Alleged Victim of Bill Hybels Tells Story of How Church Tried to Silence Her

By Julie Roys

A former senior leader at Willow Creek Community Church, and professed victim of Bill Hybels, yesterday shared on Facebook that an elder and attorney from her “former church” accused her of “lying or mis-remembering” when she reported the abuse to them. She said the two also said that “if they wanted to, they could make it look like I was pursuing him.”

Keri Ladouceur

The senior leader is Keri Ladouceur, former leadership pipeline director at Willow Creek—and one of more than a dozen women who alleged abuse by former Willow Creek Senior Pastor Bill Hybels.

Ladouceur, who’s now a pastor at Vineyard Church in Florence, KY, blogged somewhat cryptically in August 2018 about the abuse she says she received by Hybels. Yesterday, she shared more details of her story and told about how senior leaders at Willow Creek tried to silence her. She writes:

Two years ago this week, I had a meeting in the board room of the private jet center at the airport. I sat with an elder from my former church and an attorney the church had hired to investigate behavior I reported about a prominent pastor. I was told they were conducting an investigation on his behavior, and an organization wide investigation on how my reporting was handled by senior leaders who repeatedly directed me to meet with this pastor alone.

In this meeting I was told I was lying or mis-remembering every bit of what I reported. I was told the comments about my body and my clothes weren’t inappropriate since I had already shared in my testimony that I wasn’t wearing anything provocative. I was told the grooming patterns, boundary testing and secrecy building of ‘delete’ email conversations and him frequently affirming the most broken parts of my story growing up were me “being dramatic”. I was told the numerous inappropriate invitations I had declined, to be alone with him (in inappropriate settings) were his attempt to be available to pastor and mentor me. I was told that him meeting me outside on the very day I went to the church to document my grievances with HR, after being asked by his colleagues for real time updates about my arrival time, was “a coincidence”. I was told if they wanted to, they could make it look like I was pursuing him. Although not one person who could confirm any of my accounts was ever contacted, I was told that none of them were true. I was told I needed to know I was the only woman in 42 years to ever say he was inappropriate with me.

I was then asked for confidentiality about my experiences, which I refused. The word devastated doesn’t begin to describe how I left that meeting. I resigned from my position and spent weeks just trying to make it through the day. The most painful part wasn’t even his behavior- rather that the church leaders whom I loved and respected and served with, didn’t believe me and failed to protect me. I have wrestled with God about my calling to serve the church almost every day since.

Vonda Dyer, one of the first women to come forward and tell her story of abuse by Hybels, said hearing Ladouceur’s story was a main reason she decided to speak out in 2018.

Dyer said her abuse took place in the mid-1990s, and for many years, she believed it was an isolated incident. Dyer said in 2017 she heard of other women Hybels had abused, but Ladoucer’s abuse impacted her most because it was recent and showed the abuse was ongoing.

Give a gift of $50 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive our 2-Book Bundle of “Celebrities for Jesus” and “Redeeming Power.” To donate, click here.

“Keri was one of the main reasons I could not live with myself if I didn’t speak up,” Dyer said. “I came forward for the sake of the church and the transforming power of Christ in us. . . . I came forward for my own daughters whom I’d fiercely protect in the face of any abuse, and most urgently, I came forward for Keri, who was the most current victim being perpetrated by Bill Hybels in real time.”

Dyer said, “I would do it all again, if only to help one life, Keri, who at the time faced the deceit and obfuscation that I later came to discover from Willow Creek and their consistent narrative of perception management and cover-up in the years to come. . . . I pray every day for a reckoning, a deep repentance from Bill Hybels, and past and current leaders of Willow Creek.”

Similarly, Ladouceur wrote:

I’m mourning that these diminishing and damaging events ever occurred. . . . I find myself grieving all that has taken place all over again. Praying for those who were hurt in the wake of the fallout. Grieved at the damage to the witness of the church by those who held positions charged with stewarding it. Praying for those who were harmed that we have yet to hear from. Praying for those who have inflicted untold harm, maliciously or unwittingly. . . .

As I pray for the opportunity to someday mend the relationships that have been broken- today I’m asking God to mend what’s broken inside of me.

 Keri Ladouceur’s Facebook Post:



Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore

29 thoughts on “Alleged Victim of Bill Hybels Tells Story of How Church Tried to Silence Her”

  1. Julie – I believe you are being careless to post this story without checking the facts. I have been very supportive of the other women who have come forward. However, I believe that Keri has fabricated much of her story, if not all of it. Several witnesses who were on Keri’s list spoke to the investigators. They were present during some of the events that she says happened. I talked to several of them. I honestly tried to find evidence to support Keri’s account and could find none. Every person present said, “it didn’t happen the way she said it happened.” There is a mountain of evidence that refutes her story. Every witness I talked to is a friend of Keri’s and cannot figure out why she would make up this story. I am really upset with her – her lies have hurt a lot of people, and it was one of the things that caused many of us to question the validity of the entire incident. I believe she is hurting the #metoo movement. I really hope she comes clean with the true facts. I’m guessing the witnesses will not come forward with their accounts as it seems that anyone who comes forward to tell the other side of the story in this situation is attacked.

    1. Chris, If you’re going to call someone a liar publicly, you should at least have the courage to give your full name.

      I have very good reason to believe Keri is telling the truth and am hoping to get permission to publish more.

    2. Hello, Chris. Isn’t it interesting that Vonda Dyer believes Keri? So much so that Keri’s account was the tipping point for Ms. Dyer? You say, “I really hope she {Keri} comes clean with the true facts.” When, pray tell, is Bill Hybels going to “come clean with the true facts”? For that matter, when is Bill Hybels going to come out at all? In my judgment, Vonda Dyer is very credible. So is the post by Keri Ladouceur. It rings true, as they say. Quite a contrast to the deceit, obfuscation, and “consistent narrative of perception management and cover-up” practiced by the leadership at Willow Creek. How loathsome! Now I’m gonna go listen to some Doo Wop and clear my head. Psalm 37.

      1. Curious to know the same. If you follow Bill’s daughter’s social media, she is often talking about vacations with her parents and even during the pandemic she has mentioned it a couple of times, most recently a vacation in Amish country in PA after the elections. Bill seems to be comfortably living the life of a carefree retired multi-millionaire, while WC was left devastated in his wake and doesn’t seem to be able to regain footing, or tell the whole truth about what happened.

    3. Chris, I dont know who you refer to as “friends” of Keri. I am a friend and former co-worker of Keri, and I can confirm her story is true. Brother, you are the one who should tread lightly here.

    4. Chris,
      Before you attack Julie’s posting and Keri’s account; please provide ONE name who will support your claims and refute Keri’s story. Dealing with your generalities means nothing. Who are these witnesses who spoke to the investigators, were present at some of these events and as you stated that “EVERY person present said ” it didn’t happen the way she said it happened.” “EVERY witness I talked to is a friend of Keri’s and cannot figure out why she would make up a story.” Can you convince one brave and courageous person to come forth and refute her statement? Where Is the MOUNTAIN of evidence that refutes her story? Do your due diligence, check your facts with actual people that will stand by these statements. There is no fear to hide when one tells the truth. Also Bill Hybel needs to (1.) respond to each accusation that have been made against him, apologize and ask for forgiveness and (2.) publicly apologize for his sinful behavior as Pastor and ask for forgiveness.

    5. Hi Chris, respectfully, I’m not sure who you’ve spoken to or their perspective on the situation. The facts and experiences I reported have remained the same from the beginning. I shared with leadership because I wanted to ensure other women wouldn’t have to navigate the same experiences.

      I’ve heard from countless staff at willow whom I served with who said they wish they would’ve spoken up about things they saw and heard. I’m not sure the credibility of my experiences is up for debate after the IAG report. Each of them could have been verified.

      I’m choosing to believe the actions of those involved in my process weren’t malicious. I believe when we know better we do better and we have a lot to learn. Either way, I’m eager to heal and see healing in the church. I am willing to grab coffee next time I’m in Chicago if you ever want to connect.

      1. Keri

        I’m very sorry for what you have had to endure…
        I understand… Maybe a little…

        You write…
        “The most painful part wasn’t even his behavior-
        rather that the church leaders whom I loved and respected
        and served with, didn’t believe me and failed to protect me.”

        When the “church leaders whom I loved and respected”
        Turned on me, it was devastating.
        I cried for days, in shock.
        And unbelief.

        Where are you???
        How do I understand this mess???

        Darkness and Pain…
        NO longer able to Trust…
        Many years and many tears…

        Until I had NO place to GO…
        But to GO to…

        The “ONE” Leader
        The “ONE” Teacher
        The “ONE” Shepherd

        {{{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}}

        And Jesus is the best… Yes?

    6. Matthew W. Tallman

      Sex is something the human male craves. Passion, feeling cared about, admired and feeling loved and valued is something every human female craves. Some women crave sex just like males, too!!

      I don’t know Hybels personal truths, or what goes through his mind when he looks back at the wreckage that is “Willow Creek”. He and God and the women in question only TRULY know what he’s done in secret. It’s the same old, tired story and it goes the same way.

      Once upon a time, a charismatic man had an encounter with Jesus and decides to enter into ministry. Over time, the man forms a large gathering, a church, a community. God moves, the church matures and people eventually become complacent. The salary rises, the church grows to the point a second campus is sought out or the building fund starts and elders with big checkbooks are gathered and assembled. This is the formation of the mega church, or Mega Corp, as I like to call it. All in the name of Jesus and the Cross. But organizations like these, without safeguards, governance, and accountability, become “broken systems”. One secret sin after another becomes unmanageable under its own weight as a behemoth broken system.

      The love of Money is the root of all evil, and it flows in and out of gigantic corps, like the Willow Creek Association, Hillsong, and most of these non-denoms. I call them a Corp, because even though they are not-for-profit and tax exempt, these type of organizations/churches are huge cash machines with their own products and productions and almost become more trouble than they’re worth, from a Christ-centered point of view. Think of Ted Haggard of New Life Church in Colorado. What a mess that was and what a mess that church went through to rid the sin from their stage.

      Who knows, but Hybels may have traded his personal salvation at the cross of Calvary for a fine, cushy, powerful job and career position as CEO and founder of the biggest non-denom there is. All while ignoring the areas of “weakness” and ramping up the self righteousness.

      I don’t believe this happens instantly, but over the course of time. Meaning, the intent of the leader may be genuine at the start, but the money rolls in, along with the praise and celebrity-style adoration of the senior pastor and the staff, then it seems to transform all into Satan’s work, and his masterful at it.

      I believe the stories of these women. Guys like Hybels are all over the place. But just remember, Hybels probably didn’t start out this way, but something “over time” sure changed his behavior and demeanor and caused him to sin, if we are to understand the credible allegations for what they are.

      Maybe it was power and pride, envy or lust, greed and self ambition, who knows .. but every church (and I mean EVERY church) looking to grow needs to steer clear of the wreckage that is Willow Creek. Never put your eggs in “one basket”, or in this case, never put your trust in a money making machine that puts ONE MAN at the center of it all, and a lot of “mega churches” do this!! Pride always goes before the fall!

      I know of few Godly men that wouldn’t buckle under the pressures and temptations that such a broken system would serve up. Especially in the area of sexual desire, when you have a large staff and many young women working for you, under you and at your disposal. Satan creeps in and before you know it, you’re running “black ops” to keep the secrets and the sin hidden from the view of the general congregation.

      These are battles of demons and angels, man has little to resist the “bent towards sin” no matter who or what he/she is, without Divine help, healing, and the Holy Spirit.

      Lastly, we must not forget forgiveness, regeneration and restoration. Maybe at this point, Hybels has no desire for any of the three, I don’t know him personally or the desire of his heart, but he’s a created being just the same and deserves to be forgiven by God himself, if real repentance is uttered from the lips of Bill Hybels in honest brokenness and sincerity.

      That’s my take, if anyone reads it.

      1. Heartbroken Creeker


        You bring up many logical, and reasonable points here, and I agree with you on many of those points. This debacle has been an open wound for so many who spent decades at Willow, who brought their children up in Promiseland, who witnessed miracles, and Gods hand in SO MANYgood things. I can tell you that most are still grieving, and If people are waiting for any type of justice or outward repentance, I would say not to. I would say that waiting years to bring these allegations to the world via the Chicago Tribune and social media, was an egregious error. If anyone remembers, John Ortberg and his wife contacted the Tribune and broke this story. Recently, John Ortberg was asked to leave his church because of allegations that he knew his son was attracted to children, but allowed him to work in the church youth program. Not a rumor, it’s on the internet. Ironic isn’t it? and does anyone even care about what this did to Lynne Hybels? Their children and grandchildren? The family that dedicated their lives to WCCC is now destroyed. Some may not care and want to just stone Hybels to death, I realize that, but this was the wrong way to push Bill into public repentance via humiliation. I can’t quote the exact verse from the Bible, but I do know that brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to make others accountable in the church, but what it does not say is to broadcast these painful situations to the world for judgement and condemnation from fellow sinners. Nothing good has come from this. Nothing. I find it odd that when Bill was set to retire, this M80 was lit. The bottom line is things may have been said, feelings may have been acted upon, but we’ll never know because we were not there. Just as in a marriage, nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors, and there are three and four sides to every story. We are dealing with imperfect people such as ourselves, who make mistakes every single day. I am not defending ANYONE in this story because I do not have all the facts and never will. However, I do know this is between God and those who are in this story, and I really pray that money isn’t made from big book deals and Lifetime movies.

        Just my humble opinion.

        1. Heartbroken Creeker, it is NOT the duty of these victims to consider what “this did to” Lynne Hybels or their children/grandchildren!! That is on Bill! HE should have considered that/them, his reputation/legacy when he decided to pursue his lusts in the arrogance that no one would report him. And Biblical confrontation was strongly considered in this – I can assure you – BUT it wasn’t even remotely possible with even the eldership, HR, AND the investigator being in Bill’s pocket! If you are so lucky as to not have been a victim of a serial sexual predator, thank God every day! And pray it never happens to one of your loved ones so you don’t have to read ignorant comments like yours and relive the hurt all over again!!!

  2. Please stop protecting Willow Creek and the people Keri is referencing in her story. Many of these people continue to be on staff and have never apologized for the public lies they supported from the stage. All the previous elders continue to hide.
    This defines “cover-up”!
    Keri is a godly woman and I believe in her completely!

  3. Wow! Just when one thinks it can’t get any worse, it does. Charges and counter-charges are so distressing. How can WC heal from these ongoing disputes?

    1. “How can WC heal from these ongoing disputes?” Great question, David Jankowski. I would say Christlikeness. Honesty. Humility. Basic things any leader in Christ’s church should have and exhibit, and the failure at which should bring repentance, not political spinning. It shouldn’t be that hard for those who care about Jesus’ authority and glory. I say that as someone who knows his own utter dependence upon God’s grace and mercy. Between James MacDonald’s unrepentant defensiveness and the attempts of those who seem to be trying to navigate through Bill Hybels’ mess with minimal losses, where is Christ in any of that. I suspect He is watching and not recognizing it as His Church.


        Much agreement when you write…
        “I suspect He is watching and not recognizing it as His Church.”

        Seems almost nothing of what goes on today in the church of man…
        The 501 c 3, Non-Profit, Tax Deductible, Religious Corporation…
        That the IRS calls church…
        Is in the Bible…

        In the Bible
        NOT one of **His Disciples** called themself pastor.
        Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

        In the Bible
        NOT one of **His Disciples** took the “Title” pastor.
        Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

        Jer 50:6
        “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
        **THEIR shepherds**
        have caused them to *go astray,*

        1 Pet 2:25
        For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
        BUT are now returned to
        the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

        {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

      2. Mark – “…not recognizing it as His Church.”

        What these pastors, church leaders, say about “church.”
        And what the Bible says about **Church**
        Just ain’t da sam ting…

        Makes an interesting study. An interesting challenge.
        Printout every verse with the word “church” in it…
        Read them, over and over, again and again…
        And ask yourself… Ask Jesus…

        In the Bible?
        Did any of **”His Disciples?”**

        1 – *Go to* Church?
        2 – *Join* a Church?
        3 – *Lead* a Church?
        4 – *Plant* a Church?
        5 – *Pastor* a Church?
        6 – *Attend* a Church?
        7 – *Tithe* to a Church?
        8 – *Look for* a Church?
        9 – *Teach* Go to Church?
        10 – *Bring their friends* to Church?
        11 – *Become Members* of a Church?
        12 – *Apply for Membership* in a Church?
        13 – *Call themselves, Pastor,* in a Church?
        14 – *Call themselves, Leader,* in a Church?
        15 – *Call themselves, Reverend,* in a Church?
        16 – *Give Silver, or Gold, or Money* to a Church?
        17 – *Build a building with a Cross* and call it Church?

        18 – *Were any of **His Disciples,** ever Hired?
        As a Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit?
        Preaching, to People in Pews?
        Weak after Weak?
        In a church?

        NONE of these 18 things exist in the Bible…
        For one of **His Disciples.**

        If being one of **His Disciples** is important? To you?
        Wouldn’t what Jesus taught **His Disciples** be important?
        Wouldn’t what **His Disciples** actually DID, be important?
        And be a good example? To follow?

        If, In the Bible…
        Jesus did NOT teach **His Disciples** to do these 18 things?
        And, **His Disciples** did NOT “do or teach” these 18 things?

        Why do WE? His Disciples? His Ambassadors?
        His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Body?
        Teach, and do, these things?
        NOT in the Bible?

  4. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. The activities of these pastors and the people (looks like mostly if not all are men) are criminal activities and the women who have been terrorized and brutalized by these evil men, in my opinion, should forget about the church doing anything and simply go to the police. It is abundantly clear that the church WILL NOT do anything for these victims and even if they did, sexual abuse is still a crime and should be handled by the professionals, i.e. the police, the civil authorities. I pray the the deep wounds inflicted on these victims will somehow, someway be healed by our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

    1. Please stop victim blaming

      To Chris, Welcome back Sherri! Your comments are the same in every blog that has put Willow Creek in a bad light. Get your facts straight before you open your mouth and stop acting like you really know what is happening and has happened at Willow. You haven’t a single clue! Many of these facts have been verified in a court of law, so your uninformed commentary is moot. One day you may become very embarrassed when you have to eat your words publicly and once you are finally called out for victim blaming.

      1. “Please stop Victim Blaming” – This is Sherri. Someone told me that my name was mentioned in these comments, so I thought I’d respond directly. When I post, I post under my own name – always. Other than the comment that I am now writing, I have only commented on 1 blog post over the past 2 years and that was 3 weeks ago on Julie’s site. I am guessing this is the same man who was attacking me on Facebook a year and a half ago and then as Debbb 3 weeks ago. I will say to you now what I said to you on Facebook – You don’t know me. You don’t know what I know. You don’t know what I believe about this situation. Please leave me alone.

  5. Chris, there is a term for the nature of your comment: gaslighting. You are maliciously trying to sow unfounded seeds of doubt about someone’s personal experience of trauma. If you had access to “witnesses that were on Keri’s list” then something is awry. That was a private investigation that even SHE did not get a copy of!!! It was used to spin and manipulate and gaslight her, nothing more than a sham and cover-up! The “witnesses” that you claim to have spoken to must not be friends of Keri’s or they would know her integrity and BELIEVE HER! The corruption she had to wade through just to have her voice heard was a MAFIA posing as church leadership. You and all of your minions should be ashamed of yourselves!


    Much agreement when you write…
    “I suspect He is watching and not recognizing it as His Church.”

    There is a lot of ugly stuff going on

    Seems almost nothing of what goes on today in the church of man…
    The 501 c 3, Non-Profit, Tax Deductible, Religious Corporation…
    That the IRS calls church…
    Is in the Bible…

    In the Bible
    NOT one of **His Disciples** called themself pastor.
    Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    In the Bible
    NOT one of **His Disciples** took the “Title” pastor.
    Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    Houston, WE, have a problem…
    Titles, Titles, everywhere…
    Except in the Bible…

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds**
    have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to
    the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  7. I think one big problem in issues of clergy sexual abuse is that most church members are naive about the nature of people who behave like Hybels and Dr. B. The consistent sexual predatory behavior of men like these place them outside the category of “Christian struggling with sin” and into the category of “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. The behavior of these men display serious pathological issues in which the best course for the church that finds out about them is to place them outside fellowship, not try to help them within fellowship. I think that when Jesus and Paul talk about people like this in the church they are communicating wisdom many Christians find difficult to hear, especially in an era of what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace”. It has been difficult for me to come to grips with the insidiously evil nature of sexual predators, but the course of action prescribed by the Bible in places like Matt. 18 is remarkably insightful. Unfortunately, passages like that have been used to further abuse people, but it’s correct usage would ensure evil people are removed from influencing the vulnerable. If you’re reading this and being influenced by a predator in the church, just know it’s okay to go to other people immediately. Any hint of resistance or confusion, any hint of a “no” directed to the manipulator already fulfills the first part of Matt.18. Also, don’t worry too much about making sure you get Matt. 18 “perfect”; any reasonably healthy person will not care too much if you go to step 2, bypassing step 1. In the case of a predator, he’ll make a big deal about getting Matt. 18 perfect instead of simply repenting.

  8. Charles Despeville

    There are more and more testimonies against Hybles and his enablers from Warped Creep Crunch yet Hybles a hypocrite poser that he was and is fittingly offered no confession, no apology, no repentance and no change. More importantly for some strange reason this criminal creep and his WCC minions are not even sued in criminal nor civil case as they should be. What a disgrace! Will this sexual offender and demonic creep Hybles get away with his offenses and hurt caused over decades of his cassanova conquest under suck pretense of being a “pastor”? If so what a shame!

  9. Is it not interesting nature? As in humans are mammals – animals. And as such behaves inherently as per nature to reproduce.

    Any two humans, heterosexual- male and female, left alone long enough will eventually become attracted to the other (or both to each other)

    The point is the assumption that christians, faithly believers, have this unhuman ability to be un-intereted in the opposite sex. Christians are like any other human, and so much goes on churches between members themselves (just google christian affairs – if u need a bit more of data).

    But somehow, Christian are different, and pure!

    The conclusion is a human is a human. In church or at work or at school or at a gym, checks and boundaries must be set ( hear Graig Groesch” when he says he never never is by himself with a female – it serves bothly not to have a he said she said, but maybe more important, so he does not fall into the temptation of being human)

    How many wifes / husbands find out their christian partner is cheating on them? Under the disguise of christianity, few balances and checks are put in place.

    If y are married, and a christian, have in place a check system – do not permit a women and a man to be alone by themselves, much less over months working together on a project without a system in place to keep human reprodructive nature in check.

    Every pastor (woman or man) (the US or abroad) should never be bythemsleves alone with the opposite sex. (And yes, there are women pastors around the world that are attractive to a male member – but due to male nature, your will most likely not hear about it)

    Have checks and balances.

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people use their full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.

Comments are limited to 300 words.

Leave a Reply

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people register before they begin commenting. This means no anonymous comments will be allowed. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.
MOST popular articles