The national director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, the official Assemblies of God (AG) college outreach ministry, has resigned in the wake of an ongoing sex abuse scandal and alleged coverup involving sex offender Daniel Savala.
E. Scott Martin, who had been national director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries since 2014, is no longer on-staff at the AG ministry as of last week, as first reportado by The Christian Post. In a statement to El Informe Roys (TRR), an AG spokesperson said the organization does not comment “on matters relating to personnel.”
No reason was given for Martin’s resignation. However, the AG press office directed media to a declaración regarding the Savala scandal. It states in part that AG leaders are “heartbroken to hear allegations related to Daniel Savala and the pain his reported actions caused. The Assemblies of God stands in strong opposition to the teachings and practices he followed.”
The statement also references the denomination’s governing body, adding: “The General Council continues to take appropriate actions, including dismissal of ministers, in response to the investigative findings.”
The statement adds that leadership of Chi Alpha, an AG ministry which operates on 300 college campuses, had been aware of Savala’s status as a sex offender at least back to 2018. “National Chi Alpha . . . made relevant Chi Alpha leaders aware of his status and warned them to cease contact and not permit students or leaders to be around him,” it stated.
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Savala ha sido acusado of raping or sexually assaulting at least 13 men and minors connected to Chi Alpha over more than two decades.
Él era detenido in June and indicted in September, along with his former protégé Chris Hundl, for sexual abuse of two minors. Hundl, an ordained AG minister, had led Baylor University’s Chi Alpha chapter. Additional charges against Savala were added in October, alleging other child sex abuse crimes.
Several other leaders within the Chi Alpha ministry have been removed from leadership over their alleged involvement in sexual misconduct or cover-up.
Will Robinson, former Chi Alpha chapter leader at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, fue detenido last July on child sex abuse charges and will soon answer the charges in court. In May, former Chi Alpha North Texas District Director Eli Stewart fue despedido from his College Station church and Eli Gautreaux, Chi Alpha South Texas Director, was suspended from his position.
Pastor J.R. Armstrong of Mauriceville All Gospel Church in Orange, Texas, ha llamado the AG’s response to the decades-long abuse scandal “shameful.” In an August sermon, he urged several AG leaders to resign including Martin.
En un comunicado a TRR, Armstrong called Martin’s resignation a “first step from the Assemblies of God national leadership team in taking responsibility for a systematic failure.” The Texas pastor added that leaders failed “to follow up on reports of a known sexual predator operating in our campus ministries, with the cover of multiple missionaries and campus pastors that were under Martin’s supervision.”
Ron Bloomingkemper Jr., a graphic designer in the Houston area, has been among the most vocal recent whistleblowers about Savala’s conduct. In April, Bloomingkemper and a few other survivor advocates founded online forum XA & The Lions Den to expose Savala’s misdeeds and web of connections.
The whistleblower posed a question when asked about his response to Martin’s resignation. “Why was he allowed to resign?” asked Bloomingkemper. “The fact that he wasn’t terminated speaks volumes about the internal rot of this organization.”
Monica Roeger, a moderator at the forum, also noted the lack of any direct comment from Martin—and that notice came during the Thanksgiving holiday week. “I think every time I’ve seen an email announcing someone’s resignation, it has always been forced,” she said. “If the email comes from the person, then they helped make the choice.”
According to his bio, Martin had been on staff with Chi Alpha for more than 33 years. As national director, his role was to oversee and develop Chi Alpha around the U.S. and assist in planting Chi Alpha chapters around the world.
The investigation by the AG and by law enforcement continues. Texas pastor Armstrong said he prays that any leader “with direct knowledge of Danial Savala’s ongoing access to students and children would step down immediately,” he stated.
“Our credibility, ability to govern going forward—and, indeed, survive as a fellowship—depends on full accountability at the National and District levels,” said Armstrong.
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Periodista independiente Josh Shepherd escribe sobre fe, cultura y políticas públicas para varios medios outlets. He and his family live in the Washington, D.C. area.