Former Florida Megachurch Pastor Bob Coy Allegedly Sexually Abused 4-yr-old Child

Bob Coy, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Pedophile, Sex Abuse


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Miami New Times investigative reporter, Tim Elfrink, did a stellar job investigating the shocking story of fallen Calvary Chapel megachurch pastor, Bob Coy.

Some long-time readers may remember I posted about Bob Coy’s moral failure in a blog post dated April 8, 2014:

You may have heard of the recent scandal by Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale Pastor Bob Coy.  The church elders called a special church meeting on Sunday where it was announced:

“On April 3, 2014, Bob Coy resigned as Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, effective immediately, after confessing to a moral failing in his life which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church he has led since its founding in 1985.” (Source)

58-yr old Bob Coy with his wife founded Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale nearly 30 years ago. The church reportedly has over 20,000 attendees and a staff of over 1,000 at 10 different campuses.

Michael Newnham at Phoenix Preacher blog reported:

We have confirmed  that Coy has admitted to at least two affairs in the past year alone and has had a long standing “problem with pornography”.

Alex Grenier, who used to run the very popular blog, Calvary Chapel Abuse reported about Bob Coy on his blog in the following quote. It’s interesting to note that he mentions “hurt kids” in his note, never knowing the shocking allegations that would come to light a few years later:

Coy will suffer loss for his sin. He was a big boy and took risks and made the choices he made and now it’s time to pay the piper. Many don’t get caught in Calvary Chapel and they get away with their sin for many years. . . . I have more sympathy for a “moral” issue like Coy’s appears to be than I do for someone who hurts kids…but regardless, we’re all sinners and we all need Jesus. None of us get “transformed” and none of us can meet the standard…even after we’re supposedly saved.

That is the great myth of Calvary Chapel’s brand of Christianity …there is no such thing as the “transformation” gospel. We’re all still sinners after we’re saved and we’re all just as capable of sinning as we were before we were saved…which is why we NEED ACCOUNTABILITY measures in place to protect kids and to have open finances to keep things on the up-and-up with the Jesus money. (Bob Coy to resign as senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale: Update 4/6/14)

In the Miami New Times article, we read shocking allegations. I am issuing a trigger warning.

Responses to Lawsuit Filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries

 

Tim Elfrink reports:

The call came from California. A woman told Coral Springs Police she had recently learned something terrible: A South Florida man had molested her daughter for years. It began when the girl was just 4 years old.

An officer noted the information and called the victim, who was then a teenager. She confirmed the story in stomach-churning detail.

The man had forced her to perform oral sex, she said. He would regularly “finger and fondle her” genitals, make her touch his penis, and “dirty talk” to her. The abuse lasted until she was a teenager, she told the cop. She’d never even told her family about the crimes.

By the end of that harrowing call on August 20, 2015, police knew the accused predator was no ordinary suspect. His name was Bob Coy, and until the previous year, he’d been the most famous Evangelical pastor in Florida.

Please read Elfrink’s excellent article for more history on Bob Coy.

My heart goes out to this survivor who bravely spoke up. I wonder how many more there are – – predators don’t usually stop at one victim.

Of course another repercussion of this is how this has affected his former congregants. When a person you respect and trust to be your spiritual shepherd falls like this, it can rock someone’s faith and make them question everything: “If Bob Coy was a fraud, is the God he represented also a fraud?”  What about all of those “good” sermons? How could he be hearing the voice of God if his life was in chronic sin – sin that would make him unqualified to be a pastor.

This stuff is so difficult to write about. There are no winners here.

 

 

28 comments on “Former Florida Megachurch Pastor Bob Coy Allegedly Sexually Abused 4-yr-old Child

  1. The man who molested my mom and aunt for six years posed as an upstanding Christian and pillar of the community. He had a long, prosperous life and went to the grave unpunished. I know he is not at peace now though.

    I never met the creep, but I feel the vibrations of what he did. As a young woman I feared men because of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Former Florida Megachurch Pastor Bob Coy Allegedly Sexually Abused 4-yr-old Child | Speakingtruthinlove's Blog

  3. Fearing men is an understandable response to molestation. And your personal story, Rachel, shows the insidiousness of this kind of abuse – it not only affects the actual victims, but those close to them. I’m very sorry to hear this. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. it not only affects the actual victims, but those close to them.

    Absolutely it does.

    I think for a long time people discounted, disbelieved…and now it’s starting to be obvious that it is literally everywhere. I think it’s time to stop pretending it isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “If Bob Coy was a fraud, is the God he represented also a fraud?” What about all of those “good” sermons? How could he be hearing the voice of God if his life was in chronic sin – sin that would make him unqualified to be a pastor.”

    This is a very important question, and every member of his congregation needs to be asking themselves this right now.

    Like

  6. I read some of the Calvary Chapel doctrine when I was looking for a new church. I knew it was the wrong church for me when the reason the pastor is “above” the elders is because of a disagreement between the pastor and the elders over seating arrangements in a worship service. The pastor decided that the elders shouldn’t get to decide because it’s “worship” and so they have a doctrine that the pastor gets to overrule the elders on worship issues.

    Not surprising that a wolf would be interested in Calvary Chapel as a place to be an evil, but unchallengeable, pastor.

    Like

  7. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

    Like

  8. This is a very important question

    There is another important question as a follow-on. Did this happen because of an evil man in a good church system, or was it an evil man bolstered by an evil church system? Most church systems I’ve seen put church leaders at such a level that members pretty much know that they will either have to suffer abuse or have to leave. I’ve left two churches because of abusive elders, one after suffering abuse for many years. Afterwards, one of my friends tried to stand up to the abuse and verified what I knew all along. The wagons were circled around the abusive leaders and he was given a bunch of nasty labels before he finally gave up and left.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “Let’s not air the Church’s dirty laundry,” they whisper. So they stuff it all wet in a box under the pulpit.

    Folks attending church on Sunday morning sniff in bewilderment. “What is that horrible stench?”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. @ mark

    “Did this happen because of an evil man in a good church system, or was it an evil man bolstered by an evil church system?”

    Or perhaps even an evil man in an ineffective church system, one that thought it had the power to overcome such problems, but it didn’t.

    Like

  11. I was severely abused by a man in my church when I was 4. At that age, the autonomic nervous system is still developing. While I blocked those memories for many years, my development continued, but in ways a little girl develops to simply be able to survive and cope at a core level.

    When memories surface, a wise, well read and godly friend wrote me a letter. The sentence that surprised me and stuck with me, “your sexuality goes nearly to the core of your being”.

    Ahha, no wonder I experienced a nervousness breakdown in my 40’s when the childhood abuse surfaced and traumas at the hands of men, church leaders, business owners continued to be inflicted on me. I did not develop what it takes to perceive, cope, readjust, intuitively anticipate……Healing from abuse requires a lifetime of healings.

    Now in my 60’s, I am leaving my present church because of triggering from inappropriate behavior from a registered sex offender in the church who holds contract with the church to be able to attend. It was, perhaps, a subtle gesture by some interpretations. For me, PTSD set in. The pastor, who I trusted, betrayed me by making light of the behavior, belittling me and writing a false report to protect the pedophile. It will never stop, the abuse……

    Like

  12. These are the thoughts and emotions that rush in when I read that Bob Coy abused at least one 4 yr old, continuing to violate her normal developmental process. His destruction went nearly to the core of her being.

    Additionally, as I understand, our soul is at the core of our being, that refuge where I am safe with God. Evil, seeking to destroy us, is very involved in these heinous, ongoing acts of sexual perversion and abuse, getting as close to our soul as possible. It is no wonder ministers continue in this deviousness. Very few starve their self gratification and devote themselves to a daily practice of loving God more than self. Evil loves and uses those who practice self gratification. ( these are just my perceptions, may not be anyone else’s)

    Like

  13. Another Pastor Pedo — so what else is new?

    And Calvary Chapel. Not surprised. I live near Ground Zero of CC where There Can Be No Salvation Outside of Calvary Chapel and “Non-denominational” = Calvary Chapel Clone. Since they dominated local Christianese AM Radio back in the Eighties, CC has always struck me as distilling down and concentrating everything that can go wrong with American Christianity.

    Like

  14. @Mark:

    Did this happen because of an evil man in a good church system, or was it an evil man bolstered by an evil church system?

    These days, it’s increasingly the second.

    And a throwback to pre-Christian Romans, where Paterfamilias has absolute Power, including total sexual rights over all animate property in his gens.

    Like

  15. “On April 3, 2014, Bob Coy resigned as Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, effective immediately, after confessing to a moral failing in his life which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church he has led since its founding in 1985.”

    “Moral Failing(TM)” … Usually meaning “Live Boy or Dead Woman”.
    Turned out it’s neither — “FOUR YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL”!
    Though it was a Four Year Old GIRL, so it wasn’t HOMOSEXUALITY.
    And in Christianese that makes it OK. Privilege of Pastoral Rank and all that.

    Like

  16. I find this part of the Miami New Times article to be the money quote:

    Documents show that Coral Springs cops sat on the accusations before months before dropping the inquiry without interviewing Coy. His attorneys meanwhile persuaded a judge with deep Republican ties to seal the ex-pastor’s divorce file to protect Calvary Chapel Fort Lauerdale from scrutiny.

    Doing the LOOOOOOORD’s Work(TM).
    Again.

    Makes me wonder how many of those cops (and maybe the judge) were Calvary Chapel. A total congregation of 25,000 is beyond Mega (into Gigachurch range) and that could be a lot of tentacles into the local power structure. Other corrupt megapastors have had Friends in High Places covering up for them, why not this time as well?

    Like

  17. Documents show that Coral Springs cops sat on the accusations before months before dropping the inquiry without interviewing Coy.

    Stories like this need to be reported over and over again until people stop asking ‘why didn’t X report this’.

    According to some people:
    They don’t report, they aren’t credible.
    They do report, but too late, they aren’t credible.

    When they do report, and immediately, and they have some awesome options like:
    a. having it ignored and dropped with no investigation
    b. bullied into a non-disclosure agreement (see Hollywood)
    c. getting to testify and have every single thing they’ve ever done or thought or worn put under a microscope
    d. in exceedingly rare cases resulting in a conviction – which sometimes turns into a pathetic 6 month sentence because the judge feels the perpetrator ‘has his whole life ahead of him’.

    Like

  18. @Leah:

    c. getting to testify and have every single thing they’ve ever done or thought or worn put under a microscope

    A similar dynamic is why I learned as a kid to “Never Admit to Anything”.

    Because if you admit to anything, no matter how trivial, you have volunteered to be scapegoat for everyone else clear back to Eve munching the Forbidden Fruit. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! YOU ADMITTED IT!

    Like

  19. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

    There is another important question as a follow-on. Did this happen because of an evil man in a good church system, or was it an evil man bolstered by an evil church system? Most church systems I’ve seen put church leaders at such a level that members pretty much know that they will either have to suffer abuse or have to leave. I’ve left two churches because of abusive elders, one after suffering abuse for many years. Afterwards, one of my friends tried to stand up to the abuse and verified what I knew all along. The wagons were circled around the abusive leaders and he was given a bunch of nasty labels before he finally gave up and left.

    Two very important points here that merit repeating. Infact this one has been my life long question (since age 17) : Did this happen because of an evil man in a good church system, or was it an evil man bolstered by an evil church system?

    Like

  20. Thank you Mark for raising these imprtant points / question. ” Did this happen because of an evil man in a good church system, or was it an evil man bolstered by an evil church system” ?

    I find it impariative that we answer the question if we have any hope of shutting down abuse within the church. Very easy to run from this very uncomfortable question, but we must find the answer and give the victims HOPE & HEALING.

    Like

  21. Mark,

    Very interesting food for thought. I think this brings up the whole root issue of how the “Moses syndrome” affects these church circles. Many of you are familiar with the theology in these circles that goes something like this:

    —Because God judged people for questioning Moses, therefore the head pastor is the sole decision maker in the church. He can overrule the church board, elders, pastors, etc. anytime he wants. He’s always right. If you question him, then you are rebellious because he can only be corrected by someone higher than him on the food chain.

    Yet that ignores how every NT verse about church leadership is in the PLURAL. God intended there to be checks and balances—not a one man rule system.

    And the way this doctrine has been preached in the churches completely overlooks the full context of those OT references to Moses. For example, God judged Korah for REVILING Moses. Meanwhile, God never judged Jethro for asking honest questions about Moses’ leadership style.

    Then God actually honors the daughters of Zelophehad for questioning both Moses and the OT law. They demanded equal rights for women. God tells Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right. They should get what their father owned.”
    Numbers 27:7 (ICB)

    Like

  22. I believe Avid Reader has hit on one of the core issues here, and it strikes at the heart of the entire “church” system- the way things are set up with one-man-rule and the complete lack of accountability creates an atmosphere that is just begging for abusive leadership.

    Abuse, sexual or spiritual, happens all the time in the name of ‘church”. Such damage that has been wreaked because we put all our eggs in that one basket, the basket of a church set-up that is frankly, anything but biblical. After spending 12 years in a spiritually abusive church (where there was 0 accountability), I have done a lot of research and understand the dynamic better now, and have come to see that the true Church is the body of believers that actually lives for God in their daily lives, not subscribe to a set of rules and rituals created long after Jesus walked the earth. If anyone is interested, I’ve posted my experiences at Red Flag Churches on blogspot. I’d welcome others to comment. Marion

    Like

  23. I think abuse happens in the name of the ‘church’ because the church has forgotten it is there to worship and follow Christ and instead worships and follows their pastor. I still don’t understand how we Evangelicals flip everything Christ stood for. He stood with the adulterers, the tax collectors and the lepers and shunned the big-name religious leaders. Why do we do the opposite?

    I honestly think its an evil system problem and we have way too many people who love Jesus and yet are siding with the wolves against other sheep.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Don’t know if this was discussed but the 1st sentence in the New Times story is….”The call came from California” which to me and the initiated might be interpreted as code language. All those familiar with the original demoralizing episode know that Bob Coy’s wife Diane split immediately to California. Since laws prohibit outing of the victims of sex crimes, it seems as though the author is trying convey the possibility that the victim is a family member. If anything can make this whole affair even more disgusting this is one. I hope that the DA is carefully examining the case and planning action.

    Like

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