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

We were controlled by the power of sin.  Me.  My friends.  And even Pastor Bob himself.  We were controlled by sin, by our own fleshly minds, and perhaps even by the devil and his demons.

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! 😃

27 thoughts on “Bob Coy was my pastor

  1. 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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      1. Mark Gore

        I attended Calvary Chapel. I went there to Worship Jesus and not Bob Coy. I think he flipped flopped what he learned in the Entertainment World and using his personality traits and applied it to preaching God’s word. I knew too that there was,something not quite right about Him. I wonder why he came forward with what he did.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. DONNY KLAEHN

        Mark Coy had no choice or they were going to expose him. That is why Clay left he could not stand Conman Coy being 2 faced. The man was a fool. Calvary Chapel had a lot of things going for them, radio station gone TV station gone all because coy’s ego and pride went to his head. He was making 500k a yr and tossed it away not to mention his wife & kids

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    2. Richard Z.

      To all Christians, it hurts, it is embarrassing, it fills our minds and hearts with pain, sorrow, and disgust. Since Jesus came and started His movement of redemption, He entrusted it to His Apostles. They were in the same situation as Bob Coy and anyone other Christian minister who has failed. They just didn’t fail to the same degree. Most of the Apostles died for the Gospel. Coy is just one. When we are seen,heard,considered by so many, the hurt of his sinning hurts us all because we are one body. Our Lord Jesus made all this clear. The Apostle Paul revealed that if Jesus’s ministers are found sinning, does that mean our Jesus is a Minister of sin? God forbid. This hurts us because it doesn’t go with our Savior. Messiah also said the sins we forgive will be forgiven and the sins not forgiven will not be forgiven. We are responsible for everything we do,say,accomplish, and represent. The world and self righteous Christians will condemn and talk and reason. Our Lord Jesus will cry, just like us, because He knows the ramifications of all this. He knows what is ours and what is His. Learn from this Christians, all of us, fear God and serve His Son. Run from sin and situations, be faithful as your Messiah is. If our brethren fall, put them in their place in kindness and truth. If your a Leader, if you fall, you bear yourself. Let us all stay in patient respect and love for God and others, and deal with these issues in love, order, and responsibly. It’s not over till Jesus says it’s over. Shalom from Jesus our Messiah to all. With tears and torn hearts, we carry on boldly as we started.

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    3. Tamara L Loe

      Those that are used by God are attacked from all sides by the enemy. This is very sad. I pray Bob Coy repents and turns his life back over to Christ. 😦

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      1. momforfreedom

        Awww, amen, sister. Thank you for sharing. It is sad. . . . And the good news is that CHRIST has given HIS life to us. I just hope that Pastor Bob can come to realize His total grace . . . it is the Law that stirs up sin. “The law came in so that transgressions would increase.” (Romans 5:20)

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      2. International Capital Advisors

        Bob Coy was a complete fool. He had a beautiful family, a loving wife and he tossed it away because of pride. Why didn’t he listen to those around him? Not only his family was destroyed but the 2 woman he was having sex with destroyed there families and a church was devastated and Doug will never be a Bob Coy or a gifted speaker.   I don’t know why he was chosen but he would not be my first pick.  That is why Clay left he was ticked and saw what was going on and couldn;t be a part of it. Coy talked about how Billy Graham had people around him – and he didn’t take his own own words to heart. To me he will always be conman Coy – The radio station is gone, as are a lot of former staff -Coy was a gifted speaker and had carisma and drew people to the church……he was making $ 500k a year and threw it away – a  complete idiot.  His kids will never trust him……and his name is ruined he is untrustworthy and back working in night clubs ” You were born for Greatness”  Donny Klaehn

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 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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    2. Dave Conver

      As a part of CCFtLaud back in the day behind Albertsons, I personally share your thoughts and opinions about Bob Coy’s sincere intentions and Biblical teaching. He often promoted grace over the law and showed genuine love, compassion and forgiveness to many. I vividly recall him being physically assaulted by a irate member of the congregation with serious harm suffered and him forgiving the event. Bob’s sins were serious and required his removal from position of pastor but I, for one, pray for him daily believing the enemy targeted him specifically because of the kingdom work his service and walk was accomplishing.

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      1. DONNY KLAEHN

        The problem with success is it went to Bob Coy’s head and his ego. He was a gifted speaker no doubt but his sexual desires should have been toward his wife only – and he talked about what Billy Graham did to protect himself but Coy was an arrogant fool ……….and fell on his face. Today he is looked upon as a pervert and potential child molester. I saw personally some of his conman ways and I told Jerry his brother in law that and he didn;t like it at the time but later I was vindicated and proven right. Who lost – Ft. Lauderdale , Calvary Chapel, and the reach this man could have had even more. He was way overpaid at 500k a year and it went to his head.

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    1. momforfreedom

      I’m sorry; I’m confused; you think that’s funny??? Of course they are in the Bible. Romans 5:20, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” And that’s the POINT. Bob Coy added LEAVEN (the Law) to the lump of dough that is grace. Please give this more thought, and if you’d like, check out my blog, “Jesus Taught the Old Covenant.” https://momforfreedom.net/2017/07/25/jesus-taught-the-old-covenant/

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  3. DONNY KLAEHN

    Coy was a gifted speaker and a conman as well. No different than Bernie Madoff. He made people want to attend yet he didn’t listen to wisdom from Billy Graham to guard yourself from adultry.. Calvary Chapel has the same politics like any company……I went there for over 10 years – but if you complained about misstreatment or spoke up you were put on a black sheep list. His brother in law Jerry screwed up handling a situation in Boca where I was serving because Coy put 2 rookies to lead that church and roasted me over a fire – because of an email I sent. I called Coy Conman and that was before I learned of his adultry and now molesting kids. I guess I wasn;t wrong . He destroyed his wife, his kids, and when clay retired I smelled something wrong and I was right. Coy was an arrogant fool and got rich off people – a wolf in sheeps clothing. I no longer trust any church

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  4. Stephanie

    I got saved at Calvary Chapel when I was a child – our service was held in a warehouse-ish building at the time, I believe? I remember, as I got older, sitting in the adult service and Easter services with my mom. Pastor Bob had a gift of humor and speaking in a way that drew you in and made you listen…and made me actually want to delve into the Word (even as a 12 year old). That is a feat in itself considering most teens eyes glaze over during teaching of any sort.

    I’m now a 30 year old woman and still hold tight to my faith. I strongly agree with those who have stated that the enemy targeted him specifically because of the kingdom work he was doing. God has put all of us here for a reason and Satan is out to seek and destroy. ESPECIALLY we (Christians) who have been chosen by God to carry out His work. Bob Coy fell short. What he did was horrible and shocking and heartbreaking. Huge disappointment. But Bob Coy (and all other pastors and church elders/staff) are and always will be imperfect human beings, just like us. Don’t put them so high up on a pedestal that you think they are without struggles.

    We ALL fall short daily. If God put your everyday actions and THOUGHTS up on a movie screen for everyone to see and hear, would you be proud of everything? Not me. Pastor Bob’s life was lived under a magnifying glass compared to ours. We need not fixate on the speck in our brother’s eye while we have planks in our own. Sin is sin. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Also, MomForFreedom,

    Regarding your comment about Bob saying our past, present and future sins being forgiven – the way I receive and interpret what he meant is that God knew what sins we were going to commit before he even made each of us. Jesus paid the price so that anyone who receives Him shall be forgiven – past, present, and future. His mercies are made new each morning. That being said, this is obviously not an excuse to sin and “get away with it”. God reading our heart and mind comes into play here, because He knows our intentions. We must acknowledge/confess that we have sinned (Psalms 32:5), for it says in 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.” If you are walking with Him, I believe guilt & shame are innate internal responses that come with falling short. If you are a Christian, I feel it should be natural to want to ask forgiveness for our failures.

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    1. momforfreedom

      HI Stephanie! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Yes and amen! Bob Coy definitely had a gift for speaking and, as others have said, so funny! Almost like a stand-up comedian. I will be forever grateful to him for leading me to Christ! . . . I really do appreciate your comment, and I know that 95% of Christians disagree with me on the ‘asking for forgiveness’ thing. I just personally think that it is insulting to ask Him to give me what He has ALREADY given me. When I sin, I THANK Him for His grace, His mercy and for the forgiveness that He gave me at the cross. 😊

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      1. Stephanie

        Hey, thanks for your response.
        “When I sin, I THANK Him for His grace, His mercy and for the forgiveness that He gave me at the cross.”
        I definitely agree with this and about acknowledging our downfalls and asking Him for forgiveness. I’d never want to take for granted what He has already given so freely.
        As Paul says in 1 Corinthians,
        “May the love and favor of the Lord Jesus Christ rest upon you. My love to all of you, for we all belong to Christ Jesus.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Lehe

    I too have come to be greatly disappointed in Bob, having once really appreciated his insightful teaching ministry. But I think you might be confusing many of the things that you call “works righteousness” that are really what should be called the “means of grace”. I agree, that focusing on a fruit of the Spirit and practicing it until someone notices is a bit odd. But scripture memory, regularly attending church, reading your bible, etc. are not rules that are designed to give us favor with God. They are the means to being “transformed by the renewing of your mind”. The power source of the Christian life is the Word of God under the control of the Holy Spirit. The Word transforms our life by renewing our mind. But in order for that to happen, we must be in the word and under the teaching of the Word and fellowship with other believers. All those things that were listed are merely various means of getting the Word of God into our mind so it can do its supernatural work. They may “seem” like rules because of the emphasis on their importance. But they are not in anyway connected to our justification. They are simply the means to growing in grace.

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  6. Koko

    Jesus said..”If you love me you will follow me”…nuff said, and the law is there so we can examine our self and repent. To dis reguard the law is a sin in its self.
    By the power of the Holy Spirit who teaches us Born again Christian is to follow Jesus and His way of Life..I am learning of patience kindness forgivenes compassion ” Love” is what the Spirit of God is molding me into His Image. Repentance is what lacks in the churches; for Jesus spoke did state..” Go and sin no more. The law is there so we can repent and follow Jesus.

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    1. momforfreedom

      Thanks, Koko! I appreciate your comment. It is definitely important to consider why God gave the Law to the Israelites. Is the Law there so we can repent and follow Jesus? Well, we know the Law is our tutor to BRING us to Christ, . . . but then what? Do we remain slaves of the Law of Sin and Death? Or do we live by the Law of the Spirit of Life? How you would explain Paul’s words to the Romans: “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 5:20-21)

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  7. DONNY KLAEHN

    Coy can not be trusted – his name is CONMAN COY – I called him that before I learned he was a fool and ruined his family and his kids will never ever trust him. Diane was a loving loyal woman and his ego went to his head.

    You can forgive but you never ever forget………….. Coy had a gift I would like to know why these 2 woman fell themselves if they were really christians – only winner Satan……..Calvary Chapel will never be the same – how many souls could have been saved had Coy was wiser and smarter.

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  8. RJ

    Matthew 5:17-20 Note: “…until heaven and earth disappear…”
    5:27-30 Note v.28: “anyone who looks at a woman (or man) lustfully”
    How many of us have dodged that one?
    It is our nature.

    John 8:1-11

    Proverbs 18:7-9

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    1. DONNY KLAEHN

      RJ looking is one thing – taking it to what Bob did is utter foolishness & not 1 at least 2 – he was not playing with a full deck. Do you think his lids will ever trust him???

      Like

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