Erin Hill, are you defending a likely criminal, Pastor PJ Smyth, for money or principle?
Is SGM/CLC singer Erin Hill idolizing and defending Covenant Life Church Pastor PJ Smyth, who is arguably a credibly alleged criminal, for money or principle? Erin Hill is a prominent CLC member who also seems to derive significant income and/or status from both Covenant Life Church and the entity it founded Sovereign Grace Ministries music. The Sovereign Grace YouTube videos in which she is a featured or prominent singer have garnered more than 2 million hits. Here’s one, which has received almost two million hits on its own.
Erin also appears to have had a business relationships with Sovereign Grace Music, the owner of the song above, when it was an integrated auxiliary of Covenant Life Church.
In other words, Erin probably still makes a lot of money singing for Sovereign Grace Music. The last time I checked, Covenant Life Church utilized Sovereign Grace Music, despite having had a fall-out with the leadership of that organization. Covenant Life Church almost certainly gives Erin a high -profile platform for her profitable singing career that she is unlikely to find at a new Church.
If Covenant Life Church Collapses, Erin Hill’s Singing Career May Disappear
Covenant Life Church is on the brink of financial collapse. Pastor PJ Smyth was recently fired and quickly re-hired on the grounds that the church would shut down in a year if he left. Therefore, Erin Hill has a vested interest in defending Pastor PJ Smyth even if he is guilty of covering up child sexual abuse and a homicide.
Erin Hill’s Defense of Disgraced Pastor PJ Smyth: It’s Wrong to Criticize Any Pastor
Pastor PJ Smyth’s Work and Ministry History
(please note, the following section has been edited, for clarity, at 1:00-1:20 PM MST, 05/21/2018)
Please read the following blog post to see details regarding Erin Hill’s defense of Pastor PJ Smyth, a citizen of Great Britain. Among other things, Ms. Hill appears to suggest that critics of Covenant Life Church should spend their free time doing good works such as healing the sick and raising the dead. PJ Smyth appears to have performed much of his ministry work in Zimbabwe and South Africa, not the United Kingdom, although his background is challenging to verify. He was recently fired from Covenant Life Church by its church elders and then re-hired within a few days.
To my knowledge, CLC has not released public information about Mr. Smyth’s formal, present employment status with the church. Informal sources say that he is reputedly deciding whether or not to re-engage as its lead pastor. Mr. Smyth has not preached at CLC’s main Sunday service since Mar. 4, 2018, eleven weeks ago. Mr. Smyth’s status in the U.S. appears to be that of a religious leader who has been granted a temporary, religious non-immigrant work visa, which does necessitate working.
Pastor Smyth should probably make a pretense of being employed, in some discernible capacity, even if he is just being paid a large salary to wage a behind the scenes battle with the Americans who fired him. To my knowledge, only American citizens are guaranteed the right to loaf around in the U.S.A. indefinitely.
PJ Smyth’s Likely, Alleged History of Committing Criminal Cover-Ups of Violent Atrocities
In my opinion, he has been very credibly accused of covering up , on behalf of his father, child sexual abuse and a homicide. PJ Smyth’s father was formally charged with committing a homicide in Zimbabwe.
However, Erin Hill doesn’t seem to care about that. I argue that the elocutionary force of her argument is as follows: PJ Smyth may cover up child sexual abuse, and that’s not great. However, publicly criticizing a Christian Pastor is a far greater sin. Nor is Erin Hill merely casually defending her pastor and the church that is enabling her to have a successful music career.
According to a testimony sponsored by Sovereign Grace Ministries (see below), an organization that was founded by Covenant Life Church (CLC), Erin joined CLC in 2008. She is not a new member. A reliable source told me that is a presently a prominent individual at CLC. A blog post comment posted on CLC’s blog, indicates that Erin Hill and her husband led the singing portion at an event which appears to have been supportive of PJ Smyth.
“Erin and Caleb Hill led this song, ‘Surrounded (Fight My Battles)’ last Wednesday night at the prayer meeting. I have been listening to it nonstop for the last 24 hours. We have been in miracle territory and that can be exhausting and refreshing all at the same time. For the spirit of heaviness, put on the garment of praise. This is how we fight our battles.”
If Erin Hill is a thoughtful, responsible person, she should start fighting battles for child sexual abuse victims, not pastors who enable pedophilia. She is aware of the evidence proving that Pastor PJ Smyth has lied to the members of Covenant Life Church regarding his role in covering up the violent crimes his father has committed against children for decades.
This story has received international attention. I do not say “alleged crimes” because according to The Telegraph, John Smyth, PJ Smyth’s father, appears to be claiming that sleeping pills caused him to beat and abuse young boys for decades. PJ Smyth has been aware of the allegations against his father for more than 20 years, because he requested a meeting in which he could discuss them with several pastors and a lawyer.
I don’t believe that Erin Hill is a person of integrity, who is indirectly enabling child sexual abuse because she feels that’s the right thing to do. I think her defense of Covenant Life Church and PJ Smyth, who has directly enabled child sexual abuse, is based on money. End of story, as far as I’m concerned.
What follows is background information about Covenant Life Church’s history of covering up child sexual abuse without Pastor PJ Smyth’s help, for those who are unfamiliar with this church’s appalling history of covering up violent crimes.
Background Information About Covenant Life Church
Covenant Life Church’s History of Covering Up Child Sexual Abuse
It’s hard to know how to start cataloging the atrocities that Covenant Life Church (CLC) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has committed against women, children, and other marginalized members of society over the past 30+ years.
I believe that this religious entity, which has been enabling violent crimes including child sexual abuse for decades, will be recorded as being one of the most reprehensible Protestant churches in history. A Google search yields dozens if not hundreds of credible sources, including lawsuit material and criminal convictions, to this effect.
Nor are all the allegations of criminal misconduct and generally awful behavior against CLC decades old, as its members and pastors would lead you to believe.
As late as 2016, I witnessed both a high-employee, Don Nalle, and lay leader, Bo Lotinsky, offer financial help, behind the scenes at a court hearing, to a Covenant Life Church member whom they knew had written a Kindle book about how he was afraid he would molest a female child.
During business hours (it was 10 A.M. on a Friday morning) Mr. Nalle (who was paid by the church for his time) and Mr. Lotinsky met with , and offered to help, charged and indicted CLC member Larry Caffery. This was after Executive Pastor Mark Mitchell (the highest ranking pastor at that time) had published a video, which has now been taken down, in which he condemned Mr. Caffery and claimed that Mr. Caffery was not a danger to children because he was incarcerated. I have a copy of that video, yet am choosing not to publish it at this time. At the time, Mr. Nalle and Mr. Lotinsky met with Mr. Caffery, he was no longer incarcerated.
CLC Pastors have a long history of lying to their members about the cover-up of child sexual abuse and many other things.
In general, a Google search pulls up other stories, some of which are arguably backed up by criminal convictions, indicating that CLC has been using tax-exempt Church funds to harbor a pedophile ring, while slandering child sexual abuse victims.
There is much more that I would like to say, yet I leave readers with the following quote from Erin Hill’s e-mail exchange with Brent Detwiler. I believe that it speakers for itself and that many CLC members share Ms. Hill’s sentiments.
“It is not my job or yours to bring about any consequences. We will give an account to the Lord in the use of our time and talents. I believe you have much to offer that doesn’t involved any more time devoted to these exposés.
Take a break brother, and go do awesome things for the kingdom of God in the name of the Lord. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. Encourage and build up your own local body. Entrust CLC to the Lord that he is fervently in love with his people and the Shepherd of the shepherds and will bring about perfect judgement and mercy.
And don’t stop praying!
(edit) Portion of article erased, as it was not relevant to its content.
- Please read the comment policy before commenting. 😉 In general, this blog does not publish comments that are merely personal attacks.
- Please don’t use a lazy attack line indicating that all critics of Erin Hill, PJ Smyth, and (fill in the blank) are the spawn of Satan. I hear that from many people every day. There are plenty of other blogs on which you can express that sentiment.
- Please understand that publishing e-mails is always controversial. However, I have been told that Erin Hill is not bothered by the fact that Brent Detwiler shared her e-mails publicly. If she’s not offended by his decision to do so, I don’t see why anyone else needs to be.
- Please know that I do not believe that Matthew 18 necessitated talking to Erin Hill prior to writing this article. Please see the following explanation regarding what I and many others think is abuse of the Matthew 18 principle.
Thank you. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)