Oregon City Faith-Healing Church Members May Have Played a Role in Infant’s Death

Investigators believe the family of a baby who died in unincorporated Clackamas County on Monday afternoon (26 June) may have ties to Followers of Christ, a faith-healing church in Oregon City that has been linked to five criminal cases following the death of a child.

Monday at approximately 3:30 p.m., Clackamas County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a fatality investigation involving a newborn on South Maywood Street, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s office spokesperson Brian McCall said –

β€œThis is still an open investigation, so there’s no further information we can release at this time.”

It is unclear how the infant died. Monday afternoon, while walking his dog, Mark Snyder, 63, who has resided on Maywood Street for four years, counted approximately 75 cars, including two Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, parked along his block and nearby Forest Ridge Road.

Snyder reported that when he asked a man what was going on around 7 p.m., the man replied –

“We’re not at liberty to say, but everybody is safe.”

Since Monday, Maywood Street has been frequented by visitors, including approximately 25 vehicles parked on the road on Wednesday, he reported.

Snyder noted that his neighbor’s wife appeared expectant when he saw her crossing the street last week to visit her parents, who live directly across the street from her and her husband’s Maywood Street residence, he said.

Several years ago, a neighbor informed him that the couple is a member of the Followers of Christ Church. The religion based in Oregon City adheres to a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, which states that the sick must be anointed by elders and that faith will heal everyone. They believe that death if it occurs, is God’s will.

Oregon City Faith-Healing Church Followers of Christ May Be Linked to Newborn's Death

Do you know that a former US president defeated all other write-in candidates for a seat on the Oregon Hubbard Fire District board? In the Oregon Special Election held on Tuesday, May 16, the Statesman Journal reports that five write-in candidates received two votes for the No. 3 Hubbard Fire District Board Director position:

In July 2018, another church-affiliated couple was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison after their newborn daughter, Gennifer, died hours after a home birth attended by dozens of other church members.

Sarah Elaine Mitchell and Travis Lee Mitchell, the parents of Gennifer, pled guilty to negligent homicide and criminal mistreatment. According to the sheriff’s office, none of the midwives or family and church members who witnessed the birth dialed 911. According to the agency, a church elder reported the fatality to the county medical examiner’s office.

Following the death of a child in the Followers of Christ community, this was the fifth criminal case in Clackamas County within nine years, but the first to conclude with a plea agreement.

The news was also carried by the local media on Twitter –

Four additional Followers of Christ Church couples, including Sarah Mitchell’s sister and brother-in-law, were found criminally liable for neglecting to provide medical care for their children, including a newborn, a 15-month-old, and a 15-year-old boy who died between 2008 and 2009.

In 2011, child protection authorities removed a second infant girl from her parents’ care after she developed an abnormal mass of blood vessels that surrounded her left eye.

According to a 2009 report, the church does not have formal leadership and is not affiliated with a major denomination. According to the report, its roots lie in the faith-healing Pentecostal movement of the late 19th century.

Neon Martin

Neon Martin is a talented content writer with a passion for crafting engaging, informative articles on a wide range of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a love of language, Neon has honed their writing skills over several years of experience in the field.Neon's work can be found on Focushillsboro.com, where they contribute insightful articles that explore the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Whether delving into local events, highlighting community leaders, or sharing tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life, Neon's writing always captivates and informs.

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