C-PTSD, Compassion, Crime, Justice, Leadership, Sexual Abuse, Trauma, Uncategorized, United Pentecostal Church

An Open Letter To Pastor Roy Grant

Roy, it has been a long long time since we have spoken or really had any contact with each other. I have thought about reaching out to you many times but something has always stopped me. I know instinctively that any interaction between us will be painful because neither of us is who we were when we knew each other.

When I was a child I looked up to you as a big brother. You were an adult but just barely and at the time I believed that you understood me. As the youth leader and school monitor, you kept us within the lines without seeming authoritarian. I felt like you understood how oppressive it could all be and so you tried to bring the fun with you when you could. For a long time, you gave me rides to school along with as many kids as you could fit into your old Blazer. I’m sure my mother almost never gave you gas money. It makes me smile now to think of how Norman and Tim would have to hoist me into the truck because I was so tiny and it was so high up. My childhood was a dark dark place and the times when I was having fun with you shine bright in the midst of it all. Even now it makes me smile to remember watching Star Trek in your basement after church and doing donuts in the empty parking lot. I was so scared we would crash and you and the boys would laugh at me. Silly kids stuff but when your home life is so bad things like this make life bearable. When I won a place on the honor roll field trip and my shoes developed a hole I told my mom I would just skip it. She called you and you called around until you found a pair of shoes for me. We never talked about it but you came through for me and it was a big deal in my little life.

I don’t think you singled me out and to most people, these things might not seem like much. Speaking from my child self they were important to me. You just never know how a small act of kindness will impact a child. I always try to remember to smile at kids because I recognize that my smile might be the only adult smile they see that day. Once you stepped back some and John Seidl took over youth group and Sunday school things became harder. He was much sterner and I never felt like I could not let my guard down around him. I’m sure you were not perfect but I always felt like you wanted everyone to feel included. When you were not around school or the youth group as much I felt like there was no adult I could turn to who wouldn’t immediately judge me. Sympathy and compassion were impossible to come by.

This brings us to now. I know that I am probably not your favorite person due to the things I have exposed within my blog. I am sure that you and I disagree on most things. I know that this will probably not bring about the change that I and so many others wish to see but I feel compelled to try. I’m sure it has felt like I’m attacking the church and your family. It has never been my wish to attack anyone. I have only been trying to shed light on my experiences in order to help others and maybe get a little bit of justice for myself. If I thought your father would listen I would be directing this towards him. You are the pastor now and so I’m directing this towards you. I’m writing this to plead with you and Calvary Gospel to change. I’m asking you to acknowledge how bad things were handled with regards to Steve Dahl and countless other abusers. I’m asking you and the church to apologize to all of the people who have been hurt by policies that go a long way towards protecting the church but leave in their path, countless victims. I’m asking you to develop church policies that include going to the police first when a victim comes forward because this is the only way the community at large can be protected from predators and physically abusive people. Lastly, I’m asking that the church no longer tolerate older men dating underage women. It is one of those things that everyone knows about but no one does anything about. By acknowledging the church’s role in the pain of so many survivors you could help bring a tiny bit of healing to my community. We could all rest easier knowing that you are committed to reporting abuse and protecting children. We could all rest easier knowing that another Becky or Debbie is not being groomed within the walls of the church.

I know how hard this kind of change would be and I understand that my posting this publically is going to make things even harder. I’m posting it publically because I don’t believe the church or you will respond any other way. I am also concerned about my words being twisted and this way it is all out in the light for anyone to read. I’m going to sign off for now and I hope that you will be the hero this situation needs. To the other pastoral staff, I’m sure you will see this and I hope you will also be a part of bringing some healing into the lives of so many who have been devestated by Calvary Gospel.

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7 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Pastor Roy Grant”

  1. I’m concerned that a church is being blamed for things that parents should have controlled. I have attended Calvary Gospel since 1979, and I have never felt the church controlled me or my children in any way. If my children had been sexually abused, you can bet I’d report it to the authorities regardless of what ANYONE told me. I wonder why none of these writing about Calvary Gospel did. Oops…one of them had a Madison police officer for a father. If he failed to report it, wouldn’t he be in trouble?
    (I doubt you will allow these comments to be posted.)

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    1. If you are saying the church and pastor Grant are not controlling you are being dishonest. He should have reported because I went directly to him as my pastor. Not only did he not report but he maintained a friendship with Steve Dahl long after he knew about me and Steve’s other victim. You’re right my parents should have reported but that doesn’t discharge the pastor and elders from their responsibilities. Along with this no one offered me any care or concern which is what Christ would have expected. They did gossip about me behind my back. John Grant could have kept Steve from becoming a pastor instead of supporting him.

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    2. Those writing about Calvary Gospel, like my wife, reported it to the authorities in their life – parents and pastors. I agree with you that both parents and pastors let them down.

      And I find it interesting that you equate calling out Pastor Grant for his behavior “blaming the church.” Is John Grant the church?

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    3. Rea how certain are you that your children weren’t raped or molested by someone in church? Would you believe your children if they told you about it now? Do you have grandchildren still in the church? I’ve heard about a recent molestation case that happened under Roy Grants leadership. I pray it didn’t happen to any of your family.

      I was molested as a child by a friend who was a girl. I still haven’t told my dad about it. I lived in fear for years that someone would find out. Funny thing I was called a lesbian by a Christian church school teacher for hooking arms with a different friend and told to go to the altar and repent. We joke about it to this day but I didn’t tell because if hooking arms with one friend needed to be repented of what would happen if I told about another touching my vagina? I can attest to the church culture not allowing children to be honest with the adults.

      My best friend and I were allowed as children to hang out with adult men unsupervised. God forbid anything happened to her. Yes our parents are definitely to blame for that being allowed to happen. They are to blame for putting us in harms way. One can argue it was at the very least neglect from our parents.

      That doesn’t negate the responsibility John Grant and now his son Roy Grant has as the shepard of said children to report the sex crimes that were reported to them. Calvary Gospel Church should at the very least set up a policy that the pastor and the elders consider themselves mandatory reporters when there is suspicion of children being molested or raped.

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      1. I’m always surprised at how people can so easily overlook the number of cases that have occurred at CGC. It’s not normal for a church to have this many abusers. I feel the fish rots from the head down.

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