The Scandal That Rocked Sovereign Grace Ministries

We’ve posted before about the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal, but if you’re unfamiliar with the story, Tiffany Stanley has an eye-opening article in the Washingtonian discussing what happened and how people were affected by it:

MahaneyPreach

In a class-action suit filed in Montgomery County, [lawyer] Susan Burke alleged that SGM, [founder C.J.] Mahaney, and seven pastors had engaged in a cover-up of child molestation. SGM “cared more about protecting its financial and institutional standing,” the suit claimed, “than about protecting children, its most vulnerable members.”

There were three plaintiffs initially, but it wasn’t long before others came forward. One alleged that there was a pedophile ring at Covenant Life and that men, including a pastor, had molested her. Another alleged that cofounder Larry Tomczak had her strip and beat her for more than 20 years, allegations he calls “baseless” and “absolutely false.” A woman who stated she’d been molested by her father alleged that in 2000, the pastors at the Fairfax church encouraged her mother to stay with him. They blamed the mother, according to the suit, for being “a bad wife who had failed to satisfy her husband sexually.” Eventually, 11 plaintiffs in all signed on.

The worst aspect of the story may be that many of the church leaders are still preaching today, albeit in a different location.

TIME‘s website has an interview with Stanley about how she investigated this story. Check out this kicker:

… The day after the magazine hit newsstands, I got a card from Covenant Life Church, signed by some of the elders, saying the pastors prayed for me that morning. That was a first for me.

They’ll pray for her, but they refuse to admit there were serious problems within their own church. Typical.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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