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The Forerunner

Pendergraft serves 46 month sentence

By Editorial Staff
Published July 25, 2001

By Rick Cundiff, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner

OCALA — Dr. James Scott Pendergraft IV is scheduled to report to prison today to begin serving a 46-month sentence.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Tuesday a motion to allow Pendergraft to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction on attempted extortion, conspiracy and mail fraud charges.

Pendergraft, 44, owns the Ocala Women’s Center and four other Florida clinics which provide abortion services. He is expected to report to a federal minimum-security prison camp in Atlanta sometime today.

Pendergraft’s lawyer, Bruce Rogow said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the appellate court’s refusal to allow Pendergraft to stay out of prison while he appeals his case.

“We will continue to work to reverse the conviction and secure his release,” Rogow said.

Although Pendergraft could have appealed Tuesday’s decision to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, he chose not to, Rogow said.

“We’re not going to do that,” he said. “The energy that it would take would not be rewarded with success.”

Pendergraft could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said he had accepted going to prison.

“When I spoke with him, he said ‘Marti, I’m very upbeat,’ “ she said.

All five of Pendergraft’s clinics will remain open while Pendergraft is in prison, Mackenzie said.

“He has an extensive corporation set up, and nothing is going to change,” she said. “He has doctors in place who have been working in the clinics a long time.”

Mackenzie is confident the appeals court will eventually vindicate Pendergraft, she said.

“I know him to be a man of the utmost integrity,” she said. “He has been, as far as I am concerned, slandered in the courtroom.”

Rogow also said he is confident Pendergraft will eventually prevail.

“I’m a believer in his case,” Rogow said. “I think there are some serious legal issues here.”

Pendergraft and Spielvogel were convicted Feb. 1, in Ocala, following a nearly month-long trial. Spielvogel began serving a 41-month sentence at a federal prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base on July 10. Spielvogel was convicted of the three charges Pendergraft was convicted of, and two additional charges of filing a false affidavit and making false statements to the FBI.

The charges against both men stemmed from comments they made during a meeting in March 1999 between Pendergraft, his then-lawyer Roy Lucas, Spielvogel and county attorney Virgil “Bill” Wright.

At that meeting, Spielvogel repeated allegations he had made in an earlier affidavit that Marion County Commission Chairman Larry Cretul had threatened him, Pendergraft and the Ocala clinic. Pendergraft said in a separate affidavit that Spielvogel had told him of those threats.

During the trial, Spielvogel admitted Cretul had never directly made such threats, and that he had had faked a telephone call in which Cretul allegedly made the remark, in Pendergraft’s presence.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

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Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

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Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

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