In April, Wingfield sued four former members of the north St. Louis County megachurch for defamation. These so-called whistleblowers, Wingfield insisted, were actually spreading lies about how he'd supposedly ignored early warnings about Brandon Milburn, a charismatic youth minister who this March was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing two young boys between 2007 and 2009.
Milburn's crime devastated the 2,500-member congregation, some of whom believe Wingfield hasn't done nearly enough to help Milburn's victims or come clean about the full scope of his work at the church. Some current and former members are calling for Wingfield's resignation, while his supporters (including the church's board of elders) have stood firm behind their leader.
But the tide may be shifting. Last month, Wingfield dismissed the defamation lawsuit against the four former church members. Now, one of those defendants, a woman named Dawn Varvil, is taking some demands of her own to Wingfield.More »