SHOW / EPISODE

268: April Avila | "Good Girls Don’t Have Bad Things Happen to Them" (And Other IFB Lies)

1h 35m | Nov 26, 2023

April Avila is one of the featured interviewees in Let Us Prey: A Ministry of Scandals, a new four-part docuseries exposing the predatory and insidious behavior within the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Churches, and the struggles of survivors to find justice. Featuring first-hand accounts from survivors, church defectors, and activists, Let Us Prey offers crucial insight into the troubling culture within the IFB and the stronghold the churches have on its members. All four parts of Let Us Prey: A Ministry of Scandals premiered across two nights Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25 starting at 9/8c on ID.

Since its inception in the 1950s, the IFB has evolved into one of the dominant religious forces in the United States today with an estimated 8 million believers spread out over 6,000 churches across the country. Let Us Prey uncovers the dark innerworkings behind the IFB’s cheery and virtuous exterior by exposing depraved secrets and violence that have existed within their churches for decades. Rituals oriented towards “breaking a child’s will,” mind control and torture are only the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface lurks accusations of rape and physical abuse of members, including minors, at the hands of IFB figure heads.

Anchored by the testimony of survivors who have come forward to tell their stories and seek justice, Let Us Prey explores the deep pain and lifelong trauma they experienced. Survivors and IFB defectors Ruthy Heiler, Kathy Durbin and Amanda Householder, among others, share their accounts of abuse at the hands of church leaders and the violence, manipulation and suspected cover-ups of other members. Also featuring key independent voices, including Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Sarah Smith – one of the first journalists to uncover IFB’s tangled web of abuse allegations and unregulated teen boarding schools – Let Us Prey offers a deeper understanding of how those within the IFB have continued to operate unchecked for years. Through powerful, emotional testimonies and archival footage, Let Us Prey reveals the sexual abuse of IFB members and the insidious efforts to cover up pastors’ abuse and silence survivors.

Let Us Prey: A Ministry of Scandals is produced for ID by ITV America’s Good Caper Content, with Emmy Award-winning Director Sharon Liese, who created the series, serves as the director. Liese is a critically acclaimed and award-winning filmmaker, whose recent Emmy Award-winning documentary short, The Flagmakers, was Oscar shortlisted and nominated for a Critic’s Choice Documentary Award.

Use #LetUsPrey to join the conversation and follow on FacebookInstagramTikTokX and YouTube for exclusive content.


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