A 2004 letter to the congregation of John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church that shows a then-associate pastor supporting a man who was arrested for sexual and physical abuse of children has surfaced.
The letter from Carey Hardy, a former associate pastor at the church and the former personal assistant to MacArthur, was reportedly emailed to the church and posted on GCC’s website just five days after David Gray, a former teacher at the church, was arrested.
Hardy’s letter has since been removed from the site.
“I’m sure you know by now that one of our own, David Gray, has been arrested,” Hardy said in the letter, which was obtained by The Roys Report. “The accusations being brought against him have to do with child abuse. Most likely, these accusations come from his estranged wife, Eileen.”
Hardy was referring to Gray’s now ex-wife, Eileen, who had first told the church that Gray was abusing her and their children. She later reported it to the police.
In the letter, Hardy also noted that the church had known of the accusations but was “concerned with the integrity of Eileen’s statements.”
Hardy further wrote about an effort to raise money for Gray’s then-bail.
“Many of you have interacted with David on a personal level,” Hardy wrote. “And, like those of us on staff who know him, you have great difficulty believing the accusations that have been brought … We can still strongly say that the accusations do not fit with what we know of David.”
But according to The Roys Report, Gray submitted a handwritten confession of his abuse to the church in 2001. Gray is currently serving 21 years to life in a California prison for his convictions for aggravated child molestation, corporal injury to a child and child abuse.
In 2004, Hardy was charged with two misdemeanors for failing to report child abuse and intimidating a witness. The charges against him were dismissed in 2005, but he is no longer on staff at GCC.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, in a video of a 2002 church service, MacArthur is seen talking about Eileen before the congregation.
During the service, MacArthur asserted that Eileen had refused to repent after she decided to take her kids and leave her husband.
“This is what the Lord wants. He wants discipline, and one of the forms of discipline that he uses is to be put out of the church, to be publicly shamed, to be put away from fellowship. In this case, it applies to Eileen Gray,” MacArthur said.
He then added that Eileen had rejected “all the instruction and counsel of the elders, all instruction from the Word of God.”
He also told the church to pray for her and “treat her as an unbeliever – for all we know, she may be.”
Last week, the California Board of Parole denied Gray’s request for parole.
Editor's Note, March 21, 2022: This is a follow-up to our "Grace Community Church Leaders under Fire for 'Excommunicating' Wife Who Refused to Stay with Abusive Husband" piece.
Photo courtesy: Scott Graham/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.