Part 1: McBerry, The Preying Candidate
Smoke Leads to Fire
As with all rumors, one must verify the facts, seek the proof, and than share those facts accordingly. This part of the series outlines the personal, and mostly public, facts of McBerry’s past.
McBerry’s First Two Marriages
I was contacted by several sources that refused to grant permission for me to share their name and thus their stories. However, the following is the information I can share. Stay with me, as this is lengthy, but there it is all important as you will see.
McBerry’s first marriage was to Holly Michelle Tomilson, on May 4, 1998. See the attached marriage certificate. McBerry filed for divorce on September 8, 1998, and the divorce was finalized on October 22, 1998. Ms Tomilson was a student at Stone Mountain Christian Academy and Ray McBerry was her teacher. See the attached yearbook information, complete with the cover.
Several student’s contacted me when this was first published in the newspaper, but one stated and allowed me to publish:
“Unfortunately, there is no proof beyond what we all saw as students. One thing I remember in particular between him and Holly was a school retreat we took to the 4-H camp in Eatonton, GA where myself and others saw them sitting under a tree and he was stroking her arm.
It’s just his general creepy behavior that most of us remember. In all his classes he would only allow girls to sit on the front row. One former student told me a few weeks ago that he was constantly trying to look up her dress. He would also corner girls in his classroom after the bell rang and stand really close to them and engage them in meaningless conversations. At the time, we thought he was a creep – but history speaks for itself and I completely agree with you – this is not about politics. We all know he has no chance of winning anyway.”
Newlywed McBerry Meets the future, second, Mrs. Ray McBerry
- Have a preoccupation with children
- May be overly nice, kind, friendly
- Use clever means to gain access to and cross boundaries with children
- Overly attentive to your child
- Child predators often work in a position that allows them access to children. They can be teachers, coaches, scout leaders, church personnel, etc.
- They are usually loners and have an inability to get their needs met from adult relationships.
- Pedophiles will do everything in their power to earn your trust, so you’ll assume that your child is safe in their care.
- Most pedophiles are men. It is estimated that only 4% of pedophiles are women. Don’t let this prevent you from looking more closely at a woman who your child has reported feeling unsafe with. Female child predators are out there as the recent allegations against church worker, Melissa Huckaby, for the abduction, rape and murder of eight-year old Sandra Cantu attests.
He met his second wife, Sarah Tamica Kirkland, shortly after returning from their honeymoon. They were married on April 10, 1999, and the license was granted on February 15, 1999.
Sara’s account is that she was home from school on summer break and met McBerry at church. She stated he took an interest in her, but she knew that he was a newlywed. Through this process and experience he provided her with a job. Over the following months of that summer they became emotionally close with McBerry confiding in her intimate details of his life. He called her late one night, with excitement in his voice, proclaiming that he was divorcing his new bride, the former high school student of his, and had previously made it clear that he wished to pursue Sara romantically.
Sara the marriage as one of fear and control. In one example Sarah stated “He would yell at me and talk to me a child over just about everything. For example, I would not put the plates on the table the right way and he was yell at me that things costs money and why did I not understand that and he would question why he had to treat me like a child”.
Sara spoke, not out of anger, but out of pity on McBerry. In her words, she made a commitment, for better or for worse and it took one final, horrible, act to give he the courage to break that commitment. On one instance, McBerry locked her in the house and did so with the blessings of the church elders. She further stated “things were so bad, I took our son and left to get away from him at the first possible chance that I could.”
She shared much more detail of the environment and her life to follow, however this story is not about her. After a period of separation, the divorce was finalized on December 6, 2003. Much of the abuse and obsession with “southern secession” left its mark on her psychological well-being.
One final thought on Sara, it is interesting the tone in which she spoke. After a horrible situation, one would think she would be angry, but she speaks out of pity. She even stated “he was in a relationship with me longer than he had ever been”.
My personal opinion is that she still cares for him on some level and wishes him no ill-will. Finally, Sara told me that McBerry begged her to take him back just 2 years ago. This is quite contrary to the picture McBerry paints.
McBerry often tells a different story including one that he is a single parent with sole custody. He also makes allegations that he would not let their son around the mother because she “tested positive for meth,” which is why he was granted custody. For a period, Sarah admits to being on drugs after she escaped because her life was a wreck as a result of her environment and marriage to McBerry. What McBerry fails to disclose is the court granted Sarah visitation. I can tell you she is much more stable, in school full-time, and very far through the healing process. She has truly grown from this experience. She may be on her way to becoming a “mama grizzly”. The legal binding document that gives her visitation agreement. This is outlined on the bottom of page two attached below.
What is interesting is that McBerry has been in contempt of this court order since almost its inception. McBerry’s address on his campaign financial disclosures is to an empty lot. Further, inspite of losing the primary, he still has not filed the appropriatte, now late, filings with Georgia’s SoS’s office.
Further, Sarah filed for divorce without representation and McBerry was awarded all of the assets including primary custody of their son. Generally, when a plaintiff gives up everything, it is a sign they want things over as quickly and easily as possible and will do whatever it takes. Sadly, his campaign continues to attack Sarah by stating things such as “No mother is ever given just vitiation unless there is something wrong.” Naomi Brown, McBerry supporter.
From Sarah, and the account’s of other, something was certainly wrong, but it was due to the way she was treated, controlled, and abused during their marriage.
Once more, however, McBerry simply attacks her and paints himself as the “poor single father just trying to make it through”. Fortunately, most voters do not cast their vote based on pity.
The Story of Gandee
Gandee was a member of the youth group that McBerry was the interim youth pastor. Gandee contacted McBerry to provide counseling. Over time, this counseling developed into a relationship which included his providing her with a cell phone and ending with a very pathetic apology letter to the entire family. In spite of a restraining order filed by the parents, he continued, at least once, to make contact with Gandee. The time-line, details and the like can be found below on my colleague’s site, SWGApolitics.com. He spent countless hours and put a lot of those details together. This story is not to re-report this same information, so I will let you read the story here to get caught up:
Read carefully about the dog(s) and the hidden signs; this will tie into a young lady during the summer of 2009. That will become important below when we discuss the “inappropriate relationship” with the 13 year old. You’ll have to keep reading to get to that part…
The Fox5 interview can be found at:
Although by his own admission of having an “inappropriate relationship” with Gandee, he attacked her and her husband following this interview. In short, he attacked them personally with lies about their personal lives with a “sworn affidavit” and that was debunked by Jeff at SWGApolitics.com. Mr. Gandee responded with a sworn affidavit. Both of these can be found attached below. More about this behavior can be found in the next story.
The campaign sent out a press release including the sworn affidavit attached below. It was very personal in the attacks on the Gandee’s and was used purely politically. More details can be found at the link below, or you can stay tuned for the next series.
In short, McBerry admits to an inappropriate relationship and denies anything other than it was “inappropriate”. He resigned from his teaching position, and admitted to providing a false statement to the school about the situation initially. He makes claims that he is still a licensed teacher, however that license expired in 2005. In the past, he has made statements that he could renew that license at any time.
Based on his divorce decree, his income was roughly $2400 per month in commission-only sales. One has to wonder why he never pursued teaching further. A great deal of education and expense is required to become a teacher to simply drop and enter into the video and modeling business. More about that later.
Regardless of my musings, a source at the PSC (Professional Standards Commission), the agency responsible for teaching licenses and certification standards in Georgia, told me that he was asked to never pursue teaching again. I can not reveal the source so take that as a rumor rather than a fact.
Regardless or rumors, its an interesting observation that he resigned because of this incident and has not pursued the profession since. More importantly, notice his behavior after the Gandee story aired and when Jeff’s story was published. He sent a cease-and -desist letter to Jeff and his partner at SWGApolitics.com. I promise, that is also in the next story. In the mean time, lets get back to this story.
All of this happened between the mid 90s and the early 2000s.
Pastor James Brown JR, Summer of 2009, and “Inappropriate Attention” to a 13 Year old girl
Before we get into this, let me make one thing very clear: This involves a minor and her identity will be protected. She is a happy, sweet, and normal young lady with a stable family life. Most importantly, this story is about McBerry, not her, Sarah, Gandee, or any of the others that have been victimized by McBerry. This is all about McBerry and his conduct.
Pastor Brown first began to work for the McBerry campaign as county chair and by the time that he left the campaign, he was a member of the board of advisers.
“I first began to question his motives as a governor. I think my views and his about State Sovereignty are very different. It became apparent to me he was using the Gubernatorial Platform to promote his sovereignty views rather than seeking a leadership role” I will explore the rest of that part of the interview in the next story.
Brown further stated “He made it clear that …he seemed to think he could dictate to the state from the Governor’s mansion and had a complete disregard for the judicial branch of our government. You have to work with people, but McBerry seemed act as though he could control the outcome of everything.” This attitude is similar to what Gandee, Sarah, and others described that know McBerry well.
The 13 Year-old Girl
“I first began to notice that he seemed to single out one particular girl. Being a pastor and a father, you notice certain things. This started at first with extra attention and progressed to close and tight full-frontal hugs every time he saw her, and gifts. You just don’t hug a young girl like that!” Pastor Brown stated.
The young lady, was initially questioned by her parents about McBerry’s communication, the gifts, including a kitten, and his actions. It was after she initially denied anything weird or wrong, that she later came back to her parents and said that McBerry “gave me a creepy feeling” and was “confused by his “special attention”. She further stated “..it weirded me out.”
McBerry continued to try to gain access to the child and become close to the family. He visited the family more regularly and made comments from time to time about helping watch her and her sister while they (the parents) went out. He never out right asked them to baby sit, but rather just mentioned that this young lady and her sister would be welcome to visit him and “hang-out”. Very odd behavior for a grown, single, man without daughters.
When confronted with those emails, McBerry seemed to expect the conversation, maintained eye contact and had a very “almost rehearsed” answer for everything he brought up, always essentially dodging the question, according to Brown. His tone was explanatory and Pastor Brown suggested that as the bible indicates, if they could not resolve their problem privately, that the parents, the girl, and McBerry meet with the church elders to discuss. McBerry refused. This seems to be the same suggestion McBerry begged of the Gandee family, however he was not willing to do the same when confronted and caught.
In that same conversation, Brown further questions McBerry about his profile from a site called “modelmayhem.com”. Although the site is still online, his profile is either hidden or deleted. Visit http://www.modelmayhem.com/569824 and read your title bar and it will say “Ray M Enterprises- Photographer- MCDONOUGH, Georgia, US. “
Where there is smoke, there is fire…
Some sexual predator signs include:
These are provided by Dr. Lisa Jackson courtesy of Applied Psychology Today.
Brown presented McBerry with the following facebook emails found below and the full text is attached to this article. The kitten McBerry asks about was a gift from McBerry to this young lady which is much like the dog issue with Gandee.
June 23 at 9:51pm
Hi, princess! How is my favourite [name withheld]? I did have a great fathers day, thanks… after church, TR and I went to my mom and dad’s for dinner and we had a great time.
That is a great name for the kitten!
How was the League summer institute on Saturday? I hated missing it… and the fellowship, but hopefully we’ll get to see you all much more now that we’re neighbors.
June 24 at 10:15pm
Hello, princess… I’m glad to hear that you’re doing good. I am hoping that we will be able to attend the Bible study Friday night but am not sure yet; our church has Vacation Bible School each evening this week, so we wont get to leave until that’s over. Either way, though, we are looking forward to seeing you again soon!
June 25 at 2:43pm
Wow, you’re gonna spoil me sending me three messages in the same week, Miss [name withheld].
You’ll have to tell “Dixie” that we said “hello.” Is she doing well? I’m sure she is eating up all of the attention!
Our VBS doesnt actually end until 7:30 or thereabouts, so I will just have to see what time it is when we actually leave. Hopefully we can still make it.
June 25 at 10:34pm
I’m glad that you enjoy it as much as do I.
VBS wont be over tomorrow until 8pm because they will be having the final service with parents invited, etc… so i’m not sure we’ll make it tomorrow night Please dont be too disappointed in us; it isnt that we dont wish to be there, I assure you.
I have a LOT of speaking engagements coming up… with my speaking tour of the state getting ready to begin in about a month! I hope that you’ll be able to be at some of them. TR will undoubtedly be glad to see you, as well!
You’ll have to give me a report on how the Bible study goes tomorrow night if we cant make it.
Well, sleep well and have a great day Friday!
July 1 at 9:43pm
Hello, princess… please forgive me for taking so long to reply. It has been an incredibly busy week and is only half over!
TR and I were both glad that we were able to make it, too… we both had a great time. He was so exhausted that I had to carry him into the house when we got home. lol
The campaign events have been going extremely well. we are getting new volunteers every time that I speak at an event… and, yes, I had one the night you sent my last msg. It went well, too, but i didnt get to speak.
You havent been getting me in trouble with all of your sisters and brother by telling them you’re my favourite [last name withheld], have you? lol Dont get me in trouble with the rest of them!
I know that your dad is going to be speaking for me down in [location withheld], GA this Saturday. I have a great deal of respect and gratitude for your dad; he is a great man, and I am honoured to have him speaking for me when I cant be there.
Well, let me know what you’ve been doing all week!
July 2 at 9:04pm
It has been a very long and tiring day. I am sure hoping that yours was better than mine!
What did you do today? Something enjoyable, I hope.
I’m sorry that I’m so tired this evening, but I look forward to hearing back from you and talking to you more when I’m not quite so tired.
July 5 at 5:07pm
Hello, princess! I cant wait to hear your report about yesterday down in [location withheld], Ga! I’ve already heard reports that dad did a great job… as always!
Here’s how my own weekend went for the campaign…
Friday night we went to the Tea Party Rally in Cobb County and passed out approx 1,000 push cards and spoke to people.
Saturday morning we were in the Woodstock parade and passed out another 2,500 push cards while walking and talking to people.
Saturday at lunch I spoke to about 300 people at the Cobb County Republican meeting… and attempted to eat their barbeque which tasted more like sawdust than bbq
Saturday evening I spoke at the Tea Party rally at the Capitol and got the best response of any of the speakers there. You must’ve been praying for me!
Ok, I look forward to hearing back from you.
July 7 at 11:39am
Ah, a message from my favourite [name withheld]! I’m glad to know that you made it home safe and sound from north Georgia. Today is MY turn to drive to north Georgia… I will be speaking at a meeting up in Hiawassee, near North Carolina, tonight and then driving back afterward.
I hope that you have a great day, too!
July 7 at 11:36pm
I made it back… and before midnight! The meeting tonight went very well and we won over some votes and even a few new volunteers for the campaign up in north Georgia. It was very beautiful driving through the mountains.
I hope that your day ended well, too.
July 8 at 4:41pm
Hey, what a nice surprise to open my msgs and find one from you waiting for me! I’m like you… i love the mountains. The north Georgia mountains are very beautiful. I look forward to seeing your pictures… especially the ones with you all in them!
I have a LOT of events coming up… maybe you will be able to come to some of them that are close by. You’ll have to sit out in the audience and make faces at me to make me smile. lol No, just smile at me… that will be just fine.
July 9 at 9:42pm
I will make sure that you get to at least one of the Tour stops! Yes, it’s fun… but also very tiring getting around to everywhere and also trying to be “friendly” even when I’m tired.
TR says “hello” back!
July 12 at 12:57am
Hello, princess… you’ll have to tell me what kind of rearranging you’ve been doing. Are you still in the same room or are you moved now? I have to confess that I have done very little campaign work Friday or Saturday this weekend; I spent Friday cutting grass and running errands and Saturday was spent mainly doing laundry and cleaning house. ugh, I hate doing housework! lol Dont you want to come take care of it for us?!
July 13 at 10:59am
Good morning! It sounds like you all have been busy bees moving everything around… I’m glad that I wasnt there to get in the way!
Yes, I must confess that our house gets cleaned way less often than it should; but, as you said, that is the way we men are. TR and I keep the house neat for the most part, but we dont do the things like vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting very often.
I would love for you to come give our house a good cleaning, but I doubt that your mom and dad would let us take you away from your chores around there. Plus, TR and I would probably be so spoiled that we wouldnt give you back!
Last night I spoke to a group of about 50 or so up in Marietta, Ga; and it went incredibly well. Now I am about to go to speak to another group in the same place in just a few minutes. You’ll have to pray for me with all of these speaking engagements coming up!
July 16 at 3:43pm
Dear [name withheld]
Your kind words are almost enough to make me blush! You are a wonderful lady!
I am so sorry that I am just now getting to reply to your message. I have a ton of messages that are just sitting in my inbox unanswered; but, if it makes any difference, I picked yours to answer first!
I’ve had two meeting already this week and again tonight. Saturday, I will be back up in north Georgia for a speaking engagement and then a parade.
I am praying for you all and mom with the new baby so close to being here. Please keep me updated!
July 17 at 9:40am
Hi, [name withheld] my meeting last night was in Atlanta. I hated to miss our local League meeting. Did you get to go?
Yeah, the parades are fun. The one Saturday will be up in Hiawassee, Georgia… waaaaay up in north Georgia.
You are so sweet to be praying for me. I cant tell you how much I appreciate it.
Ok, enough about me… tell me how your day is going.
July 17 at 11:19am
Hi, princess… yes, I was thinking of the League of the South meeting. I’m glad to hear that you werent there, otherwise I would have been doubly upset about not being able to make it. Maybe we’ll both be able to make the next one!
Yes, I think that TR and I are going to drive up to north Georgia this evening and spend the night; it’s just too far to drive in the morning, since I have to speak at a breakfast at 8 am.
Well, I’m glad that your day is going good so far! I hope that it only gets better and cant wait to hear from you as the day goes on.
I am not sure about Sunday afternoon, but we will try to be there if at all possible; TR and I would both enjoy it for sure.
No meetings today, other that a couple of telephone conferences for the campaign.
I look forward to hearing back from you later… see, you have spoiled me by messaging me every day!
Notice the pattern of communication and how it continues to get seemingly closer. After presenting these without his name or photo to 10 random people, on three separate occasions, most every person (61% female, ages ranged from 19-39) stated it was over the line and very inappropriate. The word creep and child molester were also used. There is nothing criminal in the emails, but these were sent from McBerry to a 13 year-old girl over the course of a few months over the summer, 2009.
It is apparent that this behavior is inappropriate for a grown man, particularly one running for a state governor’s role. Further, it seems that there is a pattern of behavior that has existed for over 10 years. A run for a public office probably should not McBerry’s first priority.
Unfortunately, I spoke with several other girls who were teenagers and heard similar stories, particularly with the progressive behavior. He referred to his first wife, second wife, and some of these unamed other girls as “princess”.
The unfortunate part is these young ladies live in so much fear that even talking to me was difficult. They are concerned and do not want the same outcome for other girls, but do not yet have the courage to publicly tell their story.
These are seemingly decent young ladies who had the unfortunate experience of being pursued by McBerry. They have been encouraged to come forward and seek the help need to heal from these deep scars, but the fear of retaliation by McBerry is far too great. I encourage any of you reading this now that know of those impacted, to please contact me and maybe together they can stand firm and begin to heal from these experiences.
As things evolve, I may have a follow-up story. The primary message is that McBerry seems to have deep emotional issues that probably are related to not being fully emotionally matured. This part is not a problem, but the lack of it being addressed is.
These young ladies need to feel safe, heal from the experiences. Remember ladies, there is strength in numbers. I still encourage you to, if nothing else, get together and talk to one another.
Stay tuned for the next story that will explore the various confrontation McBerry has encountered including calling voters “jackasses” and threats of party or legal repercussions, when he does not get his way or is challenged.<a
Sarah’s Marriage Certificate
Sarah’s Divorce Page 1
Yearbook Photos from Stone Mountain Christian Academy- Teacher=Ray McBerry, Student=Holly, the future Mrs. Ray McBerry
Sarah’s Divorce Page 3
Sarah’s Divorce Page 2
McBerry’s handwritten apology to Gandee’s family
Gandee’s Affidavit to clarify the malicious and false statements made by McBerry Campaign, in retaliation to her interview with Atlanta’s Fox5
Holly’s Divorce Decree
McBerry Receives Restraining Order from Gandee Family
McBerry’s Facebook Messages to 13 year-old Girl
Holly’s Marriage Certificate