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Church Investigations

Bruxy Cavey Investigation Widens to Include Two More Alleged Victims

Bruxy Cavey, the disgraced former pastor of one of Canada’s largest churches, may have sexually abused more than one woman, the church told its members on Saturday (March 19).

In an email, Maggie John, chair of The Meeting House board, wrote that the church has received two more allegations of sexual misconduct against Cavey, who was forced out earlier this month. It did not provide any details as to the nature of the misconduct.

She also said the church has hired a third-party victim advocate to independently and confidentially receive any concerns or allegations of sexual misconduct by Cavey or any other staff member of the church.

Cavey, who grew The Meeting House into a megachurch with some 5,000 people attending 19 campuses in the larger Toronto metropolitan area, was asked to resign after an independent investigator found that he had a yearslong sexual relationship with a member of his church who sought counseling.

The revelation led to the resignation of part-time teaching pastor Danielle Strickland, who said she did not feel the church adequately advocated for the woman, who remains unnamed.

In a Sunday tweet, she congratulated the church for finally hiring a victim advocate, saying: “Proud of @themeetinghouse for their provision of a victim advocate and for encouraging any other victims to come forward in safety.” Strickland had earlier criticized the church for stopping short of calling Cavey’s behavior “clergy sexual abuse,” and instead using terms such as “sexual harassment” and “abuse of power.”

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“We take these initial allegations very seriously and will respond appropriately as more information is received,” John said in a statement, referring to the new allegations.

John held a town hall meeting on March 8 to reveal the findings of the initial investigation and answer congregants’ questions.

In his own blog post responding to the first woman’s accusations, Cavey characterized his actions as “an extramarital affair.”

“I am ashamed even to write these words, and I am so sorry that you have to read them,” he wrote. “This adulterous relationship is my greatest failure, my darkest sin, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I have broken bonds of trust with my wife, family, and church family, including the woman I became involved with. I have brought untold pain, heartache, and confusion into the lives of those I love and who love me.”

He has not since responded publicly to the new allegations that have arisen.

Cavey, with his long hair and tattoos, is one of Canada’s most recognizable church leaders. He became the senior pastor of Upper Oaks Community Church in 1997, later changing its name to The Meeting House. The church grew exponentially as it sought to appeal to people alienated from Christianity and church traditions. He is the author of a popular book, “The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus.”

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is a North Carolina-based reporter who has written about religion for more than 17 years. She is a national reporter and senior editor for Religion News Service.