Easthaven Baptist Church is a place of belief—the church home to hundreds in Kalispell, Montana.
Whether in person, or remotely, Easthaven members are a community of open hearts and generous families, led by Pastor Daniel Lambert. For the past two years, Lambert has been personally leading the church’s support of one member in particular, Amy Glanville, a divorced mother of three who said she was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer.
A community member who reached out to me says “she [Amy] was on her deathbed, she was telling everyone she wasn’t going to make it through Christmas that year.”
This caller is a family member of one of the congregants and asked to remain anonymous in this story.
“The church has been rallying behind her, people were giving her cash, people were giving her donations, which I’ve been told has been going through the church, people were paying her mortgage, the principal of our elementary school was personally giving her money and helping pay her mortgage."
Amy’s extended family joined in with efforts of their own, from selling bracelets, to starting a successful GoFundMe campaign. According to the caller, it all added up to tens of thousands of dollars raised for Amy’s medical care at clinics around the country.
“The support for her was very eye-opening… because it involved kids… they were doing fundraisers at the school.”
Then one day in April of 2019, a miracle… the cancer was gone. Easthaven Pastor Daniel Lambert shared the news to the congregation.
“Months went by, we didn’t really hear anything, everyone was talking about this miracle that was happening, the pastor would constantly be at the church saying Amy was changing these doctors minds, they were converting to Christianity because of her.”
But the good news was short-lived… a few months later, a dire message and new plea from Pastor Daniel: Amy needed a pacemaker. The church rallied again.
On August 20th of 2019, this message was posted to the Easthaven Baptist Church: “Church- please pray now! A prayer request from Pastor Daniel this morning: ‘The battle continues for Amy: it has been a few months it has been a few months since she had a heart ablation procedure done in Seattle & everyone had hoped her heart rhythm would settle & her heart would strengthen. However, she has continued to struggle with multiple heart episodes a day. Her cardiology team determined yesterday that she is at high risk for a cardiac event & the best next step is to repeat the ablation procedure again today. She will be having this surgical procedure done at 10am Pacific Time (11AM our time). Please join us to pray for strength, peace, courage & a highly effective outcome. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to have full effect, so pray for fast relief. Thank you for standing with Amy in prayer.’”
Then, a second miracle last fall.
“The thing that got everyone to second guess everything was that the pastor went on the Facebook page and said another miracle had occurred, the pacemaker had disappeared… she’s totally fine. That was kind of like the turning point for a lot for people... like the first miracle maybe believable, cells can disappear... but a device implanted into her body that can’t disappear.”
Skepticism turned to suspicion after a January post of the cancer returning… and then just one week ago the caller says she was genuinely alarmed when she heard a new bombshell revelation from the pulpit.
Pastor Matthew Fitzwater is recorded as saying, “This past Monday, November 9th, Pastor Daniel and Vicki went to Amy’s house with the evidence and confronted her. Amy when confronted, confessed that everything regarding her medical condition, diagnosis and care, has been a lie… during that meeting between Amy, Daniel and Vicki, Amy confessed she never had cancer, never had a pacemaker, she has not been receiving cancer treatment, the seizures were not real, and she has not been under the medical supervision of any doctors.”
And although Pastor Daniel was normally the one communicating news about Amy’s treatment and condition to the congregation, he wasn’t there to deliver this message. I learned Pastor Daniel and his wife Vicky, who also works at the church, are on sabbatical and are expected to return this Saturday. I called them as well as the church, and so far, no response.
I also called Amy, but no answer from her either.
And that public Facebook page that shared so openly about her health is now inaccessible.
As for the cousin who set up the GoFundMe page that collected all those donations for Amy, late yesterday, a message appeared saying in part “We have a very disturbing update… we were recently credibly informed that Amy has been lying about her cancer diagnosis….”
When I spoke to him directly, he says he’s in the process of trying to get everyone’s money back.
I also called the Flathead County Sheriff’s office—they’ve confirmed they’re now investigating.
And as for the woman who reached out for help… she was grateful for that news.
“My family members go to that church…if it were anybody else.. and the pastor wasn’t involved, she would be in jail… And the fact that it’s been two weeks and she’s still at home hanging out with her kids…is mind boggling to me… they’re all kind of in shock. Because the family is honestly the nicest… the parents are the nicest people, their kids are amazing…it’s a shock I think to a lot of people.”
Although she believes her family - and others in the congregation- will come together and find the good in any potential wrong – she hopes there is justice for those who may have preyed on their faith.
In a late development to this story, we learned GoFundMe is now saying the fundraiser does not fall under their “GoFundMe Guarantee,” so it’s unclear how or if people will get their money back through the website. I’ll continue to follow this and bring you answers as we get them.