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Thread: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

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    Senior Member Bill Morrison's Avatar

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    More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
    Thanks Craig Laughlin, Dennis M. Scott, David Graham - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    These things always make all our other debates and squabbles seem so insignificant. Lord have mercy.
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Thanks Bill Morrison - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Bill Morrison's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Thanks Jim for your questions and concern. I struggle with this too, and I appreciate your attitude and spirit.

    1. This is already in the Kansas City Star and is going to bring bad publicity to the COTN no matter whether we discuss it or not. I decided not to post a link or name the pastor (even though those who want to will quickly dig that information out...we do live in the information age) because I don't want to cross the line into gossip. Obviously, you feel the line lies elsewhere...and I might too on a given day and in a different situation.
    2. While I have a deep appreciation for Dr. Rowell and other District leaders, I unfortunately also know our denomination does NOT have a very good track record in dealing with these issues.
    I sometimes wonder if we are going to go the way of the Catholics if we aren't careful. We do need to pray specifically that our leaders have wisdom to handle this situation appropriately. I even pray that this pastor, if innocent, is quickly freed from this charge. If he is not innocent, I do wish God would be glorified by the church appropriately supporting the victim of this alleged action and that we NOT sweep this under the rug to "protect the church".

    BILL

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    I'm neither Bill nor Nazarene. But I'm part-time staff at a church that operates a day-care facility. I also spent 36 years as an elementary teacher in California. It's simply impossible to be too careful when you're dealing with people's children. Paranoia may well be a mental disorder, but it can also be a survival skill.
    After seeing a colleague hit with what turned out to be a false accusation of molestation, I made sure there could be absolutely no way I could be vulnerable to such a charge. For example, I would never allow the classroom door to be closed when I was in a room with one or two children. In the case of a restroom problem, I wouldn't enter a student restroom of either gender - I'd send in another student with the word that the place had better empty immediately. You simply can't be too careful.

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    Senior Member David Pettigrew's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Abuse thrives on secrecy, and this is why churches are such easy targets. "Don't talk about it!" has led to lots of cover up and even abusers being allowed to continue their behavior.

    We have pretty strict guidelines here at naznet - you can't just lob accusations or make insinuations without facts. That is not what Bill did.

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
    Very sad. I have known this pastor for many years.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    2. While I have a deep appreciation for Dr. Rowell and other District leaders, I unfortunately also know our denomination does NOT have a very good track record in dealing with these issues.
    I agree with your putting this out there and keeping names out of it. We need more light in the COTN. That being said, I know your DS and the leadership of your Board of Ministry well enough to be very confident that they will not shrink from their responsibilities.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Thanks Bill Morrison - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    Very sad. I have known this pastor for many years.
    Yeah, this one hits home and really breaks my heart.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Thanks Bill Morrison, Jeremy D. Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Praying for the child, families involved, and for my D.S. and Leadership, sad tonight, just very sad.

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Are we so committed to the idea of secrecy and pride over transparency and accountability?
    - Ben

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    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
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    Senior Member Jon Bemis's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here.
    IMO things like this need exposed. Not just for the sake of protecting children - which should be the highest priority, but to demonstrate that as a denomination we are committed to complete transparency and zero tolerance for this kind of thing. Those who abuse children rely on levels of secrecy to get away with what they do.
    Loving God . . . Loving others.

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    Host Theology Forum Dennis M. Scott's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Without a doubt, those closest to the situation have been instructed strongly to not talk about it at all. Those who speak freely are those that are either least informed, or reckless and disregarding legal counsel to let it be handled discretely. That is often perceived as cover-up. Innocent people - in this case, apparently a child, and family members of anyone that might be found guilty - do not deserve to be dragged through the gauntlet of public harassment.
    In some cases, legal counsel instructs leadership to not even ask for prayer. When such instructions are violated, liability insurance is able to deny coverage, but organizational financial liability remains. Sometimes leadership can be the object of screaming charges of cover-up, and their only option is to stand there silently, blinking and holding their breath: all the while frequently aware that false information runs rampant.
    The whole situation stinks.

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis M. Scott View Post
    Without a doubt, those closest to the situation have been instructed strongly to not talk about it at all. Those who speak freely are those that are either least informed, or reckless and disregarding legal counsel to let it be handled discretely. That is often perceived as cover-up. Innocent people - in this case, apparently a child, and family members of anyone that might be found guilty - do not deserve to be dragged through the gauntlet of public harassment.
    In some cases, legal counsel instructs leadership to not even ask for prayer. When such instructions are violated, liability insurance is able to deny coverage, but organizational financial liability remains. Sometimes leadership can be the object of screaming charges of cover-up, and their only option is to stand there silently, blinking and holding their breath: all the while frequently aware that false information runs rampant.
    The whole situation stinks.
    I think this is all absolutely true. I also think this is were the reputation of an organization makes a huge difference. Organizations that are transparent and have a reputation for handling such matters with the highest levels of integrity are going to do much better than organizations that are opaque and have a reputation for covering up. Public perception matters.

    Again, knowing many of the players on the KC district there is not a doubt in my mind that this will be handled with the utmost integrity. Unfortunately they will also bear the brunt of the consequences of our general lack of transparency and the poor way these matters have sometimes been handle in our denomination and in the church in general. Not their fault, not fair... but it is the case.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Thanks Dennis M. Scott, G R 'Scott' Cundiff, Ryan Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Dan Henderson's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis M. Scott View Post
    Without a doubt, those closest to the situation have been instructed strongly to not talk about it at all.
    Not talking about it, initially, at least by those who might have relevant information, gives investigators a better shot at a good investigation and getting to the truth. A rumor has the power to change what an eye witness thinks they saw.

    However, after an indictment and trials are complete, then we need to discuss and learn from our mistakes.
    Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. - Gilbert K. Chesterson
    Thanks Dennis M. Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Host Theology Forum Dennis M. Scott's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis M. Scott View Post
    Without a doubt, those closest to the situation have been instructed strongly to not talk about it at all. Those who speak freely are those that are either least informed, or reckless and disregarding legal counsel to let it be handled discretely. That is often perceived as cover-up. Innocent people - in this case, apparently a child, and family members of anyone that might be found guilty - do not deserve to be dragged through the gauntlet of public harassment.
    In some cases, legal counsel instructs leadership to not even ask for prayer. When such instructions are violated, liability insurance is able to deny coverage, but organizational financial liability remains. Sometimes leadership can be the object of screaming charges of cover-up, and their only option is to stand there silently, blinking and holding their breath: all the while frequently aware that false information runs rampant.
    The whole situation stinks.
    Please do not interpret this as critical of Bill Morrison, for whom I have utmost respect.

    Our role, now, is to pray, which is precisely what Bill asked.

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    Host Book, Movie & GA forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    I think this is all absolutely true. I also think this is were the reputation of an organization makes a huge difference. Organizations that are transparent and have a reputation for handling such matters with the highest levels of integrity are going to do much better than organizations that are opaque and have a reputation for covering up. Public perception matters.

    Again, knowing many of the players on the KC district there is not a doubt in my mind that this will be handled with the utmost integrity. Unfortunately they will also bear the brunt of the consequences of our general lack of transparency and the poor way these matters have sometimes been handle in our denomination and in the church in general. Not their fault, not fair... but it is the case.
    Yeah, this. People tend to act better when they know people are watching. Sad fact of life, but certainly one I live up to as well.
    ...just my $.02.
    Thanks Craig Laughlin, Diane Likens, Gina Stevenson - "thanks" for this post

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    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    My perspective is probably tainted by my legal training and my personal experiences, but I will share my opinion --

    The church (us) must realize what its role is -- Paragraph 601 - 601.1 of the Manual says, ".. a response is also appropriate when information which would cause a prudent person to believe that harm is likely to come to the church, to potential victims of misconduct, or any other person as a result of misconduct by a person in a position of trust or authority."

    It is always the case when a member of the clergy is charged with a crime involving innocent victims, one of the issues becomes "Who had information which would have caused a prudent person to act?" The church leadership is immediately put on the defensive. A lack of transparency that is intended to protect the person charged is often seen as church leadership trying to protect itself. To prevent the church from being harmed, transparency is very important. If there is even a hint that information is being hidden, the church is harmed.

    When my pastor was charged with molesting his own child, our church reacted quickly to appoint one person, a retired missionary, to be the spokesperson for the church. He did not seek to make public statements, but he was made available to the press to respond to questions. Every question submitted was answered quickly with no lack of cooperation.

    The members of the church were told to avoid gossip (passing on information that wasn't within their personal knowledge), but to feel free to discuss their feelings and share information. We were of the opinion that suppressing discussion would just drive the discussion underground. One of the primary focuses of the discussion was, "Are there others who have been harmed?"

    The energy of the church was directed toward responding to the wife and children of the pastor in a positive way.

    When it comes to having discussions like this on NazNet, I am of the opinion that it is healthy. When it comes to the reputation and assets of the church, all of us have a personal interest when a member of the clergy is charged with a crime that reflects negatively on the church. It is important to pray, but it is equally important that we discuss how this happened, who should have acted to prevent it, and what can be done to prevent other such incidents? Obviously, the person charged is presumed innocent until found guilty, but whether or not the person is guilty, the church has been harmed. There is no way to take back unfavorable publicity like this.

    It is appropriate for us to ask, who knew or should have known? What actions have been taken to protect the church? As members of the Church of the Nazarene, we have a right and an obligation to ask tough questions. When the church ordains a person, the church is putting its reputation and possibly its assets at risk. When a person who is ordained is accused of misconduct, the church needs to react quickly and openly to 1)provide the person with due process, 2)determine the truth, and to 3)protect the integrity and assets of the church.

    In my opinion, discussions like this are helpful as long as they don't interfere with the due process for the accused. I have seen nothing here that would do that.

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    Senior Member Jim Franklin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Hear Lord, our plea for your overruling wisdom and grace in the situation the Brother Bill Morrison has identified, the individuals involved, the one charged, the family, the congregation, the district leadership and even the reporters who write or speak of the issues. Draw close to each one for Divine Grace and guidance throughout the determination of this situation for Your honor and glory, Amen

    I identify with the statements of Brother John Kennedy since our experience are quite similar. I knew a colleague who was the victim of false charges by students who made false complaints as their way of "getting back" at him. It was not until after the school boards' termination of his contract that the ones who made the charges had to admit that they were false. To my knowledge he never was able to return to his teaching career.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Sincere Question--perhaps Dave will return and help me understand.

    If I am involved in a car accident and have liability insurance at the time of the accident, I am covered. I understand the amount of loss may cause the insurer to decline my coverage at renewal time.

    Is this what the Property-Casualty liability insurers in the case currently posted, are stating they will do? Giving advance notice of cancel future coverage if cooperation is not forthcoming from the devastated church's leadership?

    Or are they telling a currently insured church that they will drop the case just discovered and not cover the current event that happened while the church was insured?

    And a follow-up question:

    There is an "Assigned Risk" insurer pool of providers to whom a turned down automotive insurance driver can obtain coverage in the event of being declined. Is there also an "assigned risk-professional liability" pool of insurance providers in that genre', as well? If not, then what is left for a church leadership to do if they do get declined upon renewal? Self-insure?

    Are the options different if an individual church is incorporated than if they are not?


    Thank you for any enlightenment on these questions, Dave or whomever responds.
    Thanks David Troxler - "thanks" for this post

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    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    I think this is all absolutely true. I also think this is were the reputation of an organization makes a huge difference. Organizations that are transparent and have a reputation for handling such matters with the highest levels of integrity are going to do much better than organizations that are opaque and have a reputation for covering up. Public perception matters.

    Again, knowing many of the players on the KC district there is not a doubt in my mind that this will be handled with the utmost integrity. Unfortunately they will also bear the brunt of the consequences of our general lack of transparency and the poor way these matters have sometimes been handle in our denomination and in the church in general. Not their fault, not fair... but it is the case.
    There seems to be a question of jurisdiction here. Several have mentioned the KC district. As I understand, the charges are in Colorado. Isn't the "person with authority to act" the district superintendent of the Colorado District?

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    Senior Member Jim Franklin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Dave, you identified the problem that arose at your church. I have often wondered since what actions have been taken by the district and local church to seek redemption of that individual while incarcerated?

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    There seems to be a question of jurisdiction here. Several have mentioned the KC district. As I understand, the charges are in Colorado. Isn't the "person with authority to act" the district superintendent of the Colorado District?
    I didn't see mention of this in news coverage.

    If the incident occurred in Colorado, wouldn't he be required to report there?
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Franklin View Post
    I identify with the statements of Brother John Kennedy since our experience are quite similar. I knew a colleague who was the victim of false charges by students who made false complaints as their way of "getting back" at him. It was not until after the school boards' termination of his contract that the ones who made the charges had to admit that they were false. To my knowledge he never was able to return to his teaching career.
    Jim, it's inappropriate at this point to even hint that the charges are false. What we know at this point is that there was a complaint and sufficient evidence to arrest the pastor in question.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis
    Thanks Jeremy Bixler - "thanks" for this post

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    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    Sincere Question--perhaps Dave will return and help me understand.

    If I am involved in a car accident and have liability insurance at the time of the accident, I am covered. I understand the amount of loss may cause the insurer to decline my coverage at renewal time.

    Is this what the liability insurers in the case currently posted, are stating they will do? Cancel future coverage? Or are they telling insured churches that they will drop the case just discovered and not cover the current event that happened while the church was insured?

    And a follow-up question: There is an "Assigned Risk" insurer pool of providers who a turned down automotive insurance seeker can obtain coverage in the event of being declined. Is there also an "assigned risk-professional liability" pool of insurance providers in that genre', as well? What is left for a church leadership to do if they do get declined upon renewal? Self-insure?

    Thank you for any enlightenment on these questions, Dave or whomever responds.
    Rosey, your questions are legitimate. In the past, I could have answered your questions, but I am no longer involved in such discussions. At the last General Assembly, I resigned from all of my various board and committee positions to avoid being a hypocrite. In the past, I have been critical of those who held on to such positions too long. There is one exception, my resignation from the Investment Committee was not accepted.

    Because I have no personal knowledge, my response to your questions will have to be based on my experience. I once served as a VP of an insurance company.

    Church liability insurance really can't be compared to auto liability insurance because of the number of policies involved. There are millions of policies covering auto insurance and only a few hundred covering denominations.

    Two things have been happening to the insurance market:
    1) The experience of the Catholic Church has increased the liability for denominations. In the past, a claim made against a pastor was usually handled as a claim against the local congregation. There was a recognized barrier of liability between the local church and the denomination. The litigation with the Catholic Church has changed that barrier, so that most litigation that would have been a local church issue now become a denominational issue.
    2) The Church of the Nazarene has had some expensive claims that reflect negatively on its own risk posture.

    Liability Insurance for churches normally cover incidents that occur during the life of the policy; however, it is also common to buy a special provision that protects against claims based on incidents that happened many years ago.

    I don't know what any insurance carriers are telling the Church of the Nazarene. It is typical for organizations like the Church of the Nazarene to shop their coverage every few years. They will get quotes from several companies. It is not unusual that a company that has experienced losses on a policy won't submit a bid at renewal time. That is often referred to as "dropping" a client.

    There is no "Assigned Risk" pool for the type of liability insurance carried by the denomination.

    You asked what options are available. Even if the current insurer did not bid on a renewal policy, other companies will -- it becomes an issue of how much an organization can pay. In worst case, an organization would go to a "Lloyds of London" kind of insurance. If you are interested to that degree, look up Lloyds of London on a Google Search and see how their policies work.

    It is highly unlikely that the denomination would "self-insure."
    Thanks David Troxler, Rosey Morgan, Michael Gentry - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    Are we so committed to the idea of secrecy and pride over transparency and accountability?
    I don't think that I have stated ANYWHERE to be secretive. I am 100% about accountability. What I am not about is a bunch of people on a public forum discussing something that they have no part or involvement in. Though the initial op may be truth, the rest is just gossip and sticking noses where they don't belong. Transparency is good, but only with those who actually know what they are talking about.

    Again, why not just say "Please pray for a serious situation on the KC district"? Or even "Pray for a serious situation dealing with pastor misconduct on the KC district"?

    But no, the shock and awe headline has to read
    "More alleged child molestation in the COTN"


    WHY????????? Naznet is NOT (thankfully) the voice of the Church of the Nazarene.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    There seems to be a question of jurisdiction here. Several have mentioned the KC district. As I understand, the charges are in Colorado. Isn't the "person with authority to act" the district superintendent of the Colorado District?
    If so then I'm totally confused. This is the OP I was referencing. I know the person described in this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    Rosey, your questions are legitimate. In the past, I could have answered your questions, but I am no longer involved in such discussions. At the last General Assembly, I resigned from all of my various board and committee positions to avoid being a hypocrite. In the past, I have been critical of those who held on to such positions too long. There is one exception, my resignation from the Investment Committee was not accepted.

    Because I have no personal knowledge, my response to your questions will have to be based on my experience. I once served as a VP of an insurance company.

    Church liability insurance really can't be compared to auto liability insurance because of the number of policies involved. There are millions of policies covering auto insurance and only a few hundred covering denominations.

    Two things have been happening to the insurance market:
    1) The experience of the Catholic Church has increased the liability for denominations. In the past, a claim made against a pastor was usually handled as a claim against the local congregation. There was a recognized barrier of liability between the local church and the denomination. The litigation with the Catholic Church has changed that barrier, so that most litigation that would have been a local church issue now become a denominational issue.
    2) The Church of the Nazarene has had some expensive claims that reflect negatively on its own risk posture.

    Liability Insurance for churches normally cover incidents that occur during the life of the policy; however, it is also common to buy a special provision that protects against claims based on incidents that happened many years ago.

    I don't know what any insurance carriers are telling the Church of the Nazarene. It is typical for organizations like the Church of the Nazarene to shop their coverage every few years. They will get quotes from several companies. It is not unusual that a company that has experienced losses on a policy won't submit a bid at renewal time. That is often referred to as "dropping" a client.

    There is no "Assigned Risk" pool for the type of liability insurance carried by the denomination.

    You asked what options are available. Even if the current insurer did not bid on a renewal policy, other companies will -- it becomes an issue of how much an organization can pay. In worst case, an organization would go to a "Lloyds of London" kind of insurance. If you are interested to that degree, look up Lloyds of London on a Google Search and see how their policies work.

    It is highly unlikely that the denomination would "self-insure."
    Thank you. I'm familiar with the re-insurer Lloyds of London and other such participants in the insurer pool above "usual and customary" liability providers.

    I thought I recalled you speaking to the insurance carrier's advice given in liability cases when the Oregon-Nelson Professional Negligence filing (5.23.2016) arose on this forum.

    I'm still left with wondering if in your experience, and insurance company can drop coverage for an event which occurred during the time the policy was in force? Did you perhaps over look responding to that query?

    For an existing insurer to do so or even suggest they can, seems patently unfair on the face of it, and leaves a pastor/congregation in a precarious position because of inability to assure silence and cooperation requested by the insurer, on all parties with knowledge. I think I'm missing a nuance.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Karen Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    I don't think that I have stated ANYWHERE to be secretive. I am 100% about accountability. What I am not about is a bunch of people on a public forum discussing something that they have no part or involvement in. Though the initial op may be truth, the rest is just gossip and sticking noses where they don't belong. Transparency is good, but only with those who actually know what they are talking about.

    Again, why not just say "Please pray for a serious situation on the KC district"? Or even "Pray for a serious situation dealing with pastor misconduct on the KC district"?

    But no, the shock and awe headline has to read
    "More alleged child molestation in the COTN"


    WHY????????? Naznet is NOT (thankfully) the voice of the Church of the Nazarene.
    I don't know Bill Morrison personally, but I wish I did. IMO, he is one of the most consistently gracious, good-humored people on Naznet, regardless of whether he agrees or disagrees with someone. From what I have seen of him on here, he would NEVER create a title on the basis of being "shock and awe." The title reflects the real situation that is happening, hence why he used the word "alleged."

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Troxler View Post
    I don't know Bill Morrison personally, but I wish I did. IMO, he is one of the most consistently gracious, good-humored people on Naznet, regardless of whether he agrees or disagrees with someone. From what I have seen of him on here, he would NEVER create a title on the basis of being "shock and awe." The title reflects the real situation that is happening, hence why he used the word "alleged."
    Karen, I need to back up because I don't want that to seem as if I was coming at Bill. I do not believe that his intention was to put a shock and awe headline out there. I was just stating that that's (IMO) what it becomes. I believe that Bill had nothing but good intentions with his post. I am putting this together with other discussions on NazNet with this same subject matter and none that I have read have been helpful in any way.
    Thanks David Troxler - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Karen Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Karen, I need to back up because I don't want that to seem as if I was coming at Bill. I do not believe that his intention was to put a shock and awe headline out there. I was just stating that that's (IMO) what it becomes. I believe that Bill had nothing but good intentions with his post. I am putting this together with other discussions on NazNet with this same subject matter and none that I have read have been helpful in any way.
    While I don't agree with your assessment of the discussion, thank you for clarifying your position concerning Bill!

  32. #32
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    Thank you. I'm familiar with the re-insurer Lloyds of London and other such participants in the insurer pool above "usual and customary" liability providers.

    I thought I recalled you speaking to the insurance carrier's advice given in liability cases when the Oregon-Nelson Professional Negligence filing (5.23.2016) arose on this forum.

    I'm still left with wondering if in your experience, and insurance company can drop coverage for an event which occurred during the time the policy was in force? Did you perhaps over look responding to that query?

    For an existing insurer to do so or even suggest they can, seems patently unfair on the face of it, and leaves a pastor/congregation in a precarious position because of inability to assure silence and cooperation requested by the insurer, on all parties with knowledge. I think I'm missing a nuance.
    While it's been quite some time since I've had a liability claim made against me where insurance and adjudication were required, my recollection is that my insurance policy had a clause that required my cooperation. A failure to cooperate with the insurance company, could result in a denial of the claim.

    This may be the nuance you are wondering about?
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

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    Thanks Rosey Morgan, Dennis M. Scott - "thanks" for this post

  33. #33
    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Franklin View Post
    Dave, you identified the problem that arose at your church. I have often wondered since what actions have been taken by the district and local church to seek redemption of that individual while incarcerated?
    Jim, good question. For several years, the retired missionary who attended our church, Ted Hughes, went to visit the former pastor from time to time. Because he is incarcerated near Spokane, not on our district, arrangements have been made for a pastor from that district to visit him. It is my understanding that they have developed a strong relationship. The real test will come when he is released from prison. The law requires that he return to the county where he was sentenced.
    Thanks David Graham - "thanks" for this post

  34. #34
    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    Thank you. I'm familiar with the re-insurer Lloyds of London and other such participants in the insurer pool above "usual and customary" liability providers.

    I thought I recalled you speaking to the insurance carrier's advice given in liability cases when the Oregon-Nelson Professional Negligence filing (5.23.2016) arose on this forum.

    I'm still left with wondering if in your experience, and insurance company can drop coverage for an event which occurred during the time the policy was in force? Did you perhaps over look responding to that query?

    For an existing insurer to do so or even suggest they can, seems patently unfair on the face of it, and leaves a pastor/congregation in a precarious position because of inability to assure silence and cooperation requested by the insurer, on all parties with knowledge. I think I'm missing a nuance.
    I apologize for not responding directly. I thought the answer was obvious -- No, an insurance company can not drop coverage for a policy that is already in effect. The only way that could happen is when the limit of the policy has been paid out. Every policy has a maximum liability for each occurrence and a maximum for the policy. Hypothetically, an insurance company who has paid out the maximum amount would have no additional liability but the policy would remain in effect.

    Sometimes, an insurance company will determine that a particular claim is not covered by the policy. That is called "deny coverage." For example, I once had a suit in which my company was sued for breach of contract and negligence. The insurance company denied coverage claiming that it was really a breach of contract claim which would not have been insured. I won the law suit in both courts. We did not pay for breach of contract or negligence and the insurance company had to pay all of our costs for defending the litigation.
    Thanks Rosey Morgan, David Graham - "thanks" for this post

  35. #35
    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    ... I thought I recalled you speaking to the insurance carrier's advice given in liability cases when the Oregon-Nelson Professional Negligence filing (5.23.2016) arose on this forum.
    No. If you go back and read that post, my comments were about what an insurer would usually say in that kind of case, not about what this particular insurer said. I don't even know who the insurance company is involved.
    Thanks Rosey Morgan - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    I apologize for not responding directly. I thought the answer was obvious -- No, an insurance company can not drop coverage for a policy that is already in effect. The only way that could happen is when the limit of the policy has been paid out. Every policy has a maximum liability for each occurrence and a maximum for the policy. Hypothetically, an insurance company who has paid out the maximum amount would have no additional liability but the policy would remain in effect.

    Sometimes, an insurance company will determine that a particular claim is not covered by the policy. That is called "deny coverage." For example, I once had a suit in which my company was sued for breach of contract and negligence. The insurance company denied coverage claiming that it was really a breach of contract claim which would not have been insured. I won the law suit in both courts. We did not pay for breach of contract or negligence and the insurance company had to pay all of our costs for defending the litigation.
    Thank you again. The reason why it was "not obvious" at least to me is this: I've known of the stipulations in the fine print of insurance liability coverage where there is a clearly stated obligation in writing that the insured must demonstrate effort to limit additional damage costs by action either taken or not taken after the initial triggering event.

    I could, under that kind of fine print, understand the requested silence by the liability carrier. I could see advice that no statements would be uttered after such a tragic event as brought forward here, statements which could or might be would be reported as admissions of guilt, or cupability which might increase damages.

    I seem to recall even a prohibition against even uttering "I'm sorry" on the part of church leadership, but don't now recall where that admonition was reportedly advised by church liability insurance lawyers.

    That is where the grey area was in my mind, and why I asked. Thanks again. Underwriting insurance coverage is a very complicated event and heavily regulated in each of the 50 states.

    I think it was very smart of Gig Harbor to appoint a spokesperson. Perhaps that is suggestion that has not "made the rounds."

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Yes, that's it! Thank you. To have a claim denied would indeed be interpreted as a "loss of coverage" in a sense. I can see that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    While it's been quite some time since I've had a liability claim made against me where insurance and adjudication were required, my recollection is that my insurance policy had a clause that required my cooperation. A failure to cooperate with the insurance company, could result in a denial of the claim.

    This may be the nuance you are wondering about?

  38. #38
    Senior Member Diane Likens's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    Sincere Question--perhaps Dave will return and help me understand.

    If I am involved in a car accident and have liability insurance at the time of the accident, I am covered. I understand the amount of loss may cause the insurer to decline my coverage at renewal time.

    Is this what the Property-Casualty liability insurers in the case currently posted, are stating they will do? Giving advance notice of cancel future coverage if cooperation is not forthcoming from the devastated church's leadership?

    Or are they telling a currently insured church that they will drop the case just discovered and not cover the current event that happened while the church was insured?

    And a follow-up question:

    There is an "Assigned Risk" insurer pool of providers to whom a turned down automotive insurance driver can obtain coverage in the event of being declined. Is there also an "assigned risk-professional liability" pool of insurance providers in that genre', as well? If not, then what is left for a church leadership to do if they do get declined upon renewal? Self-insure?

    Are the options different if an individual church is incorporated than if they are not?


    Thank you for any enlightenment on these questions, Dave or whomever responds.
    I'm not Dave, but I know a heck of a lot about insurance.

    First of all, if the event occurred during the policy term, the company cannot retroactively cancel the policy back to before the event just because the event occurred. States have specific rules as to when and why a company can cancel a policy once it's issued. Those rules include how much advance notice of the intent to cancel the insurer must provide the insured. Failure of the insured to cooperate with the investigation of a loss can (and probably WOULD) result in cancellation of the policy, but said cancellation would be in compliance with applicable law. For instance, if the state requires an insurer to give 45 days' notice of intent to cancel, then the first available cancellation date would be 45 days after the date of the cancellation letter.

    That said, any claim presented will be investigated by the company. All policy language (including exclusions and limitations) will be applied to the facts of the claim. The investigation will determine what monies (if any) are payable to whom. A coverage decision cannot be made without a thorough investigation.

    As to your follow-up question, none of the states in which I've written commercial insurance have an assigned risk pool for commercial general liability. Worker's comp? Yes. CGL? No. Self-insuring is probably not the only option, though. An agent or broker may be able to find replacement coverage for a non-renewed policy, even if that replacement policy is found in the excess & surplus market (not the most attractive, but probably better than self-insuring).

    ******************As an aside -- now would be a good time for all of you to review your policies with your agent/broker. Specifically, I would want to know whether the policy pays legal/defense fees IN ADDITION TO the occurrence limit, or do those fees reduce the occurrence limit available? That is a HUGE difference when you wind up in court.****************************
    Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.
    Thanks Rosey Morgan - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Thanks. I've worked in the insurance field several decades ago, P-C, H&A, & L,
    as well. Never the CGL side. That was always above my paygrade.

    Thank you for the clarity. And thank you for putting in a plug for review by those reading this particular thread. THAT was golden.



    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Likens View Post
    I'm not Dave, but I know a heck of a lot about insurance.

    First of all, if the event occurred during the policy term, the company cannot retroactively cancel the policy back to before the event just because the event occurred. States have specific rules as to when and why a company can cancel a policy once it's issued. Those rules include how much advance notice of the intent to cancel the insurer must provide the insured. Failure of the insured to cooperate with the investigation of a loss can (and probably WOULD) result in cancellation of the policy, but said cancellation would be in compliance with applicable law. For instance, if the state requires an insurer to give 45 days' notice of intent to cancel, then the first available cancellation date would be 45 days after the date of the cancellation letter.

    That said, any claim presented will be investigated by the company. All policy language (including exclusions and limitations) will be applied to the facts of the claim. The investigation will determine what monies (if any) are payable to whom. A coverage decision cannot be made without a thorough investigation.

    As to your follow-up question, none of the states in which I've written commercial insurance have an assigned risk pool for commercial general liability. Worker's comp? Yes. CGL? No. Self-insuring is probably not the only option, though. An agent or broker may be able to find replacement coverage for a non-renewed policy, even if that replacement policy is found in the excess & surplus market (not the most attractive, but probably better than self-insuring).

    ******************As an aside -- now would be a good time for all of you to review your policies with your agent/broker. Specifically, I would want to know whether the policy pays legal/defense fees IN ADDITION TO the occurrence limit, or do those fees reduce the occurrence limit available? That is a HUGE difference when you wind up in court.****************************
    Thanks Diane Likens - "thanks" for this post

  40. #40
    Senior Member Cam Pence's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    I don't think that I have stated ANYWHERE to be secretive. I am 100% about accountability. What I am not about is a bunch of people on a public forum discussing something that they have no part or involvement in. Though the initial op may be truth, the rest is just gossip and sticking noses where they don't belong. Transparency is good, but only with those who actually know what they are talking about.

    Again, why not just say "Please pray for a serious situation on the KC district"? Or even "Pray for a serious situation dealing with pastor misconduct on the KC district"?

    But no, the shock and awe headline has to read
    "More alleged child molestation in the COTN"


    WHY????????? Naznet is NOT (thankfully) the voice of the Church of the Nazarene.
    This is public information that is totally appropriate to discuss, pray about, pray over, and, hopefully, learn from together.
    “So there are no nontheologians; there is just good theology and bad theology.”- Will Willimon
    Thanks Billy Cox, Jon Bemis, John Kennedy, Wilson Deaton - "thanks" for this post

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