Man describes alleged abuse by Baptist teacher at defunct London school

When his pastor and teacher told him to hold his hands behind his back, the man said he complied.

He said he wasn’t expecting Royden Wood to lunge behind him and grab his hands so he could not move them.

Wood then used his free hand and “came with his closed fist and punched me in the abdominal area,” the man testified.

“I asked ‘What are you doing?”‘ the man, now 34, said Wednesday.

“He said ‘Never mind’ and did it again,” the man said, before hitting him twice more.

The man was describing what he, his older brother and another friend called “the basement treatment,” the most excessive of a wide array of physical assaults they said they endured as Wood’s students at the Ambassador Baptist Church’s alternative school between 1985 and 1987.

Wood, 56, the former senior pastor at the church, has pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of assault involving the three boys.

Wood has also pleaded not guilty to three sex-related charges – two of sexual assault and one of sexual interference – involving two females who claim he fondled their breasts between 1998 and 2003.

All three boys and their families were members of the now-defunct church when they were students at the school, operated out of the church’s basement.

The boys described being forced to stand at military attention for hours in class, ordered to run around the church’s block what one described as “100 times,” having facial hair plucked by Wood with fingernails and pliers and being hit in the chest and shoulder with knuckles and vice-grips.

The were also forced to stand at attention in church in front of the congregation.

The older brother of the 34-year-old man, who is now 36, testified how he decided to keep his mouth shut and do what he was told to avoid Wood’s assaults.

“I was afraid if I didn’t do what I was supposed to, I would be physically hurt,” he said.

The 34-year-old, described by the others as the one who received the most punishment, started testifying late in the day.

He told how after receiving the “basement treatment” he returned to the classroom and stood at attention. One of the boys indicated to him they could hear the assault.

He said Wood told them he was “going to get you guys disciplined” and kept coming up with “more ideas how to torture.”

The man showed Justice Lynda Templeton one arm hold put on him by Wood that caused his fingers to go numb.

When Wood tried to do it again, the man said he pushed back.

He ended up getting kneed in the abdomen by the pastor, he said.

The trial continues today.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Jane Sims, Standard Freeholder, Feb. 14, 2008,

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday February 14, 2008.
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