Birmingham News: 'Family' communal group remains in Shelby County

From XFamily - Children of God

'Family' communal group remains in Shelby County

Birmingham News/1995-10-02

A communal group known as The Family, which gained international notoriety two decades ago under its former name the Children of God, continues to live in Shelby County despite opposition from the Birmingham counter-cult group Watchman Fellowship.

"They're actively trying to stop us from our activities," said Kay Spain, a senior member of The Family, which includes musicians who have performed in Alabama as The Family Singers.

More than a dozen members of the religious movement live at a rented house between Chelsea and Columbiana.

The Children of God was founded in 1968 by the hippie prophet David Berg and became known as the sex cult of the 1970s for its libertine sexual teachings including using sex as a means of evangelism - a practice that has since been discontinued.

"We are still here," Mrs. Spain said. "It's not that we have made a clear decision to stay or to go. It's been a real fight. But the Lord's taken care of us. We do pray and ask the Lord's direction."

Recently the group has been raising money to send missionaries to Eastern Europe, Mrs. Spain said.

"There's a real need there right now," she said.