Applegate Under Seige
This is a story forty some years in the making and one I never thought would see print…even though it was the worst kept secret in the Rogue Valley.
Nobody wanted to take on the Courson’s…they had wealth and power and Jon had a reputation for being a holy man.
More than one Calvary Chapel pastor referred to him in conversation with me as “the godliest man I know”.
There was not much sense in making a rebuttal…
Tragedies also served to insulate the family from criticism…the death of Courson’s first wife, then his daughter, then the recent death of son Peter-John made them sympathetic figures, especially following the funerals, which were broadcast live.
Over the years dozens of people that left the church would tell stories about the abuses of power there, but no one would go on the record.
My highest commendations to Rebecca Hopkins for her tenacity and ability to gain the trust of these sources.
Of interest to long time readers here will be the revelation that Jon Courson went to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and Chuck Smith for his “time of repentance”.
Sources over the years have told me that Smith actually wanted to sit Courson down for an extended period of time…but Courson refused on the basis that Smith was lacking in moral authority because of his own “issues”.
Also, Courson reasoned that if necessary he could start another church in the area…and all the people of Applegate would join him.
He was right on both counts and Smith relented.
His return sparked the leaving of some staff and elders…who went on to start spinoffs all over the valley and elsewhere.
What you can expect now…
I don’t expect the Coursons to stay silent.
I do expect that Guy Gray will be the subject of some nasty responses which will be unfair and unnecessary.
The rest of the Ben Courson story will trump what has been seen so far.
Finally, tonight, I will always wonder why this is all being exposed now, so many years after the fact.
It should provoke a healthy fear of God in those who think their sin has been covered by time, wealth, or power.
The wheels of God grind slowly, but they grind fine, indeed.