The News Tribune reports that Dean Curry, the former pastor of Life Center Assembly of God in Tacoma, Washington, is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct. Additionally the News Tribune story says that a former church board member, Julee Dilley, has filed formal complaints against Curry with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the state Human Rights Commission.
Dilly’s complaint details three incidents involving three female church members:
An ongoing relationship with a married church member that turned physical.
An incident involving another married church member being visited by Curry late at night, discovered by the woman’s husband.
A female administrative employee who spoke of uncomfortable conversations with Curry that included comments on her appearance and discussions of his intimate relations with his wife.
Curry, of course, indignantly and with all the self-righteousness of Jesus cleansing the temple, denies these recent allegations. Curry stated:
More outrageous false accusations. Saddened to see some are opportunistically trying to hinder the forward work of the ministry. I categorically deny all of it.
One, two, three, six. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
My relationship with Assembly of God has been fractured. This woman accused me of behavior that would have amounted to adultery if it were true.
I have been falsely and wrongly accused [adding that a continuing investigation of his conduct would show] no damaging phone logs, no compromising emails or text messages.
Pastors come and go, and this one is going, and you have to keep doing your Jesus thing. I’m not going to allow myself to be bitter toward my accuser. I’m 50 years old and I’ve got a lot of living to do.
The Northwest Ministry Network issued the following statement:
The Northwest Ministry Network was informed of allegations involving the conduct of Pastor Dean Curry, the Senior Pastor of Life Center Church in Tacoma, Washington. Pastor Curry is a credentialed ordained minister with the General Council of the Assemblies of God located in Springfield, MO and The Northwest Ministry Network in Snoqualmie, WA. The Northwest Ministry Network takes allegations of wrongdoing or violations of ministerial ethics seriously. We consider these issues to be ecclesiastical matters under our governance within our biblical purview.
After a thorough investigation of the allegations, the Northwest Ministry Network Executive Presbytery, having received the testimony of two or more witnesses and acting in their role as the Ministerial Relations Committee, has unanimously recommended dismissal of Pastor Curry to the General Council of the Assemblies of God. This recommendation requests that Pastor Curry’s credentials with the Assemblies of God be terminated for violating prescribed standards of ministerial conduct, and he be listed as a dismissed minister of the Assemblies of God. This recommendation is within the Northwest Ministry Network’s purview as per Article X of the Assemblies of God General Council bylaws.
Given the sensitive nature of the allegations, and because the process regarding Pastor Curry’s credentials is ongoing, the Northwest Ministry Network will not be discussing the details of the allegations publicly. As such, there will be no further comment at this time. The General Council of the Assemblies of God Executive Presbytery will decide what to do with our recommendation and the allegations regarding Pastor Curry and his status as a credentialed ordained Assemblies of God minister.
The accusation that led to his dismissal wasn’t the first Curry has faced, according to multiple sources, including people with ties to local Life Center leadership.
Those individuals told The News Tribune that Curry had been accused of misconduct with female employees and other women in the past, and the church board had investigated the claims. Curry continued to lead the church after those inquiries, sources said, adding that some members disapproved of the board’s approach.
The News Tribune could not confirm those claims independently.
Curry hinted at past allegations during his Sunday speech. He offered no specifics.
“My integrity, character and reputation are everything,” he said. “And these last few months and even years before, all three of those things have been challenged, and I intend to continue to fight to maintain all three of those things.”
Life Center church is governed by 15 board members; comprised of women and men who have been nominated and elected by our voting members. As such, we are responsible for the selection and oversight of the senior pastor, for church policy, administration of church finances and the general well-being of the church. We don’t manage the day-to-day operations but serve as your representatives to be the governing authority of the church. This is both a privilege and a responsibility we take very seriously and devote countless hours to.
As a church with membership in the Assemblies of God denomination we are subject to another governing authority structure—namely the NW Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God (sometimes referred to as the “NW District” office), and ultimately, the denominational headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. Of course, our highest allegiance is to God, whom we serve above all.
One role of the board is to consider accusations, which we have done in the past, which may come against a pastor in accordance with Scriptural teaching. Indeed, the biblical standards laid out for this board and pastors are quite high, and we have a responsibility to require adherence to them by our pastors and to carry out discipline when and where they are questioned.
Dean Curry has been Life Center’s pastor for 14 years. Under his leadership, Life Center has solidified its place in the 253 as a place of hope. Countless people in the region have encountered Jesus because of the ministry of Dean Curry and Life Center Church.
A few weeks ago, we learned about an accusation against Dean that was brought to the NW District office (not Life Center nor the church board) by a former employee who felt Dean had acted physically inappropriately toward her. The accuser presented her accusation directly to the NW District office, which in turn notified Dean. Dean immediately notified the Life Center board. Based on the allegations we as a board requested a thorough investigation or substantiation of claims brought to the District, but unfortunately we have not been presented with written details of the formal charge. We have only been told what was presented to the District office.
Then, on June 21st the NW District office presented the Life Center church board with their plan to recommend to the national office in Springfield that Dean be dismissed as an ordained Assemblies of God minister. This has immediate ramifications for Life Center because our bylaws require that our Senior Pastor be a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God denomination. Due to the nature of Life Center’s bylaws the board has dismissed Dean as our Senior Pastor. In this process we have no other choice then to adhere to the decision of the NW District in this matter at this time.
We have raised concerns about the thoroughness of the investigative process used by our denominational officers from the NW District. For an allegation as serious as this and the gravity of the potential outcomes (for all involved) the lack of extensive discovery, review, objectivity and transparency leads us to question the validity of the Northwest District office’s process. That being said we submit to their authority as our governing body.
While we may disagree with the NW District’s process, we do believe that all people (women and men) deserve to be heard. As a board we care deeply for each and every person that steps foot on a Life Center campus. The Life Center staff and board are here to listen, here to support and here to help those who are hurting and/or in need. The team has put in place clear policies and protections for employees who have experienced hurt in the workplace as everyone’s story matters. As a board we are here to help ensure that Life Center remains a place of HOPE in the 253.
Finally, we remain committed to Life Center Church and her mission in the city and greater community. Dean has always been careful to remind us this is not his church and it is not our church—it’s a Jesus church, and we reaffirm that. As a board with governance responsibility for this church, we are determined to guide us through this challenging season in the long history of Life Center. Specifically, that means we’ll be doing the following:
Praying for all involved. Praying for wisdom and God’s guidance as we navigate perhaps the most challenging season in our distinguished history.
Searching for an interim pastor.
Providing strategic support to all Life Center staff and campuses.
Reviewing our options to ensure our internal systems and policies and guidelines protect both pastors and staff and provide a healthy work environment in which men and women can function effectively in a way that honors and respects both. We updated such guidelines four years ago and will continue to conduct reviews to ensure they remain effective.
Developing a strategy and plan for Life Center Church’s future.
Communicating with you all in a more frequent way as we have more information.
Let’s be people of prayer and harmony and fidelity to God’s Word and trust Him to lead us in accordance with His plans. Thank you for listening and praying with us.
There is no witness to this accusation. None The NW district is using bureaucratic words to defend their rash judgment. Misleadingly, they have used a completely unrelated situation, dismissed years ago to justify their statement. I have appealed to the National office of the Assemblies of God and await their input. My optimism is high and I’m grateful for all the love and support.
I am sure there is much more to come in the days ahead about Curry’s alleged misconduct. As far as I currently know, Curry has not been accused of criminal behavior, so this story is not a Black Collar Crime story.
Here’s a taste of Curry’s preaching.Curry shares why he is a anti-LGBT, anti-same sex marriage. Let me translate: We love you, but unless you repent of your non-heterosexuality you will go straight to Hell. Now, Curry doesn’t say that, but he sure as Heaven believes it. Why? Cuz it is in the B-i-b-l-e.
Several people have I objected to my characterization of Curry’s view on LGBT people and human sexuality. The following video should silence my critics. I hope regular readers will take the time to listen to Curry’s sermon. If you make it to the end of Curry’s sermon, you will hear him several times equate atheism to homosexuality. Let me know what you think in the comment section.