Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), still addressing the aftermath of an internal investigation of founder and president C. J. Mahaney’s leadership, now faces a class action lawsuit accusing the church and leaders of covering up child sexual abuse.
Christianity Today reports that three female plaintiffs “allege a conspiracy spanning more than two decades to conceal sexual abuse committed by church members” throughout the 1980s and 1990s, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit “singles out the church’s ‘Home Group’ structure, in which children are provided with day care so that their parents can attend services, as fostering a poorly supervised environment that enabled the abuse to occur,” reported the AP.
Here is an extract of the statement posted by Sovereign Grace Ministries:
“Though not yet served, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) leadership has obtained a copy of the civil lawsuit filed last week against SGM and several pastors of its associational churches. This recent complaint makes broad allegations that SGM pastors were negligent in providing spiritual counsel and pastoral care in situations involving persons who had previously suffered child sexual abuse. It is important to note that it does not allege any act of child abuse by a pastor or staff member of SGM or of an associated church. SGM is not in a position to comment on the specific allegations at this time, but we are beginning a careful legal review of each allegation. Upon initial review it appears the complaint contains a number of untrue or misleading allegations, as well as considerable mischaracterizations of intent.
Child sexual abuse is reprehensible in any circumstance, and a violation of fundamental human dignity. We grieve deeply for any child who has been a victim of abuse. We want to minister the love, grace and healing of God to any who have suffered this horrific act…”