Miracle Meadows School Settlement Cost Passes $100 Million

Settlements awarded to former students of the Miracle Meadows School now total over $100 million. The latest, about $50 million, was announced on August 23 by lawyers representing 32 former students at Miracle Meadows. Operated independently but supported by Seventh-day Adventist Church entities and administrators, the West Virginia “troubled youth” boarding school permanently closed in 2014 following reports of extensive physical and sexual abuse of children as young as seven years old.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2023/miracle-meadows-school-settlement-cost-passes-100-million

This should make all church members angry. The founder should have gotten more than 6 months jail time and others as well.
Why is it when a split-off church uses the name Seventh-day Adventist they get sued, but this place used the name and did not get investigated before being endorsed in print and by leaders? Maybe all independent ministries should give accountability if they use the church relationship for donations or endorsement.

Are members in any way paying this bill? It has to be the worst human scandal this church has encountered. This is the first I have heard of the extent of abuse. Apparently nothing was reported from the GC or other entities when it was discovered. This why we need the independent press.


So let’s see…is this an example of our tithe dollars at work?? And remember the denomination’s support and endorsement of that pervert who touted his “Conversion Therapy” for gay men, and then sexually abused them himself!


Thank you, Alex, for this report. I have been following this case for about a year. Each time I read about the abuse that the students suffered at this supposed “school,” my stomach churns and my heart aches for these children and teenagers.

The Associated Press has reported that the Miracle Meadows school was “operated as a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” If indeed any Seventh-day Adventist Church administrators were complicit in the harrowing abuse students suffered at Miracle Meadows, serious questions will emerge. An organization that is attempting to stop abuse before it happens must first reckon with the skeletons in its closet.


The denomination is hanging out there a mile. Things like 3ABN and Amazing Facts, which have both said they are independent because they didn’t want the camel’s nose under the tent, along with Weimar and a whole bunch more that I don’t know about. But I am sure, tread on the name Adventist, are doing great damage to our church both financially as well as our “good name”. Although that “good name” thing may be partly our own undoing. I know, at one time the denomination self-insured. I hope that still isn’t the case, but if it is, we need to fix that immediately because these independent ministries are going to destroy a church who’s revenue is already in deep trouble, not to mention our reputation and morality. Once again…thanks a bunch Ted.

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According to Second Lawsuit Against Miracle Meadows Settles for $50 Million – Adventist Today

“The recent settlement will be covered by insurance carriers, with some claims still pending.”

“Adventist Risk Management will ONLY insure church owned organizations, employees and members on church business. As losses are only settled through church funded premiums the ministry of ARM is self- insuring Seventh-day Adventist church risks.” This may be tithe/offering money IF (big if) MM was considered a church-owned organization, or employees or MEMBERS on church business. Here’s hoping that Miracle Meadows had their own private insurance carrier(s). I also hope this is a cautionary tale to other ASI organizations, many of whom collect lots and lots of donations to fund their risky-business practices.


one wonders whether some of these “troubled youth” kids had things like ADHD, and other learning disabilities… maybe they really needed professional intervention, rather than more rigorous discipline…

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I’m so sorry to hear about your abuse. I know that doesn’t do anything to ease your pain and horrific experience at that place. I didn’t know that MM had been there so long. Please feel free to answer or not, (whatever is comfortable for you). Did you, or others report the abuse back then, and if so, what was the response that you received. Again, I’m very sorry for what happened to you.

First I would like justever to know how sorry I am for the horrible things that occurred while at MM. I am glad that you are finally getting some small sense of relief for what you have endured. I pray for your continued healing.

One of the surest ways to try to steal the soul of a child is through abuse which is the reason that I have been fighting child abuse and sex trafficking for years.

I knew someone who paid for her grandson to go to MM as a way to keep him from going into the criminal justice system. At that time, I warned her to be very careful - that Adventist independent ministries can either be very good or on the lunatic fringe.

While he was fortunate and not abused, after his mother told him of the lawsuits, he exaggerated and fabricated information to join them. He has received settlements and is sadly continuing a life of poor choices, greatly enabled by the money (which looks as if it will be dissipated in relatively short order). It’s unfortunate that he did not receive some life-changing therapy while there.