Abuse charges filed against Pastor who advocates corporal punishment
On January 17, 2013 At 10:34 am
Responses : One Comment
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.
“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.