Home / News / Abuse charges filed against Pastor who advocates corporal punishment
Abuse charges filed against Pastor who advocates corporal punishment

Abuse charges filed against Pastor who advocates corporal punishment

Reverend Larry Tomczack, associate pastor of Bethel World Outreach Church in the Brentwood, TN area has been accused of the physical abuse of a woman, beginning when she was a child, and continuing on for twenty-five years.

Tomczak was named in a lawsuit that wile filed against a ministry he co-founded, named Soverign Grace Ministries, in the 1980s. He has since left the ministry.
According to a story filed by the Religion News Service, the lawsuit was initially filed in October of 2012 by eight people who stated they were victims of abuse. The names of the plaintiffs have been changed to protect their identity.

The suit claims that Tomczak, along with other leaders of the church, had covered up sexual abuse that had taken place at one of the ministry's houses of worship and also at a Gaithersburg, MD, Christian School during the 1980s and 1990s.

The report also reveals that Tomczak has been accused of beating a woman with sticks made of plastic and wood, respectively. One woman stated that when she became and adult, Tomczak had beaten her bare buttocks.

Tomczak has a book named, 'The Little Handbook on Loving Correction,' that is available for sale on his website. In the book, he tells parents to use a stick to discipline their children, an a belief he still advocates.

According to a statement released by Tomczak, he denies the accusations, and stated he had no knowledge of any abuse, sexual or otherwise, at Sovereign Grace Ministries.
He stated,

“I had no involvement in any of this. That book has helped thousands of parents around the world."

Sovereign Grace Ministries includes approximately one hundred churches. The story states that Tomczak left the organization after a falling out with his co-founder, a man named Rev. Charles Joseph Mahaney.

Sovereign Grace has released the following statement regarding the suit,

“We consider any allegation of harm to a child extremely serious and we have been working diligently in an effort to learn the truth. We ask for patience as we continue to investigate these new allegations. Please continue to pray with us for all those affected by this lawsuit.”

According to the lawsuit, victims were told not to report the abuse to the authorities.

For more information, statements, commentary and relevant links, please read the whole story at Religion News Service.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • Deborah_B

    Very timely news story, given our show tomorrow night …

Scroll To Top