“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
UPDATE – March 30, 2016
Covenant Life Church sent the following email to their members yesterday:
March 29,2016Dear church family,I am sorry to bring sad and disturbing news. We learned Saturday that a 66-year-old male member of the church was arrested earlier this month and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a minor. We are grateful that law enforcement is involved. We are not naming the accused at this time to protect the minor.We’ve been learning all we can so that we can communicate with you fully and accurately in the days to come. We want to reassure you that our child protection measures are robust, and we continue to work hard to ensure Covenant Life remains a place of safety for children.So far as we know nothing related to these charges occurred at the church. However, if you have any information we encourage you to contact Montgomery County Police at 301-279-8000.Sincerely,Mark Mitchell
The idea that Covenant Life Church is not releasing the perpetrator’s name because they want to protect the victim’s privacy is an appalling lie. The alleged perpetrator’s arrest is a matter of public record on the MD court case website. How are church members supposed to know if their kids have been associating with an unnamed pedophile? How are CLC members realistically expected to report any information on an unnamed pedophile to the Montgomery County Police?
Covenant Life Church is a mess. They cannot even get a simple letter notifying members of a dangerous pedophile in their church right. I think it is most likely that they knew on the 16th when Caffery was arrested; but even if they didn’t find out till Saturday, why did it take 4 days to send out a statement that essentially said nothing? And we are to believe they have “robust child protection” policies?
When we last heard from Covenant Life Church of Gaithersburg, Maryland they were reeling from stories in TIME and the Washingtonian which shined an unwelcome light on their sordid past of alleged sex abuse of children and the conspiracy to cover up the abuse. They released the statement below in an attempt to tell people to “move along, there is nothing to see here.”
Fast forward six weeks and the CLC statement, undoubtedly crafted by their attorney, rings hollow as it is revealed yet another member of their church has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a minor!
A Maryland Senate subcommittee held a hearing on SB69 earlier this month. The proposed bill would extend the statute of limitations for civil cases of sexual abuse from seven to twenty years. During the hearing, Senator Jamie Raskin stated that Covenant Life Church looks like something of a “clearing house for predatory sexual activities against children.”
I would agree with Senator Raskin.
One is left to wonder how many more pedophiles will be arrested before Child Protection Services and Law Enforcement intervene with the intent of protecting children.
Larry E. Caffery is a member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. He has attended CLC, former flagship church of the Sovereign Grace Churches denomination, since 1996. Caffery and his wife worked in the Children’s Ministry at Covenant Life Church.
Larry E. Caffery has authored a book titled “Years of Grace, Life of Mercy.”
Larry E. Caffery was arrested on March 16, 2016, charged with nine counts of sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of false imprisonment.
Larry E. Caffery is charged with abusing his daughter from 2004-2014. During this time period, both C.J. Mahaney and Joshua Harris served as Senior Pastors at CLC!
While Caffery’s charges all have to do with abusing his own daughter, it is a well-established fact that pedophiles have numerous victims. Covenant Life Church would be well advised to inform their members of this most recent arrest and advise anyone who has had children under the “care” of youth worker Larry Caffery to report any signs that their children may have been sexually abused.
In Caffery’s book he states that:
“I left the Word of Life Church in Frederick. I had heard about Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg and decided to check it out. I knew this church had a very large congregation, and I thought it would be easier for me to find a new Christian wife. I felt uncomfortable during my first visit because of the size of the congregation. Finally I saw someone I knew from a previous church I had attended and sat with him. After the service, he introduced me to one of the many pastors, Kenneth Maresco. I told him that my wife had deserted me, and I believed that I had grounds for divorce. Kenneth told me that he didn’t think I had grounds for divorce, but he would be glad to counsel me if I was interested. I was, so I telephoned the church office and made an appointment with him.”
According to Brent Detwiler, “Maresco left CLC in September 2015 in order to become the Community Life pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax.” At least one Covenant Life Pastor has read Caffery’s books, and suggested some changes to make if he were ever to reprint it. Again I quote Caffery:
“Upon reading the first printing of this book, one of the pastors at Covenant Life Church suggested that if I were to ever do a reprint of the book I would do well to eliminate chapter eight. Well, the time for a reprint did come, but I decided to try a rewrite, rather than eliminate the entire chapter. It has been four years since the original writing. My family and I have continued attending Covenant Life Church. I believe that during the past four years I have continued to grow in the ways of our Lord.”
(Kindle Locations 886-889)
Caffery’s book is filled with one bizarre story after another. Read the quotes below and ask yourself if you were the pastor at Covenant Life Church who read this book, would you be O.K. with letting Caffery work in Children’s Ministry? (If you answer in the affirmative, Sovereign Grace Churches is holding a spot open for you in their next nine month Pastors College!)
“The Lord had indeed answered my prayers concerning the sex of our children. There had been sexual abuse in my family as I was growing up, and I had a fear that if I had daughters I might sexually abuse them. I would have rather have had no daughters at all than to have that happen. Every time [my wife] became pregnant, I prayed to God that he would give us a son. We now had three wonderful sons.”
(Kindle Locations 414-417).
“Since [my 2nd wife] and I now had [our son], we considered having another child. We both thought it would be nice to have a daughter, and that it would be good for [our son] also. We didn’t use birth control and just left the situation up to God. One year later God did bless us with a beautiful daughter.”
(Kindle Locations 1237-1238)
“I believe I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse only to the extent that I was living in a household where it was taking place and I was aware of it. My eldest sister was sexually abused as a child, and she was and still is today what I would consider to be an extrovert. She did well in school and was outgoing and popular. If anyone reading this is a victim of sexual or any other type of abuse, only you can decide whether or not you want to seek counseling. It is not too late at any age. My recommendation, of course, would be Christian, biblical counseling. One thing is certain, whether you, as a victim, seek counseling or not, you must forgive the person who abused you.”
(Kindle Locations 632-637). Kindle Edition.
“Mike was soon diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor, which is a fast-growing cancerous tumor of the kidney. Mike remained hospitalized and underwent surgery for the complete removal of his right kidney. As I recall, the doctors believed the tumor had not yet metastasized (spread), but they wanted Mike to undergo chemotherapy as a precaution. [My wife] and I were told that Mike would do fine with one kidney; his remaining kidney would become enlarged to compensate for the lost kidney. We were told also that they were not sure what caused the Wilms’ tumor. They said they thought is was either inherited from the mother’s side of the family, or perhaps it was caused by a blow to the kidney. When I heard that news I nearly collapsed. I was sure that I was the cause of Mike’s illness. I immediately recalled a time when I was spanking Mike in anger. I was sure that I had hit him too hard, and although I was aiming for his little bare bottom, my aim was high. I hadn’t given it much thought at the time, but after hearing what the doctor mentioned as a possible cause, I was sure I had hit Mike in the kidney. I lived with that guilt for many years. Mike was just three years of age when his kidney was removed and chemotherapy was started right away.”
(Kindle Locations 399-406)
“We had always prayed that Mike would be healed, but at the same time we had him go through more chemotherapy. I made the decision that he would have no more chemotherapy. We were going to pray and trust God to heal Mike. The tumor on Mike’s arm continued to grow. [My wife] insisted that we take him for treatment, but I stood firm in believing Mike would be healed. One day, [my wife] invited Roger Melson to our house. Roger was the pastor at Household of Faith Church. On [my wife’s] behalf, he tried to persuade me to let her take Mike for treatment. I thought he was lacking in faith, and I asked him to leave my house. After a period of time I did finally concede to let [my wife] take Mike to be seen by a doctor. I was really concerned about Mike and was questioning whether or not I had made the right decision.”(Kindle Locations 707-713).
“I was still dealing with anger very poorly, and I’m sure there were many occasions when I frightened [my wife]. I recall one occasion that I really made a fool of myself. Council Bluffs, Iowa, was a railroad town, so it was frequent to have to wait for a train to pass while driving. At this time, [my wife] was pregnant with Mike. She and I were in our car together, approaching a large section of railroad tracks. The road was still open, but I saw a train coming. I decided that I would make the train stop and wait for me for a change, so I pulled onto the train tracks and stopped the car. I was pretending that the car had stalled. I was certain the train engineer could see my car on the track, but he was making no effort to stop the train. The train was moving slowly, but it was obvious that he planned on hitting us. I got the car started and out of the way just in time. Now I was really angry! I jumped out of the car, ran to catch up with the engine, and when I did I saw three men on board. I didn’t care though. I was prepared to take all three of them on! I took hold of the stair railings and proceeded to pull myself up. I had only made it up two of the four steps, when I caught an engineer boot in my chest. The kick had knocked me off the train and left me with a fractured rib. I then looked back and saw that I had about a half mile to walk back to my car. [My wife] was speechless, and I’m sure, quite terrified!”
(Kindle Locations 423-432)
“I considered myself to be a pacifist at that time, and I had no desire to learn how to shoot an M-i4 rifle. One day when we were at the rifle range, I had an exchange with the drill sergeant. There was a row of foxholes at the rifle range. Each of us trainees were down in a foxhole, and we were supposed to shoot at the target that represented Vietnamese soldiers. The army was trying to make a killer out of me, and I did not appreciate it! I simply fired my weapon without aiming at the target. The drill sergeant came up behind me and kicked me in the shoulder. He shouted something to me about shooting at the target. I was angry, and my first thought was to turn my weapon on him. If he wanted me to be a killer, he could be my first victim-but by the grace of God, I didn’t do what I felt like doing.”
(Kindle Locations 221-227)
“It may be difficult to believe, but I knew of only four people in the entire barracks, including myself, that were not doing drugs…. I can’t tell you how many lives I saw ruined because of drug use, including the life of my friend… I felt I could not take it anymore, and I went out with Ray Bogus and some others. We all bought a soda, and I let Ray pour some hash into mine… On yet another occasion when I was feeling very lonely, I accepted an invitation. Some guys were going somewhere to smoke pot in their car. I went along and took part.”
(Kindle Locations 273-282)
“I believe it was the summer of 1987 when I began to feel ill… I really had to force myself to get up and do anything. I felt somewhat like I had the flu. My stomach felt nauseous, and I was greatly lacking in energy. Once I would force myself to be active, I would usually feel a little better. Unfortunately, the condition never went away. I went to see the doctor and several tests were done, but there was never a conclusive answer… I was somewhat what concerned that I may have somehow contracted the AIDS virus, but I decided to let the doctor finish all the testing he thought necessary and see what the end result was. If he didn’t come up with an answer I could accept, I was going to ask him to give me a test for AIDS. None of the tests I was given came back positive, but the doctor was pretty sure my condition was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. He said it was causing me to have a physical depression, and he wanted me to start taking Prozac.”(Kindle Locations 1034-1045)
“I had no memory of any sexual abuse, but I knew that my sisters had been sexually abused by my dad. Although I had no memory of any abuse to me, since I knew there had been sexual abuse in my family, I agreed to do the hypnotic regressions.”
(Kindle Locations 503-505)
“On another occasion while I was in his office, Mr. Settles asked me if I wanted to try to contact my son. I said I did, and we each entered a state of hypnosis. I heard absolutely nothing. Mr. Settles told me he did hear from my son, but the message came so quickly that he couldn’t tell what it was. He said it was very clear though, that my son did not want to communicate with me. Hearing that news only added to my discouragement and depression.”
(Kindle Locations 559-562)
“My wife of thirteen years and I are active members of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We have two young children, and we take part in the children’s ministry program at the church. Most people who know me find it difficult to believe I used to behave in such a different manner.”
(Kindle Locations 38-39)
Larry Caffery has been a member of Covenant Life Church under the leadership of both CJ Mahaney and Joshua Harris. Both men have a proven track record of failing to protect children in their church from sexual predators; in fact there is overwhelming credible evidence that they have conspired to cover up sexual abuse and keep members from knowing the facts of the sexual abuse that had taken place.
To date, I am unaware of any attempt by Covenant Life Church pastors to notify their congregation of the arrest of Larry Caffery. They may be publicly pressured to do so now, but shouldn’t the church have announced this as soon as they knew of Caffery’s arrest?
More pressing is the question of how Caffery was allowed to work in the Children’s Ministry in the first place. This demonstrates a complete lack of discernment among church leaders.
In my opinion, it is time for the state of Maryland to step in and shut down Covenant Life Church. I think state Law Enforcement needs to look into possible criminal charges against some of the pastors.
CJ Mahaney should be removed as one of the plenary speakers at the upcoming Together For the Gospel Conference. Also, the corrupt Sovereign Grace Churches denomination should not be allowed to hold a recruiting meeting at the T4G conference. How many more arrests do the Christian celebrity “leaders” pictured below need before they realize Mahaney is not qualified to be a pastor? Their continued support and enabling of C.J. Mahaney have many now also questioning their qualifications for the ministry.
Below is a recent comment I found on the Wartburg Watch blog. People are rightly beginning to wonder what is going on amongst this pack of celebrity Christian “leaders” who have demonstrated a total lack of concern for victims of sexual abuse while coddling, enabling and promoting C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches.
Below is an insightful comment I found on the SGM Survivors blog.
Please see an update to this post in a comment below. Janna L. Chan (blog team member) Edited Feb. 22, 2017