Church leaders asked to leave campground

Neosho Daily News, MO/September 1, 2006

Four McDonald County church leaders facing child sexual abuse charges spanning four decades were asked to leave an Oklahoma campground Friday.

Daily News reporters John Ford and Todd G. Higdon were at the scene Friday when Raymond Lambert, his wife, Patty, and her brothers, Paul and Tom Epling, were asked to leave a campground on Grand Lake where they had been staying for most of the week.

On Wednesday, deputies with the McDonald County Sheriff's Department and officers with the 40th Circuit Court Juvenile Office served a search warrant at Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, located at Washburn. They found eight children at the compound, but did not find the Lamberts nor the Epling brothers.

Authorities said the four were camping in a travel trailer and were somewhere in Oklahoma.

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