About Watch the Shepherd 

My name is Virginia Knowles. I am a single mother of 10 children, as well as a grandmother of four little boys and two little girls.

I have been a Christian since 1976 and attended a variety of churches since then. Some of my former churches have been associated with allegations of spiritual abuse, mostly notably within Sovereign Grace Ministries. I currently attend an Episcopal church where people love Scripture, prayer, and most of all, Jesus!

I have home schooled for over 25 years, and I am quite familiar with the teachings and practices of the full quiver home school movement.

I am now a student in the Master of Ministry program at the Orlando campus of Asbury Theological Seminary. I also work at Heart of Florida United Way in their 211 crisis and referral call center.

Our family, September 2019

What do I mean by "Watch the Shepherd"? I am referring first to looking to our Good Shepherd, Jesus, as an example for how we should care for one another. Secondly, I want to encourage keeping a discerning eye on those who claim to be shepherds of God's people, to see if they are really doing what they are supposed to be doing or whether they are poor shepherds and false teachers. This blog is mainly about abuse (spiritual, physical, emotional, verbal, etc.) in churches, organizations, and families. To keep things on the positive side, I also have an extensive series on old hymns.

This blog was originally started using posts from my other blogs, and some of the links to my other articles go back to those blogs, even if the same article is here on Watch the Shepherd.

I am hoping to add more links about recognizing & overcoming spiritual abuse, as well as living by grace.  If you have any, please send them to me at virginiaknowles @ gmail dot com or leave a comment at the bottom of my links page

If you'd like to know a little more about me personally, here is my "About" page stuff from my other blogs. 

Who Am I?

Citizen of Heaven
Sojourner on Earth
Family Woman
Encourager & Friend
Author & Poet
Learner & Adventurer
Peace & Justice Activist
Lover of Creation & Beauty

Here is a directory of my blogs:

Virginia's Life, Such As It Is - my personal blog with what's going on in our family - lot's of pictures!

This Mom Grows Up - motherhood, personal growth homemaking, organization

Watch the Shepherd - vintage hymns, theology, and abuse of authority in churches and families, with an emphasis on domestic violence

Start Well - preschool and elementary education

Continue Well - middle school education with an emphasis on literature

Finish Well - high school and beyond


Virginia Knowles


  1. Hi Virginia
    have you found our blog A Cry For Justice yet? I think you will find we are pretty much on your page.

    1. Yes, I've seen it before, Barbara! In fact, I think I have it linked on a few posts, most recently http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2012/10/we-cant-ignore-domestic-violence.html


  2. Greetings Virginia,

    Good to find your site. You might be interested in my doctoral research on spiritual abuse and recovery.

    My website is: www.ChurchExiters.com

    My book is: 'Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness'.

    Another website that might be a helpful resource is: www.AbuseResourceNetwork.com