"My relationship with Assembly of God has been fractured," says Dean Curry, former pastor of Life Center Assembly of God in Tacoma. "This woman accused me of behavior that would have amounted to adultery if it were true."
The church's board of elders told congregation members they were recently made aware of Curry's alleged behavior toward a former church employee. Board spokesperson Caryl Andrews said the allegations involved physically inappropriate conduct.
According to the Tacoma News Tribune:
Andrews said board members asked for written details from the district office and received none. On June 21, leaders of the district office presented a plan to dismiss Curry as an Assembly of God minister, she said.
"We raised concerns about the thoroughness of the investigative process," she said. "We do believe that all people, women and men, deserve to be heard."
Andrews said the church board will begin the search for an interim pastor, review policies regarding employees and communicate with members when more information becomes available. Several speakers echoed past statements from Curry about the nature of the church, saying the church did not belong to Curry or the members—rather, they called it "a Jesus place."
Another speaker and church member, former NFL player Eric Boles, closed the short meeting with a prayer.
"There are people who are hurting on all sides of this, and we're praying for everybody," he said, to a chorus of amens.
"I have been falsely and wrongly accused," Curry says, and claims a continued investigation of his conduct would show "no damaging phone logs, no compromising emails or text messages."
Curry says did not get to defend himself to district officials in Seattle, but "I'm not going to allow myself to be bitter toward my accuser."
He continued: "Pastors come and go, and this one is going, and you have to keep doing your Jesus thing."
The Northwest Ministry Network issued the following statement in response to Curry:
The Northwest Ministry Network was informed of allegations involving the conduct of Pastor Dean Curry, the Senior Pastor of Life Center Church in Tacoma, Washington. Pastor Curry is a credentialed ordained minister with the General Council of the Assemblies of God located in Springfield, MO and The Northwest Ministry Network in Snoqualmie, WA. The Northwest Ministry Network takes allegations of wrongdoing or violations of ministerial ethics seriously. We consider these issues to be ecclesiastical matters under our governance within our biblical purview.
After a thorough investigation of the allegations, the Northwest Ministry Network Executive Presbytery, having received the testimony of two or more witnesses and acting in their role as the Ministerial Relations Committee, has unanimously recommended dismissal of Pastor Curry to the General Council of the Assemblies of God. This recommendation requests that Pastor Curry's credentials with the Assemblies of God be terminated for violating prescribed standards of ministerial conduct, and he be listed as a dismissed minister of the Assemblies of God. This recommendation is within the Northwest Ministry Network's purview as per Article X of the Assemblies of God General Council bylaws.
Given the sensitive nature of the allegations, and because the process regarding Pastor Curry's credentials is ongoing, the Northwest Ministry Network will not be discussing the details of the allegations publicly. As such, there will be no further comment at this time. The General Council of the Assemblies of God Executive Presbytery will decide what to do with our recommendation and the allegations regarding Pastor Curry and his status as a credentialed ordained Assemblies of God minister.
Life Center is the state's largest Assemblies of God Church.
According to its annual report, the church had 13,393 Easter guests in 2016, and 39,665 online views.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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