EXCLUSIVE: John MacArthur Covered Up Pastor’s Sexual Abuse, Witnesses Say

By Julie Roys
paul guay john macarthur

Warning: This report contains graphic accusations of sexual abuse.

In August 1979, Wendy Guay told her best friend that her father, Paul Guay—then a pastor at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church—was regularly molesting her.

Her friend, Lisa (Tucker) Ward, told The Roys Report (TRR) that when she’d sleep over at Wendy’s house, Wendy would insist that they both go to bed fully clothed. Sometimes, Paul Guay would come in Wendy’s room in the middle of the night and would “hover over us,” Ward said.

But one night, the girls woke up and Guay was rubbing their backs. “Wendy woke up, freaked out, and grabbed me,” Ward said.

Soon afterward, Wendy divulged her secret to Ward. They then told Ward’s dad, John Tucker, a former missionary and then-member of Grace Community Church (GCC), about the abuse.

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This began a process that led Paul Guay to confess his abuse directly to John MacArthur weeks later, according to Tucker, an alleged eyewitness to the confession. Yet, Guay continued to pastor at GCC for three more years. And later, after being removed from GCC for sexual misconduct with a secretary, Guay went on to pastor other churches for 30 years.

In 2003, Wendy, who now has a different last name, discovered her father had more victims and reached out to MacArthur for help. But to her shock, MacArthur denied knowing anything about her father’s abuse, and in emails obtained by TRR, reproved Wendy for her “obsession” with the decades-old matter.

Wendy, who had struggled since the abuse with an eating disorder and addiction to pain medication, spiraled further into self-destructive behaviors. Meanwhile, her father continued pastoring at Grace Brethren Church in Mabton, Washington. And MacArthur gained a reputation as “the world’s premier expository preacher.”

Guay’s confession to MacArthur

Tucker said when his daughter and Wendy first told him of Guay’s abuse, he immediately urged Wendy to call her mother, which she did.

Wendy, who recently spoke with TRR, said she was 16 years old at the time and living with her father and stepmother, Jane Guay, in California. However, her mother, Marlou Fronapel, lived in Oregon.

Fronapel told TRR that when she got Wendy’s call, she quickly arranged for Wendy to fly home. Fronapel then called GCC, asking to speak with MacArthur, but MacArthur wouldn’t take her call.

Fronapel said she then reached out to Tucker and her brother-in-law, Gary Davis, pastor of West Covina Church of Christ in West Covina, California.

According to Fronapel, Davis spoke to someone he knew in leadership at GCC about Paul Guay’s abuse of Wendy, but the church took no action. TRR contacted Davis about what transpired, but Davis declined to speak on the record.

However, John Tucker told TRR in an interview that after receiving Fronapel’s call, he went to Paul Guay’s house and confronted Guay about the abuse. In a 2003 written statement, Tucker wrote that Guay admitted to “sexual acts” with Wendy, telling Tucker “I know I touched her.”

paul guay john macarthur
Paul Guay poses outside John MacArthur’s ministry Word of Grace in the late 1970’s, prior to it being renamed Grace To You (Courtesy Photo)

Tucker said Guay then called Pastor MacArthur and asked if the three men could meet in MacArthur’s office and MacArthur agreed.

Tucker wrote that at the meeting with MacArthur, “Paul agreed to my charges and confessed to MacArthur of repeated sexual acts involving Wendy at nighttime during normal sleeping hours.”

Tucker said MacArthur did not mention reporting Paul Guay to police. Instead, MacArthur said he would assume “the Biblical responsibility for counseling, discipline, etc,” Tucker wrote. Given MacArthur’s position as pastor of GCC, Tucker said he trusted MacArthur to handle the situation appropriately—a decision he said he now deeply regrets.

Wendy said her father called her the same afternoon that he met with MacArthur and told her that he had confessed the abuse.

On August 29, 1979, MacArthur handwrote a letter to Wendy, which Wendy shared with TRR. (TRR sent a copy of the letter to MacArthur and the pastor on call at GCC for comment, but no one responded.)

“I am so sorry about all the problems you have been through, but I believe the Lord is working in very special ways,” MacArthur wrote. “Your dad is really sad about it all and we have met and talked at length about the situation.”

MacArthur added that Wendy’s father was “a wonderful Christian” and wrote: “He has been a faithful part of our staff and will continue to be in the future.”

MacArthur then encouraged Wendy to forgive her father. “I’m glad for your love toward Christ that gives you a forgiving heart toward others,” MacArthur wrote. “I know the Lord will be glorified as we work together w/ your dad to see him be all that God wants him to be.”

TRR reached out repeatedly to John MacArthur and GCC for comment about MacArthur’s handling of Paul Guay’s abuse, but no one responded.

guay macarthur letter
Letter from John MacArthur to Wendy Guay – August 29, 1979

Guay stayed at GCC until 1982, when he was reportedly caught hugging and kissing a secretary and fired.

According to his sons, Dan Guay and James Guay who both spoke with TRR, Paul Guay then went on to pastor First Baptist Church of Reseda, California (now The Bridge Bible Fellowship)—a church just eight miles from GCC.

After that, Paul Guay worked as a pastor at Placerita Bible Church—a church less than a block away from GCC’s partner school, The Master’s University, said Dan and James Guay.

TRR reached out to The Bridge for confirmation that Guay had worked there in the 1980s, but no one at the church was familiar with Paul Guay.

However, Terry McClain, an office manager at Placerita Bible who’s researched the history of the church, confirmed that Guay served in leadership at Placerita, but wasn’t sure of the years or Guay’s position.

In 1997, Paul Guay became pastor of Grace Brethren Church (GBC) in Mabton, Washington, where he served for 15 years, retiring just months before his death from cancer in November 2012.

Abuse, confusion, and betrayal

According to Wendy, her father began abusing her in 1977, when she moved from her mother’s house in Oregon to live in California with her father and stepmother, hoping for a “Brady Bunch life.”

Wendy said her father would come into her bedroom at night several times a week. Sometimes, she would wake up with her shirt over her head and her dad would be staring at her. Other times, she remembers her father rubbing her back under her shirt and working his way to her nipples. At least once, she says, her father exposed himself to her.

“I remember crying many nights pleading with Jesus to not let him in,” Wendy wrote in a 1977 diary entry she shared with TRR. In another entry from 1978, she wrote, “He just groped and made me feel dirty.”

When confronted, her father would claim he was sleepwalking, Wendy said. Wendy’s stepmother believed her father, Wendy said, and began placing a chair in front of the couple’s bedroom door to prevent the nighttime visits.

Wendy’s brothers, Dan Guay and James Guay, confirmed Wendy’s account, saying they remember hearing about the chair to prevent the visits. James Guay added that their father never “sleepwalked” into either his or Dan’s rooms. (TRR did not try to interview Jane Guay because family members said she suffers from dementia.)

paul guay macarthur grace church
In 1979, Paul Guay baptized his son James Guay, age 8, at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California (Photo Courtesy of James Guay)

“I knew that what he was doing didn’t feel right,” Wendy recalled. “But I also knew that he was a ‘godly’ man. . . . He taught ‘Home Builders’ with his family at Grace (Community Church). And so . . . I just couldn’t reconcile the two.”

Wendy said she finally told her friend about the abuse when the pressure inside became too great. But the process was excruciating.

Wendy’s journal entries, which were excerpted and compiled in 2003 by a family member, reveal Wendy’s trauma. (Wendy said she destroyed the original diary several years ago out of a desire to move on. But Wendy and her siblings confirmed the authenticity of the document with excerpts shared with TRR.)

In a journal entry on August 15, 1979, Wendy wrote, “I’m staying in Oregon for good. I’m really hurt cause I wrote my dad an eight page letter with all of my feelings in it and he got upset and called it ‘garbage’!”

She also wrote in an August 25, 1979, diary entry, “It’s hard to believe Mr. Tucker and Uncle Gary are going to talk to my dad about stuff. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.”

But after her father called and told her about confessing the abuse to MacArthur, Wendy expressed optimism.

In a journal entry on August 30, 1979, she wrote, “Everything has worked out with my dad! He and John MacArthur are gonna work something out!”

Wendy told TRR she believed MacArthur was going to get her father professional counseling to deal with his perversion.

Lisa Ward, who said she spent most of August 1979 with Wendy at her mom’s house in Oregon, said she was also under the impression that GCC was going to get counseling for Wendy.

But according to Ward and Wendy, GCC failed to get counseling for both Wendy and her dad. And in the years after 1979, Wendy’s mental health plummeted.

In 1988, Ward said she visited Wendy, and was distraught to learn her friend was struggling profoundly with self-destructive behaviors. Ward added that Wendy, who was then married with kids, was still in relationship with her father and even allowed him to visit overnight in her home.

Ward said she then wrote MacArthur a letter, asking him why GCC did nothing about Paul Guay’s abuse and never arranged counseling for Paul and Wendy.

Ward said she never received a response from MacArthur.

“Dark Ages”

For decades, Wendy said she naïvely believed she was her father’s only victim. But in 2003, her Aunt Donna, Paul Guay’s sister, made a stunning disclosure to Wendy—that both Donna and Wendy’s cousin, Pam, had been sexually assaulted by Guay.

Pam, whose last name TRR is withholding for privacy’s sake, confirmed to TRR that Paul Guay forced her to give him oral sex in 1964, when she was just 7 years old. Pam said Guay also tried to get her to participate in sex acts several other times, but she refused.

Pam added that during a short time that she lived with Paul and Jane Guay, Paul would come in her room at night and rub her back and become aroused. Pam said she would make “enough noise” and then Paul would leave.

Donna, whose last name TRR is also withholding, told TRR that in 1963, Paul Guay climbed on top of her when she was asleep and tried to have intercourse with her. Donna said she angrily shoved him off and he relented.

Fronapel also told TRR stories about Guay from her four-year marriage to him, revealing a pattern of predatory behavior.

She said in 1960, when Guay was attending Pacific Christian College in Fullerton, California, the administration reprimanded Guay for “flirtatiously” pursuing a freshman coed. She added that Guay got in trouble for pursuing high school girls at two churches the couple attended. She said one of the churches asked Guay to leave.

In 1964, Guay got his second wife, Jane Guay—then a teenager in a youth group he led—pregnant, Fronapel said. Guay then divorced Fronapel “illegally” in Las Vegas and married Jane, Fronapel said. (Guay and Fronapel legally divorced in California in 1966.)

Wendy said the revelations in 2003 that her father had abused Pam and Donna ushered in what she called “the Dark Ages”—a time that was even “more traumatic” than Wendy’s original abuse.

guay macarthur
Paul Guay (Courtesy of Guay Family)

Wendy said she was terrified her father might abuse again, especially given his access to children as a pastor. So, Wendy told her siblings about the additional accounts of abuse. Wendy’s brother Dan also learned about Wendy’s abuse for the first time. (Her other siblings had known about the abuse for many years.)

The family then decided they would confront Paul Guay in front of his elders at Grace Brethren Church.

Wendy also emailed John MacArthur through his secretary, Pat Rotisky, telling him about the additional victims and asking for help.

In an email on February 17, 2003, Wendy wrote MacArthur about her father’s ongoing pattern of minimizing and lying about his abuse. She also told MacArthur of the family’s plan to confront her father in front of his elders. And she invited MacArthur to attend the confrontation “if the Lord puts that on your heart,” or to “send a letter for us to take with us, either to Paul or to the elders.”

The next day, Rotisky emailed Wendy back, stating, “Unfortunately, John is unable to shed any further light on the issue . . .”

Wendy responded to Rotisky with questions for MacArthur, but said she assumed MacArthur likely would not speak to her “because of unforeseen liability.” In the email, Wendy asked why Paul Guay wasn’t fired or “forced to get help” when he confessed the abuse to MacArthur in 1979. Wendy also asked whether Grace Brethren had asked MacArthur for a recommendation when the church had hired her father.

Rotisky responded on February 19, 2003, that MacArthur is not concerned about “unforeseen liability,” but “has nothing more to add.”

“Paul never confessed anything to John or to our elders at that time about any kind of molestation,” Rostisky wrote. She said Paul Guay instead was fired for his “affections for one of the secretaries.”

TRR tried to contact Rotisky for comment but was told she no longer works for GCC, and we were unable to reach her.

Wendy said she was shocked by MacArthur’s denial and sent an email to MacArthur the next day.

“John, are you saying that prior to me writing you for the past few weeks, you had NO prior knowledge of my father molesting me?” Wendy wrote. “My entire adult life I have believed, (and was told), that upon confrontation, BY YOU, my Dad broke down in tears and confessed that he had indeed molested me. He said that he was in your office. Now you are saying that what I have always thought to be true is not true? Can you even begin to imagine how that makes me feel?”

Wendy then conveyed what she had been told about John Tucker’s and Gary Davis’s involvement in the matter, though she admitted she needed to verify the details. She then urged MacArthur to talk to Tucker and Davis himself, so they could help him “reconstruct the series of events.”

Instead, Wendy told TRR that MacArthur called her father.

Three weeks later, on April 12, 2003, Wendy sent another email to Rotisky, threatening to contact the Los Angeles Times “to force John to pay attention . . . and to make sure that Grace has steps in place to prevent this from happening again.”

Wendy also complained about MacArthur’s choice to call her father.

“By choosing to call my Dad, the perpetrator . . . to help him (John) remember what it was that my Dad told him that day in his office, was not a wise decision. . . . My Dad lied to me for 25 years . . . what would lead John to believe that Paul would even KNOW the truth now?”

Soon afterward, MacArthur called Wendy, which MacArthur mentions in an April 18, 2003, email to Wendy. (TRR sent MacArthur a copy of the April 18, 2003, email, requesting comment, but MacArthur did not reply.)

John MacArthur shaming
John MacArthur (Video screengrab)

On the call, Wendy said MacArthur sounded mad and frustrated, and asked her why she was “hanging on to this after all these years?”

When Wendy mentioned the additional victims and her fear that her father might abuse again, she said MacArthur lamented hiring Guay because he had been divorced. Wendy said MacArthur refused to address Paul Guay’s confessed abuse, but instead talked about how Guay was fired for hugging and kissing a secretary.

Then, in his April 18, 2003, email to Wendy, MacArthur insisted that GCC had a “zero tolerance standard” for moral offenses by staff and claimed Paul Guay never confessed any abuse to him.

“I had no knowledge of molesting as you claim,” MacArthur wrote. “When there was some accusation against him, he told me it was his bitter first wife and the only thing he ever did was rub his daughter’s back while she was going to bed—something any loving father might do . . . Since the accusations were only second-hand and hearsay to me, and Paul was a trusted person, there was nothing to do but accept his word.”

MacArthur added, “I recently spoke with (Paul Guay) by phone to ask if my recollection was accurate. He said it was.”

MacArthur concluded, “I’m not sure why all this has become an obsession for you after so many years, but neither myself nor anyone at Grace can do anything more than encourage you that we conducted ourselves with biblical integrity . . .”

Wendy said the response by MacArthur, whom she had placed on the “high, high, highest pedestal,” devastated her and sent her into an emotional tailspin.

It also profoundly impacted members of her family.

Wendy’s older sister, LaDawn Fronapel, told TRR that she grew up listening to MacArthur’s preaching, which had a “huge impact on my Christian development, on my spiritual walk.”

“For him to not do anything about this . . . it rocked (my faith),” Fronapel said. “If he had responded in love and compassion and with a goal to heal and understand, what a huge, huge difference that would have made in our healing and in our spiritual lives, as well.”

Wendy’s brother, James Guay, called MacArthur’s response “the ultimate betrayal of trust.”

“Not only did he blame the victim and pathologize the means of value of the victim’s mother for being a disgruntled ex-wife,” James said, “but he after the fact acted like he didn’t know what actually occurred. And then he used language that she was being obsessive because it wasn’t fully resolved. . . . It was grossly un-empathic and very targeted and dismissive.”

Wendy’s mother, Marlou Fronapel, said MacArthur’s response in 2003 was deeply disappointing, but the damage had been done decades earlier when MacArthur refused to talk to her or take the accusations seriously.

“I can honestly say that my life changed right then,” Fronapel said. “It deeply, deeply affected me that a church would do that—that they would not believe a young girl, that this had happened to her, and they would not believe me. And it affected my esteem. It affected who I could trust.”

Intervention fails

In what several Guay family members describe as one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives, they confronted their father about his abuse on March 1, 2003. The “intervention” occurred in-person at the Mabton, Washington, home of an elder at Grace Brethren Church (GBC) and included several GBC elders, Paul Guay, and numerous Guay family members, including all of Paul’s children.

Pam, who wasn’t able to attend, sent a letter to the elders documenting Paul Guay’s abuse of her.

John Tucker also sent the elders a statement concerning Paul Guay’s 1979 confession to John MacArthur. And Marlou Fronapel sent a letter recounting Paul Guay’s predatory behavior during their marriage. According to James Guay, when the elders heard the in-person and written accounts of abuse, their faces reflected “shock and horror and disgust. It was a real mirror of the gravity of what we were sharing with them.”

James said his father admitted the sexual abuse of Pam and Wendy, which several other family members confirmed. “But there were also a lot of things that he was saying to try and save face and to minimize the impact,” James said. “You know . . . blaming it on Satan and an altered state of consciousness.”

Donna told TRR that Paul denied her account of assault at the intervention. However, she said Paul later met with her and admitted the incident had occurred, but blamed it on Donna, falsely alleging that she was open to having sex with him.

At the end of the intervention, the elders said they would weigh the allegations and get back to the family about consequences, James Guay said.

grace brethren church guay
Grace Brethren Church in Mabton, Washington (Courtesy Photo)

On March 13, 2003, GBC Elder Board Chairman Ron Juris sent a letter to the family, announcing that Paul would stay in his position as pastor.

“The scriptures are pretty plain as they describe the character of an elder . . .” Juris wrote. “The challenge for us is to decide how these principles are to be applied.”

Juris then noted that the apostle Paul had been a “blasphemer and a persecutor.”

“The over arching (sic) message that is seen over and over in the scriptures is God’s amazing love for us even when we fall,” Juris wrote. He added, “Through this whole ordeal we have witnessed a man who is broken over the sin . . . We also have witnessed a man who is not what he used to be. . . .

“Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the Elder Board of Mabton GBC that we will not accept his resignation but will retain Paul Guay as a Pastor . . .”

However, Juris added that “to ensure a full healing of Paul and his entire family,” the church would get counseling for Paul Guay until a counselor determines it is “no longer necessary.”

Juris also shared GBC’s “accountability/safety precautions,” which included leaders avoiding being alone with small children “not their own,” as well as youth or adult members of the opposite sex.

TRR reached out to GBC and Juris, who’s still an elder at the church, for comment, but no one responded.

paul guay grace macarthur
In an article published by Grace Community Church on April 21, 2012, Paul Guay (left) of Mabton Grace Brethren Church is shown praying for a young adult woman. (Photo via GCC)

Dan Guay told TRR he was shocked by the elders’ decision. “It was hurt, like, ‘Oh, here we go again. He’s getting away with it again,’” Dan said.

James Guay said his father went to eight to 10 sessions with a counselor and wrote apologies to his victims, which minimized the abuse, misinterpreted Bible verses, and created more pain.

After the ordeal, James said the family felt it had done all it could do to hold Paul Guay accountable. (In 2003, all the crimes reported by Guay family members were outside California’s statute of limitations and not prosecutable.)

“In some ways, we transferred our responsibility onto (GBC),” James said. “But it didn’t feel like great resolution by any means. I think we were all pummeled and exhausted and traumatized. I think at a certain point, we were like, ‘Okay, I don’t think we have any more together to invest in this.’”

However, in 2008, after visiting with Wendy again and seeing how much she was still suffering, Lisa Ward said she sent another letter to MacArthur.

She said Pat Rotisky reponded on MacArthur’s behalf, claiming the church didn’t know who Ward was and telling her not to contact MacArthur again about the matter.

For 14 years, neither Ward nor Wendy did.

And in 2009, Wendy said she made a major turn for the better. Wendy now works as a mental health and addictions counselor and is an active member of a church in Molalla, Oregon.

However, last month, Wendy read TRR’s articles documenting how MacArthur shamed and excommunicated Eileen Gray for refusing to take back her child-abusing husband and even supported Gray’s husband after his abuse and molestation convictions.

Wendy said that similar to how she naïvely assumed her father had not sexually molested anyone else, she also assumed MacArthur had not covered for other pedophiles like her father. Wendy said she now believes covering for abusers is a pattern with MacArthur that needs to be confronted.

“It’s not okay to believe the perpetrator,” Wendy said. “I just don’t want other people to be damaged by Grace Church or other churches not handling things in an appropriate manner.”

Email from John MacArthur to Wendy Guay – April 18, 2003

Letter-John-MacArthur-To-Wendy-Guay-041803

 

Letter from John Tucker to Elder Board of Mabton Grace Brethren Church – March 2003

JohnTuckerLetterToGBC-2003_Redacted

 

Letter from Elder Board of Mabton Grace Brethren Church to Guay Family Members – March 13, 2003

Mabton-Grace-BrethrenChurch-To-Paul-Family-Members-031303

 

Timeline of Paul Guay’s Abuse

Paul Guay Timeline Final
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190 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: John MacArthur Covered Up Pastor’s Sexual Abuse, Witnesses Say”

  1. It would appear that MacArthur is the Joe Paterno of the Evangelical world. Prayers of healing for all the victims who were left unprotected and further abused under the oversight of MacArthur and his church leaders.

  2. John might be a good preacher but he is showing himself to be a lousy human.
    Too bad so many people are confused as to which one really matters.

    1. Not so. If a pastor is biblically qualified to be a pastor he will be a decent human being. He’s sanctified,remember? A pastor is only as good as his willingness and integrity to practice what he preaches.

  3. Sounds like people need to be reading a lot of books. Also, needs to go through to learn:
    https://www.braveheartsuniversity.com/ :

    Porn Nation: Conquering America’s #1 Addiction by Michael Leahy

    Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal by: Barbara Steffens,PhD, LPCC and Marsha Means,MA

    The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, And Body In The Healing Of Trauma by: Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

    In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by: Peter A. Levine, PhD.

    Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal by: Dr. Sheri Keffer

    Why He Does That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by: Lundy Bancroft

    The Verbally Abusive Relationship – Expanded Third Edition – How to Recognize It and How to Respond by: Patricia Evans

    Be part of the SOLUTION. NOT part of the PROBLEM.

  4. Julie Roys is a thorough and objective journalist. One area she may never be able to link together with certainty, are the number of suicidal ideations and/or actual suicides that have taken place over the years by members at GCC. JM is the “Godfather” of Lordship Salvation, as it currently is taught and understood in North America. I personally attended a Baptist church where this JM theology was taught, and knew of a man struggling with his Free Grace because of monster JM. He committed suicide, and since then I have studied to understand this “five and dime store” theology. It is pernicious………..The cowardice and dishonesty of Lordship Salvation is legion. Take note that neither JM or any of his mean spirited faithful, will ever have the juice to list exactly what “fruit” is. They talk a good talk about Grace not being enough and that you need to bear fruit. That somehow, if you are pious enough or “sanctified,” you are now a member of the “Ain’t I a pure awesome guy” club. They are liars. All men are sinners. The fruit of the spirit and Free Grace is peace. It is not perseverance……..a stupid and undefinable concept. Looks like JM is taking a bath in his own hypocritical bathtub………the bathtub called legalism.

  5. An explanation is that John MacArthur comes from an era, and a fundamentalist heritage, where the default opinion was, “The girl/woman is always lying. All accusing women are angry feminists, and they all are lying.” It doesn’t matter what actual evidence exists. Women who complain are always trying to Take A Good Man Down. Those eyeglasses are cemented to their heads.

    1. No, this report clearly tells us that MacArthur *did* believe the girl when she said that Guay was a child molester. He just let him stay as a pastor anyway. The explanation is either that he didn’t want to lose Guay’s services or, more likely, he was afraid of the public scandal if he disciplined Guay. Not only was Guay one of the pastors at his church, but MacArthur had hired Guay knowing he was adulterous and divorced.

  6. The first time I ever heard a JM sermon, I thought there is no grace in this man’s heart.

    Then there were those hard hearted cessationist friends and relatives who would swear by him. I guess the fruit can really tell what is in the heart.

    1. I knew Paul Guay personally very well when he was alive. Yes, he was fired for the sin with the church secretary, of which he fully repented. However in all my years of knowing him, not once did ever have even a hint of this sin about him. This is a bunch of fabricated lies.

      1. Mark Gunderson

        Joel, did you read the letter form the Mabton Brethren Elders? I don’t think that’s the kind of response they would send if Paul had denied the charges.

        There is no motive for anyone, including his family, to have fabricated these allegations in 2003.

      2. Christina Thompson

        That’s how predators work. They create a safety net of followers through their winsome character. That way no one believes the victim. Look at the Penn State coach. Predators are often the people you would least suspect.

      3. These are not fabricated lies. Are you aware that abusers lie? Abusers will look their best and be charming with everyone else around them except those who have knowledge of the abuse or it happened to them. So the no “hint” of this sin falls flat. Alot of people hide their sin. There is little of what you say that has a leg to stand on. Understanding and further educating yourself on abuse might be helpful.

        Not only that, just because someone is a pastor does not keep them immune from sin or accountability. Covering for their own sin or for others sin still makes what they are doing as a sin. They are still in the wrong.

      4. Victim blaming? Multiple women, with similar stories of abuse, to top it off you know that he was a sexual deviant to mess around with the secretary. What makes it hard to for you to believe that deviancy stopped just with the secretary?

      5. Susanne C Johnson

        I am a relative of Paul Guay and I can tell you that no one here is lying. You saying that only causes more harm to those who have been traumatized by his actions.

      6. Pamela Randolph

        Joel,
        I also knew Paul. I knew him all my life. I looked up to him as well as his brother, who happened to be Paul’s brother. They could do no wrong in my eyes, that is until the day Paul took advantage of me and made me feel so disgusting! I was only seven. How dare you say this is fabricated! I don’t care how well you THINK you knew him, you were wrong! he was very good at hiding his dirty little secrets. I have nothing to gain for coming out and telling what he did to me , in fact it’s been a very painful process! Please don’t say anymore to hurt the victims that have had to endure this!

        1. LaDawn Fronapel

          I love you, cousin Pam. I am so sorry for what my dad did to you. This is so painful for all us, especially for you and Wendy. I wish I could hug you.

        2. Pam, I am so sorry for all the pain you and the other victims have suffered. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and expose the hidden evil and sin. Please know that for every ignorant person saying this is false, there’s at least ten more people on your side. It’s just so overwhelming and unbelievable, it’s hard to know what to say.

      7. Joel, are you seriously taking the position that because you were unaware of a particular sin in the man’s life that it’s impossible that such a sin could’ve taken place? That would suggest you have some sort of supernatural ability to see into someone’s soul. If you’re wrong about about those claiming to be victims you’re bearing false witness against them.

    2. Hey Joel. One and done. Forgiveness yes. The churches can always use Maintenace people to work around the church and it’s still serving the church and God. But NO to the pulpit. It’s the hubris and self-love that causes these kinds of people to think “I must be at the pulpit, god wills it, the world needs my message” vs being a working member of the church and sitting in the back row, humbly attending and not needing the stage. No matter what this guy’s message would be, all I would see if someone that isn’t in jail for molesting children. Remember what Jesus said about hurting children???? he isn’t fond of pedophiles either.

  7. I used to be a big fan of MacArthur. For the past several months, I’m not so sure.

    Yes, there is no proof against MacArthur, but given the FACT that Guay was later fired from GCC, confirms that the victims have NOT been lying about Guay. Why would they then make up stuff about what MacArthur knew?

    Remember, it took 57 Cosby victims to be believed.

    I know memories fade, but there is One who knows the truth, & He will deal with it His own timing. Meanwhile, I support Julie’s reporting.

  8. I’m trying to figure out John MacArthur’s thought process, here. According to Tucker, Guay confessed to John MacArthur and him that he had been doing sexual things to his daughter at night. MacArthur writes a note saying that he is working with her dad and seems to be asking her to forgive her dad. 24 years later, MacArthur claims that all Guay did was give his daughter a back rub as she went to bed. If that is so, why did MacArthur want Guay’s daughter to forgive him back in 1979?

    Clearly, John MacArthur was not qualified to investigate child molestation. This is why child molestation needs to be reported to the police or Child Protective Services. They know how to conduct an investigation, interview victims and possible witnesses. Pastors of churches and biblical counselors are out of their depth in this area.

    1. Mark Gunderson

      MacArthur acknowledges he knew of more severe allegations. Otherwise, what was the ‘innocent backrub’ even an excuse for?

      “I had no knowledge of any molesting as you claim. When there was some accusation against him, he told me it was his bitter first wife and the only thing he ever did was rub his daughter’s back while she was going to bed–something any loving father might do–and he said it was completely innocent.”

    2. Vicki,

      Exactly. Why would McArthur want the daughter to forgive Guay if it was just innocent back rubbing?

      The church IS NOT qualified to investigate child molestation. The church has reasons to ignore it. Plus, their natural instinct is to believe that this ‘man of God’ could not do such a thing.

      I have a friend who is a police detective. One confession of “innocent backrubbing” would send up red flags and start a whole new line of questioning that would have led to the discovery of abuse.

      GCC’s ABC is nothing more than CYA.

    3. Nicely said, Vicki. None of us is perfect, and the Lord disciplines those He loves. I hope John MacArthur does some honest soul searching and repentance. We had incidents that happened over 20 years ago at the church I attend. Instead of ending up on the Roys Report, they were the lead story on the front page of the Sunday newspaper. Our pastor called a Sunday night meeting for the congregation, and we asked any questions we needed answered. An independent, outside firm was hired by the church board to investigate everything that happened. Our pastor admitted and confessed where he had failed, and appropriate steps were taken to address the things that happened. It was also made clear what policies were in place to prevent the same things from happening in the future. There is an appropriate way to respond if abuse is brought to light.

      1. There will be no soul searching or repentance from John MacArthur. He can’t do it. If he admits to any of these allegations, he risks his entire legacy tumbling down, and I’d bet you anything that’s what matters most to him. He’s one of the most admired and respected senior figures in evangelical circles, and in his church, his word is Gospel (and I mean that literally).

        Regardless of what else comes out, there will be nothing but more denials and attacks from now until his dying breath. Guaranteed.

        1. Sadly, I think you’re right, Mike. My mother enjoyed JM’s teaching, and the fellowship and support from others at GCC; but admitted to my husband and I that she thought JM suffered from issues with pride.

          1. Mark Gunderson

            Why are we so terrible at recognizing prideful leadership?

            I had to repent of this in my recent past. I had a polarizing pastor and after a particularly troubling encounter, I resolved in my mind to follow him no matter what, because of where God had taken us under his leadership. Thankfully it soon became clear he wasn’t leading from a place of health and humility, but it took me much longer to do something about it than it should have because of my inability to recognize the difference between conviction and pride (and my own idolatry).

        2. Mike, I know it’s tempting to think John MacArthur is too far gone to repent but I’m not so sure. For years I’ve been praying God would give MacArthur a clear shot at repentance for defaming and judging one part of the body of Christ after another and unilaterally deciding which parts are not going to be sharing Heaven with him. This could be it! I’m not being sarcastic — I’m serious. I think he actually could repent and to that end I’m praying that God will soften his heart and gift him the grace to humble himself before he meets his Lord Jesus face to face. As well as all those other Christians he didn’t expect to be talking to for eternity.

          1. One can always hope, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the brutal truth is that examples of such repentance are vanishingly rare, and typically only come when all chance of denial and coverup are gone, and it seems clear to me that MacArthur’s control over GCC is absolute enough to prevent anything like that from happening.

            Even if he can admit to himself he should come clean about it all and apologize, the legacy issue (especially in light of what happened to RZIM in the aftermath of the revelations about Ravi Zacharias) makes it too easy for him to rationalize that the coverup is the lesser of the two evils. That’s why I don’t see it happening.

  9. Carolyn McLaren

    Beth Moore posted today on Twitter in regards to this story. Her conclusion is absolutely true and needs to be shouted from the rooftops…

    “This is what I believe to be an absolute
    impossibility: that one can sexually abuse people & simultaneously otherwise be godly. NO.”-Beth Moore

  10. This article provides lots of evidence of wrongdoing, and Julie Roys invited John MacArthur to give his side of the story. He refused. We can take this refusal as an admission that he cannot refute her evidence and thinks he would like even worse if he tried. I am an admirer of his books, but I can’t see any reasonable doubt that he has betrayed his church and should be subjected to church discipline. It is the duty of his elders to carefully weigh this evidence, ask him to present his side, and to excommunicate him for contumacy and cover-up of gross sin if he refuses to talk about it.

    1. MacArthur *is* their church. Not one elder will stand against him. They will either back him to the hilt or resign, but most will do the former.

  11. Jonathan Pruett

    I must apologize to Julie Roys and many of you for making comments that were not consistent with this claims in this article.

    After reflecting on this over the last day. I can’t help but think the two witnesses who claim MacArthur was told of the sexual abuse (having a meeting in person in his office)are either lying or MacArthur either doesn’t remember (which would be difficult for anyone to forget) or perhaps covering it up. That is hard for me to admit. I’m not sure if I’m there yet. But, I would sure like to understand, if MacArthur was told about the horrific sexual abuse, why wouldn’t he contact the authorities? Or at the least fire the pervert. I’m sorry for offending those on here——I guess it is hard to accept that MacArthur was possibly protecting this guy——pretty sad. Please forgive me for being quick to judge the article in a negative light and forgive me for not being slow to judge, patient and merciful.

    May we all look to Christ —and sing his praises—-trust in Him and His finished work.

    1. Jonathan, you display beautiful fruit by admitting your struggle with this news, your haste, lack of patience and lack of mercy. Your willingness to humble yourself in one day’s time is what many people have been waiting up to 40 years to see from John MacArthur.

  12. Hi Jonathan. You’re a good brother in Christ to share this. I for one don’t enjoy seeing this and have commented before on we the flock need to be brave and make our leaders accountable. The world doesn’t notice the flock. they notice the leaders, then judge from there and thank you for being bold. Be at peace.

  13. Kristie DeVries

    I will never understand how some of these men in authority can’t figure out that this is a big deal. People are being devasted by the predatory actions of these men. The perp pretends to be sorry and goes on his way, while the carnage is all over the place. And I wanted to point out the hypocrisy of firing the guy after he makes a pass at the secretary. I guess that was the final straw, however, not the fact that he was molesting his own daughter. Sick.

  14. it is appalling for evangelicals to assume that in this depraved sinful world, sexual sins, abuse and assault against spouses and children in the family does not exist amongst a congregation and leadership even if they preach the “biblical truth” . JM should know better, being a calvinist.. total depravity is the condition of man and even he has been saved is still very much capable of committing such egregious sins. This can only be totally stopped when we reach heaven and receive glorified bodies. It is sheer hypocrisy and hubris to assume that it is absent in any church and worst covered up to look like their pastors or leaders are above such sins. In the case of Grace Church, they allowed JM to create this illusion of leaders being “above reproach”, blamed the victim instead off showing love and empathy and shaming them altogether without regard for truth and justice. Nothing is more sinister, grievous, sick than calling right wrong and wrong right. Incidentally, JM first sermon art grace was about matthew 7:21. You can preach and teach the things of God but if you practice lawlessness then……

  15. We now know there were two separate incidents of Child sexual abuse and one also included physical abuse of the wife and the kids the father was molesting. How many more are there that John MacArthur has protected? Are we going to begin to see a floodgate of current and former victims of his inappropriate, possibly criminally negligent responses to abusive situations that his congregation were experiencing?

    His Church is huge, and the number of people who have been a part of his congregation over the years are int the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. I believe this is only the beginning of some very bad news about this unqualified pastor.

    I hope he either removes himself from the pastorship, or he is forcefully removed. He is unfit to be a pastor.

  16. These are absolute lies. I know Paul Guay very well when he was alive. How terrible of you to slander a servant of Christ like this.

      1. Joel’s state of denial clearly demonstrates the insidiousness of child molesters. Even after they are exposed for what they are, friends and family can have an inordinately tough time believing this is the same man they knew and loved for so many years.

        Jerry Sandusky and Jimmy Savile are two of the most notorious child molesters to come to light in the last decade or so, and in both cases, children reported their abuse to parents and other adults on multiple occasions, but they were not believed because people simply couldn’t conceive that the man they knew could do such horrific things to children.

        That said, Joel has no excuse for his continued denials. He was fooled. There’s no shame in that, but it’s time to admit he was wrong about Guay, as many people no doubt were.

    1. If these are lies, are you saying all the women are lying? How do you explain what these women have gone through? Abusive men are very good at being charming, “biblical”, have “integrity”. Everything looks so nice on the outside to all their friends, the truth is actually much deeper and sinful.

    2. Why would a measure eventually have been put in place to keep Paul Guay out of his daughter’s bedroom at night (a measure her brothers confirmed), why would she have told her friend that they both needed to keep their clothes on when her friend spent the night, and why would his daughter freak out when Paul Guay came into the room they were sleeping in and then tell her friend afterwards about her father’s abuse? There are way too many things that need to be answered before one can claim ‘“these are absolute lies.” You, sir, are part of the problem and part of the reason abuse against women and children in the body of Christ continues to not be addressed and dealt with as it should. Christian women are speaking out because our male leaders in the body of Christ are not!

      Biblical teaching from John MacArthur was instrumental in my early walk as a Christian, and three members of my immediate family attended GCC for years (two have gone to be with the Lord and one still attends). I have no personal bias or vendetta against John MacArthur, but can see he is clearly flawed (as we all are) and has made some poor decisions with regard to dealing with issues of abuse in the flock he shepherds. The only correct response is for him to seek God, repent where necessary, and address these matters with his congregation.

    3. Joel, you’re repeating yourself. Have you not read the responses from when you first said he is innocent? Have you not read what Suzanne and Pamela said? please review

    4. People can do things in their homes that their closest friends have no idea about. Abusers are very careful about the face they present in public. Nobody likes admitting that they’ve been mistaken about someone, but it happens.

  17. Mark Zimmerman

    For decades, MacArthur has shown himself repeatedly to be willing to lie in grandiose, public ways for his own vainglory, e.g. related to his imagined football career and his associations around the time of MLK’s assassination, and, much more tragically, to protect the image of the MacArthur, Inc. empire while he and his toadies abusively trample on others. This article meticulously documents yet another sad case study from modern-day Pharisee MacArthur’s ignoble archives.

    May the many victims of MacArthur’s machinations find some comfort and closure in the Lord as the truth is finally brought to light, with eternal hope in Jesus Christ that ultimately He will make all things right.

    “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” (Rom. 3:4)

    1. JM’s sermon on April 10, 2022, “The Disastrous Sin of Lying” based on Eph. 4:25, is really hard to hear, given the implications of the reporting documented in this blog post. He clearly thinks that lying has significant eternal consequences, and that a lot of people lie about a lot of things, including people in the church. But, not him, not a hint of that. Link to that message is:https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/49-23/the-disastrous-sin-of-lying

  18. JM is the high- profile guy here who seems more interested in protecting his backside than anything else. But the response of Mabton Grace Brethren Church is absolutely mind-blowing. It makes me wonder why churches even bother to claim to be biblical when they can make the bible say a proven pedophile isn’t above reproach. Unbelievable. Anywhere else this would be criminal negligence.

  19. I could tell a long and rather sordid story of the ways churches compound and perpetuate not just the wounding of the sheep but inhibit the healing of the shepherd, but “300 words”. Suffice it to say, it takes a special brand of entitlement, perhaps “narcissism”, to cross the extremely hard lines of sexual and physical abuse, including cheating, and once that line is crossed, it’s very hard to go back. Forgiveness, yes. Part of the fellowship, yes. (Maybe a different one, but.) Back into a leadership role? Given a leadership role, especially if the abuse happened from the umbrella of “authority”? I don’t think so. But who am I?

  20. From childwelfare.gov:
    Many cases of child abuse and neglect are not reported, even when mandated by law. Therefore, nearly every State and U.S. territory imposes penalties, often in the form of a fine or imprisonment, on mandatory reporters who fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect as required by law.

  21. Greg Brenneman

    One of the tragic side effects of situations like this is there is no legal action or conviction of the abuser, so nothing shows up in a background check when the abuser applies for a job in another state.
    Honestly, churches are not very good at handling these issues or bringing justice to victims.

  22. While I am not a fan of JM, the article seems to put all the blame of Paul Guay to JM. So I think we need to be more objective here.
    – Why did JM try to cover up Paul’s sin? For what purpose or benefit? Paul was fired 3 years later for kissing his secretary.

    – when JM was confronted by Wendy, he contacted Paul to get to the bottom of the issue. So JM went to the source. Perhaps he was not aware what was the issue then?

    1. I think I can propose some answers to the questions you posed. When Paul Guay admitted to the sexual abuse of his daughter, it was in a private meeting with John MacArthur and Mr. Tucker. No one else was in the loop at the church as far as we know, and Mr. Tucker trusted John MacArthur to deal with in the matter in the way he saw fit. Consequently, John MacArthur was not forced to make the abuse public and fire Paul Guay; so he chose not to, for reasons we can only guess at. On the other hand, if Mr. Guay was seen or known to be hugging and kissing a secretary by GCC staff, the matter was public knowledge; and John MacArthur was forced to deal with it by firing him. As far as going to “the source” when confirming the abuse of Wendy Guay, why on earth would John MacArthur ask the abuser about the incident rather than Mr. Tucker, who was present at the meeting? Does one really expect an abuser to be honest about the abuse he perpetrated—especially when he is still in ministry as a pastor? Either John MacArthur forgot about the confession at the meeting between he, Paul Guay, and Mr. Tucker 24 years earlier (hard to believe), or he is lying. There are no other options.

      1. Either John MacArthur forgot about the confession or…

        John MacArthur doesn’t seem to be the type who forgets other people’s sins.

      2. What is interesting is that people forgot that this is not about JM, but about Paul Guay. Motive is always important in any court of law. This is the crime by Paul, but what is the motive of JM covering for Paul’s sin? The easiest way to deal with this kind of sin is to fire Paul Guay on the spot. JM didn’t, but why? Could it be that it was not straight forward as the article mention? As I recall in the article, Paul did not have any sexual intercourse with his daughter, though perhaps he might if given the chance. Perhaps JM saw Paul’s sin in different light, details that might be unknown for us. I am sorry for seeming to put JM in different light, but for the life of me, I have no idea why JM did not fire Paul Guay on the spot if he did molest his daughter sexually?

        1. There is no other light. Groping your daughter is molestation. That is just what it is. Whatever “light” JM thought he was looking through was false.
          Don’t forget that Paul Guay had a history of deviance as well- the victim’s stepmother had been a teen in the youth group and Guay impregnated her. The divorce from the victim’s mother, the only thing JM saw fit to mention as a concern for leadership, was due to Guay abusing his power sexually. And he had been reprimanded for flirtatious behaviour with students prior to that. But the point is: touching your daughter sexually is a sin and a crime. Period. Obviously, Paul Guay’s sin and crime. But by ignoring and covering it up, JM becomes complicit, an accessory to the crime. This is the concern, especially when we see how many people have raised him up to practically apostle status.

        2. Mie Liong This actually very simple. What was confessed to JM by Paul Guay is criminal conduct, punishable by law. It went unreported because a story of this nature (scandalous sin tends to leave church members scandalized, yes? And also tends to be in the newspapers) might inspire people to leave GCC, taking their families and also, most critically from JM’s perspective, their money elsewhere.

  23. Susan D'Angelo

    This makes me sick!!!! The first thing any victim should do is report the child abuse to the police and child protective services. Never leave this in this in the hands of the church as it will always get covered up!!!! 😡😡

  24. I’m curious in the last 10 years how many cases of spouse or children abuse against members, staffs, pastors and elders were brought to the attention of the elders individually or corporately and how were they handled ? John has boldly called out false teachers but he refused to give an answer to his own falsehood. MacArthurites is now synonymous to abuse of women and children.

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