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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

‘The Lord Brought Judgment’: N.C. Church Fires Pastor Over Sexual Misconduct

By Josh Shepherd
jordan green pursuit church
Jordan Green, lead pastor of Pursuit Church in Denver, North Carolina, has been dismissed by church leaders as of April 1. (Video screengrab)

The leadership team of a North Carolina congregation has dismissed the church’s lead pastor for “sexual misconduct” that involved multiple adult victims. He was ousted after initially giving a “partial” confession that multiple staff challenged as an attempt to “control” the narrative.

In an open letter released on April 1, leaders of Pursuit Church in Denver, North Carolina, announced that Pastor Jordan Green’s employment at the church had been terminated as of that date. “Green committed acts of sexual misconduct which has deeply wounded his victims, the people who call Pursuit Church home, and this leadership team,” it stated. 

The 850-word letter stated that Green was found to be in situations that “were in direct violation of Pursuit Church’s policy regarding workplace harassment.” A Facebook post from Pursuit Church on April 4 clarified that “the victims of Jordan’s actions . . . were all adults.” 

In a statement to local outlet WBTV, Green referred to his “grievous sin against God and his church” for which he is “deeply heartbroken,” he said. “The Lord brought judgment and discipline down on my life which I am extremely thankful for.” 

However, Green added: “I do believe there are things being said that are twisted versions of the truth or aren’t true at all . . .” It is unclear if the former pastor referred to the church’s open letter. 

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Baptistland: A Memoir of Abuse, Betrayal, and Transformation” by Christa Brown. To donate, click here.

pursuit church
Pursuit Church in Denver, North Carolina (Video screengrab / WBTV)

Pursuit Church Executive Pastor John Doggette told The Roys Report (TRR) that church leaders “stand by the open letter to the church” and would not comment further at this time. “We are continuing to process all that has happened and must start the process of healing,” said Doggette. 

A member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Pursuit Church reported donation income in 2022 of $2.7 million. Founded in 2005, the church also runs Pursuit Preparatory Academy, a Christian K-4th grade school. 

The statement by Pursuit Church leaders, signed by Doggette, Chief Financial Officer Rita Kale, lead elder Mark Kale, and elder Scott Davis, addressed the pastor’s status. 

“Jordan Green is not allowed onto church or school premises in any capacity,” it stated. “This must be done to protect God’s people, who are the church.” 

Green’s partial confession, manipulation exposed

In remarks that preceded his sermon at Pursuit Church this past Sunday, Doggette emphasized the harm done by Green.

“Our hearts ache for those who were directly impacted by the actions of Jordan,” said Doggette. “Our hearts ache for the church body . . . we’re all hurting together and we’re all grieving together.”

john doggette pursuit church
On Mar. 7, 2024, Executive Pastor John Doggette preaches at Pursuit Church in Denver, North Carolina. (Video screengrab)

The lengthy open letter suggests that hurt was compounded by Green’s failure to fully own up to his actions. A popular preacher online, Green had over 5,000 followers on TikTok and nearly 15,000 followers on Instagram before his social channels went dark this week.

Church leaders stated that Green “initially confessed” to “sexual harassment” on March 28, and again in an all-staff meeting the next day. “(But) Jordan’s confession was no confession at all,” the letter noted. “In these meetings, Jordan told partial truths and manipulated the events to fit the narratives he so desired to control.” 

The next day, on Saturday, March 30—the day before Easter Sunday—church staff and leaders reconvened to hear a “further confession” from Green. But the letter states that Green again equivocated and did not tell the full story. 

According to the letter, staff challenged Green. “The floodgates opened and truth began to be revealed. One by one, brave souls began to share their personal stories of how Jordan had harmed them during their employment at Pursuit Church. It was raw. It was angry. It was real.”

Green “sat silently, head down, unresponsive, except for two instances where he attempted to defend himself,” the letter stated. “After more than an hour of raw testimony from his victims, your staff and your family, Jordan was dismissed from the room.” 

Church staff and leaders “wept and grieved together for hours,” it continued. “The more we wept and grieved together the more the truth was exposed, each reality worse than the one before.” 

The next day, elder Mark Kale delivered the Easter Sunday message in both services at Pursuit Church. The church released its public letter that Monday. 

Praise for church’s swift action and disclosure 

Many commenters online praised church leaders’ detailed statement and swift response. 

Tony Ray, a former pastor and evangelist, posted on X: ”Finally a church with integrity to protect future victims.” 

A woman in Texas, Christie Waterman, stated: “Appropriate response. So sad for the victims and congregation. May they find healing.” 

Jimmy Hinton, an author who trains church leaders in abuse prevention, told TRR that he saw a lot to applaud in how leaders of Pursuit Church have responded.

jordan green pursuit church
Jordan Green (Photo: Facebook)

“They fired Jordan Green immediately (and) will not allow him on the property,” Hinton told TRR. “They were transparent about details of the abuse and Jordan’s minimization of it. And they are allowing the congregation to ask any questions they have.” 

On Sunday, Doggette told the congregation, “The impacts of what has transpired are deep and wide.”

But the executive pastor aimed to answer what he called a “burning question” that he believed many congregants had been pondering.

“Because this has happened, does this make the Gospel I heard, does it make the Bible teachings that I received, does it make the profession of faith that I made, does it make the baptism I received, or experiences with the Holy Spirit I had in this place, under the teachings of Jordan, invalid? Absolutely not!” preached Doggette. “The Gospel is no less true.” 

He added that everyone needs redemption. 

“Sin has its consequences (which) is what we’re all experiencing,” he said, “But Jesus doesn’t condemn us in our sin. Jesus came to save us from this very sin.” 

Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his family live in the Washington, D.C. area.

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11 Responses

  1. I am appreciative of TRR for running this story. TRR is website that often focuses on reporting the mishandling of abuse and misconduct. This is not a criticism, that ugly task is necessary.

    But it is nice to see reporting on a church that has handled things well. At least it looks like that at first glance.

    For me as a pastor, it is important to see good examples as well as the bad ones.

  2. It’s wonderfully affirming to read about church leadership listening to victims and taking decisive action, without equivocating or trying to cover up a pastor’s wrongdoing. I pray that more churches will follow this example.

  3. It appears that this has been one of the best responses to clergy sexual abuse that we have witnessed so far on the RR. It is heartening to see this church unequivocally stand for the victims and not lay the groundwork for replatforming the abuser. Good leadership!

  4. One variety of spiritual abuse that seldom gets exposed is the abuse of pastors by elders or senior pastors who, for a variety of reasons, slander and wrongly terminate pastors who are somehow a threat to their supposed authority and power. This is not a comment regarding this particular situation which seems to be handled well.

  5. Ted Haggard is completely heterosexual, now. Jim Baaker now sell ethical MRE. Jimmy Swaggart just stumbled. Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple but Joel Osteen’s Mansion is the result of the blessings of God.

    People need to finally see ministers actually held accountable like Pursuit did with Green. Put away the cash cows of mega-churches, take the politics out and start preaching the gospel the way its written rather than the interpretation you endorse.

  6. An important point is the church has leadership and management structure, including lay leaders, that allowed action to be taken when necessary. This should be an important lesson to churches that want to change that, and remove accountability for top leaders.

    -GB

  7. please inform me, as I may not understand; if a church uncovers staff sexual misconduct, do they have a right/ duty/ obligation to call the police, or is this the place of individual human victims only, to report and press a charge?

    1. It depends on where the church is located, and also if the actions involve children or adults. Usually, actions involving children must be reported; not necessarily so if adults are the victims.

    2. Always the right thing to do. And, remember, church / religious leaders are mandated reporters. The continual practice of religious institutions to “do their own discipline” is to act as if they are above the law. They are not. They consider themselves to have ‘deeper pockets’ than their victims, hence are often not afraid of lawsuits. It is dishonest, immoral and privileged behavior in every way. At some point we need to wonderful why so many churches harbor and enable abusers. Could it be because they consider theselves above the law?

  8. Thanks for this story and good example. I applaud the church leadership for their bravery and fear of God over man. Much work to be done still though as this sort of behavior in the leadership will hopefully send a message that they are approachable to hearing about how staff is treated the first time it occurs. The fact that it took so many victims shows how entrenched the one-sided protective system that is in place even if a church finally does the right thing.

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