Berry, Dot to Irving Ross, January 14, 1998

Dear Irving (Ross):

After Bradley, Oklahoma convention which my husband, Ray, attended he mentioned you introduced yourself to him on Wednesday P.M. As it had been several years since you attended our convention held in Mississippi he did not remember you except by name.

Ray said you asked about me. As I had recently been in the hospital, he assumed you meant healthwise, and I believe he answered accordingly. You had the audacity to start talking about me, his wife of 51 years, in a derogatory manner he did not appreciate, telling him I was bitter about things regarding my childhood. Ray was surprised that a worker, especially one who did not know him or me, would speak negatively of his wife who was got present. He then said to me, “He (you) just about ruined my whole convention.”

You didn’t know me in my childhood, therefore you can only speculate or are repeating gossip and being a tale bearer. Just what am I so bitter about? How would you or anyone judge me without personally speaking with me? “And unto mine own master I either stand or fall, what men have said about me, that will not count at all.” (Hymn 325) This was always one of my favorites.

Since I left the meetings in 1991 there has been only one worker, one relative, and a very few friends ask me regarding my decision to leave. Therefore anything you may have heard is just speculation. It makes me wonder why no one cared enough to ask me. Why do people put my husband on the spot, when I can answer for myself? Even the blind man’s parents would not answer for their son when he was questioned concerning his restoration of sight by Jesus. His parents said: “—He is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself” (John 9:21). I would be glad to personally or via mail answer any question anyone may have as to why I left the meetings.

Over a period of 55 years that I went to meetings, with 32 of them spent on convention grounds, you would know we had many workers and their relatives plus many friends in our home. We also had Sun. meetings, gospel meetings and cared for sick workers. We assumed we were loved and appreciated. For the most part, the workers were very considerate and we had no quarrel with any of them.

We were taught the love of God was only in the “the way” I grew up in, and only those in “that way” loved as Jesus did. I still love those we had fellowship with, but it was not a reciprocated love.

My husband and I respect and love each other dearly and we do not appreciate hearing anyone speak negatively about each other.

I personally believe you owe my husband, if not me, an apology for your derogatory comments made at Bradley. I also recommend you make certain of your “facts” before you pass on gossip and make judgments.


Dot Berry

January 21, 1998

Dear Ray & Dot,

Your letter, Dorothy arrived yesterday, so I shall endeavor to get a few lines in answer to it today.

I do give my apology to both for anything said in my visit with you Ray, that was upsetting. I don’t recall at this point dealing with very much re – your childhood Dot, but that does not alter my need for an apology. I sensed our visit wasn’t going so well, and sorry it went in that direction.

I hope both keep reasonably well these days.

I was glad for my time at Bradley.

Will let this do for now.

Sincerely yours,

Irving Ross