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Church disputes claims of operator at raided mental illness facility

POSTED: September 17, 2013 1:19 a.m.

New details emerged Monday about a Gainesville man’s recent operation of a home for mentally ill patients discharged from clinics such as Laurelwood Hospital at the Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville.

Reveckeyo Anwaan Hill’s facility in Jackson County was closed last week after local law enforcement officers and state agencies raided the facility that just recently moved from Hall County. They seized computers and bank records.

Gainesville resident Hill, 29, has denied the facility was a personal care home. He said it was a ministry and didn’t require licensing. A call for comment on Monday was not returned.

Hill says he was a pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Summit Street in Gainesville, but Clarence Thrower, the head pastor, denied Hill was ever a pastor or a member of the church leadership there.

He said Hill and his wife had attended services there and had occasionally brought people by for visits or services. What he does is his business, Thrower said.

“There is only one pastor at St. Paul and that is me,” Thrower said. “He is not a pastor here.”

Hill said he was ordained in 2008, but declined to say where.

The home at 148 Terrell Lane in Jefferson was unlicensed by state or local government. The state is investigating a possible unlicensed personal home care facility. The incident report said Hill said the location was a treatment facility with patients from Laurelwood Hospital.

Melissa Tymchuk, director of public relations and marketing for Northeast Georgia Health System, said the hospital had presented Hill’s New Walk Ministries home as an option to discharged patients, but no longer did.

“We are no longer using New Walk Ministries as a discharge option,” Tymchuk said. “Our staff helps patients to assure they have to assure they have living arrangements/options at the time they are discharged. These options include, but are not limited to: shelters, ministries, residential programs, and personal care homes. Patients choose the option best for them based on their needs and available resources.”

Hill called the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 9 about a runaway female patient. A deputy tracked down the female patient walking up Ga. 124. The deputy and the patient returned to the house, the incident report said.

Deputies then talked to another female patient, who had bruises on her body and a knot on her head. She asserted she had been handcuffed and thrown to the ground. Hill said she was bipolar and caused a lot of problems at the home and had to be restrained.

Hill is currently under house arrest after pleading guilty to forgery in the first degree last month. Court records said he submitted false paperwork on a car he was financing. He was sentenced in August to six years in prison, required to serve 60 days in jail and stay on probation for about five years and 10 months.

He was also convicted in 2004 for impersonating a police officer.


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