This post is call for information in regards to Larry Osborne’s North Coast Church. In order to write about this church I am going to need access to information, sources and church documents. There are deeply troubling allegations regarding David “Chancho” Garcia who was a youth pastor at one point that this blog is seeking to confirm. This post also explains why Larry Osborne’s North Coast Church is important in the EFCA.
“Information is the mortar that both builds and destroys empires.”
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
Hebrews 11:3 NLT
North Coast Church
The purpose of this post is to put out a call for information. Recently an Instagram a group of survivors from a prominent EFCA church stood up on social media. Stories of bullying, abuse, sexual abuse and misconduct in what amounts to a cult like atmosphere are coming forward. This blog is putting out a call for information so this blog can write about this issues and bring them to the surface.
The Wondering Eagle and the EFCA
The Wondering Eagle is a blog based in the Washington, D.C. area. It is intimately familiar with spiritual abuse. This blog was triggered out of an incident with a former Sovereign Grace Ministries (now Acts 29) church in the Washington, D.C. area. To make a long story short a leader in the church who was witnessing to a person in a faith crisis (myself) and deeply into people like Mark Driscoll, John Piper and Matt Chandler triggered a false accusation that took aim at my ability to earn income. Watching an Air Force officer abuse his power taught me why rape and sexual abuse is a problem in the United States military. The abuse dragged on and popped up in my Mom’s hospital room shortly before her death. It was the darkest situation I lived through in life. For those wanting to read more you can do so in, “Unless You Experience Spiritual Abuse Then You Won’t Understand How Painful it is.”
In regards to the EFCA I have a history with Fresno Evangelical Free (today The Bridge Fresno) and briefly with the EFCA in Milwaukee. When I was trying to bounce back from my spiritual abuse mess I noticed that there was no blog that wrote about, examined, researched the Evangelical Free Church of America. So using my past research and graduate level work I decided to start a blog that would be a platform for discussing the EFCA. The intention is to look at the positive and negative issues in the organization. If you want to understand this blog better read the following post, “What You Should Know About The Wondering Eagle – An Overview of this Blog So Readers Can Understand it Better.” In addition to the EFCA for those inquiring this blog played a key role in writing about the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal in Chicago. That linked in post above explains how and what happened. This writer has also been a whistle blower in a mega church and has seen the dark side of religion. You can read all that and more in that previous post.
In regards to the EFCA this blog has covered and looked at some deeply disturbing stories that have taken place. The darkest one dealt with Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania. In a church in the Amish countryside of Pennsylvania the senior pastors son’s allegedly raped his wife while intoxicated and pointed a loaded weapon at her. It was a dark story of domestic abuse in which a female could have been killed. When the daughter-in-law of the senior pastor filed for divorce the church practiced church discipline on her. The issue tore the town in two and went all the way up to EFCA leadership in Minneapolis. You can find the coverage in the blog directory, the church changed its name to Brick Lane Community Church. This blog broke another EFCA story in Columbia, South Carolina. An EFCA/Acts 29 hybrid church violated counseling and privacy laws. In response a former member faced church discipline and he brought a lawsuit against the church. This issue went all the way up to Minneapolis as well. You can read about Riverside Community Church in the blog’s directory. Then this blog wrote about an autocratic pastor in New Jersey who used a loop hole in congregationalism to throw out a number of members from a church. In some people losing their church home of several decades it felt like they had experienced a death in the family. You can read about Blairstown Evangelical Free Church in the blog’s directory.
Not all stories are about abuse. I have written about the EFCA and the COVID-19 pandemic, or how the EFCA in Texas responded to Hurricane Harvey or the ordaining of the first amillennial pastor in the national EFCA. I try and find a balance but abuse is an issue in evangelicalism that cannot be avoided.
Why North Coast Church is Important
This blog is deeply interested in North Coast Church and its importance can not be understated. These are all the reasons why.
- If my research is correct it is the largest EFCA Church in California. According to the Hartford Institute of Religious Research North Coast Church has close to 9,000 attend through multiple locations.
- Larry Osborne is one of the most influential EFCA pastors in the larger EFCA. His books have been sold at EFCA conferences and he speaks frequently at them. A dark scandal in North Coast and how the EFCA responds to it will reveal much about the health of the larger organization as well.
- EFCA West just had a major change in leadership. After over three decades Steve Highfill is out and Tim Jacobs is in. How Tim would respond to this growing scandal will reveal much about the health of the EFCA West district. You can read more in, “District Superintendent Steve Highfill Leaves EFCA West as Tim Jacobs Steps into the Key District Role.”
- One should remember that Mark Driscoll re-started his career in Arizona through the assistance and help of Larry Osborne. Would Mark Driscoll have been able to rebound in the way that he did had it not been for Larry Osborne’s assistance? This blog has its doubts. If sexual abuse, cult like behavior and a culture of bullying hemorrhaging out of North Coast Church is occurring is that why Osborne worked with Mars Hill. And does Osborne not know what a health church is if he choose to help relaunch Mark Driscoll? For me a future post will have to re-evaluate the Mars Hill scandal and Larry Osborne’s role in the wake of this abuse and problems coming out of North Coast Church.
- In the EFCA, North Coast Church is strategic. Its one of the biggest churches in the EFCA West district and also the EFCA. A church like North Coast is what some people aspire to in the congregational model.
Because of all these reasons this blog is going to do a deep dive into the EFCA’s North Coast Church.
What The Wondering Eagle is Looking for When it Comes to Stories at North Coast Church
This blog has studied the Instagram page @northcoastchurchabuse. Expect to see more posts built off what is written about from that social media page. This blog is putting out a call for information. That information can come in the form of church documents, emails, videos and more. You can email me at email@example.com
These are the gaps and the information that this blog is looking for.
- There is troubling allegations about abuse and misconduct by a former youth pastor at North Coast Church by the name of David “Chancho” Garcia that need to be flushed out.
- There are allegations of bullying and un-pastoral behavior by North Coast Church pastor Chris Hilken. These need to be flushed out.
- This blog is putting out a call for information on child sex abuse or domestic abuse that was covered up at North Coast Church.
- Did Larry Osborne know of these issues at North Coast Church and just dismiss them? Where was Larry Osborne in all of this?
- Did EFCA West District Superintendent Tim Jacobs learn of this situation and was it handled properly? Was an independent fact finding team put together or are they starting to work on this issue now?
- In addition this blog is interested in obtaining the following documents from North Coast Church. Any non-disclosure agreements, membership documents, or internal screen shots on any databases that deal with the David “Chancho” Garcia issue.
- This blog is looking to speak to former employees of North Coast Church who can talk to the culture.
- This blog will allow people attenders and former members of North Coast Church to tell their stories as well. They can be done anonymously if you desire. And you would be in complete control of what you want to say.
If you have primary source information, or where a victim of any of this behavior or a friend or family member who saw this please feel free to reach out to me at the following email address. firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work on the issues related to North Coast Church.