Email me your story to WilliamGMcCrayiii@gmail.com now! Follow me on Facebook William G. McCray III and ObnoxiousTelevision.com with William G. McCray III on Twitter @WilliamGMcCray, Instagram @SirWilliamGMcCrayIII, Periscope @SirWilliamGMcCrayIII to watch my live viedos and to keep up on the latest!!! https://www.gofundme.com/obnoxious-tv-launch-campaign CashApp @SirWilliamGMcCrayIII
Everything Is Going Down, But The Word Of God……When they were teenagers, both Roy Matthews and Victor Matthews remember suffering in silence, alone, and feeling isolated from their family.
In 1977, their father, Achie Matthews, mortgaged the family home in the Searsville neighborhood in Perkins Township to help found Emmanuel Temple Church at 1409 W. Madison St.
Achie Matthews was deeply religious and he raised his family in the faith. He believed in the spiritual mission of Rev. Rufus Sanders, the founding minister at Emmanuel Temple. He believed in Sanders’ vision of an African American Pentecostal church in Sandusky. He trusted Rufus Sanders with his children.
If Roy Matthews, now 54, and Victor Matthews, now 56, could go back in time, they would. They would travel back to that home on Doerzbach Avenue, where they’d lived with their 13 other siblings, and warn their father. They would sound the alarm. They would destroy the trust that existed between their father and Sanders.
They would rewrite their own histories.
Can’t go back
“I had actually forgiven him until I learned he also victimized my brother,” Victor Matthews told reporters earlier this week.
In 1979, Rufus Sanders convinced a judge to award him custody of Victor Matthews when Victor faced potential criminal charges for an incident at school. Victor’s mother and father believed Rufus would help Victor get his life back on track. He was just 15 when he went to live with Sanders and his wife, Jo-Ann Sanders, and Rufus allegedly began sexually molesting him from the very start, Victor contends.
Rev. Sanders also allegedly began molesting and raping Roy at about the same time, after asking the then 13-year-old boy to be a pastor’s assistant. His parents, who had no idea their sons were being abused, believed Sanders would be a good influence on both of them.
Sanders allegedly told Victor he’d be sent to prison if he defied him; he allegedly told Roy it would destroy the church and his family if he told anyone about being molested and raped. Both boys kept quiet for years.
Victor, years later, confided in his sister Mevelyn about the alleged sexual abuse he suffered when he was living at the Sanders home. Roy also disclosed to her, at some point, that he was sexually abused by Rufus Sanders. After they learned they were both allegedly sexually abused, they sought a meeting with Sanders.
“We tried for a long time to meet with him,” Victor said. “He kept dodging us.”
Roy Matthews sent a letter on Sept. 25, 2016, to Sanders asking him to meet.
“As a young man, I trusted you; my father trusted you; and my family believed in and supported your ministry,” Roy wrote. “…You took advantage of my innocence.”
It took almost six months to get Sanders to agree to meet with them, and their family. On March 14, 2017, they gathered at the Boeckling Building on Columbus Avenue, formerly the Knights of Columbus building.
“He didn’t say much at all, and when he did talk he was really quiet, low tones,” Victor recalled. “I said, ‘man you’re a preacher. Use your preacher’s voice so we can hear what you have to say.’”
“I know them so well,” Victor said. “Jo-Ann already told him to let her do the talking. I grabbed him by the arm, ‘why won’t you talk,’ I asked him. ‘Why won’t you talk?’”
Ten of their siblings — and their wives or husbands — attended that meeting to support Victor and Roy. It lasted for 3-1/2 hours.
Roy said Sanders eventually acknowledged what he’d done.
“He replied, ‘I am defenseless,’ and also said, ‘We have all done things we are ashamed of.’
Sanders did not deny the allegations leveled at him by Roy and Victor Matthews when contacted by reporters, and he did not deny that during the meeting he acknowledged abusing each of them.
“In as much as I would like to respond to your questions posed to me by the Obnoxious Media, I have been advised by counsel, attorney Lurlia Ogleby, not to do so,” Rufus Sanders responded in an email reply to an inquiry sent to him by Obnoxious Media on Monday detailing their allegations.
Victor said he became despondent and left the meeting.
“I was walking along the railroad tracks and I saw this train coming,” Victor said. “I said to myself, ‘I’ll walk in front of it and nobody will know.’”
His sister, Mevelyn caught up to Victor.
“She was begging me to get in her car. ‘Get in. Get in. Everything’s going to be alright. We’re here for you,’” he recalls her telling him.
There are limitations
In November 2016 Roy and Victor reported the alleged abuse they suffered to the Sandusky police. But, it’s been about 30 years since the last time any abuse occurred; there’s no way charges can be filed. The statutes of limitations had expired, prohibiting any charges related to the alleged abuse they suffered.
“In the case of rape there is a limitation period of 25 years,” Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said.
Some states have relaxed the statutes of limitations, he said, and depending on the specific legislation it’s something that might be considered for Ohio.
“I would support a change and let the cases rise and fall on evidence as opposed to what could be seen as an arbitrary deadline,” he said.