A Colorado megachurch recently fired former Vertical Worship band member and songwriter Andi Rozier over an alleged extramarital relationship—the second time he’s reportedly been let go for moral reasons.
Rozier was “immediately terminated after we learned of his relationship with a woman from another city,” said Brian Newberg, executive pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Rozier had worked at New Life for a little over a year and was part of the megachurch’s band, New Life Worship. Prior to that, Rozier was a longtime worship pastor at Chicago’s Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago area and part of its worship band, Vertical Worship.
Newberg told The Roys Report (TRR) that staffers were informed of Rozier’s termination last week and congregants learned the news last weekend.
“We are walking alongside his wife and children to help them heal,” Newberg added.
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TRR tried to reach Rozier for comment for this story but did not hear back.
Rozier was a worship pastor for nearly 20 years at Harvest Bible Chapel, where James MacDonald pastored for more than three decades. In Rozier’s early years at Harvest, the church removed him from ministry for moral reasons, MacDonald stated in response to an inquiry from TRR.
Rozier was later reinstated and went on to become a key leader with Vertical Worship and was featured on several Vertical worship albums.
In 2021, New Life Church hired Rozier as the director of 24/7 Prayer and worship pastor for New Life’s East campus. While with New Life Worship, Rozier was credited with helping write “How Good Is He,” on the band’s 2022 EP “Over It All.”
Rozier also is a regular at conferences for worship leaders. As of Friday, Rozier was listed as a presenter and panelist at next month’s Overflow Conference in greater Detroit.
But Rozier has apparently pulled out of the ReFuel Conference this weekend. He was listed among the conference speakers as recently as January 6, but is missing from more recent social media posts and appears nowhere on the conference website. ReFuel organizers did not respond to an inquiry from TRR about Rozier’s status.
Sources: Rozier previously let go for moral reasons
Rozier joined Harvest’s staff in July 2001 after having been a touring worship leader in the United Kingdom.
MacDonald, who was Harvest’s lead pastor from 1998 until he was fired in 2019, told TRR in a statement that Harvest removed Rozier from ministry for moral reasons early in the 2000s. Rozier was single and a worship intern at the time, MacDonald stated.
Rozier ended the allegedly immoral relationship and moved back to the U.K. for almost two years, according to MacDonald.
Harvest’s elders later agreed to bring Rozier back to the church’s production setup staff, according to MacDonald. Leaders eventually invited Rozier to return to public-facing ministry after he finished “extensive counseling/discipleship” and got engaged, MacDonald stated.
Rozier “confessed to the entire Harvest family his story of failure and gradual, Elder supported restoration to ministry,” MacDonald’s statement read.
Another former Harvest worship leader recalls it differently.
Josh Caterer was hired at Harvest the same year as Rozier and worked there until 2011. He told TRR that he recalled Rozier was subjected to church discipline around 2002 over an alleged inappropriate relationship.
“It was discovered he had been in a sexual relationship with a young woman” at Harvest, Caterer said. Rozier was initially disciplined but remained on staff, Caterer recalled.
But after Harvest leadership told Rozier to end the relationship, they “discovered that he had been continuing to meet with this young woman and hiding it,” Caterer said. At that point, Caterer continued, Rozier was “let go.”
Less than a year later, Harvest brought Rozier back and allowed him to lead part of a worship service, Caterer said.
“It was a bit shocking to us,” Caterer added.
Caterer said he couldn’t recall “much of an explanation to the congregation” when Rozier left. And when Rozier was brought back, Caterer said leaders did not disclose what had happened “other than some vague stuff about him going through a trial in his life and having to work it out.”
Other controversies linked to Harvest worship team
Rozier also became part of controversy four years ago, when another former Harvest worship leader, Anne Green, said Rozier witnessed James MacDonald sexually assault her on a private jet in 2005.
Rozier, who was on staff at Harvest at the time, denied any knowledge of Green’s alleged assault in a statement to TRR.
After Harvest fired MacDonald in 2019 over conduct “harmful” to the church, some former Harvest worship leaders also questioned whether Vertical Worship’s leaders under MacDonald were fit to lead elsewhere. They described Harvest’s culture as “toxic,” valuing “loyalty above righteousness.”
Another former Harvest leader, Eddie Hoagland, went from Harvest to New Life shortly before Rozier did.
Hoagland was a teaching pastor and lead creative director at Harvest Bible Chapel from 2010 until February 2021, according to his social media profile. He became a senior executive pastor at New Life in March 2021.
New Life Church has had its own share of controversy.
Ted Haggard, a former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, founded New Life in 1984. He resigned in 2006 amid scandal over alleged drug use and illicit relations with a male escort and bodybuilder.
Senior Pastor Brady Boyd, a former associate pastor at Robert Morris’s Gateway Church in the Dallas area, took over leadership in 2007.
Also in 2007, New Life reportedly pledged to pay for tuition and counseling for a man who said Haggard had sexually abused him, as long as the man did not speak publicly about the allegation. Boyd denied the settlement was “hush money” after the man went public in 2009.
Haggard faced additional accusations last year of using drugs and behaving inappropriately with young men at another Colorado Springs church he founded in 2010.
Editor’s note: Josh Caterer was a paid worship leader for the 2019 and 2022 Restore Conferences hosted by The Roys Report.
Correction 1-22-23: A previous version of this article misstated when Rozier was listed as a Dwell Conference speaker and panelist. He participated in last year’s conference; this year’s lineup has not been announced. We regret the error.
Julie Roys contributed to this article.
Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.
17 thoughts on “Colorado Megachurch Fires Former Vertical Worship Leader Over Infidelity”
The terminology of “Worship Pastor” and “Worship Leader” weirdly exaggerates and spotlights music performers, in my opinion. If every man on a church’s staff is a “Pastor” of some kind, is anyone actually “pastoring,” like, personally involved with and caring for the congregants?
My church has a Music Director.
Well said Cynthia! I have wondered about that particular topic myself. I was always under the impression that the title of pastor was reserved for those who lead from the pulpit. Seems like pastor has become a rather generic term and can be applied to anybody that has something to do with church ministry whether they preach or not or whatever it may be. Confusing! Oh well back to the drawing board or should I say back to biblical models of governess in ministry. Maybe we won’t see it in our lifetime but there is always hope (maybe)!
I thought “pastor” was a person who cares for sheep, literally or metaphorically. From what I read, plenty of leaders in pulpits never associate, personally, with the congregants.
I think that the role of biblical pastor must include actual discipleship. Not all teachers are pastors, regardless of their seniority in the church org chart.
John, maybe you’re right. But anyway, this post is not about the title of pastor. It’s about an individual who continues to commit the same error of his ways. I was a member of Harvest Bible when Andi got in trouble the first time. As I remember he was sent back home, I believe it was to England, for a time of repentance and reflection after which, he was allowed to return to his ministry post. The strange thing about it was is, that the woman he was involved with was not contacted or invited back into fellowship. Honestly I can’t remember all the particulars but I do remember that the woman was completely discounted while Andi was welcome back with open arms. Questions were being asked about this at the time but no answers were being given. Another Harvest Bible mish-mash!
Yet again? These people should be stricken off the list for Church leaders — no matter what title they have — and never be employed again, ever!
1 Corinthians 5:
11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.
12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside?
13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.—NET
this is an interesting take away from this article. I don’t think a different title would have saved any of these men from being utterly disqualified from ministry- they have a culture of platforming personality and ignoring sin, that would be true whether they were called pastor or director.
as a side note, the worship pastor at my job does an incredible job of shepherding the various people in the worship and AV world. He also shepherds the church in worship. I would suggest if “worship pastors” aren’t pastoring, the problem isn’t with the role but with the person.
We also have 5 pastors, and each of the pastors and shepherds uniquely in their roles.
Thanks for the reply. Those are good points.
I just can’t. Is anyone surprised to hear this about Andi? Seriously, was there anyone at HBC who had discernment? Is there anyone there now who does? FWIW, there is so much more that happened there and was covered up. I can only hope and pray that the Lord’s will be done regarding that.
The hypocrisy here is what bothers me. The ministry position as I heard and saw it practiced at a HBC (and I would not be surprised if it still the case in many ongoing HBC churches) is that no one caught/confessing sexual sin will ever return to worship ministry. Now it sounds like that is a good protective policy to the flesh. But it counters God’s ability to restore. So hey if you want to run church by that extreme man-made policy, then live by it and suffer the consequences of not having the perceived best of worship!
On the other end of the spectrum, there appears to be a pattern of men in these positions who sit out for a few months and then get a few guys in their good ol’ boy network to sign off on supposed change and repentance and they are right back in ministry. Yes, God can restore, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for destructive behaviors. Repentance and change doesn’t mean that this person is free from the consequences, including no longer being allowed to engage in public ministry.
Definitely. But when church leadership takes biblical principles and extends them to particular scenarios, they practice Pharisee ministry. My main point was if a church is going to make particular rule, then you can’t be a hypocrite and break your own man-made rule NOT that restoration means a quick process or one without high verification of repentance. Saying the consequence is the possibility of not returning is quite different than saying you will never return.
Jesus can restore him. Then he gets a secular job at a marketing firm and is discipled by men in his church with self control. No position for him. He has shown he cant handle it. But he should be a growing disciple.
Yes it is a sin but why isn’t there anyone there helping lift him up and doing life with him and encouraging him as well. This is one reason why people leave the church bc they are passing judgement for sin which we all do ( not condoning it), but he needs grace and forgiveness as well. Help a brother out to do better.
“… why isn’t there anyone there helping lift him up and doing life with him and encouraging him as well …”
Maybe there is.
it seems like the church would be safer if this guy left it. why do churches keep platforming people who clearly cannot handle the power that comes with being on stage? I’m all for restoration to community if there is repentance, but abuse of positions means that person should never hold authority again- regardless of their “talent”.
Completely agree and there might have been. We don’t do enough of that. Restoration, repentance, and accountability are best done with the people you know in the context of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor 12). But in practice there is a double edged sword. The professionalizing of the ministry and this superstar statusing gives pastors the idea that they can just move on and that sure is easier for them to start new with that congregation only getting one side of the story. Plus there is embarrassment esp with family involved. On the other side, congregations and/or elders want to either keep status quo by protecting the pastor at all costs (ok they might get some counseling without removal from office) or quickly do PR by letting them go. I know of one event like this happening due to pressure by the bank they had their facility loan with.
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