Oregon Megachurch Pastor Ben Courson Steps Down Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Written by The Ministry of Jesus Christ on August 21, 2021
A popular megachurch pastor, TV and radio personality from Oregon has taken a leave of absence from ministry following recent allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.
According to The Roys Report, 33-year-old Ben Courson of Applegate christian Fellowship near Medford is accused by three female former church members for initiating sexual relationships with them.
Applegate elders were made aware of two of the women’s accounts following an elder’s meeting in June.
The third woman, however, told The Roys Report that she did not report the allegation to the church yet as she had only recently learned of the other women. Regarding Courson, she had previously characterized their relationship as a serious dating relationship.
Xavier Brasseur, pastor of The Story Ashland in Ashland, Oregon, told the outlet that his church is helping the three women get professional counseling.
According to Lt. Mike Budreau of the Medford Police Department, a fourth woman filed a police report last week accusing Courson of sexually assaulting her and confirmed that the case was under investigation.
Two elders from Applegate have also resigned, claiming that the megachurch refused to discipline Courson and took action only after the allegations went public. One of the elders contended that Courson admitted “to inappropriate sexual activity with multiple women” during the elder’s meeting.
Additionally, the former elders added that Jon Courson – Courson’s father and Applegate founder – and other elders kept Courson on staff under a different title instead of telling him to resign.
In response to the allegations, Courson published a video on Aug. 8 apologizing for his “mistakes” in his dating relationships but maintained that adultery was never involved.
“I am truly sorry and deeply repentant,” Courson said. “While it was always consensual, and there was never sex outside of marriage—there was never adultery—still, we let things go beyond what God requires of a relationship.”
“When it comes to this area of women, I take full responsibility and I am truly sorry to our church community,” he continued. “I’ve also apologized to our church leadership … I’m going to be taking time away to learn, to reflect, to grow.”
He also contended that any innuendoes or accusations heard beyond the video were “unfounded and untrue.” In closing, Courson asked for prayers as he will take a six-month leave of absence from his pastoral duties and will not be taking any salary from the church.
Courson, who has over 150,000 followers on social media, has broadcasted his radio show in 500 radio stations and his TV program has aired in 180 countries. He is also a bestselling author and the founder of the Hope Generation.
Throughout the summer, Courson was featured in a variety of events including preaching at Greg Laurie’s Harvest christian Fellowship in California and appearing on the christian program Life TodayTV in June. He was also a regular interviewee on TBN.
In that same month, Courson announced that he was joining K-Wave radio as a teaching pastor.
Several days before his apology video, Courson also appeared on Good Morning America as he spoke on “How to Navigate through Fear and Anxiety”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.