ARC-Linked Colorado Pastor Sues Former Staff & Members, Claims Defamation

By Sarah Einselen
wiggins defamation ARC
On April 24, 2022, Jonathan Wiggins, lead pastor of Rez.Church in Loveland, Colorado, addresses the congregation. (Video screen grab)

The pastor of a Colorado megachurch connected with the Association of Related Churches (ARC) is suing six people, including former staff and church members, claiming they defamed him.

Lead Pastor Jonathan Wiggins of Rez.Church—one of Northern Colorado’s largest congregations with up to 5,000 attending Easter services—filed the lawsuit in March.

According to the suit, the defamation charges stem from texts “stolen” from an assistant pastor’s phone and then shared as evidence that Wiggins was engaged in an alleged “adulterous and homosexual affair” with the other pastor. The texts also reportedly said Wiggins and the other pastor were planning to use psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms,” together.

An attorney for the defendants claims the lawsuit is a baseless attempt to “intimidate, silence, and isolate” the assistant pastor’s ex-wife.

The brouhaha is the latest in a string of scandals at churches connected to ARC, one of North America’s largest church planting organizations.

Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “The Lord Is My Courage” by K.J. Ramsey to donate, click here.

Rez.Church is not listed in ARC’s church finder. But Wiggins states in the suit that Rez.Church is “closely affiliated with ARC” and has supported ARC church plants. He also states ARC coordinates his speaking engagements.

ARC President Greg Surratt did not respond when The Roys Report (TRR) asked him if Rez.Church had withdrawn from ARC.

In the lawsuit, Wiggins claims that Christine Connor, the then-wife of associate pastor Sethry Connor, “stole” text messages off her husband’s phone. She then used the texts, Wiggins claims, to convince other people that Wiggins was carrying on an adulterous homosexual relationship with Sethry Connor.

Christine Connor is named in the suit along with five other defendants—Christine’s mother, two other former staffers, a former church member, and one woman who isn’t part of Rez.Church but has friends there. Wiggins claims the six defendants defamed him in conversations, on social media, and in flyers calling for an investigation of Wiggins.

An attorney for Christine Connor has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed. The attorney, Laurel Quinto, alleges in the motion to dismiss that Wiggins was afraid for his reputation and “enlisted the full power of Rez.Church and the Association of Related Churches (‘ARC’) to intimidate, silence, and isolate Ms. Connor.”

Quinto also argues the claims about Christine Connor’s motivations are not actionable.

One of the other defendants, former Rez.Church assistant pastor Kaitlyn Scott, posted on Facebook that she believes the allegations “to be unfounded.” Other defendants have posted similar comments on social media.

Quinto, who represents Scott and two other defendants besides Christine Connor, said the suit’s claims against her clients “lack either a factual or legal basis.”

TRR also asked Hollie Wieland, the attorney representing Wiggins and the church, about the suit and the church’s status with ARC. Wieland said her firm does not comment on pending litigation.

Texts trigger concerns, internal investigation

Wiggins states in the suit that Christine Connor obtained the texts from Sethry Connor’s phone in February 2020.  She was “embittered,” Wiggins claims, and blamed Wiggins for marital problems the couple was having.

Sethry Connor filed for divorce in April 2021, according to the suit. He remains director of ministries at Rez.Church, and preached the sermons for Easter and the week afterward.

The suit states Christine Connor shared the texts with a neighbor couple, Mary and Steve Bangs, who were also on staff at the church.

The Bangses then met with Wiggins in March 2020 to confront him about the texts, the suit says.

Wiggins invited two other associate pastors at Rez.Church to join the meeting with the Bangses. The two associate pastors conducted a “thorough inquiry” into the alleged misconduct that day, the suit states. As part of the inquiry, Christine Connor sent the texts to church leadership and the pastor’s supervisors, the suit adds.

The next day, those conducting the investigation determined that “no illegal activity had taken place; and no inappropriate, sexual or otherwise, relationship existed” between Wiggins and Sethry Connor.

Rez.church Wiggins
Rez.church in Loveland, Colorado. (Source: Facebook)

ARC’s model of church governance usually puts overseers—pastors of other ARC churches—in charge of holding a lead pastor accountable. Rez.Church formerly listed its associate pastors, trustees, and overseers on its website, but removed them sometime after August 2020.

The suit doesn’t state that any church overseers or trustees were involved in the inquiry.

A July 2021 statement from Rez.Church indicated that “the criteria to warrant an investigation was not met.” The statement emailed to church members also suggested accusers should have confronted Wiggins personally instead of going to other church leaders.

The suit states that after the inquiry was finished, church leaders told Christine Connor to delete the screenshots she had saved of the texts. Rez.Church also had Christine Connor sign a confidentiality agreement about a year later, on March 2, 2021, “in consideration of her continued church involvement,” the suit states.

The church reportedly fired Connor within a month of signing the confidentiality agreement. Rez Church issued its statement about the allegations about four months later, on July 6, along with a video statement from Wiggins.

sethry connor rez church
Sethry Connor (Video screengrab)

In the video statement, Wiggins described plans to use psilocybin to treat anxiety stemming from childhood trauma. Wiggins did not name Sethry Connor, but said he texted about those plans with one of his “closest friends” whose marriage was failing, and that friend considered using psilocybin, too.

Some research shows psilocybin can help treat some mental health conditions, but it’s still illegal at the federal level and in most of Colorado.

Wiggins said in the video that he never followed through on his plans to use psilocybin. He called the other allegations of misconduct “all lies.”

The suit also alleges that the defendants made defamatory claims about Wiggins to people within the church and ARC. This included writing Wiggins, other Rez.Church pastoral staff, trustees, and overseers, asking them to address instances of alleged misconduct by Wiggins, the suit states.

According to the suit, the defendants also discussed the alleged misconduct on social media. One of the defendants, Amanda Vasquez, said on Facebook that she wrote to the church overseers, board, and pastors about the allegations, but “nothing was done or said to me about it from any of them,” the suit states.

The suit adds that some church members who aren’t defendants in the lawsuit also wrote a letter to Banning Liebscher, pastor of Jesus Culture Sacramento in California, about the allegations. The lawsuit states Liebscher “immediately shredded” the letter and texted Wiggins to tell him.

Liebscher did not respond when TRR reached out to clarify his connection with Rez.Church. But the July 2021 email from Rez.Church identifies a worship leader at Jesus Culture Sacramento—Kim Walker-Smith—as one of the Rez.Church overseers.

The suit adds that Rez.Church sent cease-and-desist letters to Connor and the other defendants, telling them to stop talking about Wiggins’ alleged misconduct.

What’s happening at Rez.Church is part of a larger pattern of issues among churches in Northern Colorado and is hitting the Christian community hard, according to Reza Zadeh, a local pastor and mentor for Christian athletes.

Zadeh recently wrote on Facebook that he’s grieved “for the hurt and pain” people have suffered when they have been let down by area churches’ leadership.

“It seems weekly I am hearing of Pastors who are stepping all over the Biblical mandate to tend to the sheep and seem to be more concerned with protecting what is perceived as ‘Their platform’ and the Church’s ‘reputation,’” Zadeh wrote.

Zadeh called on church deacons and elders to exercise their authority to hold pastors accountable.

UPDATE: After this article was published, we were made aware that Zadeh had posted an apology to Wiggins for his earlier Facebook post. For a time, Zadah’s Facebook account was inactive and the post was not visible. However, the account is active again and the follow-up post is below:

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

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88 thoughts on “ARC-Linked Colorado Pastor Sues Former Staff & Members, Claims Defamation”

  1. Richard DeVries

    He should know that a Christian is NEVER to sue in court another Christian — no matter for what.
    Perhaps he is NOT truly as he says he is.

    1. Sethry Connor

      Hi Richard,
      If your house was broken into, damage was caused, and valuable items were stolen by another Christian, would you not take legal action?

      1. Jonathan Grimes

        Good question Sethry. I’m glad the Bible addresses your concern: The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

        1. Sethry Connor

          Hi Jonathan,
          I agree with 1 Cor 6 that this situation represents a failure in the body of Christ. Do you feel that slander will usher in a quicker answer to disputes and usher in healing to the body of Christ?

          1. You should remove yourself from the pulpit because you’re divorce does not meet the biblical standards for divorce.

      2. Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight)

        Sethry, you’re conflating civil vs criminal actions.

        If a Christian broke into my house and stole things, that’s a criminal action. I would not “take legal action”, I would contact the police. The police would then deal with the matter and hopefully catch the thief.

        “Taking legal action” is suing someone. It’s covered by civil law. Robbing someone is criminal, and is covered by criminal law.

    2. I have been following various watchblogs for over 7 years now. Back then this one did not even exist yet. Over that time I have seen these lawsuits quite a number of times. Over that time guess how many were quickly thrown out? 100%! This included JMac suing Julie so she knows this intimately like the rest of us do not. So I have complete confidence in predicting that this too will be thrown out. Courts do not like overall to get in the middle of the mudslinging that goes on in some divorces. So this one has that additional complication. Something none of the others I saw did. These “pastors” are wasting their money and advertising their Unorthopraxy. Suing an ex in court. Is that really something the real Jesus Christ approves of?

  2. This is the same pastor who told his employees that they had to like or comment on his Facebook posts from their personal Facebook accounts if they wanted to keep their jobs.
    There have been numerous accounts of his controlling and narcissistic tendencies.

    1. My husband and I used to be part of this church before he took over. We ran away as fast as we could when he took the reins. What a disgrace this is to God‘s word. To me, it would seem as simple as addressing the rumors and moving on. Seems to me as though he has something to hide. What a shame.

      1. Miranda Niedermeier

        Pastor did address it, said he was being advised by council to take legal action, he didn’t want to do that just yet, wanted to give the party involved the chance to stop, and two years later they still haven’t. What a shame.

    2. Sethry Connor

      Hi Elle,
      That accusation is untrue. Please verify destructive accusations before further spreading them.

    3. Victoria Jones

      That’s so true, when I was working at Rez I was told to like and comment on all Rez associated platforms or I would be fired.

  3. They have matching tattoos. That didn’t strike anyone at the church as weird? Sounds like a episode of the Righteous Gemstones.

    1. Sethry Connor

      Hi Dan,
      Yes, we have matching tattoos. If that is an inappropriate or “weird” action for friends to take, please help me understand how.

    2. It is extraordinarily weird for two adult men in their 40s to have matching tattoos. I don’t know, maybe times have changed and grown men go through the intimate process of picking and choosing something that special to them like I did with my son when we got tattoos Maybe they’re matching ink is a reference to 1 Corinthians 6 or even Matthew 18:15.
      I should probably be careful what I say though this pastor might come after me for slander.

      1. Kay Lynn,

        Is your judgment of the situation on this public platform your way of modeling Matthew 18:15, as references in your comment?

        1. Lindsay Aiden

          One of the links in the article shows that you are the children’s pastor at Mr Wiggins church … is that true?

        2. Ty Bellmore is the children’s pastor. He is the president of the We Are Lions club among some of the younger guys on staff. He has the tattoo to prove it. In fact, many of these guys have the lion tattoo to show their support for Wiggins and his book.

      2. Sethry Connor

        Hi Kay Lynn,
        Does the tattoo that you got with your son represent an inappropriate relationship with him? I am trying to follow your logic here. Can you please spell out which relationships and age categories are appropriate for matching tattoos? Maybe more rules will help people be more like Jesus and you seem to have insight into this offense.

  4. Amber Gemstone

    It’s upsetting to read in the lawsuit that Wiggins claims Banning Liebscher shredded the letter sent to him from a concerned members of this church. Then had the audacity to text Wiggins to rat the people out. Members of a church tend to take days writing a letter like that. They pray over it and pour their hearts out hoping the leader receiving it does so with love, respect and understanding. Greg Surratt did the same (paragraph 72 in the lawsuit) to another man who wrote in a private letter who worried he was about what he was seeing happen at this church.

    These people expect their letters would be kept confidential. But instead they are met with a good ol boys club, shredding and high-fiving. It breaks my heart.

    It sounds like anyone who tried to go the correct way of reaching out to board members and overseerers were slapped with cease and desists, using threats of litigation to silence and intimidate (just like the lawsuit says).

    Also it sounds like this church is filled with narcissist’s flying monkeys, like this Hannah Garcia “pastor”, who report to him private conversations. And now these same people are being sued. Who are the sheep meant to turn to when they see red flags if this is the response?

    Lawsuits can cost thousands & thousands of dollars- are Rez tithe payers paying for Wiggins’ legal fees? And if so, are they aware that they are? 

    And yikes on the matching tattoos. I cringed so hard it hurt. 

    1. Jonathan Wiggins

      I am refinancing my home to fight these lies. The fact you are guessing at such gross behavior reveals your own heart not mine.
      You seem like a “Christian” who would be super fun at parties.

      1. Insulting people does not help your credibility. Being a pastor is called to a life above reproach — exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. 1 Timothy 3:2

      2. I thought you didn’t have a house you sold it to be all in on building the church bigger and greater.

        1. Miranda Niedermeier

          People really don’t listen when others talk. He sold a house, used the equity for the church. He never said he wasn’t buying a different house. Come on now.

  5. Sethry Connor

    As a person named in this article which is further propagating lies, allow me to share some of my perspective.

    This article continues to spread the information that I was involved in a homosexual adulterous affair with my friend and pastor.

    I have had sex with one person in my entire life – my ex-wife, Christine Connor, and she is the point of origin that these rumors of a homosexual adulterous affair originated from. Is that a concern to anyone? After years of unrepentant abuse from her towards me, I divorced her. Is her unrepentant abuse a concern to anyone?

    I have seen and received much criticism for divorce and a pending lawsuit, which are both true, but do not see people using their critical thinking or biblical judgement to hold accountable those who have acted abusively, started rumors, spread lies, held onto bitterness and unforgiveness which have led to these very heartbreaking outcomes.

    The church and individuals need light and accountability, but choosing to only criticize one side of an issue is a failure of The Church and one-sided reporters like Julie Roys that enflame confirmation bias.

    1. By your own admission you are disqualified from ministry. Does Rez church even use Bibles? You are a danger to the church. Your defensive posture only solidifies your selfish self centered narcissism.

      1. Sethry Connor

        Hi Todd,
        Can you elaborate on my disqualification from ministry? To answer your question, yes, we have Bibles. Can you elaborate on how I am a danger to the church? Is being offensive a problem, or is it only a problem to be defensive? Can you elaborate on and differentiate between the accusations of being selfish, self-centered, and narcissistic?

        1. You do not meet the qualifications of an elder You [..] [walk] the halls and refuse to even be courteous to people. The tattoos really don’t bother me I think it’s kind of weird but the skinny jeans on adult men that’s what’s really creepy

          1. Miranda Niedermeier

            You preach about what is of the Bible then insult someone’s way of dressing? Maybe you should read about how Jesus treated the people and rethink the way you write comments to people, Or maybe you’re only this brave because you’re behind a computer screen?

    2. sara vermillion

      “she is the point of origin that these rumors of a homosexual adulterous affair originated from. Is that a concern to anyone? After years of unrepentant abuse from her towards me, I divorced her. Is her unrepentant abuse a concern to anyone?”

      It sounds like you might be the real victim here. Yes it is a concern, but what was this so-called abuse, and what did you do to try to help your wife and marriage? Perhaps some clarification there will help others understand.

      “I have seen and received much criticism for divorce and a pending lawsuit, which are both true”

      Why have you received criticism for the lawsuit, what is your part in it? Or is this a differetn lawsuit you are referring to?

      “but do not see people using their critical thinking or biblical judgement to hold accountable those who have acted abusively, started rumors, spread lies, held onto bitterness and unforgiveness”

      What would this biblical judgement look like?

      1. Miranda Niedermeier

        So, Sethry has to explain his abuse to you to justify, what? This article? These humans owe no one any explanations, when they weren’t the one running around lying about people. I see so much support for the wife that started this, people crying out over the children, when she created this and has forced people to comment on something that should’ve been kept private. Wow, what a disappointment.

        1. Jackson Mergin

          No Miranda the article is already justified because it is reporting facts that concern a lot of people, not just those involved in the lawsuit. There are a few reasons why it would be helpful for Sethrie to explain the abuse. One he is publicly stating that his ex wife was abusive and asking whether this “unrepentant abuse” is a concern to anyone. From the sounds of his church they may have different definitions of abuse from some of us. He also says the abuse was the reason why he divorced his wife and in other comments defends being a pastor. So for any Christians the question of abuse is very relevant because he is saying it is the Bible based justification of his divorce. He also implies that we should be using our “critical thinking and biblical judgment” to hold his ex wife accountable. Well then we need to know exactly what we are holding her accountable for.

          1. Miranda Niedermeier

            All this was only said because he was forced to defend himself from the judgmental christians in this post. From what I’ve seen people were called in to decide the danger and validity of this rumor and it was decided there was no truth to it. It should have stopped there. There’s no reason a “journalist” should be reporting on something that was already handled and when the rumor’s, that grow evil in the hearts of strangers and members.
            I guess since you are all quoting the Bible. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, yeah? Unless you’re saying everyone judging and condemning here are next to God and that’s your justification. Even if Jonathan and Sethry (which is the correct spelling and really belittling for you to spell incorrectly when you’ve seen it published in the comment section) are in the wrong, unless you’re free of all sin you should not be judging. I’m seeing grown “men of God” call this human creepy, that they think his “cringy” and insulted his way of dressing. It’s really sad.

    3. Jesus values include: forgiveness, mercy and, lets not forget, not taking revenge. He talks at length on all three of these things. So let me ask you and your other “pastor” who are experts, while I am just a layman, are you practicing these things? Jesus was not impressed by those who were religious leaders who did not practice the law that they taught. So explain to me this: how are you two not merely bending over backward in order to take revenge on your ex? She dragged your name through the mud, you have said. Now you are doing the exact same thing back to her, are you not? Is this not the very definition and practice of revenge?

      As a divorced man I know the pain of having a marriage fall apart in spite of all I tried to do to keep it together. I know the pain that such a close person formerly can cause. Yet I would never get up in front of a church and tell everyone that I was suing her! I have no desire for revenge. She hurt me once upon a time. But she hurt herself more. I have no desire to see her hurt more. I hope she is better now than she was back then. Did Jesus not tell us to pray and to do good to our enemies? How is your lawsuit being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ?

      1. Good observation. We are so valiant to defend our own sneaky hearts and even publish it aren’t we. We need to learn to be crucified with Christ.,,and it’s not easy. But He gives us grace. Sinners saved by grace. That’s who we are. And we need to pray for the ones the devil speaks through. Jesus did.

    4. Sethry,

      I am a regular JR Report reader and this is the first time I’ve ever encountered the folks mentioned in the article defending themselves in the comments. I can’t judge, I probably would do the same haha!

      While I strongly disagree with the megachurch model and a lot of what I see from your church (and similar ones), I just want you to know that I’m praying for you and the other side of the lawsuit.

      Both parties are children of God, and only God knows the depths of our hearts. May justice be done, and may God’s Grace and Mercy be with you all.

    5. The article shares information that was taken directly from the text of the lawsuit and reports claims made by both sides. It clearly cites and links to sources, including the video you and Wiggins both incorrectly stated was omitted from the story. It’s not the reporter’s fault if the attorney and others declined to comment.

    1. We do not normally post full video statements. Instead, we mentioned Wiggins’ video statement, linked to the video statement, and also included content and quotes from the statement.

    2. Mason Scheffler

      Sethry, could you please enlighten us as to what your ex-wife’s confidentiality agreement looked like? Could you tell the group how this took place? You would lose everything if what was actually true and the manner by which that truth took place came to light. You and Wiggins have gaslighted and slandered your ex-wife to an entire church community. You attempted to humiliate her, but it has backfired. Your church is bleeding and everyone is leaving for good reason. Your ex-wife has not publicly slandered anyone. You, however, have labeled her as a “toxic” and “disgruntled” woman.

      1. Miranda Niedermeier

        Where did the rumor about the homosexual affair come from, have you read anything? Support the woman that caused all of this? Wow

        1. Amber Gemstone

          I read both the lawsuit and the defendants motion to dismiss linked in this article. The only time the phrase “adulterous homosexual relationship” is said is when it is written by Wiggins’ lawyers. *It is NOT a quote from the defendant Christine Connor.*

          The defamation that Christine is being accused of is her saying the phrases “there was something terrible that Wiggins and Connor wanted to do together”, “illegal things”. Why assume that she was saying her husband and Wiggins were in a sexual relationship? It sounds like she is referring to them making plans of getting high together, (and taking shrooms is in fact illegal).

          Whether they went through with getting high or not is besides the point. The defendant was disturbed by her husband’s boss/pastor texting him asking to do drugs with him without her knowledge. I believe most wives would classify that as inappropriate & concerning but that doesn’t mean she claimed they were having sex. In fact, from what I can tell from this lawsuit and motion to dismiss, Wiggins and his attorneys fail to prove that she or any of these defendants ever said that explicitly. These 6 people raised concerns about the nature of this relationship and honestly, it sounds like for good reason to me.

          And just because others in that church community were questioning if they were in a sexual relationship should that mean that these 6 people be sued for the assumptions and opinions of others? To what end? How far does that go? Are these 6 defendants forever responsible for Jonathan Wiggin’s and Sethry Connor’s reputation?

          If you haven’t yet, I recommend clicking on the links to both the lawsuit and the motion to dismiss if you want a clear picture of what this story is about.

    1. James Abbott

      Initially you told staff that the text messages sent were “doctored” or false. In your video, you claim the texts were not false, but you never actually followed through with what the texts claimed. Which is it? I think it’s possible that you don’t even know what is true.

      1. James Richards

        They realized the record of the text messages would be exposed in court, so they had to switch to a different lie.

    2. Cor. 6: “Suppose one of you wants to bring a charge against another believer. Should you take it to ungodly people to be judged? Why not take it to the Lord’s people? 2 Or don’t you know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? Since this is true, aren’t you able to judge small cases? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels? Then we should be able to judge the things of this life even more! 4 So suppose you disagree with one another in matters like this. Who do you ask to decide which of you is right? Do you ask people who live in a way the church disapproves of? Of course not! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that no one among you is wise enough to judge matters between believers? 6 Instead, one believer goes to court against another. And this happens in front of unbelievers!

      7 When you take another believer to court, you have lost the battle already. Why not be treated wrongly? Why not be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong. And you do it to your brothers and sisters. 9 Don’t you know that people who do wrong will not receive God’s kingdom? Don’t be fooled. Those who commit sexual sins will not receive the kingdom. Neither will those who worship statues of gods or commit adultery. Neither will men who sleep with other men. 10 Neither will thieves or those who always want more and more. Neither will those who are often drunk or tell lies or cheat. People who live like that will not receive God’s kingdom.”

    3. sara vermillion

      Jonathan Wiggins I see the youtube video but I do not see how it proves that anything in this article is untrue? What is untrue in this article?

  6. Colin McKay Miller

    “What’s happening at Rez.Church is apparently part of a larger pattern of issues among churches in Northern Colorado and is hitting the Christian community hard.”

    I’m about an hour south of these areas (in the Denver Metro area) and haven’t heard of this “larger pattern of issues.” What am I missing?

    1. Jonathan Wiggins

      This is referencing the quote from Reza Zadeh who represents Athletes in Action. He said this and then apologized publicly on social
      Media including my name. Julie did not acknowledge his public apology. Typical.

      1. Hi, I saw Reza’s original post, reached out to him, and drafted the portion of the story that quoted it before he posted his apology. I didn’t report it simply because I was not aware the apology existed until after this story was published. Unfortunately the Facebook account where the posts were published is no longer active.

  7. Loren Martin

    How does anybody trust a church that threatens legal action if you don’t keep your mouth shut?

    1. Exactly. What is this? Russia or China? These folks do not follow the Bible and I see no love or forgiveness here. Just an attempt at revenge. ARC is a real piece of work overall. It is neither grounded in truth or love and this is just an example of it. Without love it is nothing and without truth it is just carnal.

  8. Jeanine Nolen

    This story is heartbreaking. Without disclosing details in order to protect the living and the dead I can attest to the shame, humiliation, fear, anger, self loathing and denial that led this wife to “steal” her husband’s texts. I instinctively knew even as a young child there was something off in certain persons’ “friendships”. Maybe part of the reason we were instructed by Jesus to become as little children.
    I also know that in many cases there is not much a closeted gay man or pedophile will not do to anyone who exposes or even threatens to expose them. Slander and telling the world they are crazy and abusive are favorites.
    Even as a Christian part of me is happy so many homosexuals are out of the closet, even that they can marry now. It saves a lot of women and children unimaginable pain and grief. Whether they should be accepted by the church is an argument I refuse to have. Way above my pay grade.

    If the story is true, come out of the closet guys, fresh air and sunshine feel so very good.

    There is nothing that cannot be forgiven.
    There is no one undeserving of forgiveness.
    Desmond Tutu

  9. Cynthia Wright

    There sure are a lot of whackadoodles out there. My pastor is predictable. He tells us to pray, read history books, and be good to our families and neighbors.

  10. There are so much more to all of this… You should check out the personal shaming attack on the Superintendent of the school that shares the property with the church. ==> http://rez.church/documents You notice the same patterns in this lawsuit and what is going on with the school. He uses bullying and intimidation and twists the truth.

    1. Miranda Niedermeier

      I didn’t see any ounce of bullying but did see lots of lies, broken promises and bravado displayed by the superintendent. Maybe we are watching with different eyes.

      1. Blair Babcock

        Rez church sent out tonight a family letter outlining their demands of RCS. I believe it can be accessed here: rez.church/documents. Keep in mind this is the church side of the story (ie-Wiggins and staff). Having read the comments here from Wiggins and other staff, this letter looks to be about control. Dr. Eshleman has big plans for the school and Wiggins has put a halt to all further capital improvements. This situation is very disturbing and sad. RCS is one of the largest private schools in the Northern Colorado area and has a good reputation in the community.

        I am also disturbed by Wiggins tweet recently. It looks as if he is trying to get “dirt” on the school superintendent.
        Jonathan Wiggins
        @PastorJonathanW
        ·
        Apr 21
        @hinojosa_david
        do you remember Dr Jerry Eshleman? He was superintendent at Cornerstone Christian school in San Antonio. Message me if you are willing to talk.

        Overall, this is not conduct becoming of a minister of the Gospel.

        1. Miranda Niedermeier

          If there is a contract in place, you must follow the contract. If you aren’t a human of your word, who will trust you? Your blame towards the people enforcing a contract after years of the contract being broken shows you bias.

      2. Miranda, weren’t you the person who went on a Facebook Mom’s platform and spread the ugly rumor to all of the Moms in Northern Colorado? Everyone knew who and what you were talking about.

        1. Miranda Niedermeier

          I didn’t spread a single rumor. I in fact asked fellow Christian what to do when you hear an absolute horrible and in no way true rumor about your pastor. I never spread a single rumor, so you can take that lie somewhere else. I have screenshot proof of my post and concern. Also, it’s against the rules of that group to take what is said inside the group and spread it outside of said group, so thanks for the comment.

  11. Everyone of you passing judgement ought to be ashamed of yourselves!!!! I’m more concerned with your judgement’s than the allegations of these men! These comments are the biggest reason why people stray away from church and from God. God will take each and everyone of us in what ever form we are in, no matter the sin! The true meaning of being a Christian is loving one another and lifting Gods name above all other names!!! Let God do the judging and worry about how you can be better examples of how Christians are supposed to act. If you need to be reminded I suggest you watch The chosen series, since you have forgotten what the Bible says about judgment. I believe God is in 100% control of this situation and he is the only one that can and will sort it out!

    1. These two men have passed judgement on to hundreds of people for exactly what they are being accused of. These people didn’t receive the love of Christ but the condemnation of these two self-righteous men. They have used the pulpit to advance themselves (wonder what their salary and tax free allowances total?) not the kingdom of God. Johnathan and Sethry how many young people who came to the church desiring love and to be part of a community for who they are only received rejection. These young people showed much more courage and honesty then you two ever have in your life. I think this one will play out just like new life church in Colorado springs.

    2. I have to agree. Most of these comments in here sound more like sibling rivalry than mature Christians. It’s no wonder the church has no influence in the world, we would rather attack each other can go into spiritual warfare against that punk angel that started this!

  12. I want to lovingly remind people on this post that our words are so important & we’re responsible for what we say to, or about, people – especially the body of Christ. Until people know what is true & what isn’t, please be careful of perpetuating pain & disunity within the church body. A church at large, its congregants, & its staff are all grieving. A marriage has failed. People involved wake up every day feeling heartbroken. I urge you to use your words to speak out what we know IS true: something is happening to this whole group of people, it’s harming them, & they all need our heartfelt prayers. If you suspect any parties may be guilty, pray for softened hearts to repent. But until you know that you know, please be careful with your words. God bless you all & I’m praying over this whole situation. May the Spirit of Truth pour into this situation & the Lord’s perfect justice saturate it. May any guilty parties truly repent & let the Lord use this as a part of your testimony in the future. He is the Mender of broken things.

  13. These non-denominational… no-seminary… hipster pastors with their thousands of sheep… why hasn’t it dawned on people yet that maybe that whole model produces this ungodly craziness that puts the name of Jesus to shame for all the unchurced looking on… I mean this stuff looks like a bad soap opera put on by high schoolers…
    When will it dawn on serious followers of Jesus that maybe, just maybe going to a much smaller, less hip, ‘boring’ church that is grounded on the more solid rock of institutional, educated accountability and structure that mitigates against immature amateurs…(ie the pastor has been well trained and mentored by other elders/pastors who have gone through the same thing)
    So tired of the shambolic foolishness that mega pop christianity and its charisma-only ‘leaders’ have produced.

    1. And by training I don’t mean the little in-house ‘shops’ these megas set up in the last 5-10-15yrs… I mean training intuitions (seminary, college, university) that have stood the test of decades and decades…maybe even longer. Places where older, wiser teachers with years of pastoral or Bible study experience who can spot young bucks who seem to be getting in to it for the fame and fortune…

  14. Unfortunately, no one “WINS” in this scenario. Most of all God’s church, children and adults are affected by the chaos Rez Church leader ‘posse’ of men with matching Lion tattoos. What a tragedy and very secular. It’s disgusting that leadership with unchecked power likes to Lord over women & some men and sue them into submission (lawsuits & NDA’s). Perhaps all the paranoid behavior of leadership indicates they have something to hide. God sees it all. May judgement be swift in all this! Reminder: Everyone is replaceable in a workplace/church.

  15. This was an excellent article, Sarah Einselen! Thank you for bringing light into a difficult situation. I would have run from this church a long time ago. Folks, there are better churches out there with pastors who are knowledgeable, kind, and thoughtful.

  16. Michael Eckert

    Matthew 7:1-2. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you

    Matthew 7:20. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    We are not to judge. That is the LORD’s role. But we are instructed to be “fruit inspectors”. This is not practicing judgement to “inspect fruit”.

    The WORD is given by the LORD, and as born again Christians, we are given the HOLY SPIRIT who leads us and gives us wisdom and understanding of the WORD and insight into men’s works and behavior.

    Therefore we can recognize good or bad fruit. It is what it is. It either lines up with the LORD’s truth and it is good fruit, glorifying the LORD or it doesn’t.

    Perhaps this is an over simplification of the issue here. I was compelled by the HOLY SPIRIT to write this. So I obeyed.

    May our LORD be pleased.

    Blessings and Maranatha!

    1. I watched one service during pandemic how the pastor was going all in with the church and selling his house and renting an apartment. He encouraged everyone to give and he was leading by example.

      Pretty sure that Greeley house with the pool was not “sold” as promoted.

      Half truth or lie?

  17. Jonathan claims he couldn’t afford other treatment options. The guy is a millionaire, this guy is a joke.

  18. A charlatan (also called a swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or a similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, power, fame, or other advantages through pretense or deception. Synonyms for charlatan include shyster, quack, or faker.
    Can someone explain the Stanford artist that did a painting of Jesus in a Homosexual act in 2009 on display in Loveland Colorado & then the Rez pastor reached out to the artist to commission a G rated painting for Rez church? Seems like an orchestrated stunt….

    1. I joined Resurrection in the early 80s and was one of the first people in the church. I attended for 25 plus years and never saw any type of scandal.

      I have to say that reading this article made me feel very sad for everyone involved.

      On the other hand, I felt relief that I became an Atheist years ago and have completely removed myself from Christianity.

      PS I did not leave because there were problems within the church. I left because I found science and religion to be completely incompatible and I chose science.

      I hope, that in time, this strife can settle down and everyone involved can heal. It must be heartbreaking for everyone to be going through this. Wishing the best for both sides.

      1. Gail, thank you so much for your response. While I cannot claim to have read each and every one, I must say that out of those I did read, your response brought me the most comfort. I appreciate your honesty in explaining why you left Christianity, though I found your response to be the most Christ like. So, thank you for taking the time to write such a heartfelt response.

        To the rest, I read somewhere, if you want to find the perfect church ––empty it. I have been a member of Rez for a year now. I don’t know much about the allegations, it isn’t my story to share, so I never asked. It’s not, nor will it ever be my place to judge anyone on this earth. The only thing I am tasked to do is love God and love others. So, I wish the best for both sides as well. Regardless of what we think or how we feel, this is an opportunity to show God’s love just as Gail did and she’s admittedly a non-believer. None of us are perfect, but we can always choose to show love.

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