The lead pastor and the executive team of an Association of Related Churches megachurch have resigned.
According to The Roys Reports, the resignations come as ARC church leaders have been facing allegations of misconduct and bullying.
This week, Josh Gagnon, lead pastor of Next Level Church in New Hampshire, announced during service that he would be stepping down from the church. The church also announced that Operations Pastor Daniel King and Executive Assistant Walt Robbins would also be resigning from their roles at the church.
“Recently, former employees and volunteers made accusations against our Directional Team,” NLC location pastors Bryan Levangie, Michael Grayston, Pablo Lopez, and Shane Becton wrote in an email statement. “We are saddened by the hurt that any individual has experienced. The church should always be a place of healing, but unfortunately, it can be a place of hurt.”
The NLC said the resignations were tendered in early February but were not announced until this past weekend, just a day after The Roys Report published an investigation saying Gagnon was the head of bullying and financial misconduct at the church. The investigation included reports from 25 former pastors, staff, and volunteers of the church.
Sources said they were underpaid, overworked, and were docked for pay for “non-performance-related reasons.”
NLC whistleblowers are now asking for a third-party investigation into Gagnon’s behavior and the church’s actions.
Gagnon and other pastors have not responded to requests for comment.
NLC attender Jesse Davies, who is also a former volunteer at the church, said he is encouraging former staff and church members to report abuses to the New Hampshire Department of Labor and the state’s attorney general’s office.
He said an instruction document he provided for reports has received more than 200 unique hits.
Thus far, the New Hampshire Department of Labor has received just one report of “financial abuse,” it was outside of the department’s jurisdiction, deputy commissioner for the department, Rudy Ogden, said.
Meanwhile, Michael Garrity, DOJ communications director, said the New Hampshire DOJ has received several complaints about NLC.
Photo courtesy: Ben White/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.