyone? Let's talk..

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143truthrus(16 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Heard the new minister of Zion is really a great guy and is looking forward to bringing Zion back to a "CHRIST" centered church. Has anyone heard as to when Dale goes to court? Still need to ask hard questions to the council.. if they're still in "POWER"?

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144truthrus(16 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

anyone know anything about dale and his upcoming trial...if there is one? can't beliee zion handed him $120,000.00 without asking the congregation for a vote. seems like business as usual there at zion with little or no regard to ALL members!!

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