After Year’s Silence, Pastor Accused of Rape Fills Pulpit at ARC Church

By Sarah Einselen
Carter ARC COTH Mary Jones
On July 24, 2022, Micahn Carter preaches at The Father’s House Orange County in Brea, California. (Video screengrab)

Pastor Micahn Carter, who was accused of rape and removed last year from Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, has returned to public ministry at another Association of Related Churches (ARC) church.

Carter filled the pulpit on July 24 at The Father’s House Orange County (TFH OC), a Los Angeles-area church associated with ARC and pastored by Matt and Bianca Olthoff.

ARC is one of the largest church planting organizations in North America and has been plagued by sex and financial scandals involving its pastors. Church of the Highlands (COTH) is the flagship ARC church and the second largest church in the United States with an average attendance of more than 43,000 people.

Carter’s sermon last week entitled, “Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People”, is the first by Carter to surface since COTH cut ties with him a year ago.

TFH OC is a daughter church of The Father’s House in northern California, also an ARC member church. Carter had preached at the parent church a few years ago, before the alleged rape.

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Carter’s role at TFH OC isn’t clear, but he introduced himself as someone congregants hadn’t met before. TFH OC didn’t immediately respond when The Roys Report (TRR) asked if Carter was a guest speaker and whether leadership was aware of the allegations against him.

It’s not the first time TFH OC’s leadership has shared a platform with a disgraced pastor.

Bianca Olthoff, one of TFH OC’s lead pastors, spoke alongside Mark Driscoll and Andy Wood at an ARC-linked leadership conference last May, TRR noted early this year.

Driscoll left Seattle’s Mars Hill Church after alleged plagiarism and spiritual abuse. He’s since been accused of bullying and cult-like activity at his new church. Wood is slated to succeed Rick Warren as pastor of Saddleback Church. He has recently been accused of abuse and bullying.

Carter’s alleged sexual misconduct has been public knowledge for the last year.

Carter used to pastor Together Church in Yakima, Washington, TRR previously reported. His former secretary there, Mary Jones, alleges he made sexual advances toward her and raped her in 2019. That same year, Carter resigned for undisclosed reasons, then joined the staff at COTH for a “ministerial restoration process.”

Jones went public with her allegations in July 2021. Days later, COTH stated it had ended its involvement in Carter’s ministerial restoration.

It’s unclear whether Carter has begun a new restoration process, which led to him filling the pulpit last week. TRR reached out to ARC and its president, Greg Surratt, for clarification, but didn’t immediately hear back. Surratt is also a COTH overseer.

COTH has spent millions on restoring pastors accused of moral failure. As TRR previously reported, COTH Senior Pastor Chris Hodges said he and Missions Pastor Dino Rizzo want to be known for restoring pastors after moral failings. Both are also ARC founders and on the ARC Lead Team.

Rizzo, an ARC executive director, has a history of misconduct, and Hodges’ son was removed from the pastorate after an unspecified moral failure.

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.



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15 thoughts on “After Year’s Silence, Pastor Accused of Rape Fills Pulpit at ARC Church”

  1. “and the second largest church in the United States with an average attendance of more than 43,000 people”

    These are not churches. These are not even concert stadiums or sports arenas. These are Baal temples where people are sacrificed to Molech–i.e. the rape/molestation and sex slavery victims of these predatory, grooming “pastors”.

    These are not righteous men that got tempted like King David and went astray for a season. They were wolves, tares from day one. Zacharias, Hybels, Carter–they were born reprobate and unsalvageable and destined for the blackest darkness.

    I won’t say that the megachurch idolatry cult is 100% of what’s wrong with modern evangelicalism, but it’s well over 50%. Way over. (And yes, the toxic rot that comes from these monstrosities of stadiums trickles down into average churches. How many small congregations used study plans by Osteen, Hybels, Warren, Greear, Moore, MacArthur, etc.?)

    1. Well said!

      And as Paul said in Acts! I grieve when I die Ravenous Wolves will come and overtake the Flock!

      The Mega Churches are models of these great compromises for it takes compromise to keep the many that flock to these churches

  2. This guy’s message is lacking! For starters, as to the title of his “Sermon”, that has only happened in history once, and the “Good person” was Jesus of course……but even He did not want to be called a good person when the rich young ruler came to Him asking, “What good thing shall I do to enter into eternal life?”

    Jesus gave this very insightful response: “Why call me good? there is none good….except God”. His message to the man was clear: “Either I am God…..or I am Not a good man”.

    Also, the fact that he has been accused of rape should have been enough for the local Pastor to have not allowed him to Preach. But the ARC is showing itself to be filled with charlatans and false teachers, so what else is new!

  3. Cynthia Norbeck


    Was he convicted of rape in a court of law? If not, why not? If so, what was the verdict and did he serve time? If not, why not?

    Did I miss something?

    1. Many people who allege rape decide not to go forward with charges because things like cross examination are seen as too traumatic, and many more times, prosecutors don’t go forward with charges because they don’t believe a jury will be willing to convict.

      In this case, my thought is that it’s sufficient that he confessed to fornication/adultery, and there really ought to be a longer period of good behavior established before one returns to a position of spiritual authority. The fact that we have no record of any successful restoration process is troubling here.

      It is also troubling that this association/denomination has a long history of rogue pastors returning to their rogueness. It suggests that whatever they’re doing for restoration–a process Carter appears to have dropped out from–is not sufficient in the least.

    2. Cassie Levenson

      No, he was not convicted. His crimes have been swept under the rug by ARC, which is why he has been free to travel from church to church where congregants are none the wiser of his crimes.

  4. This is still on John MacArthur’s Website:

    Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong with the church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin. That the church is so eager to bring these men back into leadership is a symptom of rottenness at the core….”—John MacArthur

    “Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored?”

    As a stand-alone article, it is good advice❗👍

    1. And yet John MacArthur is a hypocrite because he does not practice what he preaches in regards to pastors on his staff who have molested their children and domestic abusers.

  5. Scripture clearly speaks to this:

    2 Timothy 4:1–4 (ESV): “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

    1. Does this comment mean that Paul’s exhortation to Timothy should be understood as directed by God to Micahn Carter, as well?

  6. Mellisa Fernandez

    Men will always protect men. It’s disgusting. I can’t know for sure, of course, but I wouldn’t doubt the discussion went something like this;
    “When can we bring him back to preaching? It’s already been a whole year and he isn’t working.”
    “But there is a rape victim….”
    “But still…”
    “We need to bring him on ASAP. This has been so hard on him. He CRIED on the phone! His life is a shambles.”

  7. Stephanie Neely

    Micahn Carter was let go by COTH but he still attends. I sit behind him every Sunday and saw a teen girl ask for a picture with him after church.

  8. Never allow this man in front of congregation again. He showed what he is capable of, even if he won’t admit. He has now painted himself as “the victim” and is shaming the real victim of his actions. He and his wife care about one thing, themselves.

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