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Sunday
Apr282013

Mark Prater "the Best Choice" to Restore Trust & Unity - Dave Harvey the "Most Crafty of All"

There were 30 churches in 1995.  Twenty-seven in the United States, two in Mexico and one in the Philippines.  The apostolic team was comprised of C.J., myself, Larry Tomczak, Steve Shank, Paul Palmer and Dave Harvey.  Life was all good.  

Then Larry, Paul and Brent left, Dave “resigned” and C.J. “transitioned.”  Last I heard Steve was a “bishop” (i.e., a regional overseer).  Joshua Harris was supposed to take over SGM this September when C.J. turns 60.  He’s gone.  So too 80 plus leaders who were some of the most gifted and honorable men in the former movement.  More leaders plan to leave.  

Who is left to assume the leadership of SGM?  We now have our answer, Mark Prater.  According to the Executive Committee (a.k.a. Board of Directors), he is the best possible leader in all of SGM.  Mark will serve a four year term as Executive Director.  I quote them. 

“The Committee believes that Mark is most suitably qualified to direct the Leadership Team in the near future.  Mark has ably proven himself as the Regional Leader of a strong Region and as the Acting Director of Church Care and Church Planting.  The Committee believes Mark is the best choice among several qualified candidates to bring the necessary leadership at this most critical moment in our history.” (Letter to SGM pastors, Apr 23, 2013) 

Mark is Dave Harvey’s protégé (i.e., one who is protected or trained or whose career is furthered by a person of experience, prominence, or influence).  Mark climbed Dave’s ladder to the top.  In the process, Dave got knocked off.  He’s in intensive care on life support. 

Mark is not the orator or leader Dave was but he is every bit the charmer.  In selecting Mark, the Executive Committee has chosen a man complicit in all the cunning that has characterized the time period since July 2011.  His choice is a reflection of the Committee and a bad one at that!  Mark cannot possibly clean up SGM because he is one of the men who made it so grimy.     

In particular the Committee claims Mark is the best choice to bring about “the restoration of trust and unity among the elders of Sovereign Grace.”  This is foolhardy.  Mark cannot possibly restore trust because he is one the key men responsible for the loss of trust.  This selection is a slap in the face.  Mark is not the man for the job if you’re interested in restoring a trust based upon trustworthiness or a unity based upon transparency.    

Under Mark the internal workings of SGM will more secret than the cultic rites of Freemasonry.  For instance, we’ll have no idea what strings C.J. is pulling.  Mark was an exceptional pharmaceutical salesman with a high school diploma.  That is his strength.  He will sell SGM and put forward a believable brand.  He’s not a high powered speaker but he will bring in the big guns for SGM conferences.  Under his leadership the policy of “believe the best” when the best is not true will flourish.

Furthermore, Mark is the safe choice!  By that I mean no one in all of SGM need fear being held accountable for any of their past actions.  Especially not C.J., the old Board, Interim Board or recent Board.  Everyone will be granted amnesty under the Prater Administration.  There will be no review or repair of the past.  The Executive Committee was not about to pick someone who would investigate them and call other cronies to account.    

I have no doubt Mark will be confirmed by a simple majority (51%) of the Council of Elders during their retreat in Orlando on May 23-25.  By that time everyone with integrity will have left SGM.  The selection and presumed confirmation of Mark provides another compelling reason for people, pastors and churches to leave SGM.  Winston Churchill once said, “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.”  The possibilities in SGM seem endless.  The Executive Committee has failed to do the right thing again.  It was all so predictable.  

Power Grab Enables SGM Board to Choose Mahaney’s Replacement
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Now that C.J. is out of the way, the Board of Directors (i.e., Paul Buckley, Ron Boomsma, Mickey Connolly, Ian McConnell, Ken Mellinger, Al Pino, Phil Sasser) can pick his replacement without following the procedures outlined in the Sovereign Grace Book of Church Order.  Once chosen, the Executive Director need only be confirmed by a simple majority (51%) of the “provisional” Council of Elders.  Slam dunk. 

“As that new polity takes effect, I will be transitioning from the role of President, and the Executive Committee will recommend an individual for confirmation by the Council of Elders to serve in the newly formed role of Executive Director.”  (C.J. Mahaney, March 8, 2013) 

In so doing, the SGM pastors will have no say in who is picked to lead the Leadership Team over the next four years.  Instead, the Board of Directors will independently choose a man that pleases them.  This is a travesty given all the hype surrounding the Book of Church Order.  Let’s call it March Madness…

So is the situation surrounding Dave Harvey.  It has been six weeks since Dave ended the disciplinary process in his life by resigning as a pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church (CFC) in Glenn Mills, PA.  Previously, he was its senior pastor for 18 years (1990-2008).  His resignation is reminiscent of C.J. fleeing Covenant Life Church.  

Mark Prater is based in CFC and Jared Mellinger is now the senior pastor.  For many years the CFC pastors treated Dave with partiality and favoritism.  They covered up his sin and let him play by a different set of rules in order to protect the goose that laid the golden eggs.  Now Dave’s goose is cooked.       

Dave Is the Most Crafty of All! 

I was working at my desk when these words for Joshua Harris regarding Dave Harvey suddenly came into mind.  I was not thinking about Dave.  I felt the Holy Spirit said “Tell Joshua, ‘Beware of Dave’s counsel.  He is the most crafty of all!’”  That was the extent of it.  I sent the message to Joshua immediately.  It was June 29, 2011.   

One week later, I discovered Dave was deceitfully working behind my back to discredit my documents with the full support of C.J., Joshua and Jeff Purswell.  When I sent Joshua the prophetic word, he was already following Dave’s crafty counsel to sabotage me.     

In a secret letter authored by Dave, these four men labeled Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine (128 pages), A Final Appeal (165 pages), and Concluding Remarks (202 pages) “a sad tale” while claiming their four page overview was a “faithful narrative.”  At that point, I knew they would stop at nothing in their attempts to disparage me and vitiate my writings.    

The day I became aware of their underhanded effort, I confronted their duplicity.  Jeff Purswell wrote back promising I’d be given the opportunity to present this charge to an objective panel of evaluators for adjudication.  He lied.  It was denied me.  C.J., Dave, Jeff and Joshua have never asked forgiveness for their duplicity, libelous comments, and promise breaking.     

I wrote about this in my most sarcastic post.  I referred to Dave’s letter to the pastors as the “exquisite Mona Lisa of spin.”  Here is an excerpt.  

The Mona Lisa of Spin by Master Harvey
Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 5:27 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Master Harvey surreptitiously shared his exquisite Mona Lisa of spin with the pastors of SGM on June 11, 2011.  The unveiling would have made Leonardo proud.  It is a brilliant masterpiece certain to be enshrined in the Sovereign Grace Museum of Art which could be moved to Philadelphia.  The combination of tones, shapes, strokes, and blending create an exhilarating work of art that will dazzle patrons for perpetuity.  Indeed, vertigo practically sets in when one gazes upon the intricacies of spin for too long.  It is a powerful piece.  The art novice cannot fully appreciate such a remarkable work.  He needs the help of a curator… 

Dave is a master of manipulation.  He has been acclaimed as such by many former church members and at least two former pastors.  He has refined his craft over the years.  It has not always been so evident but he now holds post graduate degrees in the fine art of spin.  No one does it better in SGM… 

I find his most eminent and advanced work of spin to be his letter to the SGM pastors.  May I serve as your curator in examining its contents?          

Dave’s deceitful misrepresentation did not offend anyone but my sarcasm did.  For example, Mickey Connolly cited it as a reason for my excommunication before CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, NC.  I footnoted this comment in the post.  

“Some Sovereign Grace leaders like Mickey Connolly expressed great offense at my use of sarcasm in this piece while expressing no concern for Dave or the Board’s lying, deceit and manipulation (see “Mickey Connolly’s Deceitful Use of Scripture and Commentaries” from November 26, 2011).  I am reminded of the hypocrisy Jesus warned against in Matt 23:24, ‘You blind guides!  You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.’” 

Joining the Culture of Accommodation 

Dave is a “master of manipulation” and is also ambitious.  He intentionally joined what he termed the “culture of accommodation” surrounding C.J. in 2006.  That’s when he decided to stop holding C.J. accountable for his actions and attitudes and encouraged me to do the same.  I wrote C.J. about Dave’s decision in my second document, A Final Appeal

“Simply put Dave said ‘We have to approach C.J. like a teenager.’  He went on to explain his meaning.  Like with a stereotypical teen, we must ‘work to make our points’ and ‘lower our expectations.’  In other words, when talking to you we needed to be as affirming and winsome as possible and be careful to avoid any language or expressions that might offend or tempt you.  In addition, we should not expect you to behave or respond like a mature adult but like a difficult teen.  Lastly, Dave said ‘we don’t a have position or role with C.J. like you do with a younger person [child].’  This last point was important.  In Dave’s analogy, parents have a position or role that allows them to direct and correct a child; they don’t have the same role with a teenager.  In other words, Dave was now advocating a dumbed down and ‘hands off’ approach to you.  I don’t say this to shame you.  Dave was trying to help me adopt a new paradigm for relating to you.”

I told Dave I could not adopt his hands off paradigm in relating to C.J.  Tragically, this was the same approach Dave took in his parenting with terrible consequences. 

Slowly Dave earned his way back into C.J.’s good graces by withholding correction and providing abundant praise.  C.J. rewarded him.  For example, Dave was asked to start posting on “C.J.’s View from the Cheap Seats” blog.  Dave’s introduction is replete with flattery, false humility, and humorous attempts.

Hi, My Name Is Dave
October 15, 2009 by Dave Harvey 

So my buddy C.J. says, “Why don’t you [Dave] contribute to my ‘view from the cheap seats’ blog a couple of times a month?”  This was a real honor, ’cause C.J. has been a dear friend and mentor for over two decades.  Still I did wonder if I should hold out for a blog from better seats.  Maybe the guy who blogs “from the box seats” or “from courtside” will extend an invitation.  Probably not.  I should probably just be grateful to blog from anywhere in the arena.  I mean, if C.J. sees things from the cheap seats, then I’m outside in the parking lot—much further away, but delicious if you find the right tailgaters.

Really, my first thought was, what an honor to serve my dear friend by speaking to the people we both love and respect the most—pastors!

Okay, let’s move to introductions.  I’m Dave Harvey.  I’ve pastored in the same Sovereign Grace Ministries church for 23 years.  But I’ve also worked in Sovereign Grace Ministries for a good part of that time, kinda on the side.  This past October, I turned the senior pastor role over to a 28-year-old man named Jared Mellinger.  I’m going to tell you all about that in upcoming blogs, but let’s press through this one first. 

Because we love proclaiming the gospel, Sovereign Grace Ministries created a new role and asked me to fill it.  We’re not big on titles around here so I’m the “person-responsible-for-church-planting, international-expansion-and-church-care-in-Sovereign-Grace.”  People typically start yawning about halfway through my title, so I often grab attention by also throwing in “bomb disposal.” 

I live in Philadelphia, home of the world champion Phillies and some pretty awesome cheesesteaks.  If you don’t know what a cheesesteak is, then eating one someday should immediately go on your prayer list.  Many young men feel called to plant churches in Philly after eating one. 

But I digress. 

The church in Philly where I am based (Covenant Fellowship Church) hosts the SGM Church Planting Group.  You’re going to hear a lot more about them as I write, as well as how they partner with our regional leaders to plant healthy churches.  But here’s a quick overview on the Church Planting Group.  They are a team assisting Sovereign Grace pastors in the recruiting, assessing, training, and launching of church planters.  It’s a wonderful job since we’re in the process of planting eight churches right now.  One of them is being planted by a good friend of mine named Kenny Lynch, who was just sent from our home church last month. 

I can’t believe I get to do this kind of stuff; it’s epic sweetness… 

Epic sweetness has now become epic bitterness.  Four months ago, Dave Harvey was C.J.’s right hand man.  A year ago, he was the Interim President of SGM during C.J.’s leave of absence.  Now he is out of Christian ministry and there is a major rift between him and C.J. (his “buddy…dear friend and mentor”) and also between him and the CFC pastors.  Dave came to C.J.’s rescue.  C.J. is not coming to Dave’s rescue.  That’s why you have not seen “A Note of Thanks to Dave Harvey” or “A Word of Thanks from Dave Harvey” posted on the SGM website.  

Last summer, I wrote Dave about his already fracturing relationship with C.J. 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:48 AM
To: Dave Harvey
Subject: Falling Out with C.J.
Importance: High 

I’ve been told about the break down in your relationship with C.J. because he feels you did not defend him adequately and did not denounce me, Larry T, etc. more harshly.  This comes as no surprise.  You need to bring this to the immediate attention of the entire Board to whom you and C.J. are now accountable.  Be honest with them.  Don’t cover up for C.J.  Put an end to the enablement.  You must tell the Board about this mistreatment of you.  Dave, you know full well that nothing has changed with C.J.  Your assessment and my assessment from 2004 are as relevant today...

For now there is a détente between Harvey and Mahaney/Prater/Mellinger, et al. based upon the analogous military doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD).  It goes like this – if you blow me up, I’ll blow you up.  Dave can take them out with weapons of mass destruction but they can take Dave out too.  Here’s the way it works.     

“Mutually assured destruction is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two opposing sides would effectively result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of both the attacker and the defender, becoming thus a war that has no victory nor any armistice but only effective reciprocal destruction. It is based on the theory of deterrence according to which the deployment, and implicit menace of use, of strong weapons is essential to threaten the enemy in order to prevent the use of the same weapons by the enemy against oneself.”

Dave doesn’t get his severance package or a job recommendation if he is honest about C.J. and the CFC pastors.  They don’t get Dave’s silence and superficial support if they stop writing checks and start talking about his disqualifying sins.  These guys are covering one another’s rear ends big time.

Over the last five years, I repeatedly asked for Dave’s investigation, documented his corruption, and called for his removal from Christian ministry.  First with Bob Kauflin, Phil Sasser and Wayne Brooks from the Assessment Team.  Second with Joshua Harris and the SGM Interim Board.  Third with Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher and Ron Boomsma from the Review Panel.  Fourth with Ted Kober, Ed Keinath and Bryce Thomas from Ambassadors of Reconciliation.  Fifth with the recent SGM Board.  Sixth with all the pastors of Covenant Fellowship Church.

What did these 35 men do in response to my appeals for justice and my cries for help?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing!  They ignored every issue I brought to their attention regarding Dave.  No one took any action despite my most earnest pleadings.  None of these men cared about the devastating impact of Dave’s sin upon me.  Their hearts were hard. 

For instance, I begged Ted Kober, President of Ambassadors of Reconciliation, to expose Dave’s deceit for the good of SGM.  He told me it was not his responsibility under the terms of agreement he signed with SGM.  I was stunned by his excuse.  I told him he had a far higher responsibility to obey the Lord.  I asked him to please act with courage and integrity.  By the end of our conversation, he promised to reconsider but nothing came of it.  He excluded any reference to Dave’s duplicity in his April 2012 report. 

Paul the apostle said “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm.”  I can say the same about Dave Harvey.  Scores of illustrations bear this out (e.g. A Final Appeal, pp. 126-133; Concluding Remarks, pp. 193-198; The Untold Story, pp. 23-31).

The Interim Board is especially culpable for their support of Dave as Interim President from July 2011-March 2012.  During that time frame, these men did Dave’s bidding, fiercely protected C.J., and sought to silence me using whatever manipulative means necessary.

  1. Dave Harvey
  2. Jeff Purswell
  3. Craig Cabaniss
  4. Mickey Connolly
  5. Rick Gamache
  6. Pete Greasley
  7. John Loftness
  8. Aron Osborne
  9. Mark Prater
  10. Steve Shank

I sent out Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine (128 pages), A Final Appeal (165 pages), Concluding Remarks (202 pages) and The Untold Story (78 pages) to the SGM pastors on July 6, 2011.  The next day the Interim Board was announced.  One week later, these ten men vindicated C.J. and excoriated me in their first public statement. 

After reading and reviewing all four documents comprising 573 pages of hard evidence, the Interim Board put out one of the most absurd and preposterous statements in SGM history.  It defied all credulity.  They were being used.

Sovereign Grace Ministries Board of Directors announcment regarding C.J. Mahaney
July 13, 2011 by Dave Harvey

The board of Sovereign Grace Ministries has reviewed Brent Detwiler’s documents accusing C.J. Mahaney of sinful practices in the conduct of his ministry and finds no reason at this time to deem him unfit for ministry…. C.J. Mahaney is a qualified minister of the gospel and this board approves his pastoral and teaching ministry in Sovereign Grace and the wider body of Christ…. The board has concluded that Mahaney is fit for ministry. 

No one reading my documents with the least bit of objectively can conclude C.J. was “fit for ministry” and “a qualified minister of the gospel.”  Yet nothing in all my writings gave these men the slightest pause in declaring C.J. fit for ministry and therefore above reproach.  They didn’t register a single concern for C.J.  I wrote them the next day and copied the Covenant Life pastors. 

From: Brent Detwiler
Date: Thursday, July 14, 2011 3:29 PM
To: Aron Osborne; Craig Cabaniss; John Loftness; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank
Cc: C.J. Mahaney; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Joshua Harris; Adam Malcolm; Ben Wikner; Braden Greer; Brian Chesemore; Corby Megorden; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Erik Sheffer; Eric Simmons; Greg Somerville; Isaac Hydoski; Jamie Leach; Joe Lee; Jon Smith; Kenneth Maresco; Mark Mitchell; Matt Maka; Mike Bradshaw; Robin Boisvert
Subject: Joshua’s Resignation 

If you are wise and discerning you will follow Josh’s example and resign from the SGM Board.  Dave cannot be trusted.  This will become apparent in the days ahead.  I love Dave but I know Dave.  His ambition and his pragmatism often lead to SGM spin.  He is more about public relations than truth.  Please trust me.  You are being used. 

None of these men on the Interim Board were wise and discerning.  They all followed Dave’s cunning leadership in perfect lock step.  Cunning means “skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit.”  Together they rejected my documents as a “tall tale,” condemned me as a gossip and slanderer, and gave C.J. their wholehearted endorsement.  These men were willing stooges.  Among them, Mark Prater. 

Mark Prater Every Bit as Cunning 

Mark is every bit as cunning as Dave.  This was most apparent to me at the Panel Review conducted in December 2011.  I appeared before Mark, Warren Boettcher and Ron Boomsma having been instructed to answer a question I was not asking, “Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?” 

Mark was the SGM Board Member assigned to lead this three man panel.  That was extremely intentional.  Dave knew he could count on Mark to do his bidding whatever necessary and however treacherous.  He did not disappoint.  Nor did Warren or Ron.  

I’ve written extensively about the corruption surrounding the Three Panel Review in other posts.  Unquestionably, this panel was conceived in order to frame me under the pretense of answering a question about C.J.  Mark executed this diabolical plan conceived in the abyss of hell.  I choose my words advisedly.  

Following our meeting, Mark, Warren and Ron produced a report that was genuinely evil.  I still can’t put into words the excruciating pain I experienced as I read it.  In it they totally betrayed me.  This was spiritual abuse of the worse kind.  Hideous beyond description.     

Here is an excerpt from the letter I wrote Mark, Warren and Ron (see “Panel Report on Brent Detwiler’s Dismissal from Grace Community Church” from Jan 25, 2012 for more information) 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 4:14 PM
To: Ron Boomsma; Warren Boettcher; Mark Prater
Subject: A Great Injustice 

Mark, Warren and Ron, 

You have written a totally one sided report!  It contains none of the concerns I voiced or any of the evidence I presented orally or in writing.  The report is a total whitewash!  I could not be more disappointed.  What you include, exclude, and conclude in the report is extraordinarily biased.  It is the work of partial insiders, not the work of impartial outsiders.  You demonstrate no integrity by presenting all the facts fairly…  

Your report doesn’t deal with any of the horrendous realities I brought to your attention.  It doesn’t begin to address the atrocities cited in “The Untold Story.”  Betrayal, conspiracy, deceit, hatred, false testimony, cover-up, and injustice are all condoned by you!... All of this hurts!  But none of it is a surprise!  I’ve come to expect such deceitful treatment… 

The SGM Board has not changed one wit!  They are clueless about justice.  They continue to forbid due process, suppress evidence and come up with schemes to oppress and violate people.  They lie, deceive, manipulate and spin to achieve their desired ends.  You are now part of the grand cover-up…. I find your report a great injustice. 

During the review, Mark smiled, was nice and appeared receptive.  It was all a ruse.  According to close friends and colleagues that is the way Mark has always operated. 

Cited one close friend (and more could be cited).

“Mark Prater rises to the top once again and I can assure you he is not cream.  This man is dangerous. He hides under the cloak of humility and niceness but in reality he attaches himself to a rising host and uses that host for his gain in position and authority.  When the host serves its function and an opportunity arises for promotion he moves onward and upward with another host in this case CJ.   Harvey served his purpose and Prater prevails.  Mark is and always has been a total company man.  His man pleasing behaviors get him promoted but he has difficulty being the top gun in an organization…. But this YES man is a perfect fit for SGM at this point in time.  Mark appears to be squeaky clean and projects an excellent persona to the public.  He carries out his superior’s orders well and he is all things to all people in order to achieve success.  SGM/C.J. will now use him as a willing tool to carry out their new church planting strategy in an effort to get new churches on board the SGM train.  How could anyone as nice and warm and humble as Mark be involved with any church system that has the problems that are discussed on the blogs or now in the news media.  He is a perfect person to put out fires in the press or within churches because he projects such godly character on the outside while being selfishly ambitious on the inside.”

Jared Mellinger’s Profuse Commendation of Dave Harvey as a Man of Integrity, Humility and Godliness

I’ve included an 18 page addendum below for those that want to review the evidence against Dave.  It provides a thumb nail sketch of his deceit, abuses and family issues.  The addendum could be far more extensive.  

Nine months ago, I wrote a strong appeal to everyone and his brother asking for Dave’s resignation once again.  Here’s an excerpt.  

When Salt Becomes Saltless It Is Good for Nothing
Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Brent Detwiler 

I’ve documented Dave’s deceit on my blog (see below) over the last twelve months hoping something would be done.  I’ve tried to talk to him in private.  I’ve tried to meet with him in private.  I was promised I could present my charges against Dave to objective evaluators.  All of these attempts were stopped by Dave and the interim Board.  No one has spoken out against Dave.  There is no question Dave pioneered a crooked path for SGM yet he remains in his original position of leadership.  How can his local pastors allow this?  How can the SGM Board allow this?  How can the SGM pastors allow this?  Everyone should have called for his resignation.  Sovereign Grace has lost its saltiness.  It cannot preserve the most basis scruples of Christian leadership.  

Three months later, Dave was almost forced to step down by non-staff leaders and influential men in Covenant Fellowship Church who had enough of his deceit and hypocrisy.  The pastors had a mutiny on their hands which they were able to quash.  I wrote about this on March 4, 2012 in “Dave Harvey’s Deceitful Leadership Covered Up and Left Uninvestigated – Exposed Tonight at Covenant Fellowship Church.” 

The next day, Jared Mellinger, the 32 year old senior pastor, fired off this letter to the SGM pastors.  Keep two things in mind.  One, Dave was at the height of his power.  Two, Jared told Covenant Fellowship Church several months earlier that reading my documents was more dangerous and destructive to their souls than viewing pornography on the internet (see “What Does My Website Have in Common with Pornography?  Ask Jared Mellinger!,” February 18, 2012). 

From: Jared Mellinger
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 3:21 PM
To: SGM Pastors
Subject: From Covenant Fellowship 

Fellow Sovereign Grace Pastor, 

Grace and peace to you.  We are aware that Brent Detwiler sent an email to many pastors throughout Sovereign Grace that speaks against Dave Harvey.  Because Dave is an elder at Covenant Fellowship, and for the sake of Dave’s reputation and the health of Sovereign Grace churches, it seemed appropriate for us to briefly write to you. 

We want pastors and churches throughout Sovereign Grace to know that we support Dave and commend him as a man of integrity, humility, and godliness.  Dave has not walked in deceitfulness and has never covered up any issues in his life, leadership, or home.  He has not been abusive in his treatment of former pastors in Covenant Fellowship.  At no time has there been a plan or suggestion from any of the elders that Dave confess sins to the church, nor has he sinned in any ways requiring public rebuke. 

It has been our posture as elders, and remains our posture, to not communicate with Brent or respond to him in any way.  He is a divisive man who has unsettled many and continues to tear down the church of Christ.  We pray for his restoration.  But in the meantime, we will continue to give no consideration to his material, continue to have nothing to do with him, continue to protect the church from him where needed, and (in light of 1 Timothy 5:19-20) we will not entertain any of his charges against Dave. 

We encourage you to relate to Brent in the same way, so that churches can be protected from him and so we can all carry on with the work of proclaiming and treasuring Christ together. 

Thanking God for our partnership in the gospel,

Jared Mellinger and the elders of Covenant Fellowship

I responded with “Hardball.”  Here’s an excerpt.

Hardball
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM
Brent Detwiler

Dave is not “a man of integrity.”  His has repeatedly “walked in deceitfulness.”  A mountain of facts and evidence bear this out.  It is not up for debate in the sight of God.    Jared can protest all he wants but his denials are meaningless.  Worse they are deceptive. 

I don’t care how these men treat me but it is important for everyone in SGM to see how these well-known SGM pastors at CFC conduct themselves.  This kind of statement by Jared exposes their heavy-handedness, deceit, and commitment to cover up the truth.  They don’t want justice.  They won’t answer questions.  They loath outside accountability.    

The only true statement by Jared is “We will not entertain any of his [Brent’s] charges against Dave.”  That is exactly the problem.  They have learned well from the SGM Board.  Discredit Brent.  Excommunicate Brent.  Threatened Brent.  But don’t give Brent any chance to present his charges or defend himself against false witnesses.  I am not tearing down the church, I am exposing deceitful leaders who have become corrupt and played by a different set of rules.    

Dave’s Dual Resignation from Sovereign Grace Ministries and Covenant Fellowship Church

Fast forward nine months.  On December 19, 2012, Dave resigned as the SGM Director of Church Planting and Church Care “so that he [could] resume his full-time role as an elder at Covenant Fellowship Church.”  The pastors provided this sparse explanation. 

Covenant Fellowship Elders Statement:
December 19, 2012 

Dave’s decision is one we fully support and believe represents the Lord’s direction for him and his family, as well as our church.  We are grateful for Dave’s willingness to follow the elders in this process.  In making this decision, he embodies the collection of values that guide the elders called the Pastoral Team Affirmations: the values of devotion, humility, honesty, integrity, accountability, faithfulness, and unity.  These include receiving the assessment of those who serve with us and trusting God to work through the leadership and care of the elders.  How Dave has sought to walk with the team during this past difficult year and the decision he’s come to both reflect his deep commitment to these values.  Even more so, they demonstrate a faith in God that deeply affects us. 

I responded with this statement. 

Dave Harvey, the #2 Leader in Sovereign Grace Ministries, Steps Down from All Responsibilities
December 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Why won’t the pastors at CFC be open and honest with the church about the reasons for this mind boggling development?  Will Dave come clean and acknowledge to the church what has been going on for a long time?  I really doubt it.  This stepping down is at best a half measure.  I’d be surprised if Dave’s disqualifying sins were confessed to the church.  In all likelihood, he will continue to be treated with partiality and favoritism just like C.J. as things are covered up in his personal, family and ministerial life.  I don’t expect any truth telling, only vagaries, but I always hope I am wrong…

Dave’s return to his full time role as an elder was short lived.  It lasted 87 days because Dave had enough of the disciplinary process he was under.  He resigned six weeks ago on March 15, 2013.  

Dave wanted nothing more to do with the pastors’ assessment of him regarding “the values of devotion, humility, honesty, integrity, accountability, faithfulness, and unity.”  He was no longer interested in following “the elders in this process,” embodying “the collection of values that guide the elders,” walking out “his deep commitment to these values” or “trusting God to work through the leadership and care of the elders.”  He quit and he quit with strong disagreements.  

Mark Prater, Jared Mellinger, Andy Farmer, Marty Machowski, Jim Donohue, et al. are not going to be honest about the last ten years with Dave.  Nor are they going to be honest about themselves.  How they enabled, favored, and allowed Dave to play by a different set of rules.  

What does Jared Mellinger do now with his extraordinary commendation of Dave?  Nothing!  It was all hype and he knew it then.  He is not going to correct himself or humble himself.  He was simply protecting the Golden Goose. 

“We want pastors and churches throughout Sovereign Grace to know that we support Dave and commend him as a man of integrity, humility, and godliness.  Dave has not walked in deceitfulness and has never covered up any issues in his life, leadership, or home.”  

If that is true then why was Dave forced to resign from SGM in order to begin a nine month process of evaluation that was to end August 31, 2013?  We all know the answer.  Even the pastors at CFC got fed up with the hypocrisy and Dave got fed up with them. 

But the pastors also have plenty of guilt to bear themselves.  This day should never have come.  Mark Prater and other key pastors at CFC failed to hold Dave accountable.  They kept making excuses for him.  They enabled Dave like C.J.’s inner circled enabled him.  Ruin is the result.    

Furthermore, they covered up for Dave and hid his sins and the sins of his family from the church.  They also removed pastors from the staff that raised issues related to Dave and his family.  Now they have thrown Dave under the bus without joining him there.  I don’t know if the pastors or Dave bear more blame for the pitiful situation that now exists.  Probably Dave. 

But let me add, you can’t keep Dave down indefinitely.  Give him 3-6 months.  If I had to guess, he will leave Covenant Fellowship Church, start a church and build his own ministry like C.J. is doing in Louisville.  I would not be surprised to find other CFC pastors and members leaving with him.  

As for Mark and Jared.  They are the new face of Sovereign Grace Ministries which is really the old face of C.J. and Dave reincarnated.  Nothing has changed.  These men cannot restore trust and unity in SGM.  That requires honesty before God and transparency before men.  

Next month SGM does its Transfer conference for young people.  Jared is a featured speaker.  He will be promoted as a leader in SGM but his leadership approach is not one you want transferred to the next generation.  Such is the future of SGM. 

Next Friday the Council of Elders vote on Mark Prater’s confirmation as Executive Director of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  I have no doubt he will be approved by a simple majority.  His selection and confirmation proves SGM is not the least bit convicted about the past or Mark’s role in the past.  

This decision is ever so serious before the Lord Almighty!  Confirmation means the egregious repudiation of God’s dealings and the contemptible rejection of God’s kindness.  Installing Mark as the Executive Director is a clear statement that SGM has determined to move ahead with no repentance and no commitment to ethical reform.  Such willfulness, blindness and hardness are due to the judgment of God.  We have reached a terminal point in the disciplinary process that has been playing out for over 3 years.  

I am glad my role is coming to an end.     

## 

Addendum – Charges against Dave Harvey 

Mark Prater is “the best choice” to restore trust and unity says the Executive Committee (i.e., Board of Directors).  Dave Harvey is “the most crafty of all” says the Lord.

Get Out of Jail Free Card for C.J. – No Adjudication Hearing
Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Brent Detwiler 

Over the last two years you [Dave], C.J. and the Board have acted like slick politicians.  You never answer the questions you’re asked.  You just tell people what you want them to hear hoping they will believe it if you say it enough times.  But you offer no proofs for the points you make.  And you don’t refute the points made against you.  It’s like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  He produces no proof the Holocaust never occurred and he doesn’t refute the evidence showing it did.  He just keeps telling his lie and people in Iran actually believe him.  

You also deflect criticism by focusing the audience on something irrelevant.  Or you attack (e.g. SGM Blog Post on July 13, 2011) or demean or criticize the person bringing the observations.  For example, my style of writing.  Who cares if I use literary devices you don’t like but are found in the Bible when you’re facing charges of lying, abuse, manipulation, for which you give no answers.  You have no sense of proportionality.  

You have missed the mark.  Churches will now leave Sovereign Grace Ministries and rightly so.  Other churches will split and experience great upheaval.  Elderships will divide over whether to remain in SGM.  Pastors will be forced out when a majority want to stay.  More people will be devastated.  More people will be disillusioned.  More people will lapse from the faith.  More youth will be derailed.  But you don’t care about these matters.  Not really.  You care more about keeping your positions and kingdom intact.  It is like watching the events in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya.  Sooner or later, I’m afraid you will be toppled as the truth gets out and your corruption becomes more widely known.  

Dave, your decision to silence justice, leaves me little choice but to make my case against you and others.  I have been silent about such matters.  I’ve held back hoping you will repent.  There are so many clear examples of abuse and deceit I have not shared.  So, you won’t be hearing from my pastors but your pastors will be hearing from me.        

One last time, I appeal for your repentance and call for a just adjudication of the evidence.  Seek his Kingdom and his righteousness first, not your own.  If not, I commend you in prayer to the judgment and mercy of God.  

##

All Is Lost!
Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 6:40 PM
Brent Detwiler 

I just read Dave Harvey’s blog post, “Evaluating Brent Detwiler’s allegations.”  There is no hope for truth and justice. 

Dave repeatedly quotes me out of context.  For example, “unjust” and “bogus.”  Two words completely removed from their sentences and paragraphs and posts.  It is just more spin. Honestly, I can’t keep up.  I could write forever.  It is exhausting.  I have never done this with C.J. or SGM.  I always quote at length and in context.  Not Dave.  That is the only way he can get away with his spin… 

If Dave Harvey and the SGM Board are really interested in the truth they would allow for an open trial.  Let it be recorded.  Let it be videoed.  Let it be streamed live on the internet.  But this will never happen.  They are obsessed with controlling the message and the process… 

So, let’s do a real hearing in front of all the movement.  No behind the scenes maneuverings.  No back door discussions. No confidential conversations.  Just evidence, witnesses, honestly and accountability. Let C.J. defend himself if my “rantings and ravings” are so outrageous.  It should be an easy effort. Remember folks, the entire SGM Board already declared on July 13 that nothing in my writings gave them any concern that C.J. might not be above reproach.  Great.  Prove it but let everyone hear my prosecution and C.J.’s defense.   

Dave’s blog post contains so, so, so many errors!  No one should believe what he says about me.  Killing the adjudication hearing was a means to silencing me.  They don’t want me to speak.  And I repeatedly agreed to meet if they simply provided me honest answers and saw the need for a public confession by C.J.  That’s all.  But they have never referenced this.  Yet it is plan in all of my writings. They promised to answer my questions, points and illustrations but they broke their word and none of them every saw any need for C.J. to confess anything in public.  That is why we never met.  Read my documents for the truth not Dave’s blog posts which are false. 

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The Five Resolutions – July 13, 2011
Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:36 AM
Brent Detwiler 

Six months ago today, Dave Harvey and the Sovereign Grace Board of Directors reacted to my sending out of The Documents to the SGM pastors with five resolutions.  Those resolutions drew immediate fire from many quarters for being arrogant and heavy-handed.  

Two days later, Dave was forced to write, ”When people are tempted to think that you are (and I’ll pull from our vast supply of quotes here) ‘gaming the system,’ engaging in ‘cronyism,’ ‘going to war,’ behaving with ‘hubris,’ ‘presumptuous and self-serving,’ and, well you get the idea—you’ve got the burden of ensuring they know you get the point.”  The critics were right.  The descriptions were true.  In the days to follow, Dave tried to spin his way out of trouble (see “An Honest Take on a Difficult Week,” July 15; “Listening,” July 18).  A firestorm began.    

The initial reaction of the SGM Board embodied and revealed the most serious issues I’ve raised with C.J., Dave, et al. over the past seven years.  Their response was a near perfect illustration of what is wrong and needs to change in SGM.  That change is not possible without new leadership…  

The SGM Board misrepresented my conditions for meeting with C.J. in order to make me look like an extremist and prejudice their audience against me.  It is this kind of deceitful presentation that has characterized the leadership of Dave Harvey as interim President.  He must be removed.         

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Trust – The One Thing that Changes Everything
Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 8:04 AM
Brent Detwiler 

“There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy and civilization throughout the world – one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love…. That one thing is trust.”[1] 

The SGM Board and its agents have caused ruination like a F5 tornado.  They’ve destroyed trust every time they withheld information, distorted facts, refused to answer hard questions, broke promises, applied a double standard, showed favoritism, put their own interests first, spun the truth, or acted deceitfully.  That is the story of the last two years.    

Sovereign Grace Ministries enjoyed the trust of many fine people for the longest time.  That is no longer true.  Today there is a crisis of confidence.  Rightly so!  Trust has been lost and it will be hard to regain unless genuine transparency, honesty, consistency, competency and accountability are recovered at all levels of leadership.  This recovery of trust must be made the highest priority throughout the organization and in all the churches.  The deceit, hypocrisy and abuse of Sovereign Grace Ministries has left a swath of destruction in its wake.  There is a ton of debris to be cleaned up before rebuilding can begin.         

As a first step, C.J., Dave, Steve, Bob, Gene, and Mickey must be held accountable for their actions.  Each must be carefully evaluated if they choose to stay in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Their sins can no longer be glossed over.  Public confessions in appropriate venues must be forthcoming.  These men also need to be removed from their present roles.  Each of them is in need of illumination and proven transformation.  Only this kind of action can begin to restore the trust of pastors and people throughout the churches and in the Body of Christ at large.  Trust cannot be restored without this kind of change!  It will require courage and a renewed conviction that truth matters.  Half measures won’t cut the mustard… 

Dave must also be openly rebuked (1 Tim 5:20) for his on-going and consistent deceit.  After C.J. no one has done more to destroy people’s confidence in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Here is another recent example from his blog post, “What are we doing about the allegations against C.J.?” on  

Three committees have been formed, each one responsible for answering one key question established by the independent facilitator [Bryce Thomas].  The first committee will answer the question: Was Larry Tomczak’s departure from Sovereign Grace Ministries handled properly?  The second committee will answer the question: Did C.J. Mahaney wrongly influence the dismissal of Brent Detwiler from his church in Mooresville, NC?  The third committee will answer the question: Was C.J. Mahaney’s participation in fellowship in 2003 and 2004, including the giving and receiving of correction, in keeping with the teaching of Scripture? (Dave Harvey, “What are we doing about the allegations against C.J.,” blog post on Nov 28, 2011). 

These three questions “established by the independent facilitator” did not begin to address my allegations against C.J.  I immediately protested (see “SGM Panels Are of Little Worth in Determining C.J.’s Fitness for Ministry” on November 28, 2011 at BrentDetwiler.com).  This approach to investigating my charges was a sham.  But the blame for contriving such narrow questions was attributed to the work of the independent facilitator and trial lawyer, Bryce Thomas.  

Dave said each “key question” was “established” by Bryce.  That was pure spin intended to provide cover for the SGM Board.  Bryce had nothing to do with the nature of the questions.  They were assigned to him.  Nevertheless, Dave credited him for the three questions and clearly conveyed they originated with him.  Bryce was made to look like the one responsible for limiting the scope of the investigation.  I figured Dave was up to his old shenanigans… 

I talked to Bryce the next day by phone.  I asked him who was responsible for framing the question under review (i.e., “Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?”).  He told me the SGM Board assigned him the question and he had no say in the matter.  He was under orders… 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 10:24 AM
To: Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; John Loftness; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Andrew Mahr; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Tommy Hill; Tony Reinke
Cc: Ken Sande; Edgar Keinath; Bryce Thomas; Ted Kober; Adam Malcolm; Ben Wikner; Bob Schickler; Braden Greer; Corby Megorden; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Eric Sheffer; Eric Simmons; Grant Layman; Greg Somerville; Issac Hydoski; Jamie Leach; Joe Lee; Jon Smith; Joshua Harris; Kenneth Maresco; Mark Mitchell; Matt Maka; Robin Boisvert
Subject: Question Established by Independent Facilitator 

Last night at my panel hearing I took the occasion to ask Bryce about Dave’s comment below in the presence of the panelists.  It was as I suspected.  Bryce confirmed once again that the question was assigned to him by the SGM Board.  It did not originate with him.  It was provided to him by the SGM Board.  This is another example of Dave’s deceit and spin.  Dave must step down.  He must come clean and confess this pattern of sin to the pastors and the movement and get help.

At my panel hearing on December 2, 2011, I asked that this illustration be written up by Mark [Prater], Warren [Boettcher] and Ron [Boomsma] in their report which is supposed to be posted unedited on the SGM website this month [no surprise, the illustration was excluded].  This kind of corruption (and control) needs to be dealt with openly and honestly if trust is ever to be restored.  The entire SGM Board shares responsibility for this deceit unless Dave acted on his own [which he did not]. 

## 

Another Illustration of Dave Harvey’s Deceit
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Is anyone addressing Dave Harvey’s deceit?  C.J.’s deceit?  Mickey’s deceit?  The SGM Board’s deceit?  I don’t know but I sure hope so!  If not, Sovereign Grace Ministries will continue to meet with God’s opposition.      

This must be priority number one…Dave needs to be held accountable for his blatant and repeated lying, deceit, manipulation and spin.  His actions can’t be ignored.  Those who really care about the future of SGM will address him head on and call for a thorough investigation. 

I am concerned for the SGM Board with respect to many issues.  For example, their heavy handed leadership, self-appointment as Board Members (i.e., picked by C.J. and Dave), secretive control of the present process, hypocrisy, excessive devotion to C.J. and absence of accountability beyond themselves.  But my greatest concern is for the fundamental lack of integrity they have demonstrated time and again.  Especially under Dave’s interim leadership.  Anyone who allows him to continue in this role shows himself to be a fool. 

I told Warren, Ron, Mark, and Bryce at my panel hearing that we should not be talking about, “Did C.J. Mahaney wrongly influence the dismissal of Brent Detwiler from his church in Mooresville, NC?”  I said we should be talking about C.J.’s lying, deceit and hypocrisy.  Dave’s too. 

I’ve repeatedly asked for an evaluation of Dave over the last 2½ years.  I was promised the opportunity to present evidence against Dave and others.  Instead, Dave killed the adjudication hearing during which this was supposed to happen.  Here is what I told him and the SGM Board on October 5. 

“You totally misrepresent the facts.  I don’t know if that is due to deceit, or incompetence, or a combination of the two; but it is most certainly the case.  This is a predictable pattern for you.  It has happened time and time again over the last two years.  You make claims, assertions, or charges but you never provide any evidence to back them up.  You constantly distort the truth.  As a part of the evaluation promised me, I want to present a large body of material regarding you to a fair and impartial group of evaluators.  You must be assessed.  Your fitness for ministry must be reviewed.  There is a mountain of evidence that must be evaluated because I have found you extremely manipulative and repeatedly deceitful.” 

Dave, you cannot be trusted.  You will say and do almost anything in order to sinfully manage the image of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  

## 

Whitewashed Tombs
Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Here is what Dave and the Board promised everyone in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  It has not happened and it will never happen.  Hell will freeze over before “the outstanding charges against C.J.” are evaluated by anyone let alone an independent panel. 

“A second panel will commence work concurrent with the first.  It will consist of members of an independent conciliation ministry [AOR] with no ties to Sovereign Grace.  This panel will create a process for examination of the outstanding charges against Mahaney and create and lead a process for a fair hearing of those charges to determine if they are true or false.” (Dave Harvey, July 13, 2011)

Here is what Dave said on Wednesday of this week.  

“As described in our October 28 blog post, we created three panels to review Brent’s allegations and report their findings to us, after which we would determine if C.J. was to continue in his role as President.” (Dave Harvey, “An announcement regarding C.J. Mahaney,” January 25, 2012) 

This is the biggest con of all.  The King Kong of cons.  The three panels did not “review Brent’s allegations.”  They did nothing of the sort.  This is pure spin.  Dave is lying through his teeth.  But if he lies often enough, people will believe his lies and accept them as the truth.  In principal, it is no different than the insidious propaganda put out by homosexual activists and abortionists for the last 40 years.  Millions of people have believed their lies and see nothing wrong with homosexually in the name of “sexual orientation” or the murder of preborn children in the name of “women’s rights.”  It is insane… 

Here’s the harsh reality people must accept!  The overwhelming vast majority of my charges have not been presented, heard or judged in a hearing by anyone.  Like the O.J. Simpson trial, C.J. is getting away with murder (a little hyperbole folks).  Here is what Dave promised two months ago.  

“How is Sovereign Grace’s board handling the allegations that Brent Detwiler has brought against C.J. Mahaney?  We know that you care about this a lot.  We also care about this a lot, and we are taking Brent’s allegations seriously.  We don’t want to ignore the many accusations that now sit in the public mind.  We want to get this right.  Brent’s documents require impartial examination and C.J. deserves a fair hearing.” (Dave Harvey, “What are we doing about the allegations against C.J.,” November 28, 2011)  

Dave is full of it.  The SGM Board has never taken my allegations seriously.  No siree!  They came up with the three panel approach so they could purposely ignore “the many accusations” I’ve documented in over 1,200 pages of evidence.  This wasn’t a “fair hearing” for C.J.  It was a rigged hearing.  Soft ball questions.  Biased jury.  Misdemeanor charges for a felon.  The suppression of evidence in the verdict.  No cross examination.  C.J. was not held accountable for his sins.  Very little was investigated and all the terms and conditions were favorable to C.J.  The three panel approach was an ostentatious show of righteousness - a pretense for justice.  It was all image and no substance.  People should be outraged. 

This statement from Dave on Wednesday is also terribly deceptive.    

“To further protect the integrity of the process, the interim Board sought the counsel and affirmation of an outside conciliation ministry, Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AOR).  With C.J. on leave and AOR involved, the review process took the following form:  We [the SGM Board and AOR] commissioned three outside ministers to review Brent’s documents in light of C.J.’s confessions and render their judgment on his fitness to serve in ministry.  In light of their evaluation, they found him to be completely fit to serve.  We [the SGM Board and AOR] then commissioned three panels—each consisting of three SGM pastors—to evaluate C.J.’s involvement in the three central events of Brent’s allegations.” (Dave Harvey, “An announcement regarding C.J. Mahaney,” January 25, 2012) 

Dave says Ambassadors of Reconciliation “commissioned three panels-each consisting of three SGM pastors.”  This is a lie!  Three days ago, I talked to Ted Kober about this very subject in detail.  I asked him if AOR helped create the three panel approach.  He said no.  I asked if he commended the approach.  He said no.  I asked him if he supported the approach.  He said he never expressed support or a lack of support.  He remained neutral because he did not feel it was his place to take a position since the SGM Board devised the plan entirely on their own.  

Ted Kober did not help to create this plan and he did not in any way “commission” the three panel approach.  This fabrication by Dave is just like his lie that Bryce Thomas came up with the questions for the three panels.  SGM acted independent of AOR but the SGM Board wants you to believe otherwise.  I hope Ted exposes this example of SGM spin in the AOR report coming out in March.  Bryce also… 

Dave Harvey emphatically stated that the SGM Board would “work with AOR…to develop and launch an alternative process.”  He also stated AOR “helped,” “recommended,” “affirmed,” and “endorsed” the entire three panel approach.  Ted Kober denies all of these assertions. 

##

An Appeal for Ted Kober to Expose Dave Harvey
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM
Brent Detwiler 

The SGM Board also put a muzzle on justice by forbidding her to speak openly and freely before neutral judges.  The three panel approach was their crowning achievement.  It gave the appearance of justice to the naïve; while securing a miscarriage of justice apparent to the discerning.  No judge in American would allow such a bogus proceeding in their courtroom.  Moreover a host of people would have gone to jail for criminal activity including perjury, jury tampering, the suppression of evidence, and the denial of due process.  Every statutory standard for the hearing of evidence in a court proceeding was done violence.       

This is due in large part to the craft and cunning of Dave Harvey.  In the piece below, I ask Ted to boldly expose Dave for his ongoing lying, deceit and manipulation.  Corruption has only increased over time.  Thousands of people in SGM churches have been deceived.  They’ve been told to trust their leaders, believe the best of C.J. and Dave, not read my materials and refrain from “divisive” discussions with others.  All the while storm clouds keep gathering.      

February 26, 2012 

Dear Ted, 

I need to share honestly with you.  The hour is late.  Your report is due soon.  Please let me be direct without it being misinterpreted as a lack of love or gentleness. 

First, I believe you have been taken advantage of and manipulated by the SGM Board.  Second, I think you have been timid in addressing evil, ignored evidence, been unwise in what you’ve proposed and failed to oppose the three panel approach as unjust.  I hope you acknowledge all of these in your March report.    

I need to continue my appeal for boldness and share more of my concerns with you based upon our conversation and interactions the past month.  In particular, I want to warn you again regarding Dave Harvey.  He cannot and should not be trusted.  He is a master manipulator and consistent liar.  Tragically, the SGM Board has followed his corrupt example and been duped by him.  Just like C.J., he has not been held accountable by the SGM Board or his local elders… 

Ted, over the last two years, no one has addressed what has been my central concern for C.J., Dave, the Board and other agents of SGM.  The three panel approach in December came about as a result of Dave’s cunning…  

All of these agreements were violated in the three panel approach by the SGM Board.  They were not interested in “blind jurors” who heard testimony in an open court.  No, instead they rigged the jury, suppressed evidence, stacked witnesses, and denied due process.  As another example of their deceit and unwillingness to walk in the light, the SGM Board has repeatedly refused to answer any questions about how they handpicked the panelists. 

Here’s the point. I’ve had no opportunity to present 1,200 pages of evidence documenting the lying, deceit, hypocrisy, intimidation, cover up, manipulation, and spin of C.J., Dave, SGM Board and others.  The three panel approach was an act of treachery intended to kill a fair, honest, open, and thorough hearing of evidence…

 

You must immediately confront the SGM Board for their deceit and ask them to publicly repent and confess their duplicity.  If they are unwilling, you must inform the public that the SGM Board lied about your endorsement, etc.  People must know you did not support the three panel approach, nor were you involved in creating the approach contrary to what the SGM Board has told everyone…

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My Appeal to Ted Kober (and the SGM World) for Righteous Indignation
Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Dave’s comments regarding your endorsement of the three panel process were repeated and unambiguous.  I am not accusing him, I am quoting him.  He was not unclear in his meaning.  I didn’t need to talk to him; I needed to talk to you which I did.  I also wrote you.  I tried to confirm every fact.  Your oral and written testimony was in direct contradiction to Dave’s blog posts.    

Furthermore, Dave already lied about Bryce Thomas’ involvement in the three panel approach.  Bryce had nothing to do with creating the questions given to the panels.  Yet, Dave said they were “established” by Bryce.  Bryce denied this in writing and in person.  I confronted Dave in writing and Mark Prater in person.  They never responded.  That is always the case…    

Ted, I am not guilty of lying, deceit, manipulation, hypocrisy, partiality, favoritism, abuse, intimidation, cover up, etc.  Those are the kinds of sins I’ve been confronting since December 2000 and especially since August 2004.  I’ve paid a huge price in so doing…. In our conversations and in our correspondence over the past 8 months, you have yet to take a stand on any ethical issue related to CJ., Dave, Steve, Mickey, Bob, Gene, et al.  This concerns me greatly… 

Let me close by appealing to you again.  You cannot be silent and present a morally neutral report this month.  Show the kind of moral outrage described in 2 Cor 7:10-12.  There is a need for godly aggressiveness.  Let the teaching of God’s word arouse you to righteous anger.  

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Dave Harvey’s Deceitful Leadership Covered Up and Left Uninvestigated – Exposed Tonight at Covenant Fellowship Church
Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Dave Harvey’s deceit has concerned me for a long time.  His integrity quickly deteriorated after he decided to “Join the Culture of Accommodation” (see “A Final Appeal,” pp. 90-97) surrounding C.J.  He decided to put his selfish desires ahead of God’s holy interests.  Moral decline was quick to follow.  Dave has also been covering up serious issues in his family for a long time.  These clearly disqualify him from Christian ministry (1 Tim 3:4-5; Titus 1:6).    

Tonight people will find out that Dave’s sins have been covered up just like with C.J., Steve Shank, Mickey Connolly and Gene Emerson.  I’ve repeatedly asked that these men be formally investigated.  No one has listened and no one has taken action.  Every pastor and leader in SGM is to blame.  

Corruption is strangling Sovereign Grace Ministries and tonight the death grip will tighten.  All of this was avoidable but men hardened their hearts and chose the way of deception in order to protect their reputations, positions and pocketbooks.  It began in earnest in August 2004 when C.J. abusively and deceitfully took control of his own disciplinary process.  He silenced, manipulated, and intimidated people around him in order to conceal his own sins.  

Dave, Steve, Mickey and Gene are no different.  In each case, the SGM Board and local pastors enabled these men to continue in their sin and helped covered up their sin.  For instance, Mark Prater has done this with Dave Harvey just like Bob Kauflin with C.J. (see “A Final Appeal,” pp. 97-109, 120-123).  Bob also did this for Dave…  

Tonight Covenant Fellowship Church in Glenn Mills, PA will gather.  They will hear news about Dave and their pastors that is extremely painful, disappointing, and disillusioning.  The entire SGM family of churches will be shocked.  

One of the issues to be addressed concerns Dave’s abusive treatment of former CFC pastors, Don Shorey and Joe McMullin.  Two years ago, I asked Bob Kauflin, Phil Sasser, and Wayne Brooks to make sure Dave was investigated by the SGM Board for his handling of these men and others in the church.  Unsurprisingly, nothing was done.  It was unimportant to them… 

No one followed up with Don and Joe.  No one looked into why 70 people left the church [because of Dave’s authoritarianism].  My formal appeals were totally ignored.  C.J., Bob Kauflin, and Jeff Purswell took no action.  They covered up Dave’s sins and provided no accountability.  What Dave did for C.J., C.J. did for Dave.  They protected each other.  This has happened time and again over the last 8 years among the inner circle of C.J.’s friends…  

Closing thought.  I released my documents on July 6, 2011.  That was only 7 months ago.  God’s discipline of SGM has steadily increased since then because there has been no repentance, confession or restitution.  C.J. is on the run.  Dave will be removed from ministry.  Pastors will be exposed and people are leaving SGM churches by the hundreds.  Contributions are drying up.  What’s left of Sovereign Grace Ministries will move to Louisville, KY.  Relations with Covenant Life Church will be severed. 

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Hardball
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM
Brent Detwiler 

I can’t stand the politics of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” but the name of his news program serves well for this post.  Yesterday, Jared Mellinger, senior pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church, sent out the following note to all the SGM pastors. 

From: Jared Mellinger
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 3:21 PM
To: SGM Pastors
Subject: From Covenant Fellowship 

Fellow Sovereign Grace Pastor, 

Grace and peace to you.  We are aware that Brent Detwiler sent an email to many pastors throughout Sovereign Grace that speaks against Dave Harvey.  Because Dave is an elder at Covenant Fellowship, and for the sake of Dave’s reputation and the health of Sovereign Grace churches, it seemed appropriate for us to briefly write to you. 

We want pastors and churches throughout Sovereign Grace to know that we support Dave and commend him as a man of integrity, humility, and godliness.  Dave has not walked in deceitfulness and has never covered up any issues in his life, leadership, or home.  He has not been abusive in his treatment of former pastors in Covenant Fellowship.  At no time has there been a plan or suggestion from any of the elders that Dave confess sins to the church, nor has he sinned in any ways requiring public rebuke. 

It has been our posture as elders, and remains our posture, to not communicate with Brent or respond to him in any way.  He is a divisive man who has unsettled many and continues to tear down the church of Christ.  We pray for his restoration.  But in the meantime, we will continue to give no consideration to his material, continue to have nothing to do with him, continue to protect the church from him where needed, and (in light of 1 Timothy 5:19-20) we will not entertain any of his charges against Dave. 

We encourage you to relate to Brent in the same way, so that churches can be protected from him and so we can all carry on with the work of proclaiming and treasuring Christ together. 

Thanking God for our partnership in the gospel,

Jared Mellinger and the elders of Covenant Fellowship 

This was in response to my blog post from Sunday entitled “Dave Harvey’s Deceitful Leadership Covered Up and Left Uninvestigated – Exposed Tonight at Covenant Fellowship Church” (Mar 4, 2012)… 

The kind of duplicity evident in this example [the letter] is behind Jared’s statement to the SGM pastors.  “At no time has there been a plan or suggestion from any of the elders that Dave confess sins to the church, nor has he sinned in any ways requiring public rebuke.”  What Jared is not telling you is that other non-elders who are influential men and leaders have asked for Dave to be rebuked, resign, and make a public confession.  Sometime the lies from SGM are brash.  Normally, they are subtle like this one.  Partial truth that covers up the whole truth. 

Dave is not “a man of integrity.”  His has repeatedly “walked in deceitfulness.”  A mountain of facts and evidence bear this out.  It is not up for debate in the sight of God.    Jared can protest all he wants but his denials are meaningless.  Worse they are deceptive. 

I don’t care how these men treat me but it is important for everyone in SGM to see how these well-known SGM pastors at CFC conduct themselves.  This kind of statement by Jared exposes their heavy-handedness, deceit, and commitment to cover up the truth.  They don’t want justice.  They won’t answer questions.  They loath outside accountability.    

The only true statement by Jared is “We will not entertain any of his [Brent’s] charges against Dave.”  That is exactly the problem.  They have learned well from the SGM Board.  Discredit Brent.  Excommunicate Brent.  Threatened Brent (e.g. “Banned from the Churches” in A Final Appeal, pp. 126-132).  But don’t give Brent any chance to present his charges or defend himself against false witnesses.  I am not tearing down the church, I am exposing deceitful leaders who have become corrupt and played by a different set of rules.    

It turned out Dave was not exposed this past Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be exposed in the future.  True, Jared and the CFC pastors are working hard to make sure that does not happen; but at the same time, a lot of people are deciding whether to speak up and speak out.  I hope and pray they pick up their crosses by the power of the Holy Spirit and suffer for Christ by exposing evil… 

For people who love truth here are some of the questions that need to be answered by Jared, Dave and the CFC pastors.  Let’s get to the bottom of things.  Enough of the cover up. 

  1. In the last two weeks, did well respected men in Covenant Fellowship Church, who know Dave well, ask him to step down and make a public confession?
  2. Did these men tell Dave they would leave the church and expose him publicly if he did not comply?
  3. Have these men been silenced by Dave, Jared and the other pastors?  Have they been coerced?
  4. Did Dave write a rough draft confession for this past Sunday night but decide not to go through with it at the last minute?
  5. Did the sins Dave planned to confess include long standing and serious issues in his family?   
  6. Are these issues well known in the church and have they been brought to Dave and Kimm’s attention for more than a decade?
  7. Are people afraid to speak up regarding Dave’s hypocrisy for fear of being shunned or disciplined?
  8. Are people covering up for the Harvey’s?
  9. Did C.J. suggest in 2004 that Dave may need to step down from ministry or make a public confession due to serious issues with his oldest son?
  10. Is one of Dave’s daughters under church discipline and being divorced by her husband?
  11. Was Matthew 18:15-18 properly followed in her case or was she shown preferential treatment?  Have her sins been told to the church so the church can appeal for her to repent?
  12. Is there a history of sin that has been covered up?
  13. Has her husband been silenced by the Harvey family, friends or pastoral staff?
  14. Has another of Dave’s sons been sent off to a “boot camp” in western PA for behavioral problems they can’t control?
  15. Does another daughter show the same patterns of behavior demonstrated by her three siblings?
  16. Were former pastors at CFC removed from staff in the past when they tried to help Dave in his delinquent role as a father?
  17. Have Dave’s sins been covered up by the pastors around him (i.e., Mark Prater, Andy Farmer, Jim Donahue)?
  18. Do the pastors at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD know about all of these issues and events?  If so, what have they done to address them?
  19. Do other SGM pastors know?  What have they done?
  20. Have Dave’s four children obeyed him with proper respect?   
  21. Have Dave’s four children been open to the charge of being wild and disobedient for a long time from a young age?   
  22. Has Dave been a hypocrite and taught on family life but not lived it for a long time?
  23. Why did 70 people including close friends of Dave leave CFC in 2007?
  24. Were their charges of manipulation, intimidation, and authoritarianism ever investigated by C.J. and the Board as requested by Brent? 

Most of the answers to these questions have already been answered but I will leave it to the SGM pastors who received this awful letter to press for an investigation or content themselves with Jared’s lies and the cover up now in progress at Covenant Fellowship Church by its pastors. 

No slow pitch softball played in this park!  Time for hardball…. I know the answers to 22 of the 24 questions.  I have been merciful in what I’ve written and not written in this post.   

Every person in SGM has a right to evaluate or know about Dave’s qualifications.  According to SGM polity he was the spiritual leader of the movements as interim President.  The issues I’ve addressed have a bearing on everyone.  Furthermore, Dave has removed men from ministry for marriage and family related issues that are far less serious than his own.  The hypocrisy is an affront.  

Dave has acted with tremendous deceit over the last eight months as interim President for SGM and before that as a Board Member.  For nearly three years, I’ve asked to present my concerns for Dave to objective evaluators.  I was promised this would happen but all those promises were broken in what amounts to a massive cover up.  Others have wanted to do the same.  We’ve all been cut off. 

In this case, an offspring has been disciplined by the pastors while her father goes free even though he is the greater sinner.  The CFC pastors have acted with partiality and favoritism.  They have gone public with the family member while they cover up for Daddy.  This is wrong…. Dave loves his children but he did not manage his family well.  All of these parenting and family issues have been covered up for a long time by the pastors at Covenant Fellowship Church.

What is worse is when a church and its pastors allow this to happen, take no action, cover up the transgressions of parents and children, and content themselves with compromise. As a result, the pastor goes unconfronted and the children go uncontained. Both have a corrupting influence on other children and youth in the church who are tempted to imitate their example. 

## 

When Salt Becomes Saltless It Is Good for Nothing
Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Brent Detwiler 

Sovereign Grace has lost its saltiness and in some significant ways become good for nothing because no one around C.J. and Dave Harvey have been willing to stop the process of rotting.  The leaders of SGM can no longer be trusted to be “salt” having repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to lie, deceive, cover up, oppress, and act unjustly whenever needed to advance their self-interests… 

I sent my first document, Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine, to C.J. in March 2010.  I was to the point on page 3.  “My greatest concern is for the increasing presence of deceit and hypocrisy rooted in self-preservation and the love of reputation.”  I’ve addressed these corrupting influences in 2,000 pages of hard evidence over the past 3 years but still not a single leader in all of SGM, Peacemakers, or Ambassadors of Reconciliation has been willing to speak out against the deceit, hypocrisy, self-preservation and love of reputation so evident in C.J.’s words and actions.  

The same is true regarding Dave Harvey.  I’ve documented Dave’s deceit on my blog (see below) over the last twelve months hoping something would be done.  I’ve tried to talk to him in private.  I’ve tried to meet with him in private.  I was promised I could present my charges against Dave to objective evaluators.  All of these attempts were stopped by Dave and the interim Board.  No one has spoken out against Dave.  There is no question Dave pioneered a crooked path for SGM yet he remains in his original position of leadership.  How can his local pastors allow this?  How can the SGM Board allow this?  How can the SGM pastors allow this?  Everyone should have called for his resignation.  Sovereign Grace has lost its saltiness.  It cannot preserve the most basis scruples of Christian leadership.  

 

 

 

C.J., Dave and the three Boards of Sovereign Grace Ministries have promoted injustice at every turn.  SGM is in a state of decomposition.  It is leaving behind a legacy of corruption for those foolish enough to stay.  None of these requisites of justice have been preserved.  

## 

Dave Harvey, the #2 Leader in Sovereign Grace Ministries, Steps Down from All Responsibilities
December 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Brent Detwiler 

Sovereign Grace Ministries is in total disarray.  Last Sunday, the largest and most influential church in the denomination [Covenant Life Church] announced its decision to sever ties.  Two days later, Dave Harvey abruptly stepped down from all his sizeable leadership responsibilities.  This is mind boggling news.  

After C.J. Mahaney, no one is a greater luminary in SGM or before the evangelical world than Dave… 

In January 2006, Dave wrote C.J. a lengthy personal letter outlining his concerns and frustrations (AFA, pp. 85-87).  This was Dave’s last attempt to help C.J.  C.J. never responded to letter.  After this Dave went into retirement and stopped bringing concerns and correction to C.J.  He could not handle the on-going stress of dealing with C.J. and he did not want to jeopardize his prominent position in SGM.   

C.J. was Dave’s bread and butter but this accommodation to C.J. cost Dave his integrity.  His desire for national recognition exceeded his commitment to speak the truth without worldly concern for the consequences.  By 2007, he fully embraced the culture of accommodation surrounding C.J.  That same year I resigned from the SGM Board having lost respect for C.J. 

When C.J. took his “leave of absence” in July 2011, Dave became the Interim President of Sovereign Grace Ministries for 9 months.  That began an even greater fall from grace that led to unimaginable deceit and heavy-handedness as he manipulated a puppet Board, the SGM pastors and the entire ministry with the help of men like John Loftness and Mickey Connolly. 

But by June 2012, a couple members on the new Board began to tell others of a breakdown in Dave’s relationship with C.J.  Even though Dave had continuously lied, schemed, and covered up for him, C.J. was not pleased with Dave… 

Dave has been out of sight for the last 9 months.  The last time he posted or was featured on the SGM website was in March 2012 when he introduced the new Board.  Except for speaking at the November 2012 Pastors Conference, Dave has not been heard from in a long time.  When leaders go missing in SGM it is always a bad sign.  It usually means they have fallen out of favor with C.J… 

In predictable fashion, Dave tells us absolutely nothing about why this stepping down was necessary.  This is a radical step and one that would not be taken at this time if not for dire reasons.  Dave’s departure from his leadership post could not come at a worse time for SGM.  It throws them into greater confusion and creates an ever growing cloud of suspicion.  What is really going on here?  Will anyone in CFC or SGM just be honest?  This kind of statement only fuels suspicions and inevitably leads to skepticism because it lacks any kind of meaningful transparency… 

So what does this “one pastor need right now?”  He gives only this nebulous answer.  “I need to continue to receive their friendship and counsel.”  Dave and the pastors in Covenant Fellowship Church do not believe in congregational accountability.  They continue to act on their own and behind the veil of secrecy divulging nothing of significance to the church.  

Why won’t the pastors at CFC be open and honest with the church about the reasons for this mind boggling development?  Will Dave come clean and acknowledge to the church what has been going on for a long time?  I really doubt it.  This stepping down is at best a half measure.  I’d be surprised if Dave’s disqualifying sins were confessed to the church.  In all likelihood, he will continue to be treated with partiality and favoritism just like C.J. as things are covered up in his personal, family and ministerial life.  I don’t expect any truth telling, only vagaries, but I always hope I am wrong… 

This statement sheds a little, but just a little, light on what has been transpiring.  Dave has been “receiving the assessment of those who serve with [him]” in relation to “the values of devotion, humility, honesty, integrity, accountability, faithfulness, and unity.”  He is willing “to follow [obey] the elders in this process.”… 

That aside, what is their assessment of Dave’s character?  Is he above reproach (1 Tim 3:1) and blameless (Tit 1:6)?  The obvious answer is no but I think hell will freeze over before the pastors are candid with the church about his true condition.  I have no doubt this is a disciplinary action by the elders.  Therefore, not only should CFC be told the basis for this action but so should all of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  That kind of transparency is expected in Scripture.   

Over the last ten years the elders have failed to deal with Dave in a biblical fashion (1 Tim 5:19-21).  In 2003, C.J. told me he thought Dave may need to step down as the senior pastor and should make a public confession to the church when major problems began to surface in his family.  Since then those problems have only worsened and intensified.  This and much more has been concealed from the church though many people in the church are aware of the family issues but afraid to speak out against the deceitful cover up that has transpired.  The elders also need to give account to the church for their compromise. 

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[1] Covey, Stephen M.R. The Speed of Trust – The One Thing That Changes Everything.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

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