Invisible Children

Children by George Johnston, 4 others

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

raymond lambert
At least 6 children were ritually sexually assaulted by George Otis Johnston (right, sometimes identified as ‘Johnson’), the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church North, and four elders at its sister church Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church: pastor Raymond Lambert (left), his wife Patty Lambert, and her brothers Paul and Tom Epling. All the children in Grandview Valley compound were homeschooled at the Grand Valley Christian Academy. Some of the abuse occurred while Johnston was tutoring one of the children in algebra.

The abuse came to light in May 2006 when eight members of the commune walked away from the church with no money or physical belongings. One of the women told authorities about abuses that had taken place at the compound. In August 2006, the approximately 20 children who remained at the compound were taken into custody by social services. Johnston and the others were charged with a number of felonies; however, all of the charges were eventually dropped due to witnesses’ being unwilling to testify, the statute of limitations being invoked (some of the abuse had occurred in the 1970s and 1980s), and the victims’ desire to avoid further victimization in court.

Date: August 24, 2006
Granby, Missouri; Pineville, Missouri


Documents: Date:
Children pulled from compound 08-25-2006
Pastor pleads not guilty in child sex abuse case 08-31-2006
Rural Granby pastor faces new charge 08-31-2006
Religious Commune Child Molestation Case Rocks Ozarks 09-06-2006
Grand Valley Baptist Church in Missouri 10-08-2006
Johnston Trial to Move 10-30-2006
Missouri Church Leaders Accused of Child-Sex Abuse 12-14-2006
Court dates set for leaders 02-20-2007
Most charges dropped in Mo. ritual sex abuse 05-03-2009
Grandview Valley North & Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church 12-11-2009
Charges dropped against Granby pastor 12-22-2009