“A gateway drug to the devil”

A news story making the rounds in California in recent weeks points out the potential for pastors and church leaders to cause harm through uninformed and untruthful statements regarding mental illness and dramatizes how much work still needs to be done to better educate the Christian community about mental health-related topics.

From Fox News:

A bipolar California kindergarten teacher — who was told by a pastor her medicine was a “gateway drug to the devil” — has been missing since she got into a car accident Monday.

Jamie Tull hasn’t been heard from since shortly after she crashed. Tull’s husband, Apollo Tull, told The Modesto Bee his wife called him in tears, saying “I’m not going to see you again.” Soon afterwards, Jamie drove off the road, into fences and a cattle gate. After the crash she told her husband where she was.

Apollo called 911 and drove to the scene. When he arrived, he found police, but no sign of his wife.

Jamie’s father was interviewed by a reporter from KTXL-TV in Sacramento:

According to Devenport-Tull’s father, his daughter has bipolar disorder. He says she has not taken her medication for about six months because a pastor and his wife told her that pills lead to demons.

Her father also told FOX40 that Devenport-Tull was taken against her will about 10 years ago in Southern California. Three years after she had returned she was diagnosed as bipolar, prescribed medication and was considered high functioning until she stopped taking her medication.

Fortunately, Jamie’s story had a happy ending:

The former Modesto school teacher who went missing nearly three weeks ago in Merced County was found alive Friday morning, authorities said.

Jamie Tull, 33, was discovered in a field about a half-mile east of where she crashed her vehicle off East Childs Avenue just past South Cunningham Road, according to Merced County Sheriff’s Department officials.

According to the Modesto Bee, Jamie is very fortunate to have been discovered by authorities when she was:

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
This entry was posted in Controversies, Key Ministry, Mental Health and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “A gateway drug to the devil”

  1. Perhaps it’s that pastor who has mental health problems.


  2. Ryan Pultz says:

    I truly believe the pastor needs to be held accountable for his actions

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My sister was told by her pastor and a group of church elders that they “got a word from the Lord” that she need not take medication for her bipolar disease. She committed suicide two months later. We MUST educate Christians about mental illness. I will pray for your ministry. God bless you! ❤️


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