This blog recently wrote about how Ricky Jenkins, one of the key individuals in the Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis scandal is now employed as the lead pastor of the EFCA’s Southwest Church in Indian Wells, California. What action will be taken by EFCA West Superintendent Tim Jacobs and Greg Strand? Will the EFCA develop a zero tolerance policy for sex crimes? That is what this blog post is about, as the employment of Ricky Jenkins is profoundly troubling.
“As long as you know that you’re doing the right thing, do not care about what other people think about you.“
Whitney Wolfe Herd
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 ESV
Ricky Jenkins on the left and Crawford Loritts on the right
The other day this blog wrote a post about Ricky Jenkins being on staff as the lead pastor at the EFCA’s Southwest Church at Indian Wells, California. You can read this post in, “Ricky Jenkins is at Southwest Church at Indian Wells, California and the EFCA is Now Ensnared in the Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis Voyeurism and Child Pornography Scandal.” This post is directed toward Greg Strand and the EFCA West District Superintend Tim Jacobs.
Is the EFCA Going to Have a Zero Tolerance Policy When It Comes to Sex Crimes? How Will it be Handled in the Context of Congregationalism?
Ricky Jenkins became one of the first people in Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis scandal to be made aware of illegal voyeurism being recorded in the church restroom. The narrative is written in the post above. Bryan Loritts said he would contact the police and he did not. Ricky Jenkins who also knew about the sex crimes did not report the crimes to the Memphis Police either. That was in 2010, and here we are eleven years later with Ricky Jenkins now leading an EFCA church in Southern California. I’d bet my 401K that since Ricky Jenkins didn’t report the sex crime in Memphis it is safe to conclude if a sex abuse situation or other sex crime takes place in Indian Wells that he won’t report that either. Why? He established a precedent in Memphis, Tennessee.
So what is the EFCA’s response going to be to such a situation? Will there be a zero tolerance policy to sex abuse or sex crimes? Of will the response be just to say oh well, ignore it, and plow forward and stick your head in the sand. What is the EFCA going to do to keep out of the organization pastors who commit sex crimes, or pastors who cover up sex crimes? Is there a plan in place or is this something that is just ignored? With sex crimes there has to be solid guidelines and policy guidance. It needs to be established in Minneapolis and be reinforced. Yes Congregationalism will be an issue but sex abuse and sex crimes will still exist, and a way forward needs to be found that can deal with such issues. So what is the game plan in this context?
The Ricky Jenkins Situation Will be a Test for the EFCA
If the EFCA can deal with the Ricky Jenkins situation successfully then the organization can send a message that can be welcome and refreshing in modern evangelicalism. That message will be one of taking sex crimes seriously and saying they that don’t belong in an organization such as the EFCA. The EFCA will show that it respects itself and honor the victims of such deviant behavior. Its important because precedence establishes behavior and provides a way ahead whether it be positive or negative. This blog has been writing about the Fellowship Memphis scandal for about five long years. There still needs to be accountability, and there still needs to be wrongs made right. Can the EFCA embody and honor Micah 6:8? This blog is going to take a wait and see approach and hopefully the EFCA will take the right course of action.