This week, The Salvation of God Church in East Rochester, New York, is scheduled to host minister Todd Bentley.
Bentley is a controversial figure in evangelism circles for his unorthodox past healing services. But this week, Bentley accused of numerous acts of sexual misconduct; specifically, preying on young ministry interns.
From our report Tuesday:
His one-time protege Stephen Powell took to Facebook to make a number of allegations drawn both from his own experience and the testimonies of others. Powell said his former mentor has “an appetite for a variety of sexual sins, including both homosexual and heterosexual activity” and is “not fit for public ministry” due to his “perverse sexual addiction”. Powell currently runs Lion of Light Ministries in Pineville, North Carolina.
In a very emotional testimony, Powell says that “down through the years, Todd [Bentley] has made sexual advances toward, and in some cases engaged in sexual sin with, a number of different men and women outside his marriage, many of them interns and/or students under his leadership care in the church.”
In a post that was also shared by the Salvation of God Church’s Facebook page, the church’s co-pastor Susan G. O’Marra wrote, “We are not going to stop supporting Todd Bentley and Jessa Bentley and we are not going to cancel our meetings with them this weekend. Stop with the hate mail and grow up! It’s time we became the body and the light of Christ!”
Bentley has responded to allegations.
In a Facebook post, he wrote, “Recently some accusations have been circulated about me and my wife by a former associate. The majority of these accusations are absolutely NOT true, however, there are some that are true, and even some that have partial truths with much exaggeration based on his personal speculation. These faults are many years old, and I would like to briefly address these. I do want to say up front that there has absolutely been NO adultery, there has been no sex outside of our marriage whatsoever.”
However, he did admit to sending “sexually suggestive” text messages to interns “over six years ago.” He said, “These were degrading, despicable and without question not the kind of behavior that should come from anyone seeking to follow the Lord or serve Him in ministry.”
He continued, “When this was brought to light, I went through a period when I laid aside ministry to repent and receive the restoration I needed to get free from these strongholds of darkness in my life. For over six years now, I have continued in counseling.”
You can read his full response here.