Update: Wiccan Leader Abandons Opening School in Hoopston, IL

June 20, 2003

Source: The News-Gazette


On June 20, 2003 The News-Gazette reported that "First Apostolic Church Pastor Kenneth Murray is not hiding his distaste for the new Wiccan school in Hoopeston. His church on 205 E. Penn St. is directly across from the school, which is set to open in the fall... Members of the Hoopeston religious community might have different levels of knowledge of the alternative religion, but the four clergymen interviewed on Thursday said they relied on their faith in the God of the Bible... Ann Schwartz, who co-pastors First Presbyterian Church with her husband, the Rev. Wade Meranda, cautions city residents against any knee-jerk reactions... 'I would guard against any spontaneous, hysterical reactions,' she said. 'I don't want people to do something they would regret later. We believe in God and Jesus Christ, and having an authentic relationship should be our concern...' Schwartz admits to knowing little about the religion. She said her first action will be to go to the Hoopeston Public Library and research it, as well as to talk to other pastors in town."