C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries On Edge as Morales Trial Set to Begin

By | May 12, 2014

cj dever

 “There are simply too many allegations by too many disparate people, for this to be merely a vindictive false attack.  And C. J. Mahaney, as the founder and leader of SGM, simply cannot hold himself aloof and claim ignorance.  The authoritarian structures that were set up and/or maintained by him directly caused an environment where abuse was aided and abetted– and he had the power to prevent it, or at the very least stop it in its tracks.  He is the one who created the environment where leaders were given blanket endorsement and protection, while the people at the bottom were silenced.  Whether he likes it or not, by setting authority up as unassailable and himself up as the top authority, he made himself responsible for the behavior of his sub-leaders and well-being of his lowliest followers.  And you, as his friends, ought to have told him so.”
Patheos – Sovereign Grace Ministries and Abuse: Time to Speak Out


Screenshot 2014-02-01 00.16.31

2014-05-10 Title page of Morales charges

2014-05-10 Ten charges against Morales

2014-05-10 More charges against Morales

2014-05-10 Subpoena of Layman and Boisvert

Grant Layman is up to his neck in lies, cover-up and obfuscation in the SGM sexual abuse scandal. Yet this doesn’t keep CLC Senior Pastor Joshua (I Kissed Reality Goodbye) Harris from Orwellian speak as he describes in glowing terms Layman’s faithfulness, diligence, excellence and integrity!  He then goes on to say that Layman “is setting a good example for all of us on how to finish well.”  Say what?  This may play well to those who have remained at CLC, as undoubtedly any clear thinking individual left the church a long time ago, but those of us on the outside listening in can easily see it for what it is – a load of bovine defecation. Nevertheless, and not surprisingly,  the remaining faithful at CLC give Layman the obligatory SGM standing ovation!

All I can come up with in the way of an explanation  is Harris is totally out of touch with reality.  The guy has done nothing but full-time Christian work since his teen years and it is apparent by the total lack of common sense he displays. My suggestion to Harris is he attempt to finish well and get out of the ministry before he does any further damage.  Perhaps he can join his good buddy Grant Layman in the paint industry.  I hear Five Star Painting still has some good franchise locations available.  Listen for yourself:

2014-05-12 Joshua Harris Bio

From: Mark Mitchell – Covenant Life Church
Date: April 22, 2014 6:59:48 PM EDT
To: Church Members
Subject: Lawsuit Update

Dear Church, 

We are writing to report on the status of the civil lawsuit against the church.  As with many legal matters, the suit continues to play out very slowly. (At the end of this letter we have included a timeline to orient you to the history to date.) …

In closing, it’s appropriate to mention the upcoming trial of Nathaniel Morales, a former Covenant Life member who has been charged in Maryland with molesting boys during the 1980s.  Mr. Morales’ case received a good deal of publicity in early 2013, and may do so again during his jury trial, currently set for May 12-16.  The case against Mr. Morales is a criminal matter and should not be confused with the civil lawsuit against Covenant Life.

We wanted the church family to be aware that Robin Boisvert and Grant Layman have received subpoenas to appear as witnesses in the Morales trial.  This represents an opportunity to pray for wisdom if they testify and to lift up prayers for all who have been affected by sexual abuse.

With the civil lawsuit still on appeal, we continue to be constrained in how much we can communicate, but look forward to being able to present a fuller picture at the appropriate time.  Thank you for your understanding and patience.

We encourage you to pray that God’s manifold wisdom, justice and goodness will be on display as these matters continue to unfold. 

Mark Mitchell

On behalf of the elders

This is from Brent Detwiler’s blog:

“I guess it is time for a reality check.  Ten fast facts.  1) Grant followed C.J.’s evil counsel to cover up.  2) Morales’ crimes were never reported to police by C.J., Grant or other CLC pastors who knew.  3) Parents and youth at Covenant Life Church were not alerted to the predatory and homosexual activity of Morales.  4) The school administration at Montgomery County Christian Academy where Morales taught and groomed victims was never told about his abuses by CLC leaders.  5) Other youth were abused as a result of all these criminal delinquencies.  6) Grant lied to detectives in order to conceal the conspiracy.  7) CLC and SGM leaders have denied all wrong doing.  8) Joshua Harris just commended Grant on Feb 23 for his personal integrity and ending his pastoral service well.  9) C.J., Joshua, Grant and other pastors at CLC have covered up the pedophilic actions of other sex abusers with multiple victims at CLC.  10) The above have used a cadre of high priced lawyers and law firms to block every attempt to bring them and abusers to justice.

Grant Layman will not be able to lie on the stand like he did to Maryland Detectives during the investigation.  Don’t pray for wisdom.  Pray both of these men are completely honest and don’t attempt to dodge questions.  Do pray for wisdom for the District Attorneys.  They need divine assistance in making the case and dealing with the unscrupulous tactics used by the Defense.  Pray also for all the material witnesses against Morales including the victims from Covenant Life Church.” 

2014-05-12 Grant Layman Bio

2014-05-12 Robin Boisvert Bio

This is  from The Wartburg Watch:

“The Nate Morales arrest is significant. It appears obvious that SGM and Covenant Life Church (CLC) are concerned about this, as well they should be. The CLC official statement appears to be in conflict with police reports. Obviously, this is one for the lawyers to work out but, if I were in the shoes of some of the defendants, I would be very worried indeed.

On February 6, CLC  published a Response to News Reports (about the Nate Morales arrest) here 

 Contrary to the impression left by the news reports, Covenant Life Church had no knowledge of such abuse until many years after the abuse when an adult who had been victimized as a child came forward.

However, here is a statement from the Washington Examiner which wrote an article on the arrest,“Former Christian School teacher accused of molesting boys.”

The victim’s father told detectives that he talked with pastors about Morales, but there were “concerns of tarnished reputations,” and no police report was made.

Police interviewed two pastors who confirmed that they talked to Morales about the allegations that he was abusing boys.

One pastor, Ernest Boisvert, told police that “normally the church would appeal to the accused to stop his criminal behavior and then, should it not stop, they would alert people that the person is not acting in a Christian manner,” according to police.

Boisvert said he “took his cues from the families of the victims,” who did not indicate they wanted to notify police, charging documents said.

If the statements, which conflict with CLC’s version of events, prove to be true, it will be devastating to the defendants. My guess is this will be the emphasis of the defense after the First Amendment nonsense gets summarily thrown out of court. This sort of approach could harm the defense because it will be seen, rightly or wrongly, as an attempt at cover up.The Catholic church has paved the way on this issue.

I found the following comment in the comment section of that article insightful into the perspective of an apparent outsider. Folks, the SGM mess is beginning to attract the attention of the media and a watching world. 

Another church declines accountability for the vile behavior of its own employees though leadership was aware of it for years. A criminal who assaults children must be stopped, regardless of the church’s religious beliefs, or misguided notions of forgiveness. How many more children has this foul actor assaulted since, in Nevada or elsewhere? It is in that regard that the outcome here is the same as if Covenant Life had actively endorsed this behavior. 

Here is another article which appears to contradict the statements made by CLC. The Gazette, a local Rockville/Gaithersburg newspaper reported the following in discussing Nate Morales’ trial date. I think the statement by the founder of the school is important. It appears he claims that he had no knowledge of this abuse until recently. However it is alleged that CLC pastors were informed of the abuse and did not deal with it, allegedly,  at the request of the parents. So, if this is proven to be true, would that might mean that CLC deliberately chose NOT to notify the school?

Police say the abuses occurred while he worked at Montgomery County Covenant Academy, a different institution.

Covenant Academy closed in 1991, said Thurlow Switzer, the founder of the school.

“Nothing came to our attention while [Morales] was working on our staff,” Switzer told The Gazette on Friday. “Hearing this now is very sad.”

A statement on the church’s website read: “Mr. Morales, though a church member at the time, was never a pastor in Covenant Life Church nor a teacher in Covenant Life School.

The sister of one victim told her pastor of the abuse, according to Morales’ case file. When the investigating detective questioned church officials, “They acknowledged learning of the abuse, however indicated that the families, at that time, did not want to come forward. They recalled speaking with Morales who acknowledged wrong doing but with no specifics or details about the incident,” according to the charging documents.”

How much longer will these celebrity preachers shamefully stand behind their endorsement of C.J. Mahaney?


Thabiti Anyabwile speaking at C.J. Mahaney’s church:

John Piper, Mark Dever and Wayne Grudem speaking at C.J. Mahaney’s church:




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