Ryan Scott Gevelinger arrested, held on high cash only bond

Deputies arrest self-proclaimed church leader

Howard County sheriff’s deputies arrested the leader of a Benedictine monastery for financially exploiting an elderly person.

A probable cause statement filed by the department on March 31 claims Ryan St. Anne Gevelinger tried to deceive an elderly woman living at the church to sell her property to help pay for the monastery. Gevelinger, who also goes by Ryan St. Anne Scott, Ryan Patrick Scott, Father Ryan St. Anne and Randell Stocks, is being held at the Howard County jail in Fayette on a $150,000 cash only bond.

According to the statement, Gevelinger lived with Patricia Baldridge, a woman who owns a farm in Iowa. The two drafted a deal to sell her farm, with Gevelinger receiving a larger portion of the proceeds than Baldridge’s seven children. The notary, Russell Harrison, who also serves as a reserve deputy, for the deal contacted Baldridge, and learned it was Gevelinger who wrote the deal. The document, an addition to the Baldridge Trust, would also leave Gevelinger as the “successor trustee to the estate.”
In early March, Baldridge became more concerned with Gevelinger’s behavior. She said he began acting angry, commenting that “Satan had gotten into him.” On March 6, the sheriff’s office, along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Department of Health and Senior Services, helped Baldridge leave the monastery on Snoddy Street. 

The statement claims that Baldridge’s daughter eventually picked her up that day near Fayette, and took her back home to Iowa. 

Harrison chronicled another incident where Gevelinger wanted him to notarize a letter to Baldridge’s son in Iowa, asking for back pay on rent for the farm. Once more, Baldridge expressed concern to him about the letter, which he saw as another way to distance Baldridge from her family.
“Isolation is an effective tool in controlling of weakened or vulnerable people,” the statement said.

While Steve Hayes, a neighbor of the Holy Rosary Abbey, was not home during Baldridge’s escort out, he said interactions with Gevelinger were often terse.
“Anybody that’s known him more than ten minutes is going to know that he’s not a man of God,” Hayes said. “He’s rude, crude and all he tries to do is just solicit money or get people to do things that he needs to do for free.”

Hayes said the two sometimes argued over the property line between their two places, including the driveway and a shed. The way he spoke to people often seemed demeaning, and started the process of people doubting him, he said.
“It’s a small town,” Hayes said. “You can’t do anything that everybody don’t find out about. So , you’ve got to be nice.”

The Roman Catholic diocese in Jefferson City warned people last April about Gevelinger when he moved t mid-Missouri, pointing out his monastery focused on the Benedictine sect of Catholicism.
ABC 17 News received a disconnected message when calling the number for Holy Rosary Abbey Monday. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department was not available for comment on Monday.  
Gevelinger will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on May 1.

Get AQ Email Updates

One comment on “Ryan Scott Gevelinger arrested, held on high cash only bond

  1. I believe “the devil” got “into” him, at his own invitation. This is a bald example of what greed, deceit and lust for power does to someone. He has constantly gone up against forces, not just material forces, greater than himself, thinking he could deceive the innocent, turn those who were seeking God, and use their trust and open hearts to feed his monstrous ego and need for power. Believe me, I know. This is what evil looks like.

Leave a Reply