Calvary Chapel Pastor Remains Despite Reports of Addiction, Abuse & Financial Misconduct

By Rebecca Hopkins
Calvary Chapel Cary Rodney Finch
Rodney Finch preaches at Calvary Chapel Cary on Oct. 31, 2021. (Source: Video screengrab)

For years, former members and staff at Calvary Chapel Cary have complained about their pastor’s alleged drug addiction, bullying, and misuse of funds to the Calvary Chapel Association—an association of 1,800 Calvary churches worldwide.

Yet Pastor Rodney Finch, who founded the 2,000-member Calvary Chapel Cary in Apex, North Carolina, remains in his position as senior pastor.

Finch also has a radio show on The Bridge—a station owned by Calvary Old Bridge, a church in New Jersey pastored by Lloyd Pulley. Pulley also sits on the leadership council of the Calvary Chapel Association (CCA).

Now, Pastor Finch is facing abuse allegations from his son, Rodney Finch, Jr.

On Sunday, the younger Finch, who goes by “Rodney Goodword” on Facebook, posted to Facebook that “beatings” involving the “heaviest belt in my parents closet” began “as early as 5 years old. This was all happening . . . while I was being sexually abused.”

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Finch Jr. also alleged that two of his older sisters were “beaten with extension cords.”

The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to Finch Jr. and confirmed his identity. He did not offer any additional comments on the record to TRR.

Pastor Finch denied his son’s accusations, posting Sunday on Facebook that his son’s accusations are “untrue” and “slanderous.” That post was removed Monday morning but was captured by TRR.

Pastor Finch’s daughter, Shannel Elyse Campbell, who until recently was on staff at Calvary Cary, came to her father’s defense. She posted that her brother, Finch Jr., is mentally ill and is making false allegations.

The younger Finch responded that his sister is “gaslighting” him.

This is the first the issues at Calvary Chapel Cary have become a public family feud. But it’s not the first Pastor Finch has been accused of wrongdoing.

The allegations against Finch were first reported to the Calvary Chapel Association (CCA) in 2018, according to former church council member and volunteer pastor, Ted Edwards. This was shortly after Finch confessed to a drug addiction, then quit his rehab program prematurely and returned to the pulpit, Edwards told TRR.

When the 2018 report to CCA did not result in disciplinary action, former Calvary member Loretta Campbell in 2019 submitted 50 pages of testimonies and emails to CCA with accusations against Finch by former members and staff. Last month, former children’s director Dawn Hogan sent all 50 pages of documentation to TRR, as well.

In the documents, former members and staff accuse Finch of deception, controlling behavior, nepotism, and shady financial management.

The Roys Report has repeatedly reached out to Pastor Rodney Finch for comment. Initially, a church spokesperson said Finch and his wife would speak to TRR, but neither did.

The Roys Report also reached out to CCA for comment. CCA leadership council member, Sandy Adams, who’s senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain in Lilburn, Georgia, responded via email.

In the email, Adams confirmed that he had led a CCA “assessment” of the allegations against Finch in 2019. Adams wrote that CCA “approached Finch with concerns” but CCA has no “purview” to “administer discipline.”

“Our effort was to communicate and encourage ministry practices that will promote church health moving forward,” Adams added.

However, Calvary Chapel Cary’s administrative assistant, Michelle Fontaine, said in a statement to TRR that Finch was “completely exonerated” by an “independent investigation.” Fontaine did not, however, supply details or any documentation of the investigation.

Fontaine added that Finch gets monthly counseling and has accountability from other Calvary Chapel pastors but would not name the pastors providing this help.

Fontaine also alleged that the whistleblowers have “clandestine motivative (sic),” their accusations are all “rumors, lies and hearsay,” and the church is considering “legal action to all involved.”

The $80,000 rehab that Finch left early

On April 19, 2017, Finch invited the church council, a few staff, and a few church members to an “urgent” meeting for an “extremely confidential crisis in my life and ministry,” according to an email Finch sent to Ted Edwards and other staff.

A few days later, 17 people met at Finch’s house, according to testimony given to CCA in 2019 by former assistant pastor, Nelson Henry.

Wearing his pajamas and looking “haggard and thin,” Finch confessed to struggling with addiction since 1993, according to Edwards’ 2019 testimony to CCA. Finch also confessed to preaching sometimes from the pulpit under the influence of drugs and abusing his position as pastor to get prescriptions from doctors in the congregation, Edwards alleged.

Rodney Finch Calvary Chapel Cary
Rodney Finch speaks about plans at Calvary Church Cary during the COVID season. (Source: Facebook)

Finch also obtained some prescriptions illegally, alleges Henry in his written testimony. Henry’s testimony notes that Henry handled the church’s accounts receivables and used to work for pharmaceutical companies where he was trained in the laws surrounding controlled substances.

The Calvary Chapel Cary Church Council approved paying $50,000 to send Finch to an in-patient program, Edwards told TRR. Edwards said the remaining $30,000 cost of the program was paid by insurance.

The following Sunday, Finch told the congregation he was taking a “sabbatical” because he had a parasite or tropical illness from a missions trip and was also experiencing ministry fatigue, Henry said in his testimony. 

After just two weeks in the rehab program, Finch left the facility to stay in a friend’s vacation rental and didn’t tell anyone, Edwards told TRR. The church staff found out Finch had left drug rehab early because the facility didn’t need the second installment of $25,000, Henry’s testimony states.

When Finch returned home, Edwards asked to meet with Finch. Edwards said he asked for an accountability plan, asked Finch to finish out the in-patient program, and asked him to submit to random drug tests. Finch refused all requests, saying he had a “physical dependency” but was not addicted to drugs, Edwards said.

Finch told Edwards to tell the congregation that everything was fine, that Finch had completed his sabbatical, and that he would be coming back to the pulpit that week, Edwards told TRR.  Edwards said he couldn’t lie from the pulpit and resigned.

Four other ministers also resigned around the same time, including Edwards’ wife Tiffany Edwards, Kevin O’Brien, Johnny Riviera, and Nelson Henry. O’Brien, Henry, and Riviera declined interviews.

Control and financial issues surrounding Finch

Drug addiction, however, was only one aspect of Finch’s concerning leadership, former staff and members said.

Finch allowed his daughter, Shannel Campbell, to be paid full-time with benefits by the church, though she rarely worked, Tiffany Edwards reported in her testimony.

When TRR requested comment from Campbell, she said she would only talk if TRR disclosed our sources to her. TRR told her we don’t disclose sources and asked her to reconsider. She didn’t respond further.

Edwards also said Finch’s wife, Elvira, was “very, very controlling,” and wouldn’t allow female leaders or pastors’ wives to attend Bible studies anywhere but Calvary.

Rodney and Elvira Finch used church credit cards without providing an account for purchases, Henry alleges in his testimony. Finch also raised money for projects that were never completed, including a building project called the “Nehemiah project,” chair purchases, and a parking lot, said the Edwardses.

Retired police officer Jacques Gilbert told TRR that how the church handled the Nehemiah project was a big concern for  the church community. 

“There was a dedicated fundraiser or drive to fund that project and it just went away and no one knows what happened to it,” Gilbert said.

Finch also used church funds for projects in India without providing an accounting of expenditures, Edwards says in his testimony.

Michelle Fontaine initially promised she’d be “transparent” with TRR and would provide a copy of the church’s bylaws, financial records, and other documents TRR requested. She requested a delayed deadline for TRR’s story so she could locate the documents. But more than a week later, she said the church would not provide the documents.

Calvary Chapel’s “Moses model” insulates pastors

Calvary Chapel churches have little recourse for concerns about pastors because they follow Chuck Smith’s “Moses” model, former staff and members say.

Smith founded the Calvary Chapel movement in 1965. And at its height, Smith’s Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in southern California drew 25,000 people weekly. But the movement has been dogged by repeated scandals and lax moral standards among its leadership.

In Smith’s 2000 book, “Calvary Chapel Distinctives,” Smith writes that pastors should be like Moses—in touch with God, “receiving His direction and guidance.” And elders should support the calling and work of the pastor, Smith writes.

Similarly, Larry Taylor, who worked for Chuck Smith as an assisting pastor, wrote in his book “The Ministry of Assisting Pastor,” that assisting pastors should “stop” anything negative being said about the pastor. They should have “unconditional loyalty” to him, and “never make him look bad.”

Gossip is a “terrible sin,” Taylor writes, and includes both true and untrue things said about the church or pastor.

“In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on,” Taylor wrote.

Rodney Finch Calvary Chapel Cary
Calvary Chapel Cary gathers for an Easter worship service at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, on March 26, 2016. (Source: Facebook)

Michael Newnham, a former Calvary Chapel pastor and blogger, who has researched and exposed abuses within Calvary Chapel churches for 20 years, told TRR that Calvary pastors are beyond accountability.

“You will often find that board members are hired and fired at the whim of the senior pastor,” Newnham said. “All the power is consolidated in the senior pastor. There is no real accountability.”

He added that Calvary Chapels also have a “no talk rule” for assisting pastors.

Former members and staff at Calvary Chapel Cary say the Moses model and pressure not to report issues have exacerbated problems with Finch.

Loretta Campbell likened the Calvary Chapel community to an “established network of brothers” or “good ole boys’ network.” 

An email obtained by TRR shows that when Loretta Campbell confronted the CCA with Finch’s unresolved sin in 2019, Pastor Sandy Adams showed little surprise.

“Most of the issues in your email were brought to my attention some time ago, and have been addressed with Pastor Rodney,” Adams said. He added that the outcome of the conversations were “confidential” and encouraged Campbell to pray for church leaders.

The Hogans agreed with Campbell’s assessment.

Dawn Hogan said the work environment at Calvary Chapel Cary was “isolating” for those who spoke up. She added that Finch disparaged pastors who left, accusing them of wanting to “take over” his church.

 “I had to lead my family out of that church to retain my own faith,” David Hogan said. He added that he hopes Finch will step down so others can “be set free from spiritual abuse and manipulation.”

Finch adamant about remaining at Calvary

Despite the many issues with his leadership, Finch, seems adamant about remaining at Calvary.

On the day TRR first attempted to contact him, Finch posted on Facebook that God told him many “left you and wrote you off.” But Finch added that God created him to “stand out,” would bless his “faithfulness,” and take him to “new levels.”

Similarly, Shannel Campbell wrote in the comments, “Watch out now. Don’t mess with God’s anointed.”

However, the younger Finch’s posts about abuse by his father continue to gather messages of support. “I believe you,” one commented. “You are so brave for speaking out.”

Another posted that he’s witnessed abuse by Pastor Finch and that Calvary Chapel Cary has a “trail of dead bodies.”

This article has been updated.

Rebecca Hopkins is a journalist based in Colorado.



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43 thoughts on “Calvary Chapel Pastor Remains Despite Reports of Addiction, Abuse & Financial Misconduct”

  1. I understand why Mr. Finch remains in the pulpit: he believes he’s untouchable, and he’s obviously right. However, I don’t understand why anyone remains in the congregation.

    1. He IS Untouchable.
      This is Calvary Chapel.
      Remember Papa Chuck and his Moses Model?

      And they remain in the congregation because if you’re a Calvary Chapelite, There Can Be NO Salvation Outside of Calvary Chapel.

      I’m posting this from the same county where Calvary Chapel began. Where “Nondenominational” means Calvary Chapel Clone. Calvary Chapel which DOMINATED local Christianese AM airwaves in the Eighties, with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa followed by Calvary Chapel West Covina followed by Calvary Chapel Anaheim/Vineyard for the entire broadcast day.

      And Calvary Chapel always struck me as distilling down and concentrating ALL the ways an independent splinter church could go sour.

      1. Calvary chapel does not at all believe you have to attened a calvary to be saved. Thats not christianity! I go to this church and its never taught or believed that calvary is any better than any other bible teaching church, never mind it being salvation. You dont know what your talking about.

    2. This is a cultish environment, people are committed to their leader and his cause
      Many people love and serve the god of comfort and convenience
      Others have the attitude “it doesn’t affect me”
      Someone like Michelle Fontane must be making good money, and her husband is an assistant pastor according to their website
      The enabling “assisting pastors” love their position.
      They’ve been brainwashed into believing “there’s no good churches in the area”
      Yet others stay because their spouse refuses to leave or their kids like the children’s church
      They erroneously believe that verse by verse teaching is the only way to learn God’s Word, so they can overlook and show cheap grace to the abusive pastor
      Rodney is a master deceiver, liar and manipulator. Yesterday he posted a “diversion picture” where he’s posing with a 91 year old lady from the church. Anything to distract people from these serious allegations and his abusive actions/behavior.
      They’re afraid because they’ve witnessed the “smear campaigns” that others have suffered for leaving the church, they don’t want to be labeled as people who are “bitter gossipers that should be avoided”
      Some are new to the church and don’t know about the long abusive history

        1. Michelle fontaine is my mother and tim is my father and they make enough to live and by no means make enough to keep them in a place they dont want to be thats for sure. We are not brain washed we love Jesus.

      1. They’ve been brainwashed into believing “there’s no good churches in the area”

        And that There Can Be No Salvation Outside of Calvary Chapel.

        They’re afraid because they’ve witnessed the “smear campaigns” that others have suffered for leaving the church, they don’t want to be labeled as people who are “bitter gossipers that should be avoided”

        Make an Example of one, and a hundred will fall right into line bleating praises.

  2. Thanks so much for the on-going expose of such abuse….

    This is endemic in the evangelical community – seems to simply be a part of their system – dominate authoritarianism. It really speaks to this religion – and does not say very nice things.

    1. Calvary Chapels are completely independent when that is to their advantage.
      And one steamroller marching in lockstep when that is to their advantage.
      Disperse for Defense, Concentrate to Attack.

      1. Many Calvary Chapels stay dispersed all the time with the exception of opportunities for fellowship. However, some do concentrate for attack when the opportunity appears to wield power and see their agendas fulfilled. This is especially prominent among a good many of the movers and shakers of the movement.

  3. I attend this church and I love the pastor and his family. No one is perfect – and Pastor Rodney is the first to admit that.

    He is being attacked spiritually. No one is perfect – let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    I’m sure if everyone who reads these articles examines their lives they would see sin in their own life too. Me included. To those who grace is shown, grace is given.

    1. I’m sure it’s difficult to see an article critical of your church and your pastor. You are using scripture out of context in your defense of him though. I implore you to research the Biblical qualifications of a pastor and pray for eyes to see whether or not your pastor meets them. Pastors are to be above reproach.

    2. Jaclyn, it is true that we are all sinners, but the story does not end there. Paul lays out some specific guidelines for pastors in 1 Timothy and Titus. He also makes very clear that evil must not be tolerated within the church in 1 Corinthians. Jesus speaks his harshest words against false religious leaders. We must not tolerate wolves for pastors.

    3. Jaclyn, if that is your honest take, with all concern for your well-being and that of your family, please consider that you may have very well been taught those things by manner of manipulation and control by the very wolf who has now long taken advantage of and abused his power of position. As others have already pointed out here, the Bible clearly teaches qualifications that pastors and church leaders must meet and your pastor clearly does not meet them. The Bible also teaches that such leaders should be exposed and rebuked. Yes, we are all sinners and we should extend grace to others who have fallen into sin. However, we also cannot ignore other clear teachings of the Bible.

    4. Jaclyn, I stepped down from the worship ministry due to the abuse from this church. You’ve probably seen me a few times. I cannot vouch for Rodney Jr as I wasn’t there, but I can vouch for the remaining individuals in this article. Pastor Rodney hiding a drug addiction is true. He’s spoken many times about how he is “free from addiction” in the pulpit, but they are lies. If he really was struggling spiritually, why didn’t he tell the truth? Why use church funds to go to a rehab and not even finish the rehabilitation? The Bible is clear that we need to confess our sins to one another. Pastor Rodney has not done that and continues to seek his own glory, not Gods. Please be careful, Jaclyn. Get out while you still can.

    5. This is just sad. Given the family abuse situation, and how it repeats in each generation, is this pastor dealing with his own traumatic childhood,the PTSD, and the parents that HE had, treatment is needed for the pastor. His past is ruining his present, including people in his household. I believe his son, about the childhood abuse, he has nothing to gain by lying. Even getting hit as an adult ! They need help. Please make that a reality.

  4. The cheap grace that you’re referring to is the anemic human grace that enables predators like Rodney to continue with their cycle of deception and narcissistic abuse. 

    God’s grace is extended to repentant sinners who have forsaken their sin, that’s what God’s Word teaches in Titus 2: 11 – 15.

    God’s grace has the power to transform a life, the imitation grace that you reference gives license to abusers like Rodney to continue adding to their victim count. Please let the Bible define God’s grace for you and not your feelings or emotions. Read Jude 3 & 4. 

    1. “Please let the Bible define God’s grace for you and not your feelings or emotions.”

      This seems like a harsh assessment of (presumably) a stranger. None of us reading her brief comment know what defines grace for this person. But it seems likely to me that a person in a congregation like the one described would have definitions based less on their own unchecked emotions than on the word of a persuasive but untrustworthy teacher. Another commenter mentioned this possibility above.

      I would also have to disagree that grace is only for the repentant. God draws everyone to Him. Not all are willing to be drawn, but grace exists for them even so.

      In fact, allowing that unrepentant person to experience appropriate consequences is a work of grace. A system that persistently shields someone from the operation of the “principle of reaping and sowing,” as I’ve heard it called, is actually blocking that avenue for grace to reach them.

      If people like Jaclyn are seeking in good faith to show grace, then framing the issue this way may be more persuasive than assuming that they are merely operating out of emotionalism. It seems to me that personal observations of that kind are more likely to put people on the defensive than to change their minds.

      1. I don’t know the situation with the commenter but the Calvary Chapels I’ve been to tended toward legalism. They tended not to be environments that were safe for people to be honest about their struggles (as the pastor appears not to be).

        I’d describe them as “grace poor” theologically rather than having “cheap grace.” Without a humble acknowledgment of our own continuing dependence on God’s grace we don’t have a framework from which to show grace to others. Then again, Calvary Chapels can be quite different from one another, especially the ones off the radio.

  5. Crucify Him!
    He must be destroyed!
    For over 25 years he has faithfully spread the true gospel to 100s of thousands throughout the world and by using the Word of God has been too effective for the Kingdom of God.
    The pure, holy, self righteous, those without sin, and religious must all pile on and destroy this man, and the congregation!
    Now is your opportunity. Mercy is not an option. Pick up your stones!

    Has his gospel message been called into question or where is the fault in his teaching?
    Please tell me.
    Did you notice that the whole article is about former congregants who want so badly for you to solidify the way they see things?

    Congratulations on recruiting a worldly writer who cleverly provides an article full of words such as “alleged”, “accusations”, “accused”.
    What sort of article would it be if all of these he said/she said statements were removed and only complete untwisted truth with actual proof was presented.
    This article was written for the offended by using the tactic of throwing as much mud at the wall as possible to see what sticks.
    Isn’t juicy gossip so satisfying? Doesn’t it make you salivate?
    Use a little truth and the whole article must be true, correct? Hmmm, who uses that tactic?

    Pastor Rodney, I apologize for you being human like all of us and not bowing to those who want to control you.
    My family prays that our Lord Jesus will continue to use you and your family with all your imperfections and problems to spread His good news.

    1. Scripture has specific qualifications for pastors. To “faithfully spread the true gospel,” one must not only preach a true message, he must also live that message. I encourage you to read 1 Tim. 3:2-7, which says an overseer “must be above reproach . . . not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity . . .”

      Rebecca is not a “worldly writer.” She is a believer in Jesus with a proven track record of integrity. What she reported are first-hand accounts by people who were on the inside at Rodney Finch’s church. That’s called journalism, which by the way, was practiced by some gospel writers, like Luke, who talked to “eyewitnesses” and “investigated everything.”

    2. No pastor, no church, no denomination or parachurch organization is “too big to fail.” The Kingdom stands no matter how many megachurches, celebrity pastors and famous evangelists prove to have feet of clay. If they can’t stand a bit of scrutiny, let ‘em fall.

    3. I agree pastor Rodney is a man of Jesus he is human please stop this malicious evil talk ..And get on your knees an pray .stop judging you without sin..

    4. @Nathan – What do you mean by “Crucify Him”? I can’t imagine you earnestly believe that is the intent of the article and comments here. What I think is going on is people are speaking out against someone who causes harm to others, and that person happens to be a pastor.
      As for “faithfully preaching the gospel”, one must take into account that many evangelical preachers help guide many to atheism through their abuse of power and duplicitous ways.

  6. I used to want to take part in leadership at a church. I am glad that I stayed out of the spotlight and retained my freedom of mind and expression. A friend of mine was at a thriving church and a good youth pastor. He left that church and never did say much about it. I do know that there was much pressure related to numbers and donations.

  7. I attended Calvary Chapel Cary from 1996-2006. It is a culture of abuse and manipulation. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I imagine a lot more stories are going to come up. Those of you defending Pastor Rodney – just because you haven’t personally seen this stuff, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. He isn’t being persecuted, he’s being held responsible for his wrongs. Decades of wrongs.

    1. Yes, it is clear that you have seen what many of us have seen through the years. A trail of absolute destruction. Lots of abuse and lots of complicity. Thank you for saying this. So many people need to be validated after the crazy making abuse cycle ran it’s course in their lives. We all need to speak out. I can say now, I witnessed the same. We were very tight with the family too so I know what was happening and how awful some of them can be.

    2. Yes, it is clear that you have seen what many of us have seen through the years. A trail of absolute destruction. Lots of abuse and lots of complicity.

      Thank you for saying this. So many people need to be validated after the crazy making abuse cycle ran it’s course in their lives. We all need to speak out. I can say now, I witnessed the same. And I know of a dozen more who I personally know Rodney and Elvira railroaded. Each of them good people who didn’t deserve it.

      We were very tight with the family too so we got some really unhealthy exposure.

      Thx God that ended many years ago.

      Anyways this article had so many points that were all too familiar. I’m so grateful it’s coming out. Most people have not wanted to even try to expose it because it’s just so much trouble to stand up to these people and their minions.

  8. I don’t know Pastor Finch or anything about him so I won’t comment on this situation. I’ll comment broadly on the Calvary Chapel denomination.

    In a nutshell–Chuck Smith founded an amazing movement that unfortunately has serious flaws. Let’s remember his spearhead role in taking the Gospel to the hippie movement. He also pretty much singlehandedly put evangelical concern and awareness for Jews and Israel on the map; before CC, the majority of evangelical Christianity at least passively (sometimes a lot more than passively) taught anti-Semitic replacement theology and minimized the role of Jewry in God’s plans. His teaching model put a high level of Biblical literacy right in the hands of average, working-class brothers and sisters w/o a theological background.

    That being said… while a world-class evangelist in every sense of the word, CC has some significant flaws and those started with Chuck Smith himself. One of the first things that comes to mind is his “prophecies”. Another is the absurd denial that his denomination is a “denomination”… why is this necessary? The most concerning of all of course was his insistence that every single CC church teach exactly, word for word every single thing that he taught and believed. Totally healthy, right?

    Add in the disaster that he *directly* set in motion prior to his death as he appointed his successor, and it’s certainly no understatement to point out that this church had problems and did LONG before the likes of Finch. Smith was a brother–like King David a great one, but an exceptionally flawed one too. We would do well to emulate Jesus, not Chuck Smith (or David).

    1. Brian, I pretty much agree with your assessment of the Calvary Chapel movement. I would say that Chuck’s ‘failed prophecies’ stemmed from one of the strengths you listed: the focus on Israel in their dispensational interpretation of the Bible. There are more than a few paranoid types out there for whom Calvary Chapel’s end times fixation was not helpful. You know the ones: they see eagles, bears, and marks of the beast in practically every news headline.

      Likewise, the ‘high level of Biblical literacy’ Chuck and his cohort put into the laity’s hands is also, more or less, the extent of biblical literacy the movement expects or even tolerates among CC pastors. There is an undertone of anti-intellectualism in the movement that disparages accredited theological seminaries, just like there are still lingering purists within CC that cling to the KJV because they don’t understand textual criticism (which does not fit into their simple expository approach).

      They are great churches to invite your neighbors to. Few churches say ‘come as you are’ and mean it like Calvary Chapels. Sandals and ripped jeans? Fine. Suit and tie? Fine. Just don’t let your neighbor stay more than a couple years should he come to follow Jesus, because there is so much more depth to Christian life, growth, and community than is typically encountered in their ranks. And that’s not even getting into the endemic polity issues the article references.

      1. Mark Gunderson,

        Yes, you are right. The core problem is that CC was all about Chuck and still is. Jews for Jesus had a similar issue vis-a-vis its founder Moishe Rosen (to an even worse degree). No healthy denomination, church, ministry, or Christian business can be all about its founder.

        One other criticism I would throw in is the trash-talking of Calvinism that goes on in the CC church. How is this necessary or Biblical? Calvinists are a vast, diverse array of believers and even if you don’t agree with this school of Christianity there’s surely better ways to express that than periodic snark from the pulpit.

        I attended a CC for a few years and while I didn’t have a bad experience, I likely wouldn’t seek it out again.

  9. The hyperlinks to the testimonies in this article are an extremely critical part of this story. Please take time to read those before you defend the continued abusive behavior of Rodney Finch. This man is Biblically unqualified to be a pastor, there’s no arguing that. The witnesses lived through this spiritual abuse and NOW are running the risk of having smear campaigns lobbied against them again! Of course they are, it’s the way of the abusive narcissist: blame shifting, gaslighting, and deflecting. They are at risk of being victimized all over again! BUT, they willingly took that risk out of love for others and the truth!

    These faithful witnesses worked there, ministered there and went to church there. They saw first hand what was happening and for years endured the abuse. The signed documents they provided are proof of that. They are standing for truth and deserve our admiration and prayers. They’re an example of what Jesus taught in Matthew 18. They have a voice and a responsibility to share the truth in the hopes that someone else could be spared this abusive treatment. That’s true love. That’s brave love. That’s Biblical love. There are those that are going to stand with Rodney and defend him to the bitter end. Pray for them & let them be. But for those who know the truth, they have a responsibility to warn others; how they respond to that warning is on them.

  10. All the comments above to “love and forgive this pastors wrongdoings” are perfectly valid but only insofar that YOUR conscience is clean with God.

    That still leaves the nepotist, drug taker, financial mismanagement, bullying pastor facing his own road to hell.

    Will he repent?

    It’s got nothing to do with your forgiveness. Nothing.

  11. The idea that within Calvary Chapel there is a “no talk rule” is simply not true. I am a Calvary Pastor with 30+ years of involvement in the Calvary movement and have never heard such a rule implied or enforced . This idea of “basically no accountability” is only somewhat accurate. Every Calvary Chapel church is independent, so it really depends upon the leaders and leadership structure within a specific congregation. The majority of Calvary churches are pastored by good men with integrity and a board of elders that DO hold them accountable for bad behavior etc. Unfortunately as this story makes clear, the CCA exercises little oversight, as their main function is overseeing affiliation. They have removed different churches at times from affiliation, some with less cause than this story represents. Every time one of these stories breaks, it is a heartache, whether it is our tribe or another. What I do not understand is why people continue to support the clowns.

    1. Thankful for your honest reply Jim. We’re glad that in your church “the no talk rule” doesn’t exist, however please read the testimonies of the witnesses and you’ll find that certainly WASN’T THE CASE AT THIS CHURCH. Abusive environments such as these thrive on intimidation & retaliation for anyone who will speak up. Secrecy must be maintained in order for abuse to continue, that’s part of the reason it’s gone on for such a long time. READ the testimonies and I think you’ll agree my friend.

    2. Why do CC pastors appeal to Moses as a model for leadership instead of Timothy and Titus? As Michael Newnham chronicled on Phoenix Preacher, Pastor Chuck wasn’t qualified to be an Elder because he cheated on his wife.

      I verified this story with a former employee of CCCM who said it was understood by staff that Chuck had two affairs. The first was when he was a pastor in AZ. The second was the one described on Phoenix Preacher. Cheryl and Kay and the board covered up the second one. It doesn’t take much of a leap to see why Pastor Chuck left CCCM and KWVE to Cheryl and Brian.

      As another poster noted, the Moses model often turns into the David model, where abuses are covered up and “Nathans” who cry foul are sent packing.

  12. Deeply grateful for your work, Julie. We’re FINALLY seeing exposure to darkness that has been consealed for a very, very long time. Anyone who harms the innocent should not be in leadership – anywhere. May justice be served.

  13. Rodney and Elvira have been devouring sheep for decades, when people catch on to their deceiving religious charades they leave the church and a new unsuspecting crowd comes in through the revolving doors.  

    This report and the testimonies cover a lot of ground, but it’s nearly impossible to uncover all the abuse that has taken place. One of the things that these abusive and toxic environments produce is the propensity for sexual immorality and abuse. In her testimony Mrs. Edwards mentions Jacob Johnson, who was a 19 year old that Rodney had a “suspicious” relationship with; this is only one of Rodney’s many strange relationships with men that many people have witnessed throughout the years. He has stated from the pulpit on several occasions that he doesn’t have time to spend with Elvira, because he needs to be released to do the ministry. However, he can spend an inordinate amount of time with a man whom he’s chosen to be with for a season. This man becomes his chauffer, traveling companion, bodyguard, personal trainer, his gofer, etc. Rodney’s full time personal servant, until Rodney has no use for him. He’s then easily replaced (often times like Jacob they disappear overnight) but rest assured Rodney is not short on men that he’s groomed who would want to be his around the clock servant.

    It’s just another disastrous way that many marriages and families have been seduced by Rodney and Elvira Finch. They have perfected their schemes to deceive and seduce the naive and vulnerable. I hope and pray that this article is used to spare many people from this tragic outcome. 

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