Apologetics Ministry Started by Ravi Zacharias’ Daughter Shutting Down

By Julie Roys
sarah davis lighten group
Sarah Davis, former CEO of RZIM and daughter of Ravi Zacharias, launched apologetics ministry Lighten Group which has now shut down. (Video screen grab via Facebook/RZIM)

The Lighten Group—a new apologetics ministry started by Ravi Zacharias’ daughter and several former RZIM speakers—has announced it’s shutting down less than a year after its launch.

“This decision was not easy,” Lighten announced in an Instagram post yesterday, “but we seek to be good stewards of the time, money, & resources entrusted to us. Given our small team & the growing financial challenges that lie ahead, we believe this is the right decision & timing.”

The Lighten Group, initially called Encounter Inc., was launched in October 2021 by Sarah Davis, former RZIM CEO and daughter of now disgraced apologist, Ravi Zacharias.

The speakers for Lighten include three former RZIM apologists who stayed at RZIM “amidst the heartbreaking and tragic season of discovery, acknowledgment, and restitution.” They are Xandra Carroll, Alycia Wood, and Lou Phillips.

The Lighten Group speakers from left to right: Xandra Carroll, Alycia Wood, and Lou Phillips

An independent investigation last year found claims that Zacharias had sexually molested and abused a number of women credible. The investigation also found evidence of financial misconduct at RZIM.

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When it was launched, the new ministry said its aim was “carrying the Gospel invitation to individuals,” “engaging their questions,” and “training and discipling messengers of Christ’s love for their spheres of influence.”

About a month-and-a-half after launching, Encounter changed its name to Lighten and released a video to prospective supporters decrying “cancel culture” as “anti-Christian.”

The group also stated on its website that it received a loan from RZIM to start the ministry. Lighten added it “was a tenant of RZIM until we establish a location of our own.”

The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to Lighten, asking about the amount of the loan and whether the ministry would repay RZIM, but did not immediately receive a response.

RZIM seems to continue in some capacity and maintains an active webpage. Its board remains secret, and the organization is facing a class-action lawsuit by former donors.

Lighten Speaker Lou Phillips married Sarah Davis within the past 10 months. The marriage is the third for Davis and the first for Phillips.

As of February, Davis was no longer working for Lighten, according to Kristen Henriques, co-CEO of Lighten.

Phillips recently was announced as the new director of church and ministry relations for The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender. Headed by author and scholar Preston Sprinkle, the center seeks to “engage questions about faith, sexuality, and gender with theological faithfulness and courageous love.”

Lighten said it will continue posting content during September and its website, YouTube channel, and Instagram will remain active for the next year.

Lighten Instagram Post:

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