In response to news reports in which Marcus Wesson and his family members were said to be a Seventh-day Adventist, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has issued a statement:
Statement from the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Tragedy in Fresno, CA
We grieve with all of Fresno – and all of the United States. At this time of tragedy, we pray that God will comfort those who have been hurt deeply by these senseless events.
Some news reports have referred to Marcus Wesson as being a Seventh-day Adventist
. That is incorrect. We cannot find any record of Mr. Wesson's being a member of any Seventh-day Adventist church.
Is Marcus Wesson a Seventh-day Adventist?
- As far as we can determine, Marcus Wesson has never been a member of any Seventh-day Adventist Church.
- Marcus Wesson has had sporadic contact with Adventist churches.
- His parents were members of a Seventh-day Adventist Church.
- As a child, he attended church services with his parents.
- As an adult, he occasionally took some of his children to church services.
- He has attended the Central California Adventist Camp Meeting in Soquel a few times, once as recently as five or six years ago.
- Camp Meeting is a 10-day spiritual retreat held annually in late July.
- He was employed as a janitor at the Soquel campgrounds during camp meeting in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
- As Police Chief Jerry Dyer said on Monday, “This is not about religion… Seventh-day Adventists are good people.”
Were any of the victims Seventh-day Adventists?
- Yes. Sebhrenah Wesson joined the Fresno Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1999.
- Church members do not recall her, because she rarely if ever attended.
Were any other members of the extended family Seventh-day Adventists?
- Yes. Kiana Wesson, Sofina Solorio, and Ruby Sanchez also joined the
Fresno Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1999.
- Church members don’t recall these women either, saying they rarely if ever attended church services.
- Sofina Solorio is now a member and attending regularly an Adventist Church in the Bay Area. She joined in November 2003.
Source: Statement from the Seventh-day Adventist Church: Tragedy in Fresno, CA <http://ccc.adventist.org/marcuswesson.html> Mar. 15, 2004. Last accessed Mar. 21, 2004.
See also: Updated Statement
. Last accessed Mar. 4, 2005
Note: Theologically, Seventh-day Adventism is considered a cult of Christianity.
Interestingly, Marcus Wesson is said to have been enamored with David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians - one of many cults and sects that have branched off from the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Testimony by police related tales of Wesson's alleged fascination with David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidian cult who died in a deadly 1993 confrontation with federal agents in Texas, and of a suicide plan devised by Wesson in which his children would kill each other - oldest to youngest - should authorities ever try to break apart the family.
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