The former pastor of one of Canada's largest megachurches has been arrested, accused of sexual assault following a police investigation.
Bruxy Cavey, 57, the former primary teaching pastor of The Meeting House, was arrested and charged on Monday, the Hamilton Police Service of Hamilton, Ontario announced.
Cavey had been employed at the church from 1996 to 2021. He's also the author of several popular books, including The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus. His celebrity status helped fuel The Meeting House's rise to megachurch status, according to The Christian Post.
The Meeting House's main campus is located in Oakville but has almost two dozen other campuses throughout the Toronto area with more than 5,000 members. It also live-streams Sunday services to several cinemas in southern Ontario, according to CBC News.
The Meeting House's communications pastor Jared Taylor told the outlet the church wouldn't comment on the matter as it's before the courts but said it is cooperating with police and encourages anyone who thinks they can help investigators to contact them.
Det. Sgt. Jennifer Currie told the CBC in an email that the allegation against Cavey was reported in April but would not provide any specific dates or details in order to protect the victim's identity.
Church Board Hired Independent Investigator After Allegations Surfaced
According to a post on the church's website dated March 8, the Overseers Board said they had received allegations of sexual misconduct against Cavey and had placed him on a leave of absence while the church hired an external independent third-party investigator to conduct an investigation which began in December.
It is unclear if the charges the former pastor currently faces are from these same allegations.
According to the board, the investigation revealed Cavey had maintained a sexual relationship with the victim, who they described as an "adult woman," in violation of The Meeting House policy and the Handbook of Faith and Life of the Be in Christ Church of Canada.
The board then asked Cavey to resign from his position at the church immediately, which he did on March 3.
Cavey Apologized in a Blog Post
Later, in an online blog post titled "My Confession" on March 8, Cavey confessed to having an extramarital affair, writing "This adulterous relationship is my greatest failure, my darkest sin, and I take full responsibility for my actions."
"I am deeply sorry," he said.
"I was also irresponsible in my role as a spiritual leader and Christian clergy, which involves dynamics of power and influence and an expectation of exemplary conduct that makes me doubly accountable. I accept this responsibility, with deep regret for my actions," Cavey continued.
"I wish I had had the courage years ago to divulge what has now become publicly known through the bravery of the woman I was involved with. Although I had repented before God, I kept it a secret from others. I am sorry upon sorry for my cowardice. I realize that repentance without confession is only partial and prevents healing and authentic relationship in the light of truth," he wrote.
During the church's town hall meeting to discuss the matter on March 10, board chair Maggie John said Cavey's pastoral credentials with the Be In Christ Church of Canada had been revoked, according to CBC News.
Following Cavey's arrest on Monday, the church's board posted a statement.
"Today we learned that Hamilton Police have arrested former pastor Bruxy Cavey and charged him with sexual assault. The release from the Hamilton Police states that at the time of the assault, Bruxy was the Teaching Pastor at The Meeting House," the statement said.
"We have no details about the charge other than what is in the Hamilton Police release. At this time, The Meeting House is not privy to this court proceeding. The Meeting House has cooperated with the police and has offered our continued cooperation. As this matter is currently before the courts, we cannot comment any further," the statement continued.
"We continue to grieve with all victims and are committed to taking all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously. In March, our church engaged Melodie Bissell as a Victim Advocate. We encourage anyone who thinks they may have experienced sexual misconduct or abuse by a pastor, staff member, or lay leader within The Meeting House to contact Melodie Bissell confidentially," the statement continued.
Scheduled to Appear in Court June 27
Police said Cavey was released following his arrest under certain conditions. He's scheduled to appear in court on Monday, June 27. The police also said they believe there may be more victims and encourage anyone with information to come forward.
If you have any information that you believe could assist investigators regarding this crime, you are asked to contact Canadian Detective Constable Jeremy Miller at 905-540-5050 or Detective Sergeant Jennifer Currie at 905-546-4962.
Hamilton Police said they want all survivors of sexual violence to know that they will believe them and will respect their choice when and how they report an incident.
The police would also like to encourage anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of sexual violence, to come forward and report the incident. There is no statute of limitations for sexual offenses in Canada, and offenders can be prosecuted well after the date of the offense. If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can report the incident by contacting the Sexual Assault Unit non-emergency line at 905-540-5553, or by filing a report online at https://hamiltonpolice.on.ca.
To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online at https://crimestoppershamiIton.com.