The Case that Continues to Divide
08 November 2007, plaintiff and defendant in the Williams vs. Edwards case met
in Judge Knoblock’s chambers, where a deal was
being forced upon both: Michigan’s Huron County Circuit did not want to
hear the case, scheduled for two days, for which Defendant Edwards had placed
41 names on his witness list. After all, deer season would begin on the 15th,
and both the judge and the attorney for Williams had plans to hunt away from
the Thumb. Forty-one witnesses were far too many to be heard in a two day
trial. Plus, there would be the problem of relevance: most of Edwards’
case for filing the revised Purchasing Agreement (originally recorded on 28
April 2004) on 17 September 2004 rested on the fire that occurred in
Edwards’ dorm on o3 January 2005. In his pretrial pleadings, Edwards had
asserted that trustee Paul Drieman’s failure to
perform his duties as maintenance supervisor had somehow resulted in the fire;
thus, Drieman had disqualified himself to be a trustee, as had Philip
Frankford, with whom Edwards could not get along. This left only Terry Williams
and Norman Scott Edwards as potential trustees even though the four men had
jointly sign the Purchasing Agreement dated 28 April 2004, and recorded in
It was apparently just an oversight on Edwards’ part that he did not notify the other three men that he had refiled the Purchasing Agreement, thereby eliminating them as trustees, until 29 October 2004.
Edwards was correct: both Frankford and Drieman were not qualified to be trustees of the Port Austin Sabbatarian Church Community, for neither would support Williams when it counted as Williams attempted to rectify the wrong that had occurred in September 2004—the wrong that eliminated the three of them from the property the four men had jointly purchased together. Frankford opted out almost from the beginning, leaving Drieman and Williams to undo the fraudulent Purchasing Agreement of 17 September 2004. And Drieman worked with Williams to bring the case to Bad Axe’s Attorney Duane Cubitt, who would represent Williams in his attempt to recover his investment of over $100,000 in the property from which he had been wrongfully excluded by a few strokes of a pen … for Williams, these strokes could not have done more damage if they were from a sword.
But as the trial date neared, some 38 months after Edwards eliminated the three, Drieman began to have cold feet.
Attorney Cubitt told Williams that, based upon the amount of paperwork filed with Huron County’s Recorder of Deeds, the only witness Williams would need would be Drieman to confirm the sequence of events that lead up to Edwards’ filing the revised Purchasing Agreement of 17 September 2004. Thus, on Williams’ witness list was one name: Paul Douglas Drieman.
When it came time for the trial, Drieman had things
to do in
On Tuesday night [06 November 2007] late, Williams
arrived alone back in Bad Axe,
A deal was forced, yes, forced upon both Williams and Edwards, who truly wanted to have his wrong-doing vindicated in open court. But opening day of deer season was almost at hand, and the court had more pressing matters.
As with all negotiated trial settlements, no wrong-doing was admitted, and the details of the settlement are not public knowledge. It is enough to say here that Edwards will be paying Williams for a long time, that donations to Edwards’s so-called ministry will not be soon spent to indoctrinate Sabbatarian youth in whatever Edwards can teach them, but will go to land payments of $5,000 per month to Eternal Life Bible Institute, and to Williams. But unless Edwards reneges on the settlement, they will not be going to further legal expenses—
The above statement is not true: Edwards will be back in court shortly, for he has collected a great deal of money in assumed names which he has no right to use. Thus, the settlement made mid-morning on 08 November 2007 will not end his legal difficulties, but will only see them take a different turn.
Because a negotiated settlement is not an
adjudication of a case based upon its merits, Williams’ case against
Edwards is not truly settled until Edwards pays all of what he has agreed to
Williams. And because Edwards does not today have the moneys necessary to make
the land payments to ELBI but is tens of thousands in the arrears, it is
unlikely that Edwards will pay Williams in a timely manner; therefore, the
probability is high that the case of the missing trustees will be heard in
Circuit Court when deer season is not at hand. Maybe then, Drieman will have
repented of doing whatever he had to do on the Sabbath so that he could not
But the case of the missing trustees needs not be adjudicated by any court of this world for it to function as the schism that divides disciples between genuine and false (1 Co 11:19) … the disciple who eats with Edwards is on the wrong side of this schism, for Edwards has been marked as one to be avoided by the Port Austin Sabbatarian Community. The person who eats with him is as a publican; is truly a person of this world, a person who sees nothing wrong with the end justifying the means.
The theological claims and arguments made by the
The person who writes of a real estate deal that, “This vagueness was intentional” (Edwards’ letter of 25 January 2005), or who files a revised Purchasing Agreement that eliminates three of four original trustees—and then gets too busy to notify these three for six weeks—practices falsehood. This is a person who has, unless he or she brings forth fruit worthy of repentance, marked himself or herself for death in the lake of fire. Edwards is, today, such a person. Prayers for him should be for his repentance; for today, those members of the Port Austin Sabbatarian Community that also form the Port Austin Bible Center have withheld forgiveness of Edwards’ sins (John 20:23) because of his lack of repentance.
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
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