Bob Coy was my pastor

“We have confirmed that Coy has admitted to at least two affairs in the past year alone and has had a long standing “problem with pornography.”” – April 04, 2014, http://www.phoenixpreacher.com

In the early 90’s Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale was a thriving, vibrant, energetic church filled with throngs of young people. Bob Coy had founded the church with his wife, Diane, and a handful of others. Under his charming leadership, it grew to become one of the Top-10 largest churches in America.

I began attending in 1991. Back then, we met behind the dumpsters of an Albertson’s grocery store. I liked the fact that it wasn’t glamorous; that it was “non-denominational” and, in my mind, the farthest thing possible from the Catholicism of my youth. (Later realizing that it really wasn’t much different after all. I simply had traded “High-Church” for “low-church,” so the strict rules and regulations were harder to spot.)

Image result for calvary chapel church fort lauderdal

Bob Coy was the reason for the church’s success. He is a phenomenal speaker. He had a gift for showing people their need for salvation and it was not uncommon to see 20 or 30 people “go forward” for his altar call.

I never planned to go forward. I was confident in the fact that God loved me and wanted me in His heaven; therefore, I didn’t believe I needed to “get saved” or be born again. But the message that Pastor Bob preached on Sunday morning, September 1st, 1991, changed my mind; it allowed me to see that I was guilty of breaking God’s laws, that I was guilty of committing sin. I was a sinner who needed His help; the help that only He could offer because of what He did on the cross. God opened my blind eyes so I could see, and I said yes to God . . . and then went forward for the altar call. 😱

I am eternally grateful to Bob Coy; I was saved from hell on that September morning. I am thankful for his gift of teaching, but I have come to regret the year and a half that I spent at his church, paying 10% of my income in order to help enlarge his ministry, and getting steeped in the doctrine of “works righteousness”. My disappointment turned to major surprise several years ago when I learned that Pastor Bob is a sex addict.

“Over two decades, Coy had built a small storefront church into Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, a 25,000-member powerhouse that packed Dolphin Stadium for Easter services while Coy hosted everyone from George W. Bush to Benjamin Netanyahu. With a sitcom dad’s wholesome looks, a standup comedian’s snappy timing, and an unlikely redemption tale of ditching a career managing Vegas strip clubs to find Jesus, Coy had become a Christian TV and radio superstar.

But then, in April 2014, he resigned in disgrace after admitting to multiple affairs and a pornography addiction. Coy shocked his flock and made national headlines by walking away from his ministry, selling his house, and divorcing his wife.” (www.miaminewtimes.com)

After the scandal, he re-entered the world of nightclubs. He got a job managing the “Funky Biscuit” in Boca Raton where he was subsequently fired amidst new allegations: charges of child molestation.

What a turn of events. The marvelous preacher Pastor Bob Coy wasn’t respectable enough to manage a night club.

How could this have happened to Pastor Bob? How could this have happened to someone who led thousands of people to salvation in Jesus Christ!?

“It takes only a little yeast to make the whole batch of dough rise,” as they say. (Galatians 5:9 – Good New Translation)

And it only takes a little bit of false teaching to permeate the gospel message. Just one little rule that says, “Work hard.” Or, “Try to be good.” Or, “Exert yourself to be holy.” That one tiny command then acts like yeast, it grows and spreads until the entire message of good news becomes bad news.

Think about a loaf of bread, can you pick out the yeast and discard it? No, it’s impossible. The yeast has taken over the dough and ‘leavened’ the entire loaf; there is no yeast-free section of the loaf of bread.

So if your Christian life is saturated with LAW, it’s no wonder that you’ll become miserable and turn to sin for a bit of temporary relief.

Pastor Bob gave us a plethora of laws/rules/methods for us to obey so that we could become more holy. For example, he once taught us to choose a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and to practice it until someone noticed. I chose the fruit of “love.” I worked hard at it until someone DID eventually tell me that I was loving. Of course, by that time, I was so exhausted from all of the effort that I went right back to my normal self. Also, he suggested that we memorize Scripture verses; that we get involved in volunteering for one of the church’s ministries; we were supposed to fellowship regularly, at least three times a week; to read the Bible every morning. . . . Basically, he presented us with a set of rules for us to live by.

He may not have taught us to obey the Law of Moses, but we certainly were taught to obey the Law of Pastor Bob.  Those of us who took his words seriously ended up, inadvertently, focused on sin.  Sin gets it power from laws.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56

As Bob George of People to People Ministries used to say, “If the truth sets us free, then the lie keeps us in bondage.”

Jesus came to set us free from the Law of Moses, and any other system of law that man invents.  Jesus came to enact a new covenant. He does not want us to obey a set of rules. God wants to set us free from the bondage of religion. He wants us to trust Him. He has abolished the Law of Moses, and now He, the true and living God, offers Himself.

Trust in HIS finished work. He has done all the work necessary to make you holy and righteous. Accept His free gift of salvation . . . and then REST. You deserve it! 😃

5 thoughts on “Bob Coy was my pastor

  1. Pingback: LIST of Articles on this Blog Site – momforfreedom

  2. cleanmo2016

    Yes, but b4 you come down a judgment on your former pastor, (and believe me that story is rampant in Christendom, even for the congregation I grew up in) ALL of us fail in our daily walk, even with the Holy Spirit living in and through us.  Our Spirit is saved by the Grace of God, NOT our flesh.  And we deserve NONE of it.  God’s love encompasses us DESPITE our failures.  That is why the Law was never a cure, but a curse … and in it there was only condemnation.   Our salvation, beyond eternity, here in this life is the portion we accept of His truth, that amounts to the only freedom that will ever bring peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. momforfreedom

      Hi Clean Mo! Great to hear from you again. Thank you for your comment; those are wise words. You are exactly right, and it is true that only freedom from the curse of the Law will bring peace. I regret that I came across as judgmental (I really tried hard NOT to come across that way!). I still have fond feelings toward Pastor Bob, he was was so funny and charming. My only regret is the teaching (found in 98% of churches, in my opinion) that inadvertently, and perhaps unintentionally, keeps us in bondage to the Law and therefore separated from the love of our great and gracious God.

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  3. Gary and Yolanda

    My wife and I totally disagree that Pastor Bob handed down a bunch of rules from him. He simply taught the word of God and we believe he was sincere in each and every one of his teachings. But… he let his guard down and Satan was waiting for him. I remember Pastor Bob saying the devil is out to destroy you and he’s not in a hurry to do it. Our prayer for Pastor Bob is that the Lord brings to his memory some of the messages He had him teach, especially the ones where Christ already paid for yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s sins. And the really good news is… So long as we have are in our lungs, the Lord is not through with us! And that most certainly includes Bob Coy.

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    1. momforfreedom

      Hi Gary and Yolanda, I’m so thankful that you commented, and appreciate your point of view. It is good for us as Christians to talk about our disagreements. I will agree that the “rules” were not easy to spot, and sometimes only came in during the last 5 minutes of his sermon. If he did teach us that our sins — past , present and future — are forgiven, why did he also teach us to confess our sins by using 1 John 1:9? That makes no sense. Anyway, my feelings for Pastor Bob are GOOD and I have mostly fond memories of him. We got to hang out once — five of us total — for a “meeting” with one of my parents’ Catholic “lay minister” friends; this guy, Paul, wanted to talk to me and a few of my new Calvary Chapel friend for a friendly discussion/debate. Pastor Bob heard about this upcoming meeting and asked to be included, even though the Catholic guy, Paul, specifically said “no pastors.” So, we all acted like Pastor Bob was just our friend . . . until this lady, a deaconess at the church, blew our cover and called him Pastor Bob. The Catholic guy wasn’t too thrilled at our dishonesty.

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