PASADENA, Texas, Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of Faith Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, TX are protesting the Texas Dept. of Aging and Disability Services' (DADS) lack of oversight of what they claim are their church assets, along with the four-year retention of an elderly ordained Presbyterian pastor.
Rev. John Stout, a former NASA chaplain and disabled WWII vet, helped form the 40,000-member Apollo Prayer League. APL worked with Apollo 14 astronauts to land the King James Version of the Holy Bible on the moon in 1971. The League operated under the auspices of Faith Presbyterian Church as a 501(c)3.
Now, 91, Stout, the League and the church figure prominently in a book about their roles in getting the first Bible to the moon onboard a spacecraft. "The Apostles of Apollo: The Journey of the Bible to the Moon..." by Tulsa, OK, author Carol Mersch. (http://www.apostlesofapollo.com)
According to court records, in October 2010, DADS took possession of Stout's assets, including various space memorabilia -- dozens of valuable lunar bibles in microfiche form that had gone to the lunar surface or circled the moon. A similar one was auctioned by Heritage Galleries in Dallas in May for $75,000.
The pastor and his wife Mary Helen were declared "incapacitated" wards of the state and relegated to the Heritage Villa Nursing Home, Dayton, TX, as federally-supported Medicaid residents. (Texas Case No. CV25849, 344th District Court. Texas Dept., 02/09/10, Order Appointing Permanent Guardian of the Person and Estate)
In Sept. 2012, a DADS guardianship supervisor testified that Stout had indeed been held incommunicado in that facility. According to court documents, his computer was taken away; his mail censored; incoming and outgoing phone calls prohibited, along with stamps or writing materials, and only pre-approved visitors. (Case No. 01-13-00021-CV District Court No: CV26248 & CV25849, 344th District Court of Chambers County, Supplemental Exhibit 11, Jana Taylor deposition)
Faith Presbyterian Launches Letter Campaign
According to Betty Duke, 81, an Elder and Treasurer of Faith Presbyterian, she and a group of church parishioners visited the nursing home on Sept. 5 to visit Stout and console him in the loss of his wife, Helen, of 71 years. However, the home's administrator, Dexter Guice, denied access to the group on the grounds for "his (Stout's) own protection."
Duke mailed complaint letters Sept. 12 on church letterhead to DADS guardian Vicki Jones of Houston; DADS Commissioner John Weizenbaum, Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott, TV news commentator Glenn Beck and others.
In her letter, she questioned DADS compliance with Abbott's on-line definition of elder abuse. https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/elder/abuse.shtml
Last week, Duke continued her letter campaign, adding State Rep. Carol Alvarado (Dem.-District 145) and 344th District Judge Randy MacDonald, and again called on Commissioner Weizenbaum to "investigate the ongoing lawlessness."
The determined Duke has asked "Presbyterians, Aggies, aerospace engineers and good Samaritans in general to contact Stout's assigned guardian at 713-767-2422 about visitation and the minister's situation." (Stout is a Texas A&M graduate and was a member of the 1941 Cotton Bowl-winning football team.)
Mersch's book describes Stout's friendship with Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, the President of Brazil, Apollo astronauts, and U.N. Amb. Geo. H.W. Bush. The Stouts were missionaries to indigenous Indians in Brazil. In 1957, Stout took the first clear picture of Russia's orbiting satellite, Sputnik 1, from the jungles, eventually heading 15 space observatories in Brazil.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR INTERVIEWS:
Preston Kirk, APR, Kirk PR, Austin TX, 830-693-4447; Email
Betty Duke, Elder, Church Treasurer, Faith Presbyterian Church, 2301 S. Houston-Pasadena Rd., Pasadena TX 77502; Email; 281-481-2946
SOURCE Faith Presbyterian Church