Best of 2021 driscoll macarthur courson
In 2021, the most-read stories published by The Roys Report included investigations on Mark Driscoll (left), John MacArthur (top right), Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota, and disgraced Oregon megachurch pastor Ben Courson. (Courtesy Photos)

Our Top Stories of 2021

By Julie Roys

The evangelical world continued to reel from revelations of corruption and abuse among some of its most well-known leaders and ministries in 2021.

Some of The Roys Report’s top stories of 2021 came as no surprise, and featured already disgraced leaders, like Mark Driscoll and Ravi Zacharias. But other top stories involved leaders and ministries that remain highly regarded in evangelicalism.

These include John MacArthur, whose prosperous lifestyle, apparent nepotism, and misleading handling of COVID was covered extensively at The Roys Report in 2021. They also include Bethlehem Baptist Church where John Piper pastored for over 30 years. This year, the church experienced a major upheaval amid accusations of spiritual abuse and a culture of fear and intimidation.

Other notable stories included allegations of sexual misconduct against both Ben Courson and his father, Jon Courson—former pastors of a megachurch in Oregon. Jon Courson was also a leading figure in the Calvary Chapel movement, which has been the focus of several investigative stories at The Roys Report.

Though these stories can sometimes be difficult to read and digest, it’s our belief at The Roys Report that sunlight is the best disinfectant. So, we will continue to hold ministries accountable and expose evil as Ephesians 5:11 instructs. We trust that in the end, this will prompt necessary reform.

Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “UnLeader” by Lance Ford. To donate, click here.

Here are the top 20 stories published by The Roys Report in 2021:

  1. Mark Driscoll The Trinity ChurchMark Driscoll Accused of Cult-Like Actions; 24/7 Surveillance, Mandated Loyalty

Former Members at Mark Driscoll’s The Trinity Church say the church operates like a cult, surveilling people 24/7 & using a loyalty scale.

  1. The Prosperous Lifestyle of America’s Anti-Prosperity Gospel Preacher

John MacArthur rails against prosperity preachers, but owns three houses, takes multiple salaries, and has given millions in ministry funds to relatives.

  1. Ben Courson Applegate

    Oregon Megachurch Pastor Steps Down Amid Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Oregon megachurch pastor and social influencer Ben Courson steps down from ministry amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

  1. John Piper’s Successor Latest to Resign as Allegations of Abusive Leadership Mount at Bethlehem Baptist

Jason Meyer, the successor to John Piper, has resigned in a major shake-up at Bethlehem Baptist Church amid allegations of abusive leadership.

  1. Ravi Margie ZachariasMargie Zacharias Breaks Silence, Defends Ravi

Margie Zacharias, the widow of Ravi Zacharias, has broken her silence regarding her late husband’s alleged sexual abuse and is defending him.

  1. Theologians Respond to Viral Videos by John Piper’s Son Mocking Christianity

TikTok videos mocking Christianity by Abraham Piper, son of renowned pastor John Piper, have gone viral. But theologians say they lack substance.

  1. ravi zacharias

    TRR Exclusive: Co-owner of Spas with Ravi Zacharias Speaks of ‘Happy Endings’ and Requests to Delete Information

In recordings released exclusively to The Roys Report, a co-owner of spas with Ravi Zacharias tells of “happy endings” and Ravi’s requests to delete information.

  1. In San Diego, Porn Star Preaches Message ‘For Sinners By Sinners’

Angela Dela Cruz makes a living as a porn star. She’s also a pastor of Living Faith Church, a new church plant in downtown San Diego, California.

  1. Paul MaxwellFormer Moody Professor & Author for Desiring God Announces He’s No Longer a Christian

Dr. Paul Maxwell—an author, former Moody Bible Institute professor, and writer for Desiring God—has announced he’s no longer a Christian.

  1. Jon Courson Applegate

    Like Father, Like Son? Allegations Surface Against Father of Accused Oregon Megachurch Pastor

Jon Courson, founder of Applegate Christian Fellowship, is now facing sexual misconduct allegations similar to those leveled against his son.

  1. unfit

    Mark Driscoll’s Demand for Loyalty Divides Daughter-in-Law’s Family

Make Driscoll’s demands for absolute loyalty have reportedly caused Driscoll’s son, Zac, and his wife, Chloe, to dissociate from Chloe’s parents.

  1. john macarthur

    John MacArthur Admits Prior Church COVID Outbreak, Own Illness

After months of silence and calling reports on a COVID outbreak at his church “misleading,” John MacArthur acknowledges that COVID-19 swept through Grace Community Church last winter and was the cause of his mysterious absence.

  1. Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark

    After Sermon Criticizing Wives’ Weight, Pastor Resigns as Moderator of General Baptist Meeting

A pastor who preached “weight control” by wives as the solution for marital problems has resigned as moderator of a General Baptist group and is being investigated by his denomination.

  1. Bethlehem BaptistFormer Bethlehem Baptist Pastors Say Church’s Culture Breeds Fear, Tolerates Abuse

Several leaders who recently resigned from Bethlehem Baptist Church, including John Piper’s successor Jason Meyer, say the church’s culture breeds fear and tolerates abuse.

  1. Whistleblowers Say Classical Conversations is Multi-Level Marketing Scheme that Exploits Homeschool Parents

Classical Conversations (CC) makes millions as a leading homeschool curriculum. But CC directors make next to nothing in what whistleblowers allege is a multi-level marketing scheme.

  1. Spa Co-Owner & Victim of Ravi Zacharias Speaks: He Threatened to ‘Ruin’ Me

A co-owner of a spa with Ravi Zacharias tells her story of abuse, saying she stayed quiet for years because Zacharias threatened to ‘ruin’ her.

  1. Todd Wagner

    Pastor Todd Wagner Resigns from Watermark Amid Turmoil

Todd Wagner, the embattled pastor of Watermark Church, a multisite megachurch in Dallas, has resigned. Another pastor/elder has resigned, as well, saying he’s lost trust in Wagner’s leadership.

  1. Brad and Lori Anne ThompsonVideo: Victim of Ravi Zacharias Publishes Emotional Statement

Lori Anne Thompson, a survivor of Ravi Zacharias’ sexual abuse, releases an emotional video statement, recounting the impact the abuse had on her family.

  1. Naomi ZachariasNaomi Zacharias Announces End of Her Leadership of Wellspring International

Naomi Zacharias, a daughter of Ravi Zacharias, announced an end to her leadership of Wellspring International, RZIM’s former humanitarian arm.

  1. Sam Horn Resigns as President of The Master’s University and Seminary, Capping Three Years of Tumult

Sam Horn has resigned as president of The Master’s University and Seminary, following three years of tumult at the schools associated with John MacArthur.

As many of these investigations are ongoing, we encourage you to subscribe to The Roys Report e-mail list (see below) and follow us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on these and other important stories.

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