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Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go on record in her allegations against convicted USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, has also made a statement about Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC) and its co-founder C.J. Mahaney. Denhollander claims she was told her church “wasn’t a place for her” after she vocally protested her church’s role in restoring Mahaney to leadership.
Considering the national conversation currently surrounding sexual abuse, this is a vitally important conversation for all leaders in the church to be familiar with. Here is an explanation of what this controversy is, who is involved, and what it means for the evangelical church at large.
Grace - Churches - SGC
What Is Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC)?
Sovereign Grace Churches (formerly Sovereign Grace Ministries) describe themselves as a “family of churches” that includes over 70 churches around the globe. Founded in 1982 by C.J. Mahaney and Larry Tomczak, SGC has been one of the most influential reformed evangelical movements in America, with famed theologian Wayne Grudem once saying “I know of many churches around the United States who are looking to Sovereign Grace Ministries as an example of the way churches ought to work.”
SGC - Men - SGM - Pastor - College
SGC attracted young men to their SGM Pastor’s College located at the ministry’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, including Joshua Harris, writer of the influential courting-based advice book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Harris went on to become lead pastor of the 3,000-member SGC flagship Covenant Life Church located in Gaithersburg, Maryland when C.J. Mahaney stepped down as pastor for that church.
Harris later resigned and has since suggested the leadership culture of SGC contributed to the current charges of sexual abuse cover-up leveled against them.
Accusations - Against - Sovereign - Grace - Churches
What Are the Accusations Against Sovereign Grace Churches and What Role Does Mahaney Play in This?
In 2012, a lawsuit jointly filed by multiple parties accused then-Sovereign Grace Ministries and C.J. Mahaney of systematically covering up...
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