“. . . much has been made of the fact that Christ Church approved of Steven’s wedding to Katie through the fact that I officiated at the wedding. First, it should be noted that in our community, weddings are not arranged or determined by the church.” Douglas Wilson
Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, posted “An Open Letter from Christ Church on Steven Sitler” to his personal website, on behalf of the Kirk elders, to address community concern over a serial pedophile who sired a child with whom he subsequently had “contact resulting in actual sexual stimulation.” The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported the story with this headline: “Prosecutor: New disclosures of conduct by Moscow sex offender are ‘state’s worst fears’”; and the Daily News followed it up with an editorial wherein the lede stated: “Disturbing isn’t nearly an adequate word to describe what unfolded Tuesday in Latah County 2nd District Court.”
Mr. Wilson, however, could have avoided this day in court, as well as the headline, the editorial, and the Open Letter, if he had demonstrated a little pastoral foresight five years ago, when he and another Kirk elder set in motion the chain of events that culminated with a Kirk infant living in the same home as a Level III serial pedophile.
Meet Ed Iverson
In 2010, a gentleman named Ed Iverson sat on the board of elders for Christ Church, Moscow, as he still does. At that time he served as Head Librarian at New Saint Andrews College (NSA) and at one point he held the office of Interim Provost at New St. Andrews. Before moving to Moscow, he lived in Fallon, Nevada, which was Katie Travis’ (now Katie Sitler) hometown. Miss Travis fondly recalls:
“I’ve known the Iverson’s for a very long time, and you could say they are a bit like adopted grandparents to me. They pretty much started not only our church here in Fallon, but also the wonderful Christian school that I teach at now. When I went to college, they were behind my decision to go to NSA. I boarded at their house, learned a ton about planting trees (ha ha), learned a ton about being a better person, and met my two very best friends in the world there. And in retrospect, with all the good things that happened there I really should have seen the whole courting thing coming.” (“The Meeting”)
Ed Iverson planted a CREC church; he started an ACCS school; and he operated a boarding house in the Christ Church network of illegal boarding houses. He was the consummate team player for Mr. Wilson.1 But Katie Travis thought of him as an adopted grandparent.
Miss Travis continues:
“So, to skip ahead, my second Senior year went by without a hitch. Literally. My other roommate/best friend of four years (Helen, for all of you wondering who that short girl I hung around with was) got engaged. She was 21. 21! How unfair, I thought. As I turned 23 (which, interestingly, was one of my very favorite birthday parties ever) nothing continued to happen. I decided to try boldness. I went in to Mr. Iverson and suggested that if Mr. Right was here, for Mr. Iverson to please find him for me. I believe Mr. Iverson was, if I read the situation correctly, fairly enthusiastic about the idea.” (“The Meeting”)
Steven Sitler picks up the narrative, sharing with the world how he met Katie Travis: “We met on August 18th, 2010 at the insistence of Mr. and Mrs. Iverson.” Note the word “insistence.” In another post he wrote:
“Mr. Iverson called me and wanted to know if he could meet with me face to face. . . So I showed up . . . to meet Mr. Iverson, dressed in his best and surrounded by some hundred NSA [New Saint Andrews College — ed.] students all dressed up for convocation week. I sheepishly said hello, and he pulled me aside and told me that dinner on Sunday wasn’t just an ordinary dinner, that he had in fact gotten a young girl, Katie Travis, and her family to stay an extra day to meet me. They were all in Moscow to drop off Jenni, Katie’s younger sister, for her Sophomore year at NSA. His description of Katie was that, though NSA was tough for her, she persevered through and she was, ‘pretty good looking, too’. . . . That Sunday I went to the Iverson’s and had a wonderful meal. That is when I met the most beautiful girl ever. . . .” (“The Meeting”)
Weeks later they began courting.Miss Travis tells us that after her father gave Sitler permission to court her, “Mr. Iverson burst out with ‘Whoo-hoo! Goodnight!’ He had stayed up late for us to get home just to find this out!” (“The Courtship.”) This is because in Kirk parlance, the word “courtship” is two milkshakes and a kiss away from engagement.
And this brings us to Mr. Wilson’s statement, “It should be noted that in our community, weddings are not arranged or determined by the church.” This is disingenuous rhetoric because he denies a point not on the table. It may or may not be true that Christ Church does not arrange marriages. No one cares. But people do care that two elders from Christ Church arranged the marriage of a serial pedophile to an unsuspecting simple-minded graduate of New St. Andrews. And the record is clear that Kirk elder Ed Iverson and Pastor Doug Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, arranged and officially approved the Sitler–Travis marriage.
A naïve waif named Katie Travis beseeched Christ Church elder Ed Iverson to find “Mr. Right” for her. She trusted him like an adopted grandparent. But Ed Iverson did not reciprocate. To be sure, he made plain his contempt for her future happiness and well-being: He found her suitor on Idaho’s registered sex-offender list and arranged her first date with the felon at his home. And it is beyond question that Doug Wilson put his hand to this gross act of pastoral malfeasance, otherwise the Kirk elders would have put Ed Iverson on trial for deliberate violation of duty and stripped him of church office.
Finally, if you plan to send your child to New Saint Andrews College, then let Miss Travis’ story warn you. The Christ Church elders truly believe that a convicted pedophile serving a life sentence for serial molestations of children is the very best they have to offer for your daughter’s hand in marriage. In fact, they think he’s “Mr. Right.”