The Meeting House Church in Ontario has sent out an email to congregants saying that they have received more complaints against their former pastor, Bruxy Cavey.
In a notice sent out on Saturday, Maggie John, Chair of the Overseers Board of the church, says that a third-party victim advocate has received two more allegations of sexual misconduct against Cavey.
Earlier this month the church had revealed the findings of an investigation by a third party into allegations against Cavey brought forward on Nov. 30, 2021, by an unnamed victim. That report found that for several years Cavey had a sexual relationship with a congregant who had come to him for pastoral counselling. The report said that Cavey's actions constituted an abuse of his power as a member of the clergy, but stopped short of calling it sexual abuse.
"We have more difficult news to share with you," John says in the email to church members on Saturday. The church had announced on March 12 they had hired the "third-party victim advocate, Melodie Bissell, to independently and confidentially receive any concerns or allegations of sexual misconduct (including sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or abuse of power or authority) by a pastor, staff member, or lay leader within The Meeting House, whether current or historical."
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John says over the following seven days Bissell received two new allegations of sexual misconduct that were not related to the previous investigation. "Our commitment, as we follow Jesus, is to be as honest and transparent as possible as we foster a safe and caring church community," John says in making the announcement.
The allegations have not yet been investigated, according to John. "We take these initial allegations very seriously and will respond appropriately as more information is received."
The church, which is based out of Oakville, Ont., and has several satellite locations, held a town hall meeting on March 8 to reveal the findings of the initial investigation and answer congregant's questions. It came after the public resignation by teaching pastor Danielle Strickland, who says she resigned in an act of solidarity with the victim who they felt had been "silenced" by the process of the original investigation. John had responded in the town hall that the victim was involved in the investigation and had made several revisions before its release.
The church board encourages others who may have been a victim of sexual misconduct or abuse to come forward, John says. "Please be assured that, if other allegations come forward, the Overseers will pursue appropriate steps to investigate and to care well for each person, as well as provide updates to our church community."
'My greatest failure': Cavey
In a blog post entitled "My Confession" posted on his website on March 8, Cavey admitted to sexual misconduct but only as an extramarital affair.
"At the core of these allegations there is truth," Cavey writes about the initial investigation. He does not seemingly hint at other wrongdoing throughout the post.
"Some years ago, I had an extramarital affair," Cavey writes. "I am ashamed even to write these words, and I am so sorry that you have to read them. This adulterous relationship is my greatest failure, my darkest sin, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I have broken bonds of trust with my wife, family, and church family, including the woman I became involved with. I have brought untold pain, heartache, and confusion into the lives of those I love and who love me."
In closing out his confession Cavey says, "Lastly, it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway – my failure is not a failure of the presence, power, or teaching of Jesus, but an example of the pain someone like me can cause when I ignore his presence and fail to follow his teaching. I am grateful for your prayers as I recommit to Jesus and hope to personally experience his restoration and renewal."
Cavey had been a celebrated leader in Canadian evangelical circles until news of the accusations came out last year. He was known not only for his preaching and teaching at his Anabaptist church but is the author of several books. He was also a teacher at Fresno Pacific Bible Seminary before being ousted over concerns raised by donors in regards to his theology.
John says that the last few months have been difficult for the congregation.
"Friends, these are hard days for our church," she writes. "We lament with you and want to sit with the variety of emotions we are all feeling. These words from Isaiah 43 have been a comfort to our board in the past weeks, and we pray they are a comfort to you as well.
When you pass through the waters,I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour."