As Davidson preaches on this Sunday in late April, he says that he had the "gratification" of casting three devils out of his mother. He stops and looks at a listener. "I bet I can cast three devils out of you."
A few minutes later, Davidson turns to the music team. "We need to worship God because I'm going to bind some devils," Davidson says. "This is 'Ladies' Night Out'--out of bondage."
I am sure you remember how I cast the Jezebel spirit out of you in 1990 or 1991. You told me it was like a rod coming out of your head. This took place in my office after you became my wife...Some time after that an evil spirit got hold of you and you were lifted up in pride. That prideful spirit challenged me and told me the kingdom in me had to go. Well my dear the kingdom in me can not be moved. --Doyle Davidson, March 24, 2006
In late 2001, when Mick Macauley saw the "Shirley MacLaine-type" crystals displayed in the Schlossers' home in Fort Worth, he was surprised but glad. They were the first signs of spiritual seeking he'd seen his stepdaughter and her husband display since their marriage 10 years earlier. Macauley knew that Dena had grown up nominally Catholic but, except for their daughters, the young couple seemed interested only in material things.
John and Dena had met at Marist College in New York where, for the first time in her life, Dena had a group of friends, a "rat pack" of like misfits that included John. Her childhood had been unhappy. Her mother Connie first divorced when Dena was 5. Family dysfunction was accompanied by illness, and at age 8, Dena developed hydrocephalus, sometimes called "water on the brain," and suffered through eight surgeries to implant shunts in her brain, heart and abdomen before she was 13. Classmates made fun of her shaved head. The trauma welded Dena to her mother, a dynamic businesswoman who fiercely loved her daughter.
"If an injustice of any magnitude was visited on Dena, you had to deal with Connie," says Macauley, Connie's third husband. He believes his wife's protectiveness in some ways kept Dena from becoming independent.
After Dena and John got married, she finished her degree in psychology. The Macauleys thought John was working on a degree in computer science. When he announced his graduation, John's parents flew in for the big party. The Macauleys later found out it was a sham.
"We paid his tuition, but he never attended class and was dismissed for academic reasons," Macauley says. "For John, appearances are more important than substance." Socially awkward, extremely private, John donned an attitude of "I'm techy, I'm superior." (John Schlosser declined an interview through his attorney.)
In 2000, the couple and their two daughters moved to Fort Worth for John's job. Three months later, John found another position--making $130,000 a year, he told the Macauleys. That lasted 90 days. While he looked for a position, John did computer consulting out of the house.
Macauley had to admit that John and Dena seemed well-matched. Two geeky kids who'd have geeky babies. Their relationship seemed affectionate, even romantic in some ways. But Dena transferred her dependence on her mother to her husband, unable to discipline her own children or make a decision without turning to John. Dena still talked to her mother a dozen times every day but as the marriage progressed, she revealed less and less. John didn't want her to.
Dena wasn't working. Like John, it was difficult for her to keep a job. An extreme idealist, Dena worked for Visa and quit because customers were rude. She walked out on a job at Ameritrade because clients lied. "When she worked in the nursing home industry, she took umbrage at the way some patients were treated," Macauley says. "She would be deeply surprised and offended and quit."
Soon after the move to Fort Worth, Dena learned that her mother had Parkinson's disease. It shocked Dena to her core. Not long after Macauley saw the crystals, Dena started talking about going to a church in Plano, 60 miles away. A neighbor had told her about Water of Life. After attending for a while, the preacher, Doyle Davidson, was all Dena could talk about. She sent her parents audio and videotapes, urging them to watch. John was as enamored with the church as she was.