Grant Layman Leaves the Ministry to Sell Paint

By | March 3, 2014

Grant Layman, brother in-law of C.J. Mahaney and a fixture for the past 31 years at Covenant Life Church of Gaithersburg, MD, has announced that effective March 31, 2014 he will step down from his full-time staff position.  You may recall that C.J. Mahaney served as the senior pastor of CLC for many years and then handed the job off to Josh Harris so he could spend more time as the leader of Sovereign Grace Ministries. When the sexual abuse scandal at SGM became public C.J. Mahaney fled to Louisville, KY where he conveniently “planted” a new church.  About 40 churches, including CLC, then left the SGM denomination.

A sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed by some of the individuals victimized while attending CLC.  Named among the defendants were C.J. Mahaney, Grant Layman and CLC.

Nate Morales, one of the perps in the SGM sexual abuse case, currently is in jail awaiting a criminal trial scheduled for May.  This trial threatens to blow the lid off of the SGM cover-up and the individuals taken down as a result could be significant.  Below is a video of Grant Layman’s announcement.  You cannot watch the video here, but clicking the link will direct you to the Vimeo site where it can be viewed, or else you can listen to the pertinent audio in the player below the video.

Below the audio player I have posted some material from Brent Detwiler’s blog that shows just how deeply involved Grant Layman is in this scandal. Undoubtedly the past few years have been hard on Layman, and I am certain he has grown weary.  That said, I am also left to speculate that Layman knows he will be implicated in the Nate Morales trial and it would be best for CLC if he is no longer employed by them when the information from the trial comes out.

From Brent Detwiler’s blog:

Here’s the deal.  The Covenant Life pastors already know many of the Defendants and non-Defendants are guilty.  They have the evidence and witnesses.  Step one, “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault” and step two, “if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you” should have been completed in many cases.  At this point, the CLC pastors should be ready to “tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Take Grant Layman for example.  While I have no evidence Grant abused anyone, there is abundant evidence in the possession of the CLC pastors that he was a major player in the alleged conspiracy regarding David Adams, Nate Morales and Charlie Llewellyn.  The same is true of C.J. and Gary Ricucci.  People would be outraged if all this information were honestly presented to the church.  Grant would have to step down from ministry.  Instead, I am told the CLC pastors are planning to send him on a sabbatical.

The following information is from Brent Detwiler’s blog and may be found here.

Complaint 39

39.  This ongoing conspiracy is evidenced by, among other things, Defendant Layman’s statements made to police in connection with their investigation of Morales.


Grant Layman made misleading and false statements to detectives during their three year investigation.  On January 7, 2010, he told detectives that Robin Boisvert was the “lead” pastor in the Morales matter and he (i.e., Layman) only had “vague recollections” regarding Samuel Bates.

Two weeks later, detectives followed up  with Robin Boisvert.  He provided conflicting testimony and “denied being the ‘lead’ pastor in the matter and advised [said] Grant Layman was lead pastor.”  Boisvert also said he “accompanied Grant Layman” in the early 1990’s “to confront Nate Morales, who neither denied nor confessed.  He was accused of abusing teenage boys.  The meeting took place in a park in the Flower Valley subdivision.”  Boisvert’s recollections were not the least bit vague.

Layman also told Detectives he “had no direct recollection” of a meeting he had with Samuel Bates’ father in 2010.  This meeting was also attended by Robin Boisvert.  Boisvert again provided conflicting testimony.  He told detectives he “recalled the meeting and the fact that Mr. Layman was present.”  Much more could be said.

Grant Layman’s Sabbatical

There are 19 pastors at Covenant Life Church.  Joshua Harris is the senior pastor.  Kenneth Maresco and Grant Layman are the executive pastors.  Defendant Layman is currently on a three month sabbatical.  He is not reading email and he is throwing out the email he receives.

From: Grant Layman []
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2013 6:21 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Automatic reply: John Loftness in Focus – Former Chairman of the SGM Board & Alleged Sexual Sadist

I am currently on a sabbatical until October 1, 2013. I will not be reading or keeping any email while I am away. If you have an urgent matter please contact Beth Kraatz at or 301-869-2800.

This raises a lot of questions that Joshua Harris should answer with haste.  He must provide a compelling justification for this extraordinary arrangement that goes far beyond, “Life has been hard for the Layman’s.  They need a little break.”

  1. What is the purpose of the sabbatical?  Working on his legal defense?  Leisure?
  2. Where does the Covenant Life Policy Manual allow for a 3 month sabbatical like this one?
  3. Who is paying for the sabbatical?
  4. Is this a proper use of church funds (i.e. tax deductible contributions) under the circumstances?  How would the IRS rule on the matter if advised?
  5. Is Defendant Layman being paid his normal salary during the sabbatical?
  6. Where is the sabbatical taking place?
  7. Who is paying for incidental expenses like meals, travel, accommodations, entertainment, etc.

Defendant Layman doesn’t need rest.  He needs resolve.  Quite honestly, he should end the sabbatical and immediately do the following.

  1. Resign from Christian ministry.
  2. Make a full confession to Covenant Life Church.
  3. Cooperate fully with law enforcement.
  4. Tell the truth about Defendant Mahaney’s role in the conspiracy.
  5. Seek reconciliation with the victims.
  6. Make restitution to victims.

The following information is from Brent Detwiler’s blog and may be found here.


Roberts is now in high school.  He tells us the molestations of “Nate” Morales “were well known.”  That is true.  Grant Layman already knew about some of Morales’ molestations at this time according to police reports.

The reference to “some of the teenage boys” includes Samuel Bates, Daniel Bates, Jeremy Cook, and Brian Wolohan.  They are each named as victims in the December 13, 2012 indictments which are a matter of public record.  I applaud their bravery.  Other “boys” have also told investigators they were molested by Morales.  I know all the families affected by these molestations except for one.  The evidence against Morales is rock solid.  So is the evidence against Grant Layman regarding the conspiracy.

Chris Glass worked for Grant Layman.  He immediately reported the “youth group discussion” to his superior.   Grant Layman worked for C.J. Mahaney.  He too would have immediately reported because Defendant Mahaney was the senior pastor and required anything of this magnitude be brought to his attention.  Layman is also Mahaney’s brother-in-law.  Moreover, Mahaney knew Morales and was friends of the victims’ parents.  In some cases, close friends!  Not only did Mahaney know all about Morales molestations, he was the one advising Layman not to involve law enforcement.

According to the factual allegation, “Chris Glass cautioned [Roberts] and the other boys against talking about the facts.”  This will be easy to prove at the up-coming jury trial on November 18.  Glass was simply following the training he received from Layman and Mahaney.  He is now a Captain in the United States Navy.  I hope he is cooperating with law enforcement.

The following information is also from Brent Detwiler’s blog and may be found here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 5:18PM

Plaintiff Grace Goe is one of nine children in the Llewellyn family.   Her father goes by the name “Charlie.” I’ve interacted with him on a few occasions and I know some of the people who work for him.  Charlie is the President of Llewellyn Realtors in Rockville, Maryland which lists 83 agents on its website.  He is wealthy.  He is an influential member of Covenant Life Church.  And he physically and sexually abused family members according to victims and witnesses.  C.J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris, Gary Ricucci, Grant Layman and others conspired to cover up his alleged crimes.

Here are the factual allegations put forward by one of his daughters in the Second Amended Complaintunder the pseudonym, Grace Goe.

Complaints 152-161

152.  As Donna Doe was being subjected to the terror of living with her pedophiliac father, Defendants were also forcing Plaintiff Grace Goe to endure constant physical and sexual abuse from her father, a wealthy man who was and remains a prominent member of the Covenant Life Church.

153.  Grace Goe’s father repeatedly beat her on her naked buttocks so harshly that she bled and bruised.  Her father would then submerge her into an ice bath to hide the physical manifestations of the beatings.

154.  Grace Goe’s father also repeatedly sexually abused her, making her rub his feet, which he then inserted into her vagina.  He also molested her on several occasions by rubbing his hands over her breasts, at times outside her clothes and at times against her bare skin under her clothes.

155.  Grace Goe’s father engaged in the physical and sexual abuse towards the other children, including the male children, whose penises he repeatedly fondled.

156.  Defendants Ricucci and Layman learned of the ongoing abuse no later than in or around 1997, when Grace Goe was 13.  At that time, a housekeeper named Mary Burcham reported the ongoing abuse of the Goe children to Defendants Ricucci and Layman, and discovery will show other Defendants.  Defendants Ricucci and Layman met with Grace Goe and her older female sibling, who reported the fact of the abuse to the Individual Defendants and sought protection from their abusive father.  

157.  Rather than report the ongoing abuse to the secular authorities or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse.  This led to further abuse by the father.  In exchange for the conspiracy of silence, the abusive father paid to send Defendants Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman and their families on vacation to the Kiawah Islands, South Carolina.

158.  On or about September 17, 2008, Plaintiff Grace Goe again reached out the Defendants, seeking assistance in preventing the ongoing abuse of her siblings. Defendants failed to report or take any other steps to stop the ongoing and severe abuse.

159.  In May 2010, Plaintiff Grace Goe again sought help from Defendants Layman and Ricucci, as she was concerned that her father was continuing to abuse the children remaining in the house.

160.  On May 14, 2010, Defendants conspired to mislead Plaintiff Grace Goe into believing that they would finally assist in ending the abuse.  Defendant Grant Layman affirmatively made misrepresentations in writing to Grace Goe, assuring her that “[a]fter the pastors discussed this situation, the bottom line is, we feel a moral obligation to report.”

161.  Yet this was a falsehood.  Defendant Layman and his co-conspirators again failed to report the abuse, and instead continue to assist the wealthy father in avoiding any consequences for his ongoing abuse of his children.

Confirmation of Facts

I’ve been able to confirm the following.

  • The Llewellyn family left Covenant Life Church in 1996.  They returned in 2008 and began pursuing membership in 2010.  Charlie was denied membership by the pastors but not fellowship in the church.  For all intent and purposes, however, he has been treated like a member since his return.
  • It appears Grace Goe was motivated to get back in contact with Gary Ricucci (C.J.’s brother-in-law)[1]and Grant Layman (C.J.’s brother-in-law)[2] when her family returned to Covenant Life Church in 2008 (cf. 158) and, then again, when they pursued membership in 2010 (cf. 159).  The time frames clearly coordinate with each other.
  • Mary Burcham, Grace Goe and her older sister, reported the alleged physical and sexual abuse to Gary and Grant in 1996, not 1997.  Approximately six weeks later, Ms. Burcham’s employment as a housekeeper was ended by Charlie Llewellyn.  Around the same time, the Llewellyn’s left Covenant Life Church.
  • Soon after they left, Charlie sent the Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman families to the Kiawah Islands in South Carolina on an expensive vacation.  He covered the costs.
  • No reports of physical or sexual abuse were ever filed by C.J., Joshua, Gary or Grant from 1996 to 2012 with the Montgomery County Police Department or the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS).

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“Very troubling to me is the obvious disconnect Joshua Harris has between the sexual abuse victims and those on the CLC staff who enabled the abusers, doing nothing to protect children. Clearly Grant Layman has been one of the major enablers. ”

Most likely all of this was worked out during the time CJ was splitting SGM from CLC, etc. Harris has proved to be a player in helping to put on the false façade even heaping praise on Mahaney throughout while passively “disagreeing”. He was playing it very cool and won quite a few over even on the survivors blogs. But as you know, as time goes on, those sorts of deals don’t last. My guess is Grant got a pretty good severance deal to go away before the trial. What we think would make sense is not how it usually works. Everything is about saving face and tithers. Everything has to be presented in a manner that goes down ok with those paying tithes. Without the tithers, there are no ministry jobs that pay well. That is always the first concern.

Steve, I find your sympathy for Layman curious. Don’t forget those young kids being groomed and molested, ok? Layman could have blown the lid off it long ago and chose not to. He is complicit. If you think it was “hard on Grant” think of the children and what they have to carry with them ALL their lives. I don’t feel one bit sorry for him. He protected monsters.


You do bring up a good point about Grant and how allegedly protected or hid what Nathan Morales did. It is hard to have sympathy for Grant in light of that if it proves to be true. For all we know and assuming Grant has a conscience it is possible that Grant’s actions weighed heavy on him and was a contributor to what appears to be burn out.


Steve, Grant is weary because he’s committed serious crimes that should land him in jail. Please see Brent Detwiler’s blog for media references to Layman and very publicly admitting they didn’t report Morales to the police. If Grant had a conscience he’d apologize to the victims he helped create and tell the truth about CLCs ongoing conspiracy to protect child abusers. Kids at CLC are in great danger as I type this.

One thing I would say is that it isn’t unusual for a church to give a leader a paid sabbatical. As I said before, I am sure it was hard on Grant all that happened and having to choose not to support his brother in law C.J. Mahaney and thus a sabbatical was needed. It is sad if Grant was an enabler and chose to hid what Nathaniel Morales is now charged with doing


Steve240, Layman told the media, more than a year ago, that he didn’t report eirher allegations that Morales was molesting kids or Morales confessions to that effect. Harris and the other CLC Pastors know that. Why would they lie to everyone and give Layman a paid vacation unless they were afraid of what he’d tell the world about allegations that they covered up abuse too? Plus I’ve read the Morales file at circuit court and CLC was forced to admit that their pastors didn’t report Morales as required by law. The truth is already a matter of public record.


Interesting what you say about the documents. I am surprised more people are indicating this or even posting some of these documents online for all to see. Maybe there are rules against posting them?


Thanks, Steve. There are a couple issues with the documents. I published the court documents in which “CLC Representatives” flatly state that the Church did not report allegations about Morales or his confessions about molesting kids, but I took them down at the request of victims as they contain graphic information. However, they can be seen by anyone who wishes to look at the Morales file at Circuit Court in MD.

Following are the links in which Robin Boisvert and Grant Layman publicly admit breaking the law by not reporting either Morales confessions that he was abusing kids or the many allegations to that effect, that they received from alleged victims and their parents.

You’re right, Steve, about the documents above not being published enough. I’m trying to remedy that by creating my own website. In the meantime, please circulate these articles as much as possible.

They shed light on why Grant Layman, in particular, suddenly needed a “Sabbatical” and prove that the current leadership, including Joshua Harris, is now just as guilty of conspiring to cover up abuse as Layman and Boisvert.

Even without the evidence of Layman and Boisvert’s guilt, the entire CLC Community is guilty of saying it cares about kids out of one side of its mouth and then arguing that the Constitution gives its Pastors the right to cover up abuse, out of the other.

Life is not like that, and I don’t understand how anyone can entrust their children to Joshua Harris while he’s claiming he has the legal right to tell them not to call the police if their kids are harmed by a pedophile.

It’s also important to remember that we’re not just talking about the past – CLC children are in great danger now. A CLC member stated in another forum that he recently reported suspected abused to the police. That suggests that CLC Pastors are continuing their long-standing policy of allowing dangerous individuals to wander around looking for victims instead of reporting them to the police, as required by Maryland law.

Thanks for the response, Steve, and your comments respecting CLC. I’ve read them for years.

Thanks for sharing this information jannaichan. I am so tired of people accusing those of us sounding the alarm that we shouldn’t judge, etc. There is a substantial amount of evidence out there for those willing to look.

Perhaps both Layman and Harris knew prior to the sabbatical that Layman would be calling it quits. Harris offered Layman one more plum to Layman prior to his stepping down. Three months off would allow Layman to get the needed training and take care of all the details involved in setting up a franchise. Pure speculation on my part, but I would like to know when Layman actually purchased the franchise.

Very troubling to me is the obvious disconnect Joshua Harris has between the sexual abuse victims and those on the CLC staff who enabled the abusers, doing nothing to protect children. Clearly Grant Layman has been one of the major enablers. To heap praise on the man, lauding his integrity and telling everyone how much you love the guy, followed by two standing ovations, is insane. Harris should have demanded Layman’s resignation as soon as his involvement became known. Instead he gets a three months paid vacation and a hero’s send off! If there are any mature Christians with a modicum of common sense left in the congregation they need to call for the resignation off all 17 remaining pastors on CLC who agreed to this treatment of Layman. This is a great example of why you need elders who are not paid staff members. CLC still has yet to take this action. Why the lengthy delay between the announcement that they were going to do this and the actual implementation? In this video Harris says they will be installed in September. I wonder how many positions there will be. I would think the number of staff who are elders should be equal to the number of lay elders.

Headless Unicorn Guy

What is the purpose of the sabbatical? Working on his legal defense? Leisure?

Interstate flight to avoid prosecution?

[…] Dubai and blogs at 'Thou Art the Man' chimed in about this recent development. In his post Grant Layman Leaves the Ministry…, he addresses the upcoming trial regarding Nate Morales. Todd […]

I hope that the reason Grant is stepping down is due to what Josh Harris and Grant said and isn’t due what is alleged about Grant here on this blog.

BTW, Grant purchased a painting franchise and isn’t really “selling paint” but selling a service that paints buildings.

With as generous at SGM’s/CLC’s retirement plan is, I am surprised that Grant couldn’t just retire. Maybe the painting franchise is a way to “save face” or give a reason for leaving. It will be interesting to see what Grant builds this business to be.

Thanks for the clarification on Grant Layman’s new job. Any idea on what the name of this company/franchiser is? I would like to know more.

The name of the franchise is 5 Star Painting. I checked it out a week or so ago and it didn’t list yet a franchise in the Wash DC area yet. Maybe that has now changed.