Bruxy Cavey, Disgraced Canadian Pastor, Charged with Sexual Assault

By Yonat Shimron
Bruxy Cavey The Meeting House
Pastor Bruxy Cavey. (Source: Video screen grab)

Police in the Canadian city of Hamilton have charged the disgraced former pastor of one of the country’s largest churches with sexual assault.

Bruxy Cavey, who grew The Meeting House into a megachurch with 20 campuses across the province of Ontario, was charged with one count of sexual assault on May 31. Cavey, 57, was asked to resign from the church in March after an independent investigator found Bruxy had engaged in “sexual misconduct” for years with a member of his church who had sought counseling. (According to experts in clergy sexual abuse, any sexualized behavior that occurs within a church context where one party has more power than the other is abuse.)

Police in Hamilton confirmed the alleged victim was an adult female but did not say whether it was the same woman who came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Cavey late last year. The investigator for the church found that Cavey had committed “sexual harassment” and “abuse of power” but did not label the misconduct as sexual abuse, which the victim later challenged.

Clergy sexual abuse has run rampant through multiple Christian denominations as well as other faiths, but criminal charges against clergy have been relatively rare. Notably, last year Brian Houston, co-founder of the Hillsong megachurch and media empire, was charged in Australia with concealing alleged child abuse by his father. He stepped down while awaiting the trial.

Detective Jeremy Miller of the Hamilton Police Service said his unit applied and received a “publication ban,” which allows information about the circumstances of Cavey’s alleged crime to remain sealed.

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Miller said Cavey voluntarily came to the station to be charged and was released. He will appear before a judge at a Hamilton court on June 27.

“Generally, if a person doesn’t have a criminal record they’re released with specific conditions to stay away from the victim and witnesses,” Miller said.

Miller said the alleged assault took place in Hamilton, which is where Cavey lives, but not on church property. The church is headquartered in Oakville, a suburb of Toronto, about 20 miles north of Hamilton and under a different police force.

In the days after his resignation, the board of The Meeting House announced to church members that it had received two more allegations of sexual misconduct against Cavey.

misconduct abuse bruxy cavey Canadian megachurch
Bruxy Cavey, former lead pastor of multi-site megachurch The Meeting House in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, in a 2021 video. (Video screen grab)

In its June 6 press release, Hamilton police also said it believes “there may be more victims” and encouraged anyone with information to come forward.

In a blog post in March, Cavey acknowledged the first woman’s accusations but characterized his actions as “an extramarital affair.”

A spokesman for the church declined to address the criminal charge.

“As that matter is currently before the courts, we are not able to comment,” Meeting House spokesman Jared Taylor said. “The Meeting House has cooperated with the police and has offered our continued cooperation.”

Canada does not have a statute of limitations, or time limit, on bringing criminal charges for sexual assault, so the alleged assault may have taken place years ago.

The Canadian criminal code defines sexual assault as “any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another or sexual activity without one person’s consent or voluntary agreement.”

Police charged Cavey with Level 1 sexual assault, which involves minor physical injuries or no injuries to the victim. Canadian law around consent allows for criminal charges of sexual assault if the “accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority.”

Cavey, with his long hair and tattoos, is one of Canada’s most recognizable church leaders. He became the senior pastor of Upper Oaks Community Church in 1997, later changing its name to The Meeting House. The church grew exponentially as it sought to appeal to people alienated from Christianity and church traditions. It boasted an attendance of about 5,000 people. He is the author of a popular book, “The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus.”

The church is part of Be In Christ, an Anabaptist denomination that stripped Cavey of his ministerial credentials in March.

Yonat ShimronYonat Shimron is a national reporter and senior editor for Religion News Service.



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20 thoughts on “Bruxy Cavey, Disgraced Canadian Pastor, Charged with Sexual Assault”

  1. So he was a ‘leader’ was he? That’s where the problem started. In New Testament lingo he was a servant. Perhaps an overseer, but always a minister. Use the world’s terminology, get the world’s ethos!

    1. or a facilitator. someone to make sure the lights are turned off. the last one to leave.

      (what or who is ‘the world’? is it something scary?

      is it the riff raff who are not in the elite christian club?

      is it my atheist/agnostic and muslim hindu friends and family who have high standards of personal integrity such that they wouldn’t permit themselves to do the dishonest, manipulative, corrupt and criminal things christians are observed and reported to be doing. Nor would their integrity permit them to passively continue to affiliate with people who do such things.)

      1. Andrew Thomas

        Tom P,

        Can you honestly say you do not judge people on their appearance, when in public, to decide if they pose a threat?

        1. There is nothing in his picture that would make me think of him as a threat? Is it his long hair that makes you feel threatened?

          1. Andrew Thomas

            You did not ask about him specifically, you made a generalization “Jim, should we really go by appearances in judging people?”

            Then you deflected, reversed, and attacked by questioning if I am threatened based on a mans hair and tattoo, JMD would be proud.

            As to your question directly addressing Cavey: I do not feel threatened by his hair or tattoo, but I can look at someone and discern if I would trust them to be alone around children or women. Wolves count on the sheep to be afraid of public backlash because once they are in the light their ability to harm/achieve power is greatly reduced.

            You did not answer my question: Can you honestly say you do not judge people on their appearance, when in public, to decide if they pose a threat?

            What did you mean by the question “There is nothing in his picture that would make me think of him as a threat?” Are you unsure if he is a threat, are you asking if you are missing something in his appearance, or was the “?” a typo?

          2. Brian Patrick

            Tom Parker,

            Why are you defending this sleazy individual? You rushed to condemn Colin Bowman for making a very centrist, balanced comment… but you will defend predators so long as they are on your side of the aisle?

    1. Michele Veldman

      I agree with William….to publicly and provocatively flaunt God’s Word (even though it is the ceremonial Law, and we are in Christ) is a disgusting position to take as a teacher of the Word, a shepherd of God’s flock. Why are these pastors and so called shepherds just scamming and shearing the flock?

    2. Brian Patrick

      Have to agree with Jim Rivers and Andrew Thomas on this one. I don’t know when it became “hip” and “cool” for so-called pastors to start looking like slobs. Tom Parker, you certainly are quick to judge people on other things.

  2. William Orris

    …and he flaunts scripture tattooed into his left arm in defiance of what the quoted text said, and people believe he is a pastor, want to attend to see what other passages of scripture he deliberately disobeys. Why should we be shocked by the indulgence into disobedience sexually since disobedience to God’s word is flaunted in full view. Spiritual darkness: the inability to see or detect that all of God’s word applies to both the lay person and to the ministerial association. I feel sorry for him but more so for those who thought he was living in subjection to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

  3. Arthur Fhardy

    Per William Orris:

    Leviticus 19:28

    28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. -NIV

    I guess he had that tattooed “ironically”, as some of these “cool pastors” do.

    I attended the Meeting House years ago while working through a Church History class hosted by them. I worshiped in a service where he preached. Of all the church corruption stories covered by this outlet, this one hits closer to home since my church affiliation has ties to the Be In Christ, albeit south of the Canda-US border.

    I hope he stops and repents. As we all need to do. Christ have mercy.

  4. As William Orris notes, signal #1 that things were amiss is that tattoo on the inside of his left forearm. There is a very real place for discussion about whether the Levitical prohibition of cuttings and tattoos applies in the NT era (I’d argue it doesn’t, but that’s a side note), but what he’s doing with that tat is (IMO) mocking the Mosaic Law. Um, if he mocks Moses, don’t ya think there are good odds he’ll deal with other law poorly as well? I think so.

    1. William Orris

      Here’s another aspect of things that we should consider as we take a stand against the real enemy of our souls. How do we not know if the person who did the tattooing ever dabbled in the occult, ever got involved with a medium or palm reader or even worshiped Satan himself. Do we think about the risk of opening ourselves to the powers of darkness out of ignorance as if they didn’t exist?
      One millennial pastor once commented to me that he wanted to get an ink job so that he could better relate to those who he wished to minister to. I bit my tongue but thought; “Well then, why not get drunk on Thursday night so you can better relate to those who you want to minister to? All of us, myself included can so easily justify whatever we want to do and expect that since we know the name Jesus that He puts His stamp of approval on everything we think and do. My journey into scripture and to the Cross has confirmed that nothing short of full surrender of my body and life to Him is what He wants. My body, His temple; that is the problem with the tattoo.

      1. Hey William. What’s worse a tattoo on a godly man who cherishes his wife and protects his children and works hard to have a godly family or a non tattooed man who molests children and cheats on his wife and uses the tithes to live a life of excess and claims the title of pastor or as a member of the SBC or the evangelical industrial complex. Im waiting!

        1. William Orris

          Gary, I observe the term “godly”…..he cherishes his wife… he protects his children…. he works hard to have a godly family. Godly.
          Right there is the breakdown in the dilemma you set forth. Godly. A godly person would want to be obedient to all of God’s word, not just being a good guy, having externalities in order and neglecting the internal attitudes of I’m in charge here, A godly man is obedient to God, to all of God’s word.

          “What’s worse?” What’s worse is for someone to think they can present a situation to God of such complexity so as to have Him in a check mate condition on the board of life.

          I am under no delusion that I’m going to convince you of anything. That being said, this is my final response. Blessings on you in your quest for understanding.

  5. Rabindranath Ramcharan

    At some point, each of us will have to decide whether we’re looking at a) a media artifact that calls attention to reports of sexual misconduct in the ministry and exaggerates the frequency and importance or b) more than just a few bad apples in a few pulpits.

    1. Sample size is important to keep things in perspective. The U.S. has around 1500 megachurches (2000+ attenders). If you include all churches, you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of pastors.

    2. Loraine Nitschke

      Actually, I think that there is no way that frequency can be exaggerated. Even just one person committing any of these crimes in the church is one too many. It is a disgrace that the secular world “gets it” more than some churches do. We should be at the forefront, leading the fight against these abusers, not being seen as lagging behind, offering excuses and protection for people who are nothing more than criminals!

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