When They Were Mine is the autobiography of Sheila Martin, a member of the Branch Davidian Church at the time of its apocalyptic encounter with the FBI in April, 1993. The assault resulted in a fire that killed 76 Branch Davidians, including 23 children. Sheila's husband and four oldest children died in the fire. Martin told the story of her life, both before and after the attack, to Catherine Wessinger, who then wrote this first-person narrative from the recordings of their sessions together. The result is a haunting account of one life, typical in its ups and downs, made atypical by a collision of faith with history.
Foreword by Catherine Wessinger
Purpose of this Book
Early Life in Boston
Becoming a Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventist
Increasing Independence: Moving to New York City
Meeting Wayne Martin
Marriage and Living in Cambridge, Massachusetts
A Growing Family and Relocating to New York City
Moving to North Carolina
Jamie Becomes Ill: Wayne Becomes a Branch Davidian
Joining the Branch Davidian Community: Life at the Palestine Camp
Life at Mount Carmel
The ATF Raid on Mount Carmel, February 28, 1993
Experiences after Coming Out of Mount Carmel
The Fire, April 19, 1993
After the Fire
Remembering the Loved Ones Who Died in 1993
Reflections on the Loss of Loved Ones
Keeping the Faith
Appendix: Sheila Martin’s Drawings
Sheila Martin is a surviving Branch Davidian. She lost her husband and four oldest children in the fire on April 19, 1993 that ended the standoff between the Branch Davidians and federal agents. She continues to live and work in Waco, Texas.
Catherine Wessinger (Ph.D. University of Iowa) is the Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J. Professor of the History of Religions, Loyola University, New Orleans. She is the author/editor of six books, including most recently, Memoirs of the Branch Davidians: The Autobiography of David Koresh's Mother (2007), Millenialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases, Editor (2000), and Religious Institutions and Women's Leadership: New Roles Inside the Mainstream (1996).
This is a story, told with both simplicity and dignity, of an incredible tragedy and an amazing faith.
~Eileen Barker, Professor Emeritus of Sociology with special reference to the Study of Religion, London School of Economics
This book is a tale well-told that helps readers understand the force of religious commitment.
~Rebecca Moore, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, San Diego State University