This article shows the beginnings of the molesting of John Joe Gray and his family by the secular forces.
Athens Daily Review
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
By Gary Bass
After a routine traffic stop in Seven Points, another area member of the Embassy of Heaven Church was jailed on three arrest warrants out of Malakoff Tuesday afternoon.
Law enforcement officials booked John Joe Gray, 56, of Trinidad into the Caney City Jail after Malakoff Municipal Judge Anne Remley arraigned him on charges of failure to appear in court, no driver's license and no proof of insurance.
Remley set the bond at $670 cash or $1,000 through a bail bondsman.
Gray is the father of Racheal Dempsey Gray, the 24-year-old Trinidad woman arrested by Tool police on similar charges almost two weeks ago.
"When I told him paying the bond was how he would get out of jail, he said he wasn't signing anything," said Remley. "He asked me if I believe in the U.S. Constitution, and I said yes."
"We're going to basically do the same thing we did when our daughter was in the county jail," said Alicia Gray, John's wife. "We're going to leave it in the hands of God."
When questioned about the traffic stop, officials with the Seven Points Police Department gave a "no comment." Police Chief C.W. Daniel was unavailable to discuss the matter. Newspaper employees were told to come in and fill out a Freedom of Information request to look at the call sheets.
According to Chief George Corn of the Malakoff Police Department, Gray was stopped in Seven Points on a traffic matter. The Seven Points officer contacted Chief Corn to try and get more information when Gray declined to answer any questions.
"Not only did I have his date of birth, but I had three arrest warrants on him," said Corn.
About a month ago, the Malakoff Police Department issued Gray citations for no proof of insurance and no valid driver's license. After Gray failed to appear on his Dec. 1 court date on the misdemeanor charges, Remley issued the three warrants.
"They haven't posed a danger or threatened anybody," said Corn. "This is our first dealings with this group."
Remley said Caney City's jail cell is little more than a holding area for misdemeanor suspects. If bail is not posted within 72 hours, Gray could be transferred to the Henderson County Jail.
"We do not need the state of Texas' recognition to exist as the government of Jesus Christ," Pastor Paul Revere, founder of the Embassy of Heaven Church in Oregon, told the Review in a recent interview. "We're acting in the authority of the kingdom of heaven to issue these documents. They are real lawful documents."
Church doctrine teaches total disassociation from any earthly government. "Separation of church and state does not mean that because one adheres to a religious view, one is exempt from state regulation," explained Assistant Attorney General Peter Haskel. "Separation of church and state has nothing whatsoever to do with the need for a driver's license or insurance."
According to Revere, approximately 400 people have "heaven-issued" documents for passports, driver's licenses and vehicle plates. Mrs. Gray said there are "several" church members in and around the Henderson County area.
"He's doing this of his own free will," Mrs. Gray said of her husband. "He's got his trust and faith in God, and he'll stay until the Lord is ready for him to get out. He's a strong man, and he's strong in the Lord."
The Grays' daughter, Ms. Dempsey, could still face a grand jury on a possible felony charge levied by the District Attorney's Office. She also has a court date with Judge Ralph Yarborough in Tool this Friday at 2 p.m. on misdemeanor charges of no proof of insurance, no motor vehicle inspection and delivery of counterfeit material. If she does not show up, a warrant could be issued for failure to appear.
See also Racheal Dempsey (daughter of John Joe Gray) for further articles on their beliefs.